1．In one of the most populous cities of New England, a few years ago, a party of lads, all members of the same school, got up a grand sleigh ride. The sleigh was a very large one, drawn by six gray horses.
2．On the following day, as the teacher entered the schoolroom, he found his pupils in high glee, as they chattered about the fun and frolic of their excursion. In answer to some inquiries, one of the lads gave him an account of their trip and its various incidents.
3．As he drew near the end of his story, he exclaimed: "Oh, sir! there was one thing I had almost forgotten. As we were coming home, we saw ahead of us a queer looking affair in the road. It proved to be a rusty old sleigh, fastened behind a covered wagon, proceeding at a very slow rate, and taking up the whole road.
4．"Finding that the owner was not disposed to turn out, we determined upon a volley of snowballs and a good hurrah. They produced the right effect, for the crazy machine turned out into the deep snow, and the skinny old pony started on a full trot.
5．"As we passed, some one gave the horse a good crack, which made him run faster than he ever did before, I'll warrant.
6．"With that, an old fellow in the wagon, who was buried up under an old hat, bawled out, 'Why do you frighten my horse?' 'Why don't you turn out, then?' says the driver. So we gave him three rousing cheers more. His horse was frightened again, and ran up against a loaded wagon, and, I believe, almost capsized the old creature—and so we left him."
7．"Well, boys," replied the teacher, "take your seat", and I will tell you a story, and all about a sleigh ride, too. Yesterday afternoon a very venerable old clergyman was on his way from Boston to Salem, to pass the rest of the winter at the house of his son. That he might be prepared for journeying in the following spring he took with him his wagon, and for the winter his sleigh, which he fastened behind the wagon.
8．"His sight and hearing were somewhat blunted by age, and he was proceeding very slowly; for his horse was old and feeble, like his owner. He was suddenly disturbed by loud hurrahs from behind, and by a furious pelting of balls of snow and ice upon the top of his wagon.
9．"In his alarm he dropped his reins, and his horse began to run away. In the midst of the old man's trouble, there rushed by him, with loud shouts, a large party of boys, in a sleigh drawn by six horses. 'Turn out! turn out, old fellow!' 'Give us the road!' 'What will you take for your pony?' 'What's the price of oats, old man?' were the various cries that met his cars.
10．"'Pray, do not frighten my horse!' exclaimed the infirm driver. 'Turn out, then! turn out!' was the answer, which was followed by repeated cracks and blows from the long whip of the 'grand sleigh,' with showers of snowballs, and three tremendous hurrahs from the boys.
11．"The terror of the old man and his horse was increased, and the latter ran away with him, to the great danger of his life. He contrived, however, to stop his horse just in season to prevent his being dashed against a loaded wagon. A short distance brought him to the house of his son. That son, boys, is your instructor, and that 'old fellow,' was your teacher's father!"
12．When the boys perceived how rude and unkind their conduct appeared from another point of view, they were very much ashamed of their thoughtlessness, and most of them had the manliness to apologize to their teacher for what they had done.
(Henry K. Oliver )