The Complete Works of James Whitcomb Riley, vol 1
"She was the kindliest of souls even when constrained to punish us. After a whipping she invariably took me into the little kitchen and gave me two great white slabs of bread cemented together with layers of butter and jam. As she always whipped me with the same slender switch she used for a pointer, and cried over every lick, you will have an idea how much punishment I could stand. When I was old enough to be lifted by the ears out of my seat that office was performed by a pedagogue whom I promised to 'whip sure, if he'd just wait till I got big enough.' He is still waiting!
"There was but one book at school in which I found the slightest interest: McGuffey's old leather-bound Sixth Reader. It was the tallest book known, and to the boys of my size it was a matter of eternal wonder how I could belong to 'the big class in that reader.' When we were to read the death of 'Little Nell,' I would run away, for I knew it would make me cry, that the other boys would laugh at me, and the whol