WHEN Franklin wanted to know whether the ants could
talk or not, he asked the ants, and they told him. When
he wanted to know something else, he asked the sunshine
about it, as you have read in another story. That is
the way that Franklin came to know so many things. He
knew how to ask questions of
Once he asked the
Before the time of Franklin, people did not know what
To tell you this story, I shall have to use one big
word. Maybe it is too big for some of my little friends
that will read this book. Let us divide it into parts.
Then you will not be afraid of it. The big word is
Those of you who live in towns have seen the streets
But Franklin found out many things about it that nobody
had ever known before. He began to think that the
little sparks he got from
So he thought that he would try to catch a little bit
of lightning. Perhaps he could put it into one of the
little bottles used to hold
First he made a kite. It was not a kite just like a
boy's kite. He wanted a kite that would fly when it
rained. Rain would spoil a paper kite in a minute. So
Franklin used a silk
He put a little sharp-pointed wire at the top of his kite. This was a kind of lightning rod to draw the lightning into the kite. His kite string was a common hemp string. To this he tied a key, because lightning will follow metal.
The end of the string that he held in his hand was a
silk ribbon, which was tied to the hemp string of the
One night when there was a storm coming, he went out with his son. They stood under a cow shed, and he sent his kite up in the air.
After a while he held his knuckle to the key. A tiny spark flashed between the key and his knuckle. It was a little flash of lightning.
Then he took his little bottle fixed to hold
After that he used to bring the lightning into his house on rods and wires. He made the lightning ring bells and do many other strange things.