“I wouldn’t drive a bob-tailed
Nor hurry up a cow,
Then he forgot the rest. The boys and girls were so sorry. They called out, “Pig,” “Goat,” “Calf,” “Sheep,” “Hens,” “Ducks,” and all the other animals’ names they could think of, but none of them was right, and as the boy had just made up the poetry, no one knew what the next could be. He stood for a long time staring at the ceiling, then he said, “I guess I’ll have to give it up.”
The children looked dreadfully disappointed. “Perhaps you will remember it by our next meeting,” said the president, anxiously.
“Possibly”, said the boy, “but probably not. I think it is gone forever.” And he went to his seat.
The next thing was to call for new members. Miss Laura got up and said she would like to join their Band of Mercy. I followed her up to the platform, while they pinned a little badge on her, and every one laughed at me. Then they sang, “God Bless our Native Land,” and the president told us that we might all go home.
It seemed to me a lovely thing for those children to meet together to talk about kindness to animals. They all had bright and good faces, and many of them stopped to pat me as I came out. One little girl gave me a biscuit from her school bag.
Mrs. Wood waited at the door till Mr. Maxwell came limping out on his crutches. She introduced him to Miss Laura, and asked him if he wouldn’t go and take tea with them. He said he would be very happy to do so, and then Mrs. Wood laughed; and asked him if he hadn’t better empty his pockets first. She didn’t want a little toad jumping over her tea table, as one did the last time he was there.
* * * * *
MR. MAXWELL AND MR. HARRY
Mr. Maxwell wore a coat with loose pockets, and while she was speaking, he rested on his crutches, and began to slap them with his hands. “No; there’s nothing here to-day,” he said; “I think I emptied my pockets before I went to the meeting.”
Just as he said that there was a loud squeal: “Oh, my guinea pig,” he exclaimed; “I forgot him,” and he pulled out a little spotted creature a few inches long. “Poor Derry, did I hurt you?” and he soothed it very tenderly.
I stood and looked at Mr. Maxwell, for I had never seen any one like him. He had thick curly hair and a white face, and he looked just like a girl. While I was staring at him, something peeped up out of one of his pockets and ran out its tongue at me so fast that I could scarcely see it, and then drew back again. I was thunderstruck. I had never seen such a creature before. It was long and thin like a boy’s cane, and of a bright green color like grass, and it had queer shiny eyes. But its tongue was the strangest part of it. It came and went like lightning. I was uneasy about it, and began to bark.