Read THE YOUNG SPORTSMAN of Sugar and Spice, free online book, by James Johnson, on

Henry Downing’s father was a gamekeeper; so you will not be surprised to hear that he was very fond of playing at hunting and shooting.

His dearest friend was little Minnie Warren. He ran up to her one fine September day, and said, “Oh! Minnie, father has been so kind; he has given me a hare, and after you and I have had a game at hunting it, I’m to give it to you, and you’re to give it to your mother to jug. There! what say you to that?”

Minnie was pleased.

It was fun to see how they made believe.

Minnie tied, oh! such a long string to the hare’s hind legs, and walked off a good way; and just as Henry cocked his gun and pretended to fire, she gave the string a pull, and off she ran, Henry after her.

They played at this till they were quite tired, and then our little friend at last made a pretence of shooting very carefully; and then Minnie quite gravely let him come and pick Miss Hare up.

“Now,” said Henry, “walk home first and stand at the door with your arms crossed, and look quite seriously at me when I come up and give it to you. My gun will be in my left hand, and the hare in the other; so I shan’t be able to take my hat off; but I’ll bow twice, and make it up that way.”

He gave it to her; and Mrs. Warren was pleased when her daughter handed her Henry’s gift.

You may be sure he was asked to dine with them when it was cooked.

Minnie said the hare turned out tender, on purpose; and Henry added he believed he enjoyed the game.

Mrs. Warren said it was the knocking about that made it so soft. But it came out all right, jugged; and with the black currant jelly it was really, but there! I dare say you know what it was.