Grateful Dogs, edited by Andrew Lang
From ‘Das Echo,’ June 8, 1895. Letter to the editor, signed
G. M., Mexico, purporting to be an extract from a letter of his brother
in Nebraska. I have translated and recast it.
A farmer in Nebraska—one of the Western States of
North America—possessed two dogs, a big one called
Fanny, and a small one who was named Jolly. One
winter day the farmer went for a walk and took with him
his two pets; they came to a brook that ran through the
farm, and was now frozen up.
Fanny crossed it without much ado, but Jolly, who
was always afraid of water, distrusted the ice, and refused
to follow. Fanny paused at the other side, and barked
loudly to induce her companion to come, but Jolly pretended
not to understand.
Then Fanny ran back to him, and tried to explain that
it was quite safe, but in vain, Jolly only looked after his
master, and whimpered; upon which, Fanny, losing
patience, seized him by the collar, and dragged him over.
For this kindness Jolly showed himself grateful some
Fanny, greedy creature, was fond of fresh eggs. When
she heard a hen cackle she always ran to look for the
nest, and one day she discovered one under the fruit-shed.
But, alas! she could not get the beloved dainty
because she was too large to go under the shed. Looking
very pensive and thoughtful, she went away, and soon
returned with Jolly, bringing him just before the hole.
Jolly, however, was stupid and did not understand;
Fanny put her head in, and then her paws, without being
able, with all her efforts, to reach the egg; the smaller
dog, seeing that there was something in the hole, went
in to look, but not caring for eggs, came out empty-handed.
Thereupon Fanny looked at him in such a sad and
imploring way, that her master, who was watching them,
could scarcely suppress his laughter.
At last Jolly seemed to understand what was wanted;
he went under the shed again, brought out the egg, and
put it before Fanny, who ate it with great satisfaction,
and then both dogs trotted off together.