Beautiful Joe
Chapter 11, Page 4


Please be aware that this book was originally published in 1894 and may contain words, descriptions, or other passages that may be considered offensive today.


Mrs. Montague got to be very fond of her new pet. She took care of him herself, and I have heard her tell Mrs. Morris most wonderful stories about him — stories so wonderful that I should say they were not true if I did not how intelligent dumb creatures get to be under kind treatment.

She only kept him in his cage at night, and when she began looking for him at bedtime to put him there, he always hid himself. She would search a short time, and then sit down, and he always came out of his hiding-place, chirping in a saucy way to make her look at him.

She said that he seemed to take delight in teasing her. Once when he was in the drawing-room with her, she was called away to speak to some one at the telephone. When she came back, she found that one of the servants had come into the room and left the door open leading to a veranda.

The trees outside were full of yellow birds, and she was in despair, thinking that Barry had flown out with them. She looked out, but could not see him. Then, lest he had not left the room, she got a chair and carried it about, standing on it to examine the walls, and see if Barry was hidden among the pictures and bric-a-brac. But no Barry was there. She at last sank down, exhausted, on a sofa. She heard a wicked, little peep, and looking up, saw Barry sitting on one of the rounds of the chair that she had been carrying about to look for him. He had been there all the time. She was so glad to see him, that she never thought of scolding him.

He was never allowed to fly about the dining room during meals, and the table maid drove him out before she set the table. It always annoyed him, and he perched on the staircase, watching the door through the railings. If it was left open for an instant, he flew in. One evening, before tea, he did this. There was a chocolate cake on the sideboard, and he liked the look of it so much that he began to peck at it. Mrs. Montague happened to come in, and drove him back to the hall.

While she was having tea that evening, with her husband and little boy, Barry flew into the room again. Mrs. Montague told Charlie to send him out, but her husband said, "Wait, he is looking for something."

He was on the sideboard, peering into every dish, and trying to look under the covers. "He is after the chocolate cake," exclaimed Mrs Montague. "Here, Charlie, put this on the staircase for him."

She cut off a little scrap, and when Charlie took it to the hall, Barry flew after him, and ate it up.

As for poor, little, lame Dick, Carl never sold him, and he became a family pet. His cage hung in the parlor, and from morning till night his cheerful voice was heard, chirping and singing as if he had not a trouble in the world. They took great care of him. He was never allowed to be too hot or too cold. Everybody gave him a cheerful word in passing his cage, and if his singing was too loud, they gave him a little mirror to look at himself in. He loved this mirror, and often stood before it for an hour at a time.