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family, is also called spotted cowbane, beaver poison, musquash root, and snake weed, and has most respectable relatives, such as green parsley and carrots. But unlike them it is unfit to eat.
“It grows in shallow water, and is another of the very poisonous plants that every one should know. No cure has ever been found for its poison, and year after year people make mistakes and gather the roots for horse-radish or some other edible root. Indeed, the poison contained in the root is one of the most deadly vegetable poisons we have in our country.
“The plant grows from three to eight feet tall, and the stems are smooth and hollow, sometimes streaked and spotted with purple. It somewhat resembles the wild carrot, the leaves being compound, and the white flowers growing in umbels. Look carefully at the picture, and find out what an umbel is.
“The poison hemlock is another member of the same family, and was called by the ancient Greeks conium, which means a top, probably because the poison causes dizziness, and perhaps makes the victim feel as if he were spinning.
“The seeds of both plants give out a most disagreeable odor when bruised.
“History tells us that the ancient Greeks gave Socrates poison hemlock to drink when they wished to put him to death.
“I hope you children will bear in mind what I have told you about these poisonous plants, and let them severely alone. ...
“Now,” said Uncle Jack, turning to Ben, "get on your mark, Ben. . . . Get set! ... Go!”
But Ben was called back before he had run ten yards. “You got off before the word 'go,' Ben, and that won't do. Try it again, but don't try to beat the signal,” said Uncle Jack.
“On your mark!
After a few more trials, Ben said he was a little tired, so they started for home.
On their way, they passed through a stretch of evergreens known as the Orde woods.
“Aren't these trees beautiful?” said May. “They look so dark and so cool after that sunny road.”
“ The ground under evergreen trees is always cooler in summer and warmer in winter than the ground under other trees or in the open,” said Uncle Jack. “In addition to keeping away the sunlight, the wind, and the gentle showers, the growth of evergreens has a peculiar effect upon the soil, so that there is never much undergrowth in an evergreen forest. Bushes, other kinds of young trees, and flowers do not spring up in the dark, still, evergreen woods. It is said that any mushroom growing under or near an evergreen tree is more or less poisonous.”
“These are the finest trees I've ever seen,” said Belle.
“Yes,” replied Uncle Jack. “Mr. Orde takes great care of them. He is like the poet”; and Uncle Jack repeated:
WOODMAN, SPARE THAT TREE
Touch not a single bough!
And I'll protect it now.
That placed it near his cot;
Thy ax shall harm it not!
That old familiar tree,
Whose glory and renown,
And wouldst thou hew it down?
Cut not its earth-bound ties;
Now towering to the skies!
When but an idle boy,
I sought its grateful shade;
Here, too, my sisters play’d.
Forgive this foolish tear,
But let that old oak stand!
My heartstrings round thee cling
Close as thy bark, old friend!
And still thy branches bend.
And, woodman, leave the spot;
- George P. Morris
TO THE PUPIL:
1. Pollen, the fine powdery substance that comes from the anther of the flower, the anther being that part of the stamen that contains the pollen; noxious, (nox harm, ous full of) harmful, unwholesome; vacant, empty, unoccupied; edible, that may be eaten.
2. The suffix ist means one who; as, botanist, one who knows botany. Define the following: artist, humorist, novelist, dentist, (dent = tooth), florist, (flor = flower), royalist, optimist (opt = best).
3. The suffix ar means relating to, having; as, globular, having the shape of a globe. Define lunar, (lun = moon), popular (popul = people), solar (sol = sun), circular. 4. Memorize the first stanza of Morris's poem.