A Child Saved

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.