The little boy took care of his faithful dog as long as he lived, and never forgot the importance and necessity of doing good to others if we wish them to do the same to us.
THE ILL-NATURED LITTLE BOY
There was once a little boy who was so unfortunate as to have a very bad man for his father, who was always surly and ill-tempered, and never gave his children either good instruction or good example. In consequence of this, this little boy, who might otherwise have been happier and better, became ill-natured and quarrelsome, and disagreeable to every one. He very often was severely beaten for his impertinence by boys that were bigger than himself, and sometimes by boys that were less; for though he was very abusive and quarrelsome, he did not much like fighting, and generally trusted more to his heels than his courage when he had engaged himself in a quarrel. This little boy had a cur dog that was the exact image of himself; he was the most troublesome, surly creature imaginable, always barking at the heels of every horse he came near, and worrying every sheep he could meet with, for which reason both the dog and the boy were disliked by all the neighborhood.
One morning his father got up early to go to the ale-house, where he intended to stay till night, as it was a holiday; but before he went out he gave his son some bread and cold meat and sixpence, and told him he might go and divert himself as he would the whole day. The little boy was very much pleased with this liberty, and as it was a very fine morning he called his dog Tiger to follow him, and began his walk.
He had not proceeded far before he met a boy that was driving a flock of sheep towards a gate that he wanted them to enter. “Pray, master,” said the little boy, “stand still, and keep your dog close to you, for fear you frighten my sheep.” “Oh yes, to be sure,” answered the ill-natured little boy. “I am to wait here all the morning till you and your sheep have passed, I suppose! Here, Tiger, seize them, boy”! Tiger at this sprang forth into the middle of the flock, barking and biting on every side, and the sheep, in a general consternation, hurried each a separate way.
Tiger seemed to enjoy this sport equally with his master, but in the midst of his triumph he happened unguardedly to attack an old ram that had more courage than the rest of the flock. He, instead of running away, faced about and aimed a blow with his forehead at his enemy with so much force and dexterity that he knocked Tiger over and over, butting him several times while he was down, and obliged him to limp howling away.
The ill-natured little boy, who was not capable of loving anything, had been very much diverted with the trepidation of the flock of sheep, but now he laughed heartily at the misfortune of his dog, and he would have laughed much longer had not the other little boy, his patience provoked at this treatment, thrown a stone at him, which hit him full upon the temples and almost knocked him down. He immediately began to cry in concert with his dog, when, perceiving a man coming towards them, whom he fancied might be the owner of the sheep, he thought it most prudent to escape as speedily as possible.