CARLO, OR KINDNESS REWARDED
McLOUGHLIN BROS NEW YORK
CARLO, OR KINDNESS REWARDED.
Ida was a kind-hearted girl, and one day when crossing a bridge near her home, she saw two boys on the banks of the stream, trying to drown a little dog.
Ida, like all good girls, could not bear to see anything suffer, and was brave enough to try and prevent it. So, she ran to the shore, wringing her hands, and crying loudly, "Oh! you bad, wicked boys! how can you be so cruel to that poor little dog?"
The boys looked at her in wonder, for they were more thoughtless than cruel; and one of them said, "Father sold the rest of the pups, but could not sell this one, and so he told us to drown it." "Then he should have done it himself," replied Ida, her pretty face flushing with anger as she spoke, "and not have trusted it to boys, who would cause it needless pain."
The dog had, by this time, reached the bank, and after politely shaking off the water, crept timidly toward Ida, as if he knew her for a friend. "Poor little fellow," she said, patting his head tenderly, "how pitiful he looks! will you give him to me?" "Yes," said the boys, looking very foolish, "we did not mean to be cruel. You may have him and welcome."
Ida thanked the boys very sweetly, and ran home.
"Oh! Mamma," she cried, "look at this dear little dog; two boys were trying to drown him in the creek, and I asked them to give him to me. May I keep him, dear Mamma?" "My dear child," said Mrs. Mason, (which was the name of Ida's mother,) "I am very glad to hear that you saved the little creature from pain. We cannot very well keep him here, but perhaps, in a few days, we can find some one who will be kind to him."
Ida was a little disappointed, for we always love anything we have saved from death, but she said nothing, and you will see in the end how her goodness was rewarded. The next morning, Ida sat at the door of the cottage, studying her lesson, while her new pet, little Carlo (as she had named the dog) played at her feet. A pleasant looking young lad, who was walking slowly down the road, switching the tall grass as he came, stopped to look at the pretty picture. His name was Eugene Morris, and he was the son of a rich gentleman, who lived near by. "Good morning, Ida," he said, with a bow and a smile, "is that pretty little dog yours?" "Yes, sir," said Ida, blushing a little; "but Mamma says I must give him away, because we cannot afford to keep him." Ida then told the story of the dog, and how she had saved him from the hands of the thoughtless boys; and finished by saying that she was only keeping him, until she could find some kind person who would take good care of him. Eugene looked much pleased at her artless story, and after a short pause, said, "Well, pretty Ida, I do not ask you to give him to me, but if you will sell him, I will take him with pleasure. Here are five dollars; will that pay for Carlo?" "We do not want any pay for good Carlo," said Ida, patting the little creature tenderly, "except a promise of kind treatment, and that I am sure he will get from you." Eugene looked pleased at this, and, with a "good-bye, then, till to-morrow," went slowly down the road, and was soon out of sight. The next morning, Eugene came, and took Carlo away, leaving five dollars with Mrs. Mason, which he compelled her to take, for he knew she was poor, and a widow. Ida cried a little when Carlo whined for her, but she knew that he would be in good hands and soon dried her tears.
One morning, about two years after Carlo had gone with his new master, Ida was standing upon the same bridge, looking at some fish which darted about in the water as if at play. At last they went further under the bridge; and Ida, leaning over, a little too far, in her eagerness to see them, lost her balance, and fell over the low rail into the creek, which, at that point, was deep enough to drown her! She had but just time to give one loud cry of fright, as she sunk beneath the cruel water. In a moment, she rose to the top, but only to sink again. Poor Ida! is there no one to help her? Yes, the good God who watches over the smallest of his creatures has not forgotten little Ida. A large dog, who lay lazily winking in the sunshine a little way off, has heard her cry. He pricks up his ears, and comes swiftly toward her, with great leaps—barking loudly as he jumps—in a moment he plunges into the creek, and catches Ida by her dress just as she is about to sink for the last time! Ida is heavy, and cannot help herself, but the dog is strong and brave, and, swimming and tugging with all his might, he soon brings her in safety to the shore. Then pulling her head out of the water, so that it rested on the soft grass, he raised his head in the air, opened his great mouth, and barked long and loudly for help. And help was near. The master of the dog, a tall, handsome boy, came running up, "Why, Carlo boy, what's the matter?" he said cheerily. But in a moment he saw Ida still partly in the water, with her eyes closed, as if dead! He at once drew her up on the bank, when she soon opened her eyes, and looked around as if she did not know where she was. But Eugene Morris, for it was he, said, "What! little Ida, nearly drowned. Why, how in the world did you get in the water?" Ida was now well enough to tell her story; and after she had finished, Eugene called her attention to the dog, at the same time wrapping Ida in his overcoat, and leading her toward her home. "Don't you know him?" he said, "it is your old friend Carlo; you saved his life, and now he has saved yours in return."
How strange are the ways of God! The very dog which Ida saved from death, two years before, had now been able to pay his debt to the tender-hearted little girl, on the same spot! This surely is not chance, but seems to show that good deeds are rewarded even in this world. Carlo, who was a well-bred dog, had shaken himself dry by this time, and was rubbing his nose against Ida's dress, as if to say, "Don't you know your old friend?"
As she was still weak, from the shock of the fall and the fright, Eugene went home with her, and explained the thing to the alarmed Mrs. Mason, after which he took his leave, promising to come and see her the next day. Eugene was as good as his word; and early the next morning came down to the widow's cottage, accompanied by a gentleman and a little girl about four years old, whom Ida had never seen before. Carlo, of course, was in the party, and was made much of by everybody, receiving a great deal of attention, which he accepted with much dignity; sitting up on his hind legs, wagging his tail, and giving vent, now and then, to a short, amiable bark of thanks to his kind friends.
The gentleman, who was Eugene's father, Mr. Morris, after kissing little Ida, said, "this little girl whom I have brought to see you, is my only daughter Lottie; and you were the means of her having been saved from drowning." Ida's look of surprise at this, was comical to see. "Not long since," went on Mr. Morris, "our good Carlo saved her life, just as he did yours, yesterday. Eugene tells me, that, but for your goodness of heart, Carlo would have been killed when he was a puppy; and in that case I should have had no little Lottie to-day; for there was no one near at the time but the nurse, who was too much frightened to be of any use. I desire then, Mrs. Mason, with your permission, to make Ida a little present." So saying, he kissed Ida again—put a small package into her hand, and bowing politely, to the surprised Mrs. Mason; left the cottage with his party, before she could find words to thank him. The package proved to be a bank-book in which Ida was credited with five thousand dollars in her own name! This was Mr. Morris's "little present." Mrs. Mason owned the cottage in which she lived, but nothing more; and was obliged to sew, early and late, to gain a scanty support for Ida and herself. This money was, therefore, great wealth to them, and would enable Mrs. Mason to fulfil the dearest wish of her heart, which was to give a good education to her beloved Ida. Every kind action is, I think, rewarded, either here or hereafter; yet we should try to do good for its own sake, and leave the result to the great Father of us all!