Read MOP’S TALE of The Third Little Pet Book‚ with the Tale of Mop and Frisk , free online book, by Frances Elizabeth Barrow, on ReadCentral.com.

“You know, Frisk, that when we left the court, you chose to go in the town, and I by the lake.  I felt sad to think I had no one to care for me in the world.  But my watch-word is, ‘Don’t give it up!’ and I could not think that all would leave me to want a bone.  So I laid down by the road-side, in hopes to see some one who would take care of me.

“First, I saw a man on a fine horse; and as he had no dog, I said to my-self, ’Who knows but what he wants one to keep the flies from his horse’s legs!’ So I ran by him a short way, when — would you dream the man could be so bad? — he gave me a cut with his whip, that made me hop and yelp for pain.  ‘Serve you right for a vile cur!’ he said with a loud laugh, and on he rode.

“Next came a blind man; but he had a dog to lead him.  The blind man’s hat was laid on the ground, and when a cent was put in it, the dog gave one bark; when two cents were put in, he gave two barks, and so on.  So, you see, there was no room for me there, and I had to trot on.

“At last I saw a small boy and girl trip down the road, hand in hand, with their nurse close by them.  They wore such fine coats and hats, that it was plain they were rich; but when the boy put his small hand on my head, and said, ‘Good dog,’ and the girl did the same, I knew they must be kind too.

“So I ran by them, in hopes they would speak to me once more.

“There were some wild rose-buds on the bank of the lake, and when the girl saw them she cried:  ’O Hal! just see those sweet rose-buds!  How nice they look!  They have just come out!  Won’t you pick me a few?’

“‘Yes, dear May,’ said the boy; and he let go her hand and ran to where the rose-buds grew.

“‘Don’t go there, dear child,’ cried nurse; ‘you may fall in the lake.’

“‘No I won’t!  I’ll take care,’ cried Hal; and as he spoke he bent way down the bank.  O me! the earth gave way, his foot did slip, and ere the nurse could run to his aid, the poor child fell, with a loud cry, in the lake.

“There was no time to be lost; and, more glad than I can say, that I was on the spot, I leapt in the lake, swam to the side of the child, and in as short a time as it takes to tell, I had his coat in my teeth, and got him safe to shore.

“The nurse took her dear boy in her arms and cried for joy; and May was so glad that she put her arms round my wet head, and gave me a long hug.

“‘We must take the good dog home with us, Miss May,’ said nurse, ’and tell your pa-pa what he has done for Hal.  And now let me wrap my shawl round you, Hal, and then we must all run home as fast as we can, for fear you may take cold.’

“We were soon at this house, where Mr. and Mrs. Grey, the pa-pa and mam-ma of Hal and May, live; and nurse soon told them how I had saved the life of their dear son.

“You may think how great was my joy to have them call me, ’Good dog! brave dog! the best dog in the world!’ and give me a hug and say I must live with them from that time.

“So Mr. Grey sent me out with Hal to the yard; and he got Jim, the groom, to wash and trim me, while May ran to ask the cook for some meat to feed me.  The dear child did wish so much to make me glad, that she tied her own white bib round my neck to keep me neat while I ate, and fed me with her own hand; while Hal, and a wee bit of a girl, who came to see them, did look on.

“It was not quite as much to my taste as hers to be fed; but she was so full of the fun of it, that I would not for the world have made one growl.

“Next day their pa-pa got me this nice house, and Hal put round my neck the brass ring you see me wear; which they say has on it:  ’To Dash, the good dog, from Hal and May.’”

When Mop, or Dash, as we must now call him, had come to an end, Frisk drew a deep sigh, and said:  “Well, Dash, as that is your name, if I had been as good as you, I might be as well off by this time; but I think, when you hear what a sad life I have led for the past month, you will say I am well paid for my fine airs to you.  So now to my tale.”