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FOR SCHOOLS AND PAROCHIAL LIBRARIES.
'TH ppularily which ther seri.: .)f Readlin.-b r..kl known ai Books
fo Yunug Readers" has atutined, is a snffiCieiLn pT [ir.1 that tiathr and
pu'is alike approve of tihe use of' .nterestipg son ries ailh a simprl plot.
in iace of th: dry corrtibirpatl'ns i n ler ter, nril ;yllables. making no
impsltsi on n the mind, of which elementary realming-books generally
SThe publdil-rs have therefore thought it advisable to extend the
appl.:ation of this principle, and are issuing a series uilptel fiur more
nI'.'.w Beady, Post 8vo, Strongly Btcia,. 1/- each.
'Uls ANt Doo\NS OF A DPOSrK'S, LiFE.
'G;HLAi r'Ts.DS EIOLINsI HIteSi.l. I suitable
*GaiuM's GERMAN TALE6 !l,.idlel.) for
*ANDERSEN'S DANISH TALE'. (S.*-le'led.) Standard
*GREAT ENOLISHMEN. S?.,rt Liic ..r f Yuung Childrer. IIL
*LIFE or COLUMBUsS. 'r.'.mpi.:.ri.
FRIEND* IN'FUiR ANDI FLiiL.Lti. By I.iYnfryln.
GRE.%i S'.oisriLN Shr rt Lives.
Po-TRy FonR Bori. elected d by D. Monro. |Sta
EDOGE W-F.'TH'S '.,LLE. (A Selection.).
GREAT ENOLIsnwoIL.N, ShirI Lives of. IV.
"PARABLE. rItoM NATULRE (Selected.) By Mrs. Gatty.
IE TALIl-M'.. By 'ir Walter Scott. (Abridged.)
"THE STORI OF LITTLE NELL. By Charles Dickens.
"OLIVEr T I4sr. By Charles Dickens. (Abridged.)
'Gu. LIVER'S TRAvELs. (Abridged.) Standard
'Mi I rERMANREADY.By' Cal. Mlarray.i, N. (Abridlcd.i V.
*ToE ARABIAN NIGHTA. (.ael-.cttd'l ad r.:-"rit n
'PooR JACK. By Cap-. M~arryu.r, [;.N. (Abri.dgil.)
*THE VCAR O WAXKEtIELI,. (Abridged.)
*L.LkB's TALEB FROM SII.IKE1PEARE. (SeliOid.L)
*SOUTHEY'S LIFE OF NELSON. (Abridged.)
*SETTLERS IN CANADA. By Capt. Marryat, RN. (Abgd.) Stadards
'LLTE OF TnE DeKE OF rVELLINOION. With lapi and
'SIR ROOCR DE COVrrLET AND OTiHc ESbay. .
TALES OF THE COAST. By J. Ranciuimn.
IoiTHiIRS IN i riLPARATION.i
",* Trhe olumes marked ith. an asteir.k 10 ha e Illuitrantons
or Front il -cv.
I.OND:' (r t.'.r Il L SuNs., Y,".R SrRFET, C r ,T GBDoLN
The Baldwn Lbrary
IN REFERENCE TO BELLS' READERS.
These have been selected from a large number, and all the
originals may be seen at the publishers'.
An Eastern Counties Inspector of Schools says :-
"I think the books are admirably suited for children. My little
girl could not get her breakfast for i. i.. ;, i little Standard I.
book, Two Parrots; and so they evidently are interesting."
One of H.M.'s Inspectors of Schools says:-
When I am asked which set of books I prefer so as to produce
intelligent reading, I invariably answer, Belis."
Another Inspector, after hearing a class read from one of Bells' Books
for Standard I., informed the teacher that this was
The most charming Reader he had met with."
Another, a London Inspector of Schools, suggested their adoption.
This was acted upon, and teachers and scholars declare the books to
be the best they have ever used.
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Likes them better than ever."
An Inspector's Assistant says:-
"Your books are making headway in this district, and I am
glad of it."
A Liverpool Teacher says :-
"Ipresented 214 children in reading. Bells' Books were used, and
I had only onefailure."
Another Lancashire Teacher says:-
The intelligent reading they produce in Standard I. is of great
service throughout the others."
Another Teacher in the North of England says :-
Her Majesty's Inspector praised the reading in all the Standards,
and spoke highly of your books."
Our reading lessons are looked forward to as a treat."
A Master says :-
Since I introduced your books I have found the reading improve,
and the boys develop a ta st f'.r r. .i; I ..... ..- for the loan
of them to read at home. The reading lessons I find become quite a
pleasure to the children; and as I have found that the dictation has
also improved, I shall be a long time before I discontinue their use."
A Blackburn Teacher, who has been uniformly successful, writes:-
If any teacher desire intelligent, fluent, and expressive reading,
he cannot do better than use Bells' Reading-Books."
TESTIMONIALS IN REFERENCE TO BELLS' READERS
The Head Master of a large and important Higher Grade Public School
in Glasgow says:-
I have used your Tot and the Cat for Infants, and your Three
Monkeys for Standard I., and I am so well pleased with them that
you may assure teachers of the high value I attach to them as
aids to intelligent reading. Moreover, when teachers from other
schools have been to ours and seen the books in use, and heard such
beneficial results from them, they themselves have introduced them
into their schools."
A County Durham Teacher writes :-
"The use of your abridged Settlers in Canada in a large
Standard V. has resulted in one hundred per cent. passing in
reading. Moreover, the like occurred last year, and I am confident
that there has been a concurrent improvement in the higher quali-
ties of reading and of general intelligence. The use of the books
is alike pleasing to teacher and scholar."
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The scholars are fond of your books."
A Mistress writes:-
I have been using some of your books in my large girls' school
for more than a year, and intend introducing others this year."
A Durham Head Master says:-
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of your Readers."
A Yorkshire Teacher says:-
H. M. I. in a circular to his teachers makes particular mention
of the value of your books."
A Tyneside Teacher writes:-
'" As our Standard HI., using your Grimm's Tales, has passed
cent. per cent., I am inclined to adopt your Readers in the higher
A Teacher in Staffordshire says:-
"I have used your Readers for many years, and find them
admirable for school purposes."
Reading lessons have thus at last a chance of being made
cheerful, and of being used to create and foster a real love for books
and for good literature, while the language in which they are written
being of acknowledged classical quality, teachers will be encouraged
to take pains with the tone and manner and accent in which it is
uttered, and thus at length make their reading lessons in some measure
lessons in reading."-From the Journal of Education,
BELLS' READING BOOKS.
THE ADVENTURES OF A
ADAPTED FROM THE FRENCH OF THE
COUNTESS DE SEGUR.
BY MRS. E. FIELDING,
TRANSLATOR OF "EDUCATION FROM THE CRADLE," ETC.
WITH THIRTY-FIVE ILLUSTRATIONS.
GEORGE BELL AND SONS, YORK STREET,
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
I. THE MARKET
II. THE CHASE .
III. My NEW MASTERS
IV. THE BRIDGE .
VI. THE LOCKET
VII. THE FIRE
VIII. THE RACE .
IX. KIND MASTERS
X. NAPOLEON ILL
XII. THE VAULTS
XIII. THE BEGGAB GIRL
XIV. A SHOOTING PARTY
XV. THE CHRISTENING
XVI. THE LEARNED DONKEY
XVII. THE FROG
XVIII. THE PONY
XIX. PUNISHMENT .
XX. REPENTANCE .
XXII. THE PICNIC .
XXIII. FISHING .
TO find a work of standard merit, which shall at
the same time be both interesting to children and
not too difficult for Third Standard reading, is not an
easy matter. The publishers hope, however, that this
adaptation of the Countess of S6gur's well-known
" M6moires d'un Ane" will meet all the requirements.
The well-deserved popularity which it has enjoyed for
many years in its original language is sufficient
guarantee of its interest for children; and the fact of
this being an adaptation has enabled the translator to
modify the language to suit the necessities of the case.
The troubles and sorrow which came upon the hero of
the story, as the natural result of his disobedience and
selfish conduct, may also, it is hoped, serve to point a
THE UPS AND DOWNS OF A
I FORGET what I did when I was quite little; I
must have been unlucky, like other donkeys, though
we are all pretty and graceful. I know I was full of
spirit, because now when I am old I still have more
spirit than other donkeys. More than once I have
been too clever for my poor masters, who were only
men, and so could not have so much sense as a
I will begin by telling you one of the tricks I
played them when I was quite little.
As men do not know all that donkeys know, you of
course do not know that every Tuesday there is a
market held in the town of Langton, where people sell
greens, butter, eggs, cheese, fruit, and other good
things. Tuesday was a hard day for my poor mates;
and for me, too, before I was bought by my good old
mistress with whom I now live.
I was with a strict and wicked farmer's wife. Only
fancy she was so cruel as to collect all the eggs laid
by her fowls, all the butter and cheese made from
the milk of her cows, and all the cabbages and fruit
A DONKEY'S LIFE.
which grew ripe during the week, to fill the baskets
which she put upon my back.
And when I was so loaded that I could hardly walk,
this wicked woman would sit on the top of the baskets
and force me to trot to the market at Langton, which
was three miles from the farm. I was always in a
rage, but I dared not
show it, because I was
i. a afraid of the stick ; my
mistress had a great
big one, full of knots,
S which hurt me dread-
; itfully when she beat me.
Every time when I saw
her getting ready for
the market I sighed
and groaned, and even
brayed in the hope
qof making her heart
Now then, great
ett lazy-bones," they said,
when they came to
fetch me, "will you be
quiet, and not deafen us
-- with your great ugly
ST- voice Hee Haw !
Hee Haw What
pretty music you are making! Julius, my boy, bring
that good-for-nothing to the door that your mother may
load him. There! a basket of eggs! another one!
the cheeses and butter, and now the cabbages. That's
right There's a good load which will bring us in a little
money. Mary, my girl, bring a chair that your mother
may getup. All right. Good-bye wife, and make this
good-for-nothing step out. Here is your stick, lay it on."
Bang I bang That's right; a little more coaxing
of that kind and he will walk." Bang bang !
The stick kept on thumping my back, legs, and
neck ; I trotted, I almost galloped ; the farmer's wife
kept on beating me. I was angry at such cruelty. I
tried to kick my mistress off, but my load was too
heavy ; I could, however, jump a little and shake
myself fiom side to side, and I soon had the pleasure
of hearing her come tumbling down. Wicked donkey!
stupid brute! obstinate wretch! I will cure you of
this with my stick."
And indeed she beat me so that I could hardly
walk to the town. We got there at last, and they
took the baskets from my poor sore back, and put
them on the ground. My mistress tied me to a post,
and went to have her luncheon, without giving me a
single blade of grass or drop of water, although I was
almost dying of hunger and thirst. While she was gone
I found out how to get at the cabbages, and I ate a
basketful of them. I had never had anything so good
in all my life; I was just eating the last one when my
mistress came back. She gave a cry on seeing her
empty basket, and I looked at her with such a bold
air that she guessed I had done it. I will not
repeat to you what she said. She had very bad
manners, and when she was angry she swore, and said
things which made me blush, although I am only a
donkey. I only replied by licking my lips and turning
my back on her, so she took her stick and began to
beat me so cruelly, that at last I lost patience and
gave three kicks at her. The first broke her nose
and two teeth, the second broke her wrist, and the
third caught her in her side and threw her down.
Twenty people rushed at me, and loaded me with
blows and curses. They carried my mistress away
somewhere, and left me tied to the post, with the eggs
and butter and other things lying about on the ground.
I stayed there a long time ; then seeing that nobody
thought of me, I ate a second basketful of nice cab-
bages. Then with my teeth I cut the cord which
A DONKEY'S LIFE.
held me, and quietly walked along the road which led
to my farm.
The people whom I met on the road were surprised
to see me alone.
"Look at that donkey with his broken cord; he
has run away they said.
Then he has run away from being a slave," said
another; and they all laughed.
"He has no very heavy load on his back," said a
He must have done something wrong," cried a
"Catch him, Husband, and we will put our little
one on his back," said a woman.
Ah! he will carry you as well as the little boy,"
said the husband.
As I wanted to let them know that I was gentle
and kind, I went up to the woman quietly and stood
still near her, to let her mount on my back.
"He does not look wicked," said the man, as he
helped his wife to get into the saddle.
I smiled with pity when I heard this. "Wicked!"'
as if'a donkey was ever wicked when kindly treated.
We only get angry, naughty, and cross because of
the blows and abuse we get. When we are treated
well we are good ; indeed, better than most animals.
I carried home the young woman and her little
boy, who was a pretty child about two years old. He
patted me and thought me pretty, and wanted to keep
me. But I thought this would not be honest. My
masters had bought me, and I was theirs. I had
broken the nose, teeth, and wrist of my mistress, and
kicked her in her side, so I had paid her out
enough. Seeing that the mother was about to give
way to her little boy, whom she spoilt, I sprang to
one side, and before she could again seize my bridle
I ran off and found my way home.
Mary, my master's daughter, was the first to see me.
Ah! here is the donkey. How soon he has come
back Julius, come and take off his saddle."
Horrid donkey !" said Julius, in a surly tone;
"he is always wanting somebody to look after him.
Why has he come back alone? I bet he has run
away. Ugly brute he added, giving me a kick on
the leg; if I knew that you had run away I would
give you a hundred blows with the stick."
My saddle and bridle were taken off, and I ran
away; but I had scarcely got to the field when I
heard shouts coming from the farm. So I put my
head over the hedge, and I saw that the farmer's wife
had been brought back, and that the children were
crying out. I listened, and heard Julius say to his
father: "Father, I am going to take the driver's big
whip, and tie the donkey to a tree, and beat him until
he drops down."
"Go, my boy, but do not kill him; we shall lose
the money that he has cost us. I shall sell him at the
I stood shaking with fear when I heard them.
Julius ran to the stable to fetch the whip. There
was no time to wait, and as I did not mind any more
about making my masters lose the money they had
paid for me, I ran to the hedge, and dashed against it
with such force that I broke the branches and got
through. I ran along the field, and kept on running
a long time, because I thought they were running
after me. At last, quite worn out, I stopped to listen,
but I heard nothing. Then I mounted a little hill,
but I could see nobody. Then I began to breathe
again, and was glad to be free from those wicked
But, I asked myself, what would become of me ? If
I stayed near there I should be caught and taken back
to my masters. What should I do ? Where should
I looked round; I was all alone and sad, and was.
A DONKEY'S LIFE.
just going to cry, when I saw that I was on the edge
of a large forest.
How lucky," I cried; "I shall find tender grass,
water and fresh moss in this forest. I shall stay here
for a few days, then I shall go to another forest much
farther away from my master's farm."
So I went into the wood and gladly ate the tender
grass, and drank water from a nice spring. Then,
when night came on, I lay down on the moss at the
foot of an old fir-tree, and slept quietly till morning.
THE next day, when I had eaten and drunk some-
thing, I began to think over my good fortune.
Here I am safe," I thought, "they will never find
me again, and in two days, when I am quite rested, I
shall go still further away."
While I was thinking thus, I heard the barking of
a dog, then of a second, and then after a few moments
the howling of a whole pack.
I felt afraid, and got up and went down.a. a little
stream which I had seen in the morning. I ad hardly
stepped into it, when I heard the voice of Julius
calling to the dogs. "Hi, dog:' find him, bite his
legs; bring him to me and 1'll try my whip on his
I almost fell down with fright; but then I thought
that if I walked in the water the dogs would not be
able to scent the track of my steps, so I began to run
along the stream, which luckily had thick bushes oa-
each side. I went on without stopping for a very
long time; the barking of the dogs grew more faint,
the voice of the wicked Julius faded away, and at
last I could hear nothing more.
Tired and out of breath, I stopped for a minute to
drink, and I ate a few leaves from the bushes; my
legs were stiff with cold, but I dared not leave the
water, I was so afraid the dogs would come and find
the scent of my steps. When I had rested a little
I again began to run, always keeping to the brook,
until I got out of the forest. I then found myself in
a large field where about fifty oxen were grazing. I
lay down in the sunshine in a corner of the field ; the
oxen paid no heed to me, so that I was able to eat and
rest at my ease.
Towards the evening two men came into the field.
"Brother," said the taller of the two, shall we
take the oxen in to-night ? they say there are wolves
in the wood."
"Wolves who says such nonsense ?"
The people of Langton. They say that the
donkey from the Hedge Farm has been carried off and
eaten in the forest."
"Pooh nonsense. The people at that farm are so
wicked, that they are very likely to have killed their
donkey by beating him."
Then why should they say that the wolves have
eaten him ? "
So that people should not know that they have
All the same, we had better take in our oxen."
"Do as you like, brother; I don't care one way or
I did not stir in my corner, I was so afraid of being
seen. The grass was high and luckily hid me; the
oxen were not anywhere near me, and they were soon
driven to the farm where their master lived.
I was not afraid of wolves, because the donkey
of which they spoke was myself, and I had not seen
so much as the tail of a wolf in the forest where I had
A DONKEY'S LIFE.
passed the night. I slept very well, and had just done
my breakfast, when the oxen came back to the field,
led by two great dogs.
I looked at them quietly, but when one of the dogs
saw me and ran towards me, barking at me, the other
one came too. What would become of me ? How could
I escape? I rushed at the fence, and I was lucky
enough to get over it with one leap, when I heard the
voice of one of the men I had seen the evening before,
calling back his dogs. I ran on till I got to another
forest, where I must have been more than thirty miles
from the Hedge Farm, and thought myself safe. No-
body knew me, and I could show myself without any
fear of being taken back to my old masters.
MY NEW MASTERS.
I LIVED for a month in this forest. Iwas rather dull
sometimes, but I liked living alone better than
being in misery, and I was happy until I saw that the
grass was getting dry and scarce; the leaves were
falling, the water was freezing, and the ground was
"Alas! alas!" I thought, "what will become of
me? If I stay here I shall perish from cold, hunger,
and thirst. But where shall I go? Who will have
After a time I thought of a means of finding a
home. I left the forest and went into a little village
quite near by. I saw a little house, standing all alone
and very clean; a woman was sitting at the door
spinning. I was touched by her kind and sad look.
I went up to her and laid my head upon her shoulder.
MY NEW MASTERS.
The good woman gave a cry, rose hastily from her
seat, and looked afraid. I did not stir, but gazed at
her with a gentle and longing look.
"Poor beast!" she said at last, "you do not look
wicked. If you do not belong to anybody I shall be
very glad to have you to take the place of my poor
old Grizzle, who has died of old age. I might be
able to earn my living by selling my vegetables at
market. But, no doubt, you have a master," she
added with a sigh.
"To whom are you talking, Granny?" said a
gentle voice which came from the house.
"I am having a talk with a donkey who has just
put his head on my shoulder, and is looking at me
with such gentle eyes that I have not the heart to
drive him away."
Let me see let me see cried the little voice.
And then I saw at the door a pretty little boy of
six or seven years old, who was dressed poorly but
tidily. He looked at me with a curious and rather
May I stroke him, Granny ? he said.
Yes, Georgie, but take care that he does not bite
The little boy put out his arm, but could not reach
me, so he put one foot forward, then the other, until
he could stroke my back. I did not stir because I
thought he would be afraid. I only turned my head
to him and passed my tongue over his hand.
Granny, Granny, this poor donkey seems so good;
he has licked my hand "
It is strange that he should be alone. Where is
his master? Go, Georgie, into the village, and to the
" Swan Inn," where people stop, and you can ask whose
donkey he is. His master may be looking for him."
Shall I take the donkey with me, Granny ? "
"He would not follow you; let him go where he
A DONKEY'S LIFE.
Georgie started off running, and I ran after him.
When he saw this he came to me and patted me, and
said: Come, my little donkey, as you follow me,
you will let me get on your back." So he jumped on
to my back and cried: Gee-up, gee-up "
I started off at a trot, which Georgie liked. "Woh !
woh he said, as he came to the inn, and I stopped
at once. Georgie jumped down, and I stayed before
the door as quiet as if I had been tied up.
"What do you want, my boy?" asked the inn-
I have come to ask, Mr. David, if this donkey
here at the door belongs to you or to someone here."
Mr. David came to the door, and looked at me;
"No, my boy, he does not belong to me or to anybody
that I know. Go and ask further on."
Georgie again got on my back, and I set off at a
trot. We asked from door to door whether I belonged
to any one there. Nobody knew me, and we went back
to the good grandmother, who was still sitting spinning
before her door.
Granny, the donkey does not belong to anybody
in the village. What shall we do with him? He
will not leave me, and if anybody tries to touch him
he runs away."
In that case, Georgie, we must not let him pass the
night out of doors, something might happen to him.
Take him into our poor Grizzle's stable, and give him
a bundle of hay and a pail of water. To-morrow
we will see about taking him to market; and perhaps
we shall find his master."
"But if we do not find him, Granny ?"
We will keep him until somebody comes for him.
We cannot leave the poor beast to die of cold in the
winter, or maybe to fall into the hands of wicked people
who would beat him, and perhaps kill him."
Georgie gave me some hay and water, and stroked
me ; when he left me he said, as he closed the door,
" Ah! how I wish he had no master, and might always
stay with us."
The next day Georgie put me on a halter, when he
had given me my breakfast; then he led me to the
door. The grandmother put a light saddle on my
back, on which she sat. Georgie brought her a small
basket of greens, which she placed on her knee, and
we set off for the market of Maystoke. The good
woman sold her greens well. Nobody knew me, and
I went back with my new masters.
I lived with them for four years, and was happy.
I did no harm to anybody, and did my duty well. I
loved my little master, who never beat me ; I was not
overworked, and was very well fed, and I am not
But there were some days which I did not like ;
they were when my mistress let me out to the children
of the village. She was not rich, and on the days
when there was no work for me to do she was very
glad to gain something by letting me out to the chil-
dren of the Hall near by. They were not always
kind, and this is what came to pass on one of these
IN the yard there were six donkeys in a row, and I
was one of the best and strongest. Three little
girls brought us some oats in a basket, and whilst we
were eating them I heard the children talking.
Come, let us choose our donkeys," said Charlie;
"I will have this one," pointing to me.
You always take the best," said all the five children
at once. We ought to draw lots."
A DONKEY'S LIFE.
How can we draw lots, Caroline ? said he. Can
we put the donkeys into a bag and pull them out like
marbles ? "
Ha ha! ha! laughed Anthony; "how silly he is
to talk about putting the donkeys in a bag. As if we
could not number them one, two, three, four, five, six,
and put the numbers in a bag, and each draw one in
That's right! that's right! cried the others.
"Ernest, make the numbers, whilst we write them
on the donkeys' backs."
How stupid these children are," I said to myself.
"If they had the sense of a donkey, instead of taking
the trouble to write the numbers on our backs, they
would just put us in a row along the wall, and call
the first number one, the second number two, and
In the meantime Anthony had brought a great
piece of chalk. I was the first, and he made a great
"1" on my back. Whilst he was writing 2 on the
next donkey's back I shook myself well, to show him
that his plan was not so clever. Away went the
chalk and the number 1.
"You stupid!" he cried; "now I must do it
Whilst he was making his number 1 again, my mate,
who had seen what I did, and who was full of mis-
chief, shook himself. Away went the number 2.
Anthony began to get angry, and the others laughed,
and made fun of him. Then I made a sign to my
mates to let him go on, and none of us stirred. Ernest
came back with the numbers tied up in a bag, and
each of them drew one. Whilst they were looking at
their numbers, I made another sign to my mates, and
we all shook ourselves more than ever. Away went
the chalk and numbers, and all would have to be done
over again. The children were very angry; Charles
was laughing, Ernest, Albert, Caroline, Jane, and
A DONKEY'S LIFE.
Louisa -.:.111.i.. and Anthony stamping his foot.
They began scolding each other, and we all began to
bray. The noise brought their parents to the spot,
and one of the fathers thought of putting us along the
wall, and he made the children draw lots.
"One !" cried Ernest. That was I.
"Two !" said Jane. That was one of my mates.
"Three said Anthony, and so on to the last of us.
"Now let us start," said Charles; "I will start
"Oh, I will soon catch you up," Ernest said quickly.
No, you will not," cried Charles.
"But I will, though," said Ernest.
Then Charles struck his donkey, who set off at a
gallop. Before Ernest had time to give me a stroke of
the whip, I also started off at such a rate that I soon
caught up Charles and his donkey. Ernest was pleased,
but Charles was angry, and hit his donkey again and
again. Ernest had no need to strike me; I went like
the wind. I got in front of Charles in a minute, and
heard the others who were coming after, laughing and
shouting, "Bravo, number one, bravo! he runs like a
I ran on until we came to a bridge, where I stopped,
because I saw that a wide board of the bridge was
rotten, and I did not want to fall into the water with
Ernest on my back.
Gee-up gee-up, donkey said Ernest. "On
to the bridge, my friend, on to the bridge!"
I would not go, and he beat me, but I turned to
walk back to the others.
"Stupid brute!" he said; "will you turn round
and go over the bridge ? "
But I walked on till I met the others, in spite of the
abuse and the blows of the naughty boy.
"Why are you beating your donkey, Ernest?"
cried Caroline ; "he is first-rate, and has carried you
full speed, and made you get ahead of Charles."
I beat him because he was stupid about going
over the bridge," said Ernest; "he would turn back."
Ah, that was because he was alone ; now that we
are all here he will go over the bridge just like the
Poor children !" I thought, they will all fall into
the river; I must try to show them that there is
So I started off for the bridge, to the great joy
of Ernest, and amid the shouts of the children.
I ran as far as the bridge, but there I stopped all at
once, as if afraid, and Ernest began trying to make
me go. I drew back with a look of fear, which sur-
prised him still more. The stupid boy saw nothing,
although the rotten plank was just in front of his nose.
The others now came up and laughed at us. At last
they got off their donkeys, and they all pushed and
beat me without pity, but I did not stir.
"Pull his tail!" shouted Charles; "donkeys are
so stupid that when you want them to go back they
And then they tried to seize my tail, but I kept
them off by kicking. They all beat me at the same
time, but I would not stir.
Wait, Ernest," said Charles. "I will go over
first, and your donkey will be sure to follow me."
He tried to pass, but I stood across the bridge, and.
he struck me.
Very well !" I said; "if the naughty boy will
drown himself, let him; I have done what I can to
save him ; let him have a drink if he likes."
Hardly had the donkey put his foot on the rotten
plank when it broke, and he and Charles were in the
water. There was no danger for my mate because he
could swim, like all donkeys. But Charles kicked and
cried, but could not get out.
A stick! a stick he cried.
The children shouted and ran about. At last
A DONKEY'S LIFE.
Caroline found a long stick, which she held out to
Charles, who got hold of it. His weight dragged
Caroline down, and she cried for help. Ernest, An-
thony, and Albert ran to her aid. At last they got out
poor Charles, who had drunk more than he needed,
and who was wet through from head to foot. When
he was safe the children began to laugh at his looks,
and Charles got angry. The children jumped upon
their donkeys, and told him to go home and change
his clothes. Dripping wet, he got on his donkey, and
I laughed to myself over his funny look, The stream
had carried away his hat and his shoes, and the water
was running off him, and his wet hair stuck to his
At last Charles went away, and the children grew
quiet again. They all patted and praised me for my
good sense, and we started off once more, with me at
I WAS happy, as I have already said. But this
was soon to end. George's father was a soldier;
he came home with some money which had been left
to him by his captain, and a medal given him by his
general. He bought a house at Maystoke, where he
took his little boy and his old mother to live, and he
sold me to a friend who had a little farm. I was sad
at leaving my good old mistress and my little master
George, as they had always been kind to me.
My new master was not bad, but always wanted to
keep everybody at work, which was silly. He put me
to a little cart, and made me carry mould, and apples,
and wood. I began to grpw idle ; I did not like to be
put in the cart, and, above all, I did not like market-
day. I was not overloaded, and I was not beaten, but
on that day I was left without food from the morning
until three or four o'clock in the afternoon. When
the heat was great I was almost dying of thirst, and I
had to wait until everything was sold, and my master
had got his money and said good-bye to his friends.
I was not very good then, as I was not treated like a
friend, and I tried to pay him out. One day I hit
upon a plan, from which you will see that donkeys
are not stupid ; but you will also see that I was grow-
On market-day they got up earlier than usual at the
farm, to cut the cabbages, and make the butter, and
look for the eggs. In summer I slept out of ddors, in
a large field. I saw and heard them getting ready,
and I knew that at ten o'clock in the morning they
A DONKEY'S LIFE.
would harness me to the little cart. I had seen a deep
ditch in the field, full of brambles and thorns, and I
thought that if I hid myself there they would not be
able to find me. So on market-day, when I saw the
farm-people were busy, I quietly got into the ditch
and hid myself there so that I could not be seen. I
had been there for about an hour when I heard the boy
call me, and, after looking about, he went back to the
farm. I think he told the master I was not to be found,
for after a few minutes I heard the farmer calling his
wife and the farm-people to look for me.
No doubt he has got through the hedge," said one.
Where do you think he could get through ? There
is no hole anywhere," said another.
The gate must have been left open," said the
master. Run through the fields, lads ; he cannot be
far off; go quickly and bring him back, for the time is
going, and we shall be late."
Off they all started into the fields, and into the woods,
running and calling me. I laughed in my hiding-
place, and took care not to show myself. The poor
folks came back out of breath, after a long time. The
master swore about me, said that no doubt I had been
stolen, and that I was very stupid to let anybody take
me away. Then he put one of his horses to the cart,
and started off in a very bad temper. When I saw
that everybody had gone, I put my head slyly out of
my hiding-place and looked about me, and when I saw
that I was quite alone, I came out and ran to the other
end of the field, so that they should not guess where
I had been, and I began to bray with all my might.
When they heard the noise the farm-people all ran
"Look there he is come back," cried the shepherd.
"Where has he come from ? said the mistress.
Where has he got through ? said the carter.
In my joy at having escaped the market, I ran to
them, and they patted me and told me I was a good
fellow to have got back from the people who had stolen
me. They were so kind that I was quite ashamed,
for I felt that I ought to have had the stick much
more than their pats. They let me graze quietly, and
I should have spent a happy day if I had not felt how
naughty I had been to cheat my poor masters.
When the farmer came back, and heard I was there
again, he was very pleased, but was also much surprised.
The next day he went round the field and carefully
stopped all the holes in the hedge.
He will be very clever if he gets out now," he said
when he was done. "I have stopped all the gaps
with thorns and stakes; I have not left room for a cat
to go through."
The week passed quietly; nobody thought anything
more of me; but the next market-day I hid myself
again in the ditch which had saved me so. much bother.
They looked for me as before, but were still more
surprised, and thought that a clever thief had led me
through the gate.
A DONKEY'S LIFE.
This time," said my master, "he is lost; he will
not come back; and even if he did he could not get in
again, because I have stopped up all the gaps too
well; and with a sigh he went away.
One of the horses again took my place in the cart,
and I came out of my hiding-place after everybody had
gone, just as I did the week before ; but I thought it
best not to hee-haw this time.
When they found me grazing in the field, and when
my master learned that I had come back soon after he
went, I saw that they guessed I had played some trick.
Nobody petted me, and I saw that I was watched. I
laughed at them, and said to myself, "You will be
very clever, my good friends, if you find out the trick
that I play you, and I shall take you in again and
So I hid myself for the third time, very much
pleased with myself. But I was only just hidden from
view in my ditch when I heard the loud barking of
our great watch-dog, and the voice of my master
saying, "Fetch him out, Watch go it, go it; down
into the ditch : bite his heels, fetch him out, good
Watch had, in fact, jumped into the ditch; he was
biting my heels and my ribs, and he would have eaten
me up if I had not made up my mind to jump out. I
was running to the hedge to try to force my way
through, when the farmer, who was waiting for me,
threw a noose round my neck and stopped me short.
He had brought a whip with him, and made me feel it
well; the dog went on biting me whilst my master
beat me, and I was very sorry for my laziness. At
last the master sent Watch away and undid the noose.
Then he put on a halter and led me away, very sober
and very much bruised, to put me to the cart which
was ready for me.
I afterwards learned that one of the children had
been left on the road near to the gate, to open it for
me if I came back; he had seen me coming out of the
ditch and had told his father-the little tell-tale !
I was vexed at him for what I thought an unkind
trick, until my sorrows and cares had taught me
From that day they were much more severe with
me. They tried to lock me up, but I had found out
how to open all the gates with my teeth: if there was
a latch, I lifted it; if there was a button, I turned it; if
there was a bolt, I pushed it: I got in and out every-
The farmer scolded and beat me ; he began to treat
me badly, and I behaved worse to him. I felt that
I was unhappy through my own fault, but instead of
mending my ways, I grew more and more obstinate
and wicked. One day I went into the kitchen-garden
and ate up all the cabbages; another day I threw down
his little son, who had told tales of me ; another time
I drank up a pailful of cream which they had put out-
side to make into butter. I trod on their chickens
and their young turkeys; I bit their pigs; and, in
fact, grew so naughty, that the mistress begged her
husband to sell me at the fair at Maystoke, which was
to be held the next week. I had become thin through
neglect, and, in order to sell me better, they wished to
make me fat. They told the farm-lads and children
to treat me well; they did not work me any more,
and they fed me well. I was very happy during that
time. My master took me to the fair and sold me for
five pounds. On leaving him I should like to have
bitten him well, but I was afraid of making my new
master think ill of me, so I only turned my back on
A DONKEY'S LIFE.
I WAS bought by a lady and gentleman who had a
little girl of twelve, who was always very weak and
ill, and could not play or amuse herself. She lived in
the country, very much alone, and had no friends of
her own age. Her father took no notice of her, and
though her mother
S-'_'--- loved her, she
--' could not bear her
Sto be fond of any-
S''_ .. body else,not even
Sof animals. But
as the doctor had
said she was to be
s amused, her mo-
ther thought that
a donkey to ride
would please her.
My little mistress's
name was Pauline;
g she was sad and
Ih- often ill, but very
gentle, and good,
and pretty. She
rode me every day,
and I took her
along pretty roads
and through nice
little woods that I
knew. At first a groom or a maid-servant went with
us, but when they saw how gentle and good I was, and
how careful I was of my little mistress, they let her
go alone with me. She named me Napoleon, which
name I have kept.
Go for a ride with Napoleon," her father would
say, "there is no danger with him; he has as much
sense as a man, and he will always bring you home."
So we used to go out alone. When she was tired of
walking I would stand beside some mound, or step
into any little ditch, to help her to get on to my back.
I would take her close to the nut-trees which were
laden with nuts, and would stand still that she might
pick them easily. My little mistress was very fond of
me ; she took great care of me, and petted me. When
the weather was too bad for us to go out she would
visit me in my stable, and bring me fresh grass, green
leaves, and carrots. She would stay talking to me,
thinking that I did not know what she said, and would
tell me all her little sorrows, sometimes crying over
Oh, poor Napoleon !" she would say; "you are a
donkey and cannot talk ; and yet you are my only
friend, for I can tell all my thoughts only to you.
Mother loves me, but she does not like me to love
anybody but herself. I have no playfellows, and I am
very lonely." And Pauline cried and stroked me. I
loved her, too, and pitied her, poor child When she
was near me I took care not to move, for fear of hurting
her with my feet.
One day I saw Pauline running gaily towards me.
Napoleon," she cried, Mother has given me a
locket with her hair, and I want to put yours into it;
for you are my friend, and I love you also, and then
I shall have the hair of those I love best in the world."
And Pauline cut some hair from my mane, and put
it with her mother's hair. I was glad to see how fond
Pauline was of me, and I was proud of having my
hair in a locket; but I must say that it did not look
very pretty, because it was grey and coarse, and
spoilt the look of her mother's hair. Pauline did not
see this, but was looking at her locket when her mother
A DONKEY'S LIFE.
"What are you looking at ?" she said.
"My locket, Mother," said Pauline, half hiding it.
"Why have you brought it here ?" asked her
To show it to Napoleon," she said.
What nonsense !" said her mother. "Really,
Pauline, you lose your senses over Napoleon Just as
if he knew what a locket is."
"But, Mother, he knows very well ; he licked my
hand when-when-" and Pauline got red and was
"Well! why don't you go on ? Why did Napoleon
lick your hand ? asked her mother.
"Mother, I would rather not tell you; I am afraid
that you will scold me," said poor Pauline.
"Come," said her mother, "speak ; what silly
thing have you done now ? "
Nothing silly, Mother."
Then why are you afraid ? I am certain you have
been giving Napoleon enough oats to make him ill,"
said her mother.
No, indeed, I have given him nothing," said
What do you mean, Pauline? you make me angry.
Tell me what you have done, and why you have been
away from me almost an hour," asked her mother.
To tell the truth she had been a long time fixing my
hair; she had to take out the paper at the back of the
locket, take out the glass, put in the hair, and do it all
Pauline stammered in a low voice, I cut some of
Napoleon's hair to-to-to--"
"Well, go on ; what for ? asked her mother.
"To put in my locket," said Pauline.
What locket ?" asked the mother.
"The one you gave me," said the child.
The locket I gave you with my hair! and what
have you done with my hair ? said her mother.
It is there still-look," said poor Pauline, showing
My hair mixed up with a donkey's cried her
mother in a rage ; this is too bad you do not deserve
to have such a present. You show as much love for
a donkey as for me."
And taking the locket from poor Pauline, she threw
it to the ground, stamped on it with her foot, and
broke it to atoms. Then, without looking at her child,
she left the stable, banging the door after her.
Pauline was afraid to move at first; then she burst
into tears and threw herself on to my neck.
Napoleon, Napoleon, you see how it is! They
don't like me to love you, but I shall go on loving you
in spite of them, because you are kind and never scold
A D0KKEY'S LIFE.
me; you never make me sad, and you always try to
amuse me on our rides Oh, Napoleon what a pity
it is that you cannot talk to me, how much I could
Pauline stopped, threw herself on the ground, and
cried. I was sorry for her, but I could not comfort
her, nor even make her know that I was sorry. I was
very angry with her mother who had made her so sad.
Had I been able I would have made her mother see
the pain she was giving Pauline, and the harm she
was doing to her; but I could not speak, and I looked
at Pauline sadly.
About a quarter of an hour after her mother had
gone, the lady's-maid opened the door and called
"Your mother wants you, miss ; she does not wish
you to stay in Napoleon's stable, nor even to go
"Napoleon, my poor Napoleon!" cried Pauline;
"they will not let me see him any more "
No, miss, except when you go out riding: your
mother says your place is in the sitting-room, and not
in the stable."
Pauline did not answer ; she knew that her mother
must be obeyed. She hugged me once more, and I
felt her tears on my neck; then she went away for
good. After this Pauline grew more sad. It was
rainy, and our walks were few and short. When I was
led to the front door Pauline mounted on my back with-
out a word, but when once we were out of sight she
jumped down and kissed me, and told me her daily
sorrows to ease her mind. It was in this way I learned
that her mother had been cross ever since she had found
out about the locket, and that Pauline was more sad
and lonely than ever, and that her illness got worse
every day. y,
ONE night, as I was going to sleep, I was roused
by cries of" Fire Fire Full of fear, I tried
to get rid of the strap which held me. I pulled at it,
and rolled myself on the ground, but the horrid strap
would not break. At last I luckily thought of biting
it through. The glare of the fire made my stable
quite light. I heard the cries of the servants, the
cracking of the walls, and the roaring of the flames.
The smoke was already filling my stable, and nobody
thought of me ; they did not even open the door, so
that I might get out.
The flames grew fiercer, and I felt a great heat,
which was almost burning me.
Alas !" I said to myself, "I shall be burnt alive;
what a horrid death! Oh Pauline! my dear mis-
tress you do not think of your poor Napoleon "
All at once the door opened, and I heard the voice
of Pauline calling me. Glad to be saved, I rushed to
her, and we were just going out of the door when a
great crash made us draw back. A wall in front of
my stable had fallen down, and the bricks blocked up
our way. My poor mistress would die in trying to
save me. The smoke, and the dust, and the heat
were choking us. Pauline grew faint and fell down
beside me. I seized hold of my little mistress's frock
with my teeth, and ran over the burning wood, which
lay all over the ground. I was lucky enough to get
across without her dress catching fire. I stopped to
look which way I should go amid the flames. In
despair I was about to lay Pauline on the ground,
when I saw an open cellar. I jumped in, as I knew
we should be safe under the ground. I put Pauline
down near a bucket full of water, so that she could
A DONKEY'S LIFE.
bathe her head when she came to, which she soon did.
When she found herself safe, she fell on her knees and
thanked God in a little prayer for saving her in such
danger. She thanked me so gently that I felt as.if I
should cry. She drank a little water from the bucket.
The fire went on burning. We still heard cries, but
not plainly, and we could not tell whose voices they
"Poor Mother and Father! said Pauline, "they
will think I have been lost in not minding them, and
going to look for Napoleon. Now I must wait till the
fire goes out. We shall have to pass the night in the
cellar. You good Napoleon!" she added, "it is all
through you that I am alive."
She did not speak again ; she was seated on a box
turned upside down, and I saw that she was asleep.
Her head was resting on an empty cask. I was tired
and thirsty, so I drank the water in the bucket, lay
down before the door, and in my turn soon fell
I awoke early in the morning; but when Pauline
was still asleep, I got up quietly and went to the
door, which I opened a little. All was burnt down,
and the fire was out. We could easily climb over the
ruins and get out into the yard of the hall. I gave a
gentle "Hee Haw !" to awake my mistress. She
opened her eyes, and ran to the door to look about.
All is burnt!" she said sadly; "all burnt! I shall
never see our house again. I know I shall be dead
before it is built again. I am weak and ill, very ill,
whatever Mother may say."
Come, Napoleon," she said in a few moments;
" come, let us get out now, I must find Mother and
Father, or they will think I am dead."
She lightly crossed over the fallen bricks and the
beams, which were still smoking. I went after her,
and we soon came to the grass, where she mounted on
my back, and I made my way to the village. We
THE FIRE. ay
were not long in finding the house where her parents
were; they were in great grief, because they thought
she had been killed.
When they saw her they gave a cry of joy, and ran
to her. She told them with what sense and courage I
had saved her.
Instead of running to thank and stroke me, her
mother looked at me coldly, and her father took no
notice of me at all.
"It is his fault that you have been nearly killed,
my poor child," said her mother. "If you had not had
the mad idea of going to open his stable door to loose
him, your father and I would not have passed a night
But," quickly said Pauline, "it is he who has
"Be quiet, be quiet," said her mother; "do not
speak to me again of that hateful animal, who has
almost been the cause of your death."
Pauline sighed, looked at me sadly, and was silent.
I did not see her again from that day. The fright
caused by the fire, the night without rest, and, above
all, the cold of the cellar, made her illness worse. A
fever seized her, and she was laid on a sick bed, from
which she was never to rise. The cold of the night
made her cough worse, and in a month she died. She
often spoke of me, and called me in her fever, but no-
body looked after me. I ate anything I could find,
and slept outside, in spite of the cold and the rain.
When I saw the people come to bury her I was full
of grief, and left the place, and never went back
A DONKEY'S LIFE.
T was winter, and I was very unhappy. I had
chosen a forest for my home, and I could scarcely
find enough food to keep me alive.
When the streams froze I ate snow ; for food I ate
thistles, and I slept under fir-trees. I was sad, and
thought of the life I had led with Master George, and
even with the farmer. There I had been happy, until
I grew idle and wicked. I had no way of getting out
of my misery, as I wished to
be free and my own master.
I sometimeswent to village
near the forest to learn what
was going on in the world.
'- One day in the spring I saw
i r a great stir in the village.
It was a holiday, and the
people were walking about
in their Sunday clothes;
but what seemed queer to
me was that all the donkeys of the country round were
there too. Each donkey was led by his master, and
was groomed and combed. Many had flowers on their
heads and garlands round their necks, but none had
"It is strange," I thought; "there is no fair to-
day. What can all my mates be doing here, brushed
up, and so smart ? And how plump they are They
have been well fed this winter!"
As I said this I looked at myself-my sides and
my back were thin, my hair all stiff and rough ; but I
felt strong and well.
"I would rather," I thought, "be ugly, but active
and strong. Those donkeys, who look so fine and fat
and sleek, would not be able to bear all that I have
borne this winter."
I drew near to find what it was all about, when one
of the boys who held the donkeys saw me, and began to
Look, boys," he cried, "at this fine donkey that
has just come. Is he not well groomed! "
And well cared for, and well fed cried another.
" Has he come for the race ?"
Well, if he wants to run we must let him," said a
third ; "there is no fear of his winning the prize."
They all laughed at this. I was vexed and angry at
their stupid jokes ; but I had found out that there was
to be a race. I wanted to know when and where it
would take place, and I went on listening, but did not
let them see that I knew what they were saying.
Are they soon going to start ? asked one of the
"I do not know; they are waiting for the mayor,"
Where are your donkeys going to race ? said a
woman who had just come.
In the mill field, Mrs. Taylor."
"And how many donkeys have you here, John? "
Six without you, Mrs. Taylor."
A fresh laugh followed this joke.
"You are a rascal, that you are," said Mrs. Taylor,
laughing. And what will the winner get ?"
Honour first of all, and then a silver watch," said
I should like to be a donkey, to gain the watch,"
said Mrs. Taylor. I have never had enough money
to buy one."
Well," said John, if you had brought a donkey,
you might have gone in for the race, and had a
And they all laughed very loud.
And where do you think I could get a donkey ?"
A DONKEY'S LIFE.
said Mrs. Taylor. "Have I ever had money enough
to feed one, or to buy one ? "
I was pleased with this poor woman, who looked
kind and nice. I thought that I might win the watch
for her. I was used to running ; every day in the
forest I took long runs to warm myself, and I had a
name at one time for being able to run as fast and as
far as a horse.
"I will try," I said to myself; "if I lose I lose no-
thing, and if I win I shall get the watch for Mrs.
I trotted off, and took my place beside the last
donkey. I put on a proud air, and began to bray loud.
Hullo cried Andrew, "will you stop that music,
and be off. You have no master; you are too shabby
I was silent, but I did not stir from my place. Some
laughed, others were angry; and they were just going
to quarrel, when Mrs. Taylor cried out:
If he has no master he is going to have a mistress.
I know him now. It is Napoleon, poor Miss Pauline's
donkey; they drove him away when the poor child
died, and he must have lived all the winter in the
forest, for nobody has seen him since. I take him from
to-day; he will race for me."
Only think! it is Napoleon !" they cried on all
sides. I have heard about this Napoleon."
"But if he races for you, Mrs. Taylor," said John,
"you must put a silver sixpence in the mayor's bag."
That will not stop me, children," said Mrs. Taylor.
" Here is the money; but you must not ask for more,
for I have not much."
"Well," said John, "if you win you will not be
badly off, for all the village have put into the bag:
there is more than five pounds."
I went up to Mrs. Taylor, and gave a hop, skip, and
a jump, so that the boys began to fear I should win the
Look here, John," said Andrew in a whisper,
" you should not have let Mrs. Taylor put into the
bag. Now she has the right to race Napoleon, and he
looks to me very lively, and just as if he would do us
out of the watch and the money."
How silly you are, Andrew don't you see how
bad he looks ? Poor Napo-
leon! he will only make us .-"P.
laugh, he will not go far." -''
"I don't knowabout that," r, .:
said Andrew. Suppose I I
gave him some oats to make '' .-.
him go away."
"And how about Mrs.
Taylor's sixpence ? -
"Oh, if the donkey was '
gone, they would give it back
"You are right; Napoleon does not belong to her
any more than to you or to me. Go and fetch a feed
of oats, and try to get him away without Mrs. Taylor
I had heard all ; and when Andrew came back with
the oats in his apron, instead of going to him I went
up to Mrs. Taylor, who was chatting with her friends.
Andrew came after me, and John took me by the ears
to turn my head round; he thought I had not seen the
oats. I did not stir, although I was very hungry.
John began to pull me and Andrew to push me, and I
began to bray in my finest voice. Mrs. Taylor turned
round and saw the trick that Andrew and John were
"You are not good boys," she said. "Now that
you have made me put my poor sixpence into the race-
bag, you must not try to take Napoleon away from me.
It seems to me that you are afraid of him."
Afraid of a poor donkey like him Indeed we are
A DONKEY'S LIFE.
"Then why are you pulling him away ? said she.
"It was only to give him a feed of oats."
Oh," said Mrs. Taylor with a mocking look,
-'that is very different; how kind Put it down on the
ground for him, that he may eat at his ease: and I
thought you were trying to do me a bad turn Just
see how wrong one may be "
Andrew and John were ill at ease, but they dared
not show it. Their mates laughed to see how they
had been caught. Mrs. Taylor rubbed her hands, and
I was glad. I ate up the oats, and felt I was gaining
strength as I ate. I was pleased with Mrs. Taylor,
and wanted to start. Soon there was a stir; the
mayor had given the order to place the donkeys. They
were all put in a row, and I took my place last.
When I was seen alone, everybody asked whose
donkey I was.
"Nobody's," said Andrew.
Mine cried Mrs. Taylor.
You must put into the race-bag, Mrs. Taylor,"
said the mayor.
"I have done so, sir," she said.
Good ; write down Mrs. Taylor's name," said the
It is already down, sir," said the town-clerk.
"All right," said the mayor. Is all ready ?
One, two, three, and away! "
The boys who held the donkeys let them go, each
giving them a parting blow with the whip. All set off.
Although nobody was holding me I waited for my fair
turn to start in the race, so they were all a little before
me ; but they had not gone a hundred feet before I
caught them up. I was now at the head of the band,
gaining on them without giving myself much trouble.
The boys shouted and cracked their whips to urge
their donkeys. I looked round from time to time and
saw fear in their faces, and I laughed. My mates
were angry at being beaten by a poor unknown donkey,
Lag-L~ 8. .:I
y- >r. S~i-
K,~ ~ ,~P L~Qbl~3y~~r::II
A DONKEY'S LIFE.
and tried to get in fiont of me and bar the way from
each other. I heard savage cries behind me,-kicks,
bites ; twice I was caught up and almost p;issed by
John's donkey. I might have used the same means
that he had. to pass his mates, but I did not lke these
mean tricks, though I saw that I must do all I could, if
I would not be beaten.
With a sudden rush I passed the other one: just then
he seized me by the tail; and the pain almost made me
fall, but the honour of winning made me brave and I
tore myself away, leaving a piece of my tail in his
teeth. The wish to serve him out gave me wings. I
ran so fast that I got to the goal first, leaving all
the others far behind me. I was out of breath and
tired, but glad and happy. I heard the clapping of
the people standing round the field : 1 put on a grand
air and walked back proudly to the mayor's chair, where
the prizes were to be given. Good Mrs. Taylor came
to me, patted me, and said I should have a good feed
of oats. She held out her hand to take the watch and
the purse, which the mayor was about to give her,
when Andrew and John ran up, crying out:
Stop, your worship! stop that is not just. No-
body knows this donkey ; he does not belong to Mrs.
Taylor any more than to anybody else; this donkey
does not count-mine came in first with John's, the
watch and the purse ought to be ours."
Did not Mrs. Taylor put her sixpence in the race-
Yes, she did sir ; but- "
Did you object before the start?"
No, sir ; but--"
Then Mrs. Taylor's donkey has won the watch
and the purse."
Pray, your worship, ask the town-council to judge
this question. You have no right to do so alone."
When I saw that the mayor seemed to be doubtful,
I took up the watch and the purse with my teeth and
gave them to Mrs. Taylor, who was waiting for the
mayor to dec.de.
This wise act turned the laugh against the boys
and -ained me loud cheers.
See the question is decided for us by the winner,"
said the mayor, laughing and looking slyly at Andrew
and John, lie said : I think that the biggest donkey
among us is not Mrs. Taylor's !"
"Hurrah! hurrah your worship," was shouted on
And everybody laughed, except Andrew and John,
who went away shaking their fists at me.
But I was not pleased; my pride was hurt. I
thought that the mayor had done me a wrong by
calling my enemies donkeys It was unkind and
mean I had shown courage and spirit, and now I
was mocked and left alone. Even Mrs. Taylor, in her
joy at winning a watch and five pounds, forgot me, as
well as her promise to give me a feast, of oats, and went
away with the crowd, leaving me without the reward I
had so well earned.
I WAS left alone in the field, feeling very sad, and
with my tail hurting me. I asked myself whether
donkeys were not better than men, when I felt a
gentle hand pat me, and I heard a gentle voice say,
" Poor donkey they have been very unkind to you !
Come, poor fellow, come to my Granny, she will take
care of you and feed you better than your cruel
masters. Poor donkey how thin you are "
I turned round and saw a pretty little boy about
A DONKEY'S LIFE.
five years old ; his sister, who looked about three, ran
up with her nurse.
Jackie, what are you saying to the poor donkey ?"
I am telling him to come and live at our Granny's;
he is all alone, poor thing "
Oh. Jackie, do take him ; wait, I will get on his
back. Nurse, nurse, do put me on the donkey."
The nurse put the little girl on my back; Jackie
wanted to lead me, but I had no bridle.
Wait, nurse," he said, I will put my scarf round
his neck." Little Jackie tried, but my neck was too
big for his little scarf
What shall we do nurse ? asked Jackie, who was
"Let us go into the village and get a bridle or a
piece of rope," said nurse. Come, little Janie, you
must get off the donkey."
But Janie clung round my neck, saying, No, I do
not want to get down, I want to stay on the donkey's
back and let him take me home."
"But do you not see we have no bridle to make him
go along; he will not move an inch."
Wait, nurse," said Jackie, you will see. I know
that his name is Napoleon, Mrs. Taylor told me so.
I shall pat him and coax him, and I think he will
Jackie came close to my ear, and said softly as he
patted me, Go on, good Napoleon, please go on."
The trust of the good little hoy touched me. I was
glad to find that, instead of asking for a stick to make
me go, he only thought of coaxing me kindly, so I
began to walk.
Look, nurse, he knows me he likes me cried
Jackie, his face flushed and his eyes bright with joy,
as he ran before me to show me the way.
"As if a donkey knew anything! he walks on
because he is tired of standing here."
But look, nurse, you see he is coming after me."
"That is because he smells the bread in your
Do you think he is hungry, nurse ?"
Very likely, just look how thin he is! "
"So he is! poor Napoleon! and I never even
thought of giving him my piece of bread."
Then he pulled out of his pocket the piece of bread
which the nurse had given him for his lunch, and held
it out to me.
I was vexed by the unkind words of the nurse, and
was glad to show her that she was wrong, and that it
was not because I was selfish that I went after Jackie;
and that I carried little Janie on my back out of
kindness and good nature. So I did not take the bread
which good little Jackie held out for me, but licked
Nurse! nurse! he is kissing my hand!" cried
Jackie; "he does not want my bread! Dear Napo-
leon, how I love you You see, nurse, lie follows me
because he loves me ; it is not for the bread "
So much the better for you, if you think you have
found a model donkey. I think that all donkeys are
stupid and wicked, and I do not like them."
Oh, nurse poor Napoleon is not wicked; just see
how good he is to me! "
We shall see if that will last," said the nurse.
You will always be good to me and Janie, will
you not ?" said little Jackie, as he patted me.
I turned towards him and looked at him so gently,
that he saw it, though he was only a little boy. Then
I turned to the nurse, and gave her such an angry
look that she too saw it, for she said, What an evil
eye he has He looks bad; he looks as if he would
like to eat me up "
Oh, nurse !" said Jackie, "how can you say that?
He looks at me as sweetly as if lie wanted to kiss me."
They were both right, and so was I. I said to
myself that I would be very good to Jackie, Janie, and
A DONKEY'S LIFE.
anyone who was good to me ; but I had the bad idea
of being wicked to those who should ill-treat or insult
me as the nurse had done. This was, later on, the
cause of all my sorrows.
We walked on as we chatted, and soon got to their
grandmother's house. They left me at the door, where
I stood like a well-bred donkey, without moving, and
without even nibbling the grass at the edge of the
Two minutes after Jackie came back, dragging his
Granny after him.
Come and see, Granny, come and see how gentle
he is, and how he loves me Do not believe what
nurse says, pray," said Jackie, clasping his hands.
"No, Granny, please don't believe her," added Janie.
"Let us see," said the lady, smiling, "let us see
this famous donkey "
And coming to me she patted me, stroked my ears,
and put her hand against my mouth, and I did not
show any wish to bite her, or get away from her.
Well, he does seem very gentle. What made you
say, Emily, that he looked wicked ?"
"Is he not good, Granny ? May we not keep
I think he is very good, dear child ; but how can
we keep him when he does not belong to us ? We
must take him back to his master."
He has no master, Granny."
"Indeed he has no master, Granny," said Janie,
who said all that her brother said.
What! no master that cannot be."
Yes, Granny, it is true ; Mrs. Taylor told me so."
"Then how did he win the pr;ze at the race for
her ? As she took him to run for her, she must have
had him from someone."
No, Granny, he came all alone ; he wanted to run
with the others. Mrs. Taylor paid her sixpence to get
what he won; but he has no master. It is Napoleon,
Pauline's donkey, and she is dead. Her parents have
driven him away, and he has lived all the winter in
Napoleon! the famous Napoleon who saved his little
mistress in the fire ? Ah, I am very glad to know
him! He really is a clever donkey !"
And she looked at me for a long time. I was proud
of being so well known, and I spread out my nostrils
and shook my mane.
How thn he is! Poor thing he has had a bad
return for all he did," said the lady, in a grave and
sad tone. Let us keep him, my child, let us keep
him, as he has been driven away by those who ought
to have cared for him and loved him. Call Bullen ; I
will have him put in the stable with a good titter."
Jackie, who was very happy, ran off to fetch Bullen,
who soon came.
'" Bullen, here is a donkey which the children have
brought home; put him in the stable, and give him
food and water."
Must he be taken back to his master afterwards,
your ladyship ?"
No, he has no master. It seems that he is the
famous Napoleon who was driven away after the
death of his little mistress. He has come to the
village, and the children have found him in the park.
They have brought him home and we will keep him."
Your ladyship is right to keep him," said Bullen;
"he has not his equal in all the country round. I have
heard great things about him. They say he knows all
that is said to him. Your ladyship will see. Come
along, Napoleon come and eat your oats."
I at once turned and went after Bullen.
It is strange," said the lady; "he really knows
what is said."
She went back to the house. Jackie and Janie
wanted to go with me to the stable. I was placed in
a stall with two horses and a donkey. Bullen, with
A DONKEY'S LIFE.
Jackie to help him, made me a nice bed, and the man
fetched me some oats.
More! Bullen, more, please !" cried Jackie; "he
wants a lot; he has run so much."
But, Master Jackie, if you give him too much you
will make him too lively, and then you and Miss Janie
will not be able to mount him."
Oh, he is so good, we shall be able to mount him
They gave me a lot of oats, and put a bucket of
water near me. I was thirsty, and drank half the
water ; then I ate some of the oats, and felt glad that
I had been brought there by good little Jackie. I
thought a little over Mrs. Taylor's neglect, ate my
hay, and lay down on my straw. I felt like a king,
and I soon went to sleep.
THE next day I had nothing to do but to take the
children out riding for an hour. Jackie came
himself to give me my oats, and, in spite of what
Bullen said, he gave me enough for three donkeys. I
ate it all and was pleased. But the third day I was
ill at ease ; my head ached, and so did my stomach.
I could not eat at all, but lay on my straw.
When Jackie came to see me he cried out, Look !
Napoleon is still lying down Come, Napoleon, it is
time to get up ; I am going to give you your oats."
I tried to get up, but my head fell back on the
Oh dear oh dear Napoleon is ill cried little
Jackie. "' Bullen, Bullen, come quick, Napoleon is ill."
Hullo what is the matter ? said Bullen. He
ate his breakfast all right early this morning." Then
he came to the manger, looked in, and said : He has
not touched his oats ; he must be ill. His ears are
hot, and he is panting."
What is the matter with him, Bullen ? cried poor
little Jackie in a fright.
Napoleon is in a fever, that is what is the matter
with him, Master Jackie; you have over-fed him, and
he must have the doctor. I told you how it would be,
Master Jackie, you know. The poor donkey has been
very badly off; he has been in want all the winter, you
can see that by his coat. Then he got very much
heated the day of the donkey-race, and he ought to
have had very little oats and plenty of cool grass, and
you have been giving him as much oats as he could
"Oh dear! oh dear! my poor Napoleon! he will
die, and it is all my faut," sobbed the poor little
No, Master Jackie, he will not die, but he must be
put upon grass, and bled."
It will hurt him to bleed him," said Jackie, still
Oh no ; you shall see. I will bleed him at once,
while we are waiting for the doctor."
I do not want to see! I will not look! cried
Jackie running off. I am sure it will hurt him."
And he ran away. Then Bulen took his lancet,
and cut a little vein in my neck, and the blood ran
out at once. I soon felt better ; my head was no
longer heavy ; I could breathe, and was soon able to
get up. Bullen stopped the blood, and gave me some
bran-mash, and an hour after set me loose in the field.
I was better, but not cured. It was a week before
I felt quite well. All this time Jackie and Janie
nursed me with a kindness that I shall never forget:
they came to see me many times a day ; they got grass
for me to save me from stooping to crop it ; they
A DONKEY'S LIFE.
brought me greens and carrots from the kitchen-garden,
and took me back every night to my stable, and there
I found my manger full of what I liked best,-potato
peelings with salt.
One day good little Jackie wanted to give me his
pillow, because he said my head was too low when
I slept. Another time Janie wanted to cover me up
with the quilt off her bed, to keep me warm. One
day they tied pieces of flannel round my logs, for
fear I should be cold. It made me very sad that I
had no way of thanking them, but, though I knew
all, I could say nothing. At last I got well, and I
learned that there was to be a picnic in the forest,
and that they and their cousins would ride there on
A LL the children were ready in the yard. A great
many donkeys had come from the village. I saw
nearly all those who had been at the race. John's
donkey looked at me crossly, and I looked at him
too. Jackie's grandmother had almost all her grand-
children with her: Camilla, Maud, Eliza, Henrietta,
Janie, Thomas, Henry, Louis, and Jackie. The
mothers of all these children were to go with them on
donkeys, whilst the fathers walked, armed with sticks
to make the lazy ones go. Before starting there was
a little dispute, as usual, over the best donkey; every-
body wanted to have me, nobody would give me up, so
at last they drew lots for me. I fell to the lot of little
Louis, Jackie's cousin ; he was a very nice little boy,
and I should have been quite happy if I had not seen
poor little Jackie quietly wiping away his tears. Every
ROBB R S
A DONKEY'S LIFE.
time he looked at me his tears ran ; I was sorry that I
could not comfort him, but he had to learn, just as 1
had, to give up things and be patient.
At last he took his donkey, and got up, and said to
I shall stay near you, Louis ; don't make Napoleon
go too fast, or I shall be left behind."
"Why will you be left behind ? Why should you
not go fast like me ? "
"Because Napoleon gallops quicker than all the
other donkeys," said Jackie.
How do you know that ?" asked Louis.
I saw them race for the prize the other day, and
Napoleon beat them all."
Louis told his cousin that he would not go too fast,
and they both set off at a trot. The other donkey was
not a bad one, so that it was not much trouble to keep
pace with him. The rest came after us very well, and
so we got to a forest where the children were to see
some very pretty ruins of an old abbey. Nobody liked
to go there alone. It was said that at night strange
noises were to be heard coming from the ruins, like
groans and cries; many people who had laughed at
these tales, and had chosen to go alone to visit these
ruins, had never come back or been heard of again.
When everybody had got down, and we donkeys
were set loose to graze, their fathers and mothers took
the children by the hand, and told them not to wander
away or stay behind: I felt afraid as I watched them
go away. I left the other donkeys, and went in the
shade of an old arch on a little mound near the wood.
a little way from the abbey. I had been there about
ten minutes when 1 heard a noise near to the arch ; I
hid myself under the wall, where I could see some way
without being seen. The noise grew louder; it seemed
to come from under the ground. It was not long before
I saw a man's head come out of the bushes.
"Nothing," he said in a low voice, after looking
round him. You can come out, you fellows. Each
of you take a donkey and lead him off quickly."
He drew himself up so as to leave room for a dozen
men to pass, saying in a whisper:
If the donkeys run away, don't run after them.
Quick! and no noise "
The men stole along the wood, which was very thick
just here ; they walked quietly but quickly. The
donkeys were in the shade on the grass at the edge of
the wood. At a given signal each thief took one of
the donkeys, and led him into the wood. These don-
keys, instead of making a noise, let themselves be led
away like stupids; sheep could not have been more
silly. Five minutes after the thieves got back to the
arch; the donkeys were driven one by one into the
brushwood, where they were lost to sight. I heard
their steps underground, then all was silent.
A band of robbers is hidden in the vaults of the
abbey, thought I, and they must be caught ; but how
is it to be done ?
I stayed hidden under my arch, where I could see
the whole ruin and the country round about, and I
only came out when I heard the voices of the children,
who were looking for their donkeys. I ran towards
them, to prevent them from coming near to this arch
and the thicket, which hid the way into the vaults so
well that it could not be seen.
There is Napoleon," cried Louis.
But where are the others ? cried all the children
They must be near," said Louis's father ; "let us
look for them."
We had better look for them behind the arch over
there," said Jackie's father ; "the grass is rich down
there, they will have gone to eat it."
I was afraid when I thought of the danger they
were about to run, and I hurried to the arch to stop
them from passing. They tried to push me aside, but
A DONKEY'S LIFE.
I barred the way, so that they could not pass. Louis's
"Look here; you know what we have heard of
Napoleon's sense; let us give heed to him, and go
back. Besides, it is not likely that all our donkeys
would be on the other side of the ruins."
You are very likely right, my dear fellow," said
Jackie's father, "because I see the grass has been lately
trodden under foot near the arch. I think that our
donkeys must have been stolen."
They walked back towards the ladies, who had been
keeping the children with them. I went after them
with a light heart, glad to have been able to save
them from a great danger. They talked in a low
voice, and then they called me.
"What shall we do ? said Louis's mother. One
donkey cannot carry all these children."
"Put the youngest ones on Napoleon ; the big ones
will walk with us," said Jackie's mother.
"Come, Napoleon, let us see how many you can
carry," said Henrietta's mother.
They began by putting Janie in front as the
smallest, then Henrietta, then Jackie, and then Louis.
They were none of them heavy, and I showed them,
by trotting along, that I could carry all four with
Hullo, Napoleon!" cried the gentlemen; "go
gently, so that we can hold our little ones."
So I walked with the ladies, and the bigger children
near me ; the gentlemen came after, to keep the party
Mother, why did not Father look for our donkeys ? "
said Henry, the youngest of the band, who was getting
Because Father thinks they have all been stolen,
and that it would be no good to look for them."
"Stolen! who would steal them? I did not see
"No more did I, but there were traces of footsteps
near the arch."
"But then, Mother, the thieves should be hunted
for," said Thomas.
"That would not have been prudent. To have
carried away all the donkeys there must have been
several men. They perhaps had arms, and they might
have killed or hurt your fathers."
What arms, Mother ?"
Sticks, knives-perhaps pistols."
Oh, what danger we have been in," said Camilla;
"I am glad Father came away with my uncles."
Let us make haste to get home," said her mother,
"for your father and uncles must go into the town on
the way back."
What for, Mother ? "
"To tell the police, and try to get back our
"I am very sorry," said Camilla, "that we went to
Why ?" said Maud; "it was very nice."
"Yes; but think of the danger. Suppose, instead
of taking the donkeys, the robbers had taken us
They could not have done that," said Eliza,
"there were too many of us."
"But if there were a great many robbers ? said
Then we would have fought."
"What with? We had not even a stick."
"We have feet, fists and teeth. As for me, I
would have torn at them and bitten; I would have
torn out their eyes with my nails," said Eliza.
"The robbers would have killed you, that is all! "
Killed me and what about Father and Mother ?
Do you think they would have let me be carried away
or killed ?"
A DONKEY'S LIFE.
"The robbers would have killed them first and then
"You talk as if there were an army of them."
"Well, even if there were only a dozen ? "
"A dozen! How silly you are! You seem to
think that robbers go in dozens, like oysters."
"You always make fun of things, Eliza. One
cannot tell you anything. I bet you anything you
like that there must have been at least a dozen of
them to carry off thirteen donkeys."
Oh, just as you like, Maud; and have the thir-
teenth into the bargain, as they do at the baker's
with buns "
The ladies and the other children laughed at this
talk, but as it was likely to end in a quarrel, Eliza's
mother told them to be quiet, adding that Maud was
very likely right about the robbers.
We soon reached home, and when we were seen
coming back on foot, and I with the four children on
my back, everybody was very much surprised. But
when the gentlemen told the story of the lost donkeys,
and how I had stopped them from going near the arch
through which they wanted to pass to look for the
lost donkeys, everybody shook his head and made all
sorts of guesses.
The gentlemen went at once to tell the lady of the
house about the loss of the donkeys. The horses were
put to, and the party went in the carriage to the
police station. They came back two hours later with
six policemen. They were all armed with pistols and
guns ready to start off into the forest. But the lady
of the Hall asked them to dine before they went, so
they sat down to table with the ladies and gentlemen.
THE dinner did not last long, as the police were
in a hurry to be off before night. They asked
leave of the lady to take me with them.
"He will be very useful to us, madam," said the
policeman. Napoleon is not a common donkey. He
has already done harder things than what we are
going to ask of him."
"Take him, gentlemen, if you think well," said
-. *, -- .- _.
the lady, "but do not overtire him. The poor fellow
has already been the same journey this morning,
and came back with my four grandchildren on his
You may be quite easy, madam," said the officer;
"you can be sure that we shall treat him very
I had had my dinner of oats, greens and carrots,
and had eaten and drunk plenty. When they came
to fetch me, I placed myself at the head of the party,
and we started off, the donkey acting as guide to the
policemen. They did not mind this, for they were
good men. People think that policemen are cross
and hard, but it is not so. Nobody could be kinder
A DONKEY'S LIFE.
than these good policemen. They took great care of
me all the way, going slowly when they thought I
was tired, and giving me water at every brook we
It was getting dusk when we reached the abbey.
As the horses might have been in the way, the police-
men left them in a village near the forest. I led them
straight to the arch where I had seen the twelve
robbers come out. I was uneasy when I saw that the
policemen stayed near
the arch, so to make them
come further on I went a
few steps behind the
S wall. They came after
Sme, and when they were
l.t "all there I again went
/ close to the entrance of
the vaults, and began to
bray with all my might.
It was not long before
-.. all the donkeys who were
S shut up in the vaults be-
S gan braying to answer
me. I made a step to-
Swards the policemen,
Siwho saw what I wanted,
-- and then I began to bray
again. This time I got
no answer; and I knew that the robbers must have
tied stones to the other donkeys' tails. Everybody
knows that when we bray we lift up our tails ; and as
they could not raise their tails because of the weight
of the stones, my friends could not bray.
I was still standing about two steps away from the
entrance when I saw the head of a man come through
the bushes. When he saw only me, he said:
"There is the rascal we did not get this morning.
You shall join your friends, my fine fellow "
But just as he was going to seize me I moved two
steps away; he came after me, and I moved a little
further still, until I had led him to the wall which the
policemen were behind. Before my robber had time
to cry out they were upon him, and had gagged him,
and laid him on the ground. I then went back to the
entrance, and again began braying, making sure that
another of the robbers would come out to see what had
become of their friend; and soon I saw the bushes
moved aside, and a fresh head come out, looking about
catch him, before he had time to see what was going
on. I went on with this game until six of them were
caught. After this it was use to bray any more, as
nobody came. In the meantime night had come on,
and we could not see anything any longer. The head
of the policemen sent one his men tho get help to
attack the robbers in the vaults, and take off the six
they tad caught in a cart.
If he was not a donkey," said one policeman, "he
should have the cross of honour."
Has he not already got one on his back ? said
A DONKEY'S LIFE.
Just then we heard a strange noise coming from the
arch; it was a sort of crackling sound. The police-
men could not guess the cause of it. At last a thick
smoke came from the lower windows of the abbey;
then flames darted out, and soon all was burning.
They have set fire to the vaults to escape by the
doors," said the officer.
Shall we run to put it out, sir ? said one of the
No! Watch the outlets closely, and if the robbers
come out fire with your guns."
The officer had guessed the plan of the robbers,
which wts to free their friends while the policemen
were trying to put out the fire. We soon saw the six
other robbers and their captain rush out of the open-
ing to the forest. Only three policemen were there,
and they all fired before the robbers had time to use
their arms. Two of them fell, and a third dropped his
pistol, as his arm was broken. But the other three and
their captain ran at the police, who witl swords and
pistols in hand fought with the fury of lions. Before the
officer and the two other men who were at the other
side of the abbey had time to run to their aid, the fight
was almost over ; the robbers were all either killed or
hurt. The captain was still fighting with one police-
man, the only one still on his feet ; the two others were
badly hurt. The fresh men soon put an end to the
fight. In a moment the captain was taken, bound and
laid beside the six others.
During the fight the fire had gone out ; it was only
the bushes that had burnt. But before going into the
vaults the officer wished to wait for the fresh men he
had sent for. The night was far on when we saw the
six fresh men come with the cart which was to take
the robbers away.
While this was going on I went down into the
vaults with the officer and eight other men. We
found that one of the vaults had served for a stable,
A DONKEY'S LIFE.
and there were all the donkeys who had been stolen
with stones tied to their tails. We at once freed them,
and they all began to bray, which made a great noise
in the vault.
"Be quiet, you donkeys," said a policeman, "or
you shall have the stones tied on again."
Leave them alone," said another; "you see they
are praising Napoleon."
I should like them to do it some other way," said
the first man, laughing.
That man does not like music," I said to myself.
"What does he find fault with in the voices of my
friends? Poor things, they were singing for joy at
being free !"
We went on further. One of the vaults was full
of stolen things. In another they had shut up the
people they had taken, and kept to serve them. Some
cooked and cleaned the vaults, whilst others made
clothes and boots.
Some of these poor men had been there for two
years. They were tied up in twos, and they all wore
small bells on their arms and feet, so that they might
be heard when they went about.
The police feed them all, and took the donkeys to
the Hall, and the robbers were put in prison.
As for me, I was praised by everybody. Every
time I went out I heard the people whom I met say
to one another, That is Napoleon-the famous
Napoleon-who is worth more than all the other don-
keys in the world."
THE BEGGAR GIRL.
THE BEGGAR GIRL.
MY little mistress had a cousin called Theresa,
who was a very good little girl. When she
rode me she never used a stick, and never let anybody
hit me. One day when they were out with me they
saw a little girl sitting at the side of the road, who rose
with pain and came limping up to ask them for some
"What makes you limp, poor child," said Theresa.
"My shoes hurt me, Miss."
Why don't you ask your mother for another
I have no mother, Miss."
Well, then, your father? "
I have no father, Miss."
"With whom, then, do you live ?"
"'With nobody-I live alone."
Who gives you your food ?"
Anybody, or nobody."
How old are you ? "
I do not know, Miss; but I think I am about
Where do you sleep ?"
"Anywhere where I can get anybody to take me
in. When everybody drives me away I sleep out of
doors, under a tree or a hedge."
But in winter you must be frozen ? "
I am cold, but I am used to it."
Have you had any dinner to-day? "
I have not eaten anything since yesterday."
That is dreadful," said Theresa, with her eyes full
A DONKEY'S LIFE.
of tears ; "don't you think your Granny would like us
to give this little girl something to eat, and find her
some place to sleep in at the Hall?"
Of course," said the three others," Granny will be
glad ; she always does what we like."
"But how are we to get her to the Hall ?" said
Maud ; "look, Theresa, how lame she is."
"Let us put her on Napoleon," said Theresa ; "we
will all walk instead of riding in turn."
That is a very good idea," cried the three cousins,
and they put the little girl on my back.
Camilla still had a piece of bread in her pocket, left
from her lunch, which she gave the child, who ate it
quickly ; she seemed pleased to be on my back, but
she said nothing, for she was tired and hungry.
When I stopped before the door of the Hall Camilla
and Eliza led the little girl into the kitchen, whilst
Maud and Theresa ran to their Granny.
"Granny," said Maud, "may we give something
to eat to a very poor little girl we have found on the
"Yes, dear; but who is she ?"
I do not know, Granny."
Where does she live ? "
"What! Nowhere? But her parents must live
She has no parents, she is all alone."
"Will you let her sleep here, Aunt?" asked
"If she really has no home, she may," said the lady.
"I must see her and speak to her."
She rose, and went with the children into the kit-
chen, where the little girl was eating her meal. She
called her, and the poor child limped to her. The
lady asked her some questions, and the child gave the
same answers. The lady was puzzled. She could not
send the child away in her helpless state, and it was
THE BEGGAR GIRL.
not easy to keep her. Where could she put her ?
Who could take care of her ?
Well, my child," she said, "you shall sleep here
for a time, and have your meals here. In a few days
I shall see what I can do for you."
She gave orders that a bed should be got ready for
the child, and that she should be cared for. But the
poor child was so dirty that nobody would touch her
or go near her. Theresa was vexed about it, but she
could not force her aunt's servants to do what they
did not like. "I brought this little girl here," she
said to herself, and I ought to take care of her. How
shall I do it ? "
She thought for a while, then she said, "Wait a
moment, I will come back soon."
She ran to her mother, and said, Mother, I am to
have a bath, am I not ? "
"Yes, Theresa ; go, your nurse is waiting for you."
"Mother, will you let the little girl whom we
brought here have the bath instead of me ? "
"What little girl ?" said her Mother; "I have not
A poor little thing who has no father or mother,
or anybody to take care of her; she sleeps out of
doors, and has nothing to eat but what people give her.
Camilla's Granny has taken her in, but none of the
servants will touch her."
Why not? asked her Mother.
Because she is so very dirty ; but, Mother, if you
will let her, she shall be bathed instead of me, and I
will undress her myself, that nurse may not mind. I
will soap her, and cut off her hair, which is all matted
But, my dear Theresa, you will not like touching
her and washing her, will you ? "
Perhaps I shall not like it much ; but I shall think
that if I were in her place I should be glad if some-
body would help me. And then, Mother, when she is
A DONKEY'S LIFE.
washed, will you let me dress her in some of my old
clothes, until I can buy some others for her ? "
"Yes, my dear ; but how will you buy the clothes ?
You only have two or three shillings."
Oh, mother, you forget I have a pound! "
The one that you gave to your father to keep, so
that you should not spend it ? You were keeping it
to buy a nice prayer-book like Camilla's."
I can do very well without a pretty prayer-book,
Mother, I have my old one."
"l '. ~' .,- '- ,' ,
Do as you like, my child; when you want to do
good to others, I leave you quite free."
Her mother kissed her, and went with her to see
the little girl, who was waiting at the door. The lady
gave Theresa leave to take her to the bath-room.
Camilla, Maud and Eliza came to help, which greatly
amused them, and pleased the little girl. They soaped
her, and kept her in the water rather longer than they
need have done. By the time it was over the child
had had quite enough of it, and showed she was glad
when her four nurses took her out of the bath,
and dressed her in Theresa's clothes. When they
were about to put on her shoes and stockings, they
saw that she had a sore place on her ankle, which
THE BEGGAR GIRL.
made her lame. Camilla ran to her Granny for some
salve: and then with the help of her three friends-
one of whom held the little girl, while another held
the foot, and the third made a bandage-she put the
salve on the wound. They were nearly a quarter of
an hour putting on the bandage. First it was too
tight, then it was not tight enough; and so they dis-
puted over the poor little girl, who did not dare to say
anything or to complain. The wound was at last
done up, and they put her on some old shoes and
stockings of Theresa's, and let her go. When the
little girl went back to the kitchen, nobody knew her
I do not know what took place in the evening at the
Hall. The next day, in the afternoon, I was again
saddled, and the little beggar-girl was put on my back,
my four little mistresses walking with me into the vil-
lage. I learnt as we went along that they wanted -to
buy some clothes for the little girl. Theresa wanted
to pay for everything, though the others wished to pay
their share ; and they disputed over it so warmly that
if I had not stopped at the door of the shop, they would
have passed it. They almost threw the child to the
ground in helping her to get down, by all seizing her
at once. The poor child began to cry when the shop-
woman opened the door.
Good day, young ladies," she said; "let me help
you, you are not strong enough to carry the little
My young mistresses, glad not to have to give way
to one another, let the little girl go ; and the shop-
woman lifted her down, and put her on the ground.
What can I show you, young ladies ?" said the
We have come to buy something for this little girl
to wear, Mrs. Jewett," said Maud.
"Yes, young ladies. Do you want a dress, or a
petticoat, or linen? asked Mrs. Jewett.
A DOIXEY'S LIFE.
"We want everything," said Camilla. "Give me
something to make under-linen, a petticoat, a dress, an
apron, a neckkerchief, and two caps."
Look here, Camilla," said Theresa, in a low voice,
"let me ask, as I am going to pay."
No," said Camilla, "you shall not pay all ; we want
to share it with you."
I would rather pay it alone," said Theresa ; "she
is my little girl."
No, she is not; she belongs to us all," replied
What do you young ladies want ? asked the shop-
woman, eager to sell her wares.
Whilst Camilla and Theresa were talking in whispers,
Maud and Eliza made haste to buy what was wanted.
"Good day, Mrs. Jewett," they said; please send
the things to us as quickly as you can, with the bill."
"What have you already bought the things ? "
cried Camilla and Theresa.
"Yes; while you were talking," said Maud, "we
have chosen everything that we want."
But you must ask us whether we like it," said
Of course you must, as I am going to pay," said
But we mean to pay as well, we mean to pay as
well," cried the other three in chorus.
"How much does it all come to ? asked Theresa.
Thirty-two shillings, Miss," said the shopwoman.
Thirty-two shillings cried Theresa ; "but I
only have a pound."
"Well, we will pay the rest," said Camilla.
So much the better," said Eliza ; "and then we
too shall have helped to dress the little girl."
At last we are agreed," said Maud, laughing,
"thanks to Mrs. Jewett, though it has not been
I had heard everything through the open door, and
THE BEGGAR GIRL.
was angry with Mrs. Jewett, who had made my good
little mistresses pay at least twice as much as the
things were worth. I had hoped that their mothers
would not let them go shopping. We went home, all
quite happy, thanks to Mrs. Jewett, as Maud had
It was fine weather, and their friends were all seated
on the lawn before the Hall when we arrived. Thomas,
Henry, Louis, and Jackie had been fishing in a pond
whilst we had been in the village. They had just
come back, with three large fish, and a lot of small
ones. Whilst Louis and Jackie took off' my saddle and
bridle, the four little cousins told their parents what
they had bought.
"How much money have you spent?" asked
Theresa blushed, and said:
There is nothing left, Mother."
You have spent a pound in dressing a child of six
or seven years old?" said Camilla's mother ; "that is
a great deal. What can you have bought ?"
Theresa did not even know what Maud and Eliza
had made such haste to buy, so that she could not
answer. But the shopkeeper arrived at that moment
with the parcel, to the great joy of Maud and Eliza,
who were beginning to fear that they had bought too
Good day, Mrs. Jewett," said the lady of the Hall.
"Undo your parcel here on the grass, and let us see
what these young ladies have bought."
Mrs. Jewett bowed, put down her parcel, undid it,
and took out the bill, which she gave to Maud. She
then spread out her wares.
Maud blushed as she took the bill. The lady took
it out of her hands, and cried out:
Thirty- two shillings to dress a little beggar-girl !
Mrs. Jewett," she said, severely, "you know very well
that the stuffs which you have brought are much too
A DONKEY'S LIFE.
smart and too dear for a poor child. You should have
shown them proper stuffs, and not have tried to palm
off on to them your old stock, which nobody else would
"As the young ladies have taken the things, they
must pay for them, Madam," said Mrs. Jewett.
"They shall pay nothing at all, and you must take
away all these things," said the lady, severely. "Leave
at once ; I shall send my lady's-maid to buy what is
wanted at Mrs. Jourdan's."
Mrs. Jewett went off in a terrible rage. I went
with her to the end of the path, braying and jumping
round her, which greatly amused the children, but she
knew that she was guilty, and feared that I was going
to punish her.
The children were scolded by their mothers, their
cousins laughed at them, and I stayed near eating
the grass, and watching them run, jump and play.
In the meantime I heard the gentlemen talking about
a hunting party for the next day, and learnt that
Thomas and Henry were to carry small guns and be
in the party, and that a young country neighbour was
to go with them.
A SHOOTING PARTY.
THE next day was the shooting party. Thomas
and Henry were ready before anybody else, as
they were going shooting for the first time ; they had
their guns and their game bags slung over their backs;
their eyes were bright with pleasure; they had a
proud look, which seemed to mean that all the game
A SHOOTING PARTY.
in the field would fall to their guns. I watched
them at a distance.
Thomas," said Henry, "when our game-bags are
full where shall we put the birds we shoot ?"
That is just what I was thinking," said Thomas,
I shall ask Father to take Napoleon."
This idea did not please me; I knew that young
boys shot everywhere and at everything. Aiming at
a bird they were just as likely to shoot me, and I
waited with fear for their father's answer.
Father," said Thomas, as soon as his father came,
"may we take Napoleon ? "
"What for? said his father, laughing; "do you
want to hunt on donkey-back and ride after the
birds! If so, you must first put some wings on
"No, Father," said Henry, who was vexed "we
want him to carry our game when our game-bags are
To carry your game !" said his Father, laughing;
" do you think, you silly boys, that you will kill any-
thing at all, much less a great deal? "
"Of course I do, Father," said Henry, crossly ; "I
have twenty shots in my pocket, and I shall shoot at
least fifteen birds."
Hah-hah-hah that's fine do you know what you
and your friend Augustus will shoot? "
What, Father? said Henry.
Nothing at all," said his father.
"Well, then," said Henry, "I do not know why
you have given us guns.
Their talk was stopped by Augustus' coming ; he
too was ready to shoot everything he met. Thomas
and Henry were still flushed with anger when Augustus
Father says we shall not shoot anything," said
Thomas; "we will show him that we are more skilful
than he thinks."
A DONKEY'S LIFE.
Never mind," said Augustus, "we will shoot more
game than they."
"Why more than they ?" asked Henry.
Because we are young and active and nimble," said
Augustus; and our fathers are all getting rather old."
Of course said Henry, "my father is forty-two,
and Thomas is fifteen, and I am thirteen; what a
And my father is forty-three and I am only
fourteen," said Augustus.
"Look here," said Thomas, without saying any-
thing to him I shall have the saddle put on Napoleon.
He will follow us, and we will make him carry our
That's right," said Augustus, "have the big
panniers put on him ; if we kill a roebuck it will take
up a great deal of room."
Henry was charged to see to this. I laughed in my
heart at them, for I was sure that I should not have to
carry a roebuck, and that I should come back as I
went, with my panniers empty.
Now, then, let us start," said the gentlemen. "We
will go first, and you young rascals can follow near.
When we get into the open we will divide."
Why is Napoleon following us with two great
panniers ? asked Thomas' father, with surprise.
It is for these young gentlemen's game," said the
"Ah, they would have their own way ; let it be so;
I am glad that Napoleon should join the shooting
party, if he has time to waste."
He looked with a smile at Thomas and Henry, who
put on a careless air.
"Is your gun cocked, Thomas ?" asked Henry.
No, not yet," answered Thomas; "it is so hard to
cock and uncock it that I would rather wait till a bird
Here we are in the open," said his Father ; "now
A SHOOTING PARTY.
let us walk all in a line and shoot straight in front of
us, and not to the right or the left, for fear of killing
It was not long before the birds rose on all sides.
I had wisely stayed behind, at some little distance;
and I was right, for more than one loitering dog
got hit with shot. The
dogs watched, pointed and
fetched, and shots were
going all along the line. I --
did not lose sight of the -
three boys. I often saw
them shoot, but never pick --
up anything. They got
angry, shot out of range,
now too far and now too
near; sometimes they all .
three aimed at the same
bird, who only flew off the
quicker for it. But their
parents were having good '
sport, for every shot there ,; _:
was a head of game in /
their bags. After two hours -- r
Thomas and Henry's father -
came up to them.
"Well, my boys, is Na-
poleon well loaded ? Is there any room left for me to
empty my game-bag, which is too full."
The children did not answer; they saw by their
father's joking manner that he knew of their want of
skill. I ran up, and showed one of my panniers.
"What! he said, "there is nothing inside ? your
game-bags will burst if you fill them too full."
The game-bags were flat and empty. Their father
laughed at the young sportsmen, got rid of his game
into one of my panniers, and went back to his dog,
who was pointing.
A DONKEY'S LIFE.
"Of course your father shoots any number of
birds!" said Augustus; "he has two dogs to point,
and we have not even one "
"That is true," said Henry; "perhaps we have
killed a lot of birds, only we have had no dog to
bring them to us."
"All the same I have not seen any fall."
"That is because a wounded bird never falls at
once," said Augustus; "it flies some way before it
"But," said Thomas, "when my father and my
uncles shoot their birds fall at once."
"It seems so to you," said Augustus, because you
are at a distance, but if you were in their place you
would see the bird flying for some time longer."
Thomas said nothing, but he did not look as if he
quite believed what Augustus said. They all walked
less proudly and lightly than when they started. They
began to ask the time.
"I am hungry," said Henry.
"I am thirsty," said Augustus.
I am tired," said Thomas.
But they were obliged to keep up with the sportsmen
who aimed, shot and enjoyed themselves. But they
did not forget their young friends, and so as not to
over-tire them, they proposed to stop and lunch.
They called in the dogs, and tied them up, and went
to a farm near at hand, where the lunch had been sent
from the Hall.
They seated themselves on the ground, under an
old oak tree, and spread out the contents of the
basket. All the sportsmen, young and old, were very
hungry, and ate well. However, the lady at the Hall
had sent so many good things that half were left for
the gamekeepers and the farm people.
"You have not been very lucky, boys," said
Augustus's Father ; "Napoleon does not walk like
an overloaded donkey."
A SHOOTING PARTY.
It is no wonder, Father, for we had no dogs," said
Augustus ; "you had them all."
So you think that two or three dogs would have
made you shoot the birds which passed under your
noses ? "
They would not have made us shoot them, Father,
but they would have looked for them and brought
back those we have killed, and then-"
Those you have killed said his father, in a tone
of surprise. Do you really think you have killed
anything then ?"
Of course we have, Father, only as we did not see
them fall we could not pick them up."
And do you think that if they had fallen you
would not have seen them ? "
No," said Augustus, "because we have not as
good eyes as the dogs."
His father, uncles, and even the gamekeepers burst
out laughing, which made the boys red with anger.
All right, then ; if it is for lack of the dogs that
your game has been lost, you shall each have one when
we go back to our sport."
"But," said Thomas, "the dogs will not follow us,
they do not know us as well as they know you."
"We will give you the two gamekeepers to make
them follow you, and we will not start for half an hour
after you have gone, so that the dogs shall not come
Oh, thank you, Father, how jolly cried Peter;
"with the dogs we are sure to shoot as much game as
When lunch was over, and everybody had rested,
the young sportsmen were in a hurry to start off with
the dogs and gamekeepers.
Now we look like real sportsmen," they said.
So they started off once more, with me well in the
rear, as before lunch. Their fathers had told the
gamekeepers to walk near the boys to prevent any
A DONKEY'S LIFE.
folly. The birds rose on all sides, and the boys shot
as they did in the morning. The dogs did their
work well ; they searched, they pointed, only they did
not bring back anything, because there was nothing to
bring. At last Augustus, tired of firing and killing
nothing, saw one of the dogs pointing, and thinking
that by firing before the bird rose he would kill it
more easily, he aimed and shot, and the dog fell with
a cry of pain.
Good Heavens, it is our best dog!" cried the
gamekeeper, rushing to him.
When he reached the spot the dog was dead. The
shot had gone through his head, and he was quite
You have made a fine shot now, Master Augustus,"
said the gamekeeper, as he laid the poor animal down.
" The sport is ended now, I should think."
Augustus stood in silence. Thomas and Henry
were crying over the death of the dog, whilst the
gamekeeper kept in his anger and looked on without
I came near to see who was the poor victim of the
awkward, vain Augustus. What was my grief in
seeing Medora, my best friend! And great was my
horror when I saw the gamekeeper raise Medora and
lay him in one of the panniers which I carried on my
back! This then was the game which I was to carry
home-my friend Medora killed by a naughty, vain,
We went back to the farm. The boys were silent,
the gamekeeper had an angry look, and I only found
comfort in thinking of the good scolding and punish-
ment that Augustus would get.
We found the sportsmen still at the farm, resting
and awaiting the return of the children.
Already they cried, as they saw us coming.
I think," said Peter's father, that they have
killed some big game ; Napoleon walks as if he were
A SHOOTING PARTY.
loaded, and one of the panniers is weighed down as if
it held something heavy."
They got up and came to meet us; the boys stayed
behind, and their troubled looks struck the gentlemen.
They do not look like victors," said Augustus's
Perhaps," said Thomas's father, "they have killed
a calf or a sheep, which they have taken for a rabbit."
"What is the matter, Michael ? he asked, as the
gamekeeper drew near. "You look as sad as the
"For a very good reason, sir," the gamekeeper
said ; "we bring back sorry game."
---- -'g--- --- -- --.i. ;=_ _-=~;-~- ~ --I
"What ? said the gentleman, still laughing. A
sheep, a calf, or the foal of an ass ? "
"Oh, sir, it is no laughing matter," said Michael.
"It is your dog Medora, the best of the pack,
that Master Augustus has killed in mistake for a
"Medora! The clumsy idiot! I will never let him
shoot again. Come here, Augustus," said his father;
"look what your silly vanity and your conceit have
led you to. Say good-bye to your friends, sir, and go
at once to the house ; carry your gun into my room,
and do not touch it again until you have learnt sense
A DONKEY'S LIFE.
But, father," said Augustus, in a dont-care manner,
"I don't know why you should be so angry; dogs get
killed in shooting."
Dogs! Dogs get killed! cried his father, amazed.
"Really that is rather too much! Where did you get
those fine ideas of sport, sir ? "
"But, father," said Augustus, with the same air,
"everybody knows that good sportsmen often kill their
My good friends," said his father, turning towards
the other gentlemen, "pray forgive me for bringing
such an ill-bred boy amongst you. I did not think
he could be so rude and silly." Then turning towards
his son, he said:
"You have heard my order, sir. Go! "
"But, father," Augustus persisted-
"Silence! said his father, severely. Not another
Augustus bowed his head and went away cowed.
You see, my boys," said the other boys' father,
"to what vanity will lead us. What has happened
to Augustus might very easily have happened to you.
You all thought that nothing was easier than to shoot
well ; that the wish was enough to make you able to
do it. You have all three been very silly ever since
this morning, and you are all three the cause of my
poor Medora's death. I see that you are too young
to be trusted with guns. In a year or two we shall
see; in the meantime, go back to your gardens and
your toys, and it will be the better for everyone."
Thomas and Henry hung their heads, and sadly
went home. The children wished to bury my poor
friend themselves in the garden.
CHAPTER XV. /
T HOMAS and Camilla were to be godfather and
godmother to a little baby whose mother had
been nurse to Camilla, and Camilla wanted her god-
child to be named after her.
But Thomas said, "I am the godfather, and I
have the right to give her a name, and I want her to
be called Thomasina."
Thomasina! but that is a frightful name I will
not have her called Thomasina. She shall be called
Camilla. I am the godmother, and I have a right
to call her after myself."
I say the godfather has the chief right, and I
shall call her Thomasina."
"If she is called Thomasina I will not be god-
And if she is called Camilla I will not be god-
Very well. You can do as you like. I shall ask
Father to be godfather instead of you."
And as for you, I shall ask Mother to be god-
mother instead of you."
"Well, I am quite sure my aunt will not have
her called Thomasina. It is ugly and silly," said
And I am certain that my uncle will not have her
called Camilla. It is horrid and stupid."
Then why did they call me Camilla? Do you
mean to say that it is a horrid and stupid name ? Go
and tell them that, my fine fellow, and you will soon
see what they will say."
"Well, you can say what you like, but I tell you I
will not be godfather to a Camilla."
A DONKEY'S LIFE.
"Father," said Camilla, running to meet her father,
" will you be godfather with me to little Camilla? "
What Camilla, my pet ? asked her father; I do
not know any Camilla but you."
My little goddaughter, Father, whom I want to
call Camilla when she is christened to-day."
"But Thomas is going to be godfather with you,
and there are never two godfathers," said her father.
But, Father, Thomas does not want to stand now."
Now ? What is the meaning of this? asked her
He thinks Camilla is a horrid, stupid name, and
he wants her to be called Thomasina."
"Thomasina! Why that is indeed a horrid and
stupid name," said her father.
"That is just what I told him, but he will not
listen to me," said Camilla.
"Look here, dear child, try to agree with your
cousin. But if he will not be godfather unless the
baby is called Thomasina, I will gladly take his
Whilst Camilla was talking to her father, Thomas
had run to his mother.
"Mother," he said, will you take Camilla's place
and be godmother with me to the little baby ? "
"Why should I take Camilla's place ? Nurse
wanted her to be the godmother," said his mother.
"Because she wants the baby to be called Camilla.
I think it is a very ugly name, and as I am to be god-
father, I want her to be called Thomasina."
"Thomasina! But that is a horrid name! Thomas
is all very well, but Thomasina is ugly," said his
Oh, Mother, please-please-let me call her
Thomasina. Anyhow, I do not want her to be called
But if neither of you will give way, what is to be
That is just why I have come to ask you to take
Camilla's place, and to name the baby Thomasina,"
"But, my dear Thomas, I tell you frankly I do not
like Thomasina any more than Camilla does, be-
cause it is an ugly name," said his mother; and
besides, the baby's mother was Camilla's nurse, not
yours, and it is Camilla whom she wishes to be her
baby's godmother, and I think that it will please her
to have the baby called after Camilla."
Very well ; then I will not be the godfather!"
At that moment Camilla ran up.
"Well, Thomas," she cried, "have you made up
your mind ? They are going to start in an hour, and
there must be a godfather."
I do not want her to be called Thomasina, but I
will not have her called Camilla."
If you will give up Thomasina, I am quite ready
to give up Camilla," said his cousin. "I tell you
what we will do, let us go and ask nurse what name
she would like to give her little girl."
You are right," agreed Thomas; "go and ask her."
Camilla ran off and soon came back.
"Thomas," she cried, "nurse would like her little
girl to be called Maria Camilla."
"But did you ask whether she would not like
her to be called Thomasina, as I am godfather ?"
"Yes, I asked her, but sle only laughed, and
mother laughed too," said Camilla. They both said
that Thomasina was too ugly."
Thomas blushed a little, for he himself was getting
to think that Thomasina was an ugly name; and
he sighed, but said nothing.
"Where are the sugar-plums ?" he asked.
"In a large basket," said Camilla. Everything
is ready ; come and see what a lot there are."
A DONKEY'S LIFE.
They ran into a small room where everything was
"What are all these pennies for ? asked Thomas.
"There are almost as many pennies as sugar-plums."
"They are to throw among the school-children,"
"What! among the school-children ? Are we going
to school, then, after the christening? asked Thomas.
No," said Camilla ; they are to be thrown among
them at the door of the church. All the village chil-
dren will be there; we shall throw handfuls of sugar-
plums and pence among them, and they will scramble
"Have you ever seen sugar-plums thrown like
that?" asked Thomas.
No, never," said Camilla, but they say it is great
"I don't think I shall like it," said Thomas; "they
will fight for them and hurt each other. And besides,
I don't like throwing sugar-plums to children as if
they were dogs."
Camilla! Thomas! come, here is the baby; they
will soon be ready," cried Maud, quite out of breath.
And they all started off to meet the baby.
"Oh, how grand our godchild looks!" cried
Everybody was ready, and Camilla and Thomas
were very proud of riding in the carriage like grown-
up people. They started off, whilst I waited with the
children's chaise. Louis, Henrietta, Jackie, and Janie
got inside, Maud and Eliza went in front to lead me,
and Henry clung on behind.
I started off at a trot, in spite of the load which I
had ; my pride urged me to get past the carriage. I
went like the wind, and the children were pleased.
"Bravo they cried. "Well done! Keep on
fast! Long live Napoleon, the prince of donkeys!"
They clapped their hands and shouted.
"Bravo! cried the people we passed on the road;
"there's a donkey for you! he goes like a horse!
Good luck to you, and do not come to grief"
The fathers and mothers wanted me to stop, but I
would not listen, and only ran the faster. It was
not long before I passed the horses, and they also
wanted to gallop, but the coachman held them in, and
they were obliged to go slowly, while I went faster
By the time the carriage came to the church all the
children had got out of the chaise, and I had gone
under a hedge in the shade, for I was hot and out of
breath. When their parents came up they praised me
for going so fast.
The fact is the chaise and I looked very well; I
was well brushed and groomed, my harness was bright
and shining, and was smart with red bows, and they
had put some red flowers at my ears.
As soon as little Maria Camilla was christened,
they came out of the church to throw the sugar-plums
and pennies among the children who waited at the
door. As soon as the godfather and godmother came
out the children cheered them.
The basket of sugar-plums was ready to be given
to Camilla, whilst Thomas had the basket of pennies.
Camilla took a handful and threw them among the
children, who had a fight for them.
When the others were getting into my chaise, their
fathers and mothers wished to go with them.
"Napoleon has beaten the horses," said Camilla's
mother, and now he can go back quietly, so that we
can go with you."
We were soon at the Hall, and the party got out of
the chaise to go and take off their best frocks; my
bows and flowers were also taken off, and I ate some
grass whilst the children had their dinner.
A DONKEY'S LIFE.
THE LEARNED DONKEY.
ONE day I saw the children run to the field where
I was quietly feeding, quite near to the Hall.
Louis and Jackie were playing close to me, and jumping
on to my back. They thought they were as clever as
circus-riders, but I must say they were rather clumsy.
Dear little Jackie, who was fat, round and smaller than
his cousin, was the worst. Louis sometimes got on
by clinging to my tail, and Jackie tried hard to get
up too, but the good little dumpling rolled over, and
never got up without the help of his cousin, who was a
little older than he was.
I had just placed myself near a little hill to save
them so much trouble, when we heard the others
running towards us.
Jackie Louis they cried, "we are going to have
such a treat; we are going to the fair the day after
to-morrow, and we shall see a learned donkey."
"A learned donkey What is a learned donkey ?"
A donkey that does all sorts of tricks," Eliza
What tricks ? again asked Jackie.
Why, tricks-all sorts of tricks," said Maud.
"He will never do anything like Napoleon," said
*"Pooh!" said Henry; "Napoleon is very good
and very clever for a donkey, but he could never do
what the learned donkey at the fair will do."
"I am quite sure if somebody showed him how to
do it he would do it," said Camilla.
"First let us see what this learned donkey does,
and then we shall see if he is cleverer than Napoleon,"
7- ---- ~-* -._
THE LEARNED DONKEY.
A DONKEY'S LIFE.
Thomas is right," said Camilla ; let us wait till
after the fair."
Jackie and Louis then said something to each other,
and when the other children had gone, and they were
quite sure that nobody could see, they began dancing
round me, laughing and singing:
"Napoleon, Napoleon, come to the Fair!
To look at the learned donkey there;
Watch him well, and then you will be
Every bit as clever as he.
Then every one will want to see;
All the world will honour thee.
Napoleon, Napoleon, come to the Fair!
And see if you don't make the people stare."
"What we are singing is very pretty," said Jackie,
stopping all at once.
Of course it is very pretty ; it is poetry," said
Poetry?" said Jackie; "I thought it was very hard
to make poetry."
If you are not hard to please,
I can make yon rhymes with the greatest ease."
"There is some more for you."
"Let us run and tell our cousins," said Jackie.
"No, no! said Louis; "if they were to hear our
verses they would guess what we are going to do ; we
must surprise them at the fair."
But do you think that Father and Uncle will let
us take Napoleon to the fair ? asked Jackie.
Of course they will," said Louis, "when we have
told them the secret of why we want Napoleon to see
the learned donkey."
"Let us go quickly and ask them," said Jackie.
Just as they were running to the house they met
their fathers, who were coming to see what they were
THE LEARNED DONKEY.
"Father Father!" they cried, "come quickly, we
want to ask you something."
"Well, children, what do you want ? said their
"Not here, Father, not here," they said, each dragging
his father towards the field.
"Well, what is it ?" said Louis's father, laughing.
"Hush, Father! hush! You know that the day
after to-morrow there is to be a learned donkey at the
fair ? said Louis.
No," said his father, I did not know; but what
have learned donkeys to do with us, who have Napo-
That is just what we were saying, Father," said
Louis, that Napoleon is cleverer than all of them.
My sisters and cousins are going to the fair to see this
donkey, and what we want is to take Napoleon there,
so that he may see what the donkey does, and do like
What ? said Jackie's father; "you want to take
Napoleon into the crowd to look at this donkey ?"
Yes," said Jackie ; "instead of going in the chaise
we will ride on Napoleon, and will stand quite near
to the ring where the learned donkey will do his
I do not mind," said Jackie's father, but I don't
think Napoleon will learn much in a single lesson."
Will you not, Napoleon? You will do just as
well as this stupid learned donkey, will you not ?"
Jackie looked at me so uneasily while asking this
question, that I began to bray to set him at rest,
although I was laughing at his fears.
There! do you hear, Father? Napoleon says
yes," cried Jackie.
The two gentlemen began to laugh, kissed their
dear little boys, and walked off, saying that I should
go to the fair, and that they would go with the children
A DONKEY'S LIFE.
Ah I said to myself, they doubt my skill. It
is strange that children should have more sense than
The day of the fair came at last. An hour before
we started they looked after me, and brushed me till
I was tired, and put on a new saddle and bridle.
Louis and Jackie asked leave to start first.
"Why do you want to go first?" asked Henry;
"and how are you going ?"
"We are going on Napoleon," said Louis, "and we
want to start first as we shall not go quickly."
"Are you two going alone ? asked Henry.
No, Father and Uncle are going with us," said
"It will be very slow work to go for a mile at
walking pace," said Henry.
"Oh, we shall not find it dull with our fathers,"
"I would much rather go in the chaise, we shall
get there long before you," said Henry.
No you will not," said Jackie, as we shall start
long before you."
Just then I was brought up to the door, looking
very smart. Their fathers were ready, and put the
little boys on my back. I started off slowly, so that
they should not have to run.
In about an hour we came to the field where the
fair was to be held. There was already a great crowd
near to the ring marked out by a cord, inside which the
learned donkey was to show his tricks. The fathers
.of my two little friends put them and me quite close
to the cord. My other little masters and mistress
soon came, and took their places close to us.
A banging of drums showed that my learned brother
was about to come out. All eyes were fixed on the
door, which opened at last, and the learned donkey
came out. He was thin and small, and looked sad.
His master called him, and he came slowly, with a
THE LEARNED DONKEY.
look of fear. I then guessed that the poor animal had
been taught his tricks by being beaten.
Ladies and gentlemen," said the master, I have
the honour of bringing to you Desmond, the prince of
donkeys. This donkey, ladies and gentlemen, is not
such a donkey as his brothers. He is a learned don-
key, more wise than many among you ; he is the best
of donkeys, and has not his equal. Come, Desmond,
.-- .. .... ----
show what you can do, and bow to the ladies and
gentlemen like a well-bred donkey."
I was proud, and this talk made me angry.
Desmond walked three steps forward, and bowed his
head in a patient way.
Go, Desmond, and take this nosegay to the prettiest
I smiled as I saw all hands half held out to take
the nosegay. Desmond went round the ring, and
stopped and laid the flowers down before a big, ugly
A DONKEY'S LIFE.
woman, who I found out was his master's wife, and
who had some sugar in her hand.
This want of taste made me angry. I jumped over
the cord into the ring, to the great surprise of the
people. I bowed right and left, and walked up to the
big woman. I snatched the nosegay from her, and
going to Camilla, I laid it on her lap. I then went
back to my place, amidst the cheers of the people.
Nobody knew what this meant. Some people thought
it had been settled before, and that there were two
learned donkeys. Others who saw me with my little
masters, and who knew me, were amused at my wit.
Desmond's master seemed very much vexed, but
Desmond himself did not seem to mind me. I began
to think that he was really stupid, which is very rare
When the people were quiet again, the master
called Desmond, saying, Come, Desmond, show these
ladies and gentlemen that you know folly as well as
beauty. Take this cap, and put it on the head of the
most silly person here."
And he gave him a fine fool's-cap with bells and
ribbons of all colours. Desmond took it in his teeth
and went to a great red-faced boy, who bent his head
for the cap. It was easy to see, by his likeness to the
big woman, that he was the son of the master.
Now," thought I, is the time to pay them out for
the unkind words of that stupid "
And before they could think of stopping me I once
more jumped into the ring, ran up to my mate, and
snatched away the fool's-cap just as he was about to put
it on the big boy's head. Before the master had time to
look round I ran to him and put my front feet on his
shoulders, and tried to fix the cap upon his head. He
pushed me roughly away, and became more and more
angry as the people shouted, Hurrah for the donkey!
He is the true learned donkey!"
At last I was nimble enough to push the cap down
THE LEARNED DONKEY. 85
over his head as far as his chin, and then skipped
away ; but as he could not see, he began turning about
and jumping. Then I began to do like him, turning
about'and jumping, hee-hawing in his ears, and stand-
ing on my hin'd legs.
I cannot tell you how the people laughed, shouted
and clapped. Never before had any donkey had such
success as I did. Hundreds of people got inside the
ring to stroke me, pat me, and look at me near. Those
who knew me were proud to tell my name to those
who did not know me. They told lots of stories, true
and false, about me. They said I had put out a fire
by working the fire-engine all alone ; I had climbed
upstairs and opened my mistress's door and taken her
out of her bed, and then jumped out of the window with
her on my back. Another time they said I had killed
fifty robbers all by myself, one after another, with my
teeth, and I had afterwards set free from the dungeons
150 people, whom the robbers had tied up to fatten for
A DONKEY'S LIFE.
eating. Another time I had beaten the best horses in
the country at the races, and I had gone fifty miles in
five hours without stopping.
As such news spread, my fame grew ; they crowded
round me till I was choking for air; the police were
obliged to send the crowd away. Their parents had
taken away the children as soon as the people began
to crowd round me. I could hardly get away, even
with the help of the police, and was obliged to give a
few bites here and there, and even a few kicks; but
I took care to hurt nobody, but only to frighten them
so that I could pass.
When I was free I tried to find Louis and Jackie,
but could not see them anywhere. I did not want my
dear little masters to walk all the way back. Without
losing my time in hunting for them, I ran to the stable
where the horses and chaise were always put up. I
went in, but they had all gone. So I started off at
full gallop on the road which led to the Hall, and was
not long in catching them up.
"Napoleon There is Napoleon! all the children
cried when they saw me. They all stopped; Jackie
and Louis ask leave to get out and walk home, so that
they could stroke me and praise me, and the rest of
the children did the same.
You see," said Louis and Jackie, that we knew
him better than you did. Look how clever he has
been. How well he saw through the tricks of that
stupid Desmond and his horrid master."
So he did," said Thomas; but I should like
to know why he wanted so much to put the fool's-cap
on to the master. Did he know that the man was
a silly, and that a fool's-cap is a sign of folly ? "
Of course he did," said Camilla; "he had sense
enough for that."
"Ha, ha! You say so because he gave you the
nosegay for the prettiest girl there," said Eliza.
"No, I do not; I was not thinking of that; and
THE LEARNED DONKEY,
now that you speak of it, I wonder that he did not
take it to my mother, for she was the prettiest lady
there," said Camilla.
"What a pity it is that Napoleon cannot talk,"
said Henrietta ; "what stories he could tell us! "
Who can say that he does not know what we
talk about ? said Eliza. I have read the 'Story
of a Doll,' and a doll does not look as if she could
know anything ; yet that doll wrote that she saw and
"And do you believe that ?" asked Henry.
Of course I do," said Eliza.
But how could the doll write ? asked Henry.
"She wrote at night with a pen made of a little
bird's feather, and she hid her writing under her bed,"
Do not believe such silly nonsense, poor little
Eliza," said Maud; "it was a lady who wrote the
'Story of a Doll,' and she made believe to be a doll and
write as if she was one, to make the book more funny."
Then you do not think that it was a real doll who
wrote," asked Eliza.
No, of course not," said Camilla. How could a
doll who is not alive, but is only made of wood or
stuffed with bran, know how to write? "
Talking thus we arrived at the Hall; the children
all ran to their grandmother, who had stayed at home,
to tell her all that I had done, and how I had pleased
He is really a wonder, our Napoleon," she cried,
coming to pat me. 1 knew that donkeys were clever,
but I never saw any like Napoleon. I must say that
the people are very unjust to donkeys."
I turned to her and looked my thanks.
One would really think that he knew what was
said," she went on. "Poor Napoleon, I shall never
sell you as long as I live, and I will have you cared
for just as if you knew what went on around you."
. A DONKEY'S LIFE.
I sighed as I thought of my old mistress's age ; she
was seventy, and I was only nine or ten.
As for the poor master of the learned donkey, I was
very sorry later on for the trick I had played him,
and you shall see the harm I did by trying to show how
clever I was.
T HE vain boy Augustus, who had killed the poor
dog, was allowed to come back to the Hall. He
was a coward who was always talking of his courage.
One day when he came with his father on a visit, and the
children wanted to take him for a
walk in the park, Camilla, who was
running on in front, quickly jumped
to one side and cried out.
"What is the matter?" asked
/' -. Thomas, running to her.
I was afraid of a frog that jumped
Son my foot," said she.
yi "Are you afraid offrogs, Camilla?"
said Augustus. I am not afraid of
"Then why did you start so the
other day when I told you there
was a spider on your arm ?" asked
"Because I did not know what you said."
"But it was quite plain."
Of course it was if I had heard well, but I thought
you said,' There is a spider on the ground,' and I only
j umped to one side to see it better, that's all."
"That is not true," said Thomas, "for you cried
out as you jumped, 'Thomas, take it off me,
"I meant, Take yourself off, so that I can see it
better,'" said Augustus.
"He is telling a story," said Maud, in a whisper
I know he is," she said.
I heard their talk, and made use of it, as you will
see. The children were sitting on the grass, when I
saw a little green frog quite close to Augustus. I
went near and quietly took the frog and dropped it in
the half open pocket of the boy. Then I went away,
so that Augustus should not guess that I had made
him the present.
I could not quite hear what they said, but I knew
that Augustus was still boasting that he was not afraid
of anything, even lions. The children were laughing
at him, when he put his hand in his pocket for some-
thing. He quickly drew it out with a cry of fear.
Take it away, take it away !-please, please!
Help me, help me !"
What is the matter, Augustus ? said Camilla,
half laughing, and half afraid.
"An animal," cried Augustus; "oh, please take it
What animal? Where is it ? "
"In my pocket. I felt it and touched it. Take it
away, oh, please do! I am afraid of it."
"Take it out yourself, you coward," said Henry,
"That's a good joke," said Eliza. He is afraid
of an animal that he has in his pocket, and he wants
us to take it out when he dares not touch it himself."
The children, who had at first been afraid, now
laughed at the faces Augustus was making. He felt
the frog in his pocket, and his fear grew worse at every
twist the frog made. At last, almost mad with fear,
A DONKEY'S LIFE.
and not knowing how else to get rid of it, he pulled off
his coat and threw it on the ground. The children
ran up to his coat, shouting with glee. Henry opened
the pocket, and the little frog, seeing the light, jumped
out of the opening in great fear and haste to find a
The enemy is gone," laughed Camilla ; "take care
that he does not run after you."
Do not come near, he will eat you up !"
"Nothing is so fierce as a frog "
"Now if it were only a lion, Augustus would have
thrown himself on it, but all his courage -could not
save him from the claws of a frog! "
And you forget its teeth!"
"You can put on your coat," said Jackie, as he
caught the frog, I have the enemy safe."
Augustus stood silent and ashamed,
Sias the children joked and laughed.
"Help him to dress," cried Thomas,
"he has not strength to put on his
Take care that there is not a fly
Sor a gnat on it," said Henry, "that
would be a new danger !"
-. Augustus tried to run away, but
they all ran after him,-Thomas with
his coat, and the others trying to stop the road. It
was a funny chase for all but Augustus, who, red
with shame and anger, dodged right and left, but
could not get away from the enemy. I joined, and
ran after him, braying in his ears, and trying to
seize him by the clothes. Once I got hold of them,
but he pulled so hard that the piece of stuff stayed
between my teeth, at which the children laughed all
the more. At last I got well hold of him, and he
cried out so loud that I thought I must have got hold
of more than the cloth. Thomas and Henry came
up to him first, and he tried to get away from them
again, but I pulled him a little, which made him as
quiet as a lamb, whilst they put on his coat. I let
him go as soon as they were done, and went away
very well pleased that I had been able to make him
look so foolish. He never knew how the frog got into
his pocket, and he never spoke of his courage again
before the children.
I OUGHT to have been satisfied, but I was not. I
still hated Augustus so much, that I paid him out
again by a trick that I have since been very sorry for.
After the day when I put the frog in his pocket, we
got rid of him for a long time. But his father brought
him again one day.
"How shall we amuse this boy ?" asked Thomas of
Let us go with him for a donkey ride in the wood.
Augustus can ride the donkey from the farm, and you
can go on your pony."
"That is a good idea," said Thomas, "if only he
He must go; get the pony and the donkeys
ready, and then you can mount him on his."
Thomas went to look for Augustus, whom he found
teasing Louis and Jackie.
Do you want me ? he said. You look as though
you were coming to fetch me."
Yes, I was coming to ask you if you would like a
donkey ride," said Thomas, coldly. "We shall be
ready in a quarter of an hour, if you care to come for
a ride in the woods with Henry and me."
I should like it very much," said Augustus.