About Bitters by F. E. S.
CHARLEY and Jimmie D. were
playing near the barn one day,
when along came the forlornest looking
cur you ever did see. The children commenced
calling him, and laughed loudly
as the animal came towards them, he was
such an ill-looking thing.
“Good fellow! nice fellow!” said Charley,
patting him. “Jim, you run in, and
get him something to eat—won’t you?
and don’t tell mother yet; you know she
dislikes dogs so. We’ll tie him up to-night,
and tell her to-morrow, if no one
comes for him.”
Such another looking dog I think I
never saw—scrawny and poor, as though
he had never been more than half fed;
a slit in one ear, tail not much to speak
of, and color a dirty black and white.
Jimmie soon came back from a successful
forage, and gave him a good supper.
At least doggie seemed to think so, for
he gobbled it up in about a minute, and
then wagged the stump of his tail for
“No, sir,” said Charley, “no more to-night.”
Then they shut him up in a little room
in a corner of the barn, and ran to find
their father, and tell him, well knowing
he would not care, if their mother was
They found their father, who went with
them to see him, and laughed long and
loud as they led out the ugly beast.
Then all went in to supper; the great
secret almost revealing itself in their tell-tale
looks and occasional whisperings,
neither of which attracted their mother’s
Supper over, they made a final visit
to their pet, and then left him for the
“What shall we name him?” said Jimmie,
when they were alone in their room
“O, we must have a funny name, he’s
such a sorry looking feller! Wouldn’t
you call him ‘Bitters’?” said Charley.
“Bitters!” said Jim, with a laugh.
“Yes, that’s bad enough.”
So Bitters he was named; and next
morning they won their mother’s reluctant
consent to keep the dog, provided he
was kept at the barn, or away from the
house, at all events.
Then they fed and played with him
till school time, and shut him up till noon.
Bitters seemed to take to his new
admirers, and appeared quite satisfied
with his quarters, and was getting to look
a little more like a respectable dog, when
one morning, as he was running round a
corner of the barn, he came suddenly
upon the old rooster, who bristled up and
showed fight. Bitters turned, and ran
for dear life, as hard as he could go, and
never has been seen or heard from, from
that day to this, much to the boys’