Beautiful Joe
Chapter 33, 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.


They all seemed very friendly. The ponies turned around and looked at me with their gentle eyes, and then went on munching their hay. I wondered very much where the gander was, and went a little farther into the stable. Something white raised itself up out of the brownest pony's crib, and there was the gander close up beside the open mouth of his friend. The monkeys make a jabbering noise, and held on to the bars of their cage with their little black hands, while they looked out at me. The dogs sniffed the air, and wagged their tails, and tried to put their muzzles through the bars of their cage. I liked the dogs best, and I wanted to see the one they called Bob, so I went up quite close to them. There were two little white dogs, something like Billy, two mongrel spaniels, an Irish terrier, and a brown dog asleep in the corner, that I knew must be Bob. He did look a little like me, but he was not quite so ugly, for he had his ears and his tail.

While I was peering through the bars at him, a man came in the stable. He noticed me the first thing, but instead of driving me out, he spoke kindly to me, in a language that I did not understand. So I knew that he was the Italian. How glad the animals were to see him! The gander fluttered out of his nest, the ponies pulled at their halters, the dogs whined and tried to reach his hands to lick them, and the monkeys chattered with delight. He laughed and talked back to them in queer, soft-sounding words. Then he took out of a bag on his arm, bones for the dogs, nuts and cakes for the monkeys, nice, juicy carrots for the ponies, some green stuff for the goats, and corn for the gander.

It was a pretty sight to see the old man feeding his pets, and it made me feel quite hungry, so I trotted home. I had a run down town again that evening with Mr. Morris, who went to get something from a shop for his wife. He never let his boys go to town after tea, so if there were errands to be done, he or Mrs. Morris went. The town was bright and lively that evening, and a great many people were walking about and looking into the shop windows.

When we came home, I went into the kennel with Jim, and there I slept till the middle of the night. Then I started up and ran outside. There was a distant bell ringing, which we often heard in Fairport, and which always meant fire.