772 THE SNOW MAN
tell me.óBut you must not clank with your chain, for it jars within me when you do that.'
'Off I Off!' barked the Yard Dog. ' They told me I was a pretty little fellow : then I used to lie in a chair covered with velvet, up in master's house, and sit in the lap of the mistress of all. They used to kiss my nose, and wipe my paws with an embroidered handkerchief. I was called " Amiódear Amiósweet Ami ". But afterwards I grew too big for them, and they gave me away to the housekeeper. So I came to live in the basement story. You can look into that from where you are standing, and you can see into the room where I was master ; for I was master at the housekeeper's. It was certainly a smaller place than upstairs, but I was more comfortable, and was not continually taken hold of and pulled about by children as I had been. I received just as good food as ever, and much more. I had my own cushion, and there was a stove, the finest thing in the world at this season. I went under the stove, and could lie down quite beneath it. Ah ! I still dream of that stove. Off ! Off !'
' Does a stove look so beautiful ? ' asked the Snow Man. * Is it at all like me ? '
' It's just the reverse of you. It's as black as a crow, and has a long neck and a brazen drum. It eats firewood, so that the fire spurts out of its mouth. One must keep at its side, or under it, and there one is very comfortable. You can see it through the window from where you stand.'
And the Snow Man looked and saw a bright polished thing with a brazen drum, and the fire gleamed from the lower part of it. The Snow Man felt quite strangely : an odd emotion came over him, he knew not what it meant, and could not account for it; but all people who are not snow men know the feeling.
' And why did you leave her % ' asked the Snow Man, for it seemed to him that the stove must be of the female sex. 1 How could you quit such a comfortable place ? '
' I was obliged,' replied the Yard Dog. ' They turned me out of doors, and chained me up here. I had bitten the youngest young master in the leg, because he kicked away the bone I was gnawing. " Bone for bone," I thought. They -took that very much amiss, and from that time