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My Dog Tray   By:

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Twice every week a poor, thin man, Holding his little daughter's hand, Walked feebly to a hospital, Close by the busy London Strand.

He hoped the clever doctors there In time would make him strong and well, That he might go to work again, And live to care for little Nell.

Beside wee Nell, her faithful friend, Good old dog Tray was always seen, Never a day apart the pair Since Nelly's babyhood had been.

But all the doctors' skill was vain, Poor William Bruce soon passed away, Leaving his little orphan child Without a friend save poor dog Tray.

The little money he had saved He left to his landlady's care, That Nelly, till she older grew, The woman's humble home might share.

He thought her honest but, alas! Most sadly was poor Bruce deceived; She kept herself the orphan's gold, That as a trust she had received.

She dressed poor little Nell in rags, All her good, decent clothes she sold; She scarcely gave her daily bread, And kept her shivering in the cold.

For in an empty loft she slept, A ragged blanket all her bed; And there till sleep her sorrow hushed, Poor Nelly's nightly tears were shed.

But ever crouching at her side, With pitying love lay faithful Tray; He nestled up to keep her warm, And licked her bitter tears away.

And Nelly shared with him her crusts, And both were hungry and forlorn; While many a kick and cruel blow, Most patiently by Tray were borne.


At last the cruel woman said She had no bones to throw away; She could not keep a useless cur, She really must drive off old Tray.

And, with a broomstick in her hand, She hunted the poor dog about, Until, with many a cruel blow, From his old home she drove him out.

Limping and howling forth he went, While Nelly, with a breaking heart, With agonizing sobs and cries, Beheld her only friend depart.

Within the hospital that day, The porter with amazement saw A dog appear, who limped along, Holding well up an injured paw.

Straight to the doctors' room he went, Jumped on a chair, held up his leg, And seemed by a beseeching whine Their kindly aid and skill to beg.

Laughing, the kind house surgeon said, "A stranger patient I ne'er saw; Well, let us see what we can do, Old fellow, let me hold you paw."

He found Tray had a broken leg, And set and bound it up so well, That Tray, delighted and relieved, Sought all his gratitude to tell.

He wagged his tail and loudly barked, And licked the surgeon's kindly hand; He tried to make his human friend His thanks and joy thus understand.

"Oh, turn him out!" the doctors cry, "The sleeping patients he will wake; We cannot have their rest disturbed, By letting him this hubbub make."

The porter then put poor Tray out, But gave him, when they reached the street, A mutton bone, well covered yet, That Tray was very glad to eat.

Now in the streets the dog must live; But far far from Nell he would not stray, He howled about her home all night, And lingered near it all the day.

Poor Nelly in her dismal loft, That mournful sound in sleep would hear, And smiles would play upon her lips, Because in dreams her friend was near.


The landlady, who could not sleep For Tray's loud howling, angry grew; Her guilty conscience he awoke, And now no peace or rest she knew... Continue reading book >>

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