I am glad to introduce to you, the noble dog whose picture is before

you. He was an old and tried friend of mine, and I could tell you a

great many things about him. He was more trust-worthy than many a

little child that I have known; for though circumstances have thrown

me in the way of many beautiful children, some of the little ones with

whom I have met, were not so truthful and trusty as they ought to have


[Illustration: "Erie," the trusty dog.]

But I must not forget the work I commenced; and run off into telling

you stories of bad children rather than of the good dog. I know that

you are already interested in this noble fellow, by this fine portrait

of him. Hasn't he a beautiful face. It is as kind and good natured a

dog as you ever saw. Now you want to know his name; and, perhaps some

of you are feeling curious by this time, to know what he is doing with

that great basket which he holds in his mouth, I will first tell you

his name, and then come to the question of the basket. His name was

"Erie." Mayhap you never knew a dog by this name. It is very peculiar

to call a dog "Erie," but, as this was an extraordinary wise dog, he

deserved a name somewhat different from ordinary dogs.

Now I will proceed to my story which is true, and may be believed as

well as wondered at.

"Erie" had great many wonderful tricks. He seemed to understand what

was said to him, and would obey promptly any person in whom he had

confidence, when they told him to do anything which was in his power

to do. You could trust him to carry any article which he could hold in

his mouth, He would take it to any place you might name, where he was

accustomed to go, and give to the person you told him to give it to,

and never to any other, under any circumstances. If he could not find

the person to whom the article was sent, he would surely return it to

you with a knowing look which seemed to say, "I tried to do my errand

but couldn't." He was usually very good natured, but on such

occasions, when he was entrusted with the care of anything; he did not

like to be interfered with, and if any one attempted to touch anything

which he held in his mouth he would growl at them in a most ferocious

manner, as if he would say, "Take care, this is not yours, and I shall

treat you harshly if you undertake to carry off what belongs to


His master used to love hunting very much, and "Erie" almost always

went with him. At such times he was very fond of carrying the game bag

in his mouth. There was a closet in the house where his master kept

his guns powder, flasks, and all things necessary for hunting. One day

Mr. A. left for [the] woods with his gun, while the dog was absent

from home. He had gone about a mile, when he thought of his powder

flask which in the haste of leaving home he had forgotten. He turned

back regretting that he had taken so many unnecessary steps, when his

eye fell upon "Erie" running toward him with great speed holding the

powder flask in his mouth. The dog had returned home and finding his

master gone, had examined the closet, the door of which had been left

ajar, and found the gun gone while the flask was left; he seemed to

know this ought not to be, and seizing the flask in his mouth he

pursued his master and carried him the important article.

Mr. A. taught him to carry meat home from the market, and he was never

known to eat it, or allow any other dog to take it from him.

This was very convenient for the family. Often when Mr. A. was in

haste, he would write a note telling the butcher what meat to send him

for his dinner. This note he would put into the bottom of the meat

basket, and give the basket to "Erie," telling him which market he was

to go to, and reminding him to be sure and come back quickly. In a few

moments the dog would return with the dinner as safely as a child

could have done.

One day as he was going home from the market, the basket was heavy,

having in it a large piece of meat. "Erie" grew very tired and set the

basket down on the pavement to rest his mouth a moment. At this moment

a large black dog was passing, who, smelling the meat, thought he

would like a piece for his own dinner; so walking up to the basket he

attempted to thrust his nose in and help himself. "Erie" gave one of

his ferocious warning growls, which said as plain as words, "Take

care, take care." At first the other dog retreated a little, but being

very hungry he again approached the basket.

"Erie" seemed really to reason about the matter. He knew that the

other dog was determined to steal the meat which was especially

entrusted to _his_ care. It was as if he thought to himself, "Now if I

stop to fight with this dog, some other dog may come and run away with

my meat, my only safety is flight," so seizing up the basket he fled

as fast as his legs could carry him toward home. The large dog pursued

him a little way, but "Erie" out-ran him and reached home in safety,

As soon as he had deposited the basket in the hands of his mistress,

he turned and ran down street again as fast as he could, in search of

the thieving dog, whose dishonesty he seemed to think he must punish.

After searching a long time he found him playing with a number of

other dogs, and I never saw a dog take a worse whipping than "Erie"

gave him.

Now my dear children as you read this story, ask yourselves if you are

as honest and trustworthy as this noble dog was. You know that you may

be much better than he; for God has made you wiser and given you power

to do much, more than any animal.