Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919). Theodore Roosevelt’s Letters to His Children. 1919.

Quentin and a Beehive

White House, May 30, 1908.

Quentin has met with many adventures this week; in spite of the fact that he has had a bad cough which has tended to interrupt the variety of his career. He has become greatly interested in bees, and the other day started down to get a beehive from somewhere, being accompanied by a mongrel looking small boy as to whose name I inquired. When repeated by Quentin it was obviously an Italian name. I asked who he was and Quentin responded: “Oh, his father keeps a fruit-stand.” However, they got their bees all right and Quentin took the hive up to a school exhibit. There some of the bees got out and were left behind (“Poor homeless miserables,” as Quentin remarked of them), and yesterday they at intervals added great zest to life in the classroom. The hive now reposes in the garden and Scamp surveys it for hours at a time with absorbed interest. After a while he will get to investigating it, and then he will find out more than he expects to.

This afternoon Quentin was not allowed to play ball because of his cough, so he was keeping the score when a foul tip caught him in the eye. It was quite a bad blow, but Quentin was very plucky about it and declined to go in until the game was finished, an hour or so later. By that time his eye had completely shut up and he now has a most magnificent bandage around his head over that eye, and feels much like a baseball hero. I came in after dinner to take a look at him and to my immense amusement found that he was lying flat on his back in bed saying his prayers, while Mademoiselle was kneeling down. It took me a moment or two to grasp the fact that good Mademoiselle wished to impress on him that it was not right to say his prayers unless he knelt down, and as that in this case he could not kneel down she would do it in his place!