VA seated herself down on the dog's left, Jeff being on the right; Eva was playing with his long silky ears, and Jeff was caressing the Spaniel's handsome face and brow. 'Does

he not appear tired?" said Eva.

"Yes, dear, he does," replied Jeff; " and more than once to-night I feel certain I heard him sigh."

The Spaniel gave Jeff a kindly paw, then he turned his head and touched Eva ever so gently on the cheek, just to show that he was sensible of their consideration, and quite appreciated it.

"I'm not tired," said Rover, for that was the dog's name, "and I'm not sad, though I sigh-at least, not very sad.


Oh," he continued aloud, his brown eyes dilating with earnestness, as he began to tell his story, "it was not my dear old master's fault that he parted with me. He was poor, and tempted by a large price, and the tears coursed down his cheeks as he bade me farewell. I could see them, though he tried to hide them."

"Good-bye, dear old Rover,' he said, 'you will be happy where you are.' The luxury of tears is denied to dogs, but, oh! what a big choking lump was at my throat, as, led by a string, I went away with my new master.

"I tried to do my duty by him at first, although I could see he was empty, vain, and foolish. He gave me a new name, he bought me a new collar, such a fine one, and he bought a new silver-mounted whip-dear old master never used a whip. He bought something else he bought a muzzle!

"This,' he said, shaking it at me and smiling, 'is to put on you in the dog days, my boy.'



old worn-out fallacy and superstition that dogs go mad in the dog days. From that very moment I determined to leave him. I would not return to my old master. No; I would not pain him by proofs of my disobedience, but I would go somewhere-anywhere away from the cruelty that now surrounded me. It was the cruelty of ignorance, the cruelty, I might say, of luxury, for my kennel was superb, the dish from which I lapped my milk was china, my chain was of polished steel; but had it been of the purest gold it was still a chain, a fetter. And, alas! while I had plenty of the best meat and bones to eat, I often lacked bread; and although my milk was brought fresh every morning, I often wanted water. All my master cared about was to hear me praised and called beautiful.

"My relief came at last. I was taken down to the copse one day in June; my master had his gun. See now, good dog,' he said, "if you can't start a rabbit. In you go.'


"With all the joy in life,' I replied, speaking with my tail. But it is not given to men like him to understand the language of dogs.

"I plunged into the copse, and my master started to walk round and watch. He may be walking round and watching till this day for anything know, or care. I did not go far till I sat down, to enjoy, to drink in a portion of the life, the freedom, and the joy everywhere around me.

"I was in a little glade carpeted with meadow grass and wild flowers, many with pink eyes peeping through the green, many with blue; then there were tall branching ferns and trailing whiteblossomed brambles, and glittering buttercups, starry-flowered fairy bedstraw, and the modest little crow-pea that rivalled the buttercups in richness of yellow. Down in this quiet copse the nightingale and blackcap still trilled their song, and gorgeous birds and butterflies innumerable flew hither and thither, all so happy in their freedom.

"Don't leave the copse till nightfall,' said a sweet bell-like voice that proceeded from a beautiful moth deep hid among the crow-peas, 'don't leave till nightfall-we never do; don't leave, don't leave I heard no more; slumber stole over me, a slumber more sweet than any I had enjoyed for many months, and when I awoke the stars were all out, and a lovely moon, and the moths were floating and dancing among the elder blossoms. It was very dreary in that copse, and when I heard the distant village clock chime out the hour of midnight, and the owl hoot mournfully, I felt

66 I shuddered. This man, then, believed in the frightened, for all dogs are superstitious.

“Flap! flap! flap! At that moment a great owl flew right over the glade, and I started and ran, and never pulled up until I was miles upon miles away from that eerie, dreary copse.

"I got to a highway at last, and went straight on, and on, and on; but towards morning, when the stars began to pale, I forsook this road, and took once more to the wilds, keeping the direction in which I knew London to lie, for that I determined should be my destination. I had been running since midnight, and was now very tired and very hungry, and glad enough I was, you may be sure, when I came to a humble cottage, from the roof of which the smoke was curling. Here a woman gave me a little milk to drink, and would fain have caught me afterwards; but though not ungrateful, I was too near the place from which I had escaped; and so I ran on again once more.

"All that day I slept under a wreath of newlymown hay, until the stars once more shone out that I thought were to guide me on to London. Then I had the good fortune to find a plentiful repast, in the shape of a young rabbit. Part of it I ate, and

part I took along with me.

"Towards morning I was in quite a wild country. There was not a house to be seen, save one shepherd's hut, and this I determined to avoid, but fate willed it otherwise. I caught my leg in a trap that had been set for a fox. How can people be so cruel? My limb was frightfully lacerated, and when towards evening the shepherd's boy came to my relief, I expected nothing but death. How different was the treatment I received at the hands of the dear boy who found me! He carried me away to his mother's cot, and for weeks between the two of them they tended and fed me as if I had been a baby. The food I had may have been rough. What of that?—I had it regularly, and my drink was the pure water from the neighbouring rill. When at last I was able to follow my kind young protector away over the wild moorland after his fleecy flock, oh! I don't think there could have been a much happier dog than I. I could have lived there for ever. happiness will not, cannot last in this world. One day a bird-catcher came over the moor. I went to look at him, he threw me a piece of meat and I ate it. I remembered no more until I found myself tied by the neck with a rope, and the blackness of darkness everywhere about me. How I blamed my greed in not having been contented with the kindly fare my humble master and mistress never failed to place before me. But my life with this bird-catcher was of short duration; he sold me, and before many months was over, I was re-sold, and sold and sold again. Sometimes I was owned by rich, sometimes by poor, at times I slept in stables, at times on


beds of down, but I cannot say I ever was happy. I was seldom fed with regularity either-indeed, the time on any day at which I dined was merely chance; my water, whenever I had a dish, was seldom pure, and as for exercise, I had to take it whenever I could. Folk little think how cruel such treatment as this is, but the time is coming when they will know, although my poor bones will then be mouldering in the dust. We have but a short life, we poor doggies. I think those who own us and whom we love and try to serve so faithfully, might often be a little kinder to us than they are. But there--I will not sadden this happy meeting by one word of complaint. The last master I had was one of the best of all, but even he was thoughtless, and I determined if I had the chance to leave him. That chance came. It came with Christmas Eve. I could see that preparations were being made to send me away, and to my joy I heard more than once mention of the name of London. Finally I was led to the station and consigned to the tender mercies of the railway officials. Never shall I forget the horrors of that journey, for instead of putting me in a clean hamper, properly directed as he ought to have done, my master simply sent me off on a collar and chain. So I was thrust into a terrible box, called "the boot," with at each end of it a grating, the way was long, the night was piercing cold, I had neither food nor water, nor straw to lie upon, and the wind whistled over me till my very bones felt frozen. But worse than all, I had to change carriages towards morning. I was taken out, therefore, and tied up at the station at a corner, where the wind blew most fiercely, and the whirling snow almost choked me. The snow was all the refreshment I had for many, many hours; so there I starved and shivered all the live-long day. Rosy-cheeked happy-looking children and people in holiday attire brushed past me, friends met friends, there were laughing and gaiety and joy on all sides, but no one looked towards poor me. Yes, forgive me if I forgot thee, dear mild-eyed gentle woman, you came and stood in front of me, and I could see a tear quiver for a moment, ere it fell on my head. This dear lady, whom I never saw again, opened her bag and gave me to eat.

"At length came a porter, a rough, hard-handed, cruel man, and undid my chain, but my poor limbs were quite paralysed, and refused to move.

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in hand, he stood there, square-shouldered and erect, glancing with indignant eyes at the wretched cowering porter, he seemed all a hero.

"How dare you use a dog like that?' he cried.

"He took me in his arms, and carried me into his own van, and gave me a bed of warm straw. Heaven bless him, wherever he is; but for him I should have died.

"I was left to starve again at the London station, and here by sheer force I pulled my head through my collar, and fled.

"That is my story, and it just proves that the world is not all bad, and that there are good guards who are kind to poor dogs like myself, who happen to be travelling on long wearisome journeys. Once more I say bless them, and happy may their Christmas be."

up in front of the kangaroo sheds. One of the kangaroos looked out.

"I am the only one disengaged," said he; "the others are all getting ready for the banquet."

"The animals' banquet at the refreshment rooms," explained the Elephant to Eva; "it is the grand finishing-up of the gala-night."

"Yes," responded the Kangaroo, "and it is the oddest idea. Truly England is a very odd country." "I don't think it is," said Jeff, a little indignantly; "I thought that England was always quite right, And and that other countries must be wrong. Australia certainly must be odder than England." "Yes," chimed in Eva, "Australia must be odd." "I don't want to say anything against England," said the Kangaroo; "this country is well enough, and I'm very happy at the Zoo. But just listen to what I am going to tell you, and you will find

As Rover finished speaking, the Elephant drew that Australia is not in any way an odd country."



O, my dear chil-
dren," contin-
ued the Kan-
garoo," Aus-
tralia is not
an odd coun-
try. England
is an odd
country, if
you like; but
certainly not
is very odd
in England;
and I ought

to know, for I have been in it a whole year. Even the sun is odd. Why does he rise in the place where he ought to set, and set where he ought to rise? In Australia he knows better. He gets up and goes to bed in the proper places, and travels from right to left as he ought to do, and not from left to right, as he does in this odd country.

"Then, there is the moon. I can make nothing of her. She is always where she has no business to be, and I never know where to look for her.

"Some conceited kangaroos who were born in this absurd country say that it is all right, and that I do not know what I am talking about. I am sure that they do not know what they are talking about; for as soon as I mention anything about the sun, or

moon, or stars, they begin to talk about things which they call 'poles' and 'equators.'

"Now, how can a pole interfere with the sun? As for equators, I never saw one, and I do not believe that any one else has done so. I ask you, then, what is the good of talking about things which neither you nor anybody else has seen?

"You cannot even be content to have the same stars as we do.

"What have you done with the Southern Cross, that I am used to?

"As to your Polar Star, that you make such a fuss about, it is a stupid little thing, not half so big or as bright as any of the stars in the Southern Cross. If you must have a Polar Star, why not keep the Southern Cross, and have both, and then everybody would be pleased. But, as I said before, England is an odd country. "Then, there is the wind. That is all wrong too. "One very, very cold day, I was sitting in my house, trying to keep myself warm in the straw, when I heard two people talking. One said to the other that the cold was enough to freeze the marrow in one's bones. And the other said that you could expect nothing else from such a north wind.

"A north wind, indeed!

"Why, in Australia, where the winds know what they are about, the south wind is the cold one, and the north wind is the warm one.

"Still odder, I found by inquiries from my neighbours who were born here that the cold wind really blows from the north in this queer country,

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"Why, there was snow on the ground, and the water in my trough was covered with ice. It could not be Christmas, which, as every one knows, is the hottest time of the year. At least, it is so in Australia, where the seasons know how to behave themselves, and of course it ought to be so here. But, really, England is such a very odd country that we cannot be surprised at anything.

"Here is another English oddity.

"Some months ago I got out of my house, and had a run over all the Gardens. When I came to one of the ponds I was really disgusted. There were several big white birds floating on the water, and I heard a gentleman say to a lady that the swans were in fine plumage that year.

"Why, the birds were actually white, and had the impudence to call themselves swans.

"Every one knows that the proper colour of swans is black. Look at our swans. They are almost entirely black, as they ought to be; and the only white which they allow themselves is a patch of white feathers on each wing, just to show off the beautiful black of the rest of their plumage. They would think it positively disgraceful to be white all over, and would never dare to show their beaks in society.

"Then, as to the fruit of this odd country.

Shortly after I came here, some children were kind enough to give me some plums and cherries. Well, I picked them up, and when I began to eat one, I nearly broke one of my teeth. There was a stone inside it. Now, who would have expected to find a stone inside a fruit? The proper place for the stone is outside the fruit, just stuck on the end, where every one can see it.


Now that I have shown you what an odd country England is, I will tell you something about my own country, and our way of life there. Of course, there are plenty of places in Australia all spoiled with houses, and fences, and roads; but where I lived the country is open for miles and miles, as far as you can see in every direction.

66 As for us, there are thousands upon thousands of us; and I have heard my parents say that not many years ago, we had the country almost entirely to ourselves. We had our enemies, as every one has, and the worst of them were the men. Now I think that men are a mistake altogether, but if

you must have them, let them be black, like the


"As to white men, they are a thousand times worse than the blacks. Black men get on very well without sheep, or cows, or horses, or those dreadful dogs.

"There is one thing I have observed about all these strange creatures which are brought from England. The mother-animals have not the least idea of taking care of their young.

"If I had not seen it over and over again, I could not have believed that the mothers could be so selfish. But it is really a fact, that no matter whether the young animal be a horse, or a cow, or a sheep, or a dog, it always has to follow its mother about.

"None of the Australian mothers are selfish enough to leave their children to their own poor little legs. Every one of our mothers has a nice warm cradle in front of her, and always carries her babies about with her. At first the baby never leaves the cradle, but when it is big enough to eat grass, it just puts its head out of the cradle and nibbles the tender tops of the young grass-blades. As it grows stronger it comes out of the cradle, and jumps about on the ground near its mother.

"Suppose that the mother is frightened by a man, or some of the horrid dogs, she knows how to behave herself.

"If she were a sheep, or a cow, she would run away, and the young one would have to run after her; and as the young one cannot run so fast as she does, they will both be caught.


But, being a kangaroo, she knows better. She tells her little one to jump into the cradle, and away she goes with it.

"So here, again, you see how much superior Australia is to England.

"I wish you could see us in our own country, and not in this little place, where one cannot even make a decent jump, and have no chance of showing how fast we can run.

"We can fight, too, when running is of no use. You should have seen how my father fought three dogs that a horrid white man set at him. He was a Boomer, and one of the finest and handsomest of his kind.

"One day we were quietly .feeding, when we heard the barking of dogs. My mother called to me; I jumped into my cradle, and off we set.

"Now, my mother did not happen to be particularly strong, and she found that she could not carry me very much farther. So she asked what she was to do, and my father thought of a good plan. So, just as we came to a clump of trees where we were hidden for a moment from the dogs, my mother

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