“Teach me the knack,” said I. “Oh, it can’t be taught,” replied the boy. “Well, here is a dime for your trouble,” said I, putting the fish into my pail. “Do you suppose I take pay for what I do for sport, mister?” said little barefoot, waving back my hand with the air of a prince.
After that we became good friends, and met often at the bridge; but I never could learn his knack of catching trout.
What fine times we have together!—Carlo, John, and Bella; by which last I mean myself. Carlo has the advantage of the other two of us sometimes; for he has four legs, and can run faster than either John or I. But then we can do a great many things that Carlo cannot do.
For example, John and I sometimes take our books, and sit down on the rocks in the wood, under the thick trees, and read stories. And then Carlo will lie down at our feet, and go to sleep; for he cannot understand the nice stories which the other two friends enjoy so much.
But wait till we go into the swamps after berries, or into the wood-borders after hazel-nuts. Then Carlo is wide awake, you may be sure. If he sees a snake, what a noise he makes! We can always tell by the tone of his bark when he has found a snake.
And, when John climbs a tree after nuts, how anxiously Carlo will stand underneath and watch him, so afraid is he that the little boy will get a fall! And how the good dog will jump and show his pleasure when he sees John once more safe on the firm ground!
Oh! we have fine times together, we three, both in summer and winter; for Carlo likes to see us skate on ice, and is fond of a snowballing frolic. In all our sleigh-rides he goes with us, and takes great care of us. We are dear friends, we three, and I should no more think of striking Carlo than of striking John.
PET, THE CANARY.
A little girl by the name of Agnes, who lives in Maine, and who much enjoys “The Nursery,” has a beautiful, bright canary, which her papa brought her one day in a paper-box. Agnes named him Pet.
The little fellow has become so tame, that he is allowed to stay out of his cage as long as he wishes, always going to it of his own accord when bedtime comes. One day I found no pins on my pin-cushion; and, seeing them scattered around on the bureau, I wondered who could have done the mischief. I soon found, by watching, that it was Pet’s work.
Every day he took his stand on the pin-cushion, in front of the glass, to pull out all the pins. I saw him once work a long time trying to stick one back by tipping his head, first one side and then the other, holding the pin tightly in his bill; but he soon gave it up.
Little Fannie, Agnes’s two-year-old sister, often shares her lunch with him; he sitting on the edge of the saucer, and helping himself while she is eating. As I write, he is sitting on the tassel of the shade, looking out of the window. Some day I’ll tell you more of Pet’s pranks.