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

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

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was no fit arena for military prowess. Besides, he had reduced the dogs of the district to order, and his appear­ance, like that of the British Flag on the high seas of old, was saluted by tails down. Pincher looked for new worlds to conquer. He took his stand, like some adven­turous knight of old, in a pass perilous. He kept that thronged thoroughfare, the Dairy Eoad, against all comers. No collie, or bull-terrier, or Dandie could pass, but must cross teeth with Pincher. In the Dairy Eoad he compro­mised nobody ; unrecognised, like the Black Knight at Ashby-de-la-Zouch in ' Ivanhoe,' he reaped his laurels.
Battle was not Pincher's only joy. He loved sacred music. Certain anthems and hymn tunes, when per­formed on the piano, moved Pincher to an ecstasy which he expressed in rhythmic howls. To secular music he was deaf, or dumb ; he did not wed his voice to profane melody. Hence he for long remained apparently indifferent to barrel-organs. But, at last, Pincher was missing from his wonted stand. He kept the pass of the Dairy Eoad no longer. He had found a wandering musician, proprietor of a barrel-organ, who had the ' Old Hundredth' in his machine. Him Pincher constantly attended in George Square, in Princes Street, in The Pleasance, everywhere. Pincher's family would meet an enthusiastic crowd, who listened with rapt attention while Pincher accompanied the ' Old Hundredth ' with vocal and heartfelt psalmody. The musician profited not a little by Pincher's performances.
Pincher could not abide his neighbour, Professor Blackie. The extraordinary liveliness of that scholar found vent in a kind of dance, a sort of waltz in which he indulged as he paced the street. Observing this, and not liking it, Pincher would rush from his lair in the area, circling round the Professor, and leaping up at the tails of his plaid. The learned Professor was obliged to walk like other men in Pincher's neighbourhood.
The Highlands were the home of Pincher's most
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