Why Girls Are Useful

why girls are usefulThe small boy agreed willingly last September to a change of schools, from a private school for boys to a small-town public school. Probably he hoped for a school where they did not teach reading, arithmetic or social studies – those subjects that get in the way of a really good time at school. He went off happily enough the first day, but on his return he howled, “You know something awful about that new school? It has Girls!”

This was about the only thing in school that impressed the small boy for some weeks. All his reporting concerned these incredible intruders into a man’s world – girls. One of them – the names were never remembered – cried when she got an ink blot on a map of Vermont. Another one – this was reported with what could be called gusto – fell off a swing and sprained her wrist.

It was some weeks before this sort of impersonal reporting on what might have been a recently discovered barbarian tribe stopped. It stopped because there was football at the noon recess, and shop work, and Cub Scouts. There was also the discovery, made almost daily, that anyone who spelled Connecticut with more than two it’s had to stay after school until he had written that teasing word 50 times in all these activities there was never any mention of girls. They had at last been put in their proper place, where many adult males have often found it hard to keep them – accepted, then ignored.

Then at dinner one night the small boy said, “You want to know something? I think girls are useful. You take a boy – he knows about football and ten-ton trucks and cowboy shooting, but what does a girl know? Nothing!” He then explained that he had spent his noon recess teaching a girl named Joyce to throw a football and that she seemed eager to learn and told him how well he threw it. The small boy continued, “And that’s why girls are useful. You can teach ‘em things, that’s what you can do with girls.”

A small boy has so very, very much to learn.

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