by Bill Nye

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Public Domain Books

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<h2>Care of House Plants</h2><p style=

Stern winter is the season in which to keep the eye peeled for the fragile little house plant. It is at that time that the coarse and brutal husband carries the Scandinavian flower known as the Ole Ander, part way down the cellar, and allows it to fall the rest of the way. I carried a large Ole Andor up and down stairs for nine years, until the spring of 1880. That was rather a backward spring, and a pale red cow, with one horn done up in a French twist, ate the most of it as it stood on the porch.

This cow was a total stranger to me. I had never done anything for her by which to win her esteem. It shows how Providence works through the humblest means sometimes to accomplish a great good.

I have tried many times to find the postoffice address of that lonely cow, so I might comfort her declining years, but she seemed to have melted away into the bosom of space, for I cannot find her. Anyone knowing the whereabouts of a pale red cow, with one horn done up in a French twist, and wearing a look of settled melancholy, will please communicate the same to me, as we have another Ole Ander that will just about fit her, I think, by spring.

Bulbs may be wrapped in cotton and put in a cool place in the fall, and fed to the domestic animals in the spring. Geraniums should put on their buffalo overcoats about the middle of November in our rigid northern clime, and in the spring they will have the same luxuriant foliage as the tropical hat-rack. Vines may be left in the room during the winter until the furnace slips a cog and then you can pull them down and feed them to the family horses. In changing your plants from the living rooms or elsewhere to the cellar in the fall, take great care to avoid injury to the pot. I have experienced some very severe winters in my life, but I have never seen the mercury so low that a flowerpot couldn’t struggle through and look fresh and robust in the spring. The longevity of the pot is surprising when we consider how much death there is all about it. I had a large brown flower-pot once that originally held the germ of a calla lily. This lily emerged from the soil with the light of immortality in its eye. It got up to where we began to be attached to it, and then it died. Then we put a plant in its place which was given us by a friend. I do not remember now what this plant was called, but I know it was sent to us wrapped up in a piece of moist brown paper, and half an hour later a dray drove up to the house with the name of the plant itself. In the summer it required very little care, and in the winter I would cover the little thing up with its name, and it would be safe till spring. One evening we had a free-for-all musicale at my house, and a corpulent friend of mine tried to climb it, and it died. (Tried to climb the plant, not the musicale.) The plant yielded to the severe climb it. This joke now makes its debut for the first time before the world. Anyone who feels offended with this joke may wreak his vengeance on a friend of mine named Sullivan, who is passionately fond of having people wreak their vengeance on him. People having a large amount of unwreaked vengeance on hand will do well to give him a call before purchasing elsewhere.


Preface  •  Directions  •  My School Days  •  Recollections of Noah Webster  •  To Her Majesty  •  Habits of a Literary Man  •  A Father’s Letter  •  Archimedes  •  Anatomy  •  Mr. Sweeney’s Cat  •  The Heyday of Life  •  They Fell  •  Second Letter to the President  •  Milling in Pompeii  •  Broncho Sam  •  How Evolution Evolves  •  Hours With Great Men  •  Concerning Coroners  •  Down East Rum  •  Railway Etiquette  •  B. Franklin, Deceased  •  Life Insurance as a Health Restorer  •  The Opium Habit  •  More Paternal Correspondence  •  Twombley’s Tale  •  On Cyclones  •  The Arabian Language  •  Verona  •  A Great Upheaval  •  The Weeping Woman  •  The Crops  •  Literary Freaks  •  A Father’s Advice to His Son  •  Eccentricity in Lunch  •  Insomnia in Domestic Animals  •  Along Lake Superior  •  I Tried Milling  •  Our Forefathers  •  Preventing a Scandal  •  About Portraits  •  The Old South  •  Knights of the Pen  •  The Wild Cow  •  Spinal Meningitis  •  Skimming the Milky Way  •  A Thrilling Experience  •  Catching a Buffalo  •  John Adams  •  Bunker Hill  •  A Lumber Camp  •  My Lecture Abroad  •  The Miner at Home  •  An Operatic Entertainment  •  Dogs and Dog Days  •  Christopher Columbus  •  Accepting the Laramie Postoffice  •  A Journalistic Tenderfoot  •  The Amateur Carpenter  •  The Average Hen  •  Woodtick William’s Story  •  In Washington  •  My Experience as an Agriculturist  •  A New Autograph Album  •  A Resign  •  My Mine  •  Mush and Melody  •  The Blase Young Man  •  History of Babylon  •  Lovely Horrors  •  The Bite of a Mad Dog  •  Arnold Winkelreid  •  Murray and the Mormons  •  About Geology  •  A Wallula Night  •  Flying Machines  •  Asking for a Pass  •  Words About Washington  •  The Board of Trade  •  Stirring Incidents at a Fire  •  The Little Barefoot Boy  •  Favored a Higher Fine  •  Man Overbored  •  Picnic Incidents  •  Nero  •  Squaw Jim  •  Squaw Jim’s Religion  •  One Kind of Fool  •  John Adams’ Diary  •  The Approaching Humorist  •  What We Eat  •  Care of House Plants  •  A Peaceable Man

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By Bill Nye
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