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

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

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monest everyday tasks which fall to the lot of every collie.
However, it is not only collies which can be taught to steal, though, of course, dogs are like children, and some of them learn much more quickly than others. Some years after Millar's bad conduct had met with the reward it deserved, a rich young man, living in Edinburgh, saw a beautiful and clever little spaniel which took his fancy, and he never rested until the owner had agreed to sell it. The animal had been in his new home only a few days when its master was astonished and shocked at its bringing home a pair of new gloves, three silk handker­chiefs, and, shortly after, a lady's gauze scarf. At first he tried to believe this was an accident; but as the collection grew larger and larger, he soon understood that thieving had formed the largest part of the dog's education, and that most likely it would be quite impossible to cure the animal of its bad ways, now that it had grown up.
So, when the spaniel next began whining and sniffing at the door, and showing all the usual signs of wanting to go out for a walk, the young man took down his hat, and turned into the streets, watching all the while what his dog was doing, though very careful never to turn his head in that direction.
And what the dog did was very curious to see. It loitered through the town in the purposeless way that all dogs think is a proof of gentlemanly behaviour, stopping every now and then either to speak to a friend, or to examine something strange that lay in the gutter. The young man walked steadily on, and entered a shop where he was well known, telling the shopkeeper, hastily, to take no notice if the dog should enter, as he would of course pay for any of its robberies. He then began to turn over some of the articles for sale, so that the animal's suspicions might not be awakened if it came in, which it presently did, in the same lounging, careless manner that had marked its walk through the streets,
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