One winter's night when the evening had shut in very early, owing to

the black snow clouds that hung close around the horizon, Martha sat

looking into the fire. Her old sheep dog, Fly, lay at her feet. The

cows were foddered for the night, and the sheep were penned up in the

yard. Fly was a faithful dog, and for some reason, this evening, he

was very restless. Why he pricked up his ears, and went snuffing to

the door,
nd pacing about the room, was more than Martha could tell.

"Lie down. Fly,--good dog--lie down," she said; but Fly would not mind

her, which was an unusual thing. She was certain something was the

matter, and she felt she must go up to the fell; and with the

foresight common to the Dale's people, who knew what mountain storms

are, she took under her cloak a small vial of gin, which was kept in

case of any accident, and set out with the dog Fly. The snow fell

fast, the wind blew, and the drifts lay thick. She had great

confidence in Fly, that if any thing was the matter he would find it

out. He ran straight up the little steep path which led through the

woods. On she followed, her cloak white with snow, until she came,

into the more open ground, where she lost sight of Fly and for a time

stood bewildered, until he should return and guide her. The birds and

beasts had gone to rest, and the stillness of the moors was awful. It

was night, and dark. Suddenly she heard a child's feeble voice, and in

an instant she pressed on towards the spot from which the sound came;

soon she heard Fly's loud howl for aid. At last she reached the spot,

and found a little boy half asleep, a kind of drowsiness which

precedes death. He could not speak; he could only moan. She moistened

his lips with the gin, and poured a little down his throat. She then

raised him up and carried him a short distance down the hill; then she

stopped to rest awhile; and then she got as far as the woods, where

the winds were not so cold. Again she gave him a few drops from her

vial, and now he was able to walk a few steps; then Martha, put up a

fervent prayer to God for assistance, as she dragged the lost boy

to her cottage. She now laid him down to the warm fire, while Fly

snuffed around him in great joy. She took off his wet clothes, and

wrapped him in her woollen cloak. He soon recovered and was able to

tell his story.


His father had sent him up to the fells for a sheep that was missing.

The dog left him, and night and snow came on, and he got lost on the

fells. The family had lately come to live near Rydal, and the boy did

not know all the landmarks. Martha took the best of care of the boy

till the morning, when his mother came, with a grateful heart towards

God for the means which had guided Martha to her lost boy.