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THE DOG OF ST. BERNARD.(T. BERNARD is the name of one ofthe high mountains of the Alps.The deep snow hangs so looselyon the sides of these mountains, that greatmasses often fall into the plains below,with a noise like thunder.Wild snow storms also come on, and thepasses in the mountains become so blockedup and covered over, that it is impossibleto find them out.In this way many travelers have per-ished, and been buried in a deep snowygrave.Far, far up the mountain there is a build-ing called the Convent of St. Bernard.Here is found that wonderful race of
THE DOG OF ST. BERNARD.dogs called the Dogs of St. Bernard, famousall over the world for their noble deeds.These dogs are trained to go out on themountains among the snow, and search formissing travelers.Suppose you are taking a journey acrossthe Alps.A terrible snow storm comes on. Nightis drawing near, while you are weary withyour journey, and perishing with cold andhunger.Your whole body begins to feel numb,and soon you will be unable to go anyfarther.You think of home, and kind friendsthere, and you kneel down to pray thatyou may not be left to perish in thesnow.At the very moment you are about togive up in despair, you hear the deep bark
THE DOG OF ST. BERNARD.of a dog, coming nearer and nearer amidthe darkness and the snow-drift!It is the sweetest sound you ever heardin your life.How thankful you are when you see twonoble-looking dogs coming toward you, onewith a flask of spirits tied to his neck, and theother carrying a cloak to wrap around you!How eagerly you untie the flask anddrink, and how gratefully you cover your-self with the cloak!The dogs look on, and seem to under-stand all. They hasten back to fetch themonks, who soon come to the spot.You are carried to the Convent, and thererubbed and warmed, till at last you reviveand know that you are saved.Such is the work the monks of St.Bernard and their famous dogs have oftenhad to do.
THE DOG OF ST. BERNARD.One dog saved the lives of twenty-twopersons, who, but for his help, would haveperished.For many years this dog wore a medalround his neck, which was given him inhonor of his deeds!The following story tells how this noblecreature at last met his death:--At the foot of the mountain there is alittle village. Here dwelt a poor courier,who used to carry letters and messagesacross the mountain.This was the way he procured bread forhis wife and children.At one time, when on his way back tohis home, a terrible storm came on.With great difficulty he made his way tothe Convent.The monks did all they could to persuadehim to remain till the storm had passed away.
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THE DOG OF ST. BERNARD.But the poor man knew how anxious hisfamily would be. He was sure that theywould be out on the mountain in searchof him;-and so they really were.He felt that he must proceed, and themonks spoke to him in vain.All they could do was to furnish himwith two guides, attended by two dogs.One of these dogs was the noble animalthat wore the medal.But the poor courier and his familynever met.On his way down the mountain with theguides and the dogs, a great mass offrozen snow fell upon them, and courier,guides, and dogs, were all buried beneathit
THE DOG OF ST. BERNARD.THE LOST CHILD.AN interesting and affecting story is told of two of these brave dogs having once saved melife of a little boy who had lost his way on the mountain.-(See PICTURES I. II III.)I.IT was a clear, cold, winter night,The heavens all brightly starred,Where on Mount Bernard's snowy heightThe good monks kept their guard.And round their hearth, that night, they toldTo one who shelter craved,How the brave dog, he thought so old,Full forty lives had saved;When, suddenly, with kindling eye,Up sprang the old dog there,As from afar a child's shrill cryRung through the frosty air.In haste the monks unbarred the door,Rugs round the mastiffs threw;
THE DOG OF ST. BERNARD.And as they bounded forth once more,Called, "Blessings be with you!"II.They hurried headlong down the hill,Past many a snow-wreath wild,Until the older guide stood stillBeside a sleeping child.He licked the little icy handWith his rough, kindly tongue;With his warm breath he gently fannedThe tresses fair and long.The child looked up, with eyes of blue,As if the whole he guessed;His arms around the dog he threw,And sunk again to rest.Once more he woke, and wrapped him fastIn the warm covering sent:The dogs then with their charge, at last,Up the steep mountain went.
THE DOG OF ST. BERNARD.III.The fire glowed bright with heaped-up logs,Each monk brought forth a light;" Good dogs !" they cried, "good dogs, good dogs!Whom bring you here to-night?"In, with a joyous bound, they come-The boy awoke and smiled:"Ah me!" the stranger cried, "some homeMourneth for thee, fair child!"With morning light, the monks and boySought where the village lay-I dare not try to paint the joyTheir coming gave that day."If sweet," the brethren said, "to seeSuch gladness shed around,What wondrous joy in Heaven must be,When a lost child is found!"
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