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Fifty-two Story Talks To Boys And Girls by Howard J. Chidley

SUFFOCATED TREES

We sometimes hear of people being suffocated by gas, but it is not often we hear of trees being suffocated.

But the other day I was walking down the street, and noticed that all the trees on one side of the avenue for several blocks were dead. They looked as if they had been fine, strong, healthy trees, and I could not understand why they had all died, until I was told that a gas-pipe beneath their roots had leaked, and that the escaping gas had killed the trees.

I am sure you and I know people who are like those dead trees: they have become discouraged and wilted, and if you and I could dig down into their lives we should probably find something like that poisonous gas which has ruined them.

Sin is the most poisonous thing that gets into one's life.

If a boy or girl has done wrong and is hiding it from his father and his mother, and his conscience is pricking him all the time, then he cannot be sunny and healthy like a growing tree. He becomes cross and easily provoked, and is sulky and wilted.

If you have done something wrong, which you ought to tell your parents about, do not go to sleep until you have told them. If you do, you will wake in the morning with dread, and you will go around all day with a dull ache which will spoil all the sunshine. Moreover, if you begin keeping secrets from your parents in this way you will have no one to check you in your misdeeds. Your parents may punish you, but they are the best friends you have. And besides, there is no punishment like hiding a feeling of guilt. The next best thing after keeping from doing wrong is to own up to it in an honest way when you have done wrong. Many a boy and girl would have been saved untold trouble if they had only been frank with their parents. One of the saddest days in any boy's or girl's life is when they first keep a guilty secret from their parents.

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