'ne Baldwin Library
SKETCHES OF ANIMAL BIOGRAPHY.
SKETCHES OF ANIMAL BIOGRAPHY.
AUTHOR OF 'UNDER THE LIME-TREES,'
'AUNT ANNIE'S STORIES,'
With Twenty-two Illustrations by E. Bayard and E. Griset.
SEELEY, JACKSON, & HALLIDAY, FLEET STREET.
CAPTAIN WOLF . .
GUY'S TWO HOMES. . . .
TINY AND FURRY, OR THE LIFE AND TIMES OF A BEAVER . . . FOX AND HIS FAMILY . . . .
THE KING OF THE POULTRY-YARD. ROBIN'S E XPERIENCES. . . .
MOTHER RAT AND HER LITTLE ONES .
THE WOLF AND THE GOAT (Frontispiece).
THE DEATH OF THE REINDEER 5
A DANGEROUS FRIEND is
THE OLD GARDEN 24
A NEW ACQUAINTANCE 68
GUY AND FLOSS 74
COMPANIONS IN MISFORTUNE. 84
THE CHIEF ENGINEER 102
BEAVERS GNAWING DOWN A TREE 103
A CULPRIT EXPELLED ILI 8
TAKING A HOUSE 145
FOX IN TROUBLE 16o
THE FOX AND THE KITE 170
A POACHER 1182
MORTIFIED PRIDE 200
A MIDNIGHT ATTACK A LAZY DONKEY THE HARE'S MAN(EUVRE THE RAT AND THE PIGEON A DISAGREEABLE VISITOR WATCHING THE RATHOLE THE EMIGRATION OF THE RATS
272 278 286
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'BE it ever so humble there's no place like home,' is often said, and, perhaps, still oftener thought, when weary folks turn homeward from a hard day's work, and look forward to the rest and quiet of their home, wherever it may be. And if men and women often think this thought, who shall say that four-legged animals do not experience similar sensations of satisfaction when they approach the places that for the time being they consider their homes, or that the rough heart of a certain grey wolf with which we are about to make acquaintance did not swell with satisfaction and contentment when, after a long day of weary and almost fruitless hunting, he found himself at liberty to stretch
2 captain TV04f
himself to rest among the moss and dry leaves that formed the carpet of his dwelling.
His was by no means a lonely or melancholy home, for it was shared by several of his own species, who, having already returned from the day's labours, were scattered about the cave in various attitudes of repose.
It was pleasant indeed to rest his weary limbs, and yet, in common with all his companions, Mr. Wolf had one source of discontent which marred his happiness and prevented him from sinking readily into the sweet repose that he so much coveted. Nor was it a trifle that thus interfered with his comfort; it was a grievance of long standing, in fact, our friend could scarcely remember the time when it had not existed and been the chief topic of complaint among his associates. It was nothing more nor less than the scarcity of provisions; for, work as hard as they might, one and all felt that their utmost exertions would soon be unavailing to supply their wants. For a long time the society had been at a loss to account for this lamentable state of things, but by degrees the conviction had become general that they were growing too well
Ca lain Wo4f
known in the neighbourhood, and that it would shortly be necessary to change their head-quarters and remove to a distance.
But their present dwelling was so commodious, so easy of access, and yet so secure, that not one of the band had as yet given utterance to his thoughts, or expressed more discontent than he could avoid.
On this particular evening, however, matters appeared to be worse than usual, for a good deal of low growling was heard from time to time, and few of the party seemed able to settle off comfortably to sleep. Suddenly a sharp, loud growl from a wolf who was crouching close to the entrance caused all the others immediately to raise their heads; and when their comrade started to his feet and repeated his warning cry, the rest were not slow in following his example.
That cry said plainly, 'Something to cat,' and such welcome news made each famished wolf hurry to the cave's entrance to ascertain what it was. There, as plain as possible, through the brushwood that covered their hole, they discovered a huge reindeer stalking slowly along, apparently as yet
4 Caplaw Wo6r
unconscious of the enemies who were lurking so near. And yet, no, at this moment, he has caught a scent that terrifies him, or heard a rustling that reminds him of previous narrow escapes and fearful alarms; for he throws back his head and begins to run wildly about as if in mortal terror. Ah, poor reindeer, your fate is sealed; the starving wolves are on your track, and there is little chance of your being able to baffle them.
And so indeed the reindeer seemed to think, or perhaps terror deprived him of all power of running away, for in an amazingly short space of time the whole herd were upon him, some hanging on his flanks or gnawing his legs, while the one that gave the alarm and led the attack had fixed his sharp fangs in his throat and was sucking his life's blood.
Short work indeed they made with the poor reindeer, whose bones might have been seen the next day scattered hither and thither, as if to warn other reindeer not to venture near the fatal spot.
Licking their lips, the victorious wolves returned to their cave, feeling wonderfully better
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for their supper, though they could easily have disposed of more reindeer if they had been able to get them. Still, now that the pangs of hunger were somewhat allayed and their prospects looked
proportionably higher, the troop indulged in some sound sleep and awoke much refreshed.
The next day being a fortunate one, our friend's anxieties 'were considerably lightened, and he ceased to think about removing his haunt to
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a distance. He had a great deal to occupy him, for the cares and joys of a young family soon distracted his thoughts from other things.
Four as hopeful young wolves as ever rejoiced a parent's heart had been presented to him by their proud mother, and till they were able to shift for themselves of course it would be impossible to change his residence. It is true that at first he found it hard to admire the four young ones as much as their mother seemed to expect; and being exceedingly hungry the day when they first saw the light, he could hardly resist the strong desire that impelled him to try how they would taste. They looked so dull and stupid that it seemed almost incredible that they could ever turn out respectable wolves; and as it was an established law among his race that any weak or defective creature should be destroyed, the poor mother found it hard to persuade him to allow her to keep them till it should be plain whether they would ever be effective members of society.
But when, after the lapse of some days, the young cubs opened their eyes and began to roll and tumble about in a very sturdy fashion, their
Captain Wo4f 7
father changed his mind, and began to think them very creditable-looking young animals, whom he should not be ashamed toown before the whole troop. Thenceforward his time was fully occupied, for the young folk required a great deal of care and instruction, and such quantities of food, that their father had no reason to doubt that they had that keen appetite which distinguishes every bold and courageous wolf.
It was very interesting work to take them out and teach them the first rudiments of hunting, and both father and mother watched with delight the zeal and enthusiasm with which the four cubs caught up every atom of information which could be of use to them; and when the snow began to fall and lay thick on the ground how the cold seemed to whet their appetite, and make them more and more eager to try their skill, instead of trusting to the supplies brought them by their parents. There was no longer any need to fear that they would be a disgrace to their tribe; on the contrary, their father was firmly convinced that there was not a young wolf belonging to the troop that had such sterling qualities as his eldest
son. Nothing seemed to daunt his spirit or quench his love of adventure; he had such a wild, fierce eye, such a light, silent step, such strength in his jaws, and such vigour in all his limbs, that his father never looked at him without secretly prophesying that he would be the glory of his race. It had been no trouble whatever to teach him those arts that are considered so indispensably necessary to the education of wolves : to bear pain without uttering cries, to manage the feet so as to leave the least possible trace, and to cfface that trace in snow and dust by using the tail as a broom ; all these things, besides the secrets of hunting, the young wolf learned in half the time his father had anticipated, so that when the latter left his family as the winter advanced to seek better hunting-grounds elsewhere, he had little left to learn.
For it had been fully determined in a solemn meeting held by the troop in the cave that the time had come when it wa:s absolutely necessary to leave the neighbourhood, All the farmers for miles round had become fully aware of their presence, and a stray shot or two had already de-
Captain Wo f 9
proved them of some of their number. The cows and reindeer seemed always on the watch for their approach, and even the smaller animals lived in a constant state of alarm.
Such being the case, and the season being so far advanced that the cubs had no longer any need of their protection, the whole troop resolved to depart on the morrow.
It was with some regret that our wolf thought of the approaching separation from his beloved son, but old traditions warning him that to keep the young ones under his own eyes would infallibly weaken their powers of self-defence and render them childish and timid, he resolved to adhere to hereditary customs and depart with the rest. Occupied with these thoughts he had failed to hear much of the discussion that had followed the rcsolution to relinquish their present quarters, and was therefore much surprised to find, on rousing himself from his abstraction, that another subject was under consideration. An old wolf had suggested that it had often been observed that no society flourished which had not a ruling spirit as its head, and that being met as they then were
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to consider how the circumstances of the band might be improved, he thought it would not be amiss to reflect whether the choice of a leader might not render their operations more effective.
This proposal had naturally produced an exhibition of strong feeling, for as there were many ambitious spirits present, it soon became evident that these would object greatly to submit to any rule, unless it could be made evident that the chosen leader was greatly their superior, and this they declared could hardly be, unless their old friend, who could, on account of his age, lay claim to greater experience than any one else, would himself assume the dignity.
But this the old wolf declined, alleging it was imperatively necessary that the chief of a warlike host should be in full possession of his powers, mental as well as bodily; and that if at present he could lay claim to possessing the entire use of his senses, his bodily strength bad long been failing; still, if they thought his opinion worth having, he would willingly tell them who he deemed the fittest for the post.
With deep growls of applause, the whole troop
signified their willingness to abide by his decision; but what was the surprise of our wolf to hear himself named as the destined chief, and his fitness for the post proved by the success which had attended the instruction he had given his family.
In vain he asserted that he was still too young and inexperienced to accept such a post ; the old wolf persisted in his opinion, and his companions, among whom he was a great favourite, declared themselves willing to accept him as their leader
and obey him accordingly.
This matter being settled, the assembly dispersed to meet again the next day, in order to
set out together in search of fresh quarters.
The thought of his new dignity, and the many
plans it suggested to his mind, served to dispel the gloom that had settled on the captain's spirit when lie contemplated the separation from his children ; and the morning saw him superintend7 ing the departure and leading the way on the journey with such energy and forethought that 0 his companions bad reason over and over again
to congratulate themselves on their good fortune in the selection of their leader. Nothing had been
12 Caplain Wo6f
decided about the route they should take, and the chief was at liberty to go where he liked. He had already thought of one place, a fir forest, some miles distant, in the neighbourhood of several small villages. He had frequently made short excursions to the outskirts of these villages, and had seen many things that made his mouth water. Alone it would not have been prudent to venture much further than he had gone, but if they made this forest their head-quarters, what delightful hunting expeditions they might have in the surrounding country!
Already in anticipation he arranged his plans of surrounding and surprising the cattle when no one was watching, of enticing stray dogs into the the forest to be devoured at leisure, of overtaking travellers in their sledges, and many other equally daring adventures; all of which made his heart beat high with hope that by skilful management the dreadful pangs of hunger might no longer afflict the troop.
The route by which this much-to-be-desired hunting-ground was to be reached lay across a vast plain covered with snow, and thence through
Chaplain Wo6 . 13
many rocky passes into the thick pine-forest many miles in extent. Along this route the leader now determined to lead his band, and they, their vows of obedience still fresh in their memory, showed no reluctance to follow.
One after another the dark pack trooped down from their cave, and followed as closely as possible in their leader's foot-prints ; so that had any one but a wolf examined that track he would never have suspected that more than one wolf had passed over the snow. Silently and steadily they pursued their way, turning neither to the right hand nor to the left, till the vast snowy waste had been passed, and they were nearing the great firforest. Then by one consent the pack separated in search of food, leaving to their chief the task of choosing the place fittest for their lair, and bent on satisfying the cravings of hunger till he should call them together.
Doubtless he was as hungry as the rest of them, but till the duties of office were discharged he could not think of himself, It was not long, however, before his sharp eyes discovered what he wanted,-the very darkest, most gloomy spot in
Chaplain Wo, f
that dark, silent forest; just the spot where he and his companions could feel secure, for certainly it was far enough away from the haunts of his most most deadly enemy, man ; and to all appearances quite uninhabited by any other fourfooted animal.
Here, therefore, our wolf began his reign and well satisfied indeed did he feel with his condition : a pine-forest for his palace, and one of the noblest packs of wolves for his subjects, what could the most ambitious wolf desire more ?
If only his dominion might continue! for he could not help reflecting that there were many of his companions who might well fancy they had greater claims to the office of chieftain than he bad, he who had only just reared his first family, and was younger by many years than at least half the pack.
While his old friend lived he felt pretty confident of his support, but the day could not be far distant when his career would close, and then our wolf felt he should have to depend solely on his own merits for maintaining himself in his dignity.
Cahldin Wo6f 15
However, it had never been his habit to look only on the dark side of what lay before him, and these forebodings were soon forgotten when, as time passed away, there seemed no probability of their being verified.
The winter passed rapidly away, for the whole pack had no lack of employment, and time always seems winged to those who have plenty to do. Scarcely a day passed without some daring achievement, and, for a wonder, several of the older members of the community were growing so fat that they were compelled to take more exercise than usual, lest they should become too heavy and short-breathed to admit of their taking their proper share of active duty.
The summer burst upon them long before they had expected it, and then all fear of starvation vanished. Numerous small animals emerged from their holes, and fell victims to the formidable creatures who had become lords of the forest, till before long their ravages seemed to have stricken with a panic rabbits, hares, and all their cousins, near and distant, for they either remained hidden in their holes or emigrated to a distance to avoid
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the fate which seemed inevitable if they remained in their old haunts.
Such an arrangement, prudent as it might be as regards the rabbits and hares, was decidedly disagreeable to the wolves, who had looked to them to supply a meal when more substantial food should be lacking; and in the hope that a short absence from the wood would restore confidence and security to these tiny creatures, they unanimously resolved to keep out of sight for a time, and abstain from visiting the homes of their frightened favourites.
In pursuance of this plan the chief and several of his comrades made bold excursions into the neighbouring villages, returning to the shelter of the rocks or the forest to feast at leisure on the prey they had secured; sometimes two or three together would lie in wait till the cattle or sheep were folded for the night, and would then make a bold attack and secure an important prize.
It was during the first weeks of summer that the captain of the band bethought him of a plan that he bad formed long before, but for various reasons had hitherto been unable to execute.
Cah1ain Wo6lr 17
It happened that in the village which lay nearest to their forest, the wolves had often observed a large herd of reindeer, which apparently belonged to a farmer of the place. Reindeer was a favourite article of food among the wolves, and it was extremely unpleasant to see so much delicious meat before them and yet be quite unable to get at it. And this was all owing to a miserable brute calling himself a dog-so the chief had understood from his comrades,- a dog, who, though he was as big as a wolf, still lacked courage to fight by himself, and invariably announced the approach of wolves to his master by making the most frightful howling. Often and often had the chief, while listening to the tales of his followers, resolved that he would never rest till he had taken vengeance on this dog for his unwarrantable interference, and now the time seemed come when he had both time and opportunity to carry out his design.
Accordingly he started one day for the village where his foe was to be found, and stealthily approaching the spot where the reindeer were grazing together, he perceived the dog lyingat a
short distance, apparently keeping guard. He had resolved beforehand that if possible he would avoid a downright quarrel till he could entice his enemy away from his home, and from the dreaded protection of his master, and accordingly he made no demonstration of warlike intentions as he approached the herd. It was not long before he saw that the dog had discovered his approach, but instead of alarming the neighbourhood, as our wolf had expected, he rose to his feet and came forward to meet the invader, without having any apparent idea of molesting him.
'He will be easily managed,' thought the wolf to himself, 'I'll invite him to take a walk. We'll go into the wood, and won't we make short work with him there ?'
Assuming with this view the most respectful manner in his power, the captain endeavoured to make friends with the dog, who, apparently thrown off his guard by such unusual conduct, began half to suspect that this creature, so like himself in form and size, would prove to be some distant 'cousin of his, whose acquaintance it would be very pleasant to make.
A DANGEROUS FRIEND.
Chaplain Wo4f 19
Under this impression he willingly agreed to the proposed walk; he had been keeping those stupid deer so long that his legs quite ached for want of exercise. Towards the wood they proceeded, the dog being too much occupied with watching his companion to feel any fear at being led so far from home, and the latter being too anxious to ensure the success of his scheme to attack his victim till he could be certain of assistance if he should require it.
Deeper and deeper they plunged into the forest, till at last the dog began to think it was time for him to retrace his . steps, and looked about to ascertain whither he had wandered. Suddenly a short, sharp cry, uttered by his guide, made him look round, when, to his horror, his treacherous cousin sprang at his throat with such a gripe that, struggle as he might, he found it impossible to free himself; the next minute a number of answering cries were heard, and from every side, fierce, savage wolves came bounding up to hasten his fate. In vain he struggled, howled, screamed, and wished he -had never left his master's yard, no pity had those hard-hearted
Ca Iain Wo f
cousins of his.; if he would not let them feast on reindeer-flesh at least they would make a meal of him ; his cries soon ceased, and no sound was heard through the silent forest but the grumbling, growling noise of the hungry creatures as they fought for the largest share of the spoil.
Poor dog! little did he think when he left his home, that in so short a time those hated wolves would be growling in fierce triumph over his bones, or that before nightfall a band would have set out to attack those deer that were his especial charge: yet so it was, and as wolf met wolf the gleam of triumph in their dark savage eyes, told ,of a degree of satisfaction that not even an elk or reindeer feast would have produced.
Now the dog was dead there was nothing to prevent them from attacking and killing one by one the whole herd of deer, and at once plans were laid with a view to this most desirable achievement.
But such ambitious schemes were not destined to be fulfilled. The picked band that visited the village the following night met with a defeat which considerably damped their spirits. Instead
of the dog they had made away with, three or four new ones were found in charge of the herd; and no sooner did they get scent of their approaching enemies than they set up such a dismal howling, that half the villagers came running out to see what was the matter; and the wolves were forced to abandon their object and take to flight. Stones, shots, and sticks, were sent after them, and when at last they reached the shelter of the forest, it was discovered that two of their numli er had fallen victims to their enemies, while one of those who had escaped was so desperately wounded that he presented a most melancholy appearance.
I With drooping tail and tottering pace the injured combatant was seeking a comfortable resting-place for his bleeding, smarting limbs, when his forlorn aspect attracted the attention of the whole band.
Anxiously they scanned him, and then with one accord their eyes sought their captain's face as if they expected to read there their comrade's sentence. Nor were they disappointed, Captain Wolf was a stout adherent of old customs, and
22 Ca Ut
'Nd , W04f
knew well that such a thing as permitting a wounded wolf to live to be a burden and trouble to his companions had never been heard of since wolves were created : so he gave the signal that his followers were expecting, and let them loose on their disabled comrade, who, knowing well what was to be his fate, scarcely strove to defend himself, and was speedily devoured by the rest of the pack.
It was hard to give up the thought of those delicious fat reindeer, but for the present not one of the band could dream of venturing near the village where they dwelt. Their numbers were now diminished by three, and this circumstance, added to the defeat they had received, made them feel strangely timid and nervous. For some days they kept close to their forest, feeding on frogs, lizards, or any small animals they could discover, but every day' they grew more hungry and more dissatisfied with their condition.
Such a state of things could not continue without producing mutiny and rebellion, and the captain determined to endeavour to rouse his followers to their ordinary pitch of courage and
audacity by proposing that they should recruit their shattered band by enrolling some of the young wolves who had been born in the previous year. Possibly in this suggestion Captain Wolf was greatly influenced by the desire to have his own children near him, for though he had paid them frequent visits, his official duties had prevented his seeing as much of them as he could wish. Some of them had joined other packs, but the captain knew that his eldest son, the pride of his heart, had hitherto held himself aloof from any society and lived apart from any of his kind, and he flattered himself that he should, at least, be able to enlist him to serve in his troop.
The proposal being highly approved of by the troop, the captain set out to seek his young son, others of the band departing at the same time, in different directions on similar errands.
But he was mistaken in thinking that the young wolf would eagerly accept his proposal. The young gentleman was an eccentric character, and had taken up the notion, which seemed very strange to his father, that a sol itary life was in every way to be preferred to one passed in
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intimate association with his fellow-wolves; and he enumerated the advantages of his system so rapidly that his father found it impossible to gain a hearing till his enthusiasm had fairly worked itself out.
But the captain was too sensible to be easily turned from his purpose; he thought his son's conduct conceited and selfish in the extreme, and he was determined not to leave him till he had brought him to his senses. How he did this it would take too long to tell, but at length the young wolf consented to join his father's band as soon as he should have accomplished a scheme he had then in his mind.
What that scheme was he seemed at first loath to tell, but on his father urging him, he explained that one day when visiting a village where he had often hunted successfully, he had discovered a goat, which, With her kid, often roamed at large about the gardens of a deserted mansion, and he could not persuade himself to give up the hope of one day feasting on either her or her kid. She seemed a most innocent, unsuspicious creature, and he felt that some day his
Cafilain Wolf. 25
curming.would certainly enable him to make her his prey.
Such sentiments being much more comprehensible to Captain Wolf than those first expressed by his son, he could not refuse his consent to the delay which would thus be occasioned in his son's joining the troop, and having given the youngster all the advice which he could think of, e returned to his band.
He was greatly pleased to find that four new members had arrived in his absence, all of them creditable young wolves, strong, sinewy, and vigorous. He was not less pleased to find that they were all as hungry as wolves can be, and were therefore as eager as possible to be led forth on their first hunting excursion; and as their zeal seemed to have somewhat infected the rest of their band he ventured to propose to the whole assembly that they should all sally forth into the neighbouring plain, and see if there should chance to be any travellers passing that way.
There was a slight murmur of discontent at this suggestion, for the remembrance of their late encounter with mankind in the village was still
CqNain Wo .
fresh, and many of the most timid feared to run the chance of encountering again such dreaded enemies. But a gruff voice was heard, at sound of which the murmurs died away, and a stern wolf of middle age, and vast experience growling his opinion that they might as well die fighting as starving, the whole party, males and females, assented and rose to follow their chief.
It was a bold step, but the captain knew that when discontent is springing up in the camp, it is best to turn the thoughts of the malcontents into another channel. He had seen some dark looks directed towards himself, and he hoped, by a bold stroke, to attach the hearts of his followers more firmly to himself; or if that was not to be he would seek death from his enemies rather than from his own band.
On they travelled, till reaching the edge of the forest they entered the rocky passes that led to the great plain. Here the chief halted his band, and ordering them to lie down he went forward himself to reconnoitre. Sitting on the rocky peak, he scanned the whole of the vast plain before him. How still everything seemed. There to the
Ca an Wotf/ 27
left was one dark spot. By its motion he knew what it was,- one of the brown bears that haunted the neighbourhood. Should he attack him ? No, he thought not. Something else might be seen before long, and sure enough, what was that line to the far right ? surely it was some waggons or carriages,-the very thing he wanted. His cry to his hand was almost a scream, so delighted did he feel, as, waiting but a moment to make sure that the whole troop was following, he set off at his fleetest gallop towards the object he had discovered. What a long distance it seems, and yet how rapidly is it traversed by those hungry wolves. The captain hopes they shall fall upon the travellers unperceived, and secure an easy prey. But no, one of those youngsters has made a noise,-and the horses are kicking and plunging
-they are discovered. Well, never mind, they are in for it now, and must fight it out; and see! the travellers are frightened, they have unfastened one of those struggling horses ; they are going to leave him behind for those hungry wolves.
'One!' thinks -the captain; 'you are stingy, gentlemen. You have six, we must have half, at
Gap laii Wol f
least. Three! I shouldn't wonder if we have four!'
But the poor horse is loose, and trembling he tries to escape. What is the use of attempting it with nineteen hungry wolves on his track, each anxious to be the first to spring at his throat? He staggers, turns wildly round and tries to fight the foremost wolf with his forefeet ; but two more spring on his flanks, others are gnawing his heels, down he goes,-it is all over with him, and those strong jaws are tearing his flesh.
Meanwhile the travellers are hastening on their way; they hope to reach the town before the wolves start again on their track, but the captain's eye is on them, and before the horse's bones are picked quite clean, he has called off his pack and urged them again to the chase. A second time they stop-a second horse is unharnessedagain the wolves are busy over their prey-again the travellers wbip the remaining horses into a gallop, and seem to fly like lightning from their pursuers. But, unsatisfied, once more they give chase, with like result ; but thIs third horse is a noble creature, and, though shaking from head to
Carplain Wo4f 29
foot, he makes a gallant resistance, and some of his assailants are severely wounded by his violent kicks ; still it is but a short struggle, and he, too, is on the ground and devoured almost before he is dead.
The last chase is fruitless, the travellers have gained too much on the pursuers, and they return baffled of their last attempt, but well satisfied with the result of their foray, and thoroughly convinced of the bravery of their captain.
As for our wolf himself, though somewhat exhausted with fatigue, he had seldom felt so well satisfied. The applause of his followers was very pleasant, especially that which was expressed by the new recruits, who, their wild eyes flashing with admiration, spoke and thought of nothing else. Henceforward he had no need to fear a mutiny in his troop, and he looked forward with pride to the account his son would receive on his arrival; surely when he heard such stories of his father's valour, the young fellow would be proud to be admitted into his band.
It was about a week after the above event that the young wolf arrived in fulfilment of his
30 captain TV06f
engagement; and the captain's paternal heart was gratified by hearing many of the elder wolves speak in terms of the highest commendation of his son's figure, bearing, and general appearance. He was anxious to hear what success had attended his son's schemes for ensnaring the goat and her kid, and was greatly astonished to find that though the mother had fallen into his paws, the kid had somehow or other managed to escape him. The plan he had adopted for ensnaring the goat caused so much merriment among the young wolves that they were frequently called to order by their seniors, lest the noise they made should attract attention and betray their lurking-place.
He had observed, he informed them, that this said goat had a peculiar fancy for the leaves of one particular tree, and accordingly he had paid a visit to this tree in the night, and carried off several branches of it, which he hid in his hole till an opportunity should offer of making use of them. One day, when she was browsing not far off, he advanced quietly to the entrance holding in his mouth one of these branches of leaves. Apparently she thought it was a sign of friendship,
for, after eyeing him a few moments suspiciously, she had approached and begun to eat the leaves. It was the work of a moment for Master Wolf to drop the branch and seize the too confiding animal, who was thus captured so off her guard that she was unable to use her horns in selfdefence. Why she was so particularly fond of these leaves he could not say, anyhow they had served his purpose and secured him a good dinner.
Such bursts of wolfish giggling greeted this story that more than one elderly wolf expressed decided disapproval, and intimated his opinion that such levity was dangerous in the extreme, which remark made a conceited young wolf shut his eyes contemptuously, as if to express his determination not to be guided by the opinion of his elders. Such conduct was unbearable, and the captain felt himself called upon to interfere. Very decidedly he let the young folks know that it was his fixed determination to keep the new members in their proper place, and to repress all undue familiarity. He also remarked that it was a well-known fact, that a wolf that could not
caplain wo '
maintain a stern, rigid composure under all circumstances was good for nothing, and would be a disgrace to any band.
This observation was not without effect ; the young wolves liked their new position too well to feel inclined to change it and they had discernment enough to see that the captain would not permit them to remain under his command unless he was satisfied with their behaviour. So they composed their faces into the rather surly, morose expression, which is considered most becoming by wolves, and listened to a great deal of good advice from their elders with all due respect and deference.
Satisfied that they were convinced, of their fault, Captain Wolf turned his thoughts to other matters.
The anxiety respecting his own authority being dispelled, he had leisure and inclination to make plans for the future. He reviewed his band, and was justly proud of its warlike appearance; for, with the exception of the old wolf, his friend, adviser, and patron, all were sturdy, healthy wolves, well able to endure fatigue and privation.
Callain W06r 33
So confident did he feel of their loyalty and devotion, that he could even look forward to the approaching winter without any great degree of dread. For the summer was fast passing away; the rabbits, frogs, and field-mice, were retreating to their holes, and the pack would shortly be compelled to make great exertions for their own maintenance. But the captain's brain, always fertile in devising plans, did not fail to supply him with numerous ideas which he hoped to carry out when occasion required, and the pine-forest would still suffice them for shelter and defence.
So it was with a brave heart that he saw the first signs of winter's approach ; the trees stripped of their foliage, and the sharp winds blowing. But when the snow began to fall, and the rivers to freeze, our captain's eye grew wilder; a sure sign he was intent on more desperate deeds. Once
more the dismal stories began to be told of long and fruitless searches for food, and more than once he saw his comrades suffering from the fearful attacks of illness, that the captain knew full well proved plainly that they had been striving to satisfy the cravings of hunger by devouring clay. Still there
34 camain wo r
was no murmuring, for all knew well that the captain suffered as much as the, rest, and were assured that, if it were possible, he would devise some means for their relief.
It was when things were growing desperate, and the hungry wolves had begun to despair of ever again seeing a lone traveller crossing the snowy plain, or a stray reindeer venturing near their lair, that a bright thought flashed through the captain's head. His voice, with its joyous ring, soon summoned his troop together, and, sitting on a high rock, he divulged his plan.
That huge brown bear that they had often seen in the distance when they were hunting other prey-why not attack him ? he might not be as nice as reindeer or horse, but still he would be more eatable than clay, and far more digestible! If they all dispersed, it would be strange indeed if they could not find him, and, when once discovered, it would be the easiest thing in the world for the fortunate wolf to call the rest to his aid ; some would be certain to be near enough to hear his voice.
Crowded around their leader, the ravenous
wolves listened to his plan with rapture. Not one objection was raised; all were eager to start immcdiately, and seemed barely able to stay and hear his further directions.
In twos and threes they 'set out; some for the plain where the expected victim had last been seen ; others for the rocks, where they fancied he had his den.
Accompanied by his son, the captain chose to explore a distant part of the wood, and everything being thus arranged, the party dispersed. Many weary hours they pursued their search; their noses close to the snow ; their tails between their legs; their wild eyes scanning the distance ; in vain, one by one, they turned their steps homeward with no tidings of the much-desired animal no hope of a meal to reward their toil.
But the captain was not to be discouraged. After a short rest, he urged his followers to make another effort, and to resolve not to be balked this time. The bear, he felt convinced, was not very far distant, and have him they must. Once more, therefore, they set out, hunger compelling them to make the effort, though they were
Chaplain Wo f
beginning to feel so weak and ill that their usually swift trot was changed to a languid crawl.
Half the day wore away before any sound announced success ; but, at last, a sharp bark, ringing among the rocks, brought a dozen wolves at least, crowding up the paths to the point whence the sound proceeded.
It was the captain's young son that had made the joyful discovery, and when his comrades reached him, he was crouching at the entrance of a huge chasm, while the bear, who had evidently been surprised by such an 'unexpected visitor, seemed at a loss what to do. But when, instead of one assailant, he saw a troop of more than a dozen, whose wild, hungry looks gave evidence of the most bloodthirsty intentions, his stock of courage
-never perhaps very large, and now considerably weakened by age- seemed completely to fail him, and, instead of rushing furiously out, and selling his life as dearly as possible, he threw himself on the ground, and rolled over and over, growling with impotent rage and fear.
Such a proceeding seemed for a minute or two so greatly to astonish his enemies, who had
CaPlain Wo f
expected to find him rather a formidable creature to attack, that they appeared quite at a loss to know what to do, and stood watching him in silence while he rolled his great hairy body about, growing every moment more paralyzed with terror.
But their uncertainty did not last long. Having discovered the prey, the young wolf seemed to think that it behoved him to lead the attack. Rising deliberately from his crouching Attitude, he advanced cautiously into the cave, followed by his companions. Silently they fastened on the body of their prostrate victim, who, making no further resistance than by struggling and growling, was rapidly overcome, and torn in pieces by his furious foes. To devour him was short work indeed, and almost completed before those wolves who had been most distant at the time the young wolf uttered his cry for help, arrived to claim their share. Tough as he was, the old bear was greatly relished by those hungry wolves, who found it impossible to leave the spot till every morsel of him-skin, hair, and all-had disappeared, and indeed it was a small meal enough for such a troop.
You may be sure that the captain was right proud of his son's performance, though, like a wise father, he did not praise him more than he considered advisable. He knew the young fellow's peculiar disposition, and was extremely careful to avoid nourishing his self-conceit. The rest of the band were pretty certain to compliment the young wolf more than was good for him, and his young companions would also make the most of his achievement, hoping thereby to increase their own" importance and consideration in the society. All the old wolves were so stupid they couldn't find the bear, though they had been used to hunting for years and years. These were the remarks the captain heard whispered among the juveniles of the pack, and, though at the time he appeared to take no notice of them, they served to give him but a poor opinion of the rising generation. He set himself to consider how he could best contrive to lower their opinion of their own powers; and, accordingly, the young wolves found themselves frequently required by their chief to perform duties entirely new to them, and quite beyond their powers. They did not know with what inward satisfaction
Caplai;,t Wo4f 39
the captain discovered and reproved their failures, in the hope that, by so doing, he should impress them with a greater feeling of respect for their elders, and render them less confident of their own ability.
This system, steadily pursued, produced a great change in the course of a few weeks, and the captain was greatly pleased to see that most of the young wolves dropped quietly into the background, and became more contented to be treated as cubs, which indeed they still were. The elderly wolves congratulated him on the success of his attempt, and gave him all the assistance in their power, keeping order in his absence and repressing the quarrels that were continually breaking out among the young ones, whom hunger always rendered cross and irritable.
But these constant toils and anxieties were almost too much for the strength of the captain, worn as he was with long fasting, and the pack were one day alarmed by the tidings that their chief was dying of hunger, and that, unless food was procured, he would never see another summer. And true enough, the captain's brave heart was
failing him at last; and as they crowded around him to show their sympathy, it was almost more than he could do to lift his head and thank them. Hungry, faint, and weak as they all were, not a thought of devouring their starving leader seemed to enter their heads; but, with an aching fear at their rough hearts, they dispersed far and wide to hunt for food; the merest scrap might save his life, and they would work hard ere they would give up hope of saving him. How they galloped, snuffed the ground, turned up the snow, searched and hunted. At length, panting with fatigue, a young wolf brought to his leader's side a dead wolf cub, and, with transports of delight, related how he had met a mother wolf carrying her baby in her mouth; how he had expressed a wish to see it; she had put it down for him to examine ; he had snatched it up, carried it off, and there it was for the captain to eat.
The dainty morsel was not to be refused, even though the captain was a father, and had often thought cubs very nice little things. The young wolf had killed it before presenting it, and so, whatever scruples the captain, in his weak state,
might have felt, had it been alive, were happily now quite superfluous.
Other small offerings afterwards arrived, but the young wolf thought he should go wild with delight when he heard the captain say it was the cub that had saved his life. How the wolves felt when they saw their leader on his legs again is more easily imagined than described.
But, though spared the dreadful death of starvation, the captain was not destined to live to an advanced age. That dreadful winter seemed as if it would never come to an end; even the oldest wolves declared that they had never before known such a severe season, or one during which food was so scarce. Every living creature, except themselves, seemed to be either dead or gone to sleep for the winter, and day after day the troop grew weaker and weaker, till they could hardly drag themselves to the top of the rocks, from whence they had been accustomed to watch for any chance prey in the vast plain below.
Often the dreadful suggestion was made that one of the band must be sacrificed to feed the
rest ; but hitherto the captain had firmly resisted all attempts to carry out such a design. That he should be able to prevent it much longer, he greatly doubted, unless some scheme could be devised for allaying the sufferings of the troop in any other way. At length, 'seeing that no other idea was suggested, he one day called the band together, and, after dwelling for awhile on the deplorable condition of the whole assembly, he proposed to them that, as they might just as well die in battle as at home of hunger, they should venture to make one foray into the neighbouring village, and see if they could not manage to carry off some stray dogs or children.
It was quite plain that many of the pack were too weak for such a fatiguing task, but there were quite enough for the undertaking who were still tolerably vigorous, and hunger would supply the necessary courage.
Accordingly, under their captain's guidance, a number of gaunt, savage-looking wolves departed with drooping heads and hopeless looks, for not even the chief's eloquence could now avail to infuse hope into their bosoms. In sullen silence
camain TV04f 43
they pursued their way, and entered the village just as the early evening had closed in.
A distant howling reached their ears, which, while it caused their eyes to light up with a glow of hope, made them stop to hesitate, for was it not the voice of those tell-tale dogs, and would it not certainly bring out men and guns, which, even in their starved condition, these wolves still dreaded more than anything else in the world ?
But their captain cheered them on; his courage was at its highest pitch; in fact, he was desperate, and would rather have died there and then than have given up the hope of food which the dogs' voices had excited.
On, therefore, they went. The roads were deserted, and not an object was to be seen over the vast snowy track that lay before them. But, at length, the leader turns into a narrow road, at the end of which stands a solitary cottage, and, followed by one or two of the bravest of the pack, creeps stealthily up to it. All is silence ; no dogs keep watch around this tiny building; nothing fit for food is to be seen. On again they go, down the lane, till other cottages appear in view. And
there, in a yard, something is moving ; is it a dog? if so, he is strangely quiet. Swiftly, but stealthily, our wolf creeps nearer ; he is close ; and the child, for it is a child, has not yet discovered his danger. A low fence now only separates him from his terrible foes. Something has startled him ; and, as he turns to see what it is, through the fast gathering darkness, three rough heads and a row of glaring eyes meet his terrified gaze.
A fearful scream rang through the air as the frightened child rushed towards the cottagc-door, and the next instant a huge dog, who had probably been asleep till that cry aroused him, came darting out to meet the intruders.
just in time; for, as he sprang at the captain's throat, the child had reached the door, and was safe in his mother's arms, sobbing out, 'How three horrid dogs were going to kill him, only Oscar came and helped him.'
And, in the meanwhile, Captain Wolf, for his two comrades had slunk away, was fighting desperately with the courageous dog. Disappointed of the child, he resolved to carry off his brave defender, who, on his part, had very different
CajIain Wolf 45
intentions, for he fought, struggled, and barked, till the sound of the scuffle brought other combatants to his aid.
Then, fur the first time in his life, the captain's confidence failed him ; he knew that, though he might hold his own against the strongest, bravest dog, he had enemies whom it was in vain to resist. Still he relaxed not the savage gripe in which he held the dog, or showed the least inclination to seek safety in flight. Death had come; but, resolved to die fighting to the last, he only bit the harder, and growled more fiercely, till the shot came that stretched him on the ground to rise no more.
GUY'S TWO HOMES.
'COME, then, what are you lagging behind for, jenny?' said Widow Burns, as with a heavy basket on her arm she trudged along the dark, miry lane towards her dwelling. She was tired out with the four-mile walk which lay between the great town and her poor home, and she was sick at heart, with want, care, and sorrow; for the weather was severe, and with all her toil and labour she could scarcely earn enough to feed herself and jenny, or find money to pay for clothes, house-rent, and firing. So I am sure you will not wonder that her tones were a little sharp when she repeated her call to jenny, who had put down the basket with which she, too, was laden,
Gity's Two Homes. 47
and seemed for the time deaf to her mother's voice. 'Come, then,' once more exclaimed Mrs. Burns, 'it's too cold and too late to stop to rest, jenny ; pick up your basket this minute, and come along.'
' I'm not a-going to rest, mother,' replied jenny, 'but do stop one minute. Don't you see this poor little dog? he seems half dead with cold. How can he have got here ? He must be lost.'
A dog!' said the widow, 'so it is; well, it can't be helped, jenny. I don't know whose it is, so we must just leave it where we found it; it ain't ours, that's certain.'
' 0 but, mother, it will die if we leave it here. Only see how it shakes and trembles, I believe it is dying now. Look, it cannot stand;' as jenny spoke she placed the little creature, which seemed little more than six weeks old, on its feet, but it sank down immediately, uttering a feeble whine. , 0 mother, do let me carry it home just for tonight; it is so pretty, it would be such a pity for it to die,' urged jenny, the tears gathering in her eyes.
48 Guy's Two Homes.
Widow Burns had a tender heart, though she did sometimes speak sharply; and though the thought did pass through her mind that dogs do sometimes cat a wonderful deal, she did not give utterance to it, or make any further objection to jenny's desire than to say, 'And how are you going to carry him, child ; just now the basket was more than you could manage ?'
'Oh, I 'll put him into the basket,' replied jenny, delighted at having obtained her wish ; 'he won't make it any heavier.'
Nor, indeed, did he seem to do so, for after she had packed him in as snugly as she could, jenny was in such a burry to get home that she trudged along so fast that her mother found it hard to keep pace with her.
It was but a cheerless home that awaited them, cold and dark, for the scrap of fire which they had left when they set out that afternoon to do their errands in the town had long ago gone out, and the cold wind without had discovered many cracks in the door and walls by which it could make its way into the old cottage. But in spite of the cold and cheerless appearance of all within,
Guy's Two Homes.
it was still home to the widow and jenny, and their spirits seemed to revive when they were fairly in and the door fastened behind them.
The widow struck a light, and then jenny hastened to examine into the condition of her little protege. At first be was so still and quiet that she feared he was dead ' but after a little while her fears were removed by seeing him stretch himself and open his eyes. He really was a very pretty little fellow; and when Mrs. Burns had time to inspect him more closely, she could not find in her heart to refuse him a little drop of some skim milk which a farmer's wife bad given her that afternoon. The little animal drank it eagerly, and from that moment his doggish heart'was fairly won, and he seemed perfectly contented with his new home. Before long he fell asleep on jenny's lap, and slept so soundly that he never woke when she put him to bed for the night in the basket he had travelled home in.
Very much astonished, indeed, he was to find himself there the next morning, instead of in his accustomed place, with his brothers and sisters, by his mother's side. He did not much like to think
Gzty's Two Homes.
about his mother, for he could remember quite well how he had run away from her the day before, and when she called him to come back he had pretended not to hear,-,naughty little doggie that he was! He looked around him; the basket was nothing like such a nice bed as the straw ,where he used to sleep with his six brothers and sisters, and then it would be so dull there all by himself; still he was a hopeful dog, and as things could not be mended he determined to make the best of them.
He was by no means sorry when, after waiting a little longer, he saw the face of his little friend, jenny, peeping into the basket. 'She '11 give me some more of that nice milk,' he thought, so he jumped up and began trying to climb up the sides of the basket, that he might get to her. jenny was delighted to find that he was quite recovered, and soon took him out of the basket and placed him on the floor in front of the fire, where he sat down just like a big dog, and looked about him.
He wondered how soon his breakfast would come, and he was not kept long in suspense, for
Guy's Two Homes.
he soon saw that jenny meant to share hers with him ; she was going to use the cup and he was to have the saucer, which he thought was certainly a very good arrangement. There was one good thing, he thought, in being separated from his brothers and sisters, that he could get his breakfast in peace, without having to fight and scramble for it, as he had been used to do ; and besides it was a great comfort to be sure that nobody would come and say that one of his brothers was prettier than himself.
While these thoughts, and many others, were running through doggie's head, jenny and her mother were settling what his name should be. At first, the widow said that, as it was plain he must belong to somebody, she did not suppose that they would keep him long, but jenny could not bear to think of giving him up, and urged her mother to tell her a name for him.
Accordingly, after due consideration, Mrs. Burns said that the only name she could think of was Lion, for that was the name of her mistress's dog in the family where she had lived till she married. But this name did not suit jenny.;
Gmy's Two Homes.
the little creature was -not in the least like a lion, she argued; though, to tell the truth, she had very little idea what a lion really was like, never having seen one. So she set her wits to work to find one she liked better while her bands were busy washing up the breakfast things, and the little dog, having licked his saucer till it was perfectly clean, sat demurely watching her.
'John won't do, mother, because that's a man's name, and so's Robert and Thomas; and Minnie is a cat's name, isn't it ? and Daisy is the name of the red cow at the farm. I might call him Tiny, but then if he grows big it would be so absurd. I declare I don't know what to call him.'
Probably Mrs. Burns was thinking of more important matters than a dog's name, for she made no answer to these remarks, and presently jenny resumed,I What do you think of Solomon, mother; he looks so wise like, I think that would be a good name ?'
I It's too good a name for any dog, jermy,' replied her mother; 'it's a Bible name, and FIL
G2ty's Two Homes. 5 3
never have a Bible name given to a dog in my house,-no, never.'
Jenn y looked somewhat abashed, but the subject was too interesting to be easily dropped ; at last a bright idea struck her: 'Mother, mother,' she exclaimed, 'do let's call him Guy Fawkes, after the ship that Jack's gone to sea in. Oh, that will be splendid;-yes, you shall be my little Guy Fawkes, you shall, you dear little thing!' she said, dropping the cloth with which she was wiping the cups, and snatching up the astonished little puppy and kissing him all over.
So Guy Fawkes was to be doggie's name, and he was well satisfied with it, though the widow said she half thought that name once belonged to a man, and not an over good one either; still no doubt it would do well enough for a dog: but she warned jenny not to get too fond of him, as some day or other he was sure to be claimed, and they would have to give him up.
But in spite of the widow's forebodings, days and weeks passed on, and no one came to claim Guy Fawkes, or Guy, as he was generally called; and during this time he had grown such a big
54 Guy's Two Homes.
dog that Mrs. Burns often said if he got much bigger she could not keep him in-doors, he would have to live in the little yard at the back of the cottage.
This plan was by no means pleasing to either jenny or Guy, who were most devoted friends. if it had been in his power I think Guy would willingly have stopped his growth, in order to avoid the dreary hour when he should have to live out in the yard. But this was impossible; and though he sneaked quietly about the house and tried to make himself look as small as pos sible, the day came at last when the widow said she really could not let that great beast sleep in their room ; she was sure it was not healthy. So she begged an old barrel and some straw of a neighbour, and prepared a really comfortable bed for Guy in the yard. The nights were getting much warmer now, and really there was no reason why a dog should not sleep very well out-of-doors. But Guy had heard jenny beg that he might not be turned out so often that he had begun to think such a proceeding must be unjust and unkind. Accordingly, when he saw these preparations
Guy's Two Homes. 55
made, naughty Guy resolved that if he could help it he would not permit himself to be removed from his usual sleeping-place ; and in order to make himself as secure as possible, when it began to grow dark he retreated into a safe hiding-place under his mistress's bed.
But Widow Burns had always kept her word, and when she said that Guy was to go out she meant what she said, and jenny knew her too well to doubt that she would carry out her determination. Guy had never yet been allowed to have his own way, and he might have known that it was useless to try for it now. It is true he had his doubts and misgivings, and as be lay crouched up under the bed and watched the widow making her preparations or the night, his heart began to beat very loud and fast, and be almost thought it would have been better after all to submit quietly.
But to be so easily conquered, Guy could not quite bring himself to this point, though he knew quite well that if it came to a downright battle he would certainly get the worst of it. The widow had a horrid stick, which she kept for his ex-
56 Guy's Two Homes.
press benefit, and Guy trembled all over when he saw her take the stick down from the nail where it hung behind the door, and approach his hidingplace.
'0 mother,' pleaded jenny, 'don't beat him, I 'm sure he'll go like a good dog. Guy, Guy, come here ; good dog, come here.'
'Good dog, indeed!' said Mrs. Burns: 'what business has he to get under the bed ? Come out, sir,-at once ! '
'Oh, dear,' thought Guy, 'if I come out I sball be beaten for getting under the bed ; no, 1 '11 stay here, I won't come out!' And he began to growl and look as obstinate as any dog can look.
'Good dog, indeed!' repeated the widow, 'a vile temper he's in ; did you ever see such a face ? But I'll make you do as you're bid, sir;' and so saying, she began to pull the bedstead away from the wall that she might get at him. But this was not so easy, for as fast as the bedstead moved so did Master Guy. At last the widow began to lose patience, and stooping down and looking under the bed, she tried to seize him by the neck; but Guy was growing desperate, his terror made
Guy's Two Homes. 57
him almost beside himself, and as her hand was close to him, he made a sudden snap and seized one finger between his teeth ; the next moment, overcome with shame and remorse, he loosened his hold and slunk trembling out of his hidingplace.
I Well,' said the widow, as she looked at the marks of his sharp teeth on her finger, 'that's the first time you have tried to bite, and I'll see if I can't teach you not to do it again.' Poor Guy knew well what she meant, but he could not resist now, his wicked act had surprised no one more than himself; if any one had told him before that he would be guilty of using his teeth to hurt his mistress, he wouldn't have believed it; and when, after a sound whipping, he found himself alone in his new lodging he felt as if some great change must have come over him, and he must have turned into another dog. He thought of those dogs that he sometimes met in the road, whom he was never allowed to play with, and wondered whether they did such shocking things; he had a strong suspicion that they did, for he had heard his mistress say one day to
58 Guy's Two Hoines.
jenny when he was going out alone with her, 'Mind Guy doesn't play with those low dogs, or they'll bite him.' Hitherto he had always looked down on these dogs, who never seemed to have anything to do, not even a basket to carry, which he always had when he went out ; but now things seemed different; he began to be afraid that his mistress would call him a low dog; and if these other dogs should happen to find out what he had done, he thought he should never be able to hold up his head any more when he met them.
These thoughts occupied him till he fell asleep; and when he woke the next morning and heard jenny calling him to come in to breakfast, be felt so ashamed of himself, that at first he pretended not to hear. At last he summoned up courage to leave his tub and walk as far as the door, but no pats and caresses from jenny could reassure him sufficiently to induce him to venture inside the door. It wasn't jenny he had hurt, he thought.
'Poor fellow! poor fellow!' cried jenny; 'mother, he's afraid to come in.'
'And so he ought to be,' replied Mrs. Burns but the good woman had no more intention than
Guy's Two Homes.
jenny of keeping him in disgrace; and when Guy heard her voice, as well as jenny's, calling to him, his courage revived, and he ventured to cross the threshold. Widow Burns was quite satisfied with his submission, and Guy was soori quite happy again, eating his breakfast with as good an appetite as if nothing had happened.
Happily, however, for Guy and all concerned with him, he did not soon forget the lesson he had received, that teeth were given him to bite his food, and never intended to hurt his friends.
The widow's cottage had now become Guy's home, and jenny and her mother had long ceased to talk of having to part with him; least of all, did Guy himself ever anticipate a change in his circumstances. Nevertheless, such a change was now impending.
Widow Burns had hitherto supported herself and jenny by doing plain needlework, for which she was but poorly paid; so that often and often she was sore perplexed and troubled to find the money for her rent when the day came round for paying it. During all the hard winter weather, things had been growing worse and worse, but she
6o Guy's Two Homes.
had buoyed herself up with the hope that if she could get on till summer time, she and Jenny together would be able to earn some extra money by haymaking or haying, as the country folks called it, and 'ffiat would be a great help, if they could only manage to lay it by till the next winter came round.
But the hay season came and went, and the money that it brought the widow was speedily spent, for one of her most regular employers had left the neighborhood, and Mrs. Burns bad now scarceTy any work to do. Often and often the widow wept, and said there was nothing for it ; they would have to starve, and truly both she and Jenny began to look very pale and thin.
One day, when matters seemed at their worst, the farmer to whom they paid their rent, and who had often showed them great kindness, called at their cottage, and with him came a strange gentleman, who asked leave to see a fine young dog that the farmer had told him they possessed. Guy was accordingly exhibited, and the gentleman admired him greatly, remarking that he had seldom seen such a fine-grown puppy.
Guy's Two Homes. 61
Guy, who had rather resented the stranger's interference at first, was greatly pacified by these remarks, though he could not help wondering why he should be called a puppy, when everybody said he was such a big dog. But the gentleman's next remark was by no means so pleasant.
'Good woman,' he said, addressing the widow, 'have you any thoughts of parting with this dog ? He is worth money, I can tell you, and I should be very glad to have him.'
The widow hesitated; she knew what it would cost jenny to part with her friend, and yet at that moment she was at her wits' end for money. Indeed, I believe the last morsel of food had been eaten, and the last penny had been spent the day before.
' I had not thought of it, sir,' she replied ; 'but I am very poor; and if he stays here, it seems to me that he will have to starve; and-and-if-if so be it were not to go very far, I think as how I ought to let him go.'
' It is not to go very far, certainly,' replied the gentleman; 'I have taken the house at the entrance of the village; Maplewood, I believe you
62 Gmy's Two Homes.
call it; and if you are willing to sell him to me, I assure you I shall be quite willing for you and your little girl to come and see him whenever you like.'
'Then, sir, if you please, I am afraid I must let him go, though indeed I am right loth to do it; but money's what we cannot do without, and, truth to tell, just now we need it sorely.,
The gentleman looked at her compassionately, but he said nothing as he took his purse from his pocket, and laying down more money than the widow had had for many a long day, turned to Guy, to try and make friends with him.
But the dog bad watched the whole transaction with deep interest, and having, apparently, come to the conclusion that somehow or other it concerned him and that in no pleasant way, was by no means inclined to look on the stranger gentleman with favour.
'Ah! I seeV said Mr. Montfort, for that was his name,'Guy knows what has happened, and likes it no better than your little daughter there. Well, I think I bad better leave him here for the present, and perhaps the little girl will bring him up to my house this evening.'
Guy's Two Homes.
So it was settled, and jenny and Guy had to make up their minds to the separation as best they could. Mrs. Burn tried to comfort them by assuring them that she was certain Mr. Montfort would be a kind master, and that she thought it was very likely they would see each other very often, but jenny was not to be so easily consoled.
As for Guy, seeing the grief of jenny, he felt constrained to hide his own feelings as much as possible, till the moment came when he was to leave the cottage. Then, though jenny had fast ened a string to his collar, for fear he should refuse to follow her, he tugged hard to turn back, and kept looking behind as long as the cottage was to be seen.
Maplewood was a stately house, standing in a small park, and jenny, who had never been there before, felt very shy and timid as she turned in at the great iron gates. Guy, on the other hand, was too much interested in everything around him, and especially in a herd of deer that were grazing under some trees at a little distance to be troubled with bashfulness or timidity.
Before they bad gone far, jenny was greatly
Guy's Two Homes.
relieved to see Guy's new master coming along the path to meet them, accompanied by two little children, so beautifully dressed, that she thought they must be going to some grand party, and trembled lest Guy should be seized with a sudden interest in them, and rub his dirty paws against their white dresses. But when they saw the dog with his little conductor, the two children uttered a scream of delight,. and ran to meet him, crying, 'Here comes Guy Fawkes!' Then, as their papa came up, they broke forth into admiration of his colour, bair, eyes, and ears, which jenny listened to with great pleasure, for she thought, I if they think him so pretty, sure they will be kind to, him.'
Now Guy had a great fancy for little children; and it soon became evident that Sidney and Adie were precisely to his taste. He made friends with them at once; and when their papa suggested that they should show him the nice new kennel where he was to sleep, he allowed them to take the string from jenny's hand, and lead him off, without making any objection.
Then, as they were near the house, Mr. Montfort called a servant, and desired that jenny might
,Guy's Two Romes.
be taken to the housekeeper's room to have some supper before she went home, and thus the parting was managed with much less difficulty than jenny had anticipated.
Meanwhile, escorted by his little friends, Guy made his first inspection of his new home,-the kitchen garden, the stables, the stable-yard, and coachhouse, were all visited; and then, as it was time for the children to go to bed, they led him back to his kennel, and wishing him good-night, left him to make his own comments on his change of circumstances.
His new kennel was certainly a very respectable-looking abode; and Guy's first thought was, that he had certainly made a rise in the world : it is true that the gardener had fastened a long heavy thing to his collar, which prevented his going far from his house, and was decidedly uncomfortable; but this did not trouble him much; no doubt it was to show everybody that came into the stable-yard that he was somebody of consequence ; in fact, the guardian of that great house; and therefore, though it was not altogether pleasant, of course it was necessary.
Guy's Two Homes.
The guardian of that great house ! Guy felt deeply impressed with his responsibility, and earnestly hoped that he should be faithful to his trust. He feared that there must be a great many people in that house; he had already seen more servants than he could count, besides the dear little children, for whom Guy felt it would be an honour and happiness to lay down his life; and the master, whom, of course, he would serve and love with his whole heart, because he was his master.
Guy wondered whether his predecessor had found the situation a very hard one; and this made him wonder what had become of his predecessor. The little girl had said, 'Oh, papa, he is much prettier than Jack;' and his master had replied, ' I hope he will be a much better dog than Jack, as he is so young. We must take care he learns no bad habits.' Guy remembered this, and wondered more and more what bad habits Jack had that made his master speak so ill of him, and what had become of Jack. Was he dead, or dismissed with disgrace from his situation ?
As this was a very puzzling question, Guy fell
Guy's Two Homes. 6
asleep before he had answered it to his own satisfaction; and when he woke the next morning, the novelty of his present situation was so charming, that all thoughts of Jack were forgotten.
Soon after breakfast, his two little friends appeared under the care of a tall, straight woman, whom they called nurse. With her help they managed to unfasten the chain, and set Guy free ; and though he had made up his mind that it was an honourable distinction, he was so glad to be freed from it, that he could not help bounding about for joy.
They started for their walk through the garden. It was very pretty, and the children were charmed to see that Guy behaved like a well-educatcd dog, and neither broke the plants nor ran over the flower-beds.
I He is so *sensible,' said little Adic. 'Jack never could learn to walk on the paths; he seemed to think there was no fun in going for a walk if he might not run over the beds.'
'Nursie,' said Sidney, I may we go and see the seal ? I want to know what Guy Fawkes will say to it.'
Guy's Two Homes.
I The seal!' replied nurse. I Well, to be sure, you're always wanting to go and see that seal : a queer thing it is; and why Mr. Groves gave it to your papa, and why your papa was at the pains to have a place built to keep such a thing in, I can't imagine; but Guy seems to have taken it into his head to pay it a visit; so we'll go too.'
A little building, standing by itself at some distance from the house, had attracted Guy's attention. It contained a tank, and had been built by Mr. Montfort to receive this rather strange present, which had been sent to him by an old friend, a sea captain, who had brought the creature home with him when returning from one of his voyages.
The tank speedily attracted Guy's attention he thought it was intended for a bath for him and, accordingly, he lost no time in plunging in. But he suddenly paused,' and started back, for a strange slimy thing rose out of the water, and peered at him suspiciously out of a pair of very round brown eyes. Guy jumped hastily out of the water, but the slimy thing came out too; and the children laughed, and clapped their hands to
A NEW ACQUAINTANCE.
Guy's Two Homes.
see the seal and the dog eyeing each other as if they were not sure whether they were friends or foes. But Guy was not disposed to leave this matter long in doubt; he advanced cautiously, and gave the seal a soft pat, which the latter not resenting, Guy decided that, though certainly a very singular, he was a harmless animal, and might safely be allowed to remain where he was.
The children then pursued their walk ; but this was not the only visit Guy paid to the seal. Before long they became intimate friends, and, though the seal was too shy and timid to return his visits, Guy always found a welcome when he went to get a bath in the tank.
His new home seemed full of wonders, and, as he soon found to his cost, full of temptations to do wrong. The children and their nurse soon left the garden, and entered the park, where Guy discovered to his surprise many other four-footed animals besides himself. A herd of cattle were the first that attracted his attention, and a strange longing at once seized him to dash in among them, and - make all run. But he resisted this impulse, and the cattle were safely passed, little
Guy's Two Homes.
Adie remarking, 'See, nurse, what a good doggie Guy is; Jack used always to. run after the cows and frighten them.'
This, then, was one of Jack's bad habits; Guy resolved he would remember the hint, and show that he was above such mean tricks ; and, strong in this resolution, he managed to go quietly past a number of deer which were feeding under some trees on a grassy slope.
Again, his self-denial drew forth warm praises from the children, and Guy drew himself up, and began to think that he was the best dog in the world. Alas! for such conceit ; hardly had Sidney exhausted his powers of flattery, when Guy began snuffling among the grasses, and scratching the ground, as if he was going mad.
'Oh, nursic!' cried Sidney, 'it is a rabbit-hole. Papa said he would run after the rabbits, and that we weren't to let him.'
'We can't help it,' said little Adie: 'oh, nurse, call him ; don't let him hurt the pretty rabbits.'
But nurse called and coaxed in vain; Guy could not attend to anything just then, with such a delightful scent of rabbits under his nose, for he
Guy's Two Homes. 71
had his nose and two paws thrust right into a hole, and it required all nurse's strength to pull him away by his collar. One or two sharp blows from her umbrella brought him to his senses again, and recalled the forgotten resolution to his memory; but it was with a deep sigh that Guy allowed himself to be drawn awa from the spot, and led homewards, there to ponder over the difficult question, how he could get at the rabbits again without being hindered.
It seemed to him that nurse was destined to be his enemy, for all the rest of the walk she kept her hand on his collar, and when they reached home again, she said to one of the stable-boys, who was loitering about the yard, ' You had best chain Guy up again at once, Tom, for he has found out where the rabbits are, and I shouldn't wonder if he got over the fence into the park after them if he was left loose.'
It was too bad of her to tell tales of him in that way, Guy thought, so he stalked sullenly into his kennel, and lay down there, casting contemptuous glances first at nurse and then at the boy who was going to chain him, while the
Guy's Two Homes.
children stood by, wondering what made him look so cross, and trying to persuade him to say goodbye before they went in to their lessons,
The fact was, Guy's head was getting a little turned with all the flattery he bad received, and he had begun to think nobody had any right to scold him; but a' trial was in store for Master Guy, that be had by no means anticipated.
One day, about a week after his arrival, Guy was basking in the sunshine in front of his kennel, when his master's voice fell on his ear and roused him from a half doze, in which he had been indulging. As in duty bound, he rose to greet his master as he approached, and then saw that he was not alone ; a lady was with him, and in her arms a horrid little white dog, not much bigger than a kitten, which looked down upon Guy with an expression of condescending benevolence, which seemed to say, 'Poor dog, how miserable it must be to live in a kennel ; how glad I am I am not you; I live in warm rooms; sit upon cushions; I don't even have to walk; my mistress carries me; dear me, I wouldn't be you for all the world.'
Guy's Two Homes. 73
Guy would have dearly liked to give him a good shaking, but his master was there, so he dared not move or show any signs of his dislike, except by turning his head right away from the white dog and looking as disagreeable as possible.
'You haven't seen Guy before, my dear,' said his master; 'What do you think of him? he'll be a fine dog by and by, I should say.'
'Very fine,'said Guy's mistress, 'but he doesn't look good-tempered ; I hope he doesn't bite. It will never do for him to go out with the children if he does!
'Oh, he won't bite,' replied his master kindly. 'You won't bite, Guy, will you, my dog ? You won't hurt the wee children, I am sure.'
It was so nice to feel his master's hand on his head that Guy made a great effort and choked down his ill-humour, though he could not bring himself to look at the white dog, or even at the lady who owned him, though she was his mistress too.
'He doesn't like your little friend Floss,' remarked Mr. Montfort; 'I've always noticed other dogs are disagreeable when Floss is in the way,
Gmy's Two Homes.
and I can't say I wonder; she has an unpleasant, patronizing way about her.'
'Well, I don't like jealous dogs,' replied his wife, I but never mind, Floss, we'll keep out of the cross dog's way, won't we? he shan't hurt you;' and she hugged the little creature and
kissed him, till Guy felt as if he did not know which he loathed the most-the dog or its mistress.
They soon went away, leaving Guy very uncomfortable, and decidedly of opinion that the little white thing was unworthy of the name of a
Guy's Two Homes.
dog, and sincerely hoping that he should never see it again.
But in this hope he was disappointed. Floss seemed to have taken a great interest in him, and though she was seldom allowed by her mistress to leave the house, whenever she could escape she would rush straight to Guy's kennel, and, standing just beyond the reach of his chain, would bark incessantly till she had quite exhausted herself, when she returned to the house. At first Guy tried to show his dislike and contempt for his little tormentor by shutting his eyes and appearing perfectly unconscious of her presence, but after a time, as she still persisted, his powers of endurance completely failed, and he would bound backwards and forwards endeavouring to free himself from his chain that he might punish her for her impertinence, uttering at the same time such howls that the servants frequently came running out to see what was the matter. Like many spoilt children, Floss's sole pleasure seemed to consist in tormenting, but, at last, she carried the amusement too far, and was very near paying dearly for her maliciousness.
Guy's Two Homes.
Now it chanced that among the many fourfooted animals that found a happy home at Maplewood there was an extensive colony of cats, most of whom lived in the stables, and were very wild and unsociable. But there was also a very beautiful kitten, which being a general favourite, was allowed to live in the house or out of it, just as it pleased. Well, it happened that one day when Miss Floss had made her way into the stable-yard in order to make an attack on poor Guy, her plans being completely disconcerted by discovering that he was unchained, and, therefore, anything but a safe victim, she turned her attention to poor kitty then seated quietly on the door-step. Though unprepared for the attack, kitty defended herself valiantly with claws and teeth, but she was far younger and weaker than Floss, who was rapidly gaining the advantage, when two large stable cats came springing across the yard to the help of their tiny friend. The battle soon grew desperate. Floss would gladly have retreated, but the two cats gave her no chance of doing so, and the poor little white dog was in imminent peril of having both her eyes torn out, when Guy, who had
Guy's Two Homes. 77
been watching the conflict with deep interest, evidently began to think that Floss had suffered enough, and that justice called on him to interfere.
That nothing but a sense of duty made him take this step was evident by the dignified way in which he marched up to the combatants, and without molesting either of the huge cats, calmly took Floss by the neck and walked away with her in his mouth till he reached the kitchen door, within which he placed her in safety.
The two cats, for kitty had made her escape when her defenders appeared, seemed at first doubtful whether they should not transfer their wrath to Guy, but, after due consideration and a few parting hisses, they returned to the stable to join in an exciting hunt after a family of mice which had just been discovered.
After this event Guy suffered no more from the persecutions of Floss, and kitty, too, was never again molested.
Guy was now getting quite used to his new home, and thoroughly experienced in all his duties. The autumn brought new work and new
78 Guy's Two Homes.
pleasures. His master went out shooting, and then Guy felt how necessary and useful he could prove himself. What numbers of birds they shot, for Guy never could think that his master had any right to say he shot them, for though it was quite true that his master carried the gun and fired the shot, yet it was always Guy that found the birds, and what, so he argued, would have been the use of the gun if there had been no birds to shoot ? This was always the time of year that Guy liked best; and he was very sad that, owing to an illness he had, he was quite unfit for work during a great part of the third shooting season after he came to live at Maplewood. I For a long time he was very ill indeed, and the servants, who came to see him every day, used often to say that they were afraid he would die, and, though he did not know what they meant, Guy always felt very melancholy when he saw how sad they looked.
His master, who did all he could to make him well, used always to pat him and say, 'Never mind, Guy, you'll soon be better, and we'll go out shooting again;' and that made him feel much
Gmy's Two Homes.
happier and for a little while he forgot the pains in his head while thinking of that pat and those kind words. But the soon seemed a very long time, in spite of all the nursing and kind attention which helped him to bear the pain. Even the wild cats that lived in the stable seemed sorry for poor Guy, and they would often come and peep into his kennel to see if he looked any better. He wondered very much at this, for he had been used to think cats the most cold-hearted, disagreeable creatures in existence ; but he was still more surprised when two dogs who lived on a neighbouring estate, with whom he had never been on friendly terms, called one day to see how he was.
Such civility could not be received with unkindness, and though Guy could not help wishing they were more polished and respectablelooking dogs, he felt constrained to treat them in a friendly manner.
But finding they were not repulsed, these two dogs came again and again, till Guy, whose suspicions of their dishonesty grew continually, tried various means of putting a stop to their visits.
8o Guy's Two Homes.
It seemed very curious that they should invariably time their visits so as to arrive just at dinner-time, and Guy, who thought such conduct greedy in the extreme, determined to disappoint them. His appetite being far from good, he resolved to delay his dinner till they were gone, and in order to prevent them from catching a sight of it, he took the bones out one by one from the basin, and placing them in a great heap, he turned the basin topsy-turvy over it all so as completely to conceal it from view.
The success of this experiment was perfect the anxiety of the two dogs for the health of their friend seemed to disappear from that moment, and Guy was greatly delighted to find he had rid himself of them completely.
Being relieved of the anxiety which the visits of these dogs had occasioned him, Guy's health began to improve, and before many days were over he became so much better that confinement to his kennel seemed irksome in the extreme, and he jumped for joy when his master said to him one day, 'Come, Guy, old boy, I think you're well enough for a good long run; we'll
Guy's Two Homes.
go out together.' So that horrid chain was taken off, and Guy forgot all about his aches and pains in the delight of being free to jump and rush about, which he did so frantically that his master laughed and said, I Oh, I see, there's not much the matter with you. I believe you 've been shamming all this while.'
And really Guy felt so well and happy when he was once more in the green lanes, that he began to think so too, and to be seriously afraid that he had been making a great fuss about nothing, so that he was quite surprised to find that he soon grew tired, and that a leap over a five-barred gate seemed almost more than he could manage. However, when he got home, he indulged in a long nap, and woke up, feeling quite well and strong, and perfectly convinced that regular exercise would soon set him up, and fivebarred gates would be as easy as ever before long.
'It was extremely pleasant to our old friend to find that every living creature in and about Maplewood rejoiced at his recovery. Sidney and Adie paid him a visit of congratulation, and Guy was extremely glad to see them again, for, during his
Guy's Two Homes.
illness, their mamma had forbidden them to go near him, lest he should snap at them. All the cats took care to let him know in one way or another how pleased they were to see him about again; and Guy, whose conscience told him that he would not have troubled himself in the least if half-a-dozen of them had died, began now to feel convinced that there was more good in cats than he had ever before supposed.
You may be sure that now he was well again, Guy often thought of the two dogs who had seemed so interested in him for a little while ; and the more he thought about them, the more uneasy he became.
If they were dishonest, as he could not help suspecting, he felt that he ought to keep an especially watchful eye over that part of his master's property that adjoined the estate where they lived; but how was he to find out what they were really like ? He thought and thought, and at last determined that the next time he was unchained and allowed to run about, as he often was, he would pay them a visit, that he might find out how they lived, and whether they seemed dogs of domestic habits.
Guy's Twe o Homes.
Accordingly, a day or two after he had formed this resolution, Guy set out to accomplish his purpose.
He had no difficulty in finding out where their kennels were, for, as he had often accompanied his master when he visited the gentleman of the house, he had already a tolerably good idea where to look for them.
That they were empty did not greatly surprise him, for, of course, it was likely enough both dogs might have business elsewhere, or have gone out for a walk with their master; but Guy thought he would look about everywhere before he returned home.
A little wood lay between his master's house and theirs, and Guy was proceeding leisurely homeward under the shelter of the thick trees, when he perceived, at a little distance from him, the two dogs that he had been in search of. Apparently they had met with some accident ; for their appearance and bearing was melancholy in the extreme; their tails and cars were dropping, and they presented altogether such a forlorn aspect, that Guy's sympathy was instantly awakened.
84 Guy's Two Homes.
They had been bunting a ferret, so they told him, and the horrid creature, instead of running away, had turned and bitten them; so that they could hardly move for the pain; and what was worse, the ferret had got away unharmed, and would, doubtless, get into the poultry-yards, and do an immense deal of harm. Guy hoped with all his heart, that he might have the luck to meet with the formidable creature, and promised himself that, if he did, he would take care it should pay for its audacity; but he did not say what he thought; such remarks would have done no good; the two dogs were hurt, it was plain; and remembering how much good his master had done him during his illness, he resolved to beg his assistance for his two injured companions.
Mr. Montfort was sitting in his study writing letters, when a sharp bark attracted his attention, and looking out of window he perceived Guy followed by two other dogs that were limping in a most woe-begone manner, approaching the house. When Guy discovered that he had gained his master's attention, he uttered a joyful bark, and began capering round his companions with