The Animal Story Book - online children's book

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

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259
FIRE-EATING DJIJAM
Some curious notes about walking unharmed through fire, in the November (1894) number of ' Longman's Magazine,' under the heading 'At the Sign of the Ship,' suggested that a record might be kept of Djijam's eccentricities, especially as they differed somewhat from those of most other dogs. Anyone accustomed to animals knows, and anyone who is not can imagine, that dogs differ as much in their behaviour and ways as human beings. Djijam was as unlike any dog I have ever had, seen, or heard of, as could be. My wife, who is a patient and suc­cessful instructor of animals, never managed to teach him anything, any attempt to impart usual or unusual accom­plishments being met with the most absolute, impenetrable idiocy, which no perseverance could conquer or diminish in the least degree. That this extreme stupidity was really assumed is now pretty clear, though at the time it was attributed to natural density.
It was at Christmas-tide, about two years ago, that my wife and I drove over to a village some few miles away, to choose one of a litter of four fox-terrier pups, which we heard were on sale at a livery stable. We found the mother of the lively litter almost overpowered by her boisterous progeny, who though nearly three months old had not yet found other homes. Without any particular objection on the part of the parent we examined the pups, and selected and brought away one which seemed to have better points than the rest, whom we left to continue their gambols in the straw, unconscious probably that any other
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