50 THE SNOW-MAN
' Is n't it wonderful ? ' exclaimed a girl who was walking with a young man in the garden. They stopped near the Snow-man, and looked at the glistening trees. ' Summer cannot show a more beautiful sight,' she said, with her eyes shining.
' And one can't get a fellow like this in summer either,' said the young man, pointing to the Snow-man. ' He 's a beauty!
The girl laughed, and nodded to the Snow-man, and then they both danced away over the snow.
'Who were those two?' asked the Snow-man of the yard-dog. ' You have been in this yard longer than I have. Do you know who they are? '
'Do I know them indeed?' answered the yard-dog. ' She has often stroked me, and he has given me bones. I don't bite either of them ! '
' But what are they?' asked the Snow-man.
' Lovers !' replied the yard-dog. ' They will go into one kennel and gnaw the same bone! '
' Are they the same kind of beings that we are ?' asked the Snow-man.
'They are our masters,' answered the yard-dog. ' Really people who have only been in the world one day know very little ! That's the conclusion I have come to. Now I have age and wisdom; I know everyone in the house, and I can remember a time when I was not lying here in a cold kennel. Bow-wow!'
' The cold is splendid,' said the Snow-man. ' Tell me some more. But don't rattle your chain so, it makes me crack ! '
' Bow-wow!' barked the yard-dog. ' They used to say I was a pretty little fellow; then I lay in a velvet-covered chair in my master's house. My mistress used to nurse me, and kiss and fondle me, and call me her dear, sweet little Alice ! But by-and-by I grew too big, and I was given to the housekeeper, and I went into the kitchen. You can see into it from where you are standing;