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Washington, United States
loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

"carlo and his little mistress," an improving tale

Edith had a fine dog, named Carlo. One holiday, Mary Wilson and Jane Smith, two of her schoolfellows, came to spend the afternoon with her. They had a merry time in the orchard, and Carlo was as playful as any of the party.
"Oh, Edith," said Mary Wilson, "Carlo likes me and Jane Smith as much as you!"
"No! no!" said Edith, "he likes his mistress best. Just test him, by pretending to flog me." -
Immediately poor Carlo was in great distress, and rushing upon his little mistress, he pushed her down on the grass, and tried to protect her by covering her as much as possible with his body.
Faithful little Carlo, thou art a " friend in need."

-- from Our Children's Pets, by "Josephine" (London: S.W. Partridge, 1865) pp. 152-53. This is one of those "improving" books for children typical of the era, filled with religious thoughts and exhortations. I liked this one, though, because "Josephine" spares no opportunity to point out what a Christian duty it is to love all animals and treat them with mercy and tenderness. No one belief system corners the market on such a good thing, but wouldn't it be nice if little kids learned things like that today?


Everycat said...

We wonder how that little story would be written today. It's particularly sweet that the dog protects Edith by covering her rather than biting the other two girls.

DamnCuteBunny said...

I recently read the evil opposite of your post at http://okeyspromise.com/?p=422

... where kids learn indifference and cruelty to animals from their parents.

curator said...

DamnCuteBun - I don't know if I have the strength to read such a thing! Those awful stories about the Romanian horses still haunt me and that was months ago.
Everycat, I am always so happy to see you in the comments!