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Young Folks' Treasury: Classic Tales and Old-Fashioned Stories

TWO LITTLE BOYS
By THOMAS DAY
I
THE GOOD-NATURED LITTLE BOY
A little boy went out one morning to walk to a village about five miles from the place where he
lived, and carried with him in a basket the provision that was to serve him the whole day. As he
was walking along a poor little half-starved dog came up to him, wagging his tail and seeming to
entreat him to take compassion on him.
The little boy at first took no notice of him, but at length, remarking how lean and famished the
creature seemed to be, he said: "This animal is certainly in very great necessity. If I give him part
of my provision I shall be obliged to go home hungry myself; however, as he seems to want it
more than I do, he shall partake with me." Saying this, he gave the dog part of what he had in his
basket, who ate as if he had not tasted victuals for a fortnight.
The little boy went on a little further, his dog still following him and fawning upon him with the
greatest gratitude and affection, when he saw a poor old horse lying upon the ground, and
groaning as if he was very ill. He went up to him, and saw that he was almost starved, and so
weak that he was unable to rise. "I am very much afraid," said the little boy, "if I stay to assist
this horse that it will be dark before I can return, and I have heard there are several thieves in the
neighborhood. However, I will try. It is doing a good action to attempt to relieve him, and God
Almighty will take care of me." He then went and gathered some grass, which he brought to the
horse's mouth, who immediately began to eat with as much relish as if his chief disease was
hunger. He then fetched some water [pg
He then went on a little further, and saw a man wading about in a pool of water without being
able to get out, in spite of all his endeavors. "What is the matter, good man?" said the little boy to
him. "Can't you find your way out of this pond?" "No, God bless you, my worthy master, or
miss," said the man, "for such I take you to be by your voice. I have fallen into this pond, and
know not how to get out again, as I am quite blind, and I am almost afraid to move for fear of
being drowned." "Well," said the little boy, "though I shall be wetted to the skin, if you will
throw me your stick, I will try to help you out of it."
The blind man then threw the stick on to that side on which he heard the voice; the little boy
caught it, and went into the water, feeling very carefully before him, lest he should unguardedly
go beyond his depth. At length he reached the blind man, took him very carefully by the hand,
and led him out. The blind man then gave him a thousand blessings, and told him he could grope
his way home, and the little boy ran on as hard as he could to prevent being benighted.
But he had not proceeded far when he saw a poor sailor, that had lost both his legs in an
engagement by sea, hopping along upon crutches.
in his hat, which the animal drank up, and seemed
immediately to be so much refreshed that after a few trials he got up and began grazing.
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