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The Presbyterian of the South : [combining the] Southwestern Presbyterian, Central Presbyterian, Southern Presbyterian. [volume] (Atlanta, Ga.) 1909-1931, October 03, 1917, Image 7

Image and text provided by Library of Virginia; Richmond, VA

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/10021978/1917-10-03/ed-1/seq-7/

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1 I '
Our Boys and Girls
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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.

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