"Try ‘real hard’; it’s all anybody can do"

This original handwritten manuscript from the Daniel Berkeley Updike Autograph Collection is a touching children’s story by Providence Journal and Chicago Tribune correspondent Nora Perry (1831-1896). “Susy’s Dragon”, ca. 1866, tells the story of young Susy and the lesson she learns about procrastination and battling one’s personal “dragons”:

“…’that’s the way the dragon has gone on beating me, ever and ever so long; and—I don’t know. Aunt Cathy, but — but he always will.’ And here Susy began to choke a little; the next moment she burst out bravely, in a determined voice: ‘But I shall try real hard to beat him, any way !’

‘That’s it, Susy!’ Aunt Cathy exclaimed. ‘Try ‘ real hard’; it’s all anybody can do; and in trying I know you will win the battle, my dear.’

And Susy was true to her word. She did try ‘real hard,’ and at last she won the battle.”

The story was published, illustrated (shown below), in the popular children’s literature magazine Our Young Folks (v. 5, 1866). Our Young Folks is available in the Providence Public Library Children’s Department.

1 thought on “"Try ‘real hard’; it’s all anybody can do"

  1. Pingback: The Updike Autograph Collection Is Now Open For Use | Notes For Bibliophiles

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