“A guy can’t have any fun,” grumbled Tom. “It’s just ‘do’ and ‘don’t’ from morning till night. You have to do this and you have to learn that, don’t go there, and don’t say that, and don’t do the other thing. At school you are tied up so tight with rules. At home mother shakes her head once and it’s as good as a dozen don’ts. Seems a pity a boy can’t have his own way half the time, and do something as he likes.”
“Are you going to school this morning Tom?” asked Uncle Ted from the next room.
“Yes,” replied Tom.
“Going across the square?”
“Why, of course, I always go that way.”
“I wish you would take a look at the new trees they’ve been planting there. You know so much about trees, I’d like to know if you think they are being cared for the way they should be.”
Tom was very proud to be asked his opinion on the trees and looked them over very carefully. That evening on the porch Uncle Ted asked, “What did you think of those trees, Tom?”
“O they look really good. I don’t think anyone could do a better job.” Replied Tom.
“But don’t they seemed cramped to you? All snipped off short on top and tied up so snug to those poles?”
“No, that’s just the way they should be. They can’t grow crooked that way. They are going to be beautiful straight trees one day. Haven’t you seen the trees in Mr. Hanson’s yard? They are all tall and scraggly, crooked and ugly because they were allowed to grow just as they pleased and no one can straighten them out now. That won’t happen to the ones down in the square.”
“I wonder though,” remarked Uncle Ted. “Just how those trees feel about ‘do’s and don’ts.’”
Tom suddenly got very red and quiet and never again grumbled about “do’s and don’ts.”