Kindness to Animals eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 54 pages of information about Kindness to Animals.

[Illustration]

CHAPTER VII.

Fishes—­insects.

A story about Jack.  When he was a little fellow, soon after he came to me, and before he knew many words, he made me understand that he wanted a very long, slender stick.  I asked a gardener of a friend, and he cut him a fine one from a particular sort of tree.  Then Jack laid out a penny, all that he had, on a coarse bit of line, such as fishermen use; and, lastly, he came to me for some large pins:  one of which he bent like a hook; explaining to me that he was going to dig for worms to put upon it, that he might fish.  I shook my head, saying, “No.”  Jack nodded his head, and said “Yes.”  I said “bad;” Jack said “good;” and then I took up his little red hand, and pretended I was going to run the hook through the flesh.  He snatched it away in a fright, saying “Bad, bad!” but I nodded, and said “Good, good!” He said, “Bad Mam, hurt Jack!” and I answered, “Bad Jack, hurt worm:  God made Jack—­God made worm.”  He shook his head, and said, “No;” and what do you think was the reason he gave?  He reminded me that God is high up above, and that the worms come from below, under the ground.  The little fellow did not know that the world is round; he thought it was flat:  still less did he then understand that God is everywhere, and made all things, above and beneath.  Then I told him that the Lord did so; and that worms and other things were put into the earth by him, even as we were made to walk upon its surface.  Jack considered a little; and then said the worms were rolled up in the world as apples were in a dumpling, and that they eat their way through the crust.  It was an odd idea, and made me smile; on which he said, “Good,” and told me he would fish with a piece of meat or bread for a bait.

[Illustration:  The tadpole or young Frog.]

Next morning, Jack came to me, and after reminding me of this, he asked me if God also made the little newts, tadpoles, and frogs, and other things that he had seen in the muddy ditches?  I replied, “Yes, all.”  “Did God make fishes?” “Oh yes,” I answered, “he made fishes and every thing.”  Then, in a very lively manner, he made me understand, that if God did not like to have him hurt the worms, neither would he like to have him hurt the fish.  “Poor fish!” he said, showing me how its mouth would be torn by the hook; and then, to my surprise, he got a small hatchet, and chopped up his fine fishing-rod into walking-sticks; and from that day he could never bear to see anybody angling.  He used to tell him, if they wanted to fish to eat or sell, to catch them with a net, and to kill them at once; and I believe that the sight of the deaf and dumb boy, taking such pains to plead for the creatures which are not only dumb, but have no way of pleading for themselves, was the means of checking many persons in cruel practices.  He knew

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Kindness to Animals from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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