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The Oak-Tree .
THIRD 'STANDARD' READER.
animal love heart hurt
beast like kindness harm
brute dislike goodness ill-use
KINDNESS TO ANIMALS.
I Am now going to tell you some stories of animals. If you do not like the stories, then it will be my fault, and I shall be very sorry for it.
As to your liking animals, I have not a shadow of a doubt. I have never known a boy or girl who did not like them—every one. Whomever heard of a boy or girl really disliking a dog, or a cat, or a rabbit, or a bird, or, indeed, any animal in this wonderful creation? No one.
I will ask another question:—Whoever has seen a boy, or a girl, aye, or even a grown-up man illusing a dog, cat, fly, spider, ass, or horse? Well, well, I suppose I must give an answer to this question, as well as the last, so here it is:—Mvery one.
0 dear, dear! boy, girl, and grown-up man, I am ashamed of you! I blush for you!! why is this? I will tell you how it is:—
It is because you do not know better. Do you hear that? It is, because you do not know what pain you are causing. Do you know you are making that poor animal weep—weep all over; that you are breaking its heart, poor thing? Ah! I thought you did not know.
What little girl ever ill-uses even her lifeless, little doll? Or what little girl, or boy, ever hurts his own Tom or Tabbie. Or what lad ever kicks his own dog? None of them all. Why is this? That is very curious, is it not? I will tell you why :—
It is because they belong to them. The doll, or the cat, or the dog, is her or his pet. They have talked to them, and they know each other. They are friends.
But if I see another cat and dog that are not mine, of course I do not know them. If I did know them, very likely I should find they were just as good as my own. And if I only take the trouble to talk with them a little, I shall find that they are perhaps better than mine. In that case, what a terrible mistake it would be to do them any harm! 0 dear! It is dreadful even to think of.
But, suppose they are not so good as my own. Pray, why should I chase them, or throw stones at them, or beat them with a stick? Did they bite me? No.
Good! Fair play is a jewel; and it is much wiser to Let well alone than to Run the head against a stone; because, you know, I might Get as good as J give, and I should never Give what I woidd not willingly take.
YES, I LOVE EACH LIVING THING.
Yes, I love each living thing
That Heav'n hath call'd to birth:
Shaggy coat, or painted wing,
Beasts that toil, or birds that sing,
Bees that hum, and sometimes sting—
So, old Neddy, fear not me,
Your poor sides to beat, you see;
Munch your clover; happy be,
Roll and tumble o'er the lea—
And thou, pretty little bird,
Oh! prithee, do not flee,
All in the hawthorn-tree.
And my butterfly so fine,
Why, why such haste, I pray?
And, old mousie, you may run,
And go gambol in the sun,
I enjoy your harmless fun,
I'm the enemy of none—
A Man was walking near a rail'way station, and
he saw a lame little dog. It was clear that the dog was in great pain.
The man took up the poor dog in his arms, and patiently carried him home He bound the dog's lame leg with a piece of cloth. He then gave him a portion of his own supper, and put him in a warm place.
* J. G. Watts' " Tales and Songs:'
In a few days he allowed the dog to go to his own home.
By-and-bye the dog came back to the man, bringing with him another dog that was lame.
The man's old friend, who was now quite well, first gave his doctor a humble look, and then he gave the lame dog a gracious look. This was the way the grateful dog had of saying, "You cured me very nicely, and you will oblige me by doing the same gracious action to my brother here."
Of course the man was pleased to help his new patient. So he took him in hand. He washed his leg with a nice lotion, and kept him beside him till he was well.
Oh, little hearts have power to love,
And little hands to labor;
Hath smitten down a neighbour.
The humblest is our brother;
But to assist each other.
The tiny, tinkling brook that flows
Towards the distant ocean,
Soon lose its rapid motion;—
Or with none near to cherish.
Beneath fierce sunbeams perish.