Good seaside friends.
The use of coastguards.
156 What Shall We Do Now?
colour. The ordinary large kind of seaweed is useful as a barometer. A piece hung by the door will tell when rain is coming by growing moist and soft.
A good use for little shells is to cover small boxes with them. The shells are arranged in a simple pattern and fastened on with seccotine (see p. 199). If the shells are not empty and clean, boil them, and scrub them with an old tooth-brush.
So many interesting things are to be seen at the seaside that there is no need to be always at play. Fishermen will come in with their boats, which need pulling up ; or a net that has been dropped near the shore will be drawn in from the beach, and you can perhaps help. If the town is not merely a watering-place but also a seaport, it is, of course, better, because then there will be the life of the harbour to watch. To be friends with a lighthouse man is almost as good a thing as can happen ; and if there is both a lighthouse and a ship-builder's you could hardly be more fortunate.
That there will be coastguards is, however, quite certain, and you may perhaps get to know one properly. If you do, ask him to teach you how to tie good knots. It is a very useful thing to know. He will show you the difference between a granny and a right knot, and once you have learned this you will never tie a granny again. A coastguard is also useful in letting you look through his telescope and in describing the different ships and rigging that you see.
Donkey rides are rarely quite so good as you hope they will be. It is only now and then that the saddle is comfortable, or the reins of the least use, or the stirrups the right length ; and the donkey scrapes your leg against the wall or a post much too often. Donkey boys are also too fond of breaking a bargain. In hiring donkeys, the donkey boy's idea of what the time is should always be compared with a clock or watch and the difference pointed out to him.
Now and then niggers ought to have a penny.