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Our Boys and Girls < ? ^ ? BOOJ AND THE FIRE. By Addison Howard Gibson. ("Booj" was a real dog, and this story is based on a true incident.) Rex Rogers had wanted a dog ever since he was old enough to express his boyish wishes. But his mother with strong prejudices against dogs had always supplied something else. Rex, however, had never been backward in object ing to the "something else," whether it was a stuffed calico dog or a ball for himself and Ruth. He wanted a live dog ; and the wish had grown with his years. One day a covered wagon had stopped at the ranch, and the travelers had camped for the night. With them came a brown dog, way worn and footsore from his long tramp, follow ing the wagon from New Mexico to Okla homa. Rex found him back of the stable on some stfaw where the tired dog had dragged himself to rest, lie was very friendly, and when Rex brought him a pan of milk, the shaggy fellow lapped it eagerly, and seemed to thank his kind-hearted host with a wag of a bushy tail. Noticing the attachment that had sprung up between Rex and Booj, as the dog was named, the owner left the dog at the ranch. Mrs. Rogers would have refused the gift, but she was sorry for the dog, whose feet were too sore to travel farther. So she unwillingly permitted Booj to stay at the stable, where the kind at tentions of Rex and Ruth in a short time re stored the exhausted animal to good condition. Booj was a large, intelligent fellow, a mix ture of shepherd and Newfoundland. lie re sponded to kindness and soon displayed great fondness for the children of his new home. Whenever they walked out into the fields or played about the ranch, Booj was their faith ful attendant. No sentinel on duty was more watchful than he, and no stray animal, or the hissing fussy gander that sometimes intruded on the playground behind the house, was al lowed to disturb their pleasures. Booj became especially attached to Baby Teddy, a toddler of less than two years of age. While Rex and Ruth engaged in a lively game, Booj would lie in the shade of the lilacs near by, with Teddy playing by his side. No amount of rough pulling of his ears or shaggy hair ever drew sterner reproof from the dumb guar dian than a certain mild look of protest from the beautiful brown eyes. If the toddling Teddy '8 roughness became too unbearable, Booj would simply get up and walk away. There was no ill-natured growling about it, and he was sure to be back on guard if Teddy ventured too near the corral or the stable where the calves and the colts were too handy with their heels for the safety of the young ad venturer. The good points of Booj won favor with Mrs. Rogers' brother who was a visitor at the ranch. Uncle Amos had sheep in Colorado and it was secretly planned that he'should take Booj with him when he left for his 6wn home. The night before Uncle Amos was to leave, Rex over heard the plan and caught sight of a new collar bought for Booj. Rex was a young soldier. lie would not cry, neither would he go to his mother and make a scene, lie lay awake, however, for an hour, thinking of some way to defeat Uncle Amos' plan. After breakfast he confided in Ruth, and while their parents talked to Uncle Amos in the house, Rex coaxed Booj back of the orchard. Then the three entered a hollow and hurried toward a straw stack in a stubble field on the ranch. They hadn't gone far when Ruth discovered Teddy toddling after them. To take him back to the house would delay them and nerhaps spoil their chance to hide Booj till Uncle Amos had started to the station. So Teddy was made an innocent ally in the scheme and taken with them. The straw stack reached, Rex and Ruth made a deep hole far into it. Here Teddy and Booj were held captives until the sound of their father's car on the road assured them that Uncle Amos had given up the search for the missing dog and had gone to take his train. By this time Teddy, tired from the tramp across the rough stubble, had fallen asleep. The faith ful dog threw himself in front of the hole to keep guard. Ilappy in their success in hiding Booj, R?x and Ruth went over to a pond near-by in the hollow to sail stick-boats. They had steered their mimic fleet with long cattails once around the pond, when a crackling sound was heard behind them. Running up the bank, they were frightened to see the dry stubble on fire. A careless traveler had not put out his camp-fire, and the tall dead grass by the hollow had caught and had quickly carried the blaze to the stubblefield. As they stood for a second un decided what to do, the wind flung the fire forward. In a flash the straw stack was in flames ! With cries of terror Rex and Ruth ran to ward the blazing stack, calling wildly to Teddy and Booj. At the same ir.stant the mother hunting for the runaways, saw them from the orchard and the danger they were in. As she ran toward them, she called in frightened tones for them to come away from the stack. "Teddy's in there!" she caught Rex's agon ized shout. "Dear God, save my baby!" she prayed as she hurried on. But even as she stumbled over clods and tangling weeds, she knew she would be too late' The heat of the roaring stack had sent Rex and Ruth back toward the hollow. Sud denly the despairing watchers saw a brown form emerge almost from the heart of the fire. It was Booj and he was not alone. lie carried the wriggling, shrieking Teddy in his mouth ! As the dog hurried toward the hollow, they could sec that Teddy's dress was beginning to blaze. Mrs. Rogers panted forward, trying to snatch Teddy from Booj's strong jaws. He bounded past her, past the screaming Rex and Ruth who tried to stay him, and with a splash plunged into the pond where he buried him self and his charge under the wat^r. "He's drowned Teddy!" shrieked Ruth, as the mother, wild with fear, rushed to the edge of the pond. The next instant, however, Booj arose to the surface and swam to the bank where he dropped Teddy, drenched but safe, at Mrs. Rogers' feet. With his superior dog intelli gence- he had used the surest means within easy reach to quench the fire in Teddy's cloth ing and save his life. The ranch hands put out the fire before it did any real damage. Booj was treated as a true hero ever after. Nothing would induce Mrs. Rogers to send him away from the ranch. ? The Sunday-school Times. HOW DICKY DRAKE GOT HIS DINNER. Dicky Drake was a snowy-white fellow with a long yellow bill and strong yellow leg?*, and he prided himself on being the cock of the walk in the duck yard. He always managed to be the first one on the scene wh?n Johnny Hill came to feed his flock, and Dicky Drake rarely failed to get the first grain of corn Mas ter Johnny dropped. Johnny was very fond of this particular drake, because Grandmother Brent had brought him all the way from Maine to tunny Tennessee for her grandson, Johnny Hill, who Ijved on a big farm 'way out in the country and who was making a bank account by raising ducks for his future education. So when he added the new drake to his already famous duck yard, he was a very happy little boy; and it amused him very much to see Dicky Drake strutting around the duck yaid with his neck arched as if he were king of the tribe, getting the best of everything. But one day Johnny, accompanied by his mother, went to feed his ducks, and Dicky Drake, as usual, was there first, ready to gobble up the first grain of corn. "My, my!" Mrs. Hill exclaimed as she watched him eat. "Isn't he a greeedy, selfish fellow?" And Johnny looked at his favorite in a new light. "I never had thought of him as being greedy, mother," the little boy said slowly, "but since you've mentioned it, he is greedy and selfish; and my Sunday-school teacher, Miss Ray, only last Sunday said that selfishness grew on boy's when once they took it up, and I'm afraid it will be the same with Dicky Drake." "I'm quite sure Miss Ray was right in say ing what she did about selfishness," answered his mother, "and the sooner the habit is broken, the better." "Well, I shall find a way to break Dicky," Johnny replied. "And when I do, I'll tell you, mother." "Several weeks later Johnny surprised his mother by saying: "Mother, Di?*ky Drake has learned his lesson ; you should watch him eat now. ' ' Mrs. Hill could hardly believe it possible when she saw the king of the duck yard ap proach the feeding pen after the othei's were in. "Ilow did you do it, Johnny?" ohe asked. "Well, mother," answered Johnny, ";t took a long time to teach him, but he finally learned that it was easier to come and eat with the others than it was to have to dive to the bottom of the pond for his dinner." "What do you mean, Johnny?" his mother asked with interest. "Just this, mother," the boy answered. "Every time I fed my ducks and Dicky Drake came prancing in to grab up the first lite, I would put him in the coop until the others were through; then I'd drop his corn kernel by kernel into the pond, and he'd have to dive clean to the bottom for every bite he would get." Mrs. Hill looked at her little boy in astonish ment, then at the big white drake, who was slowly devouring the grains scattered before him.