Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

12.- Only a Dog.

blănd'ish-ments, artful devices. | wīle, trick, stratagem. en-dows', enriches, endues. wist'fùl-ly, wishfully, in a yearnne-go'ti-āte, treat for purchase. ing manner.

PREPARATORY NOTES.

The following narrative, one of the most touching true dog stories” ever told, was written by Miss Alice Bacon, daughter of Dr. Leonard Bacon, an eminent divine and long pastor in New Haven, Conn. Dr. Bacon died in the latter part of 1881.

(2) Henry of Navarre: Henry IV., the first French Bourbon king, a valorous and chivalrous monarch.

PART I.

1. It was a case of love at first sight. I met him one Sunday afternoon, while I was strolling about the fields; and from that moment I vowed I would make him mine, if by any wile or guile that result could be brought about.

2. He was a beautiful shepherd dog, of no breed that I have ever encountered either before or since. His color was buff, shading to white underneath, and set off by two long pointed collars of dark-gray hair upon his shoulders.

His tail was long, and as he waved it over his back it reminded me of the white plume of King Henry of Navarre.

3. But the crowning glory of the dog was his face. The color of his face was the lightest and most esthetic shade of “old gold," and was set off by a black nose-tip, two little black eyebrows, a pair of sensitive and inquisitive yellow ears, and the most human, intelligent, loving brown eyes that it has ever been my lot to meet.

4. His face, when I first met him, was lighted up with a smile of joy at seeing a party of friendly people approaching him; and when I called him he came bounding across the field, with his plumy tail waving, his brown eyes shining, and such an expression of good will to men, that then and there the conquest was made, and I became his abject slave and adorer.

5. That was all I saw of him for about a month, though during that time I was negotiating with his master to see on what terms he would give up all claim to the dog. What those negotiations were, I will not tell here; but at the end of the month, after I had returned to my home in the city, my blandishments prevailed, and the dog was sent down by express.

6. I received a telegram saying that the dog Brant had started: and soon afterward an express wagon drove up to the door; and there, sitting on the seat beside the driver, and beaming as if he owned the whole town and were returning to his possessions after long absence, was the dog Brant. He came in, sure that he was among friends; and from the moment of his arrival he never expressed a desire for any other home than the one to which he had come.

7. That he was my exclusive property, he fully understood before a week had passed; and, though he accepted the rest of the family as near and dear relations, he never for one moment doubted in his loyal little heart to whom he owed the most devoted love and allegiance. He followed me from room to room about the house, accompanied me in my walks, slept in my room at night, and was never for one moment separated from me by any act of his own will. His whole being was swallowed up in devotion to me. I do not think there was an expression of my face, or a movement of my hand, that he did not notice and comprehend by that subtle sense with which love for a human being endows a dog.

8. A dog with no supreme object for his affections is a contemptible, miserable animal. A dog who knows and loves a master is of all animals the most happy and intelligent.

9. His obedience was perhaps the most noticeable of his virtues; for that was remarkable, and rather unusual, in a dog that is simply a pet. He seldom had to be told a thing more than once. The night of his arrival among us, when the doors between the dining room and sitting room were thrown open, and the family went in to tea, Brant showed a wish to accom

pany them.

10. He was told that he must not; and from that time, though he would lie in the next room, and look wistfully toward the dining table, nothing but the warmest invitation from some person whom he considered in authority, would induce him to pass the threshold; and then, as soon as he saw that the business for which he was called in was accomplished, he would retire to his original place in the sitting room.

11. So it was in regard to anything he was told to do. If he understood the order, he did as he was told. If he did not understand the order, he did everything he could think of until he found out what was right.

12. Another of his virtues was his politeness. He never willingly hurt any one's feelings. He always shook hands when he was introduced to a stranger; not because he was told to, but from a natural sense of the fitness of things. If any caller was obliged to wait a few moments in the parlor, Brant always felt it his duty to go in and make himself agreeable until some one relieved him. If he had been particularly affectionate or caressing toward any one member of the family, he would often go around and shake hands with every one else in the room, so as to show that he didn't mean to slight any one.

13. There was something almost pathetic in Brant's desire to do the very best that he knew how, under all circumstances. He not only did what he was told; but he thought out what was the right thing to do, and did it. As an illustration: when he first came, Brant was shut up in the front vestibule at the time of family prayers, but he had proved so good and obedient every way that it was decided to let him stay in the room. So he was told that he might stay if he would be very quiet. He crawled under a chair, and lay there until the service was over; and from that hour we had only to tell him that we were going to have prayers, and in he would go under that chair.

14. Once only did he leave his place, and then he was seized with a sudden and strong desire to exterminate a flea. He got up as quietly as he could, and walked into the next room, and, after a battle with the wicked flea, lay still until the family rose. When I went in to speak to him, he lay with his head down, and no motion of his tail except the slight deprecatory wag with which he was wont to receive reproof.

15. He knew that he had done something out of the way, and he was afraid that it was wrong. When I spoke to him kindly he was all smiles in a moment. The head was raised, the tail began to wag violently, and he showed by every means of expression that a dog has, that his mind was relieved of a dreadful doubt.

HEADS FOR COMPOSITION.

I. DESCRIPTION OF BRANT: a shepherd dog - color — his face - he is bought by Miss Bacon. II. HIS LOYALTY: traits of his affection for his mistress.

III. HIS OBEDIENCE: incident showing that to be told once was enough for Brant.

IV. HIS POLITENESS: shaking hands — making himself agreeable — mode of showing that he meant to slight no one Brant at prayers.

« AnteriorContinuar »