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Everyone knows what warts are. They are ugly little excrescences that appear on our skin. They seem to, and actually do, have a life of their own. They are made from our bodies, but don’t belong to our bodies. They even develop their own blood supply, tapping into the body’s arterial system for a source of oxygen and nutrients.

Trees (Lifting Water)

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Bring to mind, please, a tree which you have admired: a tall tree – a monarch of the forest, perhaps. There it stands, a magnificent specimen, towering against the sky.

Now, if you please, imagine that you must climb that tree to the very top, with a 60-pound pack on your back. As soon as you reach the top, you must leave your burden and descend, only to start up all over again with a fresh load. Furthermore, you must climb this tree 12 times during the day. And you must make a similar number of trips up the tree every day in the future.

Spider Webs

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All over the world, in plains and forest, in gardens and pastures, in homes and alleys, an oft repeated miracle takes place every summer day. This event is the construction of millions of spider’s webs.

What? Miraculous? Let us not reject the thought without examination: Let us scrutinize some of these marvelously engineered lacy filigrees of silk. Let us watch a typical spider build her web.


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Can you imagine a snake wearing spectacles? And, if a snake did wear spectacles, how on earth would it keep them properly pushed up on its nose? Yet snakes do wear spectacles. Every single snake that has ever lived has worn them, and every snake in the foreseeable future will wear them.


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The thousands of sportsmen and commercial fishermen who take salmon from northern Pacific waters generally pay scant attention to the circumstances that make their harvest possible. They are more interested in the catching and eating than they are in studying the life-cycle of this large, handsome fish. Yet, accompanying each mature salmon making its way back to the creek or pool in which it was spawned are mysteries so great we can only term them miraculous.

Cockroaches and Cows

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What could cows and cockroaches possibly have in common? Cows are large animals which provide man with milk and meat and hides, while roaches are squalid insects which do not provide man with anything, except perhaps to serve as objects of his hatred.


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The Black Rhinoceros of Africa not only looks somewhat like an animated army tank, he frequently acts like one. His massive body is covered with a very thick skin, suggestive of armor plate, and he is armed with two great horns, the larger of which may extend more than four feet. With this horn the black rhino has been known to attack almost everything it encounters, up to and including locomotives.

Pine Tree Parents

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It is the nature of all living things to reproduce themselves, to produce the next generation of their kind. But when trees in dense forests try to do so, they often encounter a serious problem: There is no place for their offspring to grow. Even though there may be room enough and to spare on the ground beneath the stand of trees, the leafy forest canopy overhead blocks out the essential sunlight. The result is that seedlings cannot get a real foothold on life.


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Today we have a puzzle for you: What is it that drinks its mother’s milk, is able to find its way home across hundreds of miles of trackless waste, and is universally known as a symbol of peace?

If you guessed the pigeon family of birds, you answered correctly. Actually there is no single species in the pigeon family which fully solves the puzzle, but jointly they do so.

Palm Trees

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What is that can be made into “millionaire’s salad” at one end, and into toothbrushes at the other? While you are pondering that question, let us add that almost everything in between the ends is also useful to man.

What is it? It is the palm tree – or rather the family of palm trees, for there are hundreds of varieties.