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Home Life in All Lands—Book III—Animal Friends and Helpers

Language - English
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Description: - How few of us can go into the house without their coming to meet us: the frisky dog, with its wagging tail; the sleek and soft-footed cat, with its mellow purr. On her swinging perch sits mistress parrot, greeting us with her noisy "Polly wants a cracker." In its gilded cage flirts the golden-hued canary, singing loudly to bid us welcome. They give life and joy to the most rustic home, these pets of the household, our glad though humble friends and guests. If we go out of the house into the stable-yard or the pasture-field we meet others of them: the noble horse, the patient and docile cow, the woolly sheep, the sturdy goat. In the poultry-yard still others meet us: the cackling hen, proud of her new-laid egg; the crowing rooster, the quacking duck, the gracefully swimming goose or swan, the peacock with its splendid tail, even the buzzing bee, flying home laden with wax and honey. If all our human friends should desert us, the dog would cling to us still. Carlo's faith and trust were true in all the ills of life. The ragged beggar finds a loving friend in his dog. Roger the dog may be as ragged and forlorn as tramping Joe, his master; he may be a shabby mongrel of the worst breed, but a true heart beats under his rusty hide, and he will love and follow his rambling master through thick and thin. It is the same with our petted horse, which greets us with a glad neigh and loves to kiss our hand or face with its soft muzzle. Almost any animal that we make a pet of will repay us with its love and trust, though least of all the cat, which has kept half wild through centuries of taming. But of course we cannot say this of all cats; we must give Tabby credit for some of the spirit of affection under her smooth fur, though as a rule she loves places more than she does persons and is apt to be the most independent member of the household. If we go abroad into the wilds and woods, what shall we find there? Living creatures still, multitudes of them, but all ready to flee or fly from man. They fear him and do not trust him. If strong and fierce enough they will rush upon him instead of from him and try to kill this two-legged creature who so often tries to kill them.
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