368 THE SILVER AXE.
wish you to learn how to lay it out to the best advantage, so thai in my old age, when my limbs are stiff, and I am obliged to sit still at home, you may be able to support me."
So the youth was sent to the high school, and studied so diligently that his teachers commended him, and begged for him to remain another year longer.
But this education was so expensive that at the end of the second year the father said all his hard earnings were dwindling away so fast that the boy must return home, aid give up his school. " I cannot give you any more education," said his father, sorrowfully, " for I have now only just enough left to supply us with daily bread, and not even a penny to spare for anything else !"
" Dear father," said the boy, "make yourself quite happy about it. I am satisfied with what I have learnt, and I will do my best, without any more instruction. I am already quite contented." :
One day—the boy had been at home some little time—his father talked of going to the forest to cut some wood for the wood market.
" I will go with you," said the son, " and help you."
" No, no, my son," said the father; " the work would be too rough for you to attempt. You have not been accustomed to it, and could be of no help to me. Besides, I have only one axe, and no money to buy another."
* " Go to one of our neighbours," said the boy, "he will lend you an axe till I am able to buy one for myself."
So the father borrowed an axe of a neighbour, and the next morning at daybreak they went otf together to the wood.
The youth worked well, and was a great help to his father, and quite lively and cheerful. As noon drew near, the wood-cutter said: "Come, my son, let us sit down and eat our dinner, otherwise we shall not get on so well with our work by-and-by."
But the boy took up his share of the dinner and said: " Rest yourself, father, it will do you good ; I am not in the least tired. I will go farther into the wood to look for bird's-nests, and eat my dinner as I go along."
" Oh, you silly boy !" said his father, " if you go running about the wood, you will be too tired by-and-by to lift your arm. Stay here, and sit by me."
The boy, however, would not be persuaded, so he went off to