One day Mr. Robinson came in to see him, and he said, “You have made a fine-looking dog of him, but his appearance is ruined by the length of his tail.”
“Mr. Robinson,” said Mrs. Morris, patting little Billy, who lay on her lap, “don’t you think that this little dog has a beautifully proportioned body?”
“Yes, I do,” said the gentleman. “His points are all correct, save that one.”
“But,” she said, “if our Creator made that beautiful little body, don’t you think he is wise enough to know what length of tail would be in proportion to it?”
Mr. Robinson would not answer her. He only laughed and said that he thought she and Miss Laura were both “cranks.”
* * * * *
GOLDFISH AND CANARIES
The Morris boys were all different. Jack was bright and clever, Ned was a wag, Willie was a book-worm, and Carl was a born trader.
He was always exchanging toys and books with his schoolmates, and they never got the better of him in a bargain. He said that when he grew up he was going to be a merchant, and he had already begun to carry on a trade in canaries and goldfish. He was very fond of what he called “his yellow pets,” yet he never kept a pair of birds or a goldfish, if he had a good offer for them.
He slept alone in a large, sunny room at the top of the house. By his own request, it was barely furnished, and there he raised his canaries and kept his goldfish.
He was not fond of having visitors coming to his room, because, he said, they frightened the canaries. After Mrs. Morris made his bed in the morning, the door was closed, and no one was supposed to go in till he came from school. Once Billy and I followed him upstairs without his knowing it, but as soon as he saw us he sent us down in a great hurry.
One day Bella walked into his room to inspect the canaries. She was quite a spoiled bird by this time, and I heard Carl telling the family afterward that it was as good as a play to see Miss Bella strutting in with her breast stuck out, and her little, conceited air, and hear her say, shrilly, “Good morning, birds, good morning! How do you do, Carl? Glad to see you, boy.”
“Well, I’m not glad to see you,” he said, decidedly, “and don’t you ever come up here again. You’d frighten my canaries to death.” And he sent her flying downstairs.
How cross she was! She came shrieking to Miss Laura. “Bella loves birds. Bella wouldn’t hurt birds. Carl’s a bad boy.”
Miss Laura petted and soothed her, telling her to go find Davy, and he would play with her. Bella and the rat were great friends. It was very funny to see them going about the house together. From the very first she had liked him, and coaxed him into her cage, where he soon became quite at home,—so much so that he always slept there. About nine o’clock every evening, if he was not with her, she went all over the house, crying: “Davy! Davy! time to go to bed. Come sleep in Bella’s cage.”