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Dicky Smiley’s Birthday
by [?]

And then she began to cry harder than ever, so that Dicky hardly knew what to say to her.

Now the pound, children, is a very large place somewhere near the city, with a high fence all around it, and inside are kept colts and horses, the little calves and mother cows, and the sheep and goats that run away from home, or are picked up by the roadside. The pound- man rides along the street in a big cart, which has a framework of slats built over it, so that it looks something like a chicken-coop on wheels, and in it–some of you have seen him do it–he puts the poor dogs that haven’t collars on, and whose masters haven’t paid for them. Then he rides away and locks them up in the great place inside the high fence, and they have to stay awhile. The dogs are killed if nobody comes for them.

“Well,” said Dicky, “let us go and see the pound-man. Do you know where he lives?”

“Yes, indeed,” answered the little girl, whose name was Lola. “I ran behind the cart all the way to the pound. I cried after Bruno, and Bruno whined for me, and poked his nose between the bars and tried to jump out, but he couldn’t. It’s a pretty long way there, and the man is as cross as two sticks.”

But they started off, and on and on they walked together, Dicky having tight hold of Lola’s hand, while she told him about the wonderful things Bruno could do; how he could go up and down a ladder, play the fife and beat the drum, make believe go to sleep, and dance a jig. It was by these tricks of his that Lola earned money for her uncle, with whom she lived; for her father and mother were both dead, and there was no one in the whole world who loved the little girl. The dear mother had died in a beautiful mountain country far across the ocean, and Lola and Bruno had been sent in a ship over to America. Now this dear, pretty mamma of Lola’s used to sing to her when she rocked her to sleep, and as she grew from a baby to a tiny girl she learned the little songs to sing to Bruno when he was a little puppy. Would you like to hear one of them? She used to sing it on the street corners, and at the end of the last verse that knowing, cunning, darling Bruno would yawn as if he could not keep awake another minute, tuck his silky head between his two fore paws, shut his bright eyes, give a tired little sigh, and stay fast asleep until Lola waked him. This is the song:-

Wake, lit-tle Bru-no! Wake, lit-tle Bru-no,

Wake, lit-tle Bru-no quick-ly!

When the two children came to the pound and saw the little house at the gate where the pound-man lived, Dicky was rather frightened and hardly dared walk up the steps; but after a moment he thought to himself, “I won’t be a coward; I haven’t done anything wrong.” So he gave the door a rousing knock, for an eight-year-old boy, and brought the man out at once.

“What do you want?” said he, in a gruff voice, for he did seem rather cross.

“Please, sir, I want Lola’s little brown dog. He’s all the dog she has, and she earns money with him. He does funny tricks for ten cents.”

“How do you think I know whether I’ve got a brown dog in there or not?” growled he. “You’d better run home to your mothers, both of you.”

At this Lola began to cry again, and Dicky said quickly:–

“Oh, you ‘d know him soon as anything,–he has such a cunning curly tail and long silky ears. His name is Bruno.”

“Well,” snapped the man, “where’s your money? Hurry up! I want my breakfast.”

“Money!” cried Dicky, looking at Lola.