Summer Holidays



The next day there was a heavy thunder shower, in the morning, which compelled the boys to stay in the house; and in the afternoon the teacher of the academy paid Mr. Harvey a visit. During the time that he staid, Thomas, with his brother and cousin, were told to remain in the house. But the next day was cool and pleasant, and they started early on a ramble through the fields. As they passed close to a farm house, Samuel saw a large dog chained to a tree, in the yard. It looked very fierce at them as they passed, and then began to growl and bark. Thomas told his cousin, that this dog had bitten several persons in the neighborhood, and that it was very unfriendly, but the farmer was careful always to keep it chained, so that it never caused anyone any trouble.

About half a mile further onward was a fine stream of water. It began in the hills, and ran winding along, deeper and broader, to a great distance. Mr. Harvey owned several farms along this creek; and here Thomas and John often came, in summer evenings, to swim. The water was clear and pure, so that hundreds of fish could be seen sporting around the shores.

When the boys reached this creek, they sat down under a shady tree, to watch the fishes, and listen to the songs of the birds, on the bushes that hung over the water. In a short time, a number of eels came from under a large stone, one after the other, and after swimming about for a little while, buried themselves in the mud. Samuel asked Thomas where so many came from.

"They live in the water," replied his cousin. "On a pleasant evening you can see many more swimming among the stones, and the roots of trees, by the edge of the creek. But, do you know, that they sometimes come out of the water, and glide about the meadows."

"No," said Samuel; "do they?"

"Yes," replied Thomas. "At night you may sometimes see a great many among the grass. One evening last summer John and I met a whole company of them, going from the little creek, near Daddy Hall's house, toward the mill pond. We thought, at first, that they were snakes, and so moved out of their road; but by and by, we perceived that they were eels. The weather had been hot and dry for two weeks before, and these eels were travelling to find more water. So father told us afterwards."

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