Stránka:roll 1917.djvu/312

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28o Woodcraft Manual for Boys The Woodcraft Boy in the Forest I suppose there never was a boy or girl who did not love trees. I remember a little prairie boy in my young days whose idea of heaven was a big tree on the prairie with an angel under it, who never said, "I don't know" when asked a question. A tree has always been a blessed and glorious thing to me. Often I feel the axe chopping into my own soul when I see it laid to some splendid tree that has been selected for destruction. Let every Woodcraft Boy commit to mind that lovely little poem by Joyce Kilmer originally appearing in "PubUcations of Poetry," and printed in Boys^ Ltfe, October, 1913. » I think that I shall never see A poem lovely as a tree, A tree whose hungry mouth is pressed Against the Earth's sweet flowmg breast, A tree that looks at God all day And lifts her leafy arms to pray, A tree that may in summer wear A nest of robins in her hair, Xn whose bosom snow has lain: > intimately lives with rain. Poems are made by fools like me, But only God can make a tree. There are only three things that can justify the destruction of a tree. These are: we need its lumber, we need its room, or it is breeding plague. How very seldom nowadays are we justified in destroying Uttle trees, and above all, what a fearful crime becomes th^ roaring, racing, raging hell known as a, forest fire. Four fifths of America's forests have been destroyed by wild fires, which were in most cases preventable — ^in all cases lamen- table. For besides destroying the trees it destroyed thousands of human beings, miUions of beautiful, harmless birds and other wild creatures, and utterly ruined the soil of the country be- neath. No one with an ounce of patriotism will be responsible for a wild fire. Wild fire is the demon that we strike at in our sixth law. Oh, Woodcraft Boy, never, never forget your vow to face and fight all wild fire in the woods. It is far worse in some ways than fire in town. For there you are sure to have competent firemen ready at hand, but the forest fire may spread out over a county before its presence is fully realized, and yet a single Woodcraft Boy on the spot when first it begins may stop