Friday, December 21, 2007

Frightened By Santa Claus

Article from 1911

How the Dear Old Saint Carried Consternation Into an African Mission House

An amusing story of how Santa Claus frightened the black children at a mission station when he first appeared to them a few years ago, is told by the wife of a missionary stationed at Bailundu, Africa. They had celebrated Christmas at Bailundu before, but they never had had Santa Claus, so Mr. Stover, the missionary, dressed up as good Saint Nick.

"He had been padded and powdered and packed until his own mother would not have known him," Mrs Stover afterward related. "Presently we gave the signal, the door flew open and in walked Santa Claus. But dear me! "What consternation! He was greeted with shrieks and groans and cries of 'Let me out! It is the evil one. It is the day of judgment!'

"The urchins, catching the infection of terror from the older black people, fled to their bedrooms, fell down upon their faces, crept under chairs and tables — anywhere to hide themselves. Poor old Santa Claus never had such a greeting before. As soon as he realized the panic he had caused, he tore off his tall hat and white cotton beard. Then from the bags on his back he began to throw gifts right and left and to tell who he was.

"Reassured once more, everyone was soon laughing and chatting, munching the great 'red breads' (doughnuts), tasting their fruits or nibbling at the sweets from the familiar little bags.

"It seemed as though everyone tried to talk louder than his neighbor as they examined the costume of Santa Claus, whom they now no longer feared. One man said that he thought it was John the Baptist, another that it was Elijah returned. Yet another thought it was Satan himself, 'and all my sins rose up before me;' while a fourth confessed, 'My only thought was to hide myself'."

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Catching Grasshoppers to Feed to the Poultry


Use a Hopperdozer

That grasshoppers are good food for poultry is recognized, but in most cases the poultry have to catch their own grasshoppers. We do not commonly hear of anyone taking the trouble to catch grasshoppers for the poultry. The Colorado station this summer tried the experiment successfully.

The fields were visited by innumerable multitudes of grasshoppers, and the station men determined to catch a few bushels of them for the fowls. A hopperdozer was used and run behind a mowing machine at the time the hay was being made. The hopperdozer was mounted on wheels, so that it would not catch in the hay. Usually kerosene is used in the hopperdozer, thus killing the insects as they fall into it. But this would make the insects unfit for food.

A little experimenting showed that water would hold the insects for some time or until they could be flipped out for the use of the fowls. A hopperdozer was used on a six-acre field of alfalfa and it succeeded in catching from nine to ten bushels of grasshoppers, estimated at 3,000 to the bushel.

Current Turkey Models Are Bigger and Heavier


Shifting of styles in turkeys is under way, according to L. E. Cline of the Nevada agricultural extension service, who recently finished a study of the present market for the holiday birds. The 1934 model will be bigger and heavier, Mr. Cline says, reflecting a consumer demand for a different type of bird which has been increasing since last Christmas.

The shift is a return to the turkey in greatest demand some time ago, the extension man says, and may be an indication of better economic conditions. In recent years the smaller birds have brought the best prices. Demands from restaurants and cabarets for larger breast meat has been an important factor in the change in consumer requirements.

A premium of one or more cents a pound is now being paid for the heavier turkeys, while for the last two or three years the price was that amount under the sum paid for lighter birds.

This condition always shows a decidedly healthy tone of the market, and if it prevails through the coming marketing season, as indications point, there will be a distinct advantage to the turkey producer.

Little Visits with "Uncle By"

The Globe, Cedar Falls, Iowa, Aug. 16, 1906, p. 3.

Many a dollar necktie covers a 30-cent shirt.

The baseball season is for summer only, but the moth ball is for all the year round.

"I lie in the fragrant meadows," sings a pastoral poetess. She could come into the city and make money by it. Others do.

"The House of a Thousand Candles" is to be dramatized. That many candles in the theater ought to put the footlights out of business.

The girl who is proposed to and says, "This is so sudden," should remember that the young man will always give her time to turn down the gas before answering.

It is said that smoking at great heights gives no pleasure. Presumably that is why smoking in the haymow usually turns Little Willie's stomach inside out.

Adam invented the hammer, the slangist utilized it in his infinitive "to knock," but the man who hit his finger instead of the nail, was the first man on record with a swear word.

A railway authority says one of the probabilities is the establishing of through railroad service between North and South America. Wonder what it will cost in tips to make the trip.

It is predicted that Chicago will some day be destroyed by an earthquake. In which case, if it destroyed the cable lines and the stockyards smell, the game might be worth the candle.

A Nebraska man undressed in his berth on board a sleeping car and threw his trousers out of the window instead of into the hammock as he supposed. He went to the hotel in a sheet and a sickish smile.

"Have you ever driven along a country road by moonlight?" asks Craig Law in Four-Track News. You bet, and she was the prettiest, daintiest, sweetest bunch of taffeta and frizzes that ever made a fellow's heart go pit-i-pat.

When a street car fare is paid in Copenhagen, Denmark, the conductor thanks the passenger and gives him a receipt. When a street car fare is paid in Chicago, the conductor growls because you give him a two-dollar bill and you fight for a transfer.

"The heart of a woman who has lived to be 70 has beaten 260,000,000 times," says an exchange. Does this allow for the loss of beats when the baby fell into the soapsuds or the mother swallowed a safety pin, and the heart stood still? Shouldn't there be a considerable rebate for the times "my heart just stopped beating"?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A Famous Pirate


On the 23d of May, 1706, Captain William Kidd, the famous pirate, was executed at Execution dock, London. Several others of Kidd's company were executed with him. The summary putting to death of these pirates did much to rid the seas of piracy. Kidd, who was the most daring of all the pirates of history, exemplified the worst of his kind.

Although his exploits have been greatly exaggerated, there is no doubt that he was guilty of desperate crimes. His daring led others to emulate him, and the commerce of the world suffered much because of the depredations of the pirates.

England was the principal sufferer at the hands of the high sea raiders, and accordingly England was most interested in their capture. Kidd's execution began a new era of commercial activity on account of the greater security enjoyed by merchantmen on the high seas.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Fig Culture


Great Demand For Quick Bearing Varieties of These Fruit Trees

The fig is one of the oldest fruits known, and since it has become known that figs can be grown in pots and fruited in the conservatory or in the open ground, where there are three mouths warm summer weather, there has been a great demand for the quick bearing varieties by people anxious to grow fresh figs. These varieties begin to fruit by the time the young shoots are six inches long and form a fig at every leaf. Unlike apples, peaches and other fruits of the kind, the fig is more like the raspberry or blackberry in the respect that the fruit does not ripen all at one time. Figs continue to develop and ripen until checked by cold weather.

For pot culture the fig requires about the same treatment as a rubber plant, and if supplied with plenty of water the fruit will ripen. Vigorous plants will have fruit in all stages of development, from the smallest green fruit to the ripe figs ready for picking and eating.

Celeste bears rather small fruit of high quality, but is not very productive. Ischia has a green exterior, the inside of the fruit being blood red. Hirtu Japan is an abundant bearer, and Magnolia bears large pear shaped fruit.

One fig enthusiast writes that his figs stood zero weather last year, though when first set out freezing weather would kill them. As they become acclimated the plants stand colder weather. A gardener in Pennsylvania says her fig tree has withstood twenty winters with protection. The tree is bent over to the ground in winter and covered with straw and earth.