Read THE DOGS LEAVE HOME of The Third Little Pet Book‚ with the Tale of Mop and Frisk , free online book, by Frances Elizabeth Barrow, on ReadCentral.com.

In a small town by the side of a lake, there once lived two dogs named Mop and Frisk.

Frisk was a pert black and tan dog, with a tail that stood bolt up in the air, and a pair of ears to match; while Mop was a poor old cur, with a head like a worn-out hair-broom; ears like bell-pulls; a mouth that went from ear to ear, and a great bush of a tail.  Then he had to drag the cart of an old rag-man round the town, to earn his meals; while Frisk, who lived with a pie-man, had a fine ride in the cart each morn; and all the work he had to do was to bark at the bad boys who tried to steal the pies.  The rest of his time he spent in play.

One day the old rag-man, who was as cross as ten bears, and far too fond of beer, came out of a shop where he had been to drink, while poor Mop had to wait in the cold.  The rag-man’s legs went from side to side; he could not walk; so he got in the cart, on top of all the rags, and cried to Mop: 

“Come, go on, you bad cur, or I’ll make you!” and with these words, he let fall a great stick on the back of the poor dog, and gave him a kick with his thick hob-nail shoes.  Mop tried to start, but it was more than he could drag.  Down came the stick once more; and this time, made quite wild with pain, he gave one yelp and one jump, broke the old ropes that held him to the cart by a great jerk, and made off down the road like a flash.  The bad old man did bawl to him to come back; but Mop was too wise for that, and did not stop to see if the wind was west or not, till he came to a part of the town which was quite new to him.

The place where our dog now found him-self was a sort of blind court, with the blank wall of a house on each side, and, worse than all, with not the sign of a thing to eat to be seen.

“A fly to snap at would be a good thing,” said the poor dog with a sigh.  “I think I could eat a bit of brick, if I could get one up.  But cheer up! it will all come right in time!  I’m free at least — that is one good thing!” and he gave three jumps and three barks for joy, so loud that they most took the top of his head off.

Just then there came up, at a smart pace, Frisk the pie-man’s dog.  He held his head in the air as proud as you like.  When he saw Mop, he tried to turn up his nose at him, but it was so flat, there was no turn up to it.  Then he gave a loud sniff, and said with an air: 

“Who are you?  Where did you come from?”

“I am as good a dog as you,” said Mop.  “My coat is not quite so fine to be sure, and my ears don’t stick up so much; but I’m a nice sort of chap for all that.  Shake a paw.”

“What! shake a paw with such an old flop-ear as you?  You must be mad.”

Mop did want to say, “You are a pert, stuck-up cur,” but he was too well-bred; so he made a bow, and put his paw on his heart; and said:  “I meant no wrong; but I took you for Frisk, the pie-man’s dog.”

“Well, so I am — or so I was, I mean; till last week; but, you see, the trade was too low for a dog of my style — with such ears and such a long tail.  I was not made to bark out of the back of a pie-cart at all the rag-tags in town; so I have cut the pie-man, and mean to try high life in some big house.  My own aunt lives with a judge; and it will be odd if some rich man does not like my looks, and take me home with him.  But I must be off; it would not do to be seen with you, if I hope to rise in the world.  A good time to you, my boy.  He! he! you are such a beau, you can’t fail to cut a dash.  G-o-o-d day!”

“Stop a bit!” cried Mop, as Frisk ran off.  “You don’t think much of me now I see, but time may show me to be the best dog yet.  What if we were each to try to find a new place, and meet here in a month from now, to tell what has past in the mean time?  Don’t you think that would be a nice plan?”

“Oh!  I’ll do so if you wish!” said Frisk; “but don’t ask me to bow when we meet, I beg; it won’t do, you know.”

“Shake a paw then,” said Mop.

Frisk, very loth, put the tip of one claw on Mop’s paw.  Then the two dogs stood back to back, and, with a one! two!! three!!! off they went as if a mad bull was at their heels.