STORY LVIII – JOHN CARPENTER
- John Carpenter did not like to buy toys that somebody else had made. He liked the fun of making them himself. The thought that they were his own work delighted him.
- Tom Austin, one of his playmates, thought a toy was worth nothing unless it cost a great deal of money. He never tried to make anything, but bought all his toys.
- “Come and look at my horse,” said he, one day. “It cost a dollar, and it is such a beauty! Come and see it.”
- John was soon admiring his friend’s horse; and he was examining it carefully, to see how it was made. The same evening he began to make one for himself.
- He went into the wood shed, and picked out two pieces of wood–one for the head of his horse, the other for the body. It took him two or three days to shape them to his satisfaction.
- His father gave him a bit of red leather for a bridle, and a few brass nails, and his mother found a bit of old fur with which he made a mane and tail for his horse.
- But what about the wheels? This puzzled him. At last he thought he would go to a turner’s shop, and see if he could not get some round pieces of wood which might suit his purpose.
- He found a large number of such pieces among the shavings on the floor, and asked permission to take a few of them. The turner asked him what he wanted them for, and he told him about his horse.
- “Oh,” said the man, laughing, “if you wish it, I will make some wheels for your horse. But mind, when it is finished, you must let me see it.”
- John promised to do so, and he soon ran home with the wheels in his pocket. The next evening, he went to the turner’s shop with his horse all complete, and was told that he was an ingenious little fellow.
- Proud of this compliment, he ran to his friend Tom, crying, “Now then, Tom, here is my horse, — look!”
- “Well, that is a funny horse,” said Tom; “where did you buy it?”
- “I didn’t buy it,” replied John; “I made it.”
- “You made it yourself! Oh, well, it’s a good horse for you to make. But it is not so good as mine. Mine cost a dollar, and yours didn’t cost anything.”
- “It was real fun to make it, though,” said John, and away he ran with his horse rolling after him.
- Do you want to know what became of John? Well, I will tell you. He studied hard in school, and was called the best scholar in his class. When he left school, he went to work in a machine shop. He is now a master workman, and will soon have a shop of his own.
Go to Lesson 59 here.