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

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

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Shepherds' dogs, when in regular work, are serious animals, and far too busy in their daily life to have time or taste for play. They do not make friends very easily, because they and their masters are accustomed to live alone on the wild hills or great moors, and the sight of other men is strange to them. But they are as useful and necessary to the shepherds, their masters, as any other race of dogs trained to business habits; indeed, the work of keeping a flock together would be quite impossible without them.
The shepherd's dog (or ' collie' as he is called in Scotland) is a beautifully shaped animal, either bright yellow, or black and white, with a curly tail. He is a very quick runner, and a splendid jumper, as he has need to be, when his duty is to follow the sheep into all sorts of rough places, where no man could ever keep his foot­ing. He is regularly sent to school before going out to service, and carefully taught his work, which, in general, he learns very easily; and besides the training he gets in this way, his life soon teaches him to bear hunger and thirst and to do without much food, which is often, in severe winters, very hard to get in distant spots.
As for weeks, and even months, the dog is frequently the shepherd's only companion, the two seem almost to understand the thoughts that are passing through each other's minds without need of speech. One bitter winter's day, about a hundred years ago, a young man
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