Mr. Crow had dared Tommy Fox to go down to pay a call on his friend

dog Spot, at Farmer Green's place. And Tommy was trotting along across

the fields. He was quite near Farmer Green's house when he heard a dog

bark not far away.

"There's Spot now!" Tommy said to himself. And he turned at once in

the direction of the barking. He was smiling, for he knew Spot would

be greatly pleased to see him, and very much surprised, too.

Tommy stole slyly up toward the place where the dog was barking. The

sound came from beyond some bushes. And Tommy thought he would jump

out from behind the bushes and startle Spot. So he crept up to the

bushes and then suddenly gave a yelp and leaped clean over them.

It was Tommy Fox himself who got the surprise. For there was a strange

dog! And as soon as he saw Tommy he sprang after him.

Tommy did not wait a second. He left that place a great deal faster

than he came. And as he went skimming over the fields, a red streak

against the brown stubble, he could hear Mr. Crow laughing heartily.

The old fellow had sailed along high over Tommy's head, to see what

happened; and he was greatly pleased with himself. You see, he knew

that Farmer Green's hired man had brought home a new dog just a few

days before, and Mr. Crow hoped that if Tommy went to the farm-yard he

would meet the strange dog.

Tommy was very angry. He saw at once that old Mr. Crow had tricked him

and he made up his mind that if he ever had a chance he would get even

with the old gentleman. But now he had no time to think about that.

There was that strange dog, following hot on his trail. Tommy had

quite enough to worry him, without bothering his head over Mr. Crow

just then.

Now, even if Tommy Fox was conceited, he was really a very bright

youngster. And as he bounded along he thought of a pretty clever

scheme. Yes, he thought of a fine trick to play on that dog. The idea

came to him all at once. And as soon as the thought popped into his

head, Tommy turned toward Swift River. He was at the bank in no time,

and he skipped nimbly down to the river's edge.

Tommy Fox could see no water at all running in Swift River. And you

might think he was disappointed. But he wasn't. He found exactly what

he had hoped for. He could see no water running, down there in the bed

of the river, because _the river was covered with ice._ It was just a

thin shell of ice; but it was strong enough to bear Tommy's weight. He

ran across it quickly. And then what do you suppose he did? He sat

right down on the opposite bank!

Tommy Fox wanted to see the fun. He had to wait only a minute. For

pretty soon the strange dog came rushing down the opposite bank of the

river and leaped far out from the edge of the stream.

There was a crash, and a splitting, crackling noise! And the strange

dog was floundering in the cold water. The ice was not thick enough to

hold him up, and he had hard work to scramble back to the bank again.

But he climbed out of the water at last, and tucked his tail between

his legs and made off.

Old Mr. Crow saw what happened. He stopped laughing. And he sailed

away silently, thinking that Tommy Fox was a pretty smart young cub,

after all.

PAUL'S DISCOURSE ON CHARITY PENETRATING GRIM SECRETS. facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail