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

POISON-LABELS

You have all seen bottles of poison, and you know when your father or mother buys poison from the druggist there is a label on the bottle marked |POISON| in large letters, and on the label is a picture of a skull and crossbones. This is done to warn people from drinking the poison.

Now, if a druggist were to put clear, pure water into a bottle, and put a label marked |Poison| on it, no one would drink the water if he were choking, for fear of being poisoned.

And there are boys and girls just like that good, pure, fresh water with the poison-label on it. They are good at heart. They are kind and unselfish and obedient, but nobody will have anything to do with them because they put such terrible poison-labels upon themselves.

I will tell you what some of these poison-labels are which frighten people away from boys and girls. One of them is slang. Now, of course, some girls and boys who are inwardly little ladies and gentlemen use slang, but usually slang is used by low-bred people who have not words enough to say what they want to. And consequently when you use slang, if people do not know that you are well-bred boys and girls, they think that you are coarse and vulgar, and they will have nothing to do with you.

Another poison-label that boys sometimes stick on is swearing. And of course that is always bad-mannered. Another is smoking. Another is bad company. I knew a boy who was really good at heart, but who persisted in going with bad boys, and no business man in town would take him into his business because of that terrible label.

Girls sometimes wear such poison-labels as forwardness; that is, they are always making themselves heard and seen. Others are proud. Others chew gum.

I have not time to mention all of these different labels. You can think of them for yourselves. What I want to say is that it is too bad for such good, useful, well-intentioned and wholesome boys and girls to put on labels which lead people to think less of them than they should think. For by these things they spoil their chances of getting into the company of well-bred people.

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