FRIENDS AND HELPERS
SARAH J. EDDY
The object of this book is to teach children to treat all living creatures with considerate kindness and to appreciate the services of man's helpers in the animal world.
In many homes this teaching is entirely neglected, and it is left for the school-teacher to arouse interest in the animals dependent upon us, and to encourage pity and compassion for their suffering.
Sir Arthur Helps says: "The great advancement of the world, throughout all ages, is to be measured by the increase of humanity and the decrease of cruelty."
Cruelty in any form is a species of savagery. Civilization can be brought about only by education. The savage does not know that he is a savage. The child does not realize that he is cruel, until he is shown the ways in which the lower animals suffer and are made miserable.
The thoughtless child makes the selfish man or woman, and selfishness lies at the root of crime.
"Evil is wrought by want of thought As well as want of heart."
Children have tender hearts and quick sensibilities, but they sometimes lack imagination and sympathy through their ignorance of actual conditions. They are easily influenced by one whom they love and respect, and the teacher's power to make the world better by pointing out the great duty of humanity should find more scope than it has done in our educational systems.
"The humane movement is a broad one, reaching from humane treatment of animals on the one hand to peace with all nations on the other. It implies a step beyond animal's rights. It implies character building. Society first said that needless suffering should be prevented; society now says that children must not be permitted to cause pain because of the effect on the children themselves."
Mr. Frank M. Chapman has kindly written for the book the chapters on "Our Friends the Birds," "Feathered Travelers," "When the Birds Return," "Birds' Homes," and "The Robin."
Through the courtesy of Messrs. Houghton Mifflin Company several poems by Celia Thaxter and others have been used. The publications of the English Humanitarian League, especially the pamphlets by Mrs. Florence H. Suckling and some of the writings of Miss Edith Carrington, have proved helpful and suggestive. The compiler has had the assistance of Mrs. Charles A. Lane in editing and preparing material.
ROVER AND HIS FRIENDS .. Adapted from an English story FAMOUS DOGS HOW TO TAKE CARE OF DOGS .. Anna Harris Smith STORIES OF DOGS FORSAKE NOT AN OLD FRIEND .. Plutarch CATS AND DOGS FAMOUS CATS KITTY'S CHRISTMAS TO MY CAT MUFF .. John Owen HOW TO TAKE CARE OF CATS CAT QUESTIONS .. Lucy Larcom THE CAT FAMILY THINGS TO REMEMBER STORIES OF CATS A BRAVE GIRL .. Harriet Beecher Stowe AUNT ESTHER'S RULE .. " " LION STORIES THE KING OF BEASTS THE SHIP OF THE DESERT A HEAVY LOAD FAMOUS HORSES HOW TO TREAT HORSES CATCHING THE COLT .. Marian Douglass A REMARKABLE HORSE-TRAINER THE ARAB TO HIS HORSE .. Bayard Taylor "WAITING FOR MASTER"
ROBERT'S DREAM .. Anna Harris Smith ROBERT ON A FARM .. Anna Harris Smith APRIL SONG .. Mary E. Wilkins EARTHWORMS AND SNAKES. HUMANITY .. T. Gisborne ANTS, BEES, AND WASPS A LITTLE BLACK SLAVE .. Adapted from an English story A BUTTERFLY'S WING TO A BUTTERFLY .. Jane Taylor CUNNING BEE .. Anonymous GRASSHOPPER AND CRICKET .. John Keats PATIENT WEAVERS THE WOODMOUSE .. Mary Howitt A MOUSE'S STORY WISE RATS THE SQUIRREL'S STORY .. Anna Harris Smith FORBEARANCE .. Ralph Waldo Emerson THE STEEL TRAP .. Adapted from story by Mrs. C. Fairchild Allen THE RABBIT DAVID'S STORY LINES FROM COWPER SOME READY HELPERS A TRIUMPH .. Celia Thaxter
THE CANARY'S STORY THE CAGED THRUSH .. R. F. Murray HOW TO CARE FOR A CANARY AN INDIAN STORY HIAWATHA'S BROTHERS .. Henry W. Longfellow TO THE CUCKOO .. John Logan OUR FRIENDS THE BIRDS FEATHERED TRAVELERS WHEN THE BIRDS RETURN > .. Frank M. Chapman BIRDS' HOMES THE ROBIN / ROBIN REJOICE .. Garrett Newkirk TO A SKYLARK .. Percy Bysshe Shelley FRIGHTENED BIRDS DON'T ROB THE BIRDS, BOYS .. Anonymous A GOOD SHOT .. Adapted THE GOLDFINCH BIRDS' TRADES THE SPARROW SPARROWS CHRISTMAS IN NORWAY .. Celia Thaxter THE CROW THE BLUEBIRD .. Emily Huntington Miller THE FARMER'S FRIEND THE WOUNDED CURLEW .. Celia Thaxter THE SANDPIPER .. " " THE COST OF A HAT THE HALO .. Rev. W. C. Gannett THE SNOWY HERON WINGED FISHERS WHAT THE LITTLE SEAL THINKS WHAT THE YOUNG SEABIRD THINKS WHAT THE BIRDS DO FOR US THE BRAVEST ARE THE TENDEREREST LINES TO A SEABIRD .. M. A. Stodart THE TRUE HERO LINES BY SUSAN COOLIDGE SELECTIONS FROM EMILY DICKINSON AND S. T. COLERIDGE WHAT THE CHILDREN CAN DO TO THE TEACHER
Frontispiece, "Loving Playmates." From photograph by Sarah J. Eddy. "Can't You Talk?" By G. A. Holmes "Speak for It." From photograph by S. J. Eddy Group of Sheep under Tree. From photograph by T. E. M. and G. P. White The Connoisseurs. From painting by Sir Edwin Landseer Odin. From painting by Sir Edwin Landseer Owney. From photograph by Elmer Chickering Hearing. From painting by H. Sperling "Saved." From painting by H. Sperling Breakfast. From painting by H. W. Trood Alexander. From photograph by S. J. Eddy Kitty's Christmas. From photograph by S. J. Eddy Gentle Kitty Gray. " " " Cat's Paw Cat's Eye A Happy Pair. From photograph by S. J. Eddy The Traveling Basket. " " " "Please give me some more. " " " Driven out. From painting by M. Stocks Friends The Lion at Home. From painting by Rosa Bonheur Portrait of Rosa Bonheur. From painting by Rosa Bonheur The King of Beasts. From painting by Rosa Bonheur The Ship of the Desert At the Watering Trough. By Dagnan-Bouveret A Norman Sire. From painting by Rosa Bonheur Three Members of a Temperance Society. By J. F. Herring Natural and Comfortable Strained and Miserable Mare and Colt. From painting by C. Steffeck Waiting for Master A Farm Yard A Group of Friends. From photograph by S. J. Eddy Hen and Chickens. " " " Chickens Drinking A Happy Family. From photograph by J. M. Eldredge Just Arrived Pig looking over a Fence Feeding the Pigs Old White Horse A Little Songster Pussy Willows Paper-Makers A Butterfly Grasshopper and Cricket. Illustration by Alice Barber Stephens Spider and Web A Woodmouse Little Freehold. By S. J. Carter An Interesting Family. By S. J. Carter Frog and Lily-pads Four little Friends A Bird's House Feathered Travelers Over the Nest A Bird's Nest Swallows Bird and Nest. From photograph by S. J. Eddy Robin Frightened Bird Mother Bird feeding Little One The Goldfinch Sparrows A Wintry Day The Farmer's Friend Head-piece to "The Cost of a Hat" The Snowy Heron Egret Plumes Sea-gulls Birds on Fence A Band of Mercy. From photograph by S. J. Eddy Making Friends. " " "
ROVER AND OTHER STORIES
ROVER AND HIS FRIENDS.
WHY ROVER RAN AWAY.
One morning Rover was very hungry indeed. He had been going from place to place with his master, and now it was two long days since he had eaten a good dinner. His master was a poor tinker who traveled about the country and never stayed long in one place. Rover would have liked this if his master had been kind to him, but the dog was used only to blows and kicks.
Rover was a rough, shaggy dog, and his tail curled down under him in a way that showed he had been ill-treated. But he had good, faithful, brown eyes, and the drooping tail was always ready to wag at a kind word.
The tinker's breakfast was on the table. How good it smelt! Rover looked at it with longing eyes.
"Please give me a bit, master," said Rover. "I am so hungry!"
The tinker did not seem to hear. At last he said roughly: "Be still, Rover!"
Rover waited patiently for a few minutes, but his master had no thought of feeding him. At last Rover put out his long, red tongue and swept the meat and bread into his mouth.
Then the angry tinker struck the poor dog and spoke sharply to him. An hour later Rover had run away.
ROVER'S NEW HOME
It was a hot day in summer, and Rover stopped to drink some water out of a mud-puddle. How hungry and thirsty he was! He ran on for miles and miles. At last he saw a cottage with smoke coming out of the chimney. High hills were all around it, and a thick, dark wood was not far away. On the doorstep were two little children. When they saw the dog they shouted with delight.
"It is Rover!" cried Sandy. "It is Tommy Tinker's dog. Where have you come from, old fellow, and where is your master?"
It was plain that Rover was no stranger to them. He had been there with his master only the week before, and while Tinker Tom was mending the kettle, the children and the dog had made friends. The mother had given him a bone, and though some persons may forget a kindness, a dog never does. Rover could not answer Sandy's question. All he could do was to wag his tail faster than ever. The little girl put her arms about his shaggy neck.
"Poor doggie!" she said. "You shall have some of my supper."
HOW ROVER WAS CARED FOR.
When the children's mother saw Rover she brought him a large bowl of water, which he quickly lapped up. Then she gave him something to eat and made a soft bed for him in a corner of the room. She said: "Perhaps Tinker Tom may come for his dog, and we will keep him till then."
Rover hoped he would never come, but he could not say so. He curled himself up in his bed and, with a long sigh of happiness, went to sleep.
Rover was very happy in his new home. He had no wish to run away again. He had good brown bread to eat, which was better for him than white bread would have been. Sandy learned to make for him a thick cake out of oatmeal, and sometimes he had a bone. Fortunately for the dog, Sandy's mother was too poor to be able to give him much meat. There was always a dish of fresh water ready for him, and a bit of cabbage with his food kept him well and strong.
Sandy would often talk to Rover, and the dog soon learned to understand what was said to him. He was delighted when Sandy said, "Would you like to go for a walk?" But Sandy never said this unless he was really going to take Rover out, or the dog soon would have learned that the boy did not always mean what he said.
One of the things that Rover liked best to do was to run after a large ball of wool which Sandy made on purpose for him.
Sandy often brushed and combed Rover, and this made his coat glossy and clean. One would hardly have recognized the rough, neglected dog in the pet of the household.
TINKER TOM COMES BACK
One day when Rover was playing with the children on the hill, he suddenly ran away as fast as he could go.
"Oh, Rover, come back, come back!" called little Jessie; but Rover kept on until he was lost to sight in the dark woods. In the distance he had seen a well-known figure. Tinker Tom was coming along the road with his pack on his back.
When the tinker came to the house, Sandy's mother told him about Rover.
"You may keep him and welcome," said the tinker, "if you will give me something to eat."
So a good, hot dinner was spread for him, and at last he went away with his pack on his back. When he had been gone a long time and it was quite dark, Rover appeared. He came in looking pleased and proud, as if he had done some very wise thing. He said as plainly as he could, "Am I not a clever dog?"
You may be sure that Sandy and Jessie were glad to see him again and to know that now nobody could take him away.
ROVER LEARNS TO BE USEFUL.
Sandy's father was a poor man who had charge of a large flock of sheep. In summer he led them from one feeding-place to another over the high hills. Often he was away for many days at a time. In winter the sheep were kept near the cottage and fed with food which had been laid up for them in the autumn. The sheep did not belong to Sandy's father, but he took the best possible care of them.
One day when he came home from the hills he said: "We must not let Rover be idle all his life. He must learn to do something useful. I shall take him to the hills in the morning and teach him to look after the sheep. He will be a great help to me, and I will be a good master to him."
So the next morning Rover started off with his master, looking very proud and happy. At first it was hard to make the dog take care of the sheep in the right way. He thought it was great fun to run after them and bark at their heels, but he did not know when to bark and when to be quiet. However, he did his best to learn, and when the shepherd went home he said that Rover would make a very useful dog.
THE LOST SHEEP.
Soon the snow began to fall and it was pleasant to sit round the fire and watch the great logs crackling on the hearth. They were all very happy at the cottage and Rover was sure that he had the best home in the world.
One bitterly cold night the wind blew in great gusts. In some way the door of the sheep-shed blew open and in the morning not one of the sheep could be seen. The poor things were so tired of being shut up that they had wandered off in the cold.
When the shepherd missed his sheep, he was in great trouble.
"Rover, my boy," he said, "the sheep have run away. What shall we do? I wonder if you are wise enough to help me find them."
Rover jumped up quickly and shook himself as if to say, "I am all ready!" and then ran to the door. First he ran round and round the sheepfold, smelling with his moist, black nose close to the ground, and looking very wise. Then he ran a little way towards the hills and stood looking back, with one paw in the air. His ears were lifted, his eyes were bright, and he gave a low whine, as if to say, "I think those poor sheep have gone to the hills. Are you coming with me, or shall I go alone?"
THE LOST DOG.
Rover trotted off towards the hills and his master followed, but he could not walk fast enough to please the dog.
There was no snow on the ground at first, but before noon it began to fall thick and fast. The day passed and the father was still away; night came and he had not returned.
Sandy and Jessie were very sad, for they could think only of their father and his faithful dog. It was very dangerous to be out on the hills in such weather. Often men were lost in the snow and died from cold and hunger.
At last, after hours of anxious waiting, a welcome footstep was heard and the happy children ran to open the door. Their father came in, shaking the snow from his rough coat. He looked very grave and tired.
"Oh, father!" cried Sandy. "Where is Rover? And have you found the sheep?"
The poor man shook his head. "The sheep are not to be found," he said sadly. "And I have lost our good Rover, too. It is a terrible storm. I fear they are all frozen. If the sheep are killed, it will take all I have in the world to pay for them."
ROVER COMES HOME.
Sandy and Jessie began to cry. Their mother, too, was crying. She was busy with the supper, but her thoughts were with the poor, hungry animals in the bitter cold.
Early the next morning, and for several days the shepherd went out to look for his lost sheep, but he could find no trace of them.
"There is nothing for me to do now but to go to the owner of the sheep," he said, at last. "He is a very hard man. I am afraid he will turn us out of our home."
Suddenly, while he was speaking, there was a noise at the door, and in a moment a familiar voice was heard.
"Rover has come back!" shouted Sandy, flinging himself upon the door in his hurry to open it.
"Rover has come back!" cried little Jessie.
"The sheep have come back!" said their mother, looking out into the yard. Yes, there were the sheep,—every one of them safe and sound. And there beside them, wagging his tail with joy and pride, was poor, tired, cold, hungry Rover. He was hoarse from barking and breathless from running, but he was the happiest dog in all the world.
The unhappy sheep had paid dearly for their wish to get out. They were glad to go back into their warm shed and eat a good meal of turnips. As for Rover, he was treated like a prince. He had the supper he liked best, and a soft bed was made for him near the fire. He put his curly head down on his paws and went to sleep, while Sandy and Jessie watched him lovingly. How far he had tramped over the hills or how he had found the sheep he could not tell.
"He is tired out," said the shepherd. "He must have a long rest now, for he has earned it. Good, faithful, grateful Rover!"
The story of the dog Argus was told two thousand years ago by the great Greek poet, Homer. Argus may not have been a real dog, but the poet must have known some dog like him or he could not have told the story so well.
Argus belonged to Ulysses, king of Ithaca. He was only a puppy when his master went away to the Trojan war. The years went by and Ulysses did not return. Every one thought that he was dead. At last Argus grew so old and feeble that he could not run about the palace. All day long he lay in the warm, sunny courtyard, too weak to move. It was twenty years since he had heard his master's voice.
One day a beggar came into the courtyard. No one knew who he was. The queen looked at him coldly. There was no friendly face to greet him. But the old dog lifted up his head and whined and wagged his tail for joy. The beggar's rags could not deceive him. He knew his master had come back at last, and Ulysses stooped to caress him with tears in his eyes.
The most famous dog in the world was a mastiff of St. Bernard's. His name was Barry. He lived high up in the Alps where it is winter the greater part of the year. He was trained, by the good monks with whom he lived, to go out and hunt for travelers lost in the snow. When he found a man lying half-frozen in the drifts, he would run back, barking for help. Then the monks would follow him and bring the traveler to their warm house.
Barry knew all the dangerous places, and when there had been a snow slide he was sure to be on the spot as soon as he could, to see if any one were hurt. Once he found a little, boy in the snow and in some way made him understand what he must do. The child climbed upon the dog's broad back and was carried safely to the fire and the good supper always waiting for the lost ones.
Barry lived with, the monks for twelve years, and saved forty lives. Other St. Bernard dogs have been brave and wise, but Barry's name stands first among them all.
Many great men have had dogs whom they loved and trusted. Sir Walter Scott, one of the most famous story-writers that ever lived, had several dogs. He used to take them with him whenever he went to walk. There was an old staghound named Maida, and a black greyhound called Hamlet, after one of Shakespeare's heroes. Then there was a beautiful setter with long ears and a silky coat. Her name was Finette. Sir Walter would often stop and talk to these four-footed friends and they seemed to understand what he said. In one of his best stories a dog plays a very important part.
Dr. John Brown was another Scotch writer who loved dogs. He gave an account of his pets in a book called "Spare Hours." He wrote the story of "Rab and his Friends," a tribute of which any dog might be proud.
There was a great artist named Landseer, who painted his dogs' pictures so wonderfully that we know he must have loved them very much. In one picture he shows his two dogs looking over his shoulder at his drawing. He gave them a very long name which means "Those who know all about it"; but I am sure he did not laugh at them unkindly. Dogs do not like to be laughed at any more than we do.
Odin was the name of one of Sir Edwin Landseer's dogs, When we look at his portrait we can understand why the artist should have thus named him, for Odin was the all-wise god of the old Norsemen.
Jack was a famous dog who was with the English soldiers during a great war in eastern Europe. He was not a dog of fine breed or gentle training. He had been rescued by one of the soldiers from a cruel death, and he gave in return his love and gratitude. He fought in one of the battles and saved his master's life. When the fighting was over he used to go about the battlefield carrying a can of tea for the wounded men.
Mrs. Browning had a dog named Flush, to whom she wrote one of her poems. She was unable to leave her room for many long months of illness, but the little dog spent the weary days by her side, cheerfully giving up merrier company for her sake.
Lord Byron's dog was named Boatswain and he is buried in the garden of the poet's beautiful home. There is a monument to his memory and on it are these lines:
Near this spot Are deposited the remains of one Who possessed beauty without vanity, Strength without insolence, Courage without ferocity, And all the virtues of man without his vices. This praise, which would be unmeaning flattery If inscribed over human ashes, Is but a just tribute to the memory of BOATSWAIN, a dog, Who was born at Newfoundland, May, 1803, And died at Newstead Abbey, Nov. 18, 1808.
There was once a poor man in Scotland, who, when he died, was buried in a graveyard in Edinburgh, his only mourner being a little Scotch terrier. On two mornings the sexton found the dog lying on his master's grave and drove him away, but the third morning was cold and wet and the dog was allowed to remain. From that time, for twelve years and a half, no matter how stormy the weather, the faithful animal made the graveyard his home, only leaving it once a day to get food.
At last he died of old age, and was buried in a flower garden near by. A costly marble fountain was erected to the memory of the faithful little dog, and a bronze statue of "Grey-Friar's Bobby" sits on top of it.
The most famous dog in America was Owney, the postal dog. He traveled with the mail-bags from one end of the country to the other. He even went to Alaska and across the Pacific Ocean.
Owney first joined the Post-office Department at Albany, N. Y., and he always looked upon that office as headquarters where he must report himself after a long trip.
When Owney was ready for a journey he did not ask any one to go with him. He was quite able to take care of himself. He would follow the mail-bag to the station and jump into the postal car. Having chosen the particular mail-bag which he wished to follow, he would stretch himself out upon it for a good nap. He had no further care, of course. When the mail-bag was taken out, Owney went, too.
Owney was not a handsome dog, but he knew how to make friends. He was welcome wherever he went, and he often came back to Albany cohered with checks and medals to show how far he had traveled and in what esteem he was held.
His intelligence was very wonderful. Many times a tired postal clerk who had fallen asleep, forgetful of the stations, was wakened by Owney's barking. The dog had a fine saver collar of which he was very proud. One day a clerk had slipped it off to examine the medals which were hung on it and in the hurry of extra work it was laid down and forgotten. Owney was too wise to leave his collar behind him, so putting his nose through it and rubbing his head against a post, he slipped it on for himself. After this he was often made to put on his collar to amuse his visitors.
Owney died a few years ago, to the grief of the largest circle of friends a dog ever had. In nearly every large city of the United States he was known and missed, and many years will go by before he is forgotten.
HOW TO TAKE CARE OF DOGS. William and Edward were two boys who lived in the same village. They were cousins, and they had a kind uncle who was always trying to give them pleasure.
One day he gave to each of the boys a puppy. These puppies were so nearly alike that neither the boys nor their uncle could tell them apart.
The boys were delighted with their new pets, and thinking that his dogs were in good hands, Uncle Frank went away for two years.
When he came back he went to see William, and asked about his dog.
"Oh, he was very troublesome, Uncle Frank!" said William. "He cried and whined all the time, and after a while he was so cross that I did not like to go near him. I kept him chained to the kennel, but one day he broke his chain and ran away."
"Why did you chain him?" asked Uncle Frank. "We were going to train him for a watchdog," said William.
"That is not the way to train a watchdog," said his uncle. "I am sorry that I gave him to you. How would you like to be tied to a kennel all day, with no chance to run about? Did you take him to walk often?"
"Not very often," said William. "When I am playing I have no time to look after a dog. He would get into mischief if I let him go where he liked."
"Of course," said Uncle Frank. "He was only a baby. I can remember when you needed looking after. Now I am going to see Edward."
"Edward's dog is different from mine," said William. "He is very kind and gentle. I wish I could have a dog like that."
Uncle Frank walked away without a word. When he came to the house where Edward lived, he saw a fine dog lying near the steps, looking very comfortable and happy.
"Is it possible this was once my little dog?" asked Edward's uncle, when the first greetings were over. "How do you keep him in such good condition?"
"When you first gave him to me," said Edward," I fed him five or six times a day with boiled milk. After a few weeks I gave him oatmeal or Indian meal porridge. Sometimes he had bread or crackers in milk.
"As he grew older, I gave him brown bread and corn cake, and once in a while I let him have a beef bone to play with. He liked that very much, and he did not object to being tied up sometimes, if he had a bone to gnaw."
"Did you keep him chained?" asked Uncle Frank.
"Oh, no!" said Edward. "He soon learned not to run away, and now I never chain him. Even when he was tied up, he had room to run about. I stretched a long wire across a corner of the yard, and on the wire was a large iron ring. When the dog's light chain was slipped through the ring, he could run back and forth for twenty feet, and could lie in the sun or shade as he liked."
"Where does he sleep?" asked Edward's uncle.
"He has a large, clean kennel," said the boy, stooping to pat the dog's silky head. "I wash the whole kennel every week. His bed is made of pine shavings, and in cold weather I put in a pile of them, so that he can have a blanket as well as a bed. The kennel is raised on blocks, so that it will not be damp, and there is a platform in front of it for hot nights. When it is chilly, I hang a piece of old carpet over the door, and on very cold nights he sleeps on his own rug in the laundry. He is a big, strong dog, and he doesn't like too warm a room to sleep in."
"How often do you wash him?" asked Uncle Frank.
"About twice a month," said Edward, "I give him a bath in lukewarm water and with Castile soap. I rinse the soap off with clear water, rub him dry, and let him have a good scamper in the fields. I comb and brush him thoroughly every day. That makes his coat clean and glossy. Once when he had fleas I washed him with carbolic soap, and then took him in swimming. I have been told that for a small dog the yolk of an egg is better than any kind of soap, but I have never tried it for Chum."
"What does he have to eat, and how often do you feed him?"
He has two meals a day now. Sometimes he has dog biscuit soaked in water or soup. Sometimes he likes his biscuit dry. Nearly every day he has a few scraps of meat or a bone. He likes corn cake and brown bread and macaroni, too. Sometimes I mix the meat and vegetables with mush made from some cereal."
"I suppose you know," said Uncle Frank, "that a dog needs vegetable food, and that he cannot keep well without it?"
"Yes, indeed. I give him cabbage and potatoes very often."
"Is Chum a good watchdog?" went on Uncle Frank. "He didn't bark at me when I came up the path."
"It is just as well that you didn't try to open the door," said Edward; "he would have barked loudly enough in that case. He barks at night when he hears a strange step, because I have praised him for that; but in the daytime he keeps his eyes open and lies still."
"What is that yellow dish by the laundry door?" said the boy's uncle, looking about the pleasant yard.
"That is Chum's water dish," said Edward. "It is hard to keep tin or iron clean, so mother gave me that. It is in the shade, you see. Chum likes cool water as well as I do. You have always found it there, haven't you, old fellow?"
The dog looked up gravely into the boy's face and panted a little from the heat.
"Why does a dog pant like that?" asked Edward.
"He perspires through his tongue," said his uncle. "That is why it is so cruel to put a muzzle over a dog's mouth. When he is overheated he suffers very much. I hope you never take Chum with you when you ride on your bicycle."
"No, sir!" said Edward with emphasis. "Chum knows that when the bicycle goes he must stay at home. I would never let him tire himself out by trying to keep up with me. But we have long walks together after tea."
Chum pricked up his ears at the word "walk" and laid his head lovingly on his master's knee.
"There is another reason for not letting him follow your bicycle," said Uncle Frank. "It might seriously injure him to run so fast. I am glad his ears are not cropped. Sometimes a dog is made deaf when his ears are cropped. They are very sensitive, and it hurts him to have them pulled or roughly handled in any way."
"I wouldn't have his ears or his tail cut off," said Edward indignantly, "and no one has ever struck him. He knows by my voice when I am displeased with him, and he will beg to be forgiven by wagging his tail as hard as he can. Chum shall not be hurt if I can help it.
"The other day a great bulldog got hold of him. We tried almost everything to make the fierce dog let go, but it was impossible to separate them. A man came out of a house with a pail of water, which he threw over the bulldog's head. The dog immediately let go and ran away. "A sudden dash of cold water," the man said, "will almost always break up a fight."
"That is a good thing to remember," said the boy's uncle. "It is your thoughtfulness that has made Chum such a fine dog. You have not overfed him; you have given him plenty of fresh water and a comfortable home; you have been patient with him and willing to teach him. Best of all, you have never deceived him or been cruel and unkind to him. No one ought to have a pet unless he is willing to take some trouble to keep it well and happy. See how Chum watches you when you talk! He has doubtless learned to understand much of what you say. He seems to think that he has a good master, and I think so, too."
STORIES OF DOGS.
One of the great men of history was William, Prince of Orange. He is to the little country of the Netherlands what George Washington is to us. One night he was asleep in his tent, and a small spaniel was lying on his bed. The guards, faithless to their trust, were sleeping. Suddenly the dog sprang up, barking wildly. A small band of the enemy was approaching, unheard by any of the men. There was just time for the Prince to escape, before the Spanish soldiers were in his tent. To the end of his life, William of Orange kept a spaniel of the same race in his room, and in the statues of the Prince a little dog is frequently seen lying at his feet.
A dog was once left in the room alone with a baby who was learning to creep. On the hearth an open fire was smouldering. Suddenly there was a bright little flicker of flame and the logs blazed up once more. Pleased with the sight, the baby began to creep towards the fire as fast as he could go. The dog saw the danger at once and seized the baby's dress tightly between his teeth. Baby pulled and pulled, but the wise old dog held the tiny skirts firmly. Then the baby cried and screamed, until his nurse came to see what could be the matter. The dog wagged his tail and looked up as if to say: "I'm glad you have come. You ought not to leave a baby near a fire. What would have happened if I had not been here, I should like to know?"
There is a well-known painting called "Saved," which tells its own story. A pet kitten has been chased by two lively little terriers, and the big, friendly dog has taken her into his care. She is not afraid of the little dogs now. They may bark as much as they like. The big dog looks as if he were saying, "Run away, little dogs! You may not mean to hurt Miss Puss, but you are very rude to frighten her so. If you were as large and strong as I am, you would be ashamed to bark at a poor, helpless little kitten. Come now; run away, and do not tease her any more."
A large dog once hurt his leg, and a friendly surgeon bandaged it for him. One night, some months after, the surgeon received a call from his former patient, who brought with him another dog, suffering from a similar accident. The larger dog introduced his friend as well as he could, and then retired politely to a corner of the room until the operation was over.
Once there was a small fox-terrier named Chip who hurt his foot in some way, and was taken to the doctor for treatment. Not many weeks later he was found on the doctor's doorstep, crying to get in. When the doctor appeared the dog held up his swollen foot with a long thorn in it. "You helped me before," he must have thought. "Do you suppose you can help me now?"
The most useful dog in the world is the collie, or shepherd dog. Without him the Scotch shepherds would need more men than they could possibly afford to hire.
The collie has had very careful training. It is a dog's instinct to chase sheep, but the collie has been taught to take care of them. He drives the flock to pasture, watches them to see that none strays away, keeps them close together when any danger is near, and brings them home again in safety.
Not long ago a collie was brought from England to this country. In his new home there was a little girl, three years old. One day she wandered away through the fields to an open well at some distance from the house.
Her father was on his way home, when he heard the barking of the dog, and knew that something was wrong. Springing over a stone wall, the man saw his little girl and the dog near the well. There was a light snow on the ground, and by the rows of tiny footsteps it could be seen that the child had walked round and round the well, and that the faithful dog had walked beside her, keeping always between the edge of the well and his little charge.
When the collie is kindly treated he is the most faithful and devoted of dogs, but he feels very keenly any neglect or harsh words. Unkindness makes him sullen, and sometimes cross.
Every book about dogs is full of stories of their faithfulness, their intelligence, and their unselfishness. We have made the dog dependent upon us, and he is too often the victim of our thoughtlessness and cruelty. Dogs are made happy or unhappy in very much the same ways that children are. If you are kind to your dog and willing to learn how to take care of him properly, he will probably give you very little trouble. He will grieve when you scold him, but he will love you faithfully through all kinds of trouble and pain.
"FORSAKE NOT AN OLD FRIEND."
Goodness moves in a larger sphere than justice;... kindness and beneficence should be extended to creatures of every species.... A good man will take care of his horses and dogs, not only while they are young, but when old and past service. Thus the people of Athens, when they had finished the temple called Hecatompedon, set at liberty the beasts of burden that had been chiefly employed in the work, suffering them to pasture at large, free from any other service. It is said that one of these afterwards came of its own accord to work, and, putting itself at the head of the laboring cattle, marched before them to the citadel. This pleased the people, and they made a decree that it should be kept at the public charge so long as it lived. Many have shown particular regard in burying the dogs which they had cherished and loved, and among them Xantippus of old, whose dog swam by the side of his galley to Salamis, when the Athenians were forced to abandon their city, and was afterwards buried by him upon a promontory which is still called the Dog's Grave. PLUTARCH.
CATS AND DOGS.
Cats and dogs seem to be natural enemies, but it is quite possible to make them very good friends. The easiest way to do this is to bring a kitten in your arms to your dog and explain to him that he must never chase her, or bark at her. He will listen, looking very wise, and if, in his presence, you are careful not to pet her too much, he will try to please you. If you make him jealous, or if you think it is fun to see him run after the kitten, you can never succeed.
A bull-terrier named Teddy lives in the same house with Fluff, an Angora cat of great beauty. Teddy has been carefully taught, and his manners are delightful. Often when passing the chair where Fluff lies asleep, Teddy will put up his black nose and give her face a friendly lap. Fluff stretches out her fore-feet sleepily, but she does not object in the least. Sometimes Teddy is too rough in his play, and Fluff taps him gently with her soft paw to remind him that she is not as strong as he is.
It is not easy to teach an old cat to be very friendly with a dog. She has too good a memory for that. She remembers the times when she has scrambled up the tree-trunk, panting and frightened, with a dog barking at her heels. She remembers that the children have often cheered and praised the dog, and have made no effort to help her. On the whole, she would rather arch her back and wave her tail than try to be agreeable. It is quite possible that if you were in her place you would feel very much as she does.
Cats were household pets in Egypt more than two thousand years ago. The Egyptians worshiped them as beings superior to men, and would suffer no harm to come to them. If, by accident, an Egyptian killed a cat, the punishment was death.
Once a Persian king named Cambyses was fighting against the Egyptians. Knowing how cats were cherished by his enemies, Cambyses gave to each of his soldiers a cat to carry, instead of a shield. Not one of the Egyptian soldiers would hurt a cat, and so the Persian army was safe.
Probably the first cats lived in Egypt, and though they are no longer worshiped in that country, they are protected and cared for. In the city of Cairo is a cats' hospital, where sick cats are nursed, and where stray or homeless cats may come every day for their dinner.
When the Romans conquered Syria and Palestine, they found in nearly every house a kato or kitt. From these eastern names we get our words cat and kitten. The Romans were so much pleased with the little animals that kitts soon were carried to Italy and western Europe.
The Roman goddess of Liberty was pictured with a cat lying at her feet. It is quite true that it is easier to make a slave of any other animal than it is of a cat. Your cat will love you, in his own way, but he holds himself free to do as he likes.
Cats, as well as dogs, have been the pets of great men. The Arabian teacher Mahomet; the founder of the Mohammedan religion, was very fond of cats. One day his pet kitten went to sleep upon the wide sleeve of his robe, and he cut off the sleeve rather than disturb the comfortable pussy.
Richelieu, the great French statesman, kept several kittens in his house to amuse him when tired and discouraged. As kittens will grow into cats, Richelieu must have changed his friends often.
Cowper, the English poet, mentions his favorite cat in more than one of his poems. The famous Dr. Johnson had a cat named Hodge, who was treated with the greatest kindness. When Hodge was not well, the doctor would go out himself to buy oysters, lest the trouble of waiting upon so dainty a pet should cause it to be disliked by the servant.
Charles Dickens's favorite cat was old and deaf, but she had a warm corner in her master's heart. One evening he was so busy reading that he did not notice her when she jumped into his lap. Pussy's feelings were hurt. She purred gently, but the reader did not seem to hear. Suddenly the candle went out. Dickens lighted it again to go on with his reading. In a minute the light grew dim again, and, looking up, he saw the cat putting out the candle with her paw. Then she looked at him in such a pleading way that he laid down his book for the rest of the evening.
Perhaps the most famous American cat was Agrippina, who belonged to Miss Agnes Repplier of Philadelphia. She is famous because of the charming essay which her mistress wrote in her honor.
Madame Henrietta Ronner is known as one of the most successful painters of cats and kittens. Her pictures are wonderful reproductions of cat life. Mrs. Olive Thorne Miller says: "We may safely assume that Madame Ronner is a cat lover, for no one really knows a cat who does not love him."
The intelligence and good breeding of the cat in this picture are so apparent that it is no wonder he made hosts of friends. His picture once adorned a humane calendar, and thus became familiar to many persons in the United States and in Europe.
Rev. J. G. Wood, in describing his own pet cat, said:
"His gestures and actions are full of that spirited yet easy grace, which can never be attained by any creature, be it man, beast, or bird, who has once learned to crouch in terror, and to fear a harsh tone or an uplifted hand."
In Spain it is the custom to store grain in garrets, and there the cats are treated very kindly. There is a small door in each attic for their use; food and drink are given to them; and they may walk where they like over the roofs of the city. Many of them never care to come down to the ground.
If there were no cats in America, we should be seriously disturbed and inconvenienced. It is said that the government of the United States keeps an army of more than three hundred cats for use in the Post-office department. Their duty is to guard the mail-bags against the attacks of rats and mice, and this they do very thoroughly and well. Before they were employed valuable letters and mail matter were often destroyed.
The government cats are fed well, some postmasters being allowed forty dollars a year for "cat meat." The work that this army does proves that well-fed cats make the best mousers. As the postal service is known for its high standards, we may be sure that these workers are industrious and satisfactory, or they would not be allowed to stay.
"Mew! mew! mew! Why don't they let me in? I have been here on these cold steps for three days. I am very hungry and unhappy. Why do they shut me out in the cold?
"Ethel said she was going to the city for the Christmas vacation. She said I could catch mice till she came back. But the mice are in the barn and I can't get in.
"The house, too, is shut up. No one is there to give me any milk. My warm bed is in the kitchen, by the stove. I can't sleep on these cold stones.
"This is a dreadful Christmas! Last year I had a pitcher of cream and a string of popcorn from Ethel's Christmas tree. She is very good to me when she is at home. I wish she would come back. I am so frightened and hungry! Mew! mew!"
TO MY CAT MUFF.
Thou art not "dumb," my Muff; In those sweet pleading eyes and earnest look Language there were enough To fill, with living type, a goodly book, Wherein who read might see What tones unheard, and forms of silent speech Are given, that such as thee The eloquence of dumbness, men might teach. JOHN OWEN.
HOW TO TAKE CARE OF CATS.
"Mamma!" cried Philip, coming in one day with something in his arms, "see this poor kitty I found in the street! A dog was barking at her and she ran straight into my arms. May I keep her for my own?"
Mrs. Grant looked up from her work. Such a rough-coated, dirty little cat as she saw! But there was something in the tired, frightened eyes that touched her.
"Are you willing to take a good deal of trouble, Philip?" asked his mother. "If not, it would be kinder to kill the poor thing quickly."
"I am willing; indeed I am!" cried the boy. "Please tell me what to do."
"You should give her a saucer of warm milk, with a little bread crumbed in it first; for the poor kitten must be very hungry. Then she will know you mean to be kind to her. After that she had better sleep. When she wakes up she will begin to feel at home, and then I think we must sponge her gently with warm water, because she is so very dirty. You must not do that alone, but you may hold her and stroke her softly, and if you think she will scratch you I will get you a pair of old gloves."
"Can we not put her in a little tub and bathe her?" asked Philip.
"It is not best to do that if you can get her clean any other way. Cats do not like water, and it frightens them very much, to be put into it. Once in a great while we hear of cats that will be patient if put into a bath, but usually they will struggle and cry and act very much frightened. As soon as this kitten has been fed and begins to get over her fright at being homeless, you will see her wash herself.
"Then you must make her feel at home," said Mrs. Grant. "You can take her in your arms and carry her about the house, talking softly to her, so that she may feel that you will be good to her. It is fortunate that it is growing dark. She can see better in the twilight, and is not so easily startled."
The kitten lapped up the milk hungrily, and then came purring about the boy's feet.
"Where may she sleep?" asked the boy, pleased to see that the kitten was not at all afraid of him.
"A low, wide basket half full of shavings will make a soft bed," said Mrs. Grant. "Over the shavings I will spread a piece of old flannel. Cats like a warm, cosy bed, and it is always best to keep them in the house at night."
To their delight, the kitten did not object at all to the warm bath. She stood quite still while Mrs. Grant washed her gently and dried her in an old blanket.
"You can easily teach her to be clean if you are kind and patient," said Mrs. Grant. "She will not need a bath again, for she will learn to take care of herself; but it would be very good for her to be brushed every day, and I will give you a small brush for that purpose. If you put a pan of dry earth where she can always get at it, she will give no trouble when she cannot go out of doors."
"I think she likes me already, mamma," said Philip.
"I am sure she will like you if you are kind to her," said his mother. "If you hurt her, she will never forget it. Dogs forgive many cruel blows, but a cat's nature is different. She is very brave in bearing pain, and she rarely cries out when she is hurt; but she is very sensitive, and that ought to make us careful how we handle her. Don't let the baby have the kitten to play with. He could not understand how his clumsy little fingers hurt her. He does not yet know the difference between a plaything and a playmate. But you can teach him to feed her and to be kind to her."
"What else must I do?" said Philip.
"You must keep a dish of water where Kitty can find it, and you must not forget to fill it every day with fresh water. Cats are more dainty than dogs are. They like clean dishes and fresh food. They must have plenty of warm milk, and brown bread and milk." "May she eat meat and fish?" asked Philip.
"Not yet," said his mother. "She is too young. When she is older she should have meat cut up and mixed with bread or vegetables. The fat and tough fiber should be removed. When raw meat is given, boiling water should be poured on it to cleanse it. Fish may be given once a week. That should be boiled and all the bones removed, as cats have sometimes been badly choked with fish bones. Meat and fish should be fresh. Dogs and cats have been poisoned by eating pieces of old meat and fish."
"I thought cats lived on mice," said Philip.
Mrs. Grant smiled.
"I am afraid that your kitty will starve if she has no food but the mice she finds here," she said. "Perhaps there are a few in the barn. Never let her tease a mouse, Philip. If you take the mice away from her when she plays with, them, she will learn, in time, to kill her prey quickly."
"Fred's cat eats asparagus," said Philip.
"Yes; cats need some vegetable food. They usually like corn, string beans, boiled rice, potatoes, cabbage, and even carrots. Oatmeal, very thoroughly cooked, is an excellent food for them. If you give your kitten corn to eat, you must scrape it carefully off the cob in such a way that she will get only the inside of the kernel. I cut it for you, you know, so that the empty hulls are left clinging to the cob."
"May she have all the milk she wants?" asked Philip.
"I think so," said Mrs. Grant, "if you feed her regularly and not too often, and if you are sure that the milk is fresh and good. In summer it is well to scald the milk, and it is safer to do this in winter also, if there is any doubt about its freshness."
"What else may she have, mamma?"
"Corn bread and graham biscuits will be good for her, and perhaps she will like them crisp and dry better than if they are soaked. You can raise some catnip next summer. Kitty will like that dried quite as well as the green herb. It may be kept for a special treat or for medicine, although a cat that can find plenty of grass rarely needs medicine. In the winter you can have some grass growing in a pot or box of earth."
"How much better she looks already!" said Philip, watching the sleeping pussy. "I think she will be a beauty. When she is a fine, large cat I shall ask papa to take her picture."
Dozing, and dozing, and dozing! Pleasant enough, Dreaming of sweet cream and mouse meat,— Delicate stuff!
Waked by a somerset, whirling From cushion to floor; Waked to a wild rush for safety From window to door.
Waking to hands that first smooth us, And then pull our tails; Punished with slaps when we show them The length of our nails!
These big mortal tyrants even grudge us A place on the mat. Do they think we enjoy for our music Staccatoes of "scat"?
To be treated, now, just as you treat us,— The question is pat,— To take just our chances in living, Would YOU be a cat? LUCY LARCOM.
THE CAT FAMILY.
Our little house cat belongs to the same family as the lion, the tiger, and the leopard. They are known as the old and powerful family of cats, and though pussy is small, tame, and gentle, she is not unlike her fierce cousins in many of her ways.
All cats have sharp claws which can be drawn back until quite out of sight. They walk softly because their feet are padded with soft, elastic cushions. Not only is a cat one of the most sure-footed animals in the world, but she is also one of the most graceful.
Cats are restless creatures, and in a wild state they are prowling about, day and night, with only short periods of rest. Yet, when they are hunting for food, they will patiently lie in wait for hours.
It is the nature of all cats, big and little, to pounce upon their prey and not to chase it.
No cat likes to run. She will hide from danger if she can, and she runs only when she must.
The teeth of cats are sharp and pointed so that they can tear their food in pieces. Their tongues are rough and are of great use in eating. The surface is covered with little prickly points which also serve pussy in the place of a brush and comb.
A cat's whiskers are very sensitive. Even to touch them lightly sometimes hurts her, and to pull them is to make her suffer intense pain. Little children, who do not know what delicate nerves are bound up with their cat's whiskers, are often the cause of great suffering to their pets.
Have you ever looked at your cat's eyes? How well she sees in places that seem dark to us! In what way are her eyes different from ours?
At noon, the black spot in a cat's eye is only a narrow slit, but as the light grows less bright, the pupil of the eye grows rounder and larger. In this way her eyes gather in more and more light as darkness comes on, so that at twilight she can easily find her way. When it is really dark, her sensitive whiskers help her to feel what she cannot see.
Pussy's tail is part of her backbone or spine, which is made up as carefully and delicately as our spines are. If we pull a cat's tail, we run the risk of giving her as severe pain as we should feel if our spines were hurt.
Dogs and cats have been seriously hurt by forcing their heads into empty cans that have contained meat or soup. Sometimes they are not able to free themselves. Their terror is pitiable, and if not found they may run into some hiding place and die a miserable death. It would be easy to see that a can, when emptied, is pounded out of shape, so that no animal can get its head into it. To do this might save great suffering.
THINGS TO REMEMBER.
It is a mistake to suppose that cats are unloving and selfish. When a cat loves no one, it is usually a proof that no one loves her. She responds warmly to gentle treatment, and often shows personal devotion in very striking ways.
Remember that it is unfair to call a cat cruel and to punish her for following out her own instincts. She knows nothing of the pain she inflicts, and is quite innocent of any cruel intention. Often a word or two of reproof is effectual, but it is useless to strike her or frighten her. She knows no reason why she should not catch birds as well as mice. If something she likes to eat is given to pussy the last thing at night, she will get into the habit of coming into the house for it. If she is kept in at night, she cannot disturb the early morning songs of your feathered friends. Care and watching will be needed to insure their peace and safety through the day. Especially must she be well fed and have an early breakfast when she has kittens to care for, or she will bring birds for them to eat.
Remember that a half-starved cat makes a poor mouser. When she is exhausted with hunger she loses the sense of smell, and with it all interest in catching mice.
Cats grow very fond of places as well as of people, and dread to change their homes. When a cat is to be taken to another house to live, she should be carried in a cat-basket with openings in the top so that she can have fresh air to breathe and can see what is going on. Holes may be made in a common basket, but the cover must be firmly fastened with a strong strap or cord. Once arrived at her new quarters, pussy should be shut up in a quiet room with food and water and a pan of dry earth. At dusk, when the outer doors are shut, she may be allowed to go into other rooms with some friendly guide. For two or three days she should be kept in the house, and great pains should be taken not to trouble or frighten her while she is learning to feel at home.
Remember, in handling a cat, that it hurts her to be lifted by her front paws alone. Her hind legs should be supported at the same time.
Ribbons and collars are entirely out of place on a cat. They are likely to get caught on twigs and nails, and may even cause death. They certainly give no pleasure to the wearer. Harrison Weir, who has written a book about cats, calls especial attention to the danger of collars and ribbons.
There are so many cats in the world that if all the kittens were allowed to grow up, no good homes could be found for them. It is a hard thing for a kind-hearted person to do, but many little kittens must be killed or they would live to suffer. One kitten of every litter should be left to the mother cat. The others should be killed as soon as possible, but never in the mother's sight. Think how poor pussy would feel when she saw her babies drowned!
One of the greatest hardships that can come into a cat's life is to be left without a home. At the beach in winter and in the city in summer may be seen many homeless, starving, miserable cats, left there by their cruel owners. Once these cats were petted and well-fed. They know what it is to lie on soft cushions and to be caressed. Now, through no fault of their own, they are wanderers in an unfriendly world. Can any name too harsh be given to the men and women who turn adrift these timid, helpless creatures? Remember that it is a thousand times better to chloroform or drown the cat it is impossible to carry with you, than to let her take her chances in so wretched a life.
Cats are so nervous and sensitive, and so timid when taken away from home, that they must suffer very much when exhibited in cages at a cat show. It has frequently happened that cats have been made ill by the fright and confinement.
Cats and dogs sometimes take contagious diseases from each other, and if allowed to run at large they may carry the disease to children or to other pet animals. If our pets are ill they should not be turned out of doors, but should be kept by themselves in a comfortable, quiet room, taken good care of, and on no account should children be allowed to handle them. If we are ill with a contagious disease, our pets should not be allowed in the room with us.
To keep in good health, cats need to have access to fresh grass and clean water. They much enjoy being brushed with a brush that is not too stiff.
Remember that cats are delicate and easily injured about the head and should be handled carefully.
Agnes Repplier says: "Cats are extremely sensitive and dislike loud voices and bustling ways. They love repose, calmness, and grace."
STORIES OF CATS.
There was once a cat that lived in a house in London. Her master owned a country home also, and twice a year pussy made the journey between the two houses. She always showed great interest and pleasure when the trunks were brought out and the packing cases were being filled.
She herself traveled in a comfortable basket with openings at the top, which had been bought expressly for her. Often her master lifted her out and held her in his lap for a while, so that the journey might not seem long to her.
One day, when the usual preparations were going on, pussy seemed very uneasy. She had a little baby kitten scarcely old enough to walk, and she was afraid the kitten would be left behind.
At last she spied a box half full of dresses.
"There!" thought Mrs. Pussy. "That is a fine place for my baby. I can hide it away under those dresses and it will be quite safe."
When the kitten was discovered, carefully tucked in among the silks and laces, you may be sure that a place was found for it in the cat's basket.
In a monastery in France lived a cat who always came to dinner when the big bell rang to call the monks. One day she happened to be shut up in a room alone when the bell rang, and the poor kitty had no dinner.
As soon as she was set free she ran to look for her plate, but none was there. Presently the monastery bell was heard, and when the monks came to see what could be the matter, there was the cat hanging upon the bell rope, ringing for her dinner.
Another story is told, in the Popular Science Monthly, of a cat who knew the name of each member of the household. If she was asked about an absent one, she would look at his vacant seat and then at the speaker. If told to fetch him she would run upstairs to his room, take the handle of the door between her paws, mew at the keyhole, and wait to be let in.
A cat will often become especially attached to one member of a family. Dr. Gordon Stables, who has written a book about cats, tells a story of a cat named Muffle that belonged to him when he was a boy. She was so fond of him that when he went away to school she left the house and went into the woods to live. The boy came home frequently, and whenever he did so she came back to welcome him. Dr. Stables also tells a story of a cat who knew the footsteps of every member of the family, and before any one else could hear a sound she would hasten to the door. She also knew if a stranger knocked at the door, and would give a low growl.
A remarkable story is told in a French scientific paper. There was a certain cat named Cadi who lived in Roumania. The winter of 1880 was very cold, and her master, to save his fuel, often went without a fire.
One day Cadi mewed and mewed until her master followed her. She led him straight to the coal-box, on which she sat until he had filled a hod with coal. Then she led him to the wood-box, and finally back to his own cold room.
While the fire was being made Cadi rubbed against her master's knees with many caresses, and when at last it began to burn bright, she stretched herself before it, contented and happy.
A mother cat will go through fire and water to save her kittens, and she will fight most bravely to protect them. One poor cat, finding that she could not save her baby from the flames of a burning building, went back to die beside it, rather than escape alone.
A BRAVE GIRL. [Footnote: Published by Ticknor & Fields, 1867.]
A little girl was once coming home from school across Boston Common, when she saw a party of noisy boys and dogs tormenting a poor kitten by the side of the frog pond. The little wretches would throw it into the water, and then laugh at its vain and frightened efforts to paddle out, while the dogs added to its fright by their ferocious barking. Belle was a bright-eyed, spirited little girl, and her whole soul was roused in indignation; she dashed in among the throng of boys and dogs, and rescued the poor half-drowned little animal. The boys, ashamed, slunk away, and little Belle held the poor, cold, shivering little creature, considering what to do for it. It was half dead already, and she knew that at home there was no room for another pet, for both cat and kitten never were wanting in their family. "Poor kitty!" she said, "you must die, but I will see that you are not tormented;" and she knelt bravely down and held the little thing under water, with the tears running down her own cheeks, till all its earthly sorrows were over, and the little cat was beyond the reach of dog or boy.
This was real, brave humanity. Many people call themselves tender- hearted, because they are unwilling to have a litter of kittens killed, and so they go and throw them over fences, and comfort themselves with the reflection that they will do well enough. What becomes of the poor little defenseless things? In nine cases out of ten they live a hunted, miserable life, crying from hunger, shivering with cold, harassed by cruel dogs, and tortured to make sport for brutal boys. How much kinder and more really humane to take upon ourselves the momentary suffering of causing the death of an animal than to turn our backs and leave it to drag out a life of torture and misery! HARRIET BEECHER STOWE.
AUNT ESTHER'S RULE. [Footnote: Published by Ticknor & Fields, 1867]
One of Aunt Esther's rules for the care of animals was "Never frighten an animal for sport." I remember that I had a little white kitten, of which I was very fond, and one day I was amusing myself with making her walk up and down the key-board of the piano, and laughing to see her fright at the strange noises which came up under her feet. It never occurred to me that there was any cruelty in it, till Aunt Esther said to me: "My dear, you must never frighten an animal. I have suffered enough from fear to know that there is no suffering more dreadful; and a helpless animal, that cannot speak to tell its fright, and cannot understand an explanation of what alarms it, ought to move your pity." HARRIET BEECHER STOWE.
A large lion was once to be seen in a cage in London. He was so big and fierce that many persons came to have a peep at him.
One day his keeper opened the cage door and put in a little black dog. Everybody wondered what the lion would do. As for the little dog, his heart beat fast with fright and he cowered against the side of the cage.
The lion looked down at the small, shrinking form, but he did not growl or roar. Perhaps he was lonely and glad to have a companion. In some way he must have told the dog that he need not be afraid, for presently the little fellow put out his tongue and lapped his huge friend on the lips.
After that they were very good friends, and the lion often allowed the little dog to tease him and pull his mane. When they were fed, the lion stood back like a true gentleman, and let the dog have his dinner first. He seemed to know that because he was so strong, he must be gentle to the weak and helpless.
Gerard, the great lion-tamer, once brought home from Africa a baby lion. He named it Hubert and for a time it was his pet and playmate.
When it grew large, Gerard sent it to Paris. The next year he went to France and visited his pet. The lion was in a cage, and when he saw his master, he began to quiver with excitement.
Gerard put his hand between the bars, and Hubert snuffed it eagerly.
"Hubert!" said the lion-tamer. "My old soldier!"
With a furious bound the lion sprang upon the bars. He stood close against the grating and filled the building with his roars of joy. His enormous tongue scraped his master's hand, while with his paws he vainly tried to caress him.
After a time he grew more quiet, but whenever Gerard turned to leave him, there were the same heart-breaking moans and roars.
Daily, Gerard spent hours in the same cage with his pet, and the two were very happy together.
Several years ago a lion and a lioness were in the menagerie at Paris. Their keeper, Mr. Felix, was taken ill one day, and could no longer attend to them. The duty of feeding them and keeping the cage clean fell upon a stranger to whom both lion and lioness took a strong dislike. The lion would sit, for hours, at the end of his cage, with bristling mane and flaming eyes. He refused all food from the hands of the new keeper and roared at him so furiously that no one dared to go near the cage.
Days went on and it was evident that something must be done or the lion would become seriously ill. Fortunately, Mr. Felix was getting well, and one morning, intending to surprise the lions, he crept softly to the cage and showed his face between the bars. In an instant the lion sprang forward, patting the man's arm with his great paws and showing the greatest delight. The lioness also ran to him, but the lion drove her back and seemed unwilling that Felix should show her any favor. Fearing that they might quarrel, the keeper entered the cage and caressed them by turns. The huge beasts obeyed him promptly as if eager to show how much they loved him, and peace and quiet were thus restored.
Rosa Bonheur, whose pictures of animals are among the most famous in the world, loved the wild creatures that she painted. At one time she had for a model a fierce lion named Nero who, after a while, had to be taken away to Paris.
The day came when he was to go. The horses that were to draw the great beast's cage to the city shivered with dread at the odor of the flesh- eater. Nero was quiet, but he looked sadly at his mistress, and his gold-yellow eyes seemed full of reproach.
Months later the artist went to see him in one of the gardens of Paris. He was blind and dying.
"Oh, my poor Nero!" she said. "What have they done to you?"
The lion lifted up his huge head, and listened for a moment. Then, slowly and with pain, he crawled close to the bars of his cage, where she could stroke him. About the artist and her pet there were only rough men and women and boys of the city streets, but every man's hat came off, and there was not a dry eye in the crowd.
Rosa Bonheur did not confine her tenderness to dumb animals. In her prosperity she was kind to many poor artists who were working under hard and discouraging conditions. For years before her death she lived in a village on the edge of the Forest of Fontainebleau, and here she brought the wild animals, the tame pets and the human friends whom she loved, to share her cheerful, happy life.
EXHIBITIONS OF TRAINED ANIMALS SHOULD BE DISCOURAGED.
Those who enjoy going to the circus or menagerie or to any show of wild animals ought to consider how they would like to be shut up as prisoners all their lives, and forced to do unnatural tricks. Some animal trainers try to make the public believe that tricks are taught by kindness and that the animals are comfortable and happy; but persons not in the business who have had an opportunity to watch trained animals behind the scenes say that there is a great deal of suffering among them. To all these questions we can apply the Golden Rule and deal with these creatures that are at men's mercy as we should wish to be dealt with if we were in their place.
THE KING OF BEASTS.
I am a great lion, and one of the strongest animals in the world. I used to live far away in Africa, and when I roared, all who heard my voice were afraid.
I hunted to get food for myself and my little ones. I never killed for fun. It is only men who kill creatures and call it sport. Wild animals are not so savage as that.
You wonder that I am in this cage when I am so strong. I am afraid of men. They are wise and cruel. They made a trap and caught me. They have made these iron bars which are stronger than I am.
I have tried my best to get out. I am weary and homesick I need the wide plains, and the deep streams, and the fresh, sweet air of the forests.
Sometimes when I am asleep I dream of my old home. I forget the crowds who stare at me, and the smell of the sawdust, and the narrow, narrow cage. I think I am once again in the great, free, open country.
Then I spring up gladly, and there are only the iron bars and the low roof. I roar with pain and grief and my keeper comes to punish me with his sharp-pointed stick. When you see me in my cage, pity me, for I am very miserable.
THE SHIP OF THE DESERT.
The home of the camel is in Arabia. In that country there are many miles of sandy desert.
We use ships to carry goods and men across the sea; in Arabia the camel is used to carry goods and men across the sand. He carries heavy loads over the scorching deserts, and for this reason he is called the Ship of the Desert.
No horse or donkey could tread where the camel does. Their hoofs would sink in the loose, dry sand. But the foot of the camel is like a broad pad or cushion, and it spreads out as he puts it down, so that it neither slips nor sinks. It has also a very thick sole to protect it from the burning heat of the sand.
The camel is able to go for a long time without food or water. He can do this because he carries with him a supply of both. The hump on his back is a large lump of solid fat, which the camel is able, in some strange way, to use as food. He does not bite it or take it into his mouth, but it wastes away, and grows smaller and smaller, when he is making a long journey with little to eat. If the poor camel is starved, his back becomes quite flat.
The camel stores up a supply of water in his two stomachs, a part of which is lined with masses of cells. When the camel drinks, he fills these cells, keeping the water in them for future use so that he is not thirsty again for a long time.
The camel's sense of smell is very acute. It is said that he can detect water long before it is in sight.
When he is carrying a burden across the wild, barren places where no green thing grows, he is fed with a few dates, beans, or cakes. Sometimes he finds a dry, thorny plant to browse upon, but when other food is gone he must depend upon his hump.
In a caravan there are often thousands of camels. Without them, merchants could not send their goods across the desert, for no other animal could endure so long a journey under such conditions.
A HEAVY LOAD.
One day a workman, who was helping to build a new house, saw the driver of a large cart trying to back his horses into the yard. The cart was filled with a heavy load of wood, and though the two horses seemed to be patient and willing, they could move it but a little way. Then it would roll down upon their heels again.
The driver grew angry. He shouted at the horses and gave them cruel cuts with his whip. The horses stopped pushing and began to kick, without moving the cart at all.
By this time the workman had come up to the horses.
"Get down a minute," said he to the driver, "and let me see what I can do."
He went first to one horse and then to the other, stroking their necks and speaking kindly to them. Then he lifted off several heavy timbers and laid them on the ground. Finally he took from his dinner-pail a big red apple, which he cut in two, giving half to each horse.
When the horses had eaten the apple, the man mounted the cart and took up the reins.
"Come, now!" he said cheerily, giving the reins a little shake. "I am sure you can do it if you try once more. Now, then, there you go!"
The horses took new courage, and with all their might bent to their work. With a vigorous push and a great rattle of stones the cart went up into its place.
"It isn't easy to work when you are being scolded." said the workman, handing over the reins to the driver of the pair. "Try my way the next time. It pays."
The horse has been known as man's companion and helper from the earliest times. In Greek mythology horses play a very important part, as every one knows who has read the stories of Arion and the winged horse Pegasus. The most famous horse in history probably was Bucephalus (Bull Head), who belonged to Alexander the Great. Alexander was the son of Philip, king of Macedonia.
When the boy was about thirteen years of age, there was offered for sale to his father a superb white horse with a black mark, like a bull's head, on his forehead. His price was twenty thousand dollars. He was brought before the king, but no one was able to mount him. Philip was angry and was about to send the horse away when Alexander begged to be allowed to try.
He went up quietly to Bucephalus and stroked him for a few minutes with a steady, careful hand. As he did so he noticed that the horse was afraid of his own shadow dancing on the grass before him.
Turning the frightened animal with his face to the sun, the boy leaped lightly on his back, and using every means to soothe him, soon brought him under complete control.
Bucephalus became Alexander's constant companion. The horse was once taken prisoner by the barbarians against whom Alexander was fighting, but the concern shown by the great soldier was so serious that his favorite was promptly restored to him.
This famous horse died when he was thirty years old from wounds received on the field of battle. Alexander mourned his death as that of a dear friend and built a city as a monument to his memory.
Swift and Spurred On were horses that belonged to two Roman emperors. These horses were fed on almonds and raisins; they had ivory mangers and marble stalls; and one of them drank wine out of a golden pail. But I am sure they were too sensible to like such a life and would have preferred a handful of fresh grass and a drink of cold water.
There are many other horses whose names are known in history. There was Copenhagen, the Duke of Wellington's favorite charger, that carried him for ten hours through the battle of Waterloo. Copenhagen lived to a peaceful and honored old age, but he had a fancy for sponge cake and chocolate creams, and he died at last from eating too many sweets.
Then there was Roan Barbary, Richard the Second's favorite, and Agnes, who carried Mary, Queen of Scots. Washington's big white horse, whose picture you have often seen, was carefully tended and cherished as long as he lived.
In art the horse is the emblem of courage and generosity, and as we know him to-day he is not lacking in these noble traits.
HOW TO TREAT HORSES.
It is quite safe to say that of all animals the horse best repays kind treatment. The better you treat him, the better horse he is, and the more work he can do.
Yet no animal is more frequently abused and neglected than the horse. He is left standing in the cold without a blanket or only partly covered; he is whipped by angry drivers; he is ill fed; and he is kept in a dark, close stable for days at a time.
A horse is often brave in facing a danger which he understands. He can be trained to go into dangerous places without shrinking. But it is well to remember that a horse learns only by seeing and smelling, and that a new sight which he does not understand will fill him with terror. He is steadfast before the danger he knows; he is timid as a deer before the danger he imagines.
It should be the business of any one having the care of a horse to let him examine everything that may frighten him. If a horse shies, lead him up gently to see and smell what he is afraid of. He may not dare to go near it the first time, but patience and kindness will teach him, while blows and angry words will only frighten him more.
A bit of paper blowing in the wind is enough to frighten many horses. Their eyes are not like ours, and often on coming out of a dark stable they are so blinded by the light that familiar things look strange to them. To pick up flying pieces of paper may prevent a serious accident.
If a horse can be used without blinders, he will be more comfortable and can see better where he is going. He is not so likely to be frightened if he can see what is on each side of him.
Sometimes a horse will not cross water or bridges. It is of no use to whip him; he will only grow more frightened. The best plan is to wait until another horse comes along and goes over the bridge. Then the timid one sees that nothing dreadful happens, and he follows quietly.
A horse that is frightened in his stall will often refuse to be led out. If his harness is put on him, he rarely objects to following his master.
It is often difficult to get a horse out of a burning stable, but if a blanket or cloth is thrown over his head to cover his eyes, he can easily be led away from the fire.
In driving a horse, a poor driver often jerks and pulls the reins. This hardens the horse's mouth and makes it difficult to guide him properly. Horses learn very readily, and will soon obey their master's voice as quickly as the rein.
A horse should not be continually urged when he is doing his best. It only discourages him. He should have a chance to get his breath on reaching the top of a hill before he is started into a faster gait.
In hot weather flies are often a torture to a nervous horse. There are several good preparations for sale to rub on horses and cattle to keep off the flies. A fly net is also a great protection. A wet handkerchief, tied over the top of a horse's head, will sometimes prevent prostration from heat. In the south of France horses often wear hats in the summer, when they are in the hot sun. A wet sponge or a cabbage leaf is placed inside.
It is a mistake to think that a horse should not drink much water. If the body is over-heated it is always well to wait before drinking a great quantity of cold water, but while exercising, horses as well as men need to drink often.
Every time a horse has been out, his feet should be carefully lifted and brushed out. If a small stone gets fixed in the hollow part of the foot, it will soon make a horse lame. It is so simple and easy to take out the stones which a horse picks up in this way, that all boys and girls should learn how to do it, as soon as they are old enough.
The horse is very sensitive to the sound of the human voice. If the tone is loud and harsh he is frightened and irritated, while he is easily encouraged if it is quiet and friendly. Teamsters have a careless habit of shouting at their horses, which is unnecessary and unkind.
When a horse is balky see that the harness does not hurt him, and that the load is not too heavy for him to draw. Then try some simple encouragement, such as a friendly pat or a lump of sugar.
Lastly, the over-check rein is the cause of intense pain. The use of this rein is so common that it is well to know how painful and dangerous it is. A horse needs to put his head and neck down in order to draw a load well. The over-check is the direct cause of several diseases, and a horse often becomes knee-sprung from its use.
It is sometimes said that a horse looks better with his head in the air. Does not the horse on the right look quite as well as the other? He certainly seems much more comfortable and happy.
A horse driven with an over-check rein is more likely to fall, as he cannot see what is before him, and when he does stumble, he cannot recover his footing quickly. He can no longer move freely and gracefully, and no doubt he wishes that his master would care more about his comfort and well-being. Such a horse looks awkward and ill at ease, and would surely protest for himself if he could.
CATCHING THE COLT.
With forehead star, and silver tail, And three white feet to match, The gay, half-broken, sorrel colt, Which one of us could catch?
"I can!" said Dick, "I'm good for that"; He slowly shook his empty hat; "She'll think 'tis full of corn," said he; "Stand back, and she will come to me." Her head the shy, proud creature raised As 'mid the daisy flowers she grazed; Then down the hill, across the brook, Delaying oft, her way she took; Then changed her pace, and, moving quick, She hurried on, and came to Dick. "Ha! ha!" he cried, "I've caught you, Beck": And put the halter round her neck.
But soon there came another day, And, eager for a ride, "I'll go and catch the colt again, I can," said Dick with pride.
So up the stony pasture lane, And up the hill he trudged again; And when he saw the colt, as slow He shook his old hat to and fro, "She'll think 'tis full of corn," he thought, "And I shall have her quickly caught. Beck! Beck!" he called; and at the sound, The restless beauty looked around, Then made a quick, impatient turn, And galloped off among the fern. And when beneath a tree she stopped, And leisurely some clover cropped, Dick followed after, but in vain; His hand was just upon her mane, When off she flew, as flies the wind, And, panting, he pressed on behind. Down through the brake, the brook across, O'er bushes, thistles, mounds of moss, Round and around the place they passed, Till breathless, Dick sat down at last; Threw by, provoked, his empty hat,— "The colt," he said, "remembers that! There's always trouble from deceit, I'll never try again to cheat." MARIAN DOUGLASS.
A REMARKABLE HORSE-TRAINER.
Nearly half a century ago, an American, named John Rarey, made a name for himself by taming one of the most unruly horses in the world.
This horse was named Cruiser. He belonged to an English nobleman, and was a race-horse of fine blood. Unfortunately he had a bad temper. No groom dared to venture into his stall, and one day, when he had been put into a public stable, it became necessary to take off the roof of the building to get him out. After this he was practically left to himself for three years. His huge bit was loaded with chains, and on his head was a large muzzle, lined inside and out with iron. No wonder that his temper grew worse and worse. When any one came near him he screamed with hate and fury.
Mr. Rarey had already met with such success in taming horses in his own country, that it was decided to let him see what he could do with Cruiser. "Kindness, fearlessness and patience will subdue him," said the American; "I am not afraid to try."
When the time came for the trial, and Mr. Rarey threw open the door as if there were nothing to fear, Cruiser was too much astonished to move. Before he had made up his mind what he should do, the "kindness, fearlessness and patience" of Mr. Rarey were at work. One of Cruiser's fore-feet was gently strapped backward in such a way that he could neither run nor kick. By another strap on the off fore-foot it was possible to draw up the other leg, and presently to bring the powerful creature down upon his knees. All the time this was going on, Mr. Rarey spoke quietly and encouragingly to him, until at last Cruiser felt that he had met a master and a friend.