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A GREAT GRIEF

 

THIS story really consists of two partsthe first part might be left outbut it gives us a few particularsand these are useful

We were staying in the country at a gentleman's seatwhere it happened that the master and mistress were absent for a few daysIn the meantime there arrived from the next town a ladyshe had a pug-dog with herand cameshe saidto dispose of shares in her tanyardShe had her papers with herand we advised her to put them in an envelopeand to write thereon the address of the proprietor of the estate,“General War-Commissary Knight,”&c

She listened to us attentivelyseized the penpausedand begged us to repeat the direction slowlyWe compliedand she wrotebut in the midst of the General Warshe stuck fastsighed deeplyand said,“I am only a woman!”She had set the pug on the floor while she wroteand he growledfor he had been taken with her for his amusement and for the sake of his healthand then one ought not to be set upon the floorHis outwardappearance was characterized by a snub nose and a very fat back

He doesn's bite,”said the lady;“he has no teethHe is like one of the familyfaithful and grumpybut that is because he is teased by my grandchildrenthey play at weddingsand want to give him the part of the bridesmaidand that's too much for himpoor old fellow.”

And she delivered her papersand took Puggie upon her armAnd this is the first part of the storywhich might have been left out

PUGGIE DIED!!That's the second part

It was about a week afterwards we arrived in the townand put up at the innOur windows looked into the tanyardwhich was divided into two parts by a partition of planksin one half were many skins and hides raw and tannedHere was all the apparatus necessary to carry on a tanneryand it belonged to the widowPuggie had died in the morningand had been buried in this part of the yardthe grandchildren of the windowthat isof the tanner's widowfor Puggie had never been marriedfilled up the graveand it was a beautiful grave——it must have been quite pleasant to lie there

The grave was bordered with pieces of flowerpots and strewn over with sandquite at the top they had stuck up half a beer bottlewith the neck upwardsand that was not at all allegorical

The children danced round the graveand the eldest of the boys among thema practical youngster of seven yearsmade the proposition that there should be an exhibition of Puggie's burialplace for all who lived in the lanethe price of admission was to be a trouser buttonfor every boy would be sure to have oneand each might also give one for a little girlThis proposal was adopted by acclamation

And all the children out of the lane——yeseven out of the little lane at the back——flocked to the placeand each gave a buttonMany were noticed to go about on that afternoon with only one bracebut then they had seen Puggie's graveand the sight was worth as much as that

But in front of the tanyardclose to the entrancestood a little girl clothed in ragsvery pretty to look atwith curly hairand eyes so blue and clear that it was a pleasure to look into themThe child said not a wordnor did she crybut each time the little door was opened she gave a longlong look into the yardShe had not a button——that she knew right welland therefore she remained standing sorrowfully outsidetill all the others had seen the grave and had gone awaythen she sat downheld her little brown hands before her eyesand burst into tearsthis girl alone had not seen Puggie's graveit was a grief as great to her as any grown person can experience

We saw this from aboveandlooked at from abovehow many a grief of our own and of others can make us smileThat is the storyand whoever does not understand it may go and purchase a share in the tanyard of the widow

 


 

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