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The Dolphin

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In the reign of Augustus Caesar there was a dolphin in the Lucrine lake,
which formed a most romantic attachment to a poor man's son. The boy had
to go every day from Baiae to Puteoli to school, and such were the friendly
terms on which he had got with the dolphin, that he had only to wait by
the banks of the lake and cry, Simo, Simo, the name he had given to
the animal, when, lo! Simo came scudding to the shore, let fall the sharp
prickles of his skin, and gently offered his back for the boy to mount
upon. The boy, nothing afraid, used to mount instantly, when the dolphin,
without either rein or spur, would speed across the sea to Puteoli, and
after landing the young scholar, wait about the vicinity till he was
returning home, when it would again perform the same sort of civil
service. The boy was not ungrateful for such extraordinary favour, and
used every day to bring a good store of victuals for Simo, which the
animal would take from his hand in the most tame and kindly manner
imaginable. For several years this friendly intercourse was kept up; it
was, in fact, only terminated by the death of the boy; when, as the story
goes, the dolphin was so affected at seeing him return no more, that it
threw itself on the shore, and died, as was thought, of very grief and
sorrow!





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