TWO BIG DOGS AND A LITTLE ONE 277
But, after all, it is not only big animals that are of use in the world, as the lion found out when the net that held him was gnawed through by a mouse. Little dogs can be very brave, and very clever, too, as the following tale will show.
No one would ever imagine in looking at the small, short-legged King Charles spaniel that he would be the dog to prevent murder. His long silky ears, which are generally either black, or red and white, hang down on each side of a round, soft little face, very pretty in a lady's drawing-room, but not giving the idea of much intelligence. King Charles II., to be sure, was very fond of this breed, and seldom went out without eight or ten of them hovering about his heels in the Mall; but then he was a person who set great store by beauty, and was apt to value things and people accordingly.
However, here is a true story, in which the tiny King Charles was quite as clever as the best Newfoundland or collie that ever lived.
About the beginning of this century a lady named Mrs. Osburn was occupying a large lonely house in a country place a few miles from London. One day she drove into town to receive a large sum of money which Parliament had voted to her for the discovery of a medicine which was expected to be very useful, and instead of putting it into the bank, as a wise woman would have done, she brought it back in her carriage to her own house. The long day in town had tired her a good deal, and she soon made up her mind to go early to bed and sleep off her fatigues. She was just stepping into bed when a little King Charles, who always slept in her room, became greatly excited, and when she lay down tugged hard at the bed-clothes, nearly pulling them off her in its struggles. She told him several times to lie down, but he paid no attention, only pulling and dragging the harder. At length, finding it impossible to rouse her in any other way, he jumped on to the bed itself, took the clothes in