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A collection of short stories for canine lovers
Compiled by: Aadel Bussinger
The stories contained within are originally from public domain texts that can be found online. You may freely share and distribute this e-book. A link to Homeschool Commons would be greatly appreciated!
WHY DOG AND CAT ARE ENEMIES
Once upon a time there was a man and his wife, and they had a ring of gold. It was a lucky ring, and whoever owned it always had enough to live on. But this they did not know, and hence sold the ring for a small sum. But no sooner was the ring gone than they began to grow poorer and poorer and at last did not know where they would get their next meal. They had a dog and a cat, and these had to go hungry as well. Then the two animals took counsel together as to how they might restore to their owners their former good fortune. At length the dog hit upon a good idea. "They must have the ring back again," he said to the cat. The cat answered, "The ring has been carefully locked up in the chest where no one can get at it." "You must catch a mouse," said the dog, "and the mouse must gnaw a hole in the chest and fetch out the ring. And if she does not want to, say that you will bite her to death, and you will see that she will do it." This advice pleased the cat, and she caught a mouse. Then she wanted to go to the house in which stood the chest, and the dog came after. They came to a broad river. And since the cat could not swim, the dog took her on his back and swam across with her. Then the cat carried the mouse to the house in which the chest stood. The mouse gnawed a hole in the chest, and fetched out the ring. The cat put the ring in her mouth, and went back to the river, where the dog was waiting for her, and swam across with her. Then they started out together for home, in order to bring the lucky ring to their master and mistress. But the dog could only run along the ground; when there was a house in the way, he always had to go around it. The cat, however, quickly climbed over the roof, and so she reached home long before the dog, and brought the ring to her master. Then the master said to his wife: "What a good creature the cat is! We will always give her enough to eat, and care for her as though she were our own child!"
But when the dog came home they beat him and scolded him, because he had not helped to bring home the ring again. And the cat sat by the fireplace and purred and said never a word. Then the dog grew angry at the cat, because she had robbed him of his reward, and when he saw her he chased her and tried to seize her. And ever since that day, dog and cat are enemies.
From "The Chinese Fairy Book"
BABA, QUEEN OF SHEBA Baba lives in a great house in England. Her mistress is a dear old lady who loves Chow dogs, and owns many of them. Sometimes her friends say, "Chow-Chows are not beautiful. See those puppies! They are like little cinnamon bears!" She laughs at them, and says, "You wouldn't find another puppy of that cinnamon color in many thousand miles, nor any such a beautiful blue as my Baba, Queen of Sheba!" Then she tells them the story of Baba, who lies proudly and very quietly at her feet by the fire. "In China, the monks of Manchuria are very fond of Chow dogs. They prize the blue Chow above all others. Probably the monks don't eat them (Chow-chow just means 'food,' you know) like other Chinamen, but prize them for some religious reason. At any rate, when puppies come that are not 'true blue,' they are put outside the great walls. People watch for these puppies and sell them for large sums. If they grow up, sometimes their puppies will be 'true blue,' although their parents were not. "I had written to a Mandarin in China, asking him to get me a blue Chow, but I had no answer. Then one day an Englishman brought me Baba, who had been found outside the walls of a monastery in Manchuria. She has lived with me three years and all her puppies have been blue." Baba rose and yawned very politely, and moved about the room on her delicate catlike feet. She stood looking up at the sleeping parrot, and moved one ear without moving the other. Few dogs can do this. The Chows are born lovers of the chase. Baba was a great hunter, to the sorrow of her mistress. She would slip out at night, and run away to the woods, to hunt birds, squirrels, rats, and other wood creatures. Each time she was discovered she was
severely punished. They were afraid she would be killed, and they worried lest she attack a sheep. She would have to be shot if this happened. Just as the household was trying to think up a very severe punishment that would stop Baba from hunting, Lady Dunbar fell ill. Baba loved her so that she gave up hunting of her own accord. She sat outside her mistress's door every minute, and when the worst danger came, insisted on being inside right by her bed. Her mistress slowly got well, and Baba, Queen of Sheba, never went out to hunt again. Chows are born watchdogs. Blue Wang, Blue Joss, Blue Bear, Blue Admiral, Champion Ragabelle—each had his record at Lady Dunbar's home for giving warning of some disturbance. Ragabelle once woke his mistress when a guest was walking up and down late at night, with a bad headache. Ragabelle knew who would "make it well again." Baba is a born actress, and often takes part in plays given at home. Once she was in Little Red Riding-Hood, as Grandmama Wolf. She was dressed in a white nightgown, with sleeves fastened down at her wrists, and a white nightcap on her head. When the curtain went up, there she sat in bed with her proud dark face peering out of the frilly nightcap, and her paws resting out upon the silk quilt. "Oh, granny, your ears are so long!" said poor frightened Little Red Riding-Hood. "Woof-Woof-Woof," said Baba, very sweetly and politely. The clapping was tremendous. The curtain had to be pulled aside a second time. This time, Baba's mistress motioned to her to jump out of bed, so she took the curtain-call like a regular actress, and ran off the stage to the sound of great applause. One day an orchestra played at Baba's home and one of their numbers was a merry march, a piece that children love. What was the surprise of the audience when Baba walked across the stage! She had three doves perched on a little stand on her collar. They fluttered their wings and cooed softly when they heard the music. Baba held her head very still, and walked slowly across the stage, in time with the march.
Adapted from "Hie Chow-Chow," by Lady Dunbar
ROSA BONHEUR, THE LITTLE GIRL WHO LOVED ANIMALS FATHER and mother Bonheur had wanted a son, and had even planned to name him Raymond after his father. Instead, a little daughter had come to them who couldn't be named Raymond, and who couldn't grow up to be a painter like her father because in those days in France, almost a hundred years ago, girls were taught to sew and to
cook, not to draw pictures. That was for a boy to learn. It was a great pity, to be sure! The little girl, who should have been a boy, was named Rosa because that began with an R like Raymond. When she was such a tiny girl that her head did not reach the doorknob, Rosa began to show that she was not like other children of her age. She would leave her dolls in a corner of the room and would make queer round marks, and square marks on the white paint of the door panels with her father's black crayon pencils. "Papa, papa," she would cry proudly, "Lalie make pictures." But Rosa's father laughed at the wobbly tigers and lions and told her not to bother him while he was painting. The poor man had to work very hard, for pictures did not sell as well as potatoes in the village where the Bonheurs lived, and besides Rosa there were soon two boys who must have bread and butter and new shoes. By and by they grew so poor that they decided to move to Paris, where the father hoped to find more work.
Rosa was three years old when they went to the big noisy city of Paris. She was not pretty, for she was very short and thin, with a queer pug nose and a square brown face. But she had a long tight braid of lovely yellow hair that hung almost to the hem of her skirt and was tied at the end with a shoe string. She wore wooden shoes like all
the little boys and girls in Paris and a checked brown dress without any trimming on it. In Paris they all lived in a small house over a shop, and when presently a baby sister came to live with them, they were very much crowded indeed. Rosa had to help take care of the baby and do the housework because her mother was too sick to sweep, and dust, and wash the dishes. When she was not working, she went with her two brothers to a school where all the pupils except her were boys. There she learned a little reading and writing, but she liked best to draw pictures in the blank pages of her books, and when the writing lesson came, she used to fill the copybook with horses, and cows, and sheep instead of words. Here, in school, Rosa used to wish that she could be a boy like the rest of the children. Sometimes she would almost forget that she wore skirts and a braid, and would climb trees and play ball like any boy. Once she even fought with an unkind boy who was teasing a dog. She loved animals, and animals all loved her. Across the street from her home was a butcher shop. Instead of a sign over the door there was a great wooden figure of a pig in front. Rosa felt sorry for the poor pig, who had to stand outdoors in the rain and hot sunshine. Sometimes she used to run across the street to pat his carved head and to whisper in one wooden ear that she loved him, even if no one else did. When she went to walk in the park with her father the timid sparrows and robins would come fluttering and flying down from the trees and light on her shoulders and hair. Animals always know the people who are fond of them. Even the wildest animals are not afraid, and the fiercest do not hurt such people. The big cross watchdogs would come creeping and crawling to Rosa and lick her gentle hand with their great rough red tongues, and the deer in the park never ran away from her. When she grew up and owned two big tawny lions, she let them run free in her garden. They rolled together and played on the walk like two pussy cats. Before Rosa was twelve years old her mother died. The four children and their father were left very lonely in the tiny room above the shop. Two kind old cousins took the three younger children to live with them; but no one wanted Rosa, for she was a queer child, very much like a boy in petticoats, who used to fall over the furniture and knock over the dishes, and break and disarrange everything around her. Her father sent her to live with a dressmaker who tried to teach Rosa to sit still quietly in a chair and sew long, stupid seams. But little boys do not want to sew seams, and Rosa was too much like a little boy to sit still in a chair with a piece of cloth on the table before her, and a big sunshiny world behind. So on one of the sun-shiniest days she ran away from the dressmaker's house, through the crowds of people in the city, straight to her father's studio. She begged him to teach her how to put brown and gray and blue paint on the canvas so that it would look like a cow.
"But girls never paint pictures," said her father. "Then let's cut off my braid, and I will wear boy's clothes and be a boy," cried Rosa. Then what do you suppose? The next day she took a pair of shears, and clip, clip, off came her long, tight braid of yellow hair; after this, she put on her brother's loose blue trousers that hung down to her ankles, and a blouse, and nobody in the world would ever have guessed that she wasn't a sturdy twelve-year-old boy. Rosa wanted to learn to paint so much that she used to work alone while other boys and girls of all sizes were playing "Sur le pont d'Avignon," which is "London Bridge" in French. At last her father saw that she really intended to learn, so he began to help her. Soon she was able to copy pictures in the great art galleries and to sell them to wealthy people. In the art gallery the attendants nicknamed Rosa "the little Hussar," which means "the little soldier," because she wore short hair and long trousers. She worked so hard at her painting that she often used to forget to eat her lunch of bread and fried potatoes. Finally she and her father saved enough money to send for the three little children. Then they all lived together again in the snug little home over the shop. Although she worked very hard when she worked, Rosa liked to play, too. She and her brothers and sister used to dress up and play knights and dragons and tournaments in their father's big studio. Sometimes they made the dragon's cave out of pictures put together, and sometimes they rode horseback on the easels, playing that the long paint brushes were lances and swords. Rosa was so fond of animals that she kept the house full of queer pets; A goat in the woodshed, squirrels and rats in the kitchen, and canaries and finches in the bedrooms. She used to draw pictures of them. Some of these did not look at all like the live animals, so she threw them away and began all over again. Whenever the pictures were wrong, she did not get discouraged. She worked all the harder until she at last got them right. It was because she kept on trying so eagerly that she grew up to be one of the greatest animal painters in the world. She had money and fame, but these did not make her so happy as the fact that the tiny red-eyed rabbits in her pictures looked so real that their noses almost wiggled, and the great yellow lions she painted were so fierce and lifelike that they seemed nearly ready to roar and snarl in their frames. Once her pet goat came into the house and looked at her as if to say, "I like you and I have come in to see you." Then he went around the room and looked at the pictures. When he saw his own picture he wagged his head as if he liked it, and then he ran out of the house. When Rosa Bonheur grew up she had a little dog named Wasp, and a big dog, a hound, called Don. She had a horse, a donkey, goats and sheep, and her famous pet
lions. "The goat follows me," she said, "and the lion likes to have me near him." She painted fine pictures of them all. "I like animals," said she, "and I like to paint their pictures." One of her greatest pictures, "The Horse Fair," is now in the Metropolitan Museum in New York City.
Adapted from "When Great Folk Were little Folks," by D. D. Calhoun
GRAYFRIAR’S BOBBY If you were walking in the old town of Edinburgh you would see the castle, the cathedral, and soldiers, the university, the museum, and many other interesting things. One that you would surely remember has little to do with kings or learning. It is a statue of a little dog. You might be walking across "the links" and "the meadows," and then turn up the broad walk that leads to George IV Bridge. Here, at the end of a row of bookstalls, is a drinking fountain, and rising from it there is a granite pillar, on the top of which is a life-sized figure of a shaggy Skye terrier cast in bronze. We call this dog "Grayfriars' Bobby," and it was put there in memory of a real Skye terrier. His name was not always Grayfriars' Bobby. When he came to Edinburgh he was a little, common, unknown dog; and, if he had a name at all it was only known to his master, who was a poor man and had no friends except his dog. He did not make any friends either, for, when he died, no one knew who he was, or where he came from; and he had a very lonely funeral in Grayfriars' Churchyard, whose iron gates you can see not many yards from where you stand. For when he was buried, there was only one mourner, and that was his poor little pet, who followed his master's body from his lodgings, and sat on the grass in the churchyard watching what was going on with piteous eyes. When it was all over, and the grave had been filled up, and the gravedigger had gone away, the little animal crept forward and stretched itself on the new-made grave. Now it was a rule that dogs were not allowed into the churchyard, so the old caretaker turned him out and locked the gate. Next day, when he was going his rounds, he again found the terrier stretched on the grave. It had managed somehow to get into the churchyard again, in order to be as near its master as it could.
Once more it was driven out, and once more it returned, this time almost dead with cold and hunger. The old caretaker did not know what to do. He felt sorry for the faithful little creature, and yet the rules about the churchyard were very strict. He spoke to one or two of his neighbors about it, and a kind man, who kept a restaurant near the gates, offered to give the dog its dinner every day, if he, the caretaker, would let it sleep in his house at night. So matters were arranged, and permission was obtained for it to stay in the churchyard in the daytime. Week after week passed, and month after month, and finally year after year, and still Grayfriars' Bobby, as people learned to call him, lived in the churchyard by day, and in the old caretaker's cottage at night. Everyone was so kind to him that at last his poor little heart, which had been quite broken at first, began to heal up and he grew a cheerful little dog and ran about the churchyard which, however, he never left, except for one brief half-hour once a day. For when the one o'clock gun thundered out from the castle, he used to trot off to the restaurant for his dinner. People soon got to know him, and Sir William Chambers, who, as you know, restored St. Giles Cathedral, and who was Lord Provost of the city, presented him with a collar which had his name, "Grayfriars' Bobby," engraved upon it. When at last he died, he was buried in Grayfriars' Churchyard, and the Baroness Burdett-Coutts, who always took a great interest in animals, erected this drinking fountain with the figure of the little dog over it, in order to keep alive the memory of his faithfulness and love.
From "The Children's Book of Edinburgh," by Elizabeth Grieraon
RAB There are no such dogs as Rab now. He belonged to a lost tribe. As I have said, he was brindled and gray like granite; his hair short, hard, and close, like a lion's; his body thickset like a little bull—a sort of compressed Hercules of a dog. He must have been ninety pounds' weight at the least; he had a large, blunt head; his muzzle black as night, his mouth blacker than any night, a tooth or two—being all he had—gleaming out of his jaws of darkness. His head was scarred with the records of old wounds, a sort of series of fields of battle all over it; one eye out, one ear cropped close; the remaining eye had the power of two; and above it, and in constant communication with it, was a tattered rag of an ear, which was forever unfurling itself like an old flag; and then that bud of a tail, about one inch long.
Rab had the dignity and simplicity of great size; and having fought his way all along the road to absolute supremacy, he was as mighty in his own line as Julius Caesar or the Duke of Wellington, and had the gravity of all great fighters.
From "Rab and Hia Friends," by John Brown, M.D.
SHEEP DOGS There are some little children in an American town who have two nurses—one nurse with blue dress and white cap, and another with woolly hair, and four sturdy legs. The second is an English sheep dog, who stands almost as high as the three-year-old sister, and whose long gray hair falls over his great loving brown eyes. He watches the children "like a Dutch uncle." When they are walking on the street he "shepherds" them as if they were sheep. He pushes the little ones into line, and nudges and nips the big ones if they go too near the street. This trusty dog was born in England. His ancestors helped the shepherds of the English countryside. The wonderful Scotch sheep dogs are a different breed. We call them collies. They are both more sensitive and more valiant than the woolly English dogs. They are built for greater speed, with longer legs and stronger bodies. A shepherd would be absolutely helpless without his dogs. These Scottish sheep dogs are so well tamed and so intelligent that they obey every movement of the shepherd's hand, as well as every word he utters. We feel as we watch them that they know almost as much about sheep as he does. This knowledge comes by what we call instinct—that is, it is born in these dogs. When a collie is quite young—only about seven or eight months old—it begins of its own accord to try and help its master with his sheep. If it is out with him when he is driving a flock of sheep and one of them tries to break away from the rest it will run boldly forward and bark in her face, as if it knows that she is doing wrong.
When the shepherd sees this, he does all he can to encourage the dog, talking to it gently, and trying, by word and gesture, to show what he wants it to do.
If, for instance, he wishes it to gather together all the sheep that are on a certain hill, he points to the hill and says, "Come, here, away, out-by, wide"—at least, that is what the old shepherd Robbie says to his dog Toss, and Toss sets off up the hillside, and in a very short time he has gathered all the scattered sheep into a group, and stands waiting for further orders. Then, if Robbie wants the sheep brought toward him he makes a sign with his hand, and Toss obeys. If Robbie chances to be driving his sheep along a road and he comes to a place where another road joins it, he knows that half his flock will probably turn down that way. He does not wish them to do this so he makes a sign to Toss, who is walking soberly at his heels. Toss understands what is wanted, and in a moment he is over the wall, and flying along the field on the other side of it, so as to get in front of the sheep; and when the place where the two ways meet is reached, he is standing guarding the one down which the sheep are not to go. Sometimes, at agricultural shows, there are "dog trials" in order to see which collie can manage sheep most cleverly. And do you know what the test often is? Four sheep are put into a field which has a small enclosure in the middle of it. The gate of this enclosure is left open, and each dog in turn is expected, under the direction of his master, to drive three of these sheep into the enclosure, and to keep out the fourth one, who naturally wants to follow its companions. The dog who does this in the shortest time and with fewest mistakes wins the prize. Considering that their masters are not allowed to help them in any way except by
making signs to them, and giving them orders, it is a wonderful feat for any dog to accomplish.
Adapted from "Scotland," by Elizabeth Grierson
DON AND DASH DON was a pointer. His master lived in hilly country, and had bought Don to help him hunt partridge, grouse and quail. Don was the best dog he could have chosen for this. The picture of a pointer opposite page 44 will tell you why. His coat, almost all white, can be seen easily against the brown of the fields and the shadows of the woods. He is strong; he has a fine big nose and ears; he has a good straight tail. His tail is important! When Don has scented out a bird, lying in the meadow grass, he goes as near it as he dares, then "points" straight at it, tail sticking out like a rod, directly in line with his wise nose. The hunter creeps up, gun all ready, and probably starts the bird, which he can shoot easily, knowing the exact direction. That is what pointers have been trained to do for generations. One morning you might have seen Don without his master, trotting slowly out of the farm gate toward the moors. His head hung down as if he were very unhappy about something. He had not gone far before a little curly spaniel, who was trotting off in the same unhappy way, crossed his path. Don stopped and said gloomily, "Hello, Dash!" The spaniel, rubbing noses, said with a sigh, "Hello, Don! What's the matter?" "Oh, I'm tired of my master. He never shoots anything. For three years I've followed him about the moors. I've pushed through furze and furrow. I've started hares, and cocks, and snipes, and pheasants—enough to give a present every night to each of his friends. But he's never shot one. Why doesn't he take me fishing? "Oh, how I hate to point a fine bird then stand there holding my head in just the right position until my neck aches, and my tail has gone to sleep. I won't stand it anymore." Dash was looking happier and happier, his tail no longer hung between his legs, his silky ears were wagging gaily.
"Don," he said, "your master is just the man for me. My master hits everything. A bullet may just as well hit me, as the bird, or the tree, or the barn door. Let's change places." "Done," said Don. "My dinner will just be ready. Let's go and eat it together, then I'll slip over to your place. I suppose you know how to point?" "Well, no," said Dash, "I'm more of a retriever." "What's that?" "A dog that runs and gets the game after it's down. But I can start the birds all right, don't worry, Don. I have setter blood. The setters are a very old family. When people hunted birds with nets, the setters pointed them, then 'set' low, crouching on the ground so that the net could go over them." Don was so interested that he almost forgot to show Dash his favorite hole in the hedge. The end of the story is that Dash was just as great a help to his new master as Don had been. And Don was much happier with the sound of a gun in his ears, even if it didn't hit much game. But a surprise is coming. Dash, not being so stern a pointer, used to peek around at his master. And he discovered that he carried a queer little black box instead of a gun, and clicked it at the birds. Later, Dash learned that beautiful pictures of the birds came out of that box, which his master called a camera. And Dash decided that, though he liked the taste of quail and pheasant bones, still it was a great honor to help his master make those pictures.
Adapted from "Hit or Miss," in Hood's "Humorous Poems"
TOLD BY THE FIRE Happy was a beagle hound with long tan-colored ears, the daintiest bit of a nose, and a plump body marked and ticked with tan and black. Her eyes were of such beseeching softness that if she but looked at you when you were eating you had to give her the very last morsel. Waddles, her husband, was also a hound, a most honorable hound. He was called "The Mayor of Dogtown." Dogtown was the name of the happy country place where many lucky dogs had a home.
One evening when these two lay snoozing by the fire, Happy gave a kick or two, sniffed, her back bristling, then opened her eyes. "I thought I was a kennel dog again," she said with a gasp. "Why, didn't you like being a kennel dog?" said Waddles. "Why?" repeated Happy. "Well, there was enough to eat, I suppose, but how, and when, and where? I should like you to tell me that first." As Waddles didn't know, he could not tell, so Happy took the floor, or rather the bearskin, and began her story, occasionally pausing to give her paws an extra washing. "Melody, my mother, was not born in a kennel, though after she had great sport and hunted a few years, she came to live at Hilltop. I was born there, and the difference between living in a kennel and running free begins even before your eyes are open. "Of course you've looked into the kennel yard four acres big, inside the tall wire fence and seen the grass-run, and the swimming pool, but have you ever been inside the long red house made into rooms with many windows and doors, and a little yard by each?" "No," said Waddles, "I've often tried, but someone always drove me away, though once, when I stepped inside the door, I ran down a long hallway when a big black and white setter, who seemed to be all by himself in a small room, told me I'd best get out while I could, for maybe if I waited I couldn't, and begged me to bring him a bone next time I came." "That was old Antonio, a boarder," said Happy, looking into the fire as if she saw the past in it. "His master used to have a country house like this, and he raised Antonio from a pup, took him hunting every leaf-fall, and let him lie on the hearthrug winter nights, but when the master sold the house and went away he sent Antonio to board at Hilltop until he should come back for him. He promised to come soon, but that was the summer that I was a pup, and Antonio is still waiting. "Of course he is comfortable in a way; he and Rufus, the Irish setter with red hair, have a good room together, each with a boxed straw bed, and a private yard to lie in when they are not turned into the great yard for running, but they are in chain when they sleep at night, and when they are fed, and that is a grievous thing to an old dog who has once run free, and owned his bones. My mother told me so then, but being born a kennel dog I did not understand." "What were the other rooms in that long house?" asked Waddles, now sitting up wide awake and interested. "I saw more doors than there are in this whole house or at Miss Jule's and, though I was in a hurry, I sniffed good crisp brown smells."
"Some rooms like Antonio's are for the grown dogs that live there all the time except when they go away for hunting. Then there are others closer and warmer for the mother dogs with families; I was born in one of these, and stayed there with my little brothers and sisters until I was six weeks old, and could stand firm upon my feet without resting on my stomach. Before this, for many days, when my mother was let out for her airing, she stayed away longer and longer, and when we were hungry they gave us milk to lap from a tin, which was tiresome and took much more trouble than to eat the way our mother taught us. Finally, one night she did not come back at all. Then we were taken from our little bedroom to a great square place, all wood dust on the floor and with a great black thing standing in the middle that frightened me terribly, but afterward I found that it was called a stove, and was warm inside and pleasant to lie by, though it could not feed us as our mother did. "In this big room were many other pups of different kinds and sizes, who played or dozed in corners, but there were none as small as we, and we felt sad and lonely. I well remember how we squealed that night until a boy brought Miss Jule and she had us put back into our little room. But our mother was not there. Once in the night she answered, from far away; but she couldn't come for there were many doors between. They called this weaning us, so that we should learn to care for ourselves. Next day we went back to the big room with all the other puppies, and four times every day each one of us was put into a little box like a chicken coop—there was a row of them all round the wall—and given a dish of food." "What was that for?" asked Waddles, "why did they shut you up? I like to walk about when I eat." "Because," answered Happy, feeling proud and important at knowing something that wise Waddles did not, "if the food was given to us at once the biggest would gobble two or three shares and the small pups would get none. At the kennels grown dogs are tied when they eat, but pups wear no collars, for they are bad things for their soft necks. "After a while we became used to the life and had good times playing in the puppy pasture. One day we saw our mother in the other enclosure with the grown dogs, and we ran close to the fence and tried to dig under it; but kennel fences are set deep with melted stone poured round the posts. When we found we could not get through we barked and wagged our tails and then even our bodies when we saw her coming toward us; but she did not notice us at all—she had forgotten us!" "Then who taught you to play snatch-bone and wrestle, who killed your fleas for you and washed you?" asked Waddles, with indignation. "We learned to wrestle by tumbling about together. As to snatch-bone, how could we play it, we who have no bones?" "No bones!" echoed Waddles, in amazement.
"None to keep, or to bury, or play with; such as we had must be gnawed at a meal or they were taken away. How could kennel dogs, who are never alone, bury bones without having them stolen and breeding a fight? "One day after I had left the puppy yard old Antonio kept a round bone hidden in his mouth to gnaw on later. Forgetting himself, he barked and dropped it. Oh, but there was a commotion that took three men, besides Miss Jule, to quell, and all the dogs were bristling and angry for three days. "Waddles," and there were almost tears in Happy's eyes, "you don't know what it was to be a well-fed kennel dog, and yet be so poor that you had not even a bone to bury! And if you had one you could not hide it in a floor of melted stone. "I noticed that as I grew bigger and stronger and hungrier I had fewer meals, until, when I was grown and slept in a separate room with Flo, the English setter, we had but one a day—a great pan of warm stew with bread in it, every evening when we were chained up for the night beside our beds." "That stew sounds good," said Waddles, licking his lips, "and what for breakfast?" "No breakfast. No bits of toast from Tommy, or chop bone from the master. It's always supper with a kennel dog. It isn't Miss Jule's fault, or anybody's; there aren't enough bits of toast or chop bones to feed a yard full of pups and dogs. "As to the fleas and baths, when we were old enough a man named Martin washed us every week. There is a room next to the nursery kennel that has a water-box in it like the one our cows drink out of, and above it hang rows and rows of collars of all sizes, ready for dogs to wear who are to go away or come to the kennel without them. "We little pups were washed in this box, and if we cried or jumped about Martin would put a collar on to hold us by. The washing wasn't bad at first, but it was very wet and sometimes cold, and the big brush he used wasn't as soft and warm as our mother's tongue that washed and wiped at the same time. "Sometimes if Martin was tired or in a hurry he did not dry us well, and often dogs grew sick, and sneezed, and shivered. Then the big doctor man came hurrying out from over town with his quick horse, to see them, and said they had 'distemper.' When this happened Miss Jule would often sit up at night with them; and sometimes they got well, and sometimes they were taken away and never came back, then Miss Jule would say 'This is an unlucky season.' But we knew it most often happened when Martin forgot something, for Miss Jule could not feel each dog's nose every day, and see if its eyes look bright, and ask us if we feel well, as our mistress does. "The flea-killing was worse; our mother took them one by one, but Martin rubbed sneeze powder in our hair, so if we tried to lick ourselves a bit we coughed and choked. Our Jack is nearly grown, and yet he has never had a bath from anyone but
me, and there's not a flea upon him. See what it is to be born free and live a private life!" Then Mrs. Waddles’ broad chest swelled with pride, as she yawned, stretched her feet toward the fire, and curved her back. "Where did the good smells come from?" asked Waddles. "Part of them might be soup, but the others were too much like the village bakery where mistress sometimes buys us broken cakes." "That smell came from the kennel kitchen; you must have been there on a baking day. There are four rooms together that dogs must never go in, but the day our mistress bought me from Miss Jule, and I walked home with her, she went out through those rooms, then I saw and knew. The littlest room was full of the soap they wash us with, and bottles of the stuff they give us when we are sick or sprinkle on the melted stone floors that are through all the kennels, to sweeten them. "The next room had boxes in it like those that hold the horse food in our stable, and they were full of the stuff Martin makes the dog bread of. I saw him take some out, and in the corner was a great cold box, and though I could not see inside I smelled that it held meat, and nearby was the kettle they cooked our soup in. In the biggest room of all there was a great block like that our butcher chops the meat on while we wait to catch the bits, also the big can full of milk and rows of tin pans piled on more shelves. "Just then I smelled something delicious and mistress turned round; I followed her; there I saw Martin standing by the open door of a great oven with a red fire below, and in it were pans and pans of crispy bread ready to take out, and more upon a table to go in, and mistress broke off a crust that overhung, and threw it to me. I won't forget that crust; it was my first bite of liberty." "Did you never run free at all, or never go out alone to have any sport? I should have jumped that fence or dug out somehow." "No, you would not," said Happy, decidedly. "Silver Tongue, the biggest foxhound, could not. Ah, yes, we had good sport sometimes, all through the swamp woods trailing for rabbits though we never got any, and do you know, Silver Tongue told me once that they tied the smell up in a bag and dragged it on the ground just to make us run, and there was no rabbit! "One day, though, they took me with some older dogs to track real rabbits. I had run one into a fence corner, and it turned round and looked at me, when such an awful noise came down upon my head I thought the sky had fallen. I forgot the rabbit and fell over, for my head ached terribly.
Martin picked me up and rubbed my head and wrapped me in his coat, and then everything was still. It has been so ever since, pleasant and quiet. When I felt better I saw Martin's gun was broken and burst, and now I have to see with my eyes what people want of me, for my ears catch nothing. "There was always sport, too, when new dogs came, either to live or board with us. They didn't know that there was no breakfast, and they would cry and beg, and if Miss Jule came by she would understand and give them some, but Martin only went by rule. "You know the open shed up at Hill-top where the logwood is kept, and the old grindstone? We've often chased squirrels up the back of it. That shed is in the puppy yard, and the boxes that dogs travel in are kept there. We pups used to have great sport lying there in the shade to watch the boxes brought in and out, and see who came, who went away. "We all thought it would be fun to go traveling and often scrambled in and out of them, but if Martin shut the door we were frightened, and glad enough to be loose again. The boxes were not tight, but opened and latticed like hencoops, and they called them dog crates. It was a fine thing at the end of summer to see the crates brought out and cleaned, and the old dogs, setters, hounds, and spaniels, who had been away before for the hunting, go nearly wild with joy at sight of them, and clamor for the start. "The youngsters who had never been, and thought the crate a punishment, trembled at first, but the other explained, and so all through the autumn there was coming, going, and excitement. "Sometimes, on fine days, Miss Jule would come with an apron-ful of dog bread, and throw the bits for us to catch, and that day was held a great festival. For the one who jumped the highest, or caught the quickest, would get an extra bit, or be taken out to spend the day at the house, and have its dinner with Mr. Wolf, Miss Jule's very own best dog, and Tip, the head retriever. When these dogs came back to the kennels, though, there was always a row, for they felt so very fine and big, and bragged so about what they had seen, and the dozens of bones they had gnawed or buried, that finally, we who were neither quick nor clever could not bear it, so we agreed that whenever a dog came back from running free we would all bark together so loud that not a word of what he said could be heard. "Flo, the English setter, one of my best friends, who lives up there still, tells me that times are much better now, for Miss Letty takes a great interest in the dogs, and every morning, as soon as she has had breakfast, she comes to the fence of the front yard, bringing a basket of dog bread. She gives a whistle, and when the dogs are all collected then she begins throwing them bread, bit by bit, aiming it so carefully that even the stupidest, slowest dog of them gets at least one piece. Then sometimes she will go
inside the fence of the big field and throw a ball for the dogs to chase, and Flo says that when Miss Letty calls the dog who wins by name, or praises him, he likes it better than a bone, and wags away like mad. So now the kennel dogs have two things a day to look forward to, supper at night, and Miss Letty in the morning." "I call that a very stupid life," said Waddles, yawning and stretching in his turn. "Isn't there any real hunting or real fun?" "Yes, in the autumn and once already this season there was a hunt, Flo says. It was Miss Letty who let the dogs out to go to it, and Silver Tongue, the foxhound, who showed them the way. My, but they had fine running and catching, only Flo says that their getting out was an accident, and that Mr. Hugh was very angry, but Squire Burley and Miss Jule only laughed and laughed, and it was a week before the dogs all got back." "Hurry up, and go on and tell about it," said Waddles, sniffing uneasily. "Mistress will be at home soon, and then you will have to go out to bed, and I won’t hear what they hunted." "They are here now," said Happy, holding her head on one side, for though she could not hear, she could feel the vibration of coming footsteps. "Keep quiet," said Waddles, "it is so dark that maybe mistress will go by and forget you." The master went through the hallway to the library, Tommy stumbled sleepily along toward the stairs, holding his mother's hand, and Anne called Waddles and went up to bed.
From "Dogtown," by Mabel Osgood Wright
THE AIREDALE The Airedale has been famous since 1850 as one of the most useful and friendly of dogs. His name comes from the river Aire in Yorkshire. Here the hardy Yorkshiremen bred a dog that would chase otters in the swift streams that feed the Aire. They hunted rabbits, too, for rabbit pie, and they ran down the rascally badgers in their snug dens in the hills. It takes a clever, obedient, brave dog to hunt like this, sometimes at night, on land and on water; and the Yorkshiremen set about to breed such a dog. The result is the Airedale of to-day, famous over the entire world. He will drive sheep or cattle; he will help drag a sled; he will tend the baby; he will hunt anything from a bear to a field mouse. He can run like a wolf, and he takes to water like an otter. He is kind, obedient, and thoroughly trustworthy as a playmate for children, or as a watchman. He is not very beautiful. But his spirited eyes and his mouth, that seems to smile so often, are winning, and there are fine lines beneath his wiry, shaggy coat. It is really a double coat. On top there is wiry thick hair which is a perfect armor against all kinds of thorns, claws, and teeth. In this jacket, Mr. Airedale can take a swim in the river, scramble out, shake himself, roll over, and be dry.
The names of some famous Airedales make a jolly list: Bruce, Young Tanner, Rustic Twig, Clonmel Marvel, Dumbarton Lass, Bath Lady, Broadlands Bashful, Tone Jerry, Bandolero, Master Briar, York the Conqueror. In the great dog show of 1922 the highest prize went to an Airedale, Boxwood Barkentine. This has happened twice before, at the Westminster Kennel Club Show. The other Airedale winners were Briargate Brightview and Kenmare Sorceress. One of the judges who helped award the trophy said that the winner was almost the perfect Airedale, but that one ear was not quite as perfect as the other! But all the judges and all the people at the ringside agreed that Barkentine was "King of the ring and king of the country." His silhouette, at the top of the page, does not show those questionable ears, but it gives you a good idea of this great champion's important lines. A New York newspaper on the day after the dog show said: This year the winner is an Airedale terrier with the happy name of Boxwood Barkentine, an upstanding dog with an active eye in a square head, a black saddle, chest deep and muscular, hind quarters of power, and a tail stiff enough to hang your hat on. In vain the nervous wirehaired fox terrier, the brusque Irish terrier, the arrogant Chow, the great shepherd Dolf von Dusternbrook, the lordly St. Bernard, the slim greyhound and the rugged little Scot, Jeanie Deans, posed and showed their paces. Boxwood Barkentine looked every inch a champion. His is a popular victory, for the Airedale is the reigning favorite among dog owners—a one-man dog, a dog of sense and of courage and tenacity, a land dog, a water dog, a dependable dog, a dog to swear by.
Adapted from "The Airedale," by Williams Haynes, in "The Outing Handbook Series"
THE RUNAWAY PUPPIES IT will never be known who the leader was. But there must have been one, for five puppies cannot think of the same thing at the same minute. Besides, where several get into mischief there is always a leader, of that you may be sure. These five had been told again and again how lovely and cunning they were. Every time they had tried to do anything, someone had been near to help them. They were in the big box in the carriage house. Their mother, Gypsy, had been gone— well, it was a century to those fat white pups, who had hardly been alone a moment since they knew anything. The family had gone for a drive, taking John, the
coachman. Jim, the gardener, was transplanting the strawberries. Gypsy, dear, faithful Gypsy, had not left them until they were all asleep. Daisy woke up first, and scrambled to her feet. That woke Bijou, Dash, Flipper, and Wrinkle. They suddenly rose to their feet as if expecting something to happen. And it did, for a few minutes later all five were out of the barn and running across the orchard and had wriggled through the fence into the poultry yard. Daisy was leading them. The moment this procession got into the yard, such a cackling, quacking, gobbling, hissing arose as you never heard before. The procession was appalled. It could not get back through the fence without turning round, and that would mean losing sight of the terrible creatures that were massed in front of them. "Oh!" whimpered Daisy. "Hush!" ordered Dash. Flipper's tail was stiff with fright. Wrinkle's back had several more of the ridges that gave him his name. "What shall we do?" asked Bijou, in a voice he tried to make brave. "Stand still," said Dash. Easier said than done; he was trembling with fear himself. They faced these threatening, noisy enemies. The enemies were greatly frightened themselves at this invasion by four-footed people, but they kept it a secret and the hissing, gobbling, quacking, cackling, increased until it was terrible. Dash said something, and suddenly the puppies all ran, Dash in the lead, for the opposite fence and wriggled through into the open field on the other side. They did not look behind them; they did not listen, or they would have discovered that the noise had ceased and that the feathered people were standing gazing at the place in the fence through which Dash, Bijou, Flipper, Wrinkle and Daisy had disappeared. On and on they ran, until, looking back, Daisy missed Wrinkle. "Dear, dear!" she cried. This stopped the others. "Where, where! Oh, where is my darling Wrinkle?" He was nowhere in sight. Wrinkle was lost. This was the most terrible thing that had come to them. What would their mother say? Oh! Could those terrible creatures have eaten him? They turned back, Daisy leading them. On they walked, heads down, tails drooping. Could these be the frolicking puppies who made everybody laugh? In a hollow out of which a big tree had been taken lay little Wrinkle, panting. He was not injured, but he could not get out. Daisy found him and gave a glad bark. How they jumped when they saw him! But they could not get him out. They hung over the edge, but they were helpless. How hungry and tired they were! How they longed for their dear mother and home! At last, discouraged and hopeless, they lay round the edge of the big hole, looking at poor, tired Wrinkle.
Suddenly the four rose to their feet. Their tails gave signs of life. They looked, then all rushed to the far side of the hole, and then it did seem as if their tails would come off. There were Ruth and Harry running over the field toward them. Coming more slowly, were big brother George and Gypsy and the coachman. "Here they are, the darlings!" said Ruth, who looked as if she had been crying. "Where is Wrinkle? Where is my own darling Wrinkle?" she asked, standing still with clasped hands. George began to run, and nearly fell on top of Wrinkle. Down he jumped, caught the puppy in his arms, and scrambled out to Ruth, giving Wrinkle to her. Then another procession went across the field, George leading, with Daisy in his arms. She did not understand him, of course, when he said, "You won't play this trick again. We'll put wire on the fences." Mamma Gypsy carried Dash, who looked so meek that you would never dream he had given an order, or led his brothers and sister through the enemy's lines. She lay on the floor while her children were eating their supper of bread and milk, standing round the big pan. This is what she heard: "I never want to go into the world." This was Daisy. The others said: "We will grow bigger, and go with mother." "I shall keep very close to her, very close," murmured Wrinkle, as he gave a sorrowful little sigh.
From "The Outlook Story Book," by Laura Winnington
A WINTER MORNING ON THE FARM THE farm looked strange to Jim and Peggy when they went outside next morning. Everything was blanketed in snow. The woodpile was covered with it. You could see
the shape of the top pieces of wood through the blanket. In the garden there were just a few old, broken cornstalks sticking up through. Andy had been out with a shovel and a broom, and brushed the blanket aside in front of the kitchen door. He had swept a path from there around to the summer kitchen and the woodshed, out to the barn, across to the tool shed, and over to the chicken house. Outside of the path there were tracks here and there in the white blanket. Jim and Peggy could see where Dan had gone by pulling the sleigh after him, where Spot had been racing around, and the trails that the turkeys had made. The turkeys were nowhere in sight now. But in a moment the children spied Brownie and Jerry, the ducks, on the steps of the summer kitchen, where there wasn't any snow. Peggy ran back into the kitchen and found some crusts of bread for them. When the children went into the barn everything looked familiar again. There was the wall of hay, with the ladder running up toward the roof—though the wall wasn't as high or as long as it had been. Back where the stalls were, Dan and Ben and Milly stuck their noses out. Peter came sauntering along from the tool room, where he was still busy catching mice. In the wing of the barn where the cows were kept, Belinda and the rest were lined up with their heads through the square wood frames. There was no green pasture outside now for them to graze on. They spent most of the time in the barn, except when Andy let them out into the feed yard to exercise. Horace and Jane came out to the barn and joined them. Andy took Ben out of his stall, put the harness on him, and hitched him to the sled. He was going to bring back the cow that Uncle David had bought. Jane and Peggy walked over to the chicken house to gather the eggs and say good morning to Hiram, the white rooster. Jane had a little round basket with her. "You're not going to get the eggs in that little basket, are you?" asked Peggy. Jane laughed. "Hens don't lay much this time of year," she said. "I think they must get tired in winter. Half of ours aren't laying at all, and the rest don't seem very busy." "Maybe that's why mamma said that eggs cost so much at the grocery in the city last week," remarked Peggy. Jim and Horace took Spot with them and went down to the brook. Jim looked into the top of the box over the ram. It was still chugging away.
Just beyond the bridge the boys found tracks in the snow, leading along the brook. There were two round tracks, and, just ahead of them, two longer ones; next, a space of two or three feet, and then another set of round tracks and long ones. "Look where a rabbit's been hopping," said Horace. "He wasn't scared either. See, he made only short jumps." "Why are the tracks shaped like that?" inquired Jim. "The little round tracks are his front feet, and the long ones are his hind feet. He always sets his hind feet down ahead of his front ones when he hops." "Did you* get any of the woodchucks?" asked Jim. "You know—the ones we were going to set traps for the day I went back home." Horace shook his head. "I think they moved away. Or else Spot scared them. I got a skunk, though," he added. "Caught him at a hole under the chicken house fence." They walked on down the brook. Here and there the snow was halfway to their knees, where the wind had drifted little hollows full of it. The bushes were bent over with a heavy white crust frozen to their branches. The surface of the brook was covered with ice. They could walk on it almost anywhere. But they had to watch out when they came to places where the water ran fast over stones, or down over a log. In one place like that there was no ice at all. Spot had disappeared. They ran across his tracks beside the bank of the brook. Soon they heard him barking, somewhere up the slope above them. "Let's see what he's found," said Horace. They hurried through the meadow, climbed the fence, and crossed the field where the corn had been. At the farther side Spot was digging away in the snow at the foot of a pile of rocks. When he saw the boys coming he barked and dug all the harder, sending snow and leaves flying out between his hind legs. There was a fence beside the rocks. On the snow along the fence, and all around the rocks, were little tracks, a good deal like those that the rabbit made, but much smaller. Some of them led toward the foot of a tree nearby. Horace looked up into the tree. Then he walked around to another side and looked up from there. "Spot," he called. "You foolish dog! There he is, up in the tree."
Jim looked, and pretty soon made out a red squirrel, sitting quietly on a big limb, close to the trunk. They had a great time persuading Spot to give up digging. He couldn't get it out of his head that there was a squirrel in the rocks, waiting to be dug out. Finally they induced him to come on with them, back toward the house.
From "Jim and Peggy at Meadowbrook Farm," by Walter C. O'Kane
ALICE IN WONDERLAND AND THE PUPPY "The first thing I've got to do," said Alice to herself, as she wandered about in the wood, "is to grow to my right size again; and the second thing is to find my way into that lovely garden. I think that will be the best plan." It sounded an excellent plan, no doubt, and very neatly and simply arranged: the only difficulty was that she had not the smallest idea how to set about it; and, while she was peering about anxiously among the trees, a little sharp bark just over her head made her look up in a great hurry. An enormous puppy was looking down at her with large round eyes, and feebly stretching out one paw, trying to touch her. "Poor little thing!" said Alice, in a coaxing tone, and she tried hard to whistle to it; but she was terribly frightened all the time at the thought that it might be hungry, in which case it would be very likely to eat her up in spite of all her coaxing. Hardly knowing what she did, she picked up a little bit of stick and held it out to the puppy, whereupon the puppy jumped into the air off all its feet at once with a yelp of delight, and rushed at the stick, and made believe to worry it; then Alice dodged behind a great thistle to keep herself from being run over; and, the moment she appeared on the other side, the puppy made another rush at the stick, and tumbled head over heels in its hurry to get hold of it; then Alice, thinking it was very like having a game of play with a cart horse, and expecting every moment to be trampled under its feet, ran round the thistle again; then the puppy began a series of short charges at the stick, running a very little way forward each time and a long way back,
and barking hoarsely all the while, till at last it sat down a good way off, panting, with its tongue hanging out of its mouth, and its great eyes half shut. This seemed to Alice a good opportunity for making her escape: so she set off at once, and ran till she was quite tired and out of breath, and till the puppy's bark sounded quite faint in the distance.
From "Alice in Wonderland," by Lewis Carroll
THE FAITHFUL FRIEND LONG ago, when Brahma-datta was reigning in Benares, the Bodisat became his minister. At that time a dog used to go to the state elephant's stable and feed on the lumps of rice which fell where the elephant fed. Being attracted there by the food, he soon became great friends with the elephant and used to eat close beside him. At last neither of them was happy without the other; and the dog used to amuse himself by catching hold of the elephant's trunk, and swinging to and fro. But one day there came a peasant, who gave the elephant keeper money for the dog, and took it back with him to his village. From that time the elephant, missing the dog, would neither eat nor drink nor bathe. And they let the King know about it. He sent the Bodisat, saying: "Do you go, Pandit, and find out what's the cause of this elephant's behavior." So he went to the stable, and seeing how sad the elephant looked, said to himself: "There seems to be nothing bodily the matter with him. He must be so overwhelmed with grief by missing some one, I should think, who had become near and dear to him." And he asked the elephant keepers: "Is there any one with whom he was particularly intimate?" "Certainly, sir! There was a dog of whom he was very fond indeed!" "Where is it now?" "Some man or other took it away." "Do you know where the man lives?" "No, sir!"
Then the Bodisat went and told the King. "There's nothing the matter with the elephant, your majesty; but he was great friends with a dog, and I fancy it's through missing it, that he refuses his food." When the King heard what he said, he asked what was now to be done. "Have a proclamation made, O King, to this effect: 'A man is said to have taken away a dog of whom our state elephant was fond. In whoever’s house that dog shall be found, he shall be fined so much!'" The King did so; and, as soon as he heard of it, the man turned the dog loose. The dog hastened back, and went close up to the elephant. The elephant took him up in his trunk and placed him on his forehead, and wept and cried, and took him down again, and watched him as he fed. And then he took his own food. Then the King paid great honor to the Bodisat for knowing the motives even of animals.
From "Eastern Stories and Legends," by Marie L. Shedlock
TO THE MEMORY OF SQUOUNCER Squouncer was a dog by himself. Other dogs may boast of belonging to large families of collies, greyhounds or dandies, with cousins as numerous as the sands of the sea; but there could only have been one Squouncer. How did he get his name? Well, his master (before he became his master) saw the word Squouncer in a book he was reading, and thought it so delightful that he instantly made up his mind to search through the world till he could find a dog that would fit it. And one day he found Squouncer. What was he like? He was what the French call a "Beau-laid"—"beautiful ugly." His ancestors may have been bulldogs. Squouncer was a middling-sized dog, with a golden brown skin, much the color of dark amber. He had a broad face, and a nose which stuck out and gave him the air of what used to be known as a "fire-eater." But a milder mannered dog never snorted when he breathed— as long as there was no food in sight. Then, all the lion in Squouncer's forefathers arose and woe be to the person who came in his way. It was just because he was so different from any other dog that ever was, or ever will be that his master and mistress were so fond of him. He was not even a very courageous dog (except where his food was concerned). And he never could make up his mind what he wanted to do— what he ought to do. Sometimes his master and
mistress used to amuse themselves with this weakness of his. They would sit, each at the end of a long room, and one would call, "Squouncer." Squouncer, who had been taught very early in life to come when he was called, rose to obey. "Squouncer," said a voice behind him before he got halfway. He stopped, listened, and turned slowly around. "Squouncer" was again repeated from the further corner, and poor Squouncer halted again, and looked piteously from one to the other. But he never thought of doing the only sensible thing, which was to lie down before the fire and pay no attention to anybody.
One dreadful day, a young black retriever suddenly appeared in the house. There ought to have been nothing disturbing in this, as the animal was friendly and playful and quite ready to be polite to Squouncer, who was an older dog than he. But Squouncer's thoughts flew at once to dinner time and so did his master's and mistress's and they determined to watch and see what would happen. What did happen was this: The two large tin plates were placed side by side in the tiled hall, each filled with a delicious mess, enough to warm the heart of any dog. And not only his heart—for if you had once looked at Squouncer going to his dinner, you would have had no difficulty in understanding the expression, "Your eyes starting out of your head." Well, Squouncer dashed straight at his plate—the biggest, you may be sure, and the fullest—and gobbled up the contents so fast, and with such a disgusting noise, that the tin plate performed a kind of dance all round the hall, Squouncer's tongue never leaving it as long as the tiniest scrap remained. When it was as bare as Mother
Hubbard's cupboard, he left it and pushing the retriever (who was taking his dinner in a polite and gentlemanly manner) rudely to one side, he began the same game over again. The retriever was so astonished at this behavior that he meekly stood back, and before he collected his senses the second plate was as bare as the first. Then Squouncer's master thought it was time to interfere, and took the retriever off to the kitchen where he might eat his food in peace. This success was very bad for Squouncer, for it made him despise his new companion, and think he could treat him as he chose. For several days he continued to swallow his own dinner with the same noise and indecent haste, so as to secure the best part of Negro's. He did not even take the trouble to be pleasant to him between whiles. When, one afternoon after a huge meal, Negro discovered him secretly burying some pheasant bones under a tree until he should have recovered sufficient appetite to eat them, the retriever's temper gave way. He resolved he would stand this sort of thing no longer. So the next day at two o'clock, when the plates were put out for dinner, and Squouncer's was heard rattling round the hall as usual, Negro cocked his ears and made ready for battle. Suddenly the noise ceased, and a second later he was almost thrown down by a violent rush as Squouncer advanced to the charge. What happened next no one knows clearly. But a frightful shriek brought every one into the hall, where a black and yellow ball was rolling wildly about. The black half was uppermost, and was hauled off by his master. And then Squouncer's leg was found to be broken. Poor Squouncer! He never recovered from the shock and shame of that fight. He was so unhappy whenever he looked at his conqueror, that his mistress took pity on him and gave Negro to some friends. After awhile the broken leg mended (though it left a limp behind), and Squouncer's appetite was as healthy as ever. He lived many years, and his death, in a good old age, left a blank in the house. A black Spanish bulldog now reigns in his stead, which may have its virtues, but will never be half as good company on a wet day as Squouncer. From "The Red Boole of Animal Stories," selected and edited by Andrew Lang
THE PUPPIES WHO LIVED ON THE ROOF In New York City there's a tall building that looks like many other buildings with its rows of staring window-eyes, and its cornices way up against the sky. You look far up, and the top finishes off square like any proper building. But on the top of this building there live three bulldog puppies. Yes sir-ee, really and truly. Once Annabel Louise Jones went to call on them, and she saw them with her own eyes.
She walked into an elevator that shot up, and up, and up. She walked even higher, up some little turning stairs. She went in a door like any other door—and there she was in a little house, way up in the sky. There were white curtains flowing at the windows, and on beyond there was blue sky, and white clouds, and more blue sky. The windows to the right looked out at another tall building. But all the other windows looked over the roofs away far to fairy places. "Ki yi! Ki yi yi! Grrrrrump!" "Who's that?" said Annabel Louise, with a start. "Just puppies, Nancy," said her mother. "But we must see the puppies right away," said the lady who lived in the little roof house. So they walked out into her yard. Oooh, what a wind blew there! It made Annabel Louise's pink skirts wave out like a flag, and her hair whistled at her ears. What a queer front yard. The floor of the roof was all painted dark brown. Behind the little house, clothes were flapping out to dry. Boxes of flowers were bright in the corners and a little tree grew in a tub by the front door. At the side, there was a big wired-in space, and three brown and white bulldog puppies were clamoring at the wire. Annabel Louise squeezed her hand through the wire and patted their funny heads, and pulled their ears. When they snapped at her fingers, it didn't hurt at all. One puppy went right back to the piece of dog biscuit he was worrying about. One turned his back and sat gazing into the sky. And one kept jumping at Annabel Louise, and trying to nip her fingers. They had big round heads, and great brown eyes, but very small bodies, and the most foolish little soft legs that wobbled when they walked. "This wind is too dreadful! One has to shout to talk! Let's go in," said Mrs. Jones. "Nancy may stay out here with the puppies. Do you want to, Nancy?" Annabel Louise looked at the high cornice, all round the yard, which was up to her chin. No, she wasn't afraid. She wanted to stay and watch the sky. The door shut and mother appeared at the window, watching her and talking. She looked at the blue sky all about her, and took a deep breath of the great wind. What lucky puppies, to live way up here. She wondered what they could see of all this skiey world, and sat down on a low little bench beside the cage. The puppies couldn't see any of the comfortable little roofs of red houses and brown houses, nor any church spires, nor any thin white streaks of street and sidewalk way below.
The puppies could see the big building on the right, just its top stories, and the people in its windows, working away at their desks or tables. They looked like little toy people. The puppies could see a fairylike tower, pale blue in the distance, way off against the edge of the sky. The puppies could see wonderful clouds—waving pennants of soft white clouds, streaming across the bright blue of the sunny sky. They could wink at the sun himself, when he got a little higher. There was a seagull, slowly turning on quiet wings, way, way up and out. Annabel Louise wished that she could fly like that. She watched the seagull for ever so long, while the puppies made little whining noises, begging her to look at them, instead. Suddenly there was a queer rough buzzing sound, like a great bumble bee. It came nearer and nearer. It was right over their heads. It was an airplane! The puppies sat quite still with surprise on their wobbly little legs, for at least one minute. Annabel shaded her eyes and looked up. It was as beautiful as the gull, shining in the sun, and turning in great curves over the city. The puppies barked loudly and ran about wildly as they watched it. What a wonderful place a roof was, indeed! The plane circled so low that Annabel thought she could see the man in it. Oh, no, those were the great goggle eyes of the airplane itself, and the man must be steering inside. Suddenly a burst of white left the side of the plane. It separated into long streaks of white paper that fluttered slowly down to the city. If only one would come to Annabel! She held her breath—yes, it was coming. It fell slowly down, straight into the puppies' cage. If it had been hers, she would have kept it forever, this wonderful present from the sky. But she couldn't reach it, and the excited puppies tore it into tiny shreds in two winks. "There's another!" shouted Annabel. The puppies saw it, too, and leaped against the wire. She ran over toward the cornice to get it. But it was just beyond her reach. She watched it float lazily down, turning into funny shapes, now like an S, now like an O, now like a V, until some children snatched it in the street far below. Why! Here she was looking way down without holding on to mother's hand. And it wasn't the least bit frightening. But she guessed she'd run back to the puppies, and talk it over with them. The puppies were resting after the excitement. They puffed and heaved their fat little bodies. The airplane was a white shadow in the sunlight far off by the fairy tower, and its buzz was lost in the wind. But other noises the puppies must hear all day long. There was a dull purr and a pounding from the street below and the auto horns sounded like the puppies' sharp
little barks. What did they think of those whistles from the river? It must be the ships. And the sharpest whistles, the tugboats. There's a big long one. "That must mean that a ship is starting to cross the ocean," thought Annabel. The puppies were sound asleep when mother knocked on the window. "Time to go home!" So she had to leave the windy roof and the lucky puppies who could hear the ships all day long, and watch the gulls, and talk with the airplanes. Down, down went the elevator, and mother walked quickly across the great wide street that had looked so narrow from the roof. "It must be fun to be roof puppies," said Annabel Louise Jones. "I'll never, never forget them. But my own puppy must be happier with our big yard to play in, don't you think so, mother?" "Your Towzer is a lucky dog," said her mother. "But why do you think he is happier than the roof puppies?" "Oh, he can smell the good grass, and dig under the hedge, and chase other dogs out of the garden, and—and he can see the sky too, all the time." "Perhaps someday the roof puppies will come down to the earth to live." And Mrs. Jones and Annabel walked down the subway stairs to go home to Towzer.
THE DOG NURSE In one of the nicest rooms in the world, there were beds for three little children. They were called John, and Wendy, and Michael, and their father and mother were Mr. and Mrs. Darling. The room was wide and high and had a large window. There was a bright fire with a high fireguard round it, a big clock, and some pretty pictures on the walls. Mr. and Mrs. Darling had a nice little maid, but the children were bathed and dressed by a big St. Bernard dog. The dog was called Nana, and her kennel was kept in the playroom. On the day on which our story begins, Nana was asleep by the fire with her head upon her paws. Mr. and Mrs. Darling were to go out to dinner, and Nana was to be left in charge of the children. All at once the clock went off, and struck,—one, two, three, four, five, six,—time to begin to put the children to bed.
Nana got up with a yawn, and turned on the light with great care. You would have been pleased to see how well she did this with her mouth. Then she turned the bed clothes down and hung the little nightgowns over the fireguard. Next she trotted up to the bathroom and turned on the water tap. She felt it with her paw to make sure that it was not too hot. Then she went off to look for Michael. He being the little one must go to bed first, of course. She returned at once with him sitting on her back as though she were a pony. Michael, like so many boys, did not want his bath, but Nana was firm. She took him to the bathroom and shut the door so that he should not take cold. Then Mrs. Darling came to peep at him as he jumped about in the nice warm water. Whilst Mrs. Darling was in the bathroom, she heard a wee noise outside the window. A tiny boy, about as big as John, tried to open the window, but ran away at once when she called out. She opened the window, but there was nothing to be seen except the dim roofs of the nearest houses, and the deep blue sky above. The day before the same little boy had tried to come in, and Nana had gone to the window and shut it down so quickly that she had cut off the boy's shadow. Mrs. Darling had found it in Nana's mouth, and had folded it with care and put it away. But she soon felt happy again when her children came in together in answer to her call. John and Wendy were playing at their pet game of being father and mother. Mrs. Darling's kind face smiled with delight as she heard them. All at once, in rushed Mr. Darling in a great hurry because he could not fasten his tie (ties are hard things to fasten, you know). Mrs. Darling soon did that for him and he then began to skip about the room with Michael on his back. At last he dropped him into his bed with a big bump! Sad to say, in going to the bathroom, Nana brushed against Mr. Darling, and she left some of her gray hairs upon him. No grown-up person likes hairs on his clothes, so Mr. Darling was very cross with Nana, and spoke of sending her away. But Mrs. Darling told him about the little boy at the window. How Nana had barked at him and shut the window down so fast that his shadow had been cut clean off and left behind. She showed him the shadow, and told him how glad she was to have such a good nurse as Nana. "You see how very useful Nana is," said Mrs. Darling, as the clever dog came in with Michael's dose of cough mixture in a bottle. But Michael was not good and would not take it, and there was a fine fuss over it. Wendy, being a clever little girl, hit on a good way to get him to take it. "Father should take some, too, and then Michael will not mind so much."
"Very well," said father, "we shall see who is the braver." Two glasses were fetched and filled at once. "One, two, three," cried Wendy, and Michael took his like a man. Mr. Darling only played at taking his, and then hid the glass behind his back. John caught him in the act: "Father hasn't taken his!" he cried. Michael, seeing that he had been tricked, burst out crying. Mr. Darling, to quiet Michael, played what seemed to him a funny joke. He poured his dose into Nana's water bowl and poor Nana, thinking it was nice, ran quickly to lap it up. Mr. Darling laughed to see the sad look in her eyes as she turned round after drinking it. The children, who loved their old nurse very much, were sorry for her as she crept to her kennel. She looked as sad and as hurt in her feelings as ever a dog did. Mr. Darling was cross because no one enjoyed his joke in the least. So he drew Nana out of her kennel, took her by the collar, and dragged her out of the room. Then he tied her up in the yard, "the proper place for dogs," he said. He would not listen to the sobs of the children. Mrs. Darling tried to comfort them, kissing them very tenderly, as mothers always do. Then she tucked them up in their beds, sang them to sleep, and left the night lights burning for company. Last of all, she crept softly out of the room to go to the party with Mr. Darling. What happened that night, how the children went off with Peter Pan and Tinkerbell, you may read in the little book of "Peter Pan," or in the big book of "Peter and Wendy." If you are lucky, some day you may see the play of Peter Pan, with the dog nurse Nana as big as life. You will find the story of the kitten called Peter Pan farther on in this book.
Adapted from "The Story of Peter Pan for Little People"
AN ESKIMO DOG I WAS born during the short, hot Arctic summer. My mother belonged to an Eskimo, who was a famous seal hunter. His tribe was very proud of him. He was the only man who had five dogs. He needed us to haul his many skins—seal skins, caribou skins, bear skins—and his few other belongings, when he moved from one hunting ground to another. During the first summer I played about in the grass of the great plain. I chased the butterflies and bumble bees, and I fought the dreadful mosquitoes, which almost made me blind. As my master's family traveled along the coast, they fished with a great net. I used to steal the fish from the net as it was pulled in. At night I learned to know the call of the loon, and of the owls. I wished that I could make these noises, so that the birds would come near me. My master used to make a noise "Kangok! Kangok!" like the Snow Goose, and make whole flocks of Snow Geese come near enough for him to shoot with his crossbow. To catch the White Fronted Goose, he called "Lirk-a-lik-lik-lik," and they circled over his head. In the winter I had my first work to do, pulling a sled with my mother. The snow seemed a very fine change from the mosquitoes! My master's tribe built a snow house village. My house was put up faster than any of the others; it was all finished in two hours. It had a fine alleyway where we dogs slept when it was too stormy or cold for us outside. Through this alley, fresh air came into the little round house. We liked sleeping out of doors, making comfortable holes for ourselves in the snow. At meal time we stood in line in the doorway of the house. As the family finished their fish or meat they would throw the bones to us. Each of us caught ours in turn, and
went back into the alleyway to eat it. Then we came back and took our right place in line. One day a man with yellow hair and blue eyes, very different from my Eskimo people, came to see us. He bought me and took me away. He was an explorer and I pulled his sledge. He never sat on it himself, nor did any of his men. The Eskimo children used to sit on their sledges, and I was very angry when I had to pull them. So I decided that these were very good people. They gave me fine pieces of meat, too, so I grew fat, and very big and strong. We had many adventures together. Once, without knowing it, we found ourselves out on sea ice only four or five inches thick. It was dark, and there were great black spots where the ice had melted. We saw a herd of caribou traveling not far ahead, and followed their tracks. If the ice were going to break, it would break under the caribou first! They took a very zigzag path, but they led us to land at last. They knew the way from island to island, and were safe guides. When seals were caught, we dogs would each pull one back to camp. When a big seal was caught, each of us would pull a piece of it. When bears or caribou were caught, we would pull them on the sledge. If they were very heavy, camp would be moved to where they lay. Sometimes we were so excited when a bear came near the camp that we almost broke our leashes trying to get at him. I used to long to hunt foxes and wolves and wolverines that the white men chased. But my job was to pull the sledges, not to hunt. So I had to lie still. But I barked loudly when the hunters came back with a good kill. It meant a big dinner for me. These white men did queer things. When we peeked in their tents or snow houses at night, they would be making tiny marks in little books or on sheets of paper by the light of the oil lamps. And when we met new Eskimos they made them stand up, very still, and snapped their black boxes at them. We found out that these little boxes or "cameras" took "still" pictures, and that the big boxes with handles that they turned as if grinding took moving pictures. I wish we could see some of these pictures, for we are in most of them. I hope that they never will take me to that land which they talk about where there are great "cities." I can see that my Eskimo people don't like it, when they tell them about it, and I wouldn't like it either. What I'd like best of all would be to get off with my second cousins, the wolves, and have a good race. One of my drivers says he hopes we can go to a city in Alaska called Nome, where there are dog-sledge races. He thinks that he and I would win! Well, I've no doubt we would, and I hope this explorer stays up here long enough to do it. Adapted from "My Life with the Eskimo," by Vilhjalmur Stefansson
MICKY MICKY lives in a tall narrow red brick house in the city. It has a small back yard and four long flights of stairs and a doctor's office on the first floor. Once Micky chewed up a patient's hat, but he was spanked, so he never did it again. Twice he worried the rose bushes, and that meant two more spankings. His doctor has an automobile, and every Saturday the doctor gets into the left hand front seat, and Micky into the right hand front seat, and off they go to their farm. One Saturday they stopped to make a call. Micky was talking with a great many ladies in the library. They were saying, "He's such a lively puppy!" "Fine specimen of the real Bull Terrier." "Sit down, sir!" "Come here, sir!"— until poor Micky's head was whirling. He never noticed that his doctor had slipped off with the only other man present, to show him his car. Suddenly Micky remembered the farm, and the trip, and dashed impatiently to the front door of the strange house. His car and his doctor were gone! He came slowly back to the ladies, moaning and groaning, with a howl thrown in every other minute. "Poor puppy!" they said. "Never mind, he'll soon be back." But Micky moaned until he heard the car coming around the corner. Micky loved to go to the farm because he could chase so many fine animals there: woodchucks, rabbits, raccoons, skunks, and rats in the old barn. One day he was heard madly barking in the woods. Suddenly he appeared jumping over a stone wall, his head held high and a dead woodchuck in his mouth. He followed his master, carrying the woodchuck in his mouth. The woodchuck was very heavy and Micky became tired, but still he trudged on. Reaching a stream, poor thirsty Micky dropped the heavy woodchuck on the bank and waded in to take a drink. Then he saw how bloody the dead woodchuck was. Picking him up carefully in his mouth, he washed the woodchuck clean in the brook, and then carried him to a quiet place beside the stone wall. The other dogs were watching but pretending not to notice. There Micky scratched a deep hole in the ground, and dropped the woodchuck into it. He covered it up with the dirt he had scratched out, pushing it in with his nose and stamping it down. Lastly he pushed a lot of leaves over the hole, nosing them around with great care. The hound and the terrier wanted most dreadfully to eat that woodchuck. They had watched all this from the corners of their eyes. But at a bark from Micky, all three trotted off toward home, having carefully made note of the spot where the woodchuck was buried for a hungry day in the future. One day the doctor was suddenly called away to a great city. Although Micky tried as hard as he could to be taken in the car, the doctor said to John, the old caretaker, "You must take good care of Micky here, for I am afraid that he will be lost in the strange city if he goes with me." So Micky was left behind. He moped around all day and would eat nothing. Toward evening he strayed away from the house and in spite of the coaxing of kind old John, refused to come in. For two nights poor Micky slept on the bridge in the cold awaiting his master's return. But on the third day the brokenhearted dog was rewarded for his long waiting. As Micky recognized the car coming up
the hill, he rushed madly down the roadway, yelping with delight. He did that queer thing which all bulldogs do, ran around in circles dragging his hind legs. Then he jumped into the car beside his master, grinning with happiness.
DOG WORDS AND DOG SAYINGS "Dog-gerel" means poor verses; a "dog-eared" book is a book whose pages have been folded over at the corners; "dog days" mean hot, uncomfortable days when the "Dog Star" rules the sky; "gone to the dogs" is said of a man whose good character is gone. These unpleasant phrases do not sound as if the people who formed our language were very fond of dogs, do they? And it is true that for hundreds of years, dogs were despised, even though they had been man's "first friend," and had helped him in his life in the woods, on the plains, or on the mountains. It was the dog who gave warning of strangers, who helped in the hunt, who herded the flocks. But in Greece and in Syria, long ago, the dog had no defenders. In Egypt, however, dogs were so very highly respected that dog-headed gods were worshiped, and one whole city was built in honor of a dog. This may have made the Greeks hate the dogs all the more, because the Egyptians were their enemies, also the Babylonians, who had dog-headed gods too. There came a time when Egyptian customs were fashionable in Rome. For this reason, or perhaps because they appreciated their help, the Romans were not so hostile to dogs. There are dogs in statues with their young men and children. Pet dogs appear in some of their writings.
"Not fit for a dog" and "dog-in-the-manger" were Greek phrases long ago. Do you remember the dog fables in Aesop? How do you think he felt toward them? He was a Greek slave who lived in Rome. Some of his fables are in this book. In the wonderful Greek epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey, dogs are spoken of with contempt in the first book and praised in the second. There is a picture of Odysseus coming home after his long journey. He was so changed, so worn, so bedraggled, that no one knew him but his old dog Argos. Argos had been his gay comrade on the chase, long ago before Odysseus left for the Trojan Wars. For all these years he had been neglected and left alone. Now he just had strength to wag his tail and try to reach his long lost master before he died. All this is told in the Odyssey. In "The Children's Homer," it says: "Now as they went through the courtyard a thing happened that dashed Odysseus' eyes with tears. A hound lay in the dirt of the yard, a hound that was very old. All uncared for he lay in the dirt, old and feeble. But he had been a famous hound, and Odysseus himself had trained him before he went to the wars of Troy. Argos was his name. Now as Odysseus came near, the hound Argos knew him, and stood up before him and whined and dropped his ears, but had no strength to come near him. Odysseus knew the hound and stopped and gazed at him. 'A good hound lies there,' said he to Eumaeus, 'once, I think, he was so swift that no beast in the deep places of the wood could flee from him.' Then he went on, and the hound Argos lay down in the dirt of the yard, and that same day the life passed from him." As the centuries pass and we come farther north with the new ideas of the world as it grows up, we find people more kindly to dogs. In Shakespeare's day they still were scorned, except for the chase. But gradually men appreciated the devotion that the dog had been offering, and he became a favorite pet, playmate and guardian. Sir Walter Scott loved dogs. You find them with him in his portraits, and they appear in all his stirring tales, prose or poetry. Charles Dickens was fond of dogs, too. When you read his great stories, you'll meet all sorts of dogs, from brave, bold, clever ones to very pathetic lost puppies. To-day we are so fond of animals, and so much interested in training them that there are dozens of new books each year about famous animal friends. The best of these are about dogs. So the old phrases still live, but our feeling about them is very different from that of the people of long ago who first spoke them.
SOME DIFFERENCES BETWEEN CATS AND DOGS The dog is our constant and most faithful companion. In all parts of the world there are dogs, wherever man has settled or is wandering from place to place. They follow him to the far north, and live amid ice and snow. In the hottest desert regions and
waste lands, on mountain tops and on lonely islands, everywhere, dogs are the most beloved and most useful friends of the human race. Of course there are different breeds of dogs, and those who live in cold countries have a thick woolly coat, and in hot countries there are dogs who have very little hair. Have you ever noticed that dogs walk on their toes, and not on the whole of their foot? The joint that projects out backwards from a little below the middle of the dog's hind leg is really his heel. See whether the cat and the horse are made in the same way. Because dogs run only on their toes, they are among the best runners in the animal kingdom. They can also swim remarkably well. It is by running that dogs in their wild life get their food. Our dogs have learnt to eat all kinds of things beside meat, like bread and milk, vegetables and gravy, but they are naturally flesh eaters, and their teeth are well adapted for tearing flesh and biting bones. Is that puss out there in the yard sunning herself? Yes, she is blinking and winking and now she settles down to sleep. But it is a light slumber, and the twitching of ears and whiskers shows plainly that she is really attending to every sound. Sometimes a cat will sit in this position in front of a mouse hole in a field for a long, long time—but it will never happen that she falls so fast asleep that she will not hear the footsteps of a bold little mouse. The cat, too, is a beast of prey and does not give up her wild ways as completely as the dog. To catch birds and mice is still greater fun for puss than to eat bread and milk properly out of a saucer. To prowl about in the fields or on roofs at night time, or to go on a lovely walk through the wild woods is more to her taste than to guard our home. It was the Egyptians who first tamed a particular variety of the wild cat, thousands of years ago. The cat was sacred to them, and therefore was treated with every care and kindness. It was only by giving the cat a very good time, and keeping it from every harm that this terribly wild animal gave up some of its wild ways and became a pet.
From "Beasts and Birds," by C. van Wyss
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