The Animal Story Book - online children's book

Edited By Andrew Lang And With Numerous Illustrations By H. J. Ford

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174
TWO HIGHLAND DOGS
I
Righ and Speireag were two Highland dogs who lived in a beautiful valley not far from the west coast of Scotland, where high hills slope down to the shores of a blue loch, and the people talk a strange language quite different from English, or even from French, or German, or Latin, which is called Gaelic.
The name 'Righ,' means a king, and 'Speireag' means a sparrow-hawk, but they are words no one, except a Highlander, can pronounce properly. However, the dogs had a great many friends who could not talk Gaelic, and when English-speaking people called them ' Ree ' and ' Spearah,' they would always answer.
Righ was a great tawny deerhound, tall and slender, very stately, as a king should be, and as gentle as he was strong. He had a rough coat and soft brown eyes, set rather near together, and very bright and watchful. His chief business in life was to watch the faces of his friends, and to obey their wishes quickly, to take his long limbs away from the drawing-room hearth-rug when the butler came in to put on the coals, not to get in the way more than so big a dog could help, and not to get too much excited when anything in the conversation suggested the likelihood of a walk. But his father and all his ancestors had led very different lives; they had been trained to go out on the mountains with men who hunted the wild deer, and to help them in the chase, for the deerhounds run with long bounds and are as fleet as the stag himself.
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