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Francis C. Woodworth.

Stories about Animals: with Pictures to Match online

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child saw her no more. But I must tell the remainder of the story in the
language of the French writer.

[Illustration: THE DOG OF ST. BERNARD, RESCUING THE CHILD.]

"Poor boy! the storm increased; the wind howled, and whirled the snow
into huge heaps. In the hope that he might possibly meet a traveler, the
child forced his way for awhile through the snow; but at last,
exhausted, benumbed with the cold, and discouraged, he fell upon his
knees, joined his hands devoutly together, and cried, as he raised his
face, bathed in tears, toward heaven, 'O my God! have mercy on a poor
child, who has nobody in the world to care for him!' As he lay in the
place where he fell down, which was sheltered a little by a rock, he
grew colder and colder, and he thought he must die. But still, from time
to time, he prayed, 'Have mercy, O my God! on a poor child, who has
nobody in the world to care for him!' At last he fell asleep, but was
wakened by feeling a warm paw on his face. As he opened his eyes he saw
with terror an enormous dog holding his head near his own. He uttered a
cry of fear, and started back a little way from the dog. The dog
approached the boy again, and tried, after his own fashion, to make the
little fellow understand that he came there to do him good, and not to
hurt him. Then he licked the face and hands of the child. By and by the
child confided in his visitor, and began to entertain a hope that he
might yet be saved. When Barry saw that his errand was understood, he
lifted his head, and showed the child a bottle covered with willow,
which was hanging around his neck. This bottle contained wine, some of
which the little fellow drank, and felt refreshed. Then the dog lay down
by the side of the child, and gave him the benefit of the heat of his
own body for a long time. After this, the dog made a sign for the boy to
get upon his back. It was some time before the boy could understand what
the sign meant. But it was repeated again and again, and at last the
child mounted the back of the kind animal, who carried him safely to the
convent."

Here is a capital story about a bloodhound, taken from the excellent
book by Mr. Bingley, to which I have before alluded. Aubri de Mondidier,
a gentleman of family and fortune, traveling alone through the Forest of
Bondy, in France, was murdered, and buried under a tree. His dog, a
bloodhound, would not quit his master's grave for several days; till at
length, compelled by hunger, he proceeded to the house of an intimate
friend of the unfortunate Aubri at Paris, and, by his melancholy
howling, seemed desirous of expressing the loss they had both sustained.
He repeated his cries, ran to the door, looked back to see if any one
followed him, returned to his master's friend, pulled him by the
sleeve, and with dumb eloquence, entreated him to go with him. The
singularity of all these actions of the dog, added to the circumstance
of his coming there without his master, whose faithful companion he had
always been, prompted the company to follow the animal. He conducted
them to the foot of a tree, where he renewed his howling, scratching the
earth with his feet, and significantly entreating them to search the
particular spot. Accordingly, on digging, the body of the unhappy Aubri
was found.

[Illustration: THE BLOODHOUND]

Some time after, the dog accidentally met the assassin, who is styled,
by all the historians who relate the story, the Chevalier Macaire, when,
instantly seizing him by the throat, he was with great difficulty
compelled to quit his victim. In short, whenever the dog saw the
chevalier, he continued to pursue and attack him with equal fury. Such
obstinate violence, confined only to Macaire, appeared very
extraordinary, especially to those who at once recalled the dog's
remarkable attachment to his master, and several instances in which
Macaire's envy and hatred to Aubri de Mondidier had been conspicuous.

Additional circumstances increased suspicion, and at length the affair
reached the royal ear. The king accordingly sent for the dog, which
appeared extremely gentle, till he perceived Macaire in the midst of
several noblemen, when he ran fiercely toward him, growling at and
attacking him, as usual. Struck with such a combination of
circumstantial evidence against Macaire, the king determined to refer
the decision to the chance of battle; or, in other words, he gave orders
for a combat between the chevalier and the dog. The lists were appointed
in the Isle of Notre Dame, then an unenclosed, uninhabited place.
Macaire was allowed for his weapon a great cudgel, and an empty cask was
given to the dog as a place of retreat, to enable him to recover breath.

Every thing being prepared, the dog no sooner found himself at liberty,
than he made for his adversary, running round him and menacing him on
every side, avoiding his blows till his strength was exhausted; then
springing forward, he seized him by the throat, threw him on the ground,
and obliged him to confess his guilt in presence of the king and the
whole court. In consequence of this confession, the chevalier, after a
few days, was convicted upon his own acknowledgment, and beheaded on a
scaffold in the Isle of Notre Dame.

The editor of the Portland (Maine) Advertiser relates the following
anecdote: "A gentleman from the country recently drove up to a store in
this city, and jumping from his sleigh, left his dog in the care of the
vehicle. Presently an avalanche of snow slid from the top of the
building upon the sidewalk, which so frightened the horse that he
started off down the street at a furious run. At this critical juncture,
the dog sprang from the sleigh, and seizing the reins in his mouth, held
back with all his strength, and actually reined in the frightened animal
to a post at the side of the street, when apparently having satisfied
himself that no danger was to be apprehended, he again resumed his
station in the sleigh, as unconcerned as if he had only done an ordinary
act of duty."

A few years ago a little girl, residing in an inland village in
Connecticut - without the consent of her mother, be it remembered - went
alone to a pond near by, to play with her brother's little vessel, and
fell into the water. She came very near drowning; but a dog belonging to
the family, named Rollo, who was not far off, plunged in and drew her to
the shore. She was so exhausted, however, that she could not rise, and
the dog could not lift her entirely out of the water. But he raised her
head a little above the surface, and then ran after help. He found a
man, and made use of every expedient in his power to draw him to the
spot where he had left the child. At first the stranger paid very little
attention to the dog; but by and by he was persuaded something was
wrong, and followed the dog to the pond. The little girl was not
drowned, though she was quite insensible; and the man lifted her from
the water, and saved her life, to the great joy of Rollo, who seemed
eager to assist in this enterprise.

Here is a capital story about a shepherd's dog in Scotland. I take the
liberty of borrowing it from Bingley's admirable book. The valleys, or
glens, as they are called by the natives, which intersect the Grampians,
a ridge of rocky and precipitous mountains in the northern part of
Scotland, are chiefly inhabited by shepherds. As the pastures over which
each flock is permitted to range, extend many miles in every direction,
the shepherd never has a view of his whole flock at once, except when it
is collected for the purpose of sale or shearing. His occupation is to
make daily visits to the different extremities of his pastures in
succession, and to turn back, by means of his dog, any stragglers that
may be approaching the boundaries of his neighbors.

[Illustration: EXPLOIT OF THE NEW ENGLAND DOG.]

In one of these excursions, a shepherd happened to carry with him one of
his children, an infant some two or three years old. After traversing
his pastures for some time, attended by his dog, the shepherd found
himself under the necessity of ascending a summit at some distance to
have a more extended view of his range. As the ascent was too fatiguing
for his child, he left him on a small plain at the bottom, with strict
injunctions not to stir from it till his return. Scarcely, however, had
he gained the summit, when the horizon was suddenly darkened by one of
those thick and heavy fogs which frequently descend so rapidly amid
these mountains, as, in the space of a few minutes, almost to turn day
into night. The anxious father instantly hastened back to find his
child; but, owing to the unusual darkness, and his own trepidation, he
unfortunately missed his way in the descent. After a fruitless search of
many hours among the dangerous morasses and cataracts with which these
mountains abound, he was at length overtaken by night. Still wandering
on, without knowing whither, he at length came to the verge of the mist,
and, by the light of the moon, discovered that he had reached the bottom
of the valley, and was now within a short distance of his cottage. To
renew the search that night was equally fruitless and dangerous. He was
therefore obliged to return home, having lost both his child and his
dog, which had attended him faithfully for years.

Next morning by day-break, the shepherd, accompanied by a band of his
neighbors, set out again to seek his child; but, after a day spent in
fruitless fatigue, he was at last compelled by the approach of night to
descend from the mountain. On returning to his cottage, he found that
the dog which he had lost the day before, had been home, and, on
receiving a piece of cake, had instantly gone off again. For several
successive days the shepherd renewed the search for his child, and
still, on returning in the evening disappointed to his cottage, he found
that the dog had been there, and, on receiving his usual allowance of
cake, had instantly disappeared. Struck with this singular circumstance,
he remained at home one day, and when the dog, as usual, departed with
his piece of cake, he resolved to follow him, and find out the cause of
this strange procedure. The dog led the way to a cataract at some
distance from the spot where the shepherd had left his child. The banks
of the waterfall, almost joined at the top, yet separated by an abyss of
immense depth, presented that abrupt appearance which so often
astonishes and appalls the traveler amid the Grampian mountains, and
indicates that these stupendous chasms were not the silent work of
time, but the sudden effect of some violent convulsion of the earth.
Down one of these rugged and almost perpendicular descents the dog
began, without hesitation, to make his way, and at last disappeared in a
cave, the mouth of which was almost on a level with the torrent. The
shepherd with difficulty followed; but, on entering the cave, what were
his emotions, when he beheld his infant eating with much satisfaction
the cake which the dog had just brought him, while the faithful animal
stood by, eyeing his young charge with the utmost complacency! From the
situation in which the child was found, it appeared that he had wandered
to the brink of the precipice, and either fallen or scrambled down till
he reached the cave, which the dread of the torrent had afterward
prevented him from quitting. The dog, by means of his scent, had traced
him to the spot, and afterward prevented him from starving, by giving up
to him his own daily allowance. He appears never to have quitted the
child by night or day, except when it was necessary to go for his food,
and then he was always seen running at full speed to and from the
cottage.

[Illustration: A SHEPHERD'S DOG FEEDING A LOST CHILD]

The following story is related on the authority of a correspondent of
the Boston Traveler: A gentleman from abroad, stopping at a hotel in
Boston, privately secreted his handkerchief behind the cushion of a
sofa, and left the hotel, in company with his dog. After walking for
some minutes, he suddenly stopped, and said to his dog, "I have left my
handkerchief at the hotel, and want it" - giving no particular directions
in reference to it. The dog immediately returned in full speed, and
entered the room which his master had just left. He went directly to the
sofa, but the handkerchief was gone. He jumped upon tables and counters,
but it was not to be seen. It proved that a friend had discovered it,
and supposing that it had been left by mistake, had retained it for the
owner. But Tiger was not to be foiled. He flew about the room,
apparently much excited, in quest of the "lost or stolen." Soon,
however, he was upon the track; he scented it to the gentleman's coat
pocket. What was to be done? The dog had no means of asking verbally for
it, and was not accustomed to picking pockets; and, besides, the
gentleman was ignorant of his business with him. But Tiger's sagacity
did not suffer him to remain long in suspense; he seized the skirt
containing the prize, and furiously tore it from the coat, and hastily
made off with it, much to the surprise of its owner. Tiger overtook his
master, and restored the lost property, receiving his approbation,
notwithstanding he did it at the expense of the gentleman's coat. At a
subsequent interview, the gentleman refused any remuneration for his
torn garment, declaring that the joke was worth the price of his coat.

One day, as a little girl was amusing herself with a child, near
Carlisle Bridge, Dublin, and was sportively toying with the child, he
made a sudden spring from her arms, and in an instant fell into the
river. The screaming nurse and anxious spectators saw the water close
over the child, and conceived that he had sunk to rise no more. A
Newfoundland dog, which had been accidentally passing with his master,
sprang forward to the wall, and gazed wistfully at the ripple in the
water, made by the child's descent. At the same instant the dog sprang
forward to the edge of the water. While the animal was descending, the
child again sunk, and the faithful creature was seen anxiously swimming
round and round the spot where he had disappeared. Once more the child
rose to the surface; the dog seized him, and with a firm but gentle
pressure, bore him to land without injury. Meanwhile a gentleman
arrived, who, on inquiry into the circumstances of the transaction,
exhibited strong marks of interest and feeling toward the child, and of
admiration for the dog that had rescued him from death. The person who
had removed the child from the dog turned to show him to the gentleman,
when there were presented to his view the well-known features of his own
son! A mixed sensation of terror, joy, and surprise, struck him mute.
When he had recovered the use of his faculties, and fondly kissed his
little darling, he lavished a thousand embraces on the dog, and offered
to his master five hundred guineas if he would transfer the valuable
animal to him; but the owner of the dog felt too much affection for the
useful creature, to part with him for any consideration whatever.

A boatman on the river Thames, in England, once laid a wager that he and
his dog would leap from the centre arch of Westminster Bridge, and land
at Lambeth within a minute of each other. He jumped off first, and the
dog immediately followed; but as he was not in the secret, and fearing
that his master would be drowned, he seized him by the neck, and dragged
him on shore, to the great diversion of the spectators.

[Illustration: NEWFOUNDLAND DOG, SAVING A CHILD FROM DROWNING]

Some years ago, a gentleman of Queen's College, Oxford, went to pass the
Christmas vacation at his father's in the country. An uncle, a brother,
and other friends, were one day to dine together. It was fine, frosty
weather; the two young gentlemen went out for a forenoon's
recreation, and one of them took his skates with him. They were followed
by a favorite greyhound. When the friends were beginning to long for
their return, the dog came home at full speed, and by his apparent
anxiety, his laying hold of their clothes to pull them along, and all
his gestures, he convinced them that something was wrong. They followed
the greyhound, who led them to a piece of water frozen over. A hat was
seen on the ice, near which was a fresh aperture. The bodies of the
young gentlemen were soon found, but, alas! though every means were
tried, life could not be restored.

There is another story which places the sagacity of the greyhound in
still stronger light. A Scotch gentleman, who kept a greyhound and a
pointer, being fond of coursing, employed the one to find the hares, and
the other to catch them. It was, however, discovered, that when the
season was over, the dogs were in the habit of going out by themselves,
and killing hares for their own amusement. To prevent this, a large iron
ring was fastened to the pointer's neck by a leather collar, and hung
down so as to prevent the dog from running or jumping over dikes. The
animals, however, continued to stroll out to the fields together; and
one day, the gentleman suspecting that all was not right, resolved to
watch them, and, to his surprise, found that the moment they thought
they were unobserved, the greyhound took up the ring in his mouth, and
carrying it, they set off to the hills, and began to search for hares,
as usual. They were followed; and it was observed that whenever the
pointer scented the hare, the ring was dropped, and the greyhound stood
ready to pounce upon the game the moment the other drove her from her
form; but that he uniformly returned to assist his companion, after he
had caught his prey.

[Illustration: AN ENCAMPMENT OF GIPSIES.]

Some of the dogs belonging to the gipsies possess a great deal of
shrewdness. The gipsies, you know, are a very singular race of people.
They are scattered over a great portion of Europe, wandering from place
to place, and living in miserable tents, or huts. You can form a pretty
correct notion of a gipsy encampment, by the picture on another page.
Here you see the gipsy men and women, sitting and standing around a
fire, over which is a pot, evidently containing the material for their
meal. If you notice the picture carefully, you will observe, also, a
little, insignificant looking dog, who is apparently asleep, and, for
aught I know, dreaming about the exploits of the day. You will no doubt
smile, and wonder what exploits such a cur is able to perform; but I
assure you that if he is at all like some of the gipsy dogs I have heard
of, he has been taught a good many very shrewd tricks. The dogs of the
gipsies are sometimes trained to steal for their masters. The thief
enters a store with some respectably dressed man, whom the owner of the
dog will commission for the purpose, and - the man having made certain
signals to the animal - the gipsy cur, after loitering about the store,
perhaps for hours, waiting a favorable opportunity, will steal the
articles which were designated, and run away with them to his master's
tent.

I made the acquaintance of a dog at Niagara Falls, last summer, who was
an ardent admirer of the beautiful and grand in nature. The little
steamer called the "Maid of the Mist" makes several trips daily, from a
point some two miles down the river, to within a few rods of the Canada
Fall. I went up in this boat, one morning, and the trip afforded me one
of the finest views I had of this inimitable cataract. Among the
passengers in this boat, at the time, was the dog who was so fond of the
sublime. He walked leisurely on board, just before the hour of starting,
and during the entire excursion seemed to enjoy the scene as much as any
of the rest of the passengers. As the boat approached the American
Fall, he took his station in the bow, where he remained, completely
deluged in the spray, until the boat passed the same Fall, on its
return. This, however, is not the most remarkable part of the story. The
captain informed me that such was the daily practice of the dog. Every
morning, regularly, at the hour of starting, he makes his appearance,
though he is not owned by any one engaged in the boat, and treats
himself to this novel excursion.

There is a dog living on Staten Island, who has for some time been
acting the part of a philanthropist, on a large scale. He makes it a
great share of his business to administer to the necessities of the sick
and infirm dogs in the neighborhood. As soon as he learns that a dog is
sick, so that he is unable to take care of himself, he visits the
invalid, and nurses him; and he even goes from house to house, searching
out those who need his assistance. Frequently he brings his patient to
his own kennel, and takes care of him until he either gets well or dies.
Sometimes he has two or three sick dogs in his hospital, at the same
time. I have these facts on the authority of my friend Mr. Ranlett, the
editor of the "Architect," a gentleman of unquestionable veracity, who
has seen the dog thus imitating the example of the Good Samaritan.

[Illustration: RUSSIAN SLEDGE.]

Captain Parry, an adventurous sailor, who went out from England on a
voyage of discovery in the northern seas, relates some amusing anecdotes
about the dogs among the Esquimaux Indians. These dogs are trained to
draw a vehicle called a sledge, made a little like what we call a
sleigh. In some parts of Russia many people travel in the same manner.
Here is a picture of one of the Russian sledges. It is made in very
handsome style, as you see. The greater portion of them are constructed
much more rudely. The Esquimaux Indian is famous for his feats in
driving dogs. When he wants to take a ride, he harnesses up several
pairs of these dogs, and off he goes, almost as swift as the wind. The
dogs are rather unruly, however, sometimes, and get themselves sadly
snarled together, so that the driver is obliged to go through the
harnessing process several times in the course of a drive of a few
miles. When the road is level and pretty smoothly worn, eight or ten
dogs, with a weight only of some six or seven hundred pounds attached to
them, are almost unmanageable, and will run any where they choose at the
rate of ten miles an hour.

The following anecdote we have on the authority of the Newark (N. J.)
Daily Advertiser: An officer of the army, accompanied by his dog, left
West Point on a visit to the city of Burlington, N. J., and while there,
becoming sick, wrote to his wife and family at West Point, in relation
to his indisposition. Shortly after the reception of his letter, the
family were aroused by a whining, barking and scratching, at the door of
the house, and when opened to ascertain the cause, in rushed the
faithful dog. After being caressed, and every attempt made to quiet him,
the dog, in despair at not being understood, seized a shawl in his
teeth, and, placing his paws on the lady's shoulders, deposited there
the shawl! He then placed himself before her, and, fixing his gaze
intently upon her, to attract her attention, seized her dress, and began
to drag her to the door. The lady then became alarmed, and sent for a
relative, who endeavored to allay her fears, but she prevailed upon him
to accompany her at once to her husband, and on arriving, found him
dangerously ill in Burlington. The distance traveled by the faithful
animal, and the difficulties encountered, render this exploit almost
incredible, especially as the boats could not stop at West Point, on
account of the ice, it being in the winter.

There is a dog in the city of New York, who, according to unquestionable
authority, is accustomed every day not only to bring his mistress the
morning paper, as soon as it is thrown into the front yard, but to
select the one belonging to the lady, when, as is frequently the case,
there is one lying with it belonging to another member of the family.

An unfortunate dog, living in England, in order to make sport for some
fools, had a pan tied to his tail, and was sent off on his travels
toward a village a few miles distant. He reached the place utterly
exhausted, and lay down before the steps of a tavern, eyeing most
anxiously the horrid annoyance hung behind him, but unable to move a
step further, or rid himself of the torment. Another dog, a Scotch
colly, came up at the time, and seeing the distress of his crony, laid
himself down gently beside him, and gaining his confidence by a few
caresses, proceeded to gnaw the string by which the noisy appendage was
attached to his friend's tail, and by about a quarter of an hour's
exertion, severed the cord, and started to his legs, with the pan


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Online LibraryFrancis C. WoodworthStories about Animals: with Pictures to Match → online text (page 2 of 12)