The Dog in the Manger

An honest Bull, devoid of harm,
Once lived upon a pleasant farm.
He had a gentle Cow for wife,
And led a peaceful, happy life.
One little one had blest the two,
As sweet a calf as ever grew.
And so they lived, in honest pride,
Beloved by all the country side.
An open-handed pair were they,
And never turned the poor away.
No beggar passed the open door,
Without addition to his store.
One day, a dog of visage grim,
With stumpy tail and twisted limbs;
All spent with thirst, and hunger sore,
Stopped panting, at the cottage-door.
The good old Cow, by pity led,
Gave him a bowl of milk and bread;
Then bade him to the barn repair,
And rest his wearied body there.
He seeks the barn, without delay,
And in a manger filled with hay;
All fresh, and scented to his mind,
A sweet repose, he hopes to find.
Into the place, with eager leap,
He springs, and finds - a calf asleep! -
Curled up, and breathing low, he lay,
Concealed among the fragrant hay.
And now, I mean to tell you how -
This wicked dog, repaid the Cow.
With cudgel raised, and growling low,
He gave the calf a cruel blow!
"Get out," he cried, "'twere best for you.
There isn't room enough for two."
The calf, amazed, with noisy tongue,
Out of the manger quickly sprung;
With bleeding face, and bruises sore,
Fell, groaning loudly, to the floor!
The Cow, with not a thought of harm,
Just then was milking near the barn;
She heard the groans, and filled with fear
Could scarce believe her startled ears;
Rushed to the barn, and near the door,
Beheld her calf upon the floor!
The dog watched from the manger nigh,
With ready stick, and blazing eye.
She raised her calf, and soothed his pain,
And set him on his legs again;
Then led him tenderly away,
And to the snarling dog, did say: -
"Are these the thanks, you wicked scamp,
I get, when I relieve a tramp?
My husband, sir, will teach you soon,
To sing another kind of tune;
I hear him in the yard outside,
No doubt, he'll treat you to a ride."
Just then was heard a mighty roar,
And Father Bull looked in the door!
The wretched dog, with whine forlorn,
Tried hard to dodge, the horrid horns;
But all in vain, the raging Bull -
With boiling wrath, and vengeance full;
Straight, drove him from his stolen lair,
And tossed him, yelling in the air!
Then, when he fell to Earth again,
Trod out, at once, his life and pain.
And thus you see, the lesson rude,
That came to base ingratitude! [more info]

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