TOBY-DOG, (moved with indignation)
You’re very hard to please! I certainly love Him; he’s good and pretends not to see my faults, so that he won’t have to scold, but She’s the most beautiful thing in the world to me, the dearest and—the most difficult to understand. The sound of her step enchants me, her changeful eyes dispense happiness—and trouble. She’s like Destiny itself, she never hesitates. Even torture from her hands—you know how She teases me?
No, not cruelly, but artfully. I never can tell what’s coming next. This morning She bent down as if to speak to me, lifted one of my “tiny elephant’s ears,” as She calls them, and sent a sharp cry into it, which went to the very back of my brain.
Was it right or wrong? I can’t decide even now. It started waves of nervousness running madly through me. Then, She has a fancy for making me do tricks. Almost every day I must—“Do the Fish, Toby dear.” She lifts me in her arms and squeezes me until I gasp. My poor dumb mouth opens as a carp’s does when they’re drowning it in air....
That’s just like Her!
Suddenly I find myself free—and still alive, miraculously saved by the power of her will. How beautiful life seems to me then! How fondly I lick the hand hanging at her side, the hem of her dress!
A pretty thing to do!
All good and all evil come to me from Her. She is my worst torment and my one sure refuge. When I run to her, my heart sick with fear, how soft her arms are and how sweet her hair, falling in my face! I’m her “black-baby,” her “Toby-Dog,” her “little bit o’ love.” She sits on the ground to reassure me, making herself little like me—lies down altogether and I go wild with delight at the sight of her face under mine, thrown back in her fragrant hair. My feelings overflow, I can’t resist such a chance for a jolly good game. I rummage and fumble about, excitedly poking my nose everywhere, till I find the crispy tip of a pink ear—Her ear. I nibble it just enough to tickle her—to make her cry out: “Stop, Toby! That’s awful! Help! Help! This dog’s devouring me!”
H’m! Simple, homely, wholesome joys! ... And then, off you go to make friends with the cook.
TOBY-DOG And you,—with the cat at the farm.