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The Palace of Agriculture
We went around through the Court of the Universe, and across the Aisle of the Setting Sun to the Palace of Agriculture, which is very beautiful indeed.
We suppose that Madame World wished to do all the honor possible to the Goddess of Agriculture, as she is a most useful goddess, and the world could not do without her, because she has to furnish food for all the earth.
We get used to taking things very much for granted, and do not seem to be interested in where things come from, and so that is why such a Fair as this is useful. It lets us know to whom we are indebted for the things we eat. Iowa had a real mountain of corn, lovely golden corn, and Vermont had real maple sugar to eat on the Johnnie cake the corn would make.
North Carolina and South Carolina send us rice, and Cuba sends us coffee, and South America sends fruits and also coffee, China sends tea and preserved ginger and funny nuts, and California and Florida give us oranges and grapefruit and strawberries, and almost everything good to eat, and the Philippines send us cocoanuts and Hawaii sends pineapples. Did you know that peanuts grow on a vine in the ground, and that bananas do not grow on a tree but on a tall ferny-looking thing which is not a tree, and pineapples grow on short plants which are set out every year? It takes a long time for the pineapple to perfect itself, but we did not learn just how long.
A gentleman from Cuba showed us a collection of fruit which is grown in that island, including the avocado, or alligator pear. It is a very wonderful fruit, and there is a tree in Southern California which is insured for thirty thousand dollars.
But the big red apples from Oregon were of more interest to us, because we know that we like those, and do not have to take any risks. And the lovely juicy golden oranges of California are good enough for us. But we liked to see all the things that have grown from the ground, because we can never quite understand the marvel of it - how a little seed knows quite well what it is going to be when it comes up. We know, because we planted some lettuce one year and it came up turnips. It said lettuce on the paper, but the seeds knew all the time that they were no such thing.
We could not be deceived like that again, because we know the difference now between lettuce and turnip seed.
We asked father if he did not think that Madame World should be very proud of her children, and he said yes, he did think so, and also that it was a great privilege to belong to her.
Father says such wise things!
Your loving cousins,
Jane and Ellen.