The Grey Fairy Book HTML version
The Dog and the Sparrow
There was once upon a time a sheep-dog whose master was so unkind that he starved the
poor beast, and ill- treated him in the cruellest manner. At last the dog determined to
stand this ill-usage no longer, and, one day, he ran away from home. As he was trotting
along the road he met a sparrow, who stopped him and said: 'Brother, why do you look so
The dog answered: 'I am sad because I am hungry, and have nothing to eat.'
'If that's all, dear brother,' said the sparrow, 'come to the town with me, and I'll soon get
food for you.'
So they went together to the town, and when they came to a butcher's shop, the sparrow
said to the dog: 'You stand still and I'll peck down a piece of meat for you.'
First she looked all round to see that no one was watching her, and then she set to work to
peck at a piece of meat that lay on the edge of a shelf, till at last it fell down. The dog
seized it ravenously, and ran with it to a dark corner where he gobbled it up in a very few
When he had finished it, the sparrow said: 'Now come with me to another shop, and I will
get you a second piece, so that your hunger may be satisfied.' When the dog had finished
the second piece of meat, the sparrow asked him: 'Brother, have you had enough now?'
'Yes,' replied the dog, 'I've had quite enough meat, but I haven't had any bread yet.'
The sparrow said: 'You shall have as much bread as you like, only come with me.' Then
she led him to a baker's shop, and pecked so long at two rolls on a shelf that at last they
fell down, and the dog ate them up.
But still his hunger was not appeased; so the sparrow took him to another baker's shop,
and got some more rolls for him. Then she asked him: 'Well, brother, are you satisfied?'
'Yes,' he replied; 'and now let us go for a little walk outside the town.'
So the two went for a stroll into the country; but the day was very hot, and after they had
gone a short distance the dog said: 'I am very tired, and would like to go to sleep.'
'Sleep, then,' said the sparrow, 'and I will keep watch meantime on the branch of a tree.'
So the dog lay down in the middle of the road, and was soon fast asleep. While he was
sleeping a carter passed by, driving a waggon drawn by three horses, and laden with two