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

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

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mile from the tower, so, leaving Yarrow in charge, he went home, calling directions to the dog as long as he dared.
Left to himself, and feeling that he was put upon his honour, Yarrow rushed furiously at the oldest and most obstinate ewe on the ground, and drove her into the water, frightened out of her wits, for she thought she was going to be bitten ; struggling to get away, two others tumbled over the bank after her, and were drowned in the stream; the rest became wilder than ever, and as by this time the sun was well above the horizon, Yarrow knew that he too must follow his master, and leave the sheep to their fate.
Late that same evening the sheep might have been seen wending their way wearily home with new marks on their bodies, hastily daubed on by Millar in a lonely hollow of the hills.
The thieves thought that they had escaped before any prying people were up and about; but they must have been watched by some unseen person, for information of their misdoings was given, and they were soon lodged safe in gaol. The case was easily proved, and both Millar and his master condemned to death, for in those days there were very few crimes which did not lead to the gallows. When he saw that it was useless to deny the fact any more, Millar told the whole story to a respectable sheep farmer who came to visit him in prison, and they both agreed that they did not know which was most surprising, the obstinacy of the sheep in refusing to cross the river, or the perseverance of the dog in trying to force them to do it!
The two thieves were hanged on the appointed day ; but Yarrow was bought by a sheep farmer in the county, who hoped to train him to honest work. But it was too late ; his teaching had all been in one direction, and when he found he was not allowed to show his cunning in driving away other people's property, he grew quite stupid, and could never be trusted to do even the com-
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