A Tricky Ox
I want to tell you to-day about a tricky ox I once read about. I suppose you will at once think that this ox was in a circus. But he wasn't. Far from it! It would have been better for some other cattle if he had been.

This ox is kept in the stockyards at Chicago. In those stockyards they kill thousands of cattle every year to give us beef to eat. When the cattle come to these stockyards they are not tame cattle like the cows we see out in our pastures, but they are cattle that have pastured out on the great broad prairies, and they have seen very few people. And for that reason they are very timid and hard to get close to. So it is difficult to get them near the pens where they want them.

Here is where the tricky ox comes in. In one of those yards they keep a black, short-tailed ox known as "Bob," and he just walks along in an unconcerned way toward the pens, and he looks so calm and unafraid that the other cattle just take confidence and follow along after him. And then, before they know it, they are in a trap and can never get out. But in the meanwhile Bob has slipped away, to play the same trick on other cattle.

There are some boys and girls just like that ox. They are always urging other boys and girls on to do wrong things, telling them that they are cowards if they don't take the "dare" and do it, and showing how brave they are. But when they have got you into a scrape, and the real business of punishment begins, they can't be found anywhere: they have slipped out like old Bob.

You must be on the lookout for boys like that. Don't be afraid to be called a coward by them. Don't let them "dare" you to do things which your conscience tells you are foolish or wrong. You will be a bigger coward if you do these things because you are ashamed not to take the dare.

little foxes
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