Molly and the Canary
A lady had a pet canary bird of which she thought a great deal. She took very good care of it. The lady did not like cats because several times they had tried to catch her canary. She could not trust the cats and did not keep any. One day some boys passed her house, carrying a kitten. She heard them talking and learned they were going to drown it. The lady was kind-hearted and did not like to think of the kitten being drowned. She called the boys to her and offered to keep the kitten. They said another lady would give them five cents to drown it. So she gave the boys five cents for the kitten and saved it from a watery grave. She called it Molly. She took good care of it and as it grew up she noticed that the canary and Molly were very friendly. The kitten never tried to catch the bird. By and by the lady let the bird out in the room with the cat, while she was present. The bird would often perch upon Molly’s back or head without fear. They became more and more friendly, so at last their mistress often left them alone in the room together. She trusted Molly.
One day the lady went away to call on a neighbor and left the canary and the cat alone in the room. When she came home she saw that there was something wrong. When she opened the door she discovered Molly on the mantel with the bird in her mouth. At first she thought she had killed her dear little bird. She seized a cane and was going to strike Molly with it but just then a strange yellow cat sprang through the open window and ran away. Then the lady understood why Molly had seized the bird and got upon the mantel. She had saved it from the strange cat.
As soon as the strange cat had gone Molly let the canary go and went up to her mistress to be petted. The bird was not hurt the least bit, and the lady was very grateful to her cat for saving it. After this Molly always took care of the bird and the lady loved them both very much.
Fight with an Owl
A farmer, named Cross, lived in Oklahoma. One day he saw an owl on the roof of his barn. He got his gun and fired at the bird, knocking it off the roof. He went to pick it up but it was not dead. The shot had broken its wing and this made it furious. When the farmer approached, the wounded bird flew into his face and began to fight furiously. Again and again it flew into his face. It tore and scratched the skin with its beak and sharp claws. Mr. Cross was compelled to flee to save himself. As he turned he stumbled and fell. The owl instantly pounced upon him.
Then the farmer’s shepherd dog rushed to the rescue. The bird then flew at the dog and they fought fiercely. While they were fighting, the farmer jumped up, ran into the barn, got a spade and returned to the fight. He dealt the bird several hard blows on the head with the spade and stunned it. It fell on the ground and it took several more blows to kill it.
The dog was badly injured about the head and neck and one eye was torn out. The owl measured four feet across the wings and its head was as large as a baby’s.
The Bird and the Snake
A gentleman had a beautiful songbird. It could sing very sweetly and the gentleman loved to hear it. He kept it in a pretty cage and fed it with seeds. One day he hung the cage near an open window and went away. There was a large grape vine growing at the side of the house. It reached to the window. A large snake was crawling about the yard for something to eat. It heard the bird singing. It climbed up the grape vine to the window. It crept into the cage. It caught the bird and swallowed it. After it had swallowed the bird it could not get out of the cage. The gentleman came home. He went to the cage and saw the snake there. He knew it had eaten his dear little bird. He was very sorry. He killed the snake.
Hiram was a country boy. He was about thirteen years old. He was a sensible boy and liked to work. He had to drive his father’s cows to and from the pasture every day. The pasture was a good piece from the house, near the woods.
One day Hiram started after the cows. When he was about halfway through the pasture he saw all the cows running towards him. They were bellowing and seemed to be frightened. Hiram wondered what could be wrong. He quickly hid behind a tree to see what the cows would do. The cows ran past one after another. The old bell cow came last and just ahead of her was a bear. The bear had come out of the woods and frightened the cows.
After the cows had all passed, Hiram ran after them. The cows and the bear all ran into the barnyard. Hiram closed the gate and fastened it. The cows, then, began to chase and hook at the bear. They all ran round and round the yard. It happened that the upper half of the barn door was open. So the bear jumped through into the barn and the cows could not follow it. Then Hiram ran and closed the barn door and the bear was imprisoned.
After that Hiram ran into the house and told the folks that he had a bear in the barn. They all ran out to see it. They peeped through the cracks at it. Hiram’s little sister had never seen a bear before and did not know what it was. She said it was “Hiram’s new cow.” It was a young bear and Hiram kept it in the barn until it became tame. Then he let it out and it would follow him about like a dog. He called it Shaggy Coat but the folks usually called it “Hiram’s cow.”
The Tiger’s Bath
There was a French animal trainer named Pezon. He had a large number of wild animals in cages. Some of these he had tamed and others were untamed. Pezon traveled about to exhibit his animals to the people. One time he was at Moscow with his menagerie. It was necessary for him to get somebody to clean the cages. He found a bright looking Cossack and hired him to do the work. The Cossack did not understand a word of French so Pezon made signs and acted with a broom, sponge and water bucket to show him how to clean the cages. The Cossack smiled and nodded. He seemed to understand so Pezon left him to attend to the job the next morning.
In the morning the Cossack came with a broom, sponge, and a bucket of water. He opened the first cage he came to and stepped in. The cage happened to be occupied by a fine but untamed tiger. It lay on the floor of the cage fast asleep but when it heard the noise of the shutting of the door, it awoke. It raised its head and looked curiously at the Cossack.
Just as the man entered the cage, Pezon came in and saw him. He expected to see the tiger tear the foolish man to pieces. He stood spellbound and watched the two in the cage. The tiger did not move. The Cossack did not know he was in any danger. He soused his sponge into the bucket of water and walked up to the tiger. He took the sponge out of the water and began to wash the tiger. The water was cool and the tiger seemed to like it. The creature began to purr. It stretched out its paws, rolled over on its back and allowed the man to sponge it all over. The Cossack scrubbed with might and main. All the time Pezon stood with his eyes wide open, watching the pair. At last the bath was done and the Cossack coolly left the cage. It was a very lucky escape.
Pezon was angry with the man because he did not understand him. He wanted him to scrub the cages but the Cossack thought he wanted him to bathe the animals. Signs and pantomime are not always plain, as this story shows.
Mrs. Amelia Fisher lived in California. She was brave and could use a rifle as well as any man. She often went out hunting and was usually very successful.
One day she was out hunting. She tramped about the mountain side until late in the afternoon. Game was scarce and she had secured nothing. Just as she concluded to go home a large buck came in sight. She fired at the animal and gave it a mortal wound. It then disappeared among some bushes. The huntress followed the trail of blood which led into an open space. Here she saw a sight that startled her. In the middle of the space lay the buck and a huge panther was feasting on his carcass. She did not expect to find such fierce game. In a moment her fear had disappeared and she advanced boldly toward the robber of her prey. When she was near enough she leveled her rifle and fired at the panther. Her aim was true and the beast lay dead beside the buck.
Having killed the panther, the woman’s nerves gave way and she fell fainting on the ground. Here she lay two days without food or shelter and was found by a party of friends who had been out looking for her.
The Stork and the Dog
A large stork lived in the park. A stork is a large queer-looking bird. It has very long legs and a long bill. One day a small dog came into the park. He came near the stork. Just then somebody threw an apple on the grass. The dog wanted to play with the apple and the stork wanted to eat it. They both ran after it. The stork reached it first and picked it up. He held it in his bill and the dog ran about and barked at the stork. The stork could not swallow the apple so he put it down and jabbed it with his bill. The dog ran and took the apple away from the stork. But the stork ran after the dog and made him drop the apple. The stork got it again. He could not eat it because when he put it down, the dog would run for it. Many people watched the dog and the stork. They were much amused.
The Lion and the Spaniel
There is a place in London called the Tower. Many years ago wild animals were kept in cages in a part of the Tower. People could go there and see them. At one time they had a lion in the Tower. He was very large and fierce and a great many people wanted to see him. They had to pay a small fee to see the king of the forest. If any one could not pay the fee he might bring a live cat or dog to feed to the lion. A good many live animals had thus been given to the lion and he had always torn them in pieces instantly and devoured them.
Well, one day a small boy wanted to see the lion but he had no money. He captured a pretty little spaniel on the street and carried it to the lion. The dog was thrown into the cage. It shrunk back into the corner, whined pitiously, and trembled. The lion was not hungry. He walked up to the spaniel and smelled at it. He crouched and played with it.
The keeper, seeing this, brought a mess of food and put it into the cage. The lion would not eat it. He wanted the dog to eat. By and by the dog began to eat, then the lion ate also. So they ate together and had a very friendly dinner. After that the dog and the lion were great friends and lived together happily. The lion was very kind and gentle and the spaniel was very bold and saucy. Often the dog would bark, pull the lion’s mane and bite his ears, but the lordly animal would never be cross or hurt the dog.
A gentleman who had lost the spaniel found him with the lion. He claimed his dog and wanted to take him away. The keeper told him he might take the spaniel if he could but he dared not go into the cage, so he had to leave his dog there. The great lion and the little spaniel lived together a long time but at last the dog took sick and died. The lion did not understand it. He thought his little friend was sleeping.
But as the dog did not wake up the lion began to feel uneasy. He smelled at the carcass of the dog. He rolled it over with his paw and brought it food. He seemed to be in great distress and could often utter a prolonged roar. They tried to take the carcass from the cage but the lion would become furious and fly at them violently. The keeper was afraid that the cage would break, so they had to let the body of the dog remain. The lion would eat no food. He lay down by the body of his friend and moaned. At last the lion died, it seemed, of a broken heart. The spaniel and the lion were buried together in one grave.
Saved by Sheep
In the far west, snow storms often occur. Sometimes the snow falls so fast and thick that people cannot see far through it. Sometimes people get lost in the snow and freeze to death. Houses are far apart and there is nothing to guide one through the snow.
Little Nellie Logan lived in Idaho. She was about six years old. She attended school which was some distance from her home. On Monday, Nov. 14, 1892, Nellie started to school. She carried her dinner in a small lunch basket and her little dog accompanied her. Soon after she left home it began to snow very hard. The wind blew and soon the path was covered up. Nellie could not see far through the fast-falling snow and by and by lost her way.
By noon she had not reached the schoolhouse and her friends knew she was lost in the snow. A search for her was commenced at once. Parties of white men and Indians wandered over the snowclad hills day and night hoping to find her. Her friends did not expect to find her alive, but they hoped to find her body. On Wednesday her little dog was found frozen stiff. Still the search for Nellie was continued. At last, on Saturday, the little wanderer was found alive and well, but very weak.
She was found with a dozen fleecy sheep in an old stock shed. She had snuggled in among the sheep and so escaped death by freezing. Nellie told her friends that on Monday, while she was wandering about in the snow, she had heard the sheep bleating and went to them. Her friends were glad, indeed, to find her alive. They took good care of her and soon she got strong and hearty again. It was a wonderful escape.
Elenore and Nero
Aunt Elsie had a little niece named Elenore. She was over two years old and had just begun to lisp and prattle. She could say many cute things and all her uncles and aunts loved her very much. They thought a great deal of her.
At Christmas time Aunt Elsie went out to her old home in the country to spend Christmas. The folks prepared to have a good time with roast turkey, plum pudding, pumpkin and mince pies and doughnuts. They also trimmed a tree in the parlor. Little Elenore was there. She was the pet of every one.
At this house there was a large dog named Nero. He was a mastiff, very large and strong. He was cross sometimes and would not let the folks tease him. Nero seemed to like little Elenore very much. She would pull his tail or his fur and he was never cross. She could ride on his back and sleep with her head on his shaggy back. Nero would follow Elenore all about the house and let no one hurt her. He seemed to think she needed him to watch her.
Well, the day before Christmas, while they were trimming the tree, they needed more green boughs and moss. They sent Aunt Elsie to the woods for them. It was not far to the woods, so she decided to take Elenore with her in her baby carriage. They wrapped the baby up warm with cloaks and shawls. As they started away, Nero came and wanted to go with them, but Aunt Elsie stamped her foot and told him to stay at home. Nero hung down his head and went into the house.
When they reached the woods, Aunt Elsie cut a lot of green boughs and collected some moss. They were soon ready to go back to the house. Then auntie thought of the mountain tea which grew near that place. She concluded to go and pick some for Elenore. She left the baby in the carriage and hastened away among the trees to a place where the berries grew. She gathered a handful of the green leaves and bright berries and hurried back. She had been gone about ten minutes, but when she got back the carriage was empty. Elenore was gone. She was very much frightened. She looked all around and called, “Elenore, Elenore,” but received no answer. She ran here and there through the woods but she could not find the baby. She was in despair. It was getting late so she hurried back to the house to tell her friends that Elenore was lost in the woods. When she reached the house she was out of breath and so frightened that she could not speak. She pointed at the empty carriage to make them understand that Elenore was lost. Elenore’s mamma took Aunt Elsie by the arm and led her into the parlor.
Everybody was happy except Aunt Elsie. She looked at the tree, which they were trimming, and at the happy faces of her friends. Then she saw—what do you think? Why, Elenore and Nero, both fast asleep on the rug before the fire! She thought the child was lost, and there she was, safe at home! She was very glad indeed. Nero had followed them to the woods, and while Aunt Elsie was away, stole the child out of the carriage and brought her home. Was he not a sly old dog?
The Monkey and the Sugar
Monkeys, like children, are fond of sweet things. They are particularly fond of sugar and bon-bons. Once a pet monkey was given a bottle with a hard lump of sugar in it. The bottle was tightly corked so he could not pull it out. The monkey could see the sugar through the glass and wished very much to get it. He shook the bottle and rolled it on the floor but the sugar would not come out. Then he tried the cork. He could not get that out either. The sugar seemed to be very near his reach but he could not get it. He began to act very funny and the people were much amused to see him try to get the sugar. Sometimes he would sit up with folded arms and look longingly at the sugar. Then he would clasp the bottle in his arms and hug it and bite at the sugar through the glass. At other times he would lie down and fondle the bottle with his hands. Then he would sit up and look very sad because he could not get the sweets. He tried many ways to get the sugar and was very amusing. He kept on trying.
It happened his mistress had a jar of pickles on the table. By some means it was knocked off the table. It fell with a crash on the floor and was broken in pieces. The pickles rolled out on the floor. The monkey witnessed this accident. Instantly he seized the bottle containing the sugar and jumped up on his perch. He threw the bottle to the floor and it was broken. The sugar rolled out and the monkey seized it and began to munch it with much pleasure. He grimaced and winked at the people. He seemed to say, “Ah! I got it at last!” I think he deserved it after trying so hard.
The Toad, The Snake, and the Tramp
A toad lived in a pile of loose stones near a stone-bridge. It often hopped out among the weeds and on the road. It caught flies, bugs, and worms to eat. One day it was sunning itself on a flat stone near the railroad. By chance a snake came along that way, looking for its dinner. It spied the toad. It crept up and caught it. It swallowed it whole. The snake did not go away but coiled up and lay there in the sun. By and by a tramp came along, walking with a cane. He saw the snake and killed it with his stick. Then the tramp walked on the railroad and a locomotive ran over and killed him. The toad killed the bug. The snake killed the toad. The tramp killed the snake. And the locomotive killed the tramp. So that was the end of them.