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A Dog Story

[June 1, 1895.]

Perhaps you will allow me to add another to your interesting list of dog
stories. In a house where I once boarded there was a large and
remarkably sagacious St. Bernard mastiff, who used to come into my
sitting-room and give me his company at dinner, sitting on the floor
beside my chair, with his head on a level with the plates. His master,
however, fearing that he was being over-fed, gave strict injunctions
that this practice should no longer be permitted. On the first day of
the prohibition the dog lay and sulked in the kitchen; but on the second
day, when the landlady brought in the dishes, he stole in noiselessly
close behind her, and while for the moment she bent over the table, he
slipped promptly beneath it, and waited. No sooner had she retired than
he emerged from his hiding-place, sat down in his usual position, and
winked in my face with a look which seemed to say, "Haven't I done her!"
In due course, the good woman came to change the plates, and as soon as
he heard her step, he slunk once more under the table; but in an
instant, ere she had time to open the door, he came out again, as if he
had suddenly taken another thought, and threw himself down on the rug
before the fire--to all appearance fast asleep. "Ah, Keeper; you there,
you rascal!" exclaimed his mistress, in indignant surprise, as she
caught sight of him. The dog opened his eyes, half raised his body,
stretched himself out lazily at full length, gave a great yawn as if
awakened from a good long sleep, and then, with a wag of his tail, went
forward and tried to lick her hand. It was a capital piece of acting,
and the air of perfect guilelessness was infinitely amusing.


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