"Bonny boy," murmured the child, with a vaguely offended air--"bonny boy."
And from that day the name Bonnyboy clung to him.
To teach Bonnyboy the trade of a carpenter was a task which would have exhausted the patience of all the saints in the calendar. If there was any possible way of doing a thing wrong, Bonnyboy would be sure to hit upon that way. When he was eleven years old he chopped off the third joint of the ring-finger on his right hand with a cutting tool while working the turning-lathe; and by the time he was fourteen it seemed a marvel to his father that he had any fingers left at all. But Bonnyboy persevered in spite of all difficulties, was always cheerful and of good courage, and when his father, in despair, exclaimed: "Well, you will never amount to anything, Bonnyboy," he would look up with his slow, winning smile and say:
"Don't worry, father. Better luck next time."
"But, my dear boy, how can I help worrying, when you don't learn anything by which you can make your living?"
"Oh, well, father," said Bonnyboy, soothingly (for he was beginning to feel sorry on his father's account rather than on his own), "I wouldn't bother about that if I were you. I don't worry a bit. Something will turn up for me to do, sooner or later."
"But you'll do it badly, Bonnyboy, and then you won't get a second chance. And then, who knows but you may starve to death. You'll chop off the fingers you have left; and when I am dead and can no longer look after you, I am very much afraid you'll manage to chop off your head too."
"Well," observed Bonnyboy, cheerfully, "in that case I shall not starve to death."