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19 Our Dumb Animals 1 (1886-1887)

handle is hein.journals/animals19 and id is 1 raw text is: 

I would   not enrnmy:is of friends,
Though   graced  with polished  manners  and  fine sense,
Yet  wanting  sensibility, the man
Who   needlessly sets foot upon  a worm.- CoWPER.

Vol. 19.

         Polly's Lion.
  We  talk of men being brave,
said Mr. R-, as he and I sat
in front of his neat little farm-
house in one of the northern prov-
inces of Russia, with the smooth
green meadows  of the pasture land
in front of us, and  the sombre
pine-forest behind; but I've al-
ways thought that for real down-
right fearlessness, there's nothing
in the world like a child. Itdoesn't
fear anything, because it hasn't
yet got  the idea that anything
would  ever think of  hurtiig it.
There's my  little Polly, now-I
don't believe there's a living crea-
ture that she'd be afraid of.
  At that moment   Polly herself
came  scampering  past, with her
long curls flying in the wind, laugh-
ing and clapping her tiny hands,
and evidently enjoying herself to
the utmost.
  Plenty of life there, eb P  said
her father, smiling, and I'll be
bound  her playfellow  won't be
long ,behind her. See,  there he
  And up came a splendid English
mastiff, almost as.big as a young
calf. The moment  he caught sight
of the child, he bounded up to her,
rubbed  his great head  lovingly
against her shoulder, and saluted
her with a joyous bark that made
the distant woods echo again.
  They're   fast friends, those
  two, laughed my host,  and 'd
  like to see anything try to hurt her
while Lion's by her side. Their
acquaintance began in a rather odd way, though,
and I can tell you it made me feel rather uncom-
fortable at the time, although it all ended better
than I expected. If you care to hear the story, I'll
tell it.
    You see, when we first came to live here, five
 years ago, the place was nothing like as civilized
 as it is now. The woods came  almost up to the
 house then, and in winter we  used to find the
 tracks of the wolves quite thick all around the
 house, every morning.  Then,  too, there were
 some troublesome fellows in the village yonder

Boston, June, 1886.



(luckily they're all gone now) who didn't seem over
well pleased at seeing an Englishmansettle among
ther, and for the first few months I was always
expecting to be attacked. So I got this big dog of
mine from a friend at Moscow, and made a hutch
for him in the yard, that we might have a senti-
   And a capital sentinel he made, I will say that
for him; but he was so fierce that we had to keep
him chained up night and day at the other end of
the courtyard, which was some distance from the
house.  My  servants, when they fed him, used to

No. 1.

put the food within his reach with
a long-handled ' scoop,' and then
make  off as fast as they could;
and, knowing that Polly was cer-
tain to try and make friends with
him  as she did with  everything
else, I wished myself well rid of
him  before he'd been with us  a,
   However, by dint -of keeping
the dog  always in the yard, and
Polly always out of it, we man-
aged to get along well enough for
a while; and although she would
sometimes  talk pityingly of ' the
poor dogr ' having nobody to play
with, anad never getting a holiday,
I thought nothing of it, till one fine
day Polly was missing!
   We  hunted high and low, but
no Polly;  we  called and called,
but no answer.  I was  beginning
to get rather anxious, when all at
once the thought struck me, could
she  have gone  into the yard to
look at the dog?
   I don't think I ever got such
a  fright in my  life; but I said
nothing  to my wife  about it for
fear of  frightening her  too. I
just  snatched up  my  big stick,
and down  I rushed.  At the door
that led into the court, I met my
Russian  servant, Mikhail (Mich-
ael), who was looking half-scared
and   half-amused.  He   held up
one  hand  as if warning  me  to
make  no noise, and pointed with
the other toward  the end of the
yard.  I peeped over his shoulder,
and  there I did see a sight, and

no mistake.
   The dog was sitting upright just in front of
his kennel propped up on his forepaws; and there
was  Polly standing beside him,  with one  arm
around  his great thick neck, and the other hand
held out, saying, ' Paw, doggie-give me a paw!'
   But  when  she saw  that he  didn't seem to
understand her, she  actually took hold of  his
great yellow paw,  and  shook it as hard as she
could; and then she  patted him on the head, and
   ' Good doggie-learn to shake hands!'


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