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we have and the improvement of present opportunity. If you neglect to prepare yourselves now for the duties and responsibilities which will fall upon you later, if you do not learn the things which
you will need to know when your school days are over, you will suffer the consequences. So any nation which in its youth lives only for the day, reaps without sowing, and consumes without husbanding, must expect the penalty of the prodigal, whose labor could with difficulty find him the bare means of life.
A people without children would face a hopeless | future; a country without trees is almost as hopeless; forests which are so used that they cannot renew themselves will soon vanish, and with them all their benefits. A true forest is not merely a storehouse full of wood, but, as it were, a factory of wood, and at the same time a reservoir of water. When you help to preserve our forests or plant new ones you are acting the part of good citizens. The value of forestry deserves, therefore, to be taught in the schools, which aim to make good citizens of you. If your Arbor Day exercises help you to realize what benefits each one of you receives from the forests, and how by your assistance these benefits may continue, they will serve a good end.
THEODORE ROOSEVELT. The White House, April 15, 1907.
THE recent awakening of a national interest in the movement toward the conservation of our natural resources has emphasized the need for a collection of literature on all phases of Arbor Day more modern than the excellent Manual published by New York in 1889 and more comprehensive than the many small Arbor Day annuals brought out by the various states.
The editor has aimed to include in the present volume the most practical as well as the most beautiful essays, articles, letters, stories, exercises, and poems that have been written about Arbor Day, its history, observance, spirit, and significance, as well as those on Spring, trees, flowers, and “green things growing."
The section on Conservation is of especial timeliness.
ALTHOUGH Arbor Day is one of the newest of our American holidays, its institution is merely the revival of an ancient custom. It is said that the Aztecs always planted a tree when an infant came into the world, and gave it the child's own name. And the old Mexican Indians plant trees on certain days of the year, under the full moon, naming them after their children,
There is a similar custom of long standing in certain parts of rural Germany, where each member of each family plants a tree with appropriate ceremonies at Whitsuntide, forty days after Easter.
Some unknown seeker after truth once discovered in a Swiss chronicle of the fifth century an account of an early and curious institution of Arbor Day. It seems that the people of a little Swiss town called Brugg assembled in council and resolved to plant a forest of oak trees on the common. The first rainy day thereafter the citizens began their work. They dug holes in the ground with canes and sticks, and dropped an acorn into each hole, tramping the dirt
More than twelve sacks were sown in this way, and after the work
and after the work was done each citizen received a wheaten roll as a reward.
For some reason the work was all in vain, for the seed never came up. Perhaps the acorns were laid too deep, or it might have been that the tramping of so many feet had packed the earth too firmly. Whatever the cause, the acorns refused to sprout, and the townspeople sowed the same ground with rye and oats, and after the harvest they tried the acorn planting again — this time in another way by plowing the soil and sowing the acorns in the furrows. But again the "great oaks” refused to grow; grass came up instead, and the people were disappointed. But an oak grove they were determined to have, so after this second failure a few wise men put their heads together and decided to gain the desired result by transplanting. A day was appointed in October, and the whole community, men, women, and children, marched to the woods, dug up oak saplings, and transplanted them on the common. At the close of the exercises' each girl and boy was presented with a roll, and in the evening the grown people had a merry feast in the town hall.
This time the trees grew. The people of Brugg were pleased and satisfied, and instituted the day of tree-planting as a yearly holiday.
Every year as the day came around the children formed in line and marched to the oak grove, bringing back twigs or switches, thus proving that the oaks were thriving, and every year at the close of the parade the rolls were distributed to be eaten in