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by [?]

And it is just Chum’s little runs over the beds which call aloud for firmness–which, in fact, have inspired my birthday present to him. But there is this difficulty to overcome first. When he came to live with us, an arrangement was entered into (so he says) by which one bed was given to him as his own. In that bed he could wander at will, burying bones and biscuits, hunting birds. This may have been so, but it is a pity that nobody but Chum knows definitely which is the bed.

“Chum, you bounder,” I shout, as he is about to wade through the herbaceous border.

He takes no notice; he struggles through to the other side. But a sudden thought strikes him, and he pushes his way back again.

“Did you call me?” he says.

“How dare you walk over the flowers?”

He comes up meekly.

“I suppose I’ve done something wrong,” he says, “but I can’t think what.”

I smack his head for him. He waits until he is quite sure I have finished and then jumps up with a bark, wipes his paws on my trousers and trots into the herbaceous border again.

“Chum!” I cry.

He sits down in it and looks all round him in amazement.

“My own bed!” he murmurs. “Given to me!”

I don’t know what it is in him which so catches hold of you. His way of sitting, a reproachful statue, motionless outside the window of whomever he wants to come out and play with him–until you can bear it no longer, but must either go into the garden or draw down the blinds for one day; his habit when you are out, of sitting up on his back legs and begging you with his front paws to come and do something–a trick entirely of his own invention, for no one would think of teaching him anything; his funny nautical roll when he walks, which is nearly a swagger, and gives him always the air of having just come back from some rather dashing adventure; beyond all this there is still something. And whatever it is, it is something, which every now and then compels you to bend down and catch hold of his long silky ears, to look into his honest eyes and say—-

“You silly old ass! You dear old silly old ass!”