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Carlo or Kindness Rewarded   By:

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Ida was a kind hearted girl, and one day when crossing a bridge near her home, she saw two boys on the banks of the stream, trying to drown a little dog.

Ida, like all good girls, could not bear to see anything suffer, and was brave enough to try and prevent it. So, she ran to the shore, wringing her hands, and crying loudly, "Oh! you bad, wicked boys! how can you be so cruel to that poor little dog?"

The boys looked at her in wonder, for they were more thoughtless than cruel; and one of them said, "Father sold the rest of the pups, but could not sell this one, and so he told us to drown it." "Then he should have done it himself," replied Ida, her pretty face flushing with anger as she spoke, "and not have trusted it to boys, who would cause it needless pain."

The dog had, by this time, reached the bank, and after politely shaking off the water, crept timidly toward Ida, as if he knew her for a friend. "Poor little fellow," she said, patting his head tenderly, "how pitiful he looks! will you give him to me?" "Yes," said the boys, looking very foolish, "we did not mean to be cruel. You may have him and welcome."

Ida thanked the boys very sweetly, and ran home.

"Oh! Mamma," she cried, "look at this dear little dog; two boys were trying to drown him in the creek, and I asked them to give him to me. May I keep him, dear Mamma?" "My dear child," said Mrs. Mason, (which was the name of Ida's mother,) "I am very glad to hear that you saved the little creature from pain. We cannot very well keep him here, but perhaps, in a few days, we can find some one who will be kind to him."

Ida was a little disappointed, for we always love anything we have saved from death, but she said nothing, and you will see in the end how her goodness was rewarded. The next morning, Ida sat at the door of the cottage, studying her lesson, while her new pet, little Carlo (as she had named the dog) played at her feet. A pleasant looking young lad, who was walking slowly down the road, switching the tall grass as he came, stopped to look at the pretty picture. His name was Eugene Morris, and he was the son of a rich gentleman, who lived near by. "Good morning, Ida," he said, with a bow and a smile, "is that pretty little dog yours?" "Yes, sir," said Ida, blushing a little; "but Mamma says I must give him away, because we cannot afford to keep him." Ida then told the story of the dog, and how she had saved him from the hands of the thoughtless boys; and finished by saying that she was only keeping him, until she could find some kind person who would take good care of him. Eugene looked much pleased at her artless story, and after a short pause, said, "Well, pretty Ida, I do not ask you to give him to me, but if you will sell him, I will take him with pleasure. Here are five dollars; will that pay for Carlo?" "We do not want any pay for good Carlo," said Ida, patting the little creature tenderly, "except a promise of kind treatment, and that I am sure he will get from you." Eugene looked pleased at this, and, with a "good bye, then, till to morrow," went slowly down the road, and was soon out of sight. The next morning, Eugene came, and took Carlo away, leaving five dollars with Mrs. Mason, which he compelled her to take, for he knew she was poor, and a widow. Ida cried a little when Carlo whined for her, but she knew that he would be in good hands and soon dried her tears.

[Illustration: Ida Saving Carlo.]

One morning, about two years after Carlo had gone with his new master, Ida was standing upon the same bridge, looking at some fish which darted about in the water as if at play. At last they went further under the bridge; and Ida, leaning over, a little too far, in her eagerness to see them, lost her balance, and fell over the low rail into the creek, which, at that point, was deep enough to drown her! She had but just time to give one loud cry of fright, as she sunk beneath the cruel water... Continue reading book >>

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