Old Dog Grim

OUR minister was to preach to the children

one Sabbath afternoon, and all the little

people were invited to come. Even the

infant-school children were told that for

once they should understand a sermon.

Little Nattie was one of the smallest

boys a bright, black-eyed fellow, just five

years old. He was his mother's darling,

just as all of you, dear children, are; but

even while, yet so small, he had one very

great fault. He was a lazy little boy. He

was very fond of dogs, too; and soon after

the minister began to talk, Nattie whispered,

"O mamma, it is a sermon about dogs; I am

so glad!" and directly he began to listen,

with his eyes and ears and mouth all wide

open, and was sure to hear every word.

The minister told about very cold countries,

where they use dogs for horses. He

said men go to these countries in ships, and

often they get fast in the ice, for the sea is

full of it; and sometimes the ships are

broken in pieces, and the poor men starve

or freeze on the great, dreary fields of ice.

Once an Englishman, Sir John Franklin,

went with three ships to those frozen seas

to make some great discoveries; but he

never came back. After waiting many

years, other men and ships went after these,

to see if they could learn what had become

of them. This last party came home safely,

and wrote a book, telling wonderful stories

about their life in the Arctic seas.

Sometimes they left their ships fast in the

ice, and taking sledges, with dogs for horses,

traveled for many days over the ice. One

of these dogs was named "Grim." He was

a great, strong fellow, and could draw a

larger load, catch a fox quicker, and eat

more, than any of the rest, and was a very

agreeable, intelligent dog, as you shall see.

He went with them once or twice, to help

drag the sledge on their land journeys;

but they found that, with all his strength,

he was the first dog to lie down when they

came to a rough place: all the dogs did

this, and the men had to unload the sledge

and carry it over the bad place, and then

the dogs would pull again. But old Grim

was the first fellow down, and the last to

start again. The next time they were about

leaving the ship, Grim was nowhere to be

seen. When he found them, getting ready

for another sledge journey, he very quietly

took himself off. They looked for him as

long as they could spare time, and then had

to start without him. After a day or two,

Grim came back to the ship, looking very

innocent and very hungry, having had nothing

to eat in his walk.

The next time they started, they called

him to harness him, but found the poor dog

was very lame. He could only walk on

three legs, and seemed in great pain. Of

course he was of no use, and so they left

him again. By the time they were out of

sight, old Grim's leg suddenly grew quite

well, and he was all right again. And always,

when they wanted him to work, he

acted in this way; he was lame, or tired,

or sick, or ran away, and so was of no use

to any one.

Children, I have never been to the ice

countries; but I think I have seen many a

dog Grim in our own land. When a little

boy or girl is asked to go up or down stairs

to bring something, and he "don't want

to;" or when he is told to put up his toys,

and he is "too tired;" when he can't learn

his lesson because his "head aches" or his

"eyes hurt;" when he wants the maid to

bring him a glass of water, and yet he can

run all about the house at play isn't such

a little boy or girl very like dog Grim?

"Mamma," said little Nattie, growing

quite red all over his face, "does he mean

me?" After that, when his mamma wanted

help, she had only to say, "Remember dog

Grim," and it was enough.

 Child's Paper.