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Prosopis glandulosa, the latter Prosopis pubescens.) Both are excellent provender for horses, equally nutritious and appetizing, and it has sometimes done me good, when apparently we were stumped for forage, to see the enthusiasm with which my Indian pony would “go for” some good beany mesquit that came in our way, stretching his neck almost to giraffe length in the effort to reach the biggest and ripest clusters. J. SMEATON CHASE.

FLEET OF PLANES FRIGHTEN WILD DUCKS

A FLEET of five airplanes is now in service in the California rice-fields to ward off the invasion of the great flocks of wild ducks that descend every fall from the Northland. As the colder weather approaches, these migratory birds leave their feeding-grounds along the flats of the Yukon, in Alaska, and make their way in a bee-line for the rice-fields of California in Glenn and Colusa counties. Here they find that a warm reception awaits them from the giant airplanes.

Like hungry hawks bent on extermination, these flying machines swoop swiftly down over the rice-fields, driving out the waterfowl that have already settled and keeping traveling flocks on their way or driving them off to other feeding-grounds. These planes operate both by day and night, and in the course of a season frighten away myriads of birds. Of course, some of these may come back, but the pilots see to it that they are kept well stirred up and their existence made as uncomfortable as possible as long as they tarry in the vicinity of the rice-fields.

In a single night, a flock of wild ducks, by knocking down the grain and eating it, can do enormous damage to a particular part of a rice-field. By the time they have taken a long flight they are hungry, and it takes amazing quantities of the rice to satisfy their appetites.

The rice industry has developed with wonderful rapidity in California. In 1918 a tract of 1200 acres was planted as an experiment. This was so successful that the following year the acreage was trebled, and in 1920 a total of 130,000 acres was planted, producing about 4,000,000 sacks of rice, with a value of more than $25,000,000. In view of the foregoing facts and figures, it is little wonder that the rice growers want the wild duck to keep on moving and not nibble at this treasure.

FREDERICK HALL.

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FOR VERY LITTLE FOLK

Van Valkenburgh Vilus I LIKE to go to dancing-school I like my dancing-master too; And stand up stiffly in a row He 's straight and very, very tall; With all the other boys and girls He takes my hand and helps me dance, And make my feet slide to and fro. Because, you see, I’m rather small. I wear my nicest Sunday suit, But my! that little girl is dear— With pockets and a truly vest. She wears the sweetest bows of blue; And then there is one little girl When she grows up I'll marry her— That I love just about the best. Of course, that 's if she wants me to.

OH, such a dolly Santa Claus
Brought Betsy Jane from
heaven!
For Betsy Jane is three-foot-
one,
The dolly, three-foot-seven!

Her hair is gold, her eyes are
blue,
Her cheeks are tinted red,
And every night that great big
doll
Puts Betsy Jane to bed!

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“A chEERFUL sight.” By John welker, AGE 16. (silver BADGE)

THE LEAGUE begins a new year most auspiciously, All these contributions are highly creditable to for you will find in this month's budget several their young senders and to the LEAGUE; and we timely verse-tributes to the winter (or summer) may all rejoice in the promise they hold forth season; half a dozen unique little prose-stories that our beloved organization may confidently “told by the fireside”; a charming sheaf of draw- look forward to 1922 as the banner year of its ings, some of them of exceptional merit; and achievement and success, Certainly the devotion many camera-prints that display artistic skill as and ardor of its young folk were never greater than well as great variety of subject. Nor is there at this time, which marks, moreover, the close of a lacking that touch of humor that so often de- year of unexampled prosperity for the magazine lights us all—as in the choice of a bunker as “a itself. So, again, hail to the New Year! and to the favorite spot” for a hard-working golfer, pictured LEAGUE, which—as the boys' and girls' own special in the interesting photograph by one of our Honor department, filled with their own contributions— Members on page 329. means so much to all lovers of ST. NICHOLAS!

PRIZE COMPETITION No. 262

(In making awards contributors' ages are considered) PROSE. Gold Badges, Josephine Rankin (age 13), Michigan; Gwynne M. Dresser (age 13), Maine. Silver Badges, Anne Marie Homer (age 13), New York; Alice H. Frank (age 16), Maryland; Charlotte Gunn (age 13), California; Eleanor C. Johnson (age 13), New York; Anne Hollister Fish (age 13), New York; Betty Fry (age 14), Pennsylvania. VERSE. Silver Badges, Margaret Harland (age 15), Massachusetts; Tillie Weinstein (age 14), New York. DRAWINGS. Gold Badges, Doris E. Miller (age 15), Montana; Lucille Duff (age 16), California; Dorothy E. Cornell (age 16), California. Silver Badges, Amy Osborne (age 16), California; Lalia B. Simison (age 12), Massachusetts; Dorothy M. Jeffrey (age 15), Ohio; John Welker (age 16), Ohio; Faustina Munroe (age 14), New York. PHOTOGRAPHS. Gold Badge, Ruth Tangier Smith (age 12), California. Silver Badges, Mary E. Bracey (age 13), Virginia; Mary Beeson (age 13), Colorado; William Romfh (age 12), Florida; Florence Hendrickson (age 14), New York; Katherine Kelly (age 13), Louisiana; Elsie Duris (age 17), Illinois; Leonard Bruml (age 17), California. PUZZLE-MAKING. Silver Badges, Margaret Wilson (age 15), Virginia; Ruth Valway Ladue (age 13), Vermont; Mary T. Arnold (age 14), California. PUZZLE ANSWERS. Silver Badge, Esther Laughton (age 14), New Jersey.

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By KATHERINE KELLY, AGE 13. (silver BADGE) BY william ROMFH, AGE 12. (silv ER BADGE)

“A FAVORITE SPOT”

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WHEN FIELDS ARE WHITE
BY MARGARET HARLAND (AGE 15)
(Silver Badge)

WHEN to the pine woods flap the crows
To seek a shelter from the snows,
When round the house a blizzard roars,
And holds dominion out-of-doors,
Whitening fields and roofing brooks,
And piling drifts in sheltered nooks,
I shut my eyes on winter then,
And summer days come back again.

The quiet of the sunlit hills;
The chatter of the meadow rills;
The smell of fresh earth after showers,
And all the sweet, familiar flowers;
Long sunny days and moonlit nights
Of cricket-songs and firefly lights;
Cloud-vessels bound on unknown quest
From jeweled harbors in the west;

A giant pine on summit high
Tossing his plumes against the sky;
From over milés of restless sea
Strange dream-ships drifting in to me;
Scenes never painted, never bought,
Pictures no artist could have wrought—
Woods, mountains, sunset, shimmering sea
Lie hidden in my memory.

A TRUE TALE TOLD BY THE FIRESIDE
BY CHARLotte GUNN (AGE 13)
(Silver Badge)

DownIEVILLE was one of the richest gold-mining camps in California. Many years ago, during the gold rush, there were lots of miners in the town, but hardly any families. About 1854, my great-grandfather and his family went there to live. My grandmother and a friend were the only little girls in the town at the time. One day, soon after their arrival, they slipped out of the house and wandered down to the main part of the village. There were hundreds of miners on the street, and they had n’t seen any children in such a long time that they sent up one hurrah after another! Their first impulse was to give the two girls something. But there were no candy-shops, bookstores, or toy-stores where things could be bought for children; so the men threw money at them. At first, the little girls were bewildered, but soon they were picking up the coins as if they were marbles; and they went home with their little hands filled to overflowing.

TOLD BY THE FIRESIDE BY GWYNNE M. DRESSER (AGE 13) (Gold Badge. Silver Badge won November, 1921)

MY uncle owns a goat-ranch in Humboldt County, California; and he has had some interesting experiences with wild animals around there. We were gathered by the open fire one evening, and we asked him for a story; so this is it: “I was out walking in the woods one day, when I suddenly saw a large panther lying on the ground a few yards ahead. I knew that a live panther would not allow one to approach so near, and as this one remained motionless and limp, I thought of course he must be dead. So I advanced slowly and cautiously, and then, growing bolder, I gave the supposedly lifeless creature a kick on the nose. Up he jumped straight into the air, as though he

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