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THE LITTLE DOG.
" What shall I do,” said a very little dog one day to his mother, “ to show my gratitude to our good master, and make myself of some value to him?" I cannot draw or carry burdens, like the horse; nor give him milk, like the cow; nor lend him my covering for his clothing, like the sheep; nor produce him eggs, like the poultry; nor catch mice and rats so well as the cat. I cannot divert him with singing, like the canaries and linnets ; nor can I defend him against robbers, like our relation Towzer. I should not be of use to him even if I were dead, as the hogs are. I am a poor insignificant creature, not worth the cost of keeping; and I don't
see that I can do a single thing to entitle me to his regard.” So saying, the poor little Dog hung down his head in silent despondency. “ My dear child,” replied his mo
though your abilities are but small, yet a hearty good-will is suffi. cient to supply all defects. Do but
. love him dearly, and prove your love hy all the means in your power, and you will not fail to please him."
The little Dog was comforted with this assurance; and on his master's approach, ran to him, licked his feet, gamboled before him, and every now and then stopped, wagging his tail, and looking up to his master with expressions of the most humble and affectionate attachment. The master observed him. Ah, little Fido, said he, you are an honest, good-natured little fellow and stooped down to pat his head. Poor Fido was ready to go out of his wits for joy.
Fido was now his master's constant companion in his walks, playing and skipping round him, and amusing him by a thousand sportive tricks. He took care, however, not to be troublesome by leaping on him with dirty paws, nor would he follow him into the parlour, unless invited. He also attempted to make himself useful by a number of little services. He would drive away the sparrows as they were stealing the chicken's meat ; and would run and bark with the utmost furyat any strange pigs or other animals that offered to come into - the yard. He kept the poultry, geese, and pigs, from straying beyond their bounds, and particularly from doing mischief in the garden. He was always ready to alarm Towzer if there was any suspicious noise about the house, day or night. If his master pulled off his coat in the field to help his workmen, as he would sometimes do, Fido always sat by it, and would not suffer either man or beast to touch it. By this means he came to be considered as a very trusty protector of his master's property.
His master was once confined to his bed with a dangerous illness. Fido planted himself at the chamber-door, and could not be persuaded to leave it, even to take food; and as soon as his master was so far recovered as to sit up, Fido, being admitted into the room, ran up to him with such marks of excessive joy and affection, as would have melted any heart to behold. This circumstance wonderfully endeared him to his master; and some time after, he had an opportunity of doing him a very important service. One hot day, after dinner, his master was sleeping
in a summer-house, with Fido, by his side. The building was old and crazy; and the Dog, who was faithfully watching his master, perceived the walls sake, and pieces of mortar fall from the ceiling. He comprehended the danger, and began barking to awake his master; and this not sufficing, he jumped up and gently bit his finger. The master, upon this, started up, and had just time to get out of the door before the whole building fell down. Fido, who was behind, got hurt by some rubbish which fell upon him; on which his master had him taken care of with the utmost tenderness, and ever after acknowledged his obligation to this animal as the preserver of his life. Thus his love and fidelity had their full reward.
Moral. The poorest man may repay hisobligations to the richest and greatest by faithful and affectionate serviçe-