XXVII. A Dog Story
I am a dog, and my name is Brick. I think it is
a very good name for a dog. It is not a common name like Spot,
and Ned,1 and Rover.
My mistress is a young lady called Kitty.2 She is very fond of
me. She has taught me how to do a great many things.
I can sit up on my hind legs. I can jump over Miss Kitty's hands,
and I can dance. I was very proud when I heard her tell one of
her friends that I could do everything she told me.
After that I tried more than ever to please her, and she often
gave me nice bits to eat. Every day I went out with her, to take
care of her.
Now, one day, as we were out walking in the village, we saw a strange
dog running along the street, with a crowd of children after him.
A bad boy had tied a tin can 3 to the poor dog's tail, and the
children were shouting and throwing stones at the dog and the can.
Just as we came in sight, the dog ran into a passage between two
houses, and the children could not drive him out. Miss Kitty told
them to go away and let the poor thing alone.
As soon as they were all gone, she spoke kindly to the dog and
made friends with him. Then she untied 4 the string and took off
the can. Nor was that all. She led the strange dog home, and let
him eat with me out of my dish.
I did not like him at first, but what could I do? Miss Kitty was
kind to him, and so, after a time, we became very good friends.
My mistress did not know the new dog's name, so she gave him one.
She called him Tinker,5 because, when she first met him, he had
a tin can tied to his tail.
And now I will tell you how Tinker paid Miss Kitty back, for all
the kindness she had shown him. It is the best dog story that I
One night, when every one was in bed, and Tinker and I had gone
to lie down under the table in the hall,s we heard a noise not
Tinker was on his feet in a moment. Then he made for 7 the pantry,8
where a scraping9 sound could be heard. Of course I went with him.
I wanted to see what he would do.
When we got to the pantry, we could just make out 10 a man on the
outside of the window. It was so dark that the man could not see
Tinker did not bark or make the least sound; he just waited. All
the time the scraping sound went on.
The man scraped away till he could take out one of the window panes.ll
Then he put his hand through the hole to open the window.
Tinker was ready, and he at once jumped up and caught the man's
hand in his mouth, and held it fast. Then I began to bark as loudly
as I could.
Every one in the house woke up at once, and came as fast as they
could to see what was wrong. My master got help, and the man was
taken to prison. They all said that Tinker was a brave dog, and
I think so too.
1 See X. 2. 2 Short for Katherine or Catherine; also Kate, Kathleen.
Cp. Daisy or Maggie (=Margaret), Connie (= Constance), Bess (see
I. 35) or Betty or Betsy (=Elizabeth), Molly (= Mary), Nelly
(=Helen). 3 A can holds water, beer, etc. ; it is generally made
of such a metal as tin, brass, or copper. 4 opp. to tie. 5 When
a can is broken, the tinker repairs (see XVIII. 9) it. 6 When
we pass through the front door of a house, we enter the hall.
7 Or: ran to. 8 A small room in which food is kept, also glass
and silver for the table. 9 We scrape our boots on a mat when
we want to clean them after coming home. If we pass the edge
of a knife over a piece of wood, it makes a scraping sound. 10
Or: see, perceive. 11 A window often has four or six panes of