Back to 1912 for some jokes from the Juvenile Instructor —
Mother – Johnny, how is it you stand so much lower in your studies in January than you did in December?
Son – Oh, everything is marked down after the holidays, you know, mother.
Mr. Wm. Crooks, a well known British M.P., narrates an amusing anecdote about one of his children. He once questioned his little girl, recently arrived from school, on the effects of heat and cold. “Heat expands and cold contracts,” answered she, after a little thought.
“Very good,” said the father, “now give me an instance.”
“In hot weather, the days are long, and in cold they are short,” was the unexpected reply.
A man hurried into a quick-lunch restaurant recently and called to the waiter, “give me a ham sandwich.”
“Yes, sir,” said the waiter, ‘will you eat it or take it with you?”
“Both,” was the unexpected but obvious reply.
The Judge in the courtroom: “I’ve lost my hat.”
The Lawyer: “Lost your hat? That’s nothing. Why, I lost a suit here yesterday.”
Teacher – “Why are you writing in such a big hand?”
Tom – “Why, you see, my grandmother is deaf, and I’m writing to her.”
“John, what is your excuse for being tardy this morning?” asked the teacher.
“I had to wake up before I could come.”
Teacher – You have named all domestic animals save one. It has bristly hair, hates a bath, and is fond of mud. Well, Tom?
Tom (shamefully): That’s me.
“Mamma, I just feel ill all over somehow,” said Henry one morning.
“Where do you feel worse?” his mother asked.
A little girl came home one day, greatly elated at her progress in school. ‘Oh, mother!” she cried, “I’m going to begin dismal fractions tomorrow!”
A school inspector in England asked a child in a primary school to tell him as nearly as possible what he understood a pilgrim to be.
“A pilgrim is a man who goes about a good deal,” was the reply.
This seemed not quite satisfactory to the inspector, and he said, “I ‘go about a good deal,’ but I am not a pilgrim.”
“Please, sir, I mean a good man,” was the eager addition.
Anna was making presents. “Oh, dear, this don’t look nice!” said she. Little Helen, looking on, remarked, in a sympathizing tone: “Oh, well, Auntie, you can give it to somebody who is near-sighted.”
Little Marie, aged six, while writing her first letter,suddenly cried, “Oh, mamma, I have written one word twice. What shall I do?” Her little sister, Marjorie, looked up immediately and said, “Never mind, Marie. Leave it alone; they’ll think you stuttered.”
A little girl who made frequent use of the word “guess” was one day reproved for it by her teacher, who said, “Don’t say ‘guess,’ Mary, say ‘presume.’” A few days later one of Mary’s friends, coming up to her, remarked: “I think your cap is very pretty, and my mother wants your mother to lend her the pattern, because she is going to make me one like it.” “My mother has no pattern,” was the prompt reply; “she cut it by presume.”
The school-master asked the pupils: “Suppose in a family there are five children, and mother has only four potatoes between them. Now she wants to give to every child an equal share. What is she going to do?” Silence reigned in the room. Everybody calculated very hard, till a little boy stood up and gave the unexpected answer: “Mash the potatoes, sir.”
Frank was in school when the teacher said: “Who knows what the five senses are?”
Frank raised his hand and said:
A little fellow was called up to read for the county superintendent, who was paying the school a visit. the boy was a good reader in all respects but one: he gave absolutely no heed to punctuation marks. When he had finished, the superintendent asked, “Willie, where are your pauses?” Willie dropped his book and held up both hands. ‘Here they are, sir,” he said.
Toward the close of the morning session the teacher said:
“Now, children, I am going to read you a little piece out of this book, and I want you to listen very closely so that you can repeat it to me when I have finished. Don’t try to say it as I read it, but just as you would say it in your own words.”
This aroused Jimmie, his eyes grew big, and he was all attention. The teacher read this short lesson from the first reader:
“See the cow! Is it not a pretty cow? Can the cow run? Yes, the cow can run. Can the cow run as fast as the horse? No, the cow cannot run as fast as the horse.”
“Criminy,” thought Jimmie, “is that all? ‘At’s dead easy.” His hand was up in a twinkling in imitation of several others. His interested face caught the teacher’s eye, and she said: “Well, James, you may try it, but be careful and get it right. You may stand up by your seat.”
“Jamesy” arose. Ordinarily he was not bashful, but now his face was flushed and he was trembling with importance, as he said:
‘Get on to de cow. Ain’t she a beaut? C’n she get a move on? Sure. C’n she hump herself as fast as de horse? Naw, she ain’t in it wid de horse, see!”
Little Mary was sent to the store one day to have some syrup sent up for the table. “Does your mother want refined syrup?” asked the merchant. “I think she does,” answered Mary. “She is a very nice lady.”
The teacher of the primary class was telling the little ones that there was a great work in life for each one.
She then asked, “James, what are you going to do when you grow to be a man?”
“Wear suspenders,” was the quick reply.
“What’s the first step toward the digestion of food?” asked the teacher. Up went the hand of a black-haired little fellow, who exclaimed, with eagerness: “Bite it off! Bite it off!”
“Johnny,” said a fond mother to her young hopeful the other day, after she had returned home from calling on a neighbor, “some one has taken a big piece of cake out of the pantry.”
Johnny blushed guiltily.
“Oh, Johnny!” she exclaimed, “I didn’t think it was in you!”
“It ain’t all,” whined the boy. “Part of it is in sister Nellie.”
Papa – “See the spider, my boy, spinning his web. Is it not wonderful? Do you reflect that, try as he may, no man could spin that web?”
Johnny – “What of it? See me spin this top! Do you reflect that, try as he may, no spider could spin this top?”