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

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

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COLLIES, OB SHEEP DOGS             269
master in the matter of catching sheep, and off he started, while Hogg and his helper passed the night in seeking for traces of the lambs, which could not be found, go where they would. At last, when the sun rose, they gave up the chase and returned to the farmer who owned the flock, to tell him of the loss of his sheep, a thing which had never occurred to Hogg before, all the years of his life as a shepherd, neither had he ever heard of it happening to anyone else. On their way back from this unpleasant errand they had to pass a deep hollow or ' cleuch,' as it is called in Scotland, and there, safe at the bottom, were the whole flock of lambs, with Sirrah standing over them. Hogg could not believe his eyes, and at first thought it must be only one of the divisions of the lambs —though even for that he was grateful enough; but when he came to count them there was not one missing. How Sirrah had managed to collect them nobody knew, and of course nobody ever did know !
When Sirrah died, he left a son called Hector, to take up his duties. Hector, though not nearly so clever as his father, was a more lively companion; full of whims and freaks, but much attached to his master.
One day in August, Hogg was sent by his master to a farm at the head of the river Ettrick, to bring back some black-faced lambs, intended for next morning's market. Hogg set out, accompanied, of course, by Hector. For some reason or other the lambs were not brought down from the hills tilt quite late, and the shepherd did not feel at all comfortable at the thought that he would have to drive them the greater part of the way in utter darkness. What was worse, he knew that the lambs, which had only just been parted from their mothers, would be very unruly. However, there was no help for it, the start must be made, and though everything turned out exactly as he had imagined, with the aid of Hector all the lambs were at last safely housed in the fold, and both man and dog were nearly worn out.
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