As much as images from their everyday lives, the just-ended war continues to be a major theme of the stories, poetry, and artwork of Mormon kids in 1919, judging by the works submitted to “The Children’s Budget Box” of the Juvenile Instructor.
“Mother and Baby Sister” – Edna Turner, age 15, Bluffdale, Utah
Come out my brave young sailors,
The wind is blowing free,
And down the hollow meadow,
The rain has left a sea.
Here’s Lucy’s jaunty cutter,
And Melvin’s splendid ship,
With baby’s tiny shallop –
All ready for the trip.
Now launch away my hearties,
Let’s off, in gallant style –
Alas! poor Lucy’s cutter
Strands on a grassy isle.
And Melvin’s ship turns over,
And sinks to sail no more.
Hurrah! the baby’s shallop
Has reached the other shore.
– Fred M. Weenig, age 13, Riverton, Utah
Saved by a “Cootie”
In the thick of a battle over in France, a soldier was watching No-Mans-Land for a shot at a Hun. A little “cootie,” which was inside his underwear, was biting so hard that the soldier lowered his head and began a search for the little pest. A German shell whizzed by, right where the soldier’s head had been, and hit on the opposite bank of the trench and exploded just as the “cootie” was taken from his hiding place. The soldier held him up and said, “You have saved my life, and deserve to be left in peace.” So the “cootie” was put back and went on feeding. then the soldier took up his rifle and shot the enemy who fired the shell.
– Francis Lambert, age 15, Salt Lake City, Utah
Orpha Sweeten, age 11, Colluiston, Utah
The Service Pin
Mrs. Munniworth, dressed in a mourner’s costume of heavy black satin, was buying a service pin in honor of her son who had been killed in France.
Arriving at the jeweler’s, Mrs. Munniworth ordered the costliest service pin the jeweler could suggest – rubies and pearls set in platinum with the star of gold. Nothing was too good for her boy hero.
That night she dreamed she was on the battlefield of France, witnessing its horrors, the trenches dark and muddy – No Man’s Land strewn with dead and dying soldiers – the fever camps – the bombed hospitals – the deserted homes – the starving children. Mrs. Munniworth awoke with a start. She lay staring into the darkness. Could it be possible that so much misery existed in the world, while she was living in luxury and ease? Suddenly her life became distasteful, and she blushed when she thought of the costly service pin. She now realized how selfish she had been and determined to become a power for good.
In the morning she hurried to the jeweler’s and cancelled her order; then to the Red Cross, where she offered her time and money.
After that, the plainest of service pins adorned her coat beside the Red Cross emblem of mercy.
– Helen E. Wilson, age 12, Ogden, Utah
Let the Sunlight In
There was once a poor city girl who took a plant to a flower show and it took a prize. People who knew in what a wretched, sunless place she lived, wondered how she could grow such a beautiful plant in such a place. she said: “A little sunlight comes into the alley every day and I kept changing my plant to get as much of it as possible. That is what made it beautiful.”
There is a good lesson for us in this little story. We may see all around us dull and gloomy things and yet there is always a spark of sunlight to brighten our lives, if we will only let it in.
– Helen L. Holt, age 10, Ogden, Utah
Zelda Keetch, age 14, St. Charles, Idaho
The Arrival of the 145th in Logan
If you had been in Logan, Utah, the morning of January 17, 1919, you would have found the town decorated as it never had been before. All the business houses and most of the residences had some decoration. Flags were hung along main street and up First North., At the corner of Main and Center was a large sign in electric lights, which said, “Welcome Home!”
If you had asked, “Why the decorations?” you would have received the answer that it was for the boys of the 145th Field Artillery, who were coming to Logan that day to be demobilized at the Utah Agricultural College. Word was received that they would arrive at one o’clock, but long before that time the streets were crowded.
As the soldiers marched from the depot, all the people cheered them. though they were very tired the soldiers seemed glad to get back. Crowds followed them to the college but were not allowed on the grounds.
The guards had “some time” keeping the people from their returned soldier boys.
The public saw the regiment the next day, when the soldiers drilled for them, for the last time.
– Abbie Scholes, age 11, Logan, Utah
Sometimes we think the winter drear,
With all its ice and snow,
Its chilling winds, and stormy blast,
And kitchen fires aglow;
But then my dears, you all should know,
That summer would be sad,
If all this snow should fail to come,
To make the flowers glad.
– Wayne Harker, age 9, Shelley, Idaho
The Foolish Fairies
When the tree fairies set out to find their dwelling places, some were wise and some were foolish. The wise fairies chose the forest and the foolish ones chose some trees in a field.
One night a tempest swept over the country, blew the lonely trees down and left the foolish fairies homeless. But the forest resisted the storm, and no trees were injured.
“People should stand united like a forest; it is only the lonely trees that are broken by the storm,” said the wise fairies to the foolish ones.
— Walter Henock, age 12, Salt Lake City, Utah
Dear Editor. – This is a picture of my little sister Mary who was born on the 4th of July, 1910. (The American Independence day.) Hoping you can find space in the Juvenile Instructor for this, I remain,
– Norman Smith, age 13, East Bowling, Bradford, Yorkshire, England
Flags of the U.S.A.
Betsey Ross made our first flag,
The Red, White and Blue;
For this flag our fathers fought,
The first our freedom knew.
The red stripes of a skirt were made,
the white stripes of a sheet;
A jumper served for field of blue,
Stars sewed in circle neat.
Our flag still floats up there, on high,
So let us keep it, ever;
For it many men must die.
Must we surrender? Never!
Let us remember how we won
Our independence fair,
So let us keep our states as one
And help “Old Glory” there.
– Lucile Curtis, age 13, McCammon, Idaho