The Red Book Of Animal Stories - online children's book

Stories of Animals, Fantastic and Mundane, Edited By Andrew Lang

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From the very earliest times English people have shown a great love of greyhounds, although as long ago as the days of Canute, no man who was not born a gentleman was allowed to keep one. It must have been their beauty that made them such favourites, and their pretty, caressing ways, for they have not the cleverness of many other kinds of dogs, though their great speed renders them very useful in hunting small game, and even bucks and deer. An old rhyme puts in a few words the qualities that a man would look for in a greyhound, when, as often happened, he wished to send one as a present to a lady, and was anxious to get the best of its kind. It must be
Headed lyke a snake. Neckyed lyke a drake, Footyed lyke a catte, Taylled lyke a ratte, Syded lyke a teme, And chyned lyke a heme.
"When this prize was laid at the feet of the lady, the giver might ask in return for anything he chose, for women at all times have loved greyhounds, perhaps because there is something that reminds one of a lady in their long necks, small heads, and light delicate figures.
No other breed of dogs has been so often mentioned in history, or has had so many laws made about it. Besides the regulation of King Canute, we find King John taking greyhounds as payment for debts, and accepting
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