: For Classes Ii. And Iii.
: Children Stories To Tell

This is a story about a dog,--not the kind of dog you often see in the

street here; not a fat, wrinkly pugdog, nor a smooth-skinned bulldog, nor

even a big shaggy fellow, but a slim, silky-haired, sharp-eared little

dog, the prettiest thing you can imagine. Her name was Wylie, and she

lived in Scotland, far up on the hills, and helped her master take care of

his sheep.

You can't think how clever she was!
he watched over the sheep and the

little lambs like a soldier, and never let anything hurt them. She drove

them out to pasture when it was time, and brought them safely home when it

was time for that. When the silly sheep got frightened and ran this way

and that, hurting themselves and getting lost, Wylie knew exactly what to

do,--round on one side she would run, barking and scolding, driving them

back; then round on the other, barking and scolding, driving them back,

till they were all bunched together in front of the right gate. Then she

drove them through as neatly as any person. She loved her work, and was a

wonderfully fine sheepdog.

At last her master grew too old to stay alone on the hills, and so he went

away to live. Before he went, he gave Wylie to two kind young men who

lived in the nearest town; he knew they would be good to her. They grew

very fond of her, and so did their old grandmother and the little

children: she was so gentle and handsome and well behaved.

So now Wylie lived in the city where there were no sheep farms, only

streets and houses, and she did not have to do any work at all,--she was

just a pet dog. She seemed very happy and she was always good.

But after a while, the family noticed something odd, something very

strange indeed, about their pet. Every single Tuesday night, about nine

o'clock, Wylie _disappeared_. They would look for her, call her,--no, she

was gone. And she would be gone all night. But every Wednesday morning,

there she was at the door, waiting to be let in. Her silky coat was all

sweaty and muddy and her feet heavy with weariness, but her bright eyes

looked up at her masters as if she were trying to explain where she had


Week after week the same thing happened. Nobody could imagine where Wylie

went every Tuesday night. They tried to follow her to find out, but she

always slipped away; they tried to shut her in, but she always found a way

out. It grew to be a real mystery. Where in the world did Wylie go?

You never could guess, so I am going to tell you.

In the city near the town where the kind young men lived was a big market

like (naming one in the neighbourhood). Every sort of thing was sold

there, even live cows and sheep and hens. On Tuesday nights, the farmers

used to come down from the hills with their sheep to sell, and drive them

through the city streets into the pens, ready to sell on Wednesday

morning; that was the day they sold them.

The sheep weren't used to the city noises and sights, and they always grew

afraid and wild, and gave the farmers and the sheepdogs a great deal of

trouble. They broke away and ran about, in everybody's way.

But just as the trouble was worst, about sunrise, the farmers would see a

little silky, sharp-eared dog come trotting all alone down the road, into

the midst of them.

And then!

In and out the little dog ran like the wind, round and about, always in

the right place, driving--coaxing--pushing--making the sheep mind like a

good school-teacher, and never frightening them, till they were all safely

in! All the other dogs together could not do as much as the little strange

dog. She was a perfect wonder. And no one knew whose dog she was or where

she came from. The farmers grew to watch for her, every week, and they

called her "the wee fell yin" which is Scots for "the little terror"; they

used to say when they saw her coming, "There's the wee fell yin! Now we'll

get them in."

Every farmer would have liked to keep her, but she let no one catch her.

As soon as her work was done she was off and away like a fairy dog, no one

knew where. Week after week this happened, and nobody knew who the little

strange dog was.

But one day Wylie went to walk with her two masters, and they happened to

meet some sheep farmers. The sheep farmers stopped short and stared at

Wylie, and then they cried out, "Why, _that's the dog_! That's the wee

fell yin!" And so it was. The little strange dog who helped with the sheep

was Wylie.

Her masters, of course, didn't know what the farmers meant, till they were

told all about what I have been telling you. But when they heard about

the pretty strange dog who came to market all alone, they knew at last

where Wylie went, every Tuesday night. And they loved her better than


Wasn't it wise of the dear little dog to go and work for other people when

her own work was taken away? I fancy she knew that the best people and the

best dogs always work hard at something. Any way she did that same thing

as long as she lived, and she was always just as gentle, and silky-haired,

and loving as at first.