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Title: The Story My Doggie Told to Me
Author: Barbour, Ralph Henry
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                    The Story My Doggie Told to Me



[Illustration: We had some fine times together!]



                          The Story My Doggie
                              Told to Me


                            [Illustration]


                                  By
                          Ralph Henry Barbour

           Author of “The Crimson Sweater,” “The Half-Back,”
                     “Tom, Dick and Harriet,” etc.


                         With Illustrations by
                               John Rae


                               New York
                        Dodd, Mead and Company
                                 1914



                           Copyright, 1914,
                       By DODD, MEAD AND COMPANY



                              TO GRETCHEN

                       in the hope that she will
                 read it to her children and that they
                    may profit by its lessons, this
                         book is dedicated by
                              her Master



CONTENTS


 PART ONE
 WHEN I WAS A PUPPY

 CHAPTER                                     PAGE
     I  PLAY DAYS                               3
    II  WHAT WE LEARNED                        11
   III  PUPPY TROUBLES                         18
    IV  WHEN I ATE MY COLLAR                   25
     V  HOW I DUG FOR A BADGER                 34
    VI  THE FROG WHO WAS A TOAD                43
   VII  THE CROSS DUCK                         50
  VIII  THE OLD LADY WHO DIDN’T LIKE DOGS      61
    IX  THE LITTLE BOY FROM THE CITY           69


 PART TWO
 WHEN I GREW UP

     I  HOW WE WENT HUNTING                    87
    II  HOW WE SPENT CHRISTMAS                 98
   III  MORE LESSONS                          106
    IV  A VISIT TO JACK                       115
     V  THE TURTLE                            123
    VI  AT THE DOG SHOW                       130
   VII  THE STRANGE MAN                       143
  VIII  HOW I WAS STOLEN                      153
    IX  IN THE ANIMAL STORE                   162
     X  BACK HOME AGAIN                       175



ILLUSTRATIONS


 We had some fine times together                       _Frontispiece_

 She used to think they were to chase                   _Page_    12

 ... And thought now they were just to look at            ”       13

 Most of the batter went on Freya                _Facing Page_    14

 He had to help William do all sorts of things      ”     ”       20

 We learned to stand on our hind legs and beg       ”     ”       30

 He was what the Family called a “bird dog”             _Page_    42

 All of a sudden I backed right over the side of
     the bank into the brook                     _Facing Page_    52

 I chewed that rubber cat until it stopped
     squeaking and then tried the duck                  _Page_   105

 I had never seen one before                     _Facing Page_   124

 At the dog show                                        _Page_   142

 Alfred took me to bed with him                  _Facing Page_   146

 Jim                                                    _Page_   161

 Oh, it was a funny, queer place                 _Facing Page_   166

 He lives in the fourth tree                        ”     ”      178



PART ONE

WHEN I WAS A PUPPY



CHAPTER I

PLAY DAYS


Bow!

I always begin a story that way. It is what you Two-Legged Folks call
“making your bow.” With us dogs it means “Hello” and “How do you do”
and “Good morning” and――and lots of other things too. And sometimes it
means “Look out!” You see, we have so many ways of saying it!

Perhaps some day I’ll tell you how to know just what we mean when we
say “Bow!”――like that――sort of quick and friendly; and what we mean
when we say it slow and gruff, way down in our throats.

And then there’s “Wow!” too. “Wow” is different from “Bow.” And
“Bow-wow” is still different. But this isn’t telling my story, is it?

Of course, you haven’t said you wanted me to tell you my story, but I’m
almost sure you do. I think you’ll like it, because I am a very good
story-teller――for a dog. And, although I am not quite three years old,
I have seen a lot of things in my day.

You won’t mind if I wag my tail now and then, will you? It is very hard
for a dog to tell a tale without wagging. Some folks say a dog talks
with his tail. He doesn’t though; not really. He just uses his tail
the way you Two-Legged Folks use your hands, to make others understand
better what you are saying.

When you tell a story you should always start right at the very
beginning, and that is what I am going to do.

The first thing I remember was when I was about two weeks old. I’m sure
you can’t remember when you were two weeks old. I think that is very
clever of me, don’t you? It shows what a fine memory I have. I was
lying in a sort of cage made of criss-cross wires. There was sawdust
on the floor. There were four of us in all, for I had two sisters and
one brother. My mother’s name was Gretchen and my father’s name was
Fritz. I am named after my father. He had two or three other names
besides, but they’re very hard to say, being German. You see my father
and mother were both born in Germany and brought to this country when
they were very young, and so, of course, they spoke German very nicely.
But they never taught it to me. I suppose there wasn’t time. There are
so many, many things a puppy has to learn. I didn’t see much of my
father when I was a tiny puppy. Sometimes he came to the cage where we
lived and licked our noses through the wires, but he was a very busy
dog and had lots of things to attend to.

My mother was very beautiful, with the loveliest soft brown eyes and
the longest, silkiest ears and quite the crookedest front legs you
ever saw. (You see, in my family crooked front legs are much admired.)
We all loved her very dearly, but I am afraid we caused her a lot of
trouble. But she was very fond of us and very proud of us. Sometimes
I wished she wasn’t so careful about keeping us clean, for lots of
times when I wanted to play with my brother and sisters I couldn’t
because she had to wash me all over. You see, puppies don’t like being
washed much more than you do; and I heard you making an awful fuss this
morning!

We lived very happily in the cage for several weeks. We ate and slept
and played, but most of all we ate and slept. At first it must have
been funny to see us trying to walk, for our legs were so weak that
they just sprawled out under us when we wanted to use them. But it
wasn’t long before we could run and jump as much as we pleased. I was
the biggest and the strongest of us all, and I think my mother was
every bit as fond of me as she was of my two sisters and my brother,
but it _did_ seem to me as if I got most of the punishment. Maybe I was
the naughtiest one, too!

As we grew older and stronger our mother used to leave us alone for a
little while every day, and we didn’t like that at all at first. We
used to whine and cry and feel very lonesome until she came back. But
she always _did_ come back, and pretty soon we got to know that she
would, and so we didn’t mind so much. We had some lovely frolics, we
puppies. We used to make believe that we were very cross, and tumble
each other over in the sawdust and bite each other’s ears and legs and
growl such funny little growls!

A man named William looked after us. He wore leather gaiters. They
tasted very well. Mother said he was a coachman. He was very kind to
us and brought us things to eat and water to drink and petted us a
lot. Then there was another man who only came to see us a few times.
We didn’t like him so well. He was a Doctor and smelled of medicine.
He came to see us once when my sister Freya was sick and once when I
had an awful pain in my insides. That was later, though, after we were
out of the cage and running around in the yard. It was when I ate the
harness soap. Mother told me afterwards that it was a mistake to eat
any kind of soap. I think she was right.

Then, of course, there was the Master, and the Mistress, and, best of
all, the Baby. She wasn’t exactly a baby, because she was almost two
years old, but every one called her the Baby. We all loved her very
much. She used to take us up one by one and kiss us on our noses and
call us “Booful dogums” and hug us. Sometimes she hugged so hard it
hurt, but we never let her know it. She had golden hair and blue eyes
and two little fat red cheeks and was always laughing. Her real name
was Mildred. The Master was a very big man, so big that I could only
see to the tops of his riding-boots when I was little. He had a very
deep, gruff voice and called us “Those little rascals!” But we knew he
didn’t mean it and we liked him. But we liked the Baby best of all, and
after her the Mistress, who was the Baby’s mother. She was quite small
for a grown-up and had such a nice voice that we loved to hear it and
would all go running to the front of the cage or the yard fence when
she came.

The Family――we called the Master, the Mistress and the Baby the
Family――lived in the country in a beautiful white house with green
blinds that stood on top of a little hill and had trees and fields
all around it. There was a pond, too, and a brook that ran out of it.
That’s where the ducks lived. Ducks are very funny things. Later I’ll
tell you something about them. There was a stable, as well, and outside
the stable was a yard fenced in with wire netting, and in the corner of
the yard was what they called the Kennel. That was where I was born.
The yard was quite large and after we were allowed to run around in it,
we had a fine time. There was so much to see from it: the house and the
duck-pond and the country road, with people going by that had to be
barked at, and the place where William washed the carriages when the
weather was fine, and many other things. Also, there were squirrels in
the trees, and birds, too. And there was Ju-Ju.



CHAPTER II

WHAT WE LEARNED


[Illustration: She used to think they were to chase]

Ju-ju was a cat. She was grey, like smoke, and had a bushy tail and
long hair and yellow eyes. I don’t think yellow eyes are very pretty,
do you? None of us ever liked Ju-ju very much, although we soon got to
respect her. She was very vain of her long hair and thick tail and used
to spend hours doing nothing but washing herself. Cats are very lazy, I
think, and waste too much time on themselves. Once I asked Mother what
cats were for and she sighed and said she used to think they were to
chase but she had changed her mind and thought now they were just to
look at. Mother had a place on her nose like a scratch where the hair
never grew and sometimes I’ve wondered whether Ju-ju made it. When we
first got out into the yard Ju-ju used to come and jump on top of one
of the fence-posts and look down at us just as though we were funny and
strange. That used to make us very angry and we would bark and jump at
the post for the longest time. But of course we couldn’t reach her and
after awhile she would blink and blink at us and then go to sleep up
there! Cats are very annoying. They’re almost as bad as ducks!

[Illustration: ... and thought now they were just to look at]

We were born in the Spring and lived in the yard until we were four
months old. Then my brother, whose name was Franz, and one of my
sisters, whose name was Franzchen, left us. They went away off to live
in the city and Freya and I were quite lonely at first, and our mother
felt very badly about it. But she told us that they had gone to live
with some nice, kind people and would be very happy, and after that we
didn’t feel so badly about it.

After Franz and Franzchen left us we were no longer kept in the Kennel
yard, but were allowed to go anywhere we pleased――except the house.
We weren’t allowed in the house, but sometimes we got in. When we did
we scampered straight for the kitchen. The first time we did it Cook
had a tin dish filled with cake-batter in her hand and when we ran at
her and barked and jumped up on her she was so surprised and scared
that she cried “Saints presarve us!” and dropped the dish. Most of
the batter went on Freya and she ran out as quick as she could go,
much more frightened than Cook, and I after her. We had a fine time
licking the batter off. It was nice and sweet and sticky and lasted all
day. Father was quite angry with us, but Mother said “Puppies will be
puppies.”

[Illustration: Most of the batter went on Freya]

After that it was very hard to get in the kitchen, and when we did get
in Cook would drive us out with a broom. Of course we tried not to go
and made believe we didn’t know what she meant when she cried “Shoo!”
and “Scat!” We would run under the tables and into the pantry and quite
often she would have to coax us out with pieces of meat or something
nice. It was very exciting. If we thought she really meant to hit us
with the broom we would lie on our backs with our feet in the air
and pretend we were awfully frightened. Then Delia, who was the maid
and a great friend of ours, would say “Oh, the poor little dears. Don’t
you dare hit them, Mary McGuire!” Then we would have a piece of cake
each and Delia would pet us and put us outside.

Father was a very busy dog and had a great many things to look after.
He always went to drive with our Mistress and sat very straight and
fine beside William on the front seat. Then, too, he had to help
William do all sorts of things, like wash the carriages and feed the
chickens and ducks and cut the grass and rake the leaves. He must have
been a great comfort to William.

[Illustration: He had to help William do all sorts of things]

Mother had her paws full looking after us most of that summer and so
she was not able to help much with the work. Of course she kept watch
and taught us to, and we soon learned who to bark at and who not.
When the man from the butcher’s came Mother always made it a point
to be very polite to him. She wagged her tail and sniffed his boots
and followed him around to the kitchen door. He smelled very nice.
Sometimes he gave us small pieces of meat and we were always glad to
see him. But when a tramp or a pedlar came Mother barked and the hair
stood up all along her back. We soon learned to do the same and tramps
didn’t very often come much farther than the gate.

Of course we learned a great many other things too. Such as to stand
on our hind legs and beg when we wanted anything and not get under the
feet of the horses and keep away from the carriage wheels. Once a wheel
went over the end of my tail and it hurt a good deal and I crawled into
a stall and cried. Mother came and told me I was too old to cry and
that it would teach me to keep out of the way.

[Illustration: We learned to stand on our hind legs and beg]

Another thing we learned was not to jump up on the Baby. We did it
because we loved her and wanted to lick her face, but she always
tumbled over. That was because she only had two legs and was no fault
of ours. Once when she tumbled she struck her head against something
hard and cried dreadfully. We licked her face as hard as we could to
comfort her, because that is what Mother always did to us when we were
hurt, but it didn’t seem to do her much good. Then William came running
up and cuffed us pretty hard and picked Baby up. I don’t think he
should have punished us, but maybe he didn’t understand. After that we
didn’t do it any more.

Another thing we soon learned was to let Ju-ju alone. One day, soon
after we were allowed to go where we liked, Freya and I came across
Ju-ju in the kitchen yard. She was fast asleep and we thought it would
be great fun to jump at her and bark. So we did it and she woke up
awfully quick and scratched me on the nose and chased Freya half-way to
the stable. Cats can’t take a joke.



CHAPTER III

PUPPY TROUBLES


We learned a good deal about what was good to eat and what wasn’t, too.
Once Delia left a tin pan filled with some whitish stuff on the back
steps and I ate quite a lot of it before she came out and found what I
was doing. When she did she cried “Cook! Cook! One of the Puppies has
eaten the starch!” Of course I went right away, as I didn’t want to
have any trouble about it, and pretty soon I felt very funny inside and
crawled into a stall where it was quiet and dark. But William found me
after a while and made me swallow something that didn’t taste at all
nice and pretty soon I felt better. I didn’t think it was very kind of
Delia to tell William what I had done, but maybe it was all for the
best, because until he made me swallow the nasty medicine I was pretty
sure I was going to die. Starch and soap taste all right but they
aren’t good for puppies. I found that out.

It seems that we all have to learn a lot of things by what Mother calls
“sad experience.” Like bees. Bees look very much like flies but they’re
different. Once Freya and I saw some bees going in and out of a tiny
hole in the ground back of the stable. They were very large bees and
growled. We wondered why they went into the hole and so we scratched
at it to find out. While we were doing it quite a lot of bees came
out and Freya gave a yelp and began to paw at her nose. She looked so
funny that I laughed at her and asked why she did it. Then I gave a
yelp and forgot all about Freya. Those bees were very angry and sat
down on us wherever our hair was thin, and every time they sat down
they scratched. We didn’t stay there long, I can tell you! We ran as
fast as we could run, but the bees flew right along with us and chased
us way down to the duck-pond. By that time I had five scratches and
Freya had four and they hurt a good deal and swelled up. We licked the
scratches and whined and after a while we rolled over in the mud at the
edge of the pond and that made them feel better. But they didn’t stop
hurting for a long time. After that if a bee came _buzz-buzzing_ around
us we always made believe we didn’t see it. But we got up very quietly
and moved away.

Then there are balls. Some balls are nice to play with and chew on.
They are made of rubber. William had one and he used to throw it, and
Freya and I, and sometimes Mother and Father, too, would scamper after
it and see who could get it and bring it back to him. If Freya got it
I always took it away from her, because I am bigger and stronger than
she is. Besides, she’s only a girl dog! Once Freya found the ball in
the harness room, where it had dropped off a shelf, and so she took it
out under a tree and chewed on it until there was a hole in it. Then
she wanted to see what was in the hole and so she tore the ball all to
pieces. There wasn’t a thing in it. She ate some of the pieces and that
afternoon the Doctor came and stayed quite a long time and Freya was
very sick. William got another ball, but Freya would never go near it.

At the side of the house toward the orchard there was a lawn where the
Family played a game they called croquet. They had mallets and a lot of
different coloured wooden balls and they made the balls roll by hitting
them with the mallets. Once Freya and I were there and we chased the
balls. The Master laughed at us and said we mustn’t do it. But he
didn’t really care, and the Baby, who was there with Nurse, clapped
her hands and thought it was fine fun. So did we. We would run at the
balls and bark at them and try to pick them up in our mouths. But we
couldn’t because they were too big. The Master and Mistress laughed and
laughed at us. Then I saw a ball rolling along very fast and I made
believe it was a rat and ran for it as hard as I could go. But when I
tried to bite it it wouldn’t stop but kept right on rolling. And so I
rolled too. I rolled several times and when I found my feet I hurried
off with a terrible pain in my head. Rubber balls and wooden balls are
very different, like flies and bees.

About that time we had our first collars. Mine was black and Freya’s
was brown. William said that was so people could tell us apart. I
thought it was very silly of him because we didn’t look at all alike.
I was bigger and, if I do say it myself, much finer looking. But that
is what he said. The collars had little round brass tags on them and on
the tags were numbers. They were quite like the collars that Father
and Mother wore, only a great deal smaller, and we were very proud of
them. William put a strap from Freya’s collar to mine and then snapped
a leash on to the strap and said “Come on.” I trotted right along, but
Freya sat down and wouldn’t budge an inch. So, of course, I had to pull
her all the way to the house. It was very hard work for me, and Freya
didn’t like it much, either. She howled all the way up the drive and
William just laughed at her. I was quite ashamed of her for acting so.
The Master and Mistress and the Baby came out to see us and I tried
to put a good face on it by laughing too, but Freya just howled and
howled! Girl dogs are very silly sometimes! Then the Master said:

“Take the leash off, William, and see what they’ll do.”

So he did and I ran up to the Mistress and Freya tried to run toward
the stable. I wasn’t going to have that, so I dragged Freya after me
and the Baby was between us and the strap upset her into the flower
bed. I was sorry about it, but I thought we had better not stay there
any longer, so I turned and ran as hard as I could, pulling Freya
after me, toward the orchard. The orchard is quite a large place and
one needn’t be caught there unless one wants to. But Freya, of course,
had to spoil it all. When we came to a tree she went on the other side
of it and the strap held us there. I told her to come around my side,
but she just whimpered and tugged at the strap and paid no attention
to what I said. Of course I wasn’t going to give in to her whim, so
I pulled and pulled and would have pulled her around the right way
at last if William hadn’t come up just then and caught us. We got a
cuffing, which was all Freya’s fault for being so obstinate.



CHAPTER IV

WHEN I ATE MY COLLAR


After that William put the strap on us every day for a while and we
got used to it. It was all right as soon as Freya understood that she
was to go the way I wanted to go. But it took her some time to do it.
Freya is very stupid at times. About a week after I got my collar it
was the cause of much pain to me. The Baby took it off one day and laid
it on the ground. After she had gone I went back and found it. There is
something about leather that I like. I didn’t mean to do any harm to
the collar, but it tasted very good and so I closed my eyes and chewed
and chewed and chewed. Freya came and watched me and asked me to give
her some.

“You’ve got a collar of your own,” I growled. “Go away.”

“All right,” she said. “But you’ll catch it. Just you wait!”

She went off to bark at Ju-Ju, who was asleep on a window-sill, and I
thought of what she had said. I looked at the collar. It was a very sad
looking collar. There wasn’t much left except the brass tag. Freya was
right; I would catch it if any one saw it. So I took what was left of
it and dug a hole in a flower-bed and buried it. Not ten minutes after
that the Mistress came out and called me. I made believe I didn’t hear
her, but it did no good, for she kept on calling me and so I had to go
to her. When I got near her I rolled over on my back and whined.

“Why,” she said, “you funny dog! I’m not angry with you, even if you
didn’t come as soon as you should have. You’re a nice puppums and――why,
where’s your collar?”

I didn’t say anything, of course. Instead I pounced on a twig and shook
it and ran around with it in my mouth. I thought perhaps she would
forget about the collar. But she didn’t even smile.

“Naughty Fritz!” she said. “What have you done with your collar?”

Freya came up and looked at me in a way which said: “There! Now you are
in for it! And I’m glad, because you were selfish and wouldn’t give me
any.” And then she trotted over to the Mistress with her tail curled up
very proudly as much as to say: “See what a good dog I am! I haven’t
lost my collar!”

“You wait till I catch you,” I growled.

Then the Baby came out and the Mistress said: “Look, Baby, at what a
naughty, bad dog Fritz has been. He’s lost his nice new collar.”

Baby laughed and gurgled. “Collar!” she said.

“Yes, dear, and see how ashamed he looks. Naughty dog!”

“Mild’ed tooked it off,” said the Baby.

“You took it off? Oh, you shouldn’t have done that, dear,” said the
Mistress. “What did you do with it?”

“Tooked it off!” said the Baby, and clapped her hands.

By that time William had come up, with a rake in his hands, and the
Mistress told him about it. William scratched his head, which is what
he always does when he tries to think very hard.

“Where were you when you took it off, dear?” asked the Mistress.

The Baby toddled across to the lawn and we all followed her. I
pretended to be very much surprised when we found that the collar
wasn’t there.

“Are you sure this is the place, dear?” asked the Mistress.

The Baby nodded hard. “Mild’ed tooked off collar!” she cried and looked
very proud of herself. I hunted all around, but couldn’t find anything
but a small stone. So I took that to the Mistress, but she just tossed
it away. Freya chased it. William scratched his head some more.

“If she took it off him, mum,” he said, “it’s gone by now. Sure, he
chews up everything he finds, he’s that de-struct-ive, mum.”

I didn’t know what “de-struct-ive” meant, but I didn’t like the sound
of it.

“Oh, I hope not,” said the Mistress, looking at me very hard. I turned
my head away and made believe I didn’t hear. Freya wagged her tail and
trotted off to the flower bed. I watched her and growled.

“Well, perhaps we’ll find it,” said the Mistress. “You’d better look
around, William.”

“Yes, mum,” said William. Then he cried “Hi, there! Stop that!” and
ran over to the flower bed where Freya was digging. By the time he got
to her she had the collar in her mouth and was holding it out to him,
wagging her tail.

“Here it is, mum,” called William. “And all chewed up, mum, just like I
said, mum!”

I didn’t wait to hear any more, but very quietly slipped away from
them and ran for the stable. But William found me. He dragged me out
by the scruff of my neck from behind a pile of flower-pots and showed
me the collar. Then he――but I don’t like to think of what he did. It
was very painful. After he had gone I cried myself to sleep behind the
flower-pots and slept quite a while. And when I woke up again I didn’t
come out until I was sure that William had gone to his dinner. I was
very hungry, too, but I was afraid to go near the house. So I went
off to the meadow and dug up a bone I had buried a long while before.
I heard them calling me to come to dinner, but I didn’t go. I hoped
they would be sorry they had treated me as they had. After a while,
though, they stopped calling me. So I chewed on my bone, which was very
good but a little too dry. Still, when you’re very hungry most any bone
tastes good. After that I felt much better and set off to find Freya.
I met my father in the stable yard and asked him where she was, and he
said she was in the kitchen.

“Delia is giving her gingerbread because she found your collar. If you
go up there perhaps they’ll give you some, too.”

“I guess I don’t want any,” I said.

“You don’t deserve any,” said Father. “After this you will know better
than to eat your collar.”

I went on toward the house and lay down behind a bush and waited.
After awhile Freya came out looking very pleased with herself. She had
a piece of cake in her mouth and went over to the orchard to bury it
because she had had so much already she couldn’t eat it. I followed
her, keeping away from the house, and went up to her very quietly while
she was digging a hole. When she saw me she dropped the cake and tried
to run, but I got her....

Afterwards I ate the cake.

Of course Freya told Mother that I had hurt her. She’s such a
tattle-tale! When I went back to the stable Mother wanted to punish me,
but Father said: “No, Freya deserved what she got. She should not have
told on Fritz.” So Mother said we were both very bad children and we
must go to the Kennel and stay there until we could behave. So we went.
After a while Freya crawled over to me and licked my ear and said she
was sorry. I just growled. So then she licked the other ear and said
she was sorry again, and I forgave her and we made it up and went off
together to the pond to hunt frogs.

A day or two later William came with another collar and wanted to put
it on me, but I ran as fast as I could and hid behind the flower-pots
again. I don’t know why I always went there when I wanted to hide,
because William always found me right away, just as he did this time. I
whined a little when he pulled me out, but he patted me and rubbed my
neck and said he wasn’t going to hurt me.

“Look at the fine new collar I have for you,” he said. “Hold still now
till I get it on.”

So I held still, as still as I could for trembling, and he put it
around my neck and buckled it.

“There, now,” he said. “Aren’t you the proud puppy? Sure, it looks fine
on you. Run along now and show it to your father and mother. But don’t
you be eating it up, mind!”

Just as though I would! Why, I’ve hated the taste of collars ever
since!



CHAPTER V

HOW I DUG FOR A BADGER


Next door to us was a dog named Jack. There was a wide field between
our house and Jack’s and so he lived quite a way from us. But he used
to come over to our place pretty often and after we got big we went
over to see him. Jack and Father were great friends and used to go
hunting together. Jack was a pointer and the first time I saw him
I asked Mother what sort of an animal he was, because as he was so
different from us I didn’t think of his being a dog too. He had very
long legs and was white with brown spots, one on each side of his head
and one on each side of his body and a little one where his tail began.
He was dreadfully big, ten times as big as Father, and I was afraid of
him at first. But I need not have been, for he was a very nice, kind
dog.

He was what the Family called a “bird dog.” When his Master went out
with a gun to hunt partridges or grouse Jack would go ahead and scent
the birds in the grass or bushes, and then he would stand very still,
with his tail pointing straight out behind him and his nose pointing
straight out in front of him, and his Master would know that there
were partridges ahead and say “Hie on!” Then Jack would creep on very
quietly and all of a sudden the birds would fly up in the air and his
Master’s gun would go _bang-bang!_ and then there would be partridges
for dinner. I thought it was very clever of Jack and wondered why
Father didn’t hunt birds too. I asked Mother about it once and she said:

[Illustration: He was what the Family called a “bird dog”]

“Every dog to his trade, my dear. Jack is a pointer and pointers were
made to hunt birds. Your father is a dachshund and dachshunds were
made to hunt badgers and rabbits and animals that live underground.
Jack is a very fine dog, but he couldn’t dig out a badger or a fox or
even a rabbit.”

“Oh,” I said, “could Father do that?”

“Of course, and so can I; and so can you when you grow up. That’s why
you are made as you are. Badgers and foxes live in holes that they make
far under the ground. The holes are small and they turn and twist, and
that’s why your body is made so long and your legs so short; so that
you can follow a fox or a badger into his hole.”

“What is a badger?” I asked.

“A badger,” said Mother, “is a very savage animal, much larger than
your father. He lives underground and comes out at night to hunt. He
has short legs and very long claws and a long nose. He catches smaller
animals and eats them and sometimes he steals the farmer’s chickens.
He has a very loose skin, just like yours, that is covered with fine
grey hairs. Folks make brushes out of the hairs. The brush the Master
lathers his face with in the morning when he shaves is made of badger
hair and the brush that William used the other day to paint the old
wagon with is made of it too.”

“I wish I could catch a badger,” I said. Mother smiled.

“The first time you found one at the end of his tunnel you might wish
differently,” she said. “Badgers fight hard, with tooth and claw, my
dear.”

“Are they more savage than foxes?” I asked.

“Yes, but no braver. A fox has only his teeth to fight with but he
makes good use of them.”

“I wouldn’t be afraid,” I boasted. “Are there any badgers or foxes
about here?”

“Foxes, yes, but no badgers that I have ever heard of.”

“There are rabbits, though,” I said. “Some day I shall catch me a
rabbit.”

“I hope not, my dear. Rabbits are harmless and they can’t fight
underground. We have no quarrel with rabbits, we dachshunds.”

“Then,” I said, “I’ll have to find a fox.”

“It will be a good while before you are big enough to bring a fox
out of his hole,” said Mother. “Some day, though, you shall try it,
perhaps. You have good digging paws, Fritz.”

“They――they’re awfully big,” I said.

“As they should be, my dear. They’re made for digging. Each one is a
little shovel, or, rather, a hoe. When you go into a hole that isn’t
big enough you begin to dig. And that is why your front legs are made
so crooked. If they were straight you would throw the dirt right under
you. As they are, with your feet turning out, they throw the dirt on
each side of you, out of your way.”

“I’m glad you told me that,” I said, “because I’ve always wondered
about my legs and feet and been a little ashamed of them. They seemed
so funny and crooked and big. Now I see that they are just as they
should be.” I looked at my feet quite proudly. “I guess,” I said, “I’ll
go and dig a hole somewhere.”

“Very well,” said Mother, stretching herself out to go to sleep, “but
keep away from the flower beds, Fritz.”

So I found a field-mouse hole at the root of an apple tree in the
orchard and dug and dug and had got down so far that only my tail was
sticking out when Freya came along.

“What are you doing?” she asked. She might have seen for herself that I
was digging a hole, but she is always asking silly questions like that.

“I’m digging for a badger,” I said. “Want to help?”

“Oh, yes, indeed!” cried Freya. “Is there really a badger down there?”

“Never you mind,” I said. “You don’t suppose I’d be digging a hole as
deep as this one if there wasn’t something there, do you?” So I crawled
out and Freya got in and went to work. I looked on a minute and then I
said:

“You don’t dig very well, do you? I suppose your feet aren’t big
enough.”

“They’re as big as yours,” said Freya, stopping to rest.

“Then you don’t know how to use them,” I said. “Digging is an art, and
not every dachshund knows how.”

“Humph!” said Freya. “Let me see you do it, then.”

So I got back in the hole and dug as hard as ever I could, and the dirt
just flew out, I tell you! “There,” I said at last, much out of breath,
“that’s the way to do it!”

But when I looked around, would you believe it, that silly dog had
gone! And there was William hurrying up with a stick in his hand.

“What do you think you’re doing?” he cried, real crossly. “Trying to
dig up that apple tree? Get out o’ that, you pesky critter!”

So I got out in a big hurry and ran off around the house and down to
the stable and crept behind the flower-pots. For once William didn’t
find me and, as I was very tired, I went to sleep and dreamed that I
had crawled down a long, long hole in the ground and that in front of
me was a horrible grey badger with long teeth and glaring yellow eyes
and great sharp claws. And when I tried to turn around and run out I
couldn’t because the hole was too small, and when I tried to back out
I couldn’t because the dirt had fallen in around me. And the badger
said: “Hah, you’re the smart young dog who said he wanted to catch
a badger, aren’t you?” And I said: “N-no, sir, that――that was my
brother.” “You’re fibbing,” said the badger, “and for that I shall eat
you all up. _Raow!_” Then he crept toward me and just as he reached out
one great big paw with dozens and dozens of ugly, sharp claws I woke up
with a howl, shivering and shaking! And, oh, my, wasn’t I glad to see
those flower-pots and know that I was in the stable and not in a long,
deep hole with a badger coming at me! I ran out and found Mother and
cuddled up very close to her and told her my dream. She just smiled and
licked my eyes and pretty soon I went to sleep again in the sunlight.



CHAPTER VI

THE FROG WHO WAS A TOAD


When I thought about it afterwards it seemed strange that I should not
be allowed to dig holes when digging holes was what I was for. But
every time I did it some one, William or the Master or the Mistress,
came up and said “No, no, Fritz! Naughty dog! Mustn’t dig up the
ground.” It was most discouraging. (Discouraging is a long word, and
if you don’t know what it means I shan’t tell you. Any one as old
as you are ought to know.) Freya never got in trouble that way. She
didn’t seem to care much for doing the things I did, like digging for
badgers in the orchard or for foxes on the front lawn. (I know now
that I should not have expected to find a fox under the lawn, but then
one place seemed as good as another.) Freya liked to stay around the
back door and look hungry and coax Delia or Cook to give her things to
eat. When she wasn’t doing that she was most always asleep somewhere.
She got very fat and lazy and it was all I could do to get her to go
hunting with me. She wasn’t much good at hunting, anyway. She always
got tired just when the fun began.

We used to go down to the pond and the brook and hunt frogs. Frogs
aren’t good to eat, but it is a lot of fun chasing them. You creep up
on them very quietly along the edge of the pond and try to get them
before they can jump back into the water. Most always you miss them,
because their eyes are in the wrong place, being on the top of their
head, and they can see behind them. But sometimes you catch one. When
you do you play with it awhile and let it go. Freya, though, never
would play with them. She said they were ugly-looking and she didn’t
like the smell of them. Girl-dogs are like that, though, sort of
finicky and fussy about little things.

You wouldn’t think that such a silly, no-account animal as a frog could
get a decent dog into trouble, would you? It can, though, and it did.
And I was the dog. I’ll tell you about it because it may be a warning
to you some time when you are hunting frogs.

One afternoon when it was very hot weather and we had all kept very
quiet in the shade most of the day I got tired of keeping still and
told Freya to get up and we’d hunt frogs. She didn’t want to at all,
being, as I’ve said, fat and lazy, but I nipped her ear and made her.
So we trotted down the road and across the meadow, and when we were
still a long way from the pond I saw a frog. I told Freya to be quiet
and then I stole ahead very softly and there he was in the grass just
sitting and looking at me out of two big goggly eyes. He was quite
different from any frog I’d ever seen before, being fatter and uglier
and having more warts.

Freya whispered, “Oh, isn’t he horrid? Don’t touch him, Fritz!” But I
wasn’t going to let any frog make faces at me and so I jumped for him
and caught him. He tried to get away but I took him in my mouth and
shook him just in play, of course, and then――Oh dear, the most awful
thing happened! The inside of my mouth got on fire and I dropped that
frog and ran as hard as ever I could run to the pond and stuck my head
right into the water!

But water didn’t do much good. My mouth and my tongue were hot and
stingy and smarty and felt just as though they were burning up. I drank
water and shook my head and pawed my mouth and howled just as loud as I
could. Freya ran around and asked what the matter was and got awfully
excited. I was too busy trying to stop the pain to tell her what was
wrong. Besides, when I wasn’t gulping water or pawing at my mouth I was
howling! Father and Mother heard me and came running down to the pond.
But I couldn’t tell them what the matter was and so Freya showed them
the frog. I was still sitting up to my neck in the pond and howling
frightfully when they came back.

“Stop making that noise,” said Father, “and keep your mouth in the
water.”

So I did it and whimpered instead of howled and my mouth began to feel
better. But my tongue was swollen all up and when I tried to talk
I just made funny noises. After a while I crawled out of the pond
and shook myself, feeling sort of ashamed because I had made such a
fuss. But Mother licked my face, and Freya, who had been lying nearby
whining, came running up and leaped about and barked. Even Father
seemed sorry for me. Then he took us back to the frog, which was still
sitting where I had left him, and said:

“Have a good look at him, children.”

So we looked at the frog and the frog blinked at us and seemed to be
laughing. I growled and backed away from him.

“The next time you take a frog in your mouth,” said Father, “be sure
it _is_ a frog and not a toad. Toads are very unhealthy for dogs and
that thing there is a toad. When you took him up he put poison in your
mouth. It was a good thing you were near the pond, for water is the
only thing I know of that will help. I heard of a dog once who was
poisoned by a frog and there was no water around and so he ran for
home. The poison made froth in his mouth and Two-Legged Folks thought
he was mad and a policeman tried to shoot him. Luckily for him the
policeman aimed wrong and the dog got away. Now do you think you will
know a toad the next time you see one?”

I said I was sure of it and then we went home and I crawled behind the
flower-pots and stayed there a long time. I didn’t want any supper that
day. You wouldn’t have wanted any, either, if your mouth had felt the
way mine did. I think it is quite wrong to have things look so much
alike as frogs and toads do; and flies and bees, too. How is a puppy to
know?

When it was almost dark I crept out from behind the flower-pots and
went to get a drink of water. Ju-Ju was outside, playing with a beetle,
and when she saw me she grinned. She must have found out somehow about
that toad. I hate cats.



CHAPTER VII

THE CROSS DUCK


The next day my mouth and tongue were quite well once more, but it was
more than a week before I got brave enough to hunt frogs again. In
fact, I have never cared for frog-hunting very much since, and I only
did it after that just to show Freya that I wasn’t afraid to. But I
couldn’t get her to go with me. She’s rather a coward, Freya is. Just
look at the time I scared the duck! The way she acted then made me
quite ashamed of her!

That was months before I made the mistake about the toad and I was
younger and sillier. I told you that there were ducks on our place.
Well, they lived in a house next door to where the chickens were,
and in the day time they all waddled out as soon as William opened
the gate for them and went down to the pond. They are stupid things,
ducks. They don’t do anything all day long but waddle around and wag
their tails and eat and swim and say “quack!” I don’t know what “quack”
means and I don’t believe they do, for they always say it just the same
way and no matter what happens. If they see William with their dinner
they say “quack” and if they see a chicken-hawk sailing about they say
“quack” and if I so much as look at them――from a distance――they say
“quack” just the same. I don’t believe “quack” means a thing. They just
want you to think it does.

Well, one day I was trotting around by myself looking for something to
do when I caught sight of a duck sitting in the grass on the side of
the brook quite a ways beyond the pond. She didn’t see me because she
had her head hidden under her wing in the silly way ducks have. It had
been a very dull day so far and I wanted some fun. So I thought it
would be a good joke to creep up on Mrs. Duck and give her a good scare
and see if she would say anything more than just “Quack!”

Well, I did. I crept up very, very softly and when I was about two feet
away I said “_Bow-wow!_” as loudly as I could. Mrs. Duck gave a start,
pulled her head out and said “_Quack!_” much louder than I had said
“Bow-wow!” And then, before I knew what she was up to, she spread her
wings very wide and jumped right at me!

It――well, it sort of surprised me, because I didn’t know ducks did
that. Besides, with her wings all spread open like that and her mouth
very wide open, too, she looked almost as big as ten ducks! So――so I
sort of backed away, not because I was afraid of her but just because
I was so surprised. Besides, I’d had my fun and was ready to go away,
anyhow. But she didn’t seem to understand that it was all just a
joke and she came right at me, saying “_Quack! Quack! Quack!_” quite
crossly. So I kept on backing away, and the faster I backed the faster
she came for me and the louder she “quacked!”

I don’t know exactly how it happened, but I got between Mrs. Duck and
the brook. I didn’t know it, of course, or I should have backed another
way. Another thing I didn’t know――and I wished I had known it――was that
she had a nest full of eggs there and was hatching out some little
ducks. If I had known that I would not have gone near her. But I
didn’t know it until afterwards. So I kept on backing and she kept on
“quacking” and making dabs at me with her yellow bill and flapping her
wings and all of a sudden I backed right over the side of the bank into
the brook!

[Illustration: All of a sudden I backed right over the side of the bank
into the brook!]

There was not much water in the brook and I sat right down in a lot of
soft, sticky mud. Of course I tried to get out, but the more I tried
the faster I stuck in that nasty mud. And all the time that horrid,
quarrelsome duck stood on the bank and said “Quack!” and scolded me. I
was afraid she might come in after me, and that is why I tried so very
hard to get out. But she didn’t. She just stood there and said a lot of
mean things to me while the mud got stickier and stickier. And then I
howled. Any one would have howled. I didn’t howl because I was afraid.
I howled because I couldn’t get my feet out of the mud. No dog likes to
be stuck in horrid black mud. Pretty soon Freya came and looked over
the edge of the bank at me. But she didn’t come very near where Mrs.
Duck stood.

“Why,” she said, “what are you doing down there, Fritz? William will be
very angry with you for getting so dirty. You’d better come right out
and take a bath in the pond before you go home.”

“I can’t get out!” I howled. “I’m stuck in this mud. Help me!”

But Freya looked at the duck, who was still “quacking” at a great rate,
and shook her head.

“I――I’m afraid of her,” said Freya.

“Afraid of a duck!” I said. “Well, I’d be ashamed to own it!” But I
kept a watch on the duck because I was afraid she might understand what
I said. She didn’t though. “Bark at her and scare her away,” I told
Freya. “She――she won’t hurt you. Ducks are great cowards.”

But Freya shook her head again. “I――I don’t like her looks,” she said.
“Couldn’t you――couldn’t you pull yourself out if you tried very hard?”

“No, I couldn’t,” I snapped. “If I could I wouldn’t be here now. If you
can’t help me out of here you’d better run home and tell Mother. You’re
an awful scare-baby!”

So Freya walked two or three steps toward the duck and said “Bow-wow!”
just as if she was frightened to death, which she was, and the duck
paid no attention to her at all. Then Freya went a little nearer and
barked again. That time Mrs. Duck heard her and turned around and made
straight for her. Freya gave one awful yelp, tucked her tail between
her legs and flew. And the duck went after her, flapping her wings and
“quacking!” And somehow just then I managed to get a front paw on a
stone at the side of the brook and dragged myself out. And when I got
to the top of the bank Freya was half-way across the meadow, still
yelping, and Mrs. Duck was waddling back again.

I didn’t stay there long, I can tell you. Not that I was afraid of that
stupid old duck, but I wanted to get the mud off me before it dried
on. So I hurried back to the pond. But when I got there it was full
of other ducks and they looked at me so queerly that I thought I’d
better not go into the pond after all. So I sneaked back to the stable,
thinking I’d get behind the flower-pots before any one could see me.
But just as I came to the door who should come out but William!

“_Well!_” he said, just like that; “_Well!_” I made a dash for the
corner where the flower-pots were and got there, but he hauled me right
out by my neck and held me at arm’s length and looked at me. “I never
see a dirtier pup,” he said. “Where have you been?” Of course I didn’t
tell him and he said: “Well, wherever you’ve been I know where you’re
going. You’re going into the tub!”

What followed was awful. William filled the tub in the stable half-full
of cold water and put me in it. I thought at first I would drown, but
he held me up with one hand and lathered me all over with harness soap
with the other. And then he took a horrid, stiff brush and scrubbed me
until it hurt. The soap got in my eyes and smarted and it got into my
mouth and tasted badly, and all the time William scolded.

I had to cry a little. You’d have cried too. I’ve heard you cry when
Nurse got soap in your eyes, and you needn’t pretend you haven’t.
Besides, it was all very unfair. I didn’t want to fall in the mud and
get dirty. It was all that duck’s fault. But William just blamed it all
on me without trying to find out how it really happened, and I had to
suffer. Once I caught sight of Freya peeking around the corner of the
door and I said to myself: “Just you wait till I get out of here, if I
ever do, and see what will happen to you, Miss!”

But when, after a long, long time, William thought he could not get any
more dirt off me and so put me out on the floor, and when I had shaken
myself half a dozen times, felt so good that I forgot all about the way
Freya had behaved and ran circles and barked until I was almost dry.
Then I found a nice warm spot against the side of the stable and went
to sleep.

But even if I did forgive Freya that time you can see that she behaved
very badly and is not at all brave. Still, I suppose that being a girl
dog has a lot to do with it. You mustn’t expect a girl-dog to be as
brave as a boy-dog.

That was my first real bath. I’ve had many since then and I’ve grown
to put up with them just as one must put up with castor-oil and pills.
But I’m sure I shall never get fond of them. I don’t mind wading in the
pond or even swimming a little, but baths are quite different. Besides,
I am not a water-dog, like a spaniel or a retriever, and folks ought
to think of that. They don’t, though. About once a month I have to go
through with it, and the mere sight of a cake of soap quite takes my
appetite away for hours. I once heard the Mistress tell the man who
comes for the laundry that she wanted something “dry-cleaned.” I wonder
why dogs can’t be dry-cleaned too!



CHAPTER VIII

THE OLD LADY WHO DIDN’T LIKE DOGS


Are you scared of thunder storms? I am, too. Well, not exactly scared,
maybe, but I――I don’t like them very well. I don’t mind the lightning
so much, but the thunder is very noisy and it affects my nerves. I
am quite a nervous dog. All highly-bred dogs are nervous, you know.
And when you can trace your family back for dozens of years, the way
I can, you have every right to dislike thunder. Perhaps you didn’t
know I had such a long pedigree? Mother told us all about it once. We
are descended from Hansel von Konigsberg, who was the Champion of all
Germany for many years and quite the finest dachshund that ever lived.
He won all sorts of prizes wherever he was shown and was a very fine,
proud dog. Every one in Germany knows about Hansel von Konigsberg.
Mother says it is a fine thing to be descended from such a dog and that
I should always try to live up to it. Well, that isn’t telling about
the time I got under the bed in the guest-room when there was a thunder
storm, is it?

There were visitors at the house, and one was an elderly lady who wore
a black silk dress and had her eye-glasses on a little stick. When she
saw us puppies she held the glasses up to her eyes and looked at us
just as though we were something quite strange. “Dear me,” she said,
“what ugly little things. What are they?” The Master laughed and told
her we were dachshund puppies. “You mean they’re dogs?” she asked.
“Why, they look like alligators! Don’t let them come near me, please. I
never could stand dogs, anyway, and these are quite――quite disgusting!”

Neither Freya or I knew then what an alligator was, but we didn’t like
the sound of it. Besides, she had said we were ugly and disgusting. So
I looked at Freya and Freya looked at me and we made a rush for the Old
Lady Who Didn’t Like Dogs and jumped all over her. Of course we made
believe we were awfully pleased to see her, but we weren’t. She gave
a screech and dropped her eye-glasses. They were on a black ribbon,
though, and so they didn’t break. But I got the ribbon in my teeth and
laid back and pulled and growled, and Freya took hold of the old lady’s
skirt and shook it. And all the time the old lady said “Shoo! Shoo, you
nasty little brutes! Oh, somebody take them away!”

So the Master caught me and made believe spank me and the Mistress
caught Freya and told her she was a naughty dog, and we both ran off,
making believe we were very sorry and scared, and the old lady hurried
into the house.

Afterward Freya and I laid down under the lilac hedge and talked it
over. We decided that we didn’t like the old lady and that we’d wait
there until she came out again to see the garden and then we’d make
another dash for her and scare her again. But she didn’t come back and
it was pretty hot and so we both fell fast asleep there.

When we woke up it was quite late in the afternoon and the sky was
cloudy and there was a rumbly noise that sounded like thunder. Freya
whined and said she was afraid. I told her not to be a silly; that
thunder never hurt any one. She said the lightning might, though, and
she was going to the stable and crawl under the hay. She wanted me to
go with her, but of course it would not have done to let Freya think I
was frightened too, and so I said, No, I was going to stay where I was.
Freya ran to the stable and just when she got to it there was a most
awful crash of thunder and I forgot how brave I was and looked for a
place to hide.

Well, William had taken the screen-door off that morning, to mend a
place Freya and I had torn in the wire, and the other door happened to
be open. So I looked around very carefully and then ran into the big
room. Just then there was more thunder and a flash of lightning and
I hid under the couch. But I knew that wouldn’t do because some one
would surely find me there and put me out. So I listened and didn’t
hear any one and went upstairs very quietly. And when I got to the top
of the stairs there was a door open and I went in and crept under the
bed. It was nice and dark there and I couldn’t see the lightning. But
every time it thundered I trembled and whined and had a pretty bad time
of it. I could hear the rain drumming on the tin roof outside, and it
seemed to me that the storm lasted for hours. But after a while it
stopped and the thunder got farther and farther away and at last it
died out in little growls and grumbles and I rolled over on my side and
went to sleep, quite worn out.

When I awoke I heard some one moving around in the room and just to be
friendly I thumped my tail on the floor. Then some one came near the
bed and looked under. It was too dark to see who the person was, but
I thumped harder than before, and, will you believe it, it was that
Old Lady Who Didn’t Like Dogs! She gave a most horrible scream and
just flew through the door into the hall. Why, she almost scared me
out of a year’s growth! She cried “Help! Help! There’s some one under
my bed!” and I heard the Master shout from his room and come running.
And the first thing I knew the room was full of folks and the old lady
was telling how she had heard a noise and had looked down and seen two
“fierce yellow eyes glaring at her.” Delia shouted “’Tis a burglar,
mum! We’ll all be murdered, sir!” But the Master told her to be quiet.

“I dare say it is only the cat,” he said, and then he knelt down and
looked under the bed and I thumped my tail harder than ever and the
Master sat right down on the floor and laughed and laughed! Then the
Mistress said:

“What is it, George? Do stop that silly laughing! Is it Ju-ju?”

So the Master reached in and pulled me out by the scruff of my neck and
held me up. “Here’s your burglar,” he said. And then they all laughed;
all except the Old Lady Who Didn’t Like Dogs. She was very angry about
it.

“I am glad you all think it so funny,” she said with a sniff. “For my
part I fail to see the humour. And what is more I refuse to remain in a
house where I am to be pestered by dogs and scared out of my wits every
minute. I’m thankful my trunk is not fully unpacked.”

But she didn’t go, after all, for which Freya and I were sorry. And
even though we stayed around the house a lot in the hope that she
would come out so we could run at her and jump on her, she didn’t once
set her foot off the piazza, and all we could do was get close to the
screen and growl at her. The Mistress said: “It’s too bad you don’t
like dogs, Miss Mumford, they’re such company for one, and living alone
as you do a dog would be a great comfort to you. Just see the little
dears begging to be let in. Wasn’t it funny how they took to you at
once the day you came? They seem quite fond of you.”

And the Mistress glanced at me and then smiled at the thing she was
sewing on. And Freya and I looked at each other and laughed. And the
Old Lady Who Didn’t Like Dogs said “Humph!” Just like that.



CHAPTER IX

THE LITTLE BOY FROM THE CITY


More company came after that. It was in the Fall, when the leaves were
turning to beautiful colours and falling off the trees and when the
mornings and nights were quite cool and the best place to take a nap
was in the stable doorway where the sun shone warmly on the floor.
Freya and I were about six months old then and were getting to be
pretty big for puppies. We weren’t as big as Father or Mother, but when
we romped with either of them Freya and I together could do just about
as we pleased with them. Lots of times Mother used to run away from us
because we were so strong that we could roll her over on her back and
bite her and shake her until she yelped.

Others had grown up, too. All the fluffy little yellow chicks that
Freya and I used to watch through the chicken yard wires were quite
big, almost as big as their parents. And all the little ducklings had
grown up into ducks and could say “Quack!” just like their mothers and
fathers. In the garden the flowers had gone, all but a few, and it
was a great relief to me. I was always very fond of flowers and liked
to pick them and eat them, but William didn’t like me to and would
get after me whenever he caught me at it. I got a lot of cuffings
on account of my love for flowers. I couldn’t understand why it was
they were so selfish with them when they had so many. It seemed to
me that one or two more or less would not have made any difference.
But Two-Legged Folks are peculiar in many ways. They aren’t nearly so
sensible as dogs.

Even the Baby was getting bigger and older. She could talk quite nicely
by Fall, although you had to listen very closely to understand all she
said. You see, she talked very quickly and ran her words together. It
was the Baby who told me about the company coming. It was one morning
on the piazza. The screens had been taken off then and the Baby and I
were in the hammock together. Freya didn’t like the hammock. She said
it made her feel funny inside when it swung. I did, though. It was full
of nice soft cushions and I was very proud when I found one day that I
could jump up on it all by myself and didn’t have to be lifted up or
pulled up any more. Well, the Baby and I were there together, swinging,
and she was pulling my ears the way she liked to do, and chatting all
the time. I wasn’t paying very much attention to what she was saying
because I was a little bit sleepy. It always makes me sleepy to have my
ears pulled. Well, pretty soon the Baby said:

“Booful little boy’s coming to play wiv Mild’ed. All way f’om City.
Coming to-day, I dess.”

I pricked up my ears then. At least, I pricked up one of them, the one
that wasn’t being pulled. I had never seen a little boy very near, but
I had heard Mother speak of them and from what she had said I didn’t
think I should like them. So I didn’t look very pleased at what the
Baby said. Perhaps she saw it, for she went on:

“Is very nice little boy. Is coming all way f’om City to play wiv
Mild’ed. Little boy’s name is A’fed.”

I thought Afed was a very silly name for any one, even a boy. I found
out afterwards that his name was Alfred, but I didn’t like it much
better. I hoped he would be nicer than his name. The Baby talked on
about him for a long time and I pretended to listen. Finally I got
tired hearing about him and jumped down and went away. I made up my
mind that I wasn’t going to like A’fred, and when I told Freya she
made up her mind she wasn’t going to like him either. We decided that
we would bite his legs when he came.

William drove to the railway station to meet Alfred and his mother,
and Freya went along. William was very partial to Freya and used to
take her with him quite often. He took me once and said he would never
do it again because I barked at everything I saw and fell out of the
carriage. I didn’t mean to fall out, though, and it hurt a good deal.
Anyhow, he took Freya with him that day and I found a warm place on a
flower bed beside the house and waited for them to come back. William
didn’t like to have us lie on the flower beds, even after the flowers
were through blooming, but I knew he wouldn’t see me and I meant to go
away when I heard the carriage coming up the drive.

But it was so warm there and the earth smelled so nice that I fell
asleep. When I woke up the first thing I did was to howl and the next
thing to run. Because William had come back without my hearing him and
had crept over to me, and what had wakened me up was the carriage whip!
I thought it was rather a mean thing to surprise me like that. When I
had stopped hurting and running I looked back and there was the little
boy with Freya in his arms going into the house. And, would you believe
it, Freya was actually licking his face! Isn’t that like a girl-dog, to
break her promise the very first thing? Just pat Freya and she thinks
you are perfectly lovely and follows you all around. For my part, I’d
have more self-respect and pride. Folks can’t make friends with me by
just patting my head and saying “Nice doggie!” No, sir!

I was quite disgusted with Freya and I told her so later.

Alfred’s mother was a very sweet looking lady and I knew right away I
should like her. I did, too. Not two hours afterwards she came out to
see us and fed us peppermint drops. I am very fond of peppermint drops
because they make your tongue feel sort of cold and tingley, and I
liked the lady at once. Oh, not just because of the candy, of course,
but because she was nice to look at and understood dogs and loved them.
We can tell right off whether a person likes us. Alfred came out with
his mother, and the Baby followed Alfred. She wouldn’t let him out of
her sight and paid almost no attention to me. Alfred was really rather
nice looking, for a boy, with golden hair, dark eyes and a sun-burned
face. He was older than the Baby. When he saw me he cried:

“Oh, there’s another of them! Come here, puppy! What’s your name?”

Of course I paid no heed to him. I meant to show Freya that I had more
sense than to grovel to folks just because they whistled to me and paid
me a little attention! When he saw that I didn’t mean to come to him he
started after me, and I showed my teeth and growled. He stopped then
and made a face at me. “You’re not as nice as the other one,” he said.
Then he picked up a pebble and threw it at me and I growled again.
“What’s this one’s name, Mildred?” he asked the Baby.

“He name F’itz. Him booful dogums!”

Alfred laughed. “Fits! That’s a funny name, isn’t it? Does he have them
often?”

“She means Fritz, dear,” said his mother. “Here, Fritz, come and see
me.”

So I went, but I wouldn’t let Alfred touch me, and he didn’t like it a
bit. He fed candy to Freya and she fairly licked his shoes! Girl-dogs
have no pride. It so disgusted me that I turned right around and went
down to the stable and crawled behind the flower-pots.

Even Father and Mother seemed to like Alfred, and they and Freya played
with him and the Baby a lot. I didn’t. I stayed away. It was pretty
lonesome, though. Now and then Alfred would try to make friends with
me. He begged cake from Cook and tried to get me to take it, but I
wouldn’t. I’m fond of cake, too. I spent a good deal of time behind
the flower-pots those days. You see I was afraid that some time when I
was fearfully hungry Alfred would offer me cake and I’d take it. And
I didn’t want to, for I had made up my mind not to be friends with
him. One morning he and the Baby came out of the house when we were
having breakfast at the back door and called to us. Of course Father
and Mother and Freya trotted right over to them, but I stayed and made
believe I had found something more to eat in the dish. When Freya saw
that she came back, but I growled at her and she went off again.

“Come, F’itz!” called the Baby. “Come F’itz, booful dogums!”

And Alfred called me too, but I wouldn’t go, and finally Alfred said:
“Oh, come on. We don’t want him anyway!”

So they went off toward the orchard to hunt squirrels. Of course I felt
pretty lonesome and wanted to go with them very much. Hunting squirrels
is awfully exciting, even though we never catch any. I licked the
breakfast dish quite clean and then went to the corner of the house and
peeked around. They were all over in the orchard and Father was barking
at a great rate, making believe he had found a fox’s nest or something,
and Freya was trotting behind Alfred and trying to lick his hand. The
Baby was toddling along, laughing, and Mother was barking at a bird. It
looked very jolly and I crept along after them, keeping out of sight.

They didn’t find any squirrels. I never saw but one in the orchard
and he wasn’t much to look at, having almost no hair on his tail. But
we always pretended the trees were full of them. After they had been
all around the orchard they climbed the wall on the other side, which
they were not allowed to do, and went into the thicket over there where
the ground is all soft and squishy. I could have told them that they
would soon find themselves in trouble, and I came very near barking and
warning them, but I didn’t. It was no affair of mine.

After a bit I heard Alfred shout and then Mother barked and the Baby
began to cry and I knew just what had happened. I went back to the
house and sat on the lawn and waited, and pretty soon they came back
looking very sorrowful. The Baby had fallen down in the swamp and she
was covered with black mud from head to toes. Alfred was leading her
with one hand and trying to wipe off the mud with the other, and
Freya, who never knows when she isn’t wanted, was getting in the way
and barking and acting perfectly stupid. Father and Mother stayed
behind, trying to look as if nothing much had happened. When they all
passed me I just looked at them without a word and I can tell you they
felt silly! The Mistress saw them from a window and came hurrying out
to meet them, and Alfred’s mother came out, too.

“Oh, Mildred, what have you done?” cried the Mistress. “Just see that
nice clean dress I put on you not half an hour ago!”

“She――she fell down in the mud over there,” said Alfred. “We――we were
hunting Indians.”

Did you ever hear anything so foolish? Just as though there were any
Indians around there! Even if there had been Freya and I would soon
have scared them away. Well, the Mistress led the Baby into the house
and Alfred’s mother said: “Alfred, come with me, please,” and Alfred
said “Yes’m,” in a voice that seemed to come from his shoes. Father and
Mother went down to the stable in a hurry and Freya came over and sat
down beside me.

“A nice thing you did,” I said.

“It wasn’t my fault,” said Freya with a whine.

“You should have watched out for the Baby,” I said sternly. “You’ll
catch it when the Mistress finds you.”

So Freya suddenly remembered that she had left a bone behind the stable
and trotted off after it, looking back now and then at the front door.
Presently Alfred came out all alone. He had one arm over his eyes,
but he couldn’t fool me. I knew he was crying. I guess his mother had
whipped him, or maybe just scolded him, for letting the Baby fall in
the mud. He didn’t see me and he went around the house and sat down on
the back door-step and sniffled. I followed him. If you don’t like
a person you enjoy seeing them cry. At least, you ought to, I think.
But Alfred kept on crying kind of softly, just as though his heart was
broken, and I couldn’t stand it. I wanted to go away and leave him
there, but――but somehow I couldn’t do that either.

So after a bit I crept over to him and got up on the step beside
him and licked his face. He peeked out and saw it was me and was so
surprised that he forgot to cry for a minute. Then he put his arm
around me and I licked his face some more and――and, oh, well, after
that we liked each other a lot.

Mother said afterwards that it was just jealousy that had kept me away,
and I guess it was. Alfred stayed a whole week after that and we had
some fine times together. When he went back to the City I missed him a
great deal. The place seemed very lonely. I think I missed him almost
as much as the Baby did, and the Baby cried all one day. I tried my
best to comfort her and I licked her nose and her cheeks and her ears,
but it didn’t do much good. She kept right on saying that she wanted
her “booful A’fed.” The Mistress told her that she would see him again
very soon because they were all going to the City to stay a long,
long time. But that didn’t help me any, because I was quite sure they
wouldn’t take me.

And they didn’t. They all went off, bag and baggage, about a week
later, and only William and Cook and Delia were left. Mother and I were
very sad and lonesome at first. I don’t think Father minded so much,
because he and William were great chums, and as for Freya, why, as long
as she had enough to eat and some one to say “Good dog” to her, she
didn’t care what happened. But Mother and I missed the Baby a whole
lot, and the Mistress too, and the Master not so much because he was
busy a good deal of the time and we saw less of him.

And then one day we woke up and the world was all white, and Mother
said it had snowed in the night. And William picked up some of the
white stuff and made a ball of it and threw it at Delia at the back
door. And Delia squealed and ran inside. William said: “Well, well,
winter’s here at last!”

I think I have told you enough for now. You have almost fallen asleep
two or three times. Besides, it is time for my nap. I always like a
short nap before dinner. And really I have talked an awful lot. I hope
you liked my story.

[Illustration]



PART TWO

WHEN I GREW UP



CHAPTER I

HOW WE WENT HUNTING


Bow!

So you want to hear some more of my story, do you? Very well. It’s a
very good day to sit here by the fire and tell stories, because it is
raining hard and there isn’t much a dog can do in the City on a rainy
day. For my part I think cities are rather stupid places, anyway. Of
course, on bright days, there’s the Park and the Avenue, and I like
those very much. But it’s a bother always having to be on a leash. When
I see a dog on the other side of the street whom I am quite sure I
should like to know, all I can do is just say “Hello!” In the country I
could trot over to him and make friends and, like as not, we’d go off
on a nice long hunt in the woods. There’s lots to see in the City, but
it is awfully noisy and crowded and at first it made me quite nervous.
I’m getting used to it now. I do think it’s a mistake to have so little
yard about the house, though, especially when it is paved with stone
and brick. Even the stable floor is stone and I’m sure there are some
fine fat rats under it if I could only get at them. Why, I haven’t had
but one good dig since I got here! And that was that day in the Park
when the big Policeman came running over, waving a funny short stick
at us, and said he would have us both taken to jail if I didn’t stop
digging.

Yes, I do miss the digging. The other day I made believe I smelled
a fox in the corner of the back hall and was scratching away at the
boards and having a real good time when Cook came and drove me away. I
forgave her, though, for she gave me a chicken leg to eat. I _do_ have
good things to eat here; better than I used to in the country; more
different kinds of things, anyway. And a dog likes variety as well as
you Two-Legged Folks do. I don’t want you to think I am at all unhappy
here, for I am not. If only there was a garden bed to dig in now and
then I wouldn’t ask for more. And, anyhow, what a dog wants most is
love and kindness, and I get lots of that. I guess I don’t care about
the flower bed. Excuse me just a moment while I lick your face.

Well, I left off where the Family had gone to the City, didn’t I? We
dogs had a good deal of fun in that snow. It was the first snow I had
ever seen and I had a fine time running around in it and biting it.
Freya said it made her paws cold and she sat in the stable door and
just looked at it and shivered until I chased her out and rolled her
over in it. After that she didn’t mind it a bit. William made snowballs
and threw them for us to chase. It was great fun for they went into the
snow, quite out of sight, and we had to burrow down and dig them out.
And then when we tried to take them in our teeth to bring them back to
William they would fall to pieces!

After that there was no more snow for quite a long time and we hunted
a good deal. Jack used to come over and he and Father, and sometimes
the rest of us, would go trotting off into the woods and stay for
hours. Sometimes Jack would see a pheasant or a grouse and get awfully
excited and run and run after it and get so tired that when he came
back he would have to throw himself down and rest. Usually, though, we
never saw much except chipmunks and squirrels; but one day Jack found a
rabbit in a clump of bushes and we all had a merry time chasing him. Of
course the rest of us, with our short legs, couldn’t keep up with Jack
and he and the rabbit were soon way ahead of us. And when we came up to
him he was sitting by a hole in the ground where the rabbit had gone.

Freya and I began to dig at a great rate and just made the dirt fly.
Mother wanted to stop us, but Father said “No, let them have their
fun.” Freya kept getting in my way, so I had to nip her on the leg and
chase her away. Pretty soon all you could see of me was just the tip
of my tail sticking out of the hole. And just then I heard a lot of
barking and when I had backed out all the others were tearing across
the field after that rabbit! He had crept out of a hole on the other
side of the little hill where he lived and run off again. I felt rather
silly. The others came back pretty soon without the rabbit. Mother said
that rabbits lived in houses with a great many doors, and when you went
in one door they came out another. I don’t think that’s a fair way
to play, do you? Afterwards, though, I was glad we hadn’t caught the
rabbit, for he was such a tiny, pretty little thing that it would have
been a shame to hurt him.

The weather got colder and colder and there was more snow. We didn’t
mind the cold, though, for our coats had been growing thicker and
warmer since summer, and our house was nice and cosy. One day Mother
took Freya and me down to the pond and when we got there it looked
very queer. I asked what had happened to the water and she said it had
frozen into ice, and while I was looking at it she gave me a push and I
had to run down the bank and when I got to the bottom and came to the
pond my feet went up in the air and I went over on my back and I slid
way out on the ice. Mother and Freya stood there and laughed at me, and
when I tried to get on my feet they just slipped from under me and I
was scared and whined. But Mother told me not to be a baby and pretty
soon I got back to the shore and then I pushed Freya down the bank and
she slid, too, and made a worse fuss about it than I had. Then Mother
showed us how we could walk quite nicely by taking very short steps and
soon we were all three chasing each other about and falling down and
rolling over and having a grand time.

One morning we awoke to find the snow above the bottom of the Kennel
windows, and there was William out there with a red muffler around his
neck digging a path to us with a wooden shovel. The snow that time was
so deep that we could only go where William had made paths. But Father
showed us how to have a lot of fun by digging tunnels and Freya and I
dug one all the way from the Kennel to the stable door. The funny thing
was that in the tunnels, under all that cold snow, it was warmer than
it was outside!

When William went to the village for the mail and other things now he
went in a sleigh, and one afternoon he took all us dogs with him and
we had the finest sort of a time. We barked at everything we saw,
and once Freya fell out of the sleigh into a snowbank and went out
of sight! (I pushed her off the seat, but William didn’t know it.)
In the village a lady who kept the little store where William bought
his newspaper came out and petted us and fed us peanuts. Peanuts are
very nice. The part you eat is inside a shell and you have to crack
the shell open first. Sometimes you eat some of the shell too, without
meaning to, but it doesn’t hurt you. The lady thought it was very funny
to see us eat the peanuts and she laughed a lot and said we were clever
dogs.

“Sure, ma’am, they’ll eat anything at all,” said William, and the lady
laughed some more and said:

“I know one thing they won’t eat.”

“What’s that?” asked William.

So she went back into the little store and came out with something that
looked like a lemon but wasn’t. “Let me see them eat that,” she said
to William.

“A pickled lime, is it?” said William. “They’re that fond of ’em,
ma’am, I can’t keep enough of ’em on hand, but they’re bad for dogs,
ma’am.”

The lady laughed again. “That’s a fib,” she said. “You know they
wouldn’t touch it.”

“Won’t they then,” said William. “Just watch ’em, ma’am.” So he took
the pickled lime and looked at us, trying to make up his mind which of
us to give it to. I hoped he wouldn’t give it to me, but he did. “Eat
it, Fritzie,” he said coaxingly. “Good dog.”

Well, William was a friend of mine and I wanted to help him out of his
fix, and so I took it and laid it down on the seat and ate it. It was
quite the worst tasting thing I ever had. It was sort of sour and sort
of salt and full of puckery juice. But I ate it, and when it was all
gone I tried to make the lady think that I wanted more, and William
was so pleased with me that afterwards he stopped at the butcher’s and
brought out a piece of meat for each of us. I’m sure that meat saved
me from being a very sick dog. Even as it was I felt quite unhappy for
awhile and didn’t bark once all the way home.

A few days after that the Family came back and maybe I wasn’t glad
to see them again. William brought them from the station in the big
sleigh, and as soon as they were in the house William called to us dogs
and we all went running in to see them. And the Master said how well
we all looked and how Freya and I had grown, and the Baby sat down on
the floor and we all jumped about her and licked her face and I ran
off with one of her fur mittens and took it under the couch and chewed
it a little. It was a very happy time. William told the Master how I
had eaten the pickled lime for him in the village and the Master and
Mistress laughed and laughed about it and said I was a fine dog, and
after that for a long time the Master called me “the limehound”!

It was wonderful the way the Baby had grown in such a short time. I had
to jump now when I wanted to lick her face! She was awfully glad to see
us and cried a little when William took us back to the Kennel.



CHAPTER II

HOW WE SPENT CHRISTMAS


The next day the Master, the Mistress, the Baby, William and us dogs
went for a walk together. William carried an axe and a piece of rope. I
thought we were going hunting. The snow was quite deep and the Master
and the Mistress wore funny flat things under their shoes which kept
them from sinking through the snow. The Master carried the Baby in his
arms until we had got to the woods, and she kept saying “Kismas twee!
Kismas twee! Booful Kismas twee!” all the way. When we were at the
edge of the woods the Master and William walked around and looked at
the trees and at last the Master said “This one, William,” and William
swung his axe and down came the tree. It was only a small one and I
tried to tell them that there were very much larger ones further on,
but no one paid any attention to me. When the tree was cut down William
tied the rope to it and we went home, William dragging the tree after
him over the snow. I thought it was a pretty poor sort of hunt.

It began to snow again before we were back at the house and William put
us to bed early that evening. The next morning the snow had stopped and
the sun was shining brightly. William let us out and we all tore up to
the back door, very hungry indeed. And when Cook gave us our breakfast
what do you suppose it was? What’s the nicest thing you can think of?
Mince pie? Why, of course not; dogs don’t care for mince pie. No, nor
candy――much. What we had that morning was liver and corn-bread, with
lots of gravy! How was that for a feast? And Cook and Delia and William
stood around and saw us eat it and laughed and seemed very gay and
happy. And after that William took us into the house.

There was the Baby and the Master and the Mistress, and they all
cried “Merry Christmas!” as we came tumbling in; only the Baby said
“Maykismas!” instead, which was the best she could do. Between the
windows in the big room was that tree we had brought home the day
before, but you would never have known it for the same tree. I didn’t
know whether to bark at it or wag my tail. So I growled. That tree
was all covered with the most wonderful sparkly things! There were
glass balls of red and yellow and green and white and blue, and long
strings of shiny stuff that glittered in the sunlight, and strings of
pop-corn――only I’d never seen any pop-corn just like it before, because
it was pink!――and all sorts of little toys and coloured paper bags and,
at the very tip-top of the tree, a little white angel with wings like
a dragon-fly! And underneath the tree were many things wrapped in paper
and tied with red ribbons.

“Just see Freya!” laughed the Mistress. Would you believe it, that dog
had helped herself to one of the packages and had taken it under the
table and was tearing the paper off it! I was terribly ashamed of her,
I can tell you! But the Master and the Mistress didn’t seem to mind
it. They only laughed. And the Master looked at what Freya had taken
and said: “Smart dog! It had her name on it!” And the Baby clapped
her hands and every one seemed to think that Freya had really done
something very clever!

The Master reached under the tree then and picked up one of the
packages and looked at it and said: “Now then, Young Fritz, here’s a
present for you. Sit up and ask for it, you rascal!”

So I sat up on my hind legs and begged and he put it in my mouth and I
took it off to a corner and smelled of it. It didn’t smell very nice,
I thought. It made me think of something but I couldn’t remember what.
So I tore the paper off it and――can you guess what I found? A pickled
lime! Wasn’t that a mean joke? I backed away from it in a hurry and
they all laughed at me and I crawled under the couch where Freya was
chewing on a rubber ball with her eyes closed. I took it away from her,
but the Mistress said “No, no, Fritzie! You mustn’t take Freya’s ball
away. Here’s something nice for you.”

So I sat up and begged again and the Master gave me another present and
when I’d got the paper and ribbon off it there was a rubber cat that
squeaked every time I bit it! It looked a little like Ju-Ju, who was
sitting on the window-sill with a new pink bow around her neck, and
when I saw that I bit it harder.

Father got a new collar and a rabbit made of cloth, Mother got a
Teddy bear and a tin bug that walked across the floor and went
_click-click-click_, Freya got the ball and a cloth cat which was
bigger than mine but didn’t taste so good and I got a wooden duck that
flapped its wings and opened its mouth when you moved it. I didn’t
think that the Family knew about the time the duck made me fall into
the brook, but they must have. I suppose Ju-Ju told them. That cat
talks too much, anyway.

And we all had sweet biscuits and candy which the Baby fed to us until
the Mistress told her we had had enough. After that we were allowed
to stay there and play a long time. I chewed that rubber cat until it
stopped squeaking and then tried the duck. The paint tasted very good.
Freya stole a bag of candy from the tree and ate half of it before I
found out about it and took it away from her. Really, her manners were
awful that day!

[Illustration: I chewed that rubber cat until it stopped squeaking and
then tried the duck]

I ate the rest of the candy so as to punish her for stealing it, but I
didn’t really want it and after I had eaten it I began to feel sick.
It was just as well, I think, that they let us out just then. I don’t
know what the rest did, but I hurried right down to the stable and
got behind the flower-pots and had quite a miserable time of it for a
while. You see, besides the sweet biscuits and all that candy, I had
eaten most of a rubber cat and one wing of a wooden duck. I think,
though, that it was the yellow paint that made me sick.

I felt better in the afternoon and crawled out and went back to the
house. The Baby had a new sled and she was coasting down a little hill
behind the house. She would sit on the sled and take one of us dogs in
her arms and then Nurse would give her a push and off she would go. I
coasted twice but didn’t care much for it. I wasn’t feeling quite well
yet. For dinner that day we had turkey, and it was fine; almost as
good as liver and corn-bread. I was very glad that I felt well enough
by that time to eat all that was given to me――and some of Freya’s. Then
William took us down and put us to bed and that ended that Christmas
Day. I had had a very good time, on the whole, but I was a little glad
that Christmas didn’t come very often!



CHAPTER III

MORE LESSONS


It was in February that Father and Mother began going away from home
for three and four days at a time. William usually went with them, but
once the Master went. Each time they came back they brought a bunch
of pretty ribbons, blue and red and yellow and white, and William put
them in a glass case in the harness room where there were lots more. Of
course we asked Mother where the ribbons came from and she said from
the dog shows and told us about them. But we didn’t understand very
well. It seemed that the ribbons were prizes given to Father and Mother
because they were such fine dogs, and William and the Master and every
one was very pleased and proud each time Father and Mother came home.

Father was proud, too. He got more ribbons than Mother. I didn’t think
that was fair, but Mother didn’t seem to mind. After each show Father
would be very lazy and just lie around and look proud and Mother would
fetch him bones. But after a day or two Father would forget to be proud
and find his own bones. It wasn’t much fun for Freya and I when Father
was being proud, because he slept a lot and if we made the least noise
Mother would say “Hush, children! Your father is taking a nap and you
mustn’t waken him. Go somewhere else and play.” So we were glad when
the dog shows stopped for a while.

Freya and I were to learn about dog shows for ourselves, though. When
we were almost a year old William began putting a leash on my collar
and Freya’s and walking us about. At first I didn’t like it at all. It
made me quite nervous to have that strap holding me back. The first
time William put it on I stood still and he kept tugging at it and
saying “Come on, now, Fritzie! Come on now!” I was quite willing to go
with him, but I didn’t like the feeling of that collar up around my
ears. Still, it didn’t do any good to put my feet out and hold back
because William dragged me, and when I found that out I decided I’d run
away from him. So I started off in a hurry. But there was that horrid
strap, and when I’d gone a little ways my feet went out from under me
and I turned a somersault. That frightened me and I ran off in another
direction. But each time that leash stopped me. Then I began to run
around William in circles and howl and presently, when I couldn’t run
any more, because the leash was wrapped around William’s legs, I gave
a final tug and William fell over on his back in a flower-bed where
there were some sweet peas just coming up. He was very angry. I saw
that at once and so I tried my best to get away from there. But the
more I tried to run the angrier William got. You see, he couldn’t get
the strap from around his legs and so he couldn’t get on his feet. And
just then I heard the Baby clapping her hands and Nurse saying “Why,
William! Whatever are you doing there?”

And then William was so surprised and felt so silly that he let go
the leash and I pulled it loose and ran as hard as I could run to the
stable and crawled behind the flower-pots. But of course he found me
and pulled me out. He always did. Sometimes now I wonder why I didn’t
find a better place to hide in.

Well, William had his way in the end and I got so I didn’t mind being
on the leash and would walk along ahead of him quite nicely. Freya had
to learn too. She didn’t mind it as much as I had, but then she never
had much spirit. After we got used to the leash William would put a
flat box in the middle of the carriage room floor and make us get up
on it and stand there for minutes at a time. I didn’t see much fun in
that, and at first when he got me on the box I jumped right down again.
But he was very――very――Now what was it that Mother said he was? Oh,
patient; that was it; very patient. That was what Mother called it, but
I said he was stubborn.

Anyway, he kept at me until I did just what he wanted me to, and after
a while I didn’t mind standing on the box, although I couldn’t see much
sense in it and it seemed a dreadful waste of time. But Mother told us
what it was all for, and then I was quite willing to do what William
wanted. You see, we were being trained for the dog shows. I thought
that was very nice because it meant going on a journey, just as Father
and Mother had, and bringing back a lot of pretty ribbons. Father
said, though, that if I didn’t behave better than I’d been behaving I
wouldn’t get any ribbons. Father can be quite gruff at times. Freya was
so excited about it that she could talk of nothing else.

“Won’t it be fine,” she would say, “to be in a show and have hundreds
of people admiring you and patting you and saying what a lovely dog you
are? I know I shall just love it, Fritz!”

Girl-dogs are always vain, you see. Vanity is not becoming in dogs any
more than in Two-Legged Folks and so I growled and said: “I guess no
one will look twice at you, Miss Stuck-Up! You’re much too homely.”

That made Freya cry and she ran off to ask her mother if it was so.
Of course she really wasn’t homely. I only said that so she wouldn’t
be vain and proud. Freya in some ways was a better looking dog than I
was. Her coat was what the Master called “perfectly wonderful.” It was
very black and very shiny; just like satin. And her ears were fine and
long and silky. And she had nice eyes, too, and a good tail. My tail
had a place on the tip where there was no hair. Poor William troubled
a lot about that spot and rubbed it with grease for weeks and weeks.
The grease didn’t seem to do much good, though. Perhaps I licked it
off too soon. That place never has got quite right and I don’t think
it ever will. But even if Freya was a little better looking than I,
she couldn’t run as fast or dig as deep or do useful things as well as
I could. I was lots stronger and bigger. Mother said that was as it
should be; that girl-dogs were not supposed to be as big and brave and
strong as boy-dogs.

Well, William taught us all sorts of things that Spring. It was a good
deal of a bother, but the thought of being taken to the dog show helped
me to be patient and go through with it. After we had been in training
for a month or more I asked Mother when the show was to be and she
said she didn’t know; that maybe it wouldn’t come for a long time. I
didn’t like that and I had made up my mind that there wasn’t any use in
going through with so many lessons if nothing was to come of it when,
one morning, the Master came down to the stable.

“Well, how are they getting on, William?” he asked.

“Fair, sir,” said William. “Freya takes to it like the lady she is,
sir, but Young Fritz is slower. He’s as stubborn as his father, sir.”

Now I thought that very unkind of William after all the trouble I had
taken to please him, and just to show that my feelings were hurt I
sneaked off and got behind the flower-pots. But I could hear what they
were saying in the carriage room, and pretty soon the Master said:

“Well, I think we’ll try them out at the Oak Cliff Show in June. It’s
nearby and there’s only one day of it. They’re bound to be nervous the
first time and a small show is a good one to start them with.”

I pricked up my ears at that, because it was already the last of May,
and crawled out from back of the flower-pots.



CHAPTER IV

A VISIT TO JACK


“Freya won’t mind it a bit, sir,” William was saying. “She’s the sort
that loves a bit of fuss and excitement. She’ll show well, she will,
sir.”

William always thought whatever Freya did was all right. I made up my
mind to show them that I could behave just as well as she could, and so
I went back to the carriage room.

“Well, let me see how they act,” said the Master.

So William snapped the leash on my collar and walked me slowly around
in a circle several times. Then he stopped and I stopped and stood
quite still. Then he led me to the box and said “Up, boy!” and I jumped
up on the box and stood there very straight, with my head up and my
body stretched as long as I could stretch it. Then William took hold
of my tail and lifted my back legs up by it, and felt me all over and
opened my mouth and looked at my teeth and went through with all the
things he always did when I was on the box. And finally he said “All
right, boy!” and I jumped down and looked at the Master and wagged my
tail. I could see at once that he was very pleased.

“Why, there’s nothing wrong with him, William!” said the Master. “I
never saw a dog have any better ring manners than that.”

William scratched his head and shook it and looked at me in a puzzled
way. “Well, sir,” he said at last, “I never knew him to do it like that
before. Seems as if he was sort of showing off, don’t it, sir?”

“Why, yes,” laughed the Master, “and that’s what we want him to do!”

Then Freya went through with it and didn’t do as well as I had because
she kept wiggling all the time, wanting the Master to speak to her and
pet her. Girl-dogs are silly that way. There’s a time for everything,
but they don’t understand it. They always want to play when it’s time
to work, which is quite wrong. Well, the Master was much pleased with
both of us and said that we’d surely be shown at the Oak Cliff Show
next month, and that he’d send in the entries at once. I ran off to
tell Mother about it and she was pleased too.

“You must be a very good dog,” she said, “and do just as William tells
you to. And when you get to the show you must mind your own affairs and
pay no attention to other dogs or to people. I don’t think your father
or I will be there, so you must look after yourself and Freya.”

I was sorry Father and Mother were not going, but I was quite excited
at the thought of Freya and I going alone, and I hunted up Freya to
tell her. When I found her she was looking very sad and I asked her
what the matter was.

“I have a pimple,” she whined. “William just found it. He says if I
don’t get rid of it before the show I won’t get a prize.”

And she absolutely began to cry! Aren’t girl-dogs funny? I looked at
the pimple and it was so small I couldn’t see it at first. It wasn’t
worth bothering about. I’d had them five times as large as hers. Why,
the time I ate the crow that I found in the truck garden I had dozens
of great huge ones! And William put some smelly stuff on them and
gave me a dose of nasty medicine and they went right away again. So I
laughed at Freya and she stopped crying, and after William had rubbed
something on the pimple I told her what Mother had said. I thought she
would be quite pleased about it, but she wasn’t. You never can tell
what a girl-dog will do!

“Oh,” said Freya, “I should be frightened to death to go away without
Father and Mother! I just couldn’t do it!”

“Well,” I said, “you’ll just have to. Besides, William will be there
and maybe the Master, too.”

“But it isn’t the same as having your own parents,” said Freya, looking
teary again. “Suppose――suppose anything happened to us!”

“What could happen?” I asked. “Besides, _I’m_ going to be there!”

That ought to have satisfied her, I thought, but it didn’t, and she
went running off to tell Mother how frightened she was. That was too
much for me and I trotted over to call on Jack and tell him the news.

I found him in the back yard eating a fine big veal bone. “Hello,
Fritz,” he said, pushing the bone to me. “Want to chew on that? It
isn’t half bad. I’m afraid I’ve eaten the best of it, though.”

It was very nice and sweet, that bone, and I settled down to enjoy it,
and between crunches I told him about Freya and I going alone to the
dog show. He didn’t seem to think it was so grand, though. He kind of
turned up his lip at it.

“The Oak Cliff Show?” he said. “Oh, that’s just a small affair, a
one-day show, managed by the women folks. It’s pretty good fun, of
course, but even if you do bring back some ribbons they don’t amount to
much.”

I guess he saw that I was disappointed, because he went on: “Not that
it isn’t worth while, of course. I used to go to it when I was a little
fellow. You’ll like it and I dare say Freya will get a ‘blue.’ You too,
maybe. A ‘red,’ anyhow. I have five or six ‘blues’ that I got there.”
He yawned. “When is it to be?”

“Some time in June,” I said.

“Of course; it always is in June. I meant what day?”

I couldn’t tell him that, though.

“Well, you’ll have a good time. Don’t let folks handle you too much,
Fritz. It upsets you and you don’t do so well in the ring. And don’t
pay any attention to the judges. Act as if you didn’t see them. When I
was a puppy I was too friendly and bit one of the judges on the nose
when he was bending over me. I just did it in play, but I guess I bit
too hard, because he made a great to-do about it and sent me right out
of the ring and I didn’t even get a mention.”

“I suppose,” I said, “a great many dogs go to it?”

“Oh, about a hundred, I think. You’ll meet all kinds. Don’t have much
to do with them. Some of them are no-account dogs. It takes all sorts
of dogs to make a world, you know.”

“A hundred!” I said. “My, but that’s a lot of dogs, isn’t it? I didn’t
know there were so many in the world, Jack!”

Jack laughed. “A hundred’s nothing,” he said. “In the New York show
I’ve seen nearly five hundred! That’s a show that is a show, Fritz!
Maybe if you do pretty well at Oak Cliff the Master will send you there
next winter.”

“I wish he would,” I answered. “It must be fine.”

Jack yawned again. “It’s rather good fun until you get used to it,” he
said. “Going? Well, come again. I’ll drop over and see you before the
show.”

So I thanked him for the loan of his bone and trotted home.



CHAPTER V

THE TURTLE


A week before we were to go to Oak Cliff William began to groom us
every morning and evening. We were rubbed all over with a cloth that
was wet with something that smelled good and left our coats smooth and
glossy. We were brushed, too, and our claws were cut and our teeth were
cleaned and he even washed our ears! I stood everything very well but
that. I do hate to have my ears washed. Don’t you?

As for that bare spot on the end of my tail, poor William worked and
worked and fussed and fussed and worried and worried over that. “I’m
thinking,” he told me once, “that it would be fine if you’d wag your
tail hard when the judge is looking at you and maybe he won’t see where
the hair’s off!” I suspected that William put some sort of medicine
in our food those days. I couldn’t find it, but there was a little
different taste to things. I think that is a very mean thing to do to
a dog. Poor Freya had a hard time getting enough to eat that week,
because William said she was a little too fat and so he only gave her
about half what he usually did. Sometimes, if I wasn’t awfully hungry
and William wasn’t looking, I’d leave a little in my dish and let her
finish it.

Of course all the attention we had took a lot of time and it was hard
to stay quiet so long. But I went through with it as best I could
because I knew that the nicer I looked at the show the more likely I
was to get a pretty ribbon. The worst of it was that after William had
groomed us we were supposed to be very good and keep ourselves clean.
That wasn’t much trouble for Freya. She liked being fussed over and I
think she was glad of an excuse to be lazy and lie around in the sun
and not go hunting. But it wasn’t so easy for me, and try as hard
as I might I seemed to be always getting into scrapes. Like the time I
caught the turtle.

William had just fixed me all up until I felt much too clean for
comfort and told me to be good and not get dirty. I really meant to
obey him, but I didn’t think it was much fun to just lie around the
stable and so I asked Freya to go for a run with me. She wouldn’t,
though. She said William wouldn’t like it if she did. So I went off
alone and wandered down into the meadow and chased grasshoppers for
awhile. There isn’t much fun in that, though. They’re not good to eat
when you catch them. So I went on down to the brook and presently I saw
the funniest looking thing you can imagine. When I told Mother about
it afterwards she said it was a turtle, but I didn’t know what it was
then because I had never seen one before. It lived in a shell that
was a sort of greenish-brown on top and yellow underneath. There were
two funny little paws on each side and a funny little tail behind and
a much funnier little head in front, and it was crawling along very
slowly toward the brook. I watched it a minute and then I ran up to it
and barked. Then it did the queerest thing! Instead of barking back or
saying “quack” like the ducks or “cluck” like the hens it just pulled
itself inside that shell until there wasn’t anything in sight but the
place it lived!

[Illustration: I had never seen one before]

I thought that was very impolite and so I turned it over with my nose
and barked again. But it wouldn’t come out. I barked at it a long time
but it did no good, and then I lay down a little ways off and watched.
Pretty soon the turtle thought I’d gone away and out came his head
very, very slowly and he looked around with two little glittering
yellow eyes. I think he was quite surprised to find himself on his
back. He looked surprised, anyway, and he worked his paws and tried to
turn himself over. Then he saw me, I guess, for he went back into his
house very quickly again.

“You are a very stupid fellow,” I said, “whatever you are. Come on out
and play.”

But he wouldn’t, and so pretty soon I went over to him and patted him
with my paw. That didn’t bring him out, either. I made up my mind then
that I’d take him home to Mother and ask her what he was. So I just
picked him up in my mouth, house and all, and started along the brook
with him. I had gone just a little ways when I felt a sharp pain in my
lip, and I looked and that turtle had put his head out and was biting
me! You may believe that I let go of him pretty quick! But he wouldn’t
let go of me. He hung right on to my lip and swung there. I pawed at
him and rubbed my head on the ground and howled, but it did no good.
That turtle held on tight. By that time he was hurting a lot and I
began to yelp and roll around and shake my head and do everything I
could think of to get rid of him. And in the middle of it I slipped
over the side of the bank and rolled down into the brook on my back!

After that I don’t remember just what did happen for a minute or two.
I know that the turtle was still there and that I stuck my head into
the mud and rolled over and over in the water and had an awful time
and almost drowned myself before that horrid turtle finally let go of
me. When I crawled out I was covered with mud and water and my lip was
bleeding and I was shaking all over. I laid down for a while on the
bank to get my breath and then I went back to the stable, hoping I
could get behind the flower-pots before William saw me. But I didn’t.
He was washing a carriage, and Father was helping him, when I got
there, and he saw me before I could get by. My, but he was angry!
He just took hold of me by the neck and held me with one hand and
turned the hose on me with the other. Being washed with a hose is very
unpleasant. The water gets in your eyes and mouth and ears. I had a
very bad time of it. William scolded and scolded until he saw the place
on my lip where the turtle had bitten me. Then he was sorry for me and
dried me with a big chamois-skin and put some salve on the wound and it
felt better. And I crawled behind the flower-pots and went to sleep.

Turtles and toads and ducks and bees are not good for dogs. They don’t
play fair. It’s funny the lot of trouble I got into down by that brook.
There was the time the duck “quacked” at me and I fell into the mud and
the time the toad poisoned my mouth and the time the turtle bit me. You
would think that I’d have learned to stay away from the brook, but I
never did.



CHAPTER VI

AT THE DOG SHOW


We started out, William and Freya and I, very early one morning for the
dog show. I think it was a Saturday. Anyhow, I remember that we had
liver for breakfast the next day, and we usually had liver on Sundays.
Freya and I were put in the dog crate and the crate was put in the
little wagon and William drove. The Master, the Mistress and the Baby
went in the carriage. Father and Mother were left at home. Father made
quite a fuss about it and climbed into the wagon twice and had to be
put out, but Mother just told us to be good children and not get into
trouble and went back and laid down in the stable doorway.

Freya was so excited that she couldn’t keep still. I was excited, too,
but I didn’t show it. I just laid down on the bottom of the crate and
peeked out between the slats and tried to see the world. It was hard
work, though, because the slats were very close together and the wagon
bumped a good deal. After a while the wagon slowed down and we heard a
lot of barking and knew that we were almost there. When William lifted
the crate down and opened it the Master looked in and said “Hello, you
rascals! Have a good trip?” Freya and I licked his hand and he put
chains on our collars and we jumped out.

[Illustration: At the dog show]

I was a little frightened at first. Never had I seen so many people
or heard so many dogs. And as for carriages and automobiles, why, I
suppose there must have been hundreds! Folks were walking around over
the grass and dogs were being taken out of hampers and crates and it
was a strange and wonderful scene. In front of us was a monstrous big
tent, oh, quite the largest tent you can possibly imagine! And from the
tent came such a barking and yelping as I’d never heard. Freya tugged
at her chain and seemed very anxious to get to it, but I held back and
sort of wished myself back home. But just then the Mistress and the
Baby came up with some other folks, and the Baby put her arms around my
neck and said I was her “booful dogums” and I felt braver. So we all
went into the tent.

It was full of platforms, or “benches” as they called them, which were
open in front and closed at back and divided into little pens by wire
screens. William led us to one of the pens and as we went all the dogs
who saw us barked and yelped and said things to us and made a frightful
noise. We jumped up on the bench and William tied our chains to rings
in the back of the pen. There were two pieces of paper with numbers on
them tacked there, and the Master tied tags to our collars, and the
tags had the same numbers that were on the back of the pen. Mine was 86
and Freya’s was 87. William brought a big armful of nice clean straw
and put it on the bottom of the pen and I got as far away into a corner
as I could and laid down and shivered a little. But Freya jumped and
tugged at her chain and barked and went on very rudely. William took a
piece of cloth and rubbed us hard with it and then he brought us some
water.

While I was lying in the corner a dog in the next pen tried to put his
nose through the grating and I turned around quickly and nipped it. It
didn’t hurt him much, I guess, but he made an awful fuss about it and a
lady who was sitting on the edge of his pen scolded me and said I was a
horrid dog and that if I did that again she’d have me taken away. She
took that other dog in her arms and petted him and gave him something
to eat out of a little bag, and the dog whined and sniffled and acted
terribly silly. I made up my mind that if he put his nose into our pen
again I’d give him another nip. And just then he saw me looking over at
him and he winked at me, and I knew that he had been making all that
fuss so his Mistress would give him something out of the little bag!

I asked him later on what it was she gave him and he said it was raw
meat. He said I didn’t hurt him much but he wanted the meat. He was the
same kind of a dog as I, only he was all brown and very fat. We got to
be very good friends later. His name was Sigismund. He told me that his
Mistress took him to all the shows but he never got a prize but once
and then there were only two other dachshunds there. He said he didn’t
mind not getting prizes, but that his Mistress always felt very badly
about it and was quite cross to the judges.

“She thinks I’m a very fine dog,” he said, “but I’m not, you know. You
can see yourself that I’m too short in the body and too high at the
back. Besides, my teeth are bad. That comes from too much meat. It’s
all rather tiresome, this sort of thing, but she likes it and I put up
with it. Who is the dog with you?”

I told him she was my sister and he said she was very pretty and he
guessed she’d get a blue ribbon. All this was later in the day, though,
after I’d got sort of used to the noise and all the people. They kept
walking around and walking around until it made my head spin to see
them. I did wish they’d sit down somewhere or go away. They’d stop in
front of us and say the rudest things! Why, one lady looked at us and
said “Did you ever see such funny things, Tom? The idea of any one
thinking them nice!” Freya let folks pat her but I didn’t. I growled.

Across the aisle from us were a lot of big, long-haired dogs with
pointed noses. I heard William say they were collies. They did nothing
but bark all the time. They were the most excited dogs I ever saw.
Further along were some fox terriers, and besides those there were all
kinds of other dogs whose names I didn’t know.

All the time dogs were going by on chains, and Sigismund said they were
going to the judging pen. I couldn’t see the judging pen but I could
hear people clapping their hands, and every little while a dog would
pass us with a blue or a red or a yellow ribbon on his collar which
the judges had given him. And if it was a blue ribbon he would look
very, very proud, and if it was another coloured ribbon he looked just
a little bit proud. I asked Sigismund if it was very hard being judged
and he said it wasn’t and that he usually took a nap while it was going
on.

It got very warm in the tent after a while and William gave us some
fresh water and a piece of biscuit, which was all we had for dinner.
Pretty soon after that a man in overalls went around saying: “Class
49, Dachshunds! All entries to the judging pen!” Then William made us
jump down and he and the Master led us to where there was a square
pen fenced off with boards. All around it on the outside were people
looking over the top of the fence. Inside there were many dachshunds
when we got there and more followed us through the gate. Sigismund was
there, too, with his mistress. He winked at me and then closed his eyes
and looked exactly as if he was going to sleep!

Presently we all began to walk around in a circle at the end of our
chains while two men stood in the centre of the pen and watched us.
Then we stopped walking and the two men came and looked us all over,
and one by one we stood on a little platform in the centre and the two
judges felt of us and pulled us and looked into our mouths and made
me very nervous. But when my time came I remembered what William had
taught me and what Mother had said and stood very quiet and held my
head up and stretched my legs out. It really wasn’t bad at all because
the man who judged me was very gentle and I didn’t mind what he did.

After me three other dogs went on the box and were judged. And then the
two judges talked together a minute and went over to a little table in
one corner and picked up some ribbons and came back. I wondered whether
they would give one of them to William, and they did, but it was a red
ribbon and William didn’t look very pleased even if he did say “Thank
you” quite nicely. A very handsome dog named Champion Hillside Carl got
the blue ribbon, which was the first prize. I was sorry I had got only
the second prize because William looked so disappointed.

Then it was Freya’s turn to try and she and five other girl-dogs were
put on the box one after the other, and Freya looked so pretty that the
people watching over the fence clapped their hands. That pleased Freya
and she wagged her tail and smiled at the judge and he patted her head.
And when it was all over the judge walked right up to the Master and
gave him the blue ribbon, and every one clapped some more and all the
dogs barked. William didn’t feel so badly after Freya had got the first
prize.

I thought then that we would be led back to our bench, but it seemed
that we were to try for other prizes first. There were prizes for what
they called “novices,” which were dogs who had never been in a show
before. There was a prize for boy novices and one for girl novices,
and Freya and I each won a first, and by that time William was all
smiles. Then Freya and I were judged as a pair and we each got a second
prize. The first prize went to Champion Hillside Carl and a girl-dog
who was quite good-looking but not nearly so pretty as Freya.

Then we went back to the bench and William and the Master said how
well we had done and how nicely we had behaved in the pen. Besides the
lovely ribbons, which had gold letters on them and which William at
once hung up at the back of the bench, we had won money. Freya had won
eleven dollars and I had won nine. The Master said we should each have
a fine new collar. I wanted to wear my ribbons, but William wouldn’t
let me. Sigismund had not won anything at all and I was very sorry for
him, and told him so. But he only laughed.

“I didn’t expect to,” he said. “I never do. For my part I’d much
rather stay at home, but my Mistress likes this sort of thing. She
told the judges that they didn’t know their business. She always tells
them that. You did very well, you and your sister both. You’d have got
that other blue if that Hillside Carl dog hadn’t been there. He’s been
winning first prizes for two years now. I meet him everywhere I go.
He’s an awfully stuck-up chap.” He yawned and stretched himself. “Well,
it’s about over now and I shall be glad to get home again.”

I curled up and took a little nap and when I awoke William was taking
the ribbons down and it was time to go home. We jumped back in the
crate and pretty soon we were bumping along the road once more. Freya
was still too excited to keep still, but I managed to get a few more
winks of sleep on the way back. When we reached the stable Father and
Mother were waiting for us and maybe they weren’t pleased when we told
them about the prizes! Mother jumped around and licked our faces and
barked. Father didn’t say much, but I could see that he was every bit
as glad as Mother. When I told him about Champion Hillside Carl he sort
of growled.

“Humph,” he said, “was that dog there to-day? I’ve beaten Carl twice
and I could have done it again. He isn’t so fine. His ears are too
short, and he is deaf in the left one. Only the judges are too stupid
to find it out! I wish _I’d_ been there!”

We had a supper of broth and bread and went to sleep early, being
pretty well tired out.



CHAPTER VII

THE STRANGE MAN


There were no more dog shows for us that summer, although Father and
Mother went to one in August and Father came back with three blue
ribbons and Mother with a blue and two reds. Father had beaten Champion
Hillside Carl quite easily and was very proud for several days and
Mother trotted her feet off finding bones for him.

It was just after the show that Alfred and his mother came to visit
us again, and I was awfully glad to see him. He had grown a good deal
since the summer before. But then I had grown too and he said he would
scarcely have known me! I don’t know which of us was gladder to see
him, the Baby or I. We had some fine times in the next two weeks. We
hunted squirrels in the orchard and had picnics in the woods and played
all sorts of games. But we didn’t look for Indians in the swamp, I can
tell you!

Alfred liked me best of all the dogs and one evening he came down to
the Kennel after it was dark and carried me to the house and took me to
bed with him and I slept there all night curled up in his arms. In the
morning we had a fine romp when we woke up, but I guess we must have
made too much noise, for Nurse heard us and came in and said, “Why,
Master Alfred, wherever did you get that dog? Put him right off the bed
this very instant!”

[Illustration: Alfred took me to bed with him]

Nurse had left the door open and so I ran out as hard as I could and
down the stairs. It wasn’t my fault that Delia was coming up just then
with a tray of toast and coffee for Alfred’s mother, was it? Besides,
she might have seen me if she had been looking. She didn’t, though, and
I was in a great hurry and tried to run between her feet. I was almost
at the bottom of the stairs when I heard the tray fall, and a piece of
toast came rolling down after me. I thought it best not to stop for
it, however, although I am very fond of buttered toast. Fortunately,
William was shining the brass knocker on the front door and I was able
to get out without more trouble.

I went right down to the stable and got behind the flower-pots and
stayed there until the middle of the forenoon, but nothing happened,
and so, when I heard Alfred whistling, I came out. William was there,
too, and when I saw him I laid down on my back and put my feet up. But
he only laughed.

“Don’t be letting Delia get hold of you to-day,” he said. “Keep away
from the kitchen, Fritzie, my boy.”

And then he and Alfred both looked at each other and laughed again, and
Alfred and I found the Baby and Freya and went down to the brook and
waded. When I saw Delia she had a piece of white cloth tied around her
head. I don’t know why she did it, because it didn’t make her look any
prettier.

After that Alfred took me to bed with him several times and I liked it
a lot. And Nurse didn’t say a thing when she found me there. Delia and
I made it up and were good friends again in a day or two. And then it
came time for Alfred to go back to the city and I felt very sad and
lonesome. So did the Baby, and she and I used to sit together in the
hammock on the piazza and talk about Alfred and wish him back again. I
was a great comfort to the Baby, I’m sure.

I was a year and a half old that Autumn, which, for a dog, is quite
grown-up, you know. When I did anything silly Mother would say:
“Remember, Fritz, you are no longer a puppy.” It was hard to do that,
though, and I was just as fond of play as ever. But, of course, I
had grown much more sensible and wise. Experience is a great teacher.
I heard Father say that once, and I guess it must be so. I didn’t get
into scrapes any more; at least, not many. I did dig a hole under the
stable one day and then couldn’t get out again until William had taken
some of the stones out of the wall. But that was because I didn’t know
that the ground under the stable was so much lower than it was outside.
It was rather a jolly place down there and I think there were rats
there, but I was too frightened when I found I couldn’t get out again
to do any hunting. And after that William put a stone where I’d gone in
and I was never able to get back to make sure.

And then there was another scrape, too, which was quite the worst I
ever got into. I shall not forget that very soon, I can tell you! It
happened that October and this was the way of it.

Freya cared less for hunting and running around than ever that Fall and
so I used to go about a good deal alone. Sometimes Father would take
me to look for foxes, but that wasn’t very often, and we never found
any. And sometimes Jack and I would go for a run together. It wasn’t
much fun for him, though, because my legs were so short that he had
to wait for me to catch up to him every little while. So very often
I went alone. I didn’t mind. There is so much to see if you use your
eyes and so much to smell if you use your nose. And there are lots of
nice things to listen to, besides. Like the songs that the birds sing
and the whispers the breezes make in the trees and the chattering of
the squirrels and chipmunks and so many, many other sounds. There are
lots of wonderful and interesting things in the world, and a dog who is
treated kindly and has a nice home to live in has a very good time. The
nice home has a lot to do with a dog’s happiness, as I found out when
I didn’t have one.

One nice sunny day, when the leaves on the trees were all yellow and
red and were fluttering down, I found myself on the road that passes
our gate. I had been chasing a chipmunk. He ran along on top of the
wall and the fence, making a funny little squeaky noise, and every
time I got near him he would give a long jump and get away again. And
sometimes he would run down to the ground and hide and I’d have to
hunt him out. When I lost him finally in a hole that went down under
the stone wall I was nearly half a mile from home and there was a man
walking toward me along the road.

He didn’t look quite like a nice man and I started to trot away from
him. But he called to me in a kind voice and so I stopped and looked
back. And when I looked he stooped and held something toward me in his
hand and it had a very good smell. William doesn’t give us raw meat
except once in a great while when we aren’t feeling very well, but
I knew the smell of it and I knew that it was raw meat that the man
wanted to give me. I was hungry and so I thought it over and decided
that if he really didn’t want the meat himself I might as well have it.

But I was a little bit afraid and didn’t go right up to him. He tossed
a piece toward me and I went back and got it and it surely tasted
awfully nice. Then he tossed me another piece and I ate that, and
almost before I knew it I was eating the rest of the meat out of his
hand and he was patting me and saying “Good dog.” And then he slipped
a piece of string through the new collar that the Master had bought
me with the money I had won at the dog show and when I tried to turn
around and go home he wouldn’t let me! Instead of that he pulled me
down the road right in the opposite direction. At first I went along
without any fuss, but when we got farther and farther away I began to
pull back and whine. Then he got very angry with me and when he saw I
would not go unless he pulled me he called me names and kicked me!

I had never been kicked before and it frightened me even more than it
hurt, and it hurt a good deal. I yelped and tried to run away then,
but the string held me, and every time I sat down and wouldn’t walk he
kicked me with his boot. I soon saw that if I didn’t want to be kicked
I must go with him, and so I went. But I was awfully frightened and I
wanted to bite him but didn’t dare to. Pretty soon we came to a cross
road which was winding and narrow and we turned into that and walked
and walked for the longest way before we came to a house. It was a very
small house and it needed paint and the yard in front was dirty and
untidy. And when we went through the gate a horrid ugly big bulldog
came running toward us, barking and growling. But the man kicked him
too, and the bulldog howled and ran into a shed near the house.



CHAPTER VIII

HOW I WAS STOLEN


The man took me into the house, which was just as dirty and untidy as
the yard and smelt badly, and tied the string to the leg of a table
there. He went into another room for a few minutes and I sat there
and shivered until he came back. Then he took off my nice new collar,
with its silver name-plate and silver buckle, and slipped a horrid old
leather strap around my neck. He read what it said on the name-plate
and then tossed the collar aside.

“You ought to fetch a good price, old boy, if they give you a collar
like that,” he said. “Come on now.”

So he led me outdoors again and across to the shed where the bulldog
was. When the bulldog saw the man come in he howled and ran out
quickly. There were some boxes in one corner of the shed that had bars
in front of them and I was put into one of these. Then the man went out
and closed the door behind him.

It was quite dark in there, and cold and damp too, and there was
nothing in the box to lie on, and I was very unhappy. I sat and
shivered and whimpered for a long time, and it got darker and darker.
No one came to see me. I heard the bulldog prowling about outside and
sniffing at the door and I heard the man whistle to him once. Then it
got quite dark and after a while I cried myself to sleep. But I was too
cold to sleep soundly and I was very glad when the light began to come
back and I knew that it was morning again.

The man brought me two or three bones without much meat on them and a
broken dish with some water in it. I didn’t care much for the bones,
but wanted the water a good deal. The man left the door open a little
when he went out and pretty soon the bulldog came sneaking in.

“Well,” he said gruffly, “and where’d he pick you up?”

I told him.

“So you’re one of those pet dogs I’ve heard of,” he sneered. “Lie on a
cushion and eat cake, they tell me. Well, you won’t get any cake here.
Bones and kicks are all you’ll have now for a while. I know. I’ve lived
here four years. Pass out one of those bones. They’re mine by rights,
anyway.”

I told him he could have them all and pushed them through the bars
where he could get them, and he seemed more good-natured after that. He
ate them just as though he was half-starved, and growled and growled
over them. He had very bad table manners. After he had chewed them
until there was nothing left on them he laid down and we talked.

He wasn’t really a bad sort of dog at heart, only he had been treated
cruelly all his life, kicked and beaten and half-starved. Dogs, you
know, are very much like you Two-Legged Folks. Be gentle and kind to
us and we will be gentle and kind, too. Treat us crossly and we may
grow to be cross and snappy like you. You are the ones we serve, and
so it is not strange that we should learn our manners from you. Poor
Jim――for that was the bulldog’s name――had had only blows and ugly words
ever since he was a puppy and he didn’t know what it was to be well-fed
and petted and looked after. He had heard of dogs who had nice homes
and kind masters and he pretended to make fun of them and called them
“pets,” but I knew very well that he envied them all the time.

[Illustration: “Jim”]

I asked him what his master would do with me and why he had taken me
from my home, and he said that I would be taken to the City and sold.
“You’re not the first dog who has been here,” he said. “Every month or
so he brings one home with him. I’ve met a lot of them in my time.”

“But he has no right to do that,” I said. “If I did a thing like that
William would say I was stealing.”

“Of course,” said Jim. “He’s a thief. He makes his living by it. He
will get twenty or thirty dollars for you, perhaps. He would have sold
me long ago if I had been worth selling. Besides, he needs me here to
keep people away.”

“Did――did he steal you, too?” I asked him.

“I don’t know. I suppose so. I’ve been here ever since I can remember.
Probably he stole me when I was a very little puppy. Sometimes I’ve
thought I’d run away, but I never have. I’m afraid to. I’m such an ugly
looking dog that no one would want me, I guess. So I just stay here and
take what comes. I wouldn’t mind what he did if he would only give me
a kind word once in a while.”

Just then there was a noise outside and Jim sprang up with a growl and
went to the door.

“Some one coming along the lane in a carriage,” he said. “I must be
off.”

He went out and in a moment I heard him begin to bark loudly. Then his
master spoke to him and he was still and I heard another voice that I
knew.

“Hello,” said William. “Seen a stray dachshund around here?”

“What might that be?” asked the man.

“A black dog with tan markings; long body and short legs,” answered
William.

“No, I ain’t seen any dog except this one here. Want to buy him?”

What William said to that I don’t know, because I began to bark as
loudly as I could. But as soon as I barked Jim barked too and barked a
lot louder than I could, and I suppose William couldn’t hear me at all.
At any rate, when I stopped a moment to listen all I could hear was
the sound of the buggy rattling off down the road. I felt very sorry
for myself then and I laid down in a corner of the box and whined and
whimpered as though my heart was broken. After a while Jim came back.

I think he pitied me a little. “I’m sorry I had to do it,” he said. “If
I hadn’t he’d have beaten me, you know.”

“You could have run away for awhile,” I whimpered.

“I’ve tried that. It doesn’t do. He doesn’t forget. When I come back I
get the beating just the same. Cheer up, Fritz. Maybe you’ll have luck
and find a nicer home than the one you had.”

“It couldn’t be nicer,” I said, “and even if it was I wouldn’t like it.
I want to go home!”

“Where is this home of yours?” he asked.

So I told him, and told him all about William and the Master and the
Mistress and the Baby and my parents and Freya and everything. It made
me cry some more, but I liked to talk about the folks I had lost and
Jim listened very politely and seemed interested.

“That must be fine,” he sighed. “You say they fed you twice a day,
regular?”

“Yes.”

“Think of that!” he said. “You aren’t making it up, are you?”

“Of course not!”

“I didn’t know,” he said. “I’ve heard of such things, but I never
really believed them. Say, if I could help you get away I would,
honest, Fritz! But it’s no use. There isn’t anything I can do.”

We talked over two or three plans, but there didn’t seem to be any way
out of it. When it was getting dark again the man came in and took me
out of the box and led me into the house. As soon as he let go of the
string I made for the door, but he caught me and cuffed me and closed
the door tightly. Then he took a box and put me into it and nailed a
lid down on top of me. There were some little holes bored in the sides
of the box which barely let in enough air for me to breathe. Pretty
soon he took the box under his arm and set out with it. As we went out
of the yard Jim called “Good-bye, Fritz! Good luck!” But I was too
unhappy to reply.



CHAPTER IX

IN THE ANIMAL STORE


It was a long journey and I was terribly frightened. After the man had
walked a long way there was a lot of noise and then we were in a train,
only I didn’t know what it was at the time. The motion made me very
uncomfortable and I felt a little bit sick at my stomach. But I managed
to go to sleep presently, with my nose close up to one of the holes in
the box.

The next thing I knew the box was being lifted up and then the man
carried me for awhile. It was very noisy where we went and it smelled
differently from any place I’d ever been. I guessed it was the City,
and I was right. When we reached the end of the journey the cover of
the box was taken off and I found myself in a little room with the
man who had stolen me and another man who looked very dirty and fat.
I could hear a lot of funny noises; dogs barking and cats meowing and
birds chirping. The man who had brought me there said:

“Thirty dollars takes him, Bill, and not a cent less. He’s a
prize-winner, he is. Belongs to――”

“I don’t want to hear who he belongs to,” said the other man. “You
bring him to me and say you want to sell him. That’s enough. If he
wasn’t your dog I wouldn’t be buying him. But twenty dollars is all I
can pay for him. There ain’t much call for dachshunds just now. They
ain’t in style.”

So the two men talked and talked for a long time, the man who had
brought me saying he must have thirty dollars and the other man saying
he could only pay twenty. But after awhile they agreed on a price and
the new man gave the other some money and he went away. Then the new
man took me into another room that was filled with cages and put me
into one and gave me water and food. I was very thirsty and a little
bit hungry, but the place was so strange that I didn’t do more than
drink a little water at first.

There were lots of dogs there in cages, some of them just little
puppies, and there were cats, too, cats with long hair and bushy
tails and cats with short hair, and one cat with no tail at all! And
there was a goat, too, and parrots and canaries and queer birds whose
names I didn’t know, and lizards and turtles and goldfish swimming
about in tanks of water. Oh, it was a funny, queer place, and as for
noise――well, I’d never heard anything like it! Even the dog show was
a quiet place compared to that store. People came in from the street
outside and stared at us through the bars of the cages and poked their
fingers at us and laughed when we were frightened, as I was, or when
we tried to lick their hands, as the puppies did.

[Illustration: Oh, it was a funny, queer place]

Right across the aisle from where I was there was a little cage made
mostly of glass and in it were some tiny white mice with funny pink
noses. Every little while one of the mice would come out of a loaf of
bread where they lived and get in the middle of the cage and go around
and around and around in a circle as fast as he could spin! I suppose
he was chasing his tail, just as I used to do when I was a puppy, but
he did it so fast that my eyes ached. Sometimes two of the mice would
spin at the same time and it made me dizzy to see them.

Well, I stayed in that store for many days, just how many I don’t
remember. Several times folks asked about me; what my name was, how
old I was, had I any tricks, what my price was; and once I was nearly
bought by a very stout lady who had lots of rings on her fingers. But
I didn’t like her smell――you know we dogs judge folks a good deal by
their smell――and so I snapped at her when she went to stroke me and she
said right away that she wouldn’t take me. I thought that the man would
be very angry with me, but he wasn’t. He just chuckled as he put me
back in the cage.

After that I made up my mind that I would have to stay right there in
that store all the rest of my days, for I had heard the man tell folks
that my price was fifty dollars, and fifty dollars seemed a great deal
of money and I didn’t believe that any one would ever give that much
for me. The man used to tell folks a great many fibs about me. He said
my name was Kaiser and that I was raised in Germany and had taken
twenty-four prizes at dog shows since I had been in this country. He
said I was just two years old and as sound as a whistle. He wasn’t far
wrong as to my age, and I was sound, but the rest of the things
he said were just plain fibs. I was sorry about the fibs, for he was
rather a nice man and treated us all quite kindly, and I was afraid
something dreadful would happen to him for telling stories. It is very
wrong to tell fibs, of course, and dogs never do it.

I made several friendships at that store. There was Mouser, who lived
next cage to me. I never thought that I should like a cat, but I did.
He was a big grey cat and had the longest whiskers I ever saw. He and I
would put our heads through the bars and have fine long talks together.
He had seen a great deal of life and had always lived in the City. At
first he wouldn’t believe the things I told him about the country. He
took quite an interest in Ju-Ju and said he thought she was a very
lucky cat. Mouser didn’t know who his parents were or where he was
born. Isn’t that strange? Fancy not knowing your own father or mother!
I wouldn’t like that, would you?

Mouser said that when he was a tiny little kitten he lived just
anywhere; under doorsteps and on roofs and in sheds; and all he had
to eat was what he could find in the gutters. I guess he had a pretty
hard time of it until a little girl picked him up one day and took him
home with her. After that he had a nice home for nearly a year. Then
the little girl’s family went away and closed the house up and Mouser
was put out into the street again to get along as best he could. It was
harder then than it was before, because he had got used to having his
food given to him and to having a nice warm place to sleep each night.
For awhile he almost starved, he said, and had to fight other cats, and
dogs, too, and even rats sometimes, to get anything to eat. He said he
stayed around the house he had been living in for a long time, hoping
the family would come back again and let him in, but they never did
and so finally he wandered away to another part of the town where there
were many more garbage barrels. He said he was like the cat in the
verse that the little girl used to recite to him. I asked him what the
verse was and he repeated it to me. This was it:

    Poor little Kitty-in-the-Street!
    Ain’t got no thing to eat;
      Ain’t got no garbage pails,
      Ain’t got no fishes’ tails;
    Poor little Kitty-in-the-Street
    Ain’t got no thing to eat!

I think it is quite a sad little verse, don’t you?

One day when Mouser was prowling about looking for his dinner a man
with a net on the end of a pole came along and slipped the net over him
and took him off in a wagon to a place where there were lots and lots
of cats who had no homes, like Mouser. The next day a lady came looking
for a cat who would catch mice and a man whose place it was to find
homes for the cats said:

“Got just what you want, Lady. Here’s a fine big fellow that’s a
regular mouser.”

So the lady liked his looks and carried him to her home in a basket and
named him Mouser. Before that he had had another name, but he didn’t
remember what it was. He stayed with the lady for a long time and then
she, too, went away to live in a place where cats were not allowed and
so she brought Mouser to the animal dealer’s, and here he was looking
for a new home. I told him I didn’t think I would like having so many
homes, but he said you got used to it in time and that almost anything
was better than no home at all and being just a “Kitty-in-the-Street!”

Then there was Prince. Prince was a funny, good-natured dog who lived
in a big cage across the aisle. He wasn’t any regular kind of dog, but
a little of every kind. He had a long brown coat and a shaggy tail and
a pointed nose and very yellow eyes. One of his ears stood up straight
and the other fell over just as if it was tired. But he was a real
nice, jolly fellow, and had the finest, deepest bark I ever heard. He
was just about my age and had been born in the country. One day he came
with his master to the city to sell a load of vegetables at the market
and another dog quarrelled with him and they had an awful fight and
the other dog bit him so that he had to run away. And when he stopped
running he was quite lost! He hunted around and at last he found the
market again, but his master had gone. So he stayed there for a long
time and the marketman gave him pieces of meat and he got along very
nicely. He thought that some day his master would come back again. And
perhaps he did, but Prince wasn’t there because one day a boy tied a
piece of rope about his neck and took him to the animal dealer’s and
sold him for fifty cents.

He was quite happy and contented, though, and I liked him very much.
And I hope that he and Mouser each found a nice home. There was a
little white and tan dog whose name was Peaches――which is a funny name
for a dog, isn’t it?――and he lived in a cage next to Prince for awhile.
He was sold while I was there and taken away by a big man with a gruff
voice to hunt rats in a stable. Peaches was not a very gentlemanly dog,
but he was full of fun and we all liked him a lot. One of the funny
things he did was to stand on his front legs, with his hind legs in the
air, and walk around the cage. And while he did it he would say:

    “Mary had a little dog,
       He was a noble pup;
     He’d stand upon his front legs
       When you held his hind legs up!”

The parrots were noisy things. I don’t see why any one should want a
parrot around, do you? There was one that used to look at me by the
hour with his head on one side until I got quite nervous. When I barked
at him he would laugh and say “Here, Fido! Here, Fido! Good dog! Good
dog! Who killed the chicken?” I wished very much that I could have got
hold of that parrot and pulled some of his tail-feathers out!

Well, I stayed in that store a long time, and I got so I didn’t mind
the noise much. We had plenty to eat and drink and once a day we were
taken into a tiny yard at the back to run around. Of course I wasn’t
happy, and I used to long for my home and Mother and Father and the
Baby and William and Freya and, most of all, I think, for Alfred. When
I got to thinking about them I felt very sad and would often cry myself
to sleep, just as I used to do behind the flower-pots. I tell you I
missed those flower-pots a great deal those days! I had quite given up
the hope of ever getting back to my home, or even getting away from
the animal store, when one day a wonderful thing happened, a thing so
wonderful that it deserves a chapter all to itself!



CHAPTER X

BACK HOME AGAIN


I was having a little nap at the back of my cage when I heard a lady’s
voice say: “No, thank you, we are just looking about. My little boy
wants to see the dogs.”

I pricked up my ears, for I seemed to know that voice, but I couldn’t
think whose it was. The lady was out of sight and I waited eagerly
for her to reach my cage. And while she was still at the front of the
store I heard another voice say, “Mother, do you suppose they have any
dachshunds?” and my heart just jumped right up into my throat. For the
voice was Alfred’s! I leaped against the bars and barked and barked, I
can tell you! And Alfred and his mother heard me and came to see what
all the noise meant. And when Alfred saw me he cried:

“Oh, Mother, here’s a dear little dachshund! Oh, please may I have him?”

“Why, I don’t know, dear,” said his mother. “He _is_ a nice looking
dog, isn’t he? Are you sure you want him?”

“Oh, yes, yes!” said Alfred. “Really, I do, Mother! He looks so much
like Fritzie, doesn’t he? Don’t you think he does?”

Alfred put his hand into the cage to pat my head and I licked it and
tried to reach his face with my tongue and whined and whined. And
Alfred’s eyes got rounder and rounder, and suddenly he cried very
loudly:

“Oh, Mother, it _is_ Fritzie! It is! It is! He knows me, Mother!”

And――oh, well, I don’t remember much about what happened after that
for a while! I know the man came and let me out of the cage and I
jumped and barked and whined and went on terribly silly, I guess. But
you didn’t mind, did you? And then, almost before I knew it, I was
snuggled up in――in Alfred’s arms in a carriage and we were rattling
over the cobblestones at a great rate. And Alfred was crying and
hugging me and his mother was smiling and crying a little too. I
wasn’t, though; not then; I was far too happy to cry!

And then――but you know the rest of my story as well as I do. How the
Master came up to the City and took me home again and how glad I was
to see Mother and Father and Freya and every one else. And how William
blew his nose over and over again and seemed to have a very bad cold in
his head, and how the Baby said “Booful dogums!” and hugged me until I
had almost no breath left! But there was one thing I don’t think you
ever knew about fully, and that was how the brindle bulldog came to be
there.

I had been home nearly an hour and was lying in the doorway talking to
Mother and Father and Freya, telling them all about what had happened
to me while I was away, when a brindled bulldog came trotting up the
road. He was a very ugly looking dog and when I saw him I growled. But
the others paid no attention to him. As he came nearer he reminded me
of some dog I had seen somewhere and so I asked who he was.

“Oh,” said Mother, “that’s just Jim. He came here a month ago and
wouldn’t let William drive him away. So he lives here now. He’s a
very nice dog. Rather coarse in his ways and not much to look at, but
good-hearted and kind and a fine fellow to keep watch.”

Then I remembered him. He was the dog who had belonged to the man who
had stolen me. Of course I ran right out and said “Bow!” to him and we
were very glad to see each other. He told me that after his master had
gone away to take me to the City he got to thinking about my home
and how fine it would be to live in such a place and have regular meals
and be spoken to kindly now and then and he had made up his mind to run
away and go there. You see, he thought that as the Family had lost me
maybe they’d like a dog to take my place. That was quite clever of Jim,
don’t you think? And so he left his home before his master came back
and trotted down the lane and into the big road and so up to the stable.

At first Father tried to drive him away and there was quite a rumpus,
but Jim wouldn’t go. Then William tried to drive him away and got after
him with the carriage whip. (Of course William didn’t hurt him any,
because he never would hurt a dog more than was good for him.) And
still Jim wouldn’t go. So William felt sorry for him then and gave him
some food and Jim slept outside the stable that night. When William
found him there the next day he tried to drive him away again. But
Jim came right back and so William fixed him up a box in the yard and
ever since Jim had been one of the family. He told me that he was very
happy and that he had never had so much to eat in all his life! The
Master took a great fancy to Jim and Jim to the Master and they were
fine friends. Of course the Family didn’t know that his name was Jim,
because he never told them, and so they called him Tramp.

It was awfully nice to be back home once more, I can tell you, and
Mother and Father and Freya were so glad to see me that they just
couldn’t do enough for me. Freya hung around so close that she got to
be rather a bother! She never got tired of hearing about the wonderful
things that had happened to me, and about Mouser and Prince and,
especially, about Peaches, the dog who stood on his front legs. Even
Ju-Ju seemed glad to have me back. I may be wrong about that, though.
Cats are queer animals and you can’t tell much about what they’re
thinking.

But glad as I was to be back home I was a little sad all the time. I
missed Alfred a lot. And when, a few weeks later, the Family got ready
to go to the City for a visit and I learned that I was to go with them
I was awfully pleased because I thought that I should see Alfred again.
And I did, didn’t I? Do you remember when the Baby brought me in here
that morning and said:

“Afed, here is Kismus present for oo, Mild’ed’s booful dogum!”

You were almost as glad as I was, weren’t you?

Well, there, that’s all my story. Next month we’re going back to see
them all, aren’t we? I shall like that. I suppose Freya is fatter than
ever now. She doesn’t hunt enough. I shall tell Mother so, too.

Heigho! I think I’m getting sleepy. I have talked a great deal for a
dog, and this pillow is very comfy. If you will lean over I’d like to
lick your face. Then I shall take a nap. But don’t forget to call me
when you are ready to go to walk. There’s a squirrel in the Park――he
lives in the fourth tree after you go through the big gate――and he made
a face at me yesterday ... or was it the day before? Anyway, ... he
ought ... to be taught ... manners....

[Illustration: He lives in the fourth tree....]


THE END OF THE TAIL



 Transcriber’s Notes:

 ――Text in italics is enclosed by underscores (_italics_).

 ――Except for the frontispiece, illustrations have been moved to
   follow the text that they illustrate.

 ――Printer’s, punctuation and spelling inaccuracies were silently
   corrected.

 ――Archaic and variable spelling has been preserved.

 ――Variations in hyphenation and compound words have been preserved.



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