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The Dog And The Sparrow

The Dog And The Sparrow

A shepherd’s dog had a master who took  no care of him, but often lethim suffer the greatest hunger. At last he could bear it no longer; sohe took to his heels, and off he ran in a very sad and sorrowful mood.On the road he met  a sparrow  that said  to him,  «Why are  you sosad, my  friend?» «Because,» said the dog, «I am very very hungry, andhave nothing to eat.» «If that be all,» answered the sparrow, «come withme into the next  town, and I will soon find  you plenty of food.» Soon they went together  into the town: and as they passed by a butcher’sshop, the sparrow said to  the dog, «Stand there a little while till Ipeck you down a piece of meat.»

So the sparrow  perched upon  the shelf:and having  first looked  carefully about her to see if anyone waswatching her, she pecked and scratched at a steak that lay upon the edgeof the shelf, till at last down it fell. Then the dog snapped it up, andscrambled away with it into a corner, where  he soon ate it all up.«Well,» said the sparrow, «you shall have some more if you will; socome with  me to the  next shop,  and I will  peck you  down anothersteak.» When the dog had eaten this too, the sparrow said to  him,«Well, my good friend,  have you had  enough now?» «I  have had plentyof meat,» answered he, «but  I should like  to have a piece  of bread toeat after it.» «Come with me then,» said the sparrow, «and you shallsoon have that too.» So she took him to a baker’s shop, and pecked attwo rolls that lay in the window, till  they fell down: and as  the dogstill wished  for more, she took him to another shop and pecked downsome more for him. When that was  eaten, the  sparrow asked  him whetherhe had  had enough  now.

«Yes,» said he; «and now let us take a walk alittle way out of the town.» So they both went  out upon the  high road;but as  the weather was  warm, they had not gone far before the dogsaid, «I am very much tired—I  should like to take a nap.» «Very well,’answered the sparrow, «do so, and in the meantime I will perch upon thatbush.» So the dog stretched himself out on the road, and fell fastasleep. Whilst he slept,  there came by a  carter with a cart drawn bythree horses, and loaded with two casks of wine.  The sparrow, seeingthat the carter did not turn out of the way, but would  go on in thetrack in which the dog lay, so as to drive over him, called out, «Stop!stop! Mr Carter, or it shall be the worse for you.» But the carter,grumbling to himself, «You make it the worse for me, indeed! what canyou do?» cracked his whip, and drove his  cart over the poor dog, sothat  the wheels crushed  him to  death.  «There,» cried  the sparrow,«thou  cruel villain, thou hast killed  my friend the  dog. Now mindwhat I say.  This deed of thine shall  cost thee all  thou art worth.’«Do your worst,  and welcome,» said the brute, «what  harm can you dome?» and passed on.  But the sparrow crept under the  tilt of the cart,and  pecked at the bung  of one of the  casks till she  loosened it; andthan all the  wine ran  out, without the carter seeing it.  At last helooked  round, and saw that  the cart was dripping,  and the cask  quiteempty. «What  an unlucky wretch  I am!» cried he. «Not wretch enoughyet!» said the sparrow, as she  alighted upon the head of one  of thehorses, and pecked  at him till he reared  up and kicked. When thecarter saw this, he drew out his hatchet and aimed  a blow at thesparrow, meaning to kill her; but she flew away, and the  blow fell uponthe poor horse’s head with  such force, that he fell down  dead.«Unlucky wretch that I  am!» cried he. «Not  wretch enough yet!» saidthe sparrow. And as the carter  went on with the  other two horses, sheagain crept under the tilt of  the cart, and pecked out  the bung of thesecond cask, so that all  the wine ran  out. When the carter  saw this,he  again cried out, «Miserable wretch  that I am!» But  the sparrowanswered,  «Not wretch enough  yet!» and  perched on  the head  of thesecond horse,  and pecked at him  too. The carter  ran up and  struck ather  again with  his hatchet; but away she flew,  and the blow fellupon the second horse  and killed him on the spot. «Unlucky wretch  thatI am!» said he. «Not  wretch enough yet!» said  the sparrow;  andperching  upon the  third horse,  she began to peck him too. The carterwas mad with fury; and without  looking about him, or caring what he wasabout, struck again at the sparrow;  but killed his third horse as hedone the other two. «Alas! miserable  wretch that I am!» cried he. «Notwretch enough yet!» answered the sparrow as she flew away; «now  will Iplague and  punish thee  at thy  own house.»  The carter was forced atlast to leave  his cart behind him,  and to go  home overflowing withrage and vexation. «Alas!» said he to his wife, «what ill luck hasbefallen me!—my wine is all spilt, and my horses all three dead.» «Alas!husband,» replied she, «and a wicked bird has come into the  house, andhas brought with her all the birds  in the world, I am sure, and  theyhave fallen upon  our corn in  the loft, and  are eating it  up at sucha rate!» Away ran the husband upstairs,  and saw thousands of birdssitting upon the floor eating up his corn, with the sparrow in the midstof  them. «Unlucky wretch that I am!» cried the carter; for he saw thatthe corn was almost all gone. «Not wretch enough  yet!» said thesparrow; «thy  cruelty shall cost thee they life yet!» and away sheflew.

The carter seeing that he  had thus lost all that  he had, went downinto his kitchen; and was still not sorry for what he had done, but sathimself angrily and sulkily  in the  chimney corner. But  the sparrowsat on  the outside of the window, and cried «Carter! thy cruelty shallcost thee  thy life!» With that he jumped up in a rage, seized hishatchet, and threw  it at the sparrow; but it missed her, and only brokethe window. The  sparrow now hopped in, perched upon the window-seat,and cried, «Carter! it  shall cost thee thy life!» Then  he became madand  blind with rage, and  struck the window-seat  with such  force thathe cleft  it in  two: and  as  the sparrow flew from place to place, thecarter and his wife were so furious, that they broke all theirfurniture, glasses, chairs, benches, the  table, and at last  the walls,without touching  the bird  at all.  In the  end, however, they caughther: and the wife  said, «Shall I kill her at  once?» «No,» cried he,«that is letting her off too easily: she shall die a  much more crueldeath; I will eat her.» But the sparrow began to flutter about, andstretch out her neck and cried,  «Carter! it shall cost thee thy  lifeyet!» With that he could wait no longer: so he gave his wife thehatchet, and cried, «Wife, strike  at the bird  and kill her in  myhand.» And  the wife struck; but she missed  her aim, and hit herhusband on the head  so that he fell down dead, and the sparrow flewquietly home to her nest.

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