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

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

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Nobody who has ever been the master of a huge, good-natured, silent Newfoundland dog, could bear to have a little fretful, yapping creature as his daily companion, however beautiful it might be. A Newfoundland is large and awkward ; he waddles along in a very ungraceful manner, and he will probably never think of moving for visitors, if he takes a fancy to stretch his great body on your doorstep ; but he is so strong that the most timid woman would feel quite safe in his care, and so silent that one growl from him rouses the soundest sleeper to a sense of danger. He has webbed feet, and can swim like a duck, and in many places he is almost as good as a life-boat.
Big though he is, a Newfoundland dog is full of life and spirits ; full, too, of affection for his master, whom he is always anxious to help and defend. He is easily taught, and untiring in his efforts to carry out his master's wishes, never interfering or quarrelling unless he (or still more, his master) is first attacked, but always on the look out for danger to those whom he loves.
In their own country, Newfoundland dogs play the part that oxen do in Italy, or horses elsewhere. And more ; for, wherever they know the road, they can be trusted to draw their carts or sledges piled with wood or hay without being watched by a driver. When they arrive at "home they are given their dinner, generally of dried fish, which they much prefer to any other dainties,
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