What do you think a policeman uses most? Not his gun. Not his billy club. Not his handcuffs. His eyes! A policeman is always watching. Whether he is riding in a patrol car or walking on street, a policeman watches and watches and watches.
Policeman watches for bank robbers, people driving their cars too fast, boys going through a red light on their bicycles, or dogs without a license.
Long ago when people lived in caves, each man did his own watching. Each man was his own policeman. Along with his job of finding enough food for eat, enough water to drink and enough wood for his fire, a man tried to keep his family safe from wild beasts and from savage men who might hurt them. Everywhere he went, the man watched and listened. At night he sat by the fire, watching. Now policeman do this kind of watching us.
When they’re not at work protecting people or keeping the automobiles moving, policeman like to go home to their families. Some policeman are husbands and fathers. They take their wives shopping and play with their children. But when he’s working at his job, a policeman is an expert protector-a watcher.
Luther Burbank was a scientist who worked with plants. He understood why each kind of plant grew up to have its own special kind of fruit and flowers. And he discovered ways to change the kind of fruit and plant could grow or the way a plant or its flowers looked. The wild daisy plant is a small yellowish weed. But Burbank could make it into a tall, large, snowy white flower with a yellow center.
He used a plum tree and an apricot tree to make an entirely new fruit that was a little like both a plum and an apricot. He called the new fruit a plumcot. Some plants are enough alike they can be put together to make new kinds of plants or flowers or fruits. Other plants are too different to be put together. Burbank put plants together by taking a small twig with a bud from one plant and putting it into a cut on a different plant. This is called grafting. The twig becomes part of the new plants and gets from it.
Sometimes Burbank put pollen from the flowers of one plant on the sticky part of the flowers of another plant. This is called cross pollination. Burbank took pollen from an English daisy and put it on the American oxeye daisy’s flowers. This made seeds. From the seeds a new kind of daisy grew-a daisy that was neither English or American but a little of each.But the new daisy was so different as Burbank had hoped it would be. And so he took pollen from a German daisy and put it on the new daisy’s flowers.
The next daisy was almost what Burbank was looking for, but it was not white enough to please him. So he took pollen from still another daisy, a white one that grew in Japan. Eight years after he started he saw the flower he had hoped to see- a tall, gracefully daisy with large, snow-white petals and a yellow center. He named it the Shasta daisy after a snowcapped mountain peak in California.
It is not easy to grow new kinds of plants. But Burbank kept trying because he was a curious and patient man. H e was curious in that he wanted to see the new kinds of flowers and fruits he could help the plants make. And he was patient because he had to be. It took a very long time before the new plants with the new flowers or fruits grew and he could see what they were alike. When Burbank began his work some people didn’t think he could make new plants at all. He surprised them.
He grew the first truly white blackberry so clear that the seeds could be seen through its skin. He gave the world many new kinds of plums. One of them taste and smells just like a pear. On a potato vine he grew a strange new vegetable that looks just like a tomato. He called it a pomato. He grew new kinds of cactuses, potatoes, corn, berries, apples, roses, walnuts…altogether more than 800 new kinds of plants!
Before there were automobiles or railroad trains in the United States, people traveled west in big covered wagons. Some traveled to find free land and to make new homes. The country was wild all the way-miles and miles of waving grass, hot deserts and high mountains. Nobody lived there except Indians. There were no houses and no stores where people could buy things. No roads anywhere. No bridges over rivers. Buffalo and mountain lions and rattlesnakes and prairie dogs were some of the animals living there.
Let’s go with Tad and Ellen and their family as they traveled west across the country on a covered wagon trip that took many months.The wagon was painted blue. Its high wheels were red. White sailcloth spread like a balloon to form the roof and the sides. “Red, white and blue,” Ellen said. “Riding in this wagon will be like the Fourth of July every day!” “Especially if Indians come whooping at us,” Tad said,”and our guns start popping like fire crackers.
“Don’t talk about the Indians,” his sister said.” I’m scared even before we start.” “We won’t be alone,” her father comforted her.”We’ll travel with other wagons-a whole train of wagons. Now let’s start packing this one.”They had to stay warm so they took feather mattresses and blankets and extra clothes. They took guns and tools and kitchen pans. They took seeds for planting in fields and gardens. Their milk cow, Bess would go with them and their bulldog,Sam-although they could walk, of course.
After the wagon was loaded with the things that had to go, everybody brought out the things he hoped could go. Ellen put two dolls in wagon, but her father didn’t think there would be room for her dollhouse. Tad took a bag of marbles, a spinning top and wooden hoop but he had to leave his toy wagon behind. They took the baby cradle and Grandmother’s old rocking chair.Six horses pulled the heavy wagon as it rolled out of the yard, jolting and swaying on its long way west. After the family found land in the West, their horses would work on the farm.
Before the wagon got very far west, it was joined by other wagons going the same way. “When people travel together,” the children’s father said,” they can help each other if Indians attack or if the wagon breaks down or if anyone runs out of food.” The great wagons rolled slowly in a long line, or trains. Scouts rode far ahead to look for drinking water to find night camping places to hunt fresh meat-and to watch for Indians. Every night the wagons drew up in a tight circle. People and animals stayed inside the circle to be safe from Indians.