Seed-Babies  by Margaret Warner Morley


"T ELL you what," said Ko, "there's a baby in this peanut."

Jack looked, and sure enough, flattened down in one corner of the peanut for safe keeping, and looking very much like the bean baby, was a young peanut baby.

"Let's plant it," said Jack.


"It's been roasted," said Ko, "you don't suppose a roasted baby would grow, do you?"

"No," said Jack, "I'm afraid it wouldn't; let's ask father."

"Father says to plant it and see," Jack said, running back a few minutes later. "He says he'll get us some raw ones in town to-morrow, and we can plant both kinds."

"Of course it would be silly to plant a roasted one," said Ko.

"Why would it?" asked the peanut in his hand.

"Oh, because—it would," was the wise reply.

"You're dead, you know," said Jack, "and dead things can't grow."

"Am I dead? Then how can I talk?"

"It is  talking," said Ko, very much surprised as soon as he stopped to think about it.

"Anything can ask questions, whether it is dead or alive," said Jack, and a very wise speech it was, though you, who do not know as much as you will if you live to be wiser, may not think so.


"Why can't I grow?" repeated the roasted peanut.

"Well, can you?" asked Ko.

"No, I can't. Now answer my question. Why can't I?"

"I don't know," said Ko, meekly.

"It's time you found that out," said the peanut, snappishly. "It is so easy for you to say a thing is so or isn't so, and all the time you don't know anything  about it."

"I hope you're cross enough," said Ko, firing up.

But Jack said, "Never mind, Ko, the poor thing has been roasted; if you  had been roasted so you couldn't ever grow, you might be cross, too."

"Me, roasted! I'm not a peanut," said Ko, indignantly.

"If you knew as much as you never will know, you would understand that there is not such a great difference between us as you think," said the peanut grimly; "and as to being roasted, that is by no means the worst thing that could happen in the world."

"What would be worse?" asked Jack, curiously.

"I cannot tell you, you would not understand," said the peanut.

"They all seem to think alike about our understanding," said Jack.

"Yes," said Ko, "they think they know everything."