Minnie's Pet Lamb
by Madeline Leslie
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Transcriber's Note

Obvious typographical errors have been corrected. A list of corrections is found at the end of the text.






Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1863, by


In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.




These Little Volumes





Minnie's Pet Parrot. Minnie's Pet Cat. Minnie's Pet Dog. Minnie's Pet Horse. Minnie's Pet Lamb. Minnie's Pet Monkey.




In another book, about Minnie's pet pony, I have already given you some account of Nannie, her pet lamb.

This had all the peculiarities of the South Down, to which breed of sheep it belonged. It had full, bright, black eyes, a small head, and a brownish-gray face and legs. Its back was straight and wide, and covered with fine, short wool, which protected it from the cold.

When Mr. Lee first brought the lamb home, it cried, or bleated, continually. It was placed in a pen close by the stall where Star, the Shetland pony, was kept, and, the next day after it came, managed to get over the light railing which separated them, and creep up close to the animal.

I don't know what Star thought of the little creature; but I suppose he was pleased to have a companion, for when the hostler went to feed him, he found them on very social terms. After this, the lamb's affection for Star grew so strong that it soon forgot all about its mother and its old friends, and gave its whole heart to the new one. The pony returned the love, and was as kind to his little companion as he could possibly be. He never seemed better pleased than when the lamb was standing quietly by his side, eating the hay or turnips with which it was fed, or when, its hunger being appeased, it lay down close under his nose, and chewed its cud by the hour together.

At such times, the pony was careful not to step on it, or injure it in any way, but expressed his delight in its society by little short neighs, which were sometimes answered by a responsive note.

In a few days they understood each other perfectly, and were as well acquainted, and as fond of each other, as if they had lived together all their lives.

Mr. Lee, who was visiting Minnie's pets with his little daughter, said, one morning, it would never do for the lamb to stand in the stall, so closely confined from the out-door air; and he directed John to turn it out into the barn yard for a few hours every day.

The man did so; but the poor lamb bleated at this separation from its friend, until the groom happened to think such a change would do Star good too.

As soon as the lamb saw the horse coming through the barn door, it stopped crying, and ran toward him just as it would if he had been its mother.

Star put down his head to his favorite, when the lamb frisked and gambolled about him, occasionally nibbling at his nose, when he would start back, and, thinking this fine fun, would begin to dance again. O, what a pleasant time they did have!

Every morning, Minnie went with her bowl of milk for Nannie, into which, as the lamb grew older, she crumbled some pieces of bread. It was a pretty sight to see the little creature peeping shyly, with its bright eyes, from behind its friend, and then coming a few steps toward her, when she called, in her low, sweet voice,—

"Nannie! Nannie! come and get your breakfast!"

Then she held the bowl down where the lamb could reach to put its mouth in, and laughed to see how much the pretty pet liked the milk.

One morning the lamb had been eating so many turnips that it was not very hungry; and when Minnie called, it did not obey. In vain the little girl called out, in her softest tones, "Nannie, Nannie! come, pretty Nannie, and drink your milk."

At last, the child went into the stable to see what was the matter with her pet, and there her father and mother presently found her, stooping down on the hay by the side of Star, with the lamb's head in her lap.

"Minnie! Minnie! come out, quick! The horse will kick you," exclaimed her mother, greatly alarmed; but Mr. Lee only laughed, as he said,—

"No, indeed; Star loves his young mistress too much for that. Let the child be; she is doing well enough."

"But she will soil her clothes, and get her shoes covered with dirt," urged the lady, still looking anxious.

"O, mamma!" cried Minnie, "I'm in a real clean place on this straw, and Nannie likes to lick my hand. How funny Star is looking round to see what I am doing to his friend."

A few hours later, when Mrs. Lee sat with her sewing in the back parlor, the little girl ran into the room, and taking a cricket, pulled it toward her mother, saying,—

"I want you to tell me all you know about sheep and lambs. Can they do such wonderful things, as dogs, and horses, and cats can?"

The lady laughed. "I am afraid," she began, "that you would not be satisfied with what little I can tell you; for I confess that I know very little about them. You had better wait till your father comes home, for he has been studying a good many books on that subject, and has learned about the different kinds, with a view to buying a flock.

"Or you can ask Anne; for she was brought up in a shepherd's family, and can tell you all about the way they bring up little lambs when their mothers will not own them."

"'Not own them,' mamma! What can you mean? I thought mothers always owned their little children."

"Sometimes a ewe, as they call the mother, has two or three lambs at a time; and perhaps she thinks she could not nurse them all, and so she chooses one or two that she will take care of, and when the other comes near her, she butts it softly with her head. The lamb knows then that she will not take care of it; and the little forsaken creature begins to cry, Anne says, 'for all the world just like a little baby.'"

"And what do the people do for it?" inquired Minnie, tears filling her eyes.

"Why, they take it away from the flock, and 'bring it up by hand,' as they call it; that is, they feed it with milk, and it learns to love the one who takes care of it, and follows her about wherever she goes, just like a little dog. Anne will tell you all about it."

"She is busy now. I heard her tell cook she wanted to give your chamber a thorough cleaning to-day. Can't you remember something more?"

"You know that gentleman, Mr. Sullivan, who comes here sometimes with your father. He is what is called a practical shepherd; that is, he knows all about the habits of sheep, from having been brought up with them. He understands the different breeds, and knows which are the best for wool; and which, for mutton; and what kinds of food are best for them. I have heard your father say that he had gained a great deal of information from Mr. Sullivan, which he could not get from books. I think he will visit us again before long; and I advise you to save all your difficult questions for him to answer."

"If father buys a flock, will he keep them on his farm?" asked the child.

"O, no, dear! Sheep like to roam over the hills, and browse on the bushes and moss. They can find a very good living where a cow would suffer from hunger."

At this moment, Anne appeared at the door, to ask her mistress a question, and Minnie took the opportunity to tell her that she wanted to hear about raising little lambs.

"I'll be pleased enough to tell you, miss," answered the woman, smiling. "I've had a dale to do with sheep, and lambs, too, in my younger days, and many's the little cosset I've brought up by hand, when the poor cratur would otherwise have died."



Anne was standing on some high steps, putting up clean curtains in her mistress's room; and Minnie stood watching her, and wondering how soon she would be done, so she could tell about the lambs. At last she said,—

"Anne, if I stand up in a chair, I could hold the nails and give them to you."

"That's true for you, miss," answered the girl; "and it's a much better way than kapeing them in my mouth."

"And you can talk better," urged Minnie, with a roguish look.

Anne laughed outright. "Ah, it's the story ye're after, I see; and sure ye're welcome to all I can tell you.

"You know my mother was English, and my father Irish. I was born in the great city o' Dublin; but after my father died, which was long enough before I could tell my right hand from my left, I went with my mother to her home in England. Of coorse, I knew nothing of that except by hearsay, which is no evidence at all; but well I can remember, when I was old enough, I was sent out on my grandfather's farm, to mind the sheep; I had a dog, Rover, to go with me, and a little crook, because I was a shepherdess, you know; and I used to carry dinner enough in my pail for Rover too, for he had to work hard, poor fellow!

"I liked it very well at first, for the lambs looked so pretty, skipping around the dams; and the air was so fresh and bright; but I was a very little girl; so I soon grew tired, and left all the care of the sheep to Rover. He flew from one end of the field to the other, chasing them away from the hill where they used to wander and get lost.

"When I saw the lambs drinking their mother's milk, I thought it must be very nice; and so I lay down on the grass, and drank some too; and I liked it so well that I used to drink every day, until grandfather found it out, and forbid me, because the lambs would not have enough.

"By and by I grew up to be a big girl, and then, what with tending the sick sheep, and bringing up the cossets, I had plenty to do. Grandfather had five hundred ewes. He was a rich man, and every body thought well of him. When the lambs began to come, there were some of the ewes that would not own them."

"I know about that, Anne," said Minnie; "mamma told me."

"Well, when there are two, this is often the case; or sometimes the shepherd finds the mother has not milk enough for two, even if she would like them. Did your mamma tell you that some kinds of sheep are much better nurses than others?"

"No, I think she did not know that. She says she don't know much about sheep."

"Very likely, as she was not brought up with them. There is a kind called Merinos, which are very bad nurses. Grandfather wouldn't have them on that account, though they have very fine wool, which sells for a good price. Out of a hundred lambs, they wouldn't bring up more than half.

"They are poor, tender little things, any way. Well, I mind the time when there was a great storm, and grandfather had to be up all night, housing the poor craturs; for the lambs were coming fast. A little past midnight, mother called me, and there we sat till morning, before a blazing fire, warming up one and another, as he brought them in. I sat down on a cricket, and took two or three in my lap at once, and hugged them up to my bosom. When they began to twitch, and we found they must die, we put them on the great hearth rug, and took more. Sometimes they'd just lie down and go to sleep, and when we had time to look at them, they'd be stiff and cold; and then again they would cry out like a baby. It used to make my heart ache to hear them."

Anne had now finished her work, and came down from the steps.

"I don't think I should like to be a shepherdess," said Minnie, sighing.

"O, yes, you'd like it mightily. Such a time as that only comes once in a great many years. And then, when it's warm summer weather, and the lambs frisk and frolic about their mothers in the field, and you just sit down and play on the accordeon, while the dog keeps the flock in order,—O, there's no work so pleasant or so healthy as that!"

When Mr. Lee returned from the city, Minnie was ready with her questions about sheep.

"I want to know all I can about them," she exclaimed.

"There are few stories that can be told about sheep," he answered, cheerfully; "for it must be confessed that they are far inferior to the horse, dog, and many other animals, in intelligence and sagacity. The sheep has few marked traits, except its meekness, and its natural affection for its young. Still, when I remember that the lamb was selected before all other animals for sacrifice, and as a type of Him who is called 'the Lamb of God,' and who is to take away the sins of the world, I feel a deep interest in its welfare.

"The sheep, too, is one of the most useful animals, its fleece or wool being used as a covering to man, and its flesh for food. It was only yesterday I read the well-established fact that, from one pound of sheep's wool a thread was spun so fine that it reached to the almost incredible distance of ninety-five miles, while one of ordinary fineness reached twenty-six miles. This covering grows so thick in winter that it enables them to bear cold which would be fatal to other animals. They appear to know, too, when a storm is approaching, and take refuge under a sheltering hill or some projecting cliff.

"One very curious thing is, that they can live under the snow for a long time. Mr. Sullivan, who is a shepherd, you know, told me a circumstance which occurred in his own experience.

"There was every appearance of a storm, and he, with his men, drove the sheep early into the fold. In the morning, on counting them, he found there were seven valuable ewes missing. It had snowed all night, and was still snowing, when he started out in search of them. But nowhere could they be found. The storm continued four days, and the snow had reached a depth very uncommon; but day after day the search was renewed. At last, however, it was given up; when one day a woodcutter, in going over a stone wall which lay almost entirely concealed, fell through the snow, and found himself in the midst of the lost sheep. Their breath had rendered the crust, which was firm enough to bear his weight in other places, so thin here that it would not sustain him. They seemed lively and well, having found enough dead grass under the snow to sustain life.

"There is an instance very similar to this in one of my books, which I will find and read to you."

"In the winter of 1800, a sheep was buried in the snow near Kendal, and remained there thirty-three days and nights, without the possibility of moving, and yet survived.

"In the same winter, a sheep near Caldbeck, in Cumberland, was buried thirty-eight days; when found, it had eaten the wool completely off both its shoulders, and was reduced to a skeleton; but with great care it recovered."

"Mr. James Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd, gives a most interesting account of eight hundred ewes that were buried in the snow. Some of them he and his fellow-servants succeeded in getting out the first day; but the second there were but few of them to be seen, except the horns of some stragglers. The men went about, boring with long poles, but with little success, until their dog found out their difficulty, and flying to a spot, began to scrape away the snow. From this time, by his keen scent, he marked faster than they could get them out, and by his skill saved two hundred, though some were buried in a mountain of snow fifty feet deep. They were all alive, and most of them recovered their strength."



"Why, Minnie," said Mrs. Lee, one morning a few weeks later, "here is a story very much like that of our pony and lamb. If Poll will stop chattering, I will read it to you."

"In December, 1825, Thomas Rae, a blacksmith in Hardhills, purchased a beautiful lamb, of the black-faced breed, from an individual passing with a large flock. It was so extremely wild that it was with great difficulty separated from its companions. He put it in a field in company with a cow and a little white pony. It never seemed to mind the cow, but soon manifested fondness for the pony, who showed the friendship to be reciprocated.

"They soon became so attached that they were constantly to be seen in company, whether the pony was used for the saddle or its small carriage, exciting a smile from those who witnessed the unusual spectacle. When the lamb was approached, she would run under the pony for protection, when she would gaze around with looks of conscious security. At night, the lamb always repaired to the stable, and reposed under the manger, where it felt the pony's breath.

"When separate, which only happened as it was effected by force, the little creature would raise the most plaintive bleatings, and the pony a responsive neighing.

"On one occasion, they both strayed into an adjoining field, in which was a flock of sheep. The lamb joined the flock at a short distance from the pony; but as their owner removed him, it immediately followed, without the least regard to its own species.

"Another time, when passing through a large flock, it followed its favorite without showing any signs of a desire to remain with its natural companions."

"Somebody must have known about Nannie, and put it in a book," cried Minnie, greatly excited. "I wonder who it was."

"I presume there are many such cases," answered the lady, smiling; "but you will be pleased to know that Mr. Sullivan will probably be here this evening; and you can ask him as many questions as you wish."

The little girl clapped her hands, and then ran out to the kitchen, to tell Anne the good news.

When her father returned, she looked anxiously into the carriage, to see whether he had any one with him, and was pleased to find that a dark-complexioned, black-whiskered man occupied the other seat.

"I have prepared Mr. Sullivan for a regular catechising," exclaimed Mr. Lee, springing from the carriage, and kissing Minnie's glowing cheek. "You may show him Nannie, too; and he will tell you how to manage her."

They were soon seated in the parlor, when Mr. Lee said,—

"I have often thought of that beautiful passage in which our Saviour describes the Jewish shepherd: 'The sheep hear his voice, and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out; and he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.'"

"It is astonishing," remarked the visitor, "what power a humane shepherd has over his flock, when he has once acquired their confidence. This method of giving names to the sheep, as well as to the leaders, is very important. They soon learn the name given them, and will readily come at the familiar call.

"I read lately an account given by a gentleman who had been travelling in Greece, and he asked if it was customary there to give sheep names. 'Yes,' was the answer; and soon after he had an opportunity of seeing for himself. Passing a flock, he asked the shepherd to call one. He did so; and it instantly left its pasture and its companions, and ran up to the shepherd with signs of pleasure, and with a prompt obedience which I had never seen excelled in any other animal.

"I have heard, too, that an English shepherd knows every sheep in his flock. By feeding the lambs from the hand, and other kind treatment, he accustoms them to come at his call, and gradually to understand and follow his directions, when the rest of the flock will immediately follow.

"In France, the shepherd selects certain sheep from the flock, gives them names, and teaches them to come by offering them a piece of bread. When he wishes to lead his flock through a defile, or to make them change the direction in which they are proceeding, he calls one of these selected sheep. Those that are nearest follow immediately, and the others are not very far behind; and so, by degrees, the whole flock is disposed to obey the call of the shepherd."

"Since you were here last," rejoined Mr. Lee, "I have been reading Youatt's admirable treatise on sheep. He has an instance very similar concerning the flock of Messrs. Nowlan, Kilkenny. In 1820, they had six hundred pure Merinos, all under the charge of one man. Not even a dog was permitted; the whole care devolved on the shepherd.

"At the sound of his horn, all the sheep flocked around him if he stopped, and followed him if he moved forward.

"Salt was the means by which this docility was acquired, a small quantity of which he carried about with him, distributing a little as a reward for their obedience to his call.

"The Kilkenny farm is divided by the King's River, which at times is so rapid and impetuous as not to be fordable by the strongest horse. A plank bridge, eighteen inches wide, and one hundred and ten feet long, with a rail on one side, is thrown across for the convenience of those who may be desirous of crossing the stream.

"When it is necessary to remove the sheep from one side of the river to the other, the shepherd crosses the plank, sounding his horn, and each individual of the flock passes regularly after him in single file. Even in the highest floods, there has never occurred one single casualty."

"That reminds me," said Mr. Sullivan, "of the flocks in the Island of Cyrnon, which, on the landing of a stranger, always flee away into the interior of the country; but as soon as the shepherd blows his horn, they scamper around him, and forget every fear.

"But all this time I am quite unmindful of my young friend, who has not yet asked one question."

"I want to know whether it's easy to be a shepherdess," said Minnie, blushing; "because I should like to be one; only I should want the kind of sheep that would own their lambs, and love them."

Both Mr. Lee and his visitor laughed heartily.

"Sheep have one trait, and a very marked one," said Mr. Sullivan, "which makes it difficult to keep them in order. That is, their habit of imitation. On my farm, the boundary one side is a stone wall, and it seems almost impossible to keep them from going over it. There is no better feed in my neighbor's pasture; but for some reason the leader runs over, and then the whole flock follow. They know better, and they seldom attempt it when Moses, the dog, is in sight; for sheep soon learn the exact boundaries of their enclosure: from being driven back so often, they find how far they can roam, and remain in peace.

"So, Miss Minnie, unless you can run very fast, and like to keep on the chase pretty much all day, I think you would find it easier to take care of your pets at home than to be a shepherdess."

"Will you please tell me a story about sheep?" said the little girl.

"If you like a laughable story, I can tell you one which I was thinking of not a minute since. It illustrates their habit of imitation. It is often exceedingly difficult to drive a flock of sheep through a narrow passage to which they are unaccustomed; but if one of them can be got through, the rest follow without the slightest trouble.

"A butcher's boy was driving some fat sheep through Liverpool; but they ran down a street where he did not wish them to go. The boy saw a man before him sweeping the street, and called loudly to him,—

"'Stop them! Turn them about!'

"The man began to run from one side of the street to the other, always opposing himself and his broom to them when they tried to force a passage through; but the sheep became more and more excited, and pressed forward with increasing impetuosity.

"At last, one of them came right up to the man, who was stooping down, as if he were going to jump over him, which so frightened the fellow that, instead of rising, he seized the short broomstick, with one hand on either end, and held it over his head. He remained a few seconds in this position, when the sheep made a spring, and jumped fairly over him, without touching the broom.

"The first had no sooner done this, than another followed, and then another, in quick succession, so that the man, perfectly confounded, seemed to lose all recollection, and remained in the same attitude until the whole flock had jumped over him, not one of them attempting to pass on either side, though the street was quite clear.

"All this took place just after a wet day, so that the man was entirely bespattered with mud and dirt before they had all passed; and it would be impossible to conceive a more ludicrous appearance than the poor fellow made on that occasion."



"That's a real funny story," exclaimed Minnie, her eyes sparkling with mirth, "only I can't help pitying that poor man."

"I can recall another, though a sadder incident," continued Mr. Sullivan, "illustrating the same quality."

"In 1808, an accident happened in England to some sheep belonging to Mr. Cooper, of Huilston Hall, who had intrusted them to the care of a boy for that day, in the absence of the shepherd, who was assisting in getting in the harvest.

"About the middle of the day, the sheep broke from their pasture, when the thoughtless boy drove them back in great haste over a narrow and deep ditch. The leading sheep fell in, and the remainder, passing over them, smothered twenty-five sheep and forty lambs, the whole being worth near four hundred dollars.

"In the same book, there is also an account of a flock near Guildford, consisting of more than eight hundred sheep, in one pasture. A dog one day jumped the hedge, and so frightened them that one of them jumped into an adjoining field, which was on a great descent, when the rest of the flock followed each other over the gap of the hedge so fast that one hundred and twenty-three of them were killed."

"There is one quality or characteristic of the sheep which will interest you, Minnie," said her father, "and that is their love of home. Perhaps Mr. Sullivan will tell you some stories about that."

"I should be very glad to hear them, and about the little lambs."

"A great deal can be said upon that," returned the shepherd, cheerfully. "So strong is their attachment to the place where they have been bred, that I have heard of their returning to the Highlands of Scotland from a distance of three hundred miles. When a few sheep accidentally get away from their acquaintance in the flock, they always return home with great eagerness and perseverance.

"The most singular instance that I know of is that of a black ewe, that returned from a farm in the head of Glen Lyon to her home in Tweeddale, and accomplished the journey in nine days. She was soon missed by her owner, and a shepherd was despatched in pursuit of her, who followed her all the way to Crieff, where he turned and gave her up. He got intelligence of her all the way, and every one told him that she absolutely persisted in travelling on—she would not be turned, regarding neither sheep nor shepherd by the way.

"Her poor little lamb was often far behind, and she had constantly to urge it on by impatient bleating. She unluckily reached Stirling on the morning of a great annual fair, about the end of May, and judging it imprudent to venture through the crowd with her lamb, she halted on the north side of the town the whole day, where she was seen by hundreds, lying close by the roadside.

"But the next morning, a little before the break of day, when all was still, she was seen stealing quietly through the town, in apparent terror of the dogs that were prowling about the street. The last time she was seen on the road was at a toll bar near St. Ninian's; the man stopped her, thinking she was a strayed animal, and that some one would claim her. She tried several times to break through by force, when he opened the gate for travellers; but he always prevented her, and at length she turned patiently back. She found some means of eluding him, however; for she reached home on a Sabbath morning early in June, having left the farm at Glen Lyon either on Thursday afternoon or Friday morning, a week and two days before.

"I suppose her former owner thought she had earned a right to remain on her native farm, for he paid the Highland farmer the price of her, and she remained with him till she at length died of old age, in her seventeenth year."

At this moment, company was announced, who remained till evening, so that poor little Minnie, after waiting a long time for her stories, was obliged to go to bed without them.

"Never mind, dear," whispered her father, noticing her look of disappointment; "I have a book with beautiful anecdotes of sheep and lambs, which I will read to you when I come home to-morrow night."

In the morning, Mr. Sullivan found time to pay Nannie a visit, and pronounced her in a thriving condition. He recommended Mr. Lee to have her wool sheared off, as it was so long as to make her uncomfortable during the heat of summer.

Nannie was now a year old, and was a fine, large lamb, with her speckled face looking very bright and intelligent, and, as the gentleman said, did credit to the care of her shepherdess.

Soon after breakfast, Mr. Lee and his visitor went to the library on business, and Minnie did not see them again until just as they were getting into the carriage to drive away. She waited with some impatience for her father to return, and wished she knew what book her father referred to as having the stories in it, so that she might have it ready for him.

Her mother, finding that she was restless and discontented, advised her to apply herself to her letters, which she was beginning to learn.

If the truth must be told, the little girl was not fond of study; but when her mother reminded her that most children of her age could read and spell with ease, and that, if she was diligent, she herself would soon be able to read stories, and not be dependent on any one else, she thought it would be a good thing to learn. For half an hour, she forgot her desire for her father's return in finding A's and E's in books to match letters on her cards.

Evening came at last, and Mr. Lee with it. He looked very smiling, and told his wife his sister was in the city, and was coming in a few weeks to visit them. The moment he saw Minnie's expectant face, he told her he would be ready in five minutes to attend to her, and then invited Mrs. Lee to accompany them to the library, to hear some stories from the Shepherd's Calendar, and other books.

In a few moments, Minnie was seated on her father's lap, her whole countenance beaming with pleased anticipation.



The gentleman began:—

"The marked characteristic of the sheep is that of natural affection, of which it possesses a great share. At the present time, there is in Regent's Park a poor sheep, with very bad foot rot. Crawling along the pasture on its knees, it with difficulty contrives to procure for itself subsistence; and the pain which it suffers when compelled to get on its feet is evidently very great. At a little distance from the sufferer was another sheep, which, after close observation, I found was always the same. As I pursued my regular morning walk through the Park, I commonly sought out the friends, and, after two or three days, they seemed to be aware that no harm was intended them, and they suffered me to come near enough to observe their signals, and fully to satisfy myself that it was always the same faithful adherent by whom the cripple was solaced and watched.

"When a sheep becomes blind, it is rarely abandoned to itself in this hapless and helpless state. Some one of the flock attaches himself to it, and by bleating calls it back from the precipice, and the lake, and the pool, and every kind of danger to which it is exposed."

"Isn't that good of them?" cried Minnie, eagerly. "I like those sheep."

"There was once a gentleman living in Inverness," Mr. Lee went on, "who was passing through a lonely and unfrequented district, when he observed a sheep bleating most piteously, and hurrying along the road to meet him; on his approaching nearer, the animal redoubled its cries, and looking earnestly in his face, seemed to implore some favor or assistance.

"Touched with a sight so unusual, he alighted, and leaving his gig, he followed the sheep in the direction whence it had come. There, in a solitary place, the ewe stopped, and the traveller found a lamb, completely wedged in between two large stones, almost exhausted, but still continuing to struggle very feebly.

"The kind gentleman instantly extricated the little sufferer, and placed it safely on the neighboring greensward, while the delighted mother poured out her thanks in a long-continued and grateful, if not a musical, strain.

"An interesting provision of nature with regard to these animals is, that the more inhospitable the land on which they feed, the greater will be their kindness and affection to their young.

"'I once herded,' says the Ettrick Shepherd, 'two years on a wild and bare farm, called Willenslee, on the border of Mid Lothian; and of all the sheep I ever saw, these were the kindest and most affectionate to their lambs. I was often deeply affected at scenes which I witnessed. We had one very hard winter, so that our sheep grew lean in the spring, and disease came among them, and carried off a number. Often have I seen these poor victims, when fallen to rise no more, even when unable to lift their heads from the ground, holding up the leg to invite the starving lamb to the miserable pittance that the udder still could supply. I had never seen aught more painfully affecting.

"'It is well known that it is a custom with shepherds, when a lamb dies, if the mother have a sufficiency of milk, to bring her from the hill, and put another lamb to her. This is done by putting the skin of the dead lamb upon the living one; the ewe immediately acknowledges the relationship, and after the skin has warmed on it, so as to give it something of the smell of her own lamb, and when it has suckled her two or three times, she accepts it, and nourishes it as her own ever after. Whether it is from joy at this apparent reanimation of her young one, or because a little doubt remains in her mind, which she would fain dispel, I can not decide; but, for a number of days, she shows far more fondness, by bleating and caressing, over this one, than she formerly did over the one that was really her own.

"'While at Willenslee, I never needed to drive home a sheep by force, with dogs, or in any other way than the following: I found every ewe, of course, hanging her head over her dead lamb; and having a piece of twine with me for the purpose, I tied that to the lamb's neck or foot, and, trailing it along, the ewe followed me into any house, or fold, or wherever I chose to lead her. Any of them would have followed me in that way for miles, with her nose close on the lamb, which she never quitted for a moment, except to chase my dog, which she would not suffer to walk near me.

"'Out of curiosity, I often led them in to the side of the kitchen fire, by this means into the midst of servants and dogs; but the more that dangers multiplied around the ewe, the closer she clung to her dead offspring, and thought of nothing whatever but protecting it. One of the two years while I remained on this farm, a severe blast of snow came on by night, about the latter end of April, which destroyed several scores of our lambs; and as we had not enough of twins and odd lambs for the mothers that had lost theirs, of course we selected the best ewes, and put lambs to them. I found one fine ewe standing over a dead lamb in the head of the Hope, and asked my master to put a lamb to her, but he did not. I watched her, and faithfully did she stand to her charge; so faithfully, that I think the like was never equalled by any of the woolly race. I visited her morning and evening, and for the first eight days never found her above two or three yards from the lamb; and always, as I went my rounds, she eyed me long ere I came near her, and kept trampling with her feet, and whistling through her nose, to frighten away the dog. He got a regular chase, twice a day, as I passed by.

"'The weather grew fine and warm, and the dead lamb soon decayed; but still this affectionate and desolate creature kept hanging over the poor remains, with an attachment that seemed to be nourished by hopelessness. It often drew tears from my eyes, to see her hanging with such fondness over a few bones, mixed with a small portion of wool.

"'For the first fortnight, she never quitted the spot, and for another week she visited it every morning and evening, uttering a few kindly and heart-piercing bleats each time, till at length every remnant of her offspring vanished, mixing with the soil, or wafted away by the winds of heaven.'"

"There, Minnie, I think you have heard enough for to-night," said Mr. Lee, gayly, as he heard his little daughter sigh repeatedly.

"O, father, I can't help being so sorry for the poor sheep!"

"You had better read her something more cheerful, or she'll be thinking of that all night," responded Mrs. Lee, laughing at the child's dolorous tone.

"Yes, father, please read one more."

"Well, then, here is something that will please you."

"A drover, being on his way to Smithfield market with a flock of sheep, one of them became so sore-footed and lame that it could travel no farther. The man, wishing to get on, took up the distressed animal, and dropped it over the paling of an enclosure belonging to Mr. O'Kelly, and where the celebrated race-horse Dungannon was then grazing, and pursued his journey, intending to call for the sheep on his return, believing, after a little rest, it would quickly recover. This was the case; but, in the mean time, a strong attachment grew up between the two inhabitants of the paddock. The horse would playfully nibble the neck of the sheep, and, without hurting it, would lift it into the manger of a neighboring shed belonging to the field, as much as to say, 'Though you are not able to reach it, I will help you to the banquet.' Besides this, the horse would, on all occasions, protect his new friend, and would suffer no one to interfere with him.

"When the drover returned, the two friends had become so attached, that it seemed cruel to part them; and Mrs. O'Kelly, having learned the circumstances, bought the sheep, and left the friends in peaceable possession of the paddock and its adjoining shelter."



About this time, Minnie went a short journey with her parents, and was greatly delighted when, one afternoon, they drove through a long, winding lane to a farmhouse, where her friend, Mr. Sullivan, was residing.

"Will you please let me see the lambs?" she asked the kind old lady, Mr. Sullivan's mother, who kept house for him at this time.

"My little daughter has been scarcely able to contain her joy," explained Mr. Lee, "since I told her, a few miles back, that we were going to visit your son."

The good woman smiled kindly upon the child, and then went to the back door, where she took down a long horn, and blew upon it with all her might.

"Joseph will hear that," she said, laughing, as she saw Minnie's large eyes fixed so eagerly on her face, "and he will come up presently from the field. When he has taken care of your father's horses, you can go back with him if you please."

"And may I take the little lambs in my arms? I love lambs dearly."

"They are rather shy of strangers, dear, but you can try. If the ewes are willing, I am."

Minnie then ran to the door, and soon announced, in a glad voice, that Mr. Sullivan was in sight.

He gave them a cheering welcome, and, after kissing Minnie, told her she might run all over the farm, just where she pleased.

"There is a calf in the barn," he said, laughing, "and plenty of little pigs in the sty."

"But I like lambs better than pigs, sir."

"Well, there are some over a hundred of them, and you shall be introduced to their acquaintance as soon as I have given the horses some oats."

Mrs. Lee was readily induced to join the party, although somewhat tired with her long drive. The sheep, of which there were one hundred and fifty, were eating grass on the side of a hill, but, at the shepherd's call, came running to meet him, bleating for their lambs to follow. He threw out some salt, with which his huge pockets were filled; and while Minnie gazed with sparkling eyes and flushed cheeks upon the unusual scene, asked Mr. Lee what he thought of their appearance.

"I never saw a finer flock," was the eager reply. "They do credit to their keeping."

A scream of delight from Minnie caused her father to turn quickly, in time to see a beautiful white lamb crowding its little nose through the fence, into the child's hand.

"Here, Minnie," said the shepherd, giving her an ear of corn; "hold this up, and call, 'Luke,' and you'll soon have the mother to the lamb eating from the cob." He laughed merrily, as he added, "My boy has given them all Bible names; so we have Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. He hesitated a little about Acts, but finally thought he'd better go straight through. So here comes Acts, with her twin lambs, as fine a pair as there is in the flock."

Mr. and Mrs. Lee laughed heartily, and presently Minnie asked, "What is the name of that great one, with horns?"

"O! That's Jeroboam. He's a cruel fellow, I'm sorry to say. I wouldn't advise you to have much to do with such a fellow as he is."

"He looks like a picture in our Bible of a ram going to sacrifice," said the child, gravely. "I wish he were good, though."

"Here comes a lamb now," said Mr. Sullivan, "that I took the liberty to name for you. To my fancy, she's the prettiest one of the flock. Minnie, Minnie, come and get your corn."

"Can lambs eat corn, sir?"

"No; but their mothers can, and they get the good of it."

Minnie's mother came and ate the corn greedily from his hand, while the lamb danced about, first on one side and then on the other, much to the amusement of the child.

"Do they stay out in the field all night, sir?"

"O, no! we always shelter them. At this season, we allow them to feed till late; the sun being so hot in the middle of the day, they all crowd under the shade of the hill."

"But what do they do when it rains?"

"A warm shower doesn't hurt the lambs; but we had some cold north-east storms earlier in the season, when we were obliged to drive them all in, as we couldn't separate the lambs from their mothers. One day, we tried to keep the ewes out to feed, but they bleated so much for their little ones 'twas no use; they wouldn't eat."

"I'm glad of that," cried Minnie, eagerly. "I'm glad your sheep love their children. In Ireland, sometimes they won't own them."

"We had a great deal of trouble with the merinos," Mr. Sullivan went on, directing his remark to Mr. Lee. "Not one in ten cared any thing about her lamb. If she had milk enough, I could tie her; but it often made my heart ache to hear the poor wee things crying for a mother's care. I was almost glad when they died off, as they generally did. I find it's the universal opinion now that merinos make poor nurses."

The shepherd turned smilingly to Minnie: "Have you any more questions to ask, Miss?"

"O, a great many! But as we are going to stay all night, I shall have time."

"Then, my dear, I will go in," said her mother, laughing. "I think you have catechised Mr. Sullivan quite enough for the present."

The next hour was spent by the child in wandering all over the farm. In company with her father and the good-humored shepherd, she examined the neat continuous racks all around the sheep-house, which, in winter, were filled with hay or husks for their food. Long troughs were underneath, into which, as night approached, she was much amused to see the boy, Isaac, pour the scalded meal.

In the centre of the house was a large, shallow box or trough, filled with clear water from a neighboring hill. This, Mr. Sullivan assured them, had not frozen during the winter.

Minnie stood for a long time watching the pearly drops as they trickled slowly through the pipe, wondering why the water never rose any higher in the trough. At length her father showed her a little pipe which carried off the waste water into the ground.

They were sitting at the supper table, and Minnie was giving a glowing account of her discoveries, when they were startled by a loud shouting: "Stop, Israel! Go along, Moses! Ssh! hi! there, Obadiah! Here, Jonah, Amos, Nebuchadnezzar, Moses! what are you about?"

"What is the stupid fellow bringing up the sheep at this time for?" queried Mr. Sullivan, glancing at the clock; and then, seeing the look of merriment on the faces of his visitors, he burst into a hearty laugh.

"I believe you'll have to excuse me," he said, rising hastily. "Isaac will never be able to get them into the fold alone."

"I want to go, too," whispered Minnie.

She was rather frightened at first at the loud bleating of the ewes, and the responsive cries of the lambs; but keeping close to the shepherd, had the satisfaction of feeling that she was of great assistance in driving them into the enclosure.

The moment they began to enter the sheep-house, the boy, Isaac, commenced a loud, shrill whistle, which the sheep seemed to understand, and which her friend informed her directed them to the troughs for their supper.

"I didn't mean to shelter them for an hour yet," exclaimed the lad, when his master blamed him for driving them to the fold so early; "but Jeroboam butted down a rail in the fence, and before I knew it, the crazy creatures were all out in the garden."

"We must kill that fellow if he does much more mischief," Mr. Sullivan said; and taking Minnie's hand, they returned to the house.

"It speaks well for Isaac's knowledge of Scripture," remarked Mr. Lee, archly, "that he has chosen the names so appropriately."

"O! He goes to mother for that," was the ready answer; "but it does surprise me to see how he recognizes every one. I believe he is as well acquainted with the name and character of every sheep and lamb as a pastor is with his congregation. I often hear him talking to one for being selfish, or praising another for her meekness. I am well enough acquainted with Jeroboam to know that he is as obstinate and self-willed as his illustrious namesake."

"Isaac says little Abner is a thief," exclaimed Minnie, laughing.

"So he is, and steals his supper from the ewes whenever he can get it, at the expense of many a poor lamb."

"I saw Minnie again, mother, and I knew her in a minute."

"You'd make a capital shepherdess," added Mr. Sullivan; "you'd govern them all by love."

"That is the way you do," remarked his mother.

"Well, there is no other way. Sometimes they are rather provoking; but I always feel ashamed of myself when I lose my temper with a brute. There is nothing like kindness to conquer even the most obstinate animal. Last winter, I had a man to help me. He was giving one of the ewes a dose of medicine, and she struggled so hard to get away that she threw over the cup three successive times. I found he could do nothing with her, and so I myself undertook the job. The poor creature was by that time so frightened, that when I forced the spoon between her teeth, she bit my finger to the bone. I said nothing of the pain until I had accomplished my object—"

"And then you came near fainting," interrupted his mother. "The finger was a long time in healing."

"The man was terribly angry," added the shepherd, "and showed so much spite to the innocent cause of his rage, that I told him he was unfit for the care of animals; that he degraded himself to a brute when he revenged on them his own awkwardness. I dismissed him, and took Isaac, who is worth a dozen such fellows."

The next morning, Minnie arose in season to help Isaac drive the sheep from the fold to the pasture; and then, having received a promise from Mrs. Sullivan to save some of the lamb's wool, and knit Minnie a pair of stockings, she took leave of the farm, exclaiming, as she rode off, "O, I do love sheep, and I wish we lived on a farm!"



A few mornings after this, Minnie went out at an early hour to see her pets in the stable, when she found the sheep lying on its side, quiet and still. She did not, as usual, spring forward to eat the corn which Minnie was sure to have for her, but only raised a feeble, plaintive cry.

As her father was already gone to the city, Minnie flew to the house, for Anne to come and tell her what was the matter with poor Nannie.

Anne looked very sober after examining the sheep, and then said, "It must have a dose of medicine at once."

Poor Minnie was dreadfully excited, and looked really pale, though, like a brave little girl, she insisted on holding the cup from which nurse was feeding sick Nannie. Star, too, seemed really anxious, and he was quite careful to keep his own side of the stall, for fear he should hurt his favorite.

Through the day, Minnie visited the barn as often as twice in an hour, and always insisted that Anne should accompany her. Before her father returned, she had the satisfaction of knowing that Nannie was much better. She was still very weak, but her eyes looked brighter, and she chewed her cud, which Anne said was a good sign.

To turn her mind from her trouble, Mr. Lee took his book again, and said,—

"Minnie, did you ever hear of a sheep that had so fat a tail that it weighed more than fifty pounds?"

"O, no, sir," answered the child, laughing; "how funny they must look!"

"They are called the fat-tailed sheep," added her father, "and are natives of Africa."

"Are there as many kinds of sheep as there are of dogs?"

"More, if all the inferior qualities are counted. They are constantly multiplied, too; and there are many very greatly improved varieties. Now I suppose you would like to hear about the sheep-dogs, and how they are trained to take care of the flocks."

"Yes, sir, I should like that."

"In many parts of the world, where there are immense flocks, it is very important to have dogs to assist in taking care of them. But as a sheep considers the dog an enemy, and is more afraid of him than of almost any other animal it meets, it is necessary, in the first place, to get these animals acquainted, that they may feel friendly.

"In order to do this, when one of the ewes has a lamb, the shepherd takes it from her, and puts a young puppy in its place.

"After being held two or three times while the puppy suckles her, the ewe will generally adopt the little creature, and love it as well as if it was her own lamb.

"All this time, the puppy has a bed of wool to lie on, to accustom him to the smell of the animal; and by the time he is weaned, he becomes so attached to his new friends, that he will never forsake them, nor leave the particular drove with which he has been brought up. Not even the voice of his master can entice him out of sight of the flock. No hunger and thirst can do it. There he remains, constant and true to his charge, ready even to lay down his life for them, while they regard him not only as a dearly loved friend, but as a protector and guide, whom it is their duty to obey. Did you ever know, Minnie, that the Italian wolf dog has short wool under his hair? This is the case, the wool resembling the Leicester and Lincoln breeds.

"One of these faithful, noble animals takes charge of a thousand sheep, going out with them in the morning, and bringing them all back at night.

"If one of the sheep strays from its companions, the dog follows it, even into a strange flock, takes it carefully by the ear, and leads it back.

"When a stranger approaches the flock, the dog advances, barking, and the sheep all close in his rear, as if round the oldest ram, while they are so fierce with other dogs and wolves, that it is said a whole pack of hungry wild dogs will not venture to attack them.

"The only trouble with the sheep-dog is, that when they are young, they like to play with the sheep, and sometimes run them unmercifully; but when they are older, they seem fully to understand their duty, and walk up and down continually on the outer side of the flock, ever watchful for the approach of danger.

"Sometimes, where there is a scarcity of grass, two flocks will be brought within a short distance of each other, when these faithful sentinels place themselves in the space between them, and if one or a number attempt to rush across and make acquaintance with their neighbors, their respective dog gently but firmly selects them from all the others, and leads them back. What is very strange is the fact that on such occasions, the other dog stands quietly by until the intruders are removed, while no force would induce him to allow the strange dog to enter his flock on any other pretence.

"A very affecting instance of the faithfulness of these animals I will tell you.

"A shepherd dog, having the charge of a small flock, was allowed to wander with them into the mountains, while the shepherd returned to his village for a few days, having perfect confidence in the ability of the animal to protect them, but with a strange forgetfulness to provide the dog with food.

"Upon his return to the flock, he found it several miles from the place where he had left it, but on the road leading to the village, while the poor dog, in the midst of plenty, was lying by the roadside in the agonies of death by starvation. He might have torn one of the lambs to pieces; but so devoted was he to his charge, that rather than injure one of them he sacrificed his own life."

"What a wicked man!" cried Minnie, indignantly. "I shouldn't think he would ever forgive himself."

"Yes, it was cruel; but no doubt he felt the loss keenly, as it could not readily be made up. Another dog must be brought up among them, and be trained to his business; for it is a mistake to suppose that, however well taught a shepherd's dog may be, he will be allowed by the sheep to come among them until they have learned to regard him as a friend and protector."

"I heard, not long since, a laughable story, to illustrate this fact.

"Mr. Thomas Jefferson, one of our Presidents, having a flock of sheep on his place at Monticello, was very glad to receive a thoroughly broken shepherd dog which had been sent him.

"Soon after its arrival, he had a number of distinguished guests, to whom he made known his recent gift, the convenience of having a dog to manage his flock, and the almost incredible ability of the animal, and whom he led forth to witness the value of his present.

"The dog had not as yet been admitted to the sheep, but at the word of command sprang in among them.

"The terrified animals fled in all directions, some of them dashing themselves over precipices, and breaking their necks.

"The dog either shared the same fate, or, mortified at his failure, felt his pride too deeply wounded to return. Mr. Jefferson never recovered him."



One pleasant morning in June, Mr. Lee ordered the carriage, and drove with Minnie to a delightful residence on the border of a lovely lake. Minnie had often been here to visit little Harry, only child of her mother's friends.

This dear boy, like Minnie, had many pets, and could fully sympathize with her in her love for animals and for the beauties of nature.

Harry had a pony named Cherokee; he had also pretty birds, that he delighted to watch, as they hung in their cage.

But the pet which Harry loved more than all others was a lamb, which he had named Hatty. This little creature had been given him but a short time before Minnie's visit; but it had learned to know his voice, to run to meet him, and to eat grass from his hand.

When Hatty was first carried from her mother to Harry's home, she cried for her usual companions. The boy's tender heart was touched, and he begged his father to let the lamb sleep in his room.

"She will be so lonely!" he urged; "and I shall want to take care of her. Please, papa, be so kind as to let me have her there."

His parents, ever anxious to please their dear child, readily consented; but first his mamma allowed him to take his pet into the lake for a bath.

Nurse, laughing at his delight, dressed Harry in his red flannel bathing suit; and then, with his lamb in his arms, he waded into the water.

Hatty was a little afraid; but even in those few hours that she had been with her young master, she had learned that he would not allow her to be injured.

When the lamb's soft wool was dry, as it soon was in the hot sun, his father left his reading in the parlor to help him find a basket large enough for the lamb's bed.

In the morning, when his mother went into his chamber, she laughed to see that he had taken his pet to share his own bed, and was lying with his arms around her neck, kissing her with demonstrative affection.

"Pretty little Hatty!" he exclaimed, again and again; "I do love you so dearly!"

Minnie had scarcely alighted from the carriage, when Harry cried out, "Please come and see my lamb."

The child smilingly followed him to the field, where the little creature was learning to graze in the rich clover. As soon as she heard his voice, she ran toward him, bleating and showing every mark of strong affection. She was a pretty lamb, with long, silky wool, gentle eyes, and a meek, loving expression.

During the day, the two children were scarcely a moment away from Hatty; for Harry's heart was moved by her cries for him, and he was so fond of her he could not endure a separation. Sometimes they would sit down on the clean, sweet grass, the boy laying his head on Hatty's neck; but more commonly they were running over the lawn, with the lamb close at their heels, sharing their happiness.

"O, mamma," he exclaimed, when they went in to dinner, "we have had such a funny time! Hatty knows Minnie now quite well; but she does not love her, of course, as she does me. She cries for me whenever she cannot see me."

His mother smiled, and then asked, "Have you told Minnie about Una, and what Hatty does while you are learning your lessons?"

"O, no, mamma! I quite forgot to tell her."

"Will you please tell me about Una?" urged Minnie, with great earnestness.

"Yes, dear. Una was the name of a lamb I once saw. She was not gentle and loving, as Harry's lamb is; she was more lively, and full of tricks. She had a bad habit of browsing the trees, so that her mistress one day told a servant to tie her to a stake in the orchard, or she would destroy the young plants.

"Una had a little companion that was very quiet and inoffensive, but was sometimes led by her into mischief. The next morning after she had been tied, when the man went with the leather strap and string to lead her to the orchard again, Una was nowhere to be found. All day long she and her companion were off out of sight; but at night they came timidly back, watching to see that the man did not catch them."

Minnie laughed heartily. "I suppose," she exclaimed, "that she ran away to escape being tied, as our Leo used to when he wanted to go to church."

"Yes; and she repeated the trick for several days. She was a very cunning lamb, and would watch her chance, standing on her hind feet, to eat the bark from the young trees, and pull the slender twigs down toward the ground with her fore leg."

"Can you remember any thing more about her?" timidly inquired Minnie.

"Dinner is ready," answered the lady, smiling. "We shall not have time now; but Harry may tell you about Hatty."

Harry stood up very straight, his bright eyes sparkling with pleasure; then, with a motion peculiar to him, tossing the curls from his forehead, and turning to Minnie, he said, in an animated tone, "Every morning I have my lessons with mamma; but Hatty doesn't like me to study, because she wants to be playing, you know. At first, she cried so much that I couldn't get on at all well, until mamma put my stool close to the door. You see it is glass, and she could look through the panes. So she lies on the piazza outside, with her nose as close as she can get it to me."

"And her loving eyes fixed on his face," added mamma, smiling at Minnie's earnest gaze.

"Isn't it funny," cried the boy, leaning toward his young visitor, "for her to sit still till my lessons are learned, so that I can say them all by heart?

"O, mamma!" he shouted, "there's Hatty now."

And, true enough, the affectionate creature had followed them around the house to the dining room, and there she stood butting against the glass, to get to her dear little master.

"I do think," cried Minnie, enthusiastically, "that Hatty is the very best lamb I ever saw."














Transcriber's Note

The following typographical errors were corrected:

Page Error 16 crumbed changed to crumbled 48 their strength. changed to their strength." 109 adjoining shelter. changed to adjoining shelter." 143 companions, the changed to companions, the dog


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