ABOUT a pretty dog I have to tell, –
A Maltese dog, so curly, white, and fuffy ;
His nose was pinker than a pink sea-shell,
His eyes were also pink, – his name was PUFFY.
When he was six weeks old, quite small and scared,
He came unto the house of his new Missis ;
His teeth were sharp, he bit so very hard,
She cried, « Oh, what a charming doggie this is ! »
When Puffy slept he rolled himself up tight,
And looked just like a little worsted bundle ;
He used a large round stool to roll and bite,
Which on the floor, his Missis used to trundle.
BUT once the little thing fell off a chair,
And put his shoulder out with that sad tumble ;
The doctor set and bound it up with care,
While Puffy looked so very wan and humble.
One day he ran out in the street to play
With little friends (his Missis, who will warn her!)
He strays too far, – at last is borne away
By a bad man who lived just around the corner
To his poor Missis none can comfort say.
Her gried by sighs and tears so plainly marking :
When he'd been gone a twelvemonth and a day,
Outside the doorway was heard familiar barking.
And when the door was opened in there came
Puffy, the worse for wear, and rather shabby,
But plainly the same dog, – a little lame,
And recognized by his old friend the tabby.
How glad his Missis was ! And scarce believed
Her eyes that saw her Puffy back returning ;
Such scrub and tug his curly back received
For Puffy's was a coat not meant for turning
So many knots and tangled had his hair,
And such a tedious task it was to comb him
They took the scissors, and they sheared with care
His little back, that they might better groom him.
This did not make him look so well, – more lame
He seemed, indeed he looked a great deal thinner ;
« He might be taken for a scrubby lamb, »
They said, « and killed and eaten for our dinner. »
Or like a pig he seemed, with curly tail,
Or made one think of a heraldic lion
Upon the shield of some tall knight in mail,
Who treads the stage he shortly means to die on.
A few days after this, – and oh ! It shows
How fickle can be even a kind Missis, –
She grew quite tired of him, as I suppose ;
And sent the dear away with many kisses.
His new home in the country he admired,
And was as happy there as may be,
For when of chasing poultry he was tired,
He ate the fiddle-strings and bit the baby.
One day in winter, frosty and severe,
Upon the icy Highgate pond he trotted ;
The wind blew sharply, and the air was clear,
And every pond was with its skaters dotted ;
And though there was a board marked DANGEROUS,
Puffy went running faster, never heeding,
And so fell in, – which shows to all of us
What harm may come if we neglect our reading.
That he was drowned my readers must not think,
For he was dragged with sticks out of his danger
By faithful friends, who, standing on the brink,
Saw his sad fall, as well as many a stranger.
Half-drowned the poor small thing was, sad to tell,--
They quickly got some brandy, and he drank it.
They took him home, and warmed and rubbed him well,
And wrapped him carefully in softest blanket.
So he got well ; – his equal can't be found,
No pen can e'er describe, no pencil draw him ;
And at this moment he is safe and sound,
At least, he was all right when last I saw him.