Apologetic Boys – March 1924

So many people are fond of bewailing the decadence of the modern school child and pointing to the absence of good manners among them that I am glad to relate two incidents that happened to me yesterday.

I was hurrying along to see a sick friend when I found myself in the midst of group of boys from seven to 10 years old, playing with a ball, which struck me on the chest and then bounced over the hedge. One of them ran up to me crying, “Sorry, sorry!” And as I didn’t answer — being in a hurry — he ran a few steps beside me and again said, “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it.”

To which I replied, “Well you haven’t knocked my eye out, but have you lost the ball?” I have poignant memories of many an anxious search for balls lost in play by my own boys of just that age. “As I walked on, I heard one say to the other, “I said I was sorry, didn’t I?”

The same afternoon, as I was returning, I came across a small girl finishing her afternoon meal on the road, as children love to do, munching a piece of cake, her skipping rope over her shoulders and a bunch of purple crocuses in her left hand.

“Hullo!” was my greeting, and she replied with a smiling “Hullo!” Then putting her head shyly on one side, she said, “Here!” and held out the purple emblems of spring for me to take, which I gladly did. She probably was embarrassed with cake, skipping rope, and flowers — I think the last had come from grandma’s farm garden — but she chose a pretty way of getting rid of them.

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