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A shepherd, in one of his excursions to look after his flock, took with
him one of his children, an infant of three years old. After traversing
his pastures for some time, attended by his dog, he found it necessary to
ascend a summit at some distance, to obtain a more extensive view of his
range. As the ascent was too fatiguing for the child, he left him on a
small plain at the bottom, with strict injunctions not to stir from it
till his return. Scarcely, however, had he gained the summit, when the
horizon was darkened by an impenetrable mist. The anxious father instantly
hastened back to find his child; but owing to the unusual darkness, he
missed his way. After a fruitless search of many hours, he discovered that
he had reached the bottom of the valley, and was near his own cottage. To
renew the search that night was equally fruitless and dangerous; he was
therefore compelled to go home, although he had lost both his child and
his dog, who had attended him faithfully for many years. Next morning, by
break of day, the shepherd, accompanied by a band of his neighbours, set
out in search of his child; but after a day of fatigue, he was obliged to
return home disappointed. He found that the dog which he had lost the day
before had been to the cottage, and on receiving a piece of cake, had
instantly gone off again. For several successive days the shepherd renewed
the search, and on his return in the evening he found that the dog had
been home, and, on receiving his usual allowance of cake, had instantly
disappeared. Struck with this singular circumstance, he remained at home
one day; and when the dog, as usual, departed with his piece of cake, he
resolved to follow him, and find out the cause of this strange procedure.
The dog led the way to a cataract at some distance from the spot where the
shepherd had left his child. Down a rugged and almost perpendicular
descent the dog began, without hesitation, to make his way, and at last
disappeared by entering into a cave, the mouth of which was almost level
with the torrent. The shepherd with difficulty followed; but, on entering
the cave, what were his emotions, when he beheld his infant eating with
much satisfaction the cake which the dog had just brought him, while the
faithful animal stood by, eyeing his young charge with the utmost
complacency! The child had apparently wandered to the brink of the
precipice, and then either fallen or scrambled down till he reached the
cave. The dog had traced him to the spot; and afterwards prevented him
from starving, by giving up to him his own daily allowance. He appears
never to have quitted the child by night or day, except when it was
necessary to go for food; and then he was always seen running at full
speed to and from the cottage.

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