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Notes and Reflections on Books and Media

by Hannah Leitheiser

Boys and Girls

Handbook of nature-study for teachers and parents

Comstock, Anna Botsford




"Boys are blood-thirsty little savages. In their hunting, playing, even their reading, some element of the wild brute instinct dominates them. They are worthy descendants of progenitors who had to fight and kill to live..The games they play, at least those they invent, instinctively partake of some element of brute nature. They chase, they capture, they imprison, they torture, and they kill. No secret rendezvous of a boy's pirate gang ever failed to be soaked with imaginary blood!....Little girls play with dolls, and with toy houses, and all the implements of making a home; but sweet and dear as the little angels are they love a boy's game, and if they can through some lucky accident participate in one it is to scream and shudder and fight, indeed like the females of the species. No break here between these little mothers of doll-babies and the bloody mothers of the French Revolution, or of dusky, naked, barbarian children of a primitive day!" - Tales of Lonely Trails, Zane Grey, 1922

"It is almost inevitable that the child should become sympathetic with the life of the animal or plant studied, since a true understanding of the life of any creature creates an interest which stimulates a desire to protect this particular creature and make its life less hard." - Handbook of nature-study, Comstock, Anna Botsford, 1911