My Dog Tray
Author: Unknown
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Twice every week a poor, thin man, Holding his little daughter's hand, Walked feebly to a hospital, Close by the busy London Strand.

He hoped the clever doctors there In time would make him strong and well, That he might go to work again, And live to care for little Nell.

Beside wee Nell, her faithful friend, Good old dog Tray was always seen, Never a day apart the pair Since Nelly's babyhood had been.

But all the doctors' skill was vain, Poor William Bruce soon passed away, Leaving his little orphan child Without a friend—save poor dog Tray.

The little money he had saved He left to his landlady's care, That Nelly, till she older grew, The woman's humble home might share.

He thought her honest—but, alas! Most sadly was poor Bruce deceived; She kept herself the orphan's gold, That as a trust she had received.

She dressed poor little Nell in rags, All her good, decent clothes she sold; She scarcely gave her daily bread, And kept her shivering in the cold.

For in an empty loft she slept, A ragged blanket all her bed; And there till sleep her sorrow hushed, Poor Nelly's nightly tears were shed.

But ever crouching at her side, With pitying love lay faithful Tray; He nestled up to keep her warm, And licked her bitter tears away.

And Nelly shared with him her crusts, And both were hungry and forlorn; While many a kick and cruel blow, Most patiently by Tray were borne.

At last the cruel woman said She had no bones to throw away; She could not keep a useless cur, She really must drive off old Tray.

And, with a broomstick in her hand, She hunted the poor dog about, Until, with many a cruel blow, From his old home she drove him out.

Limping and howling forth he went, While Nelly, with a breaking heart, With agonizing sobs and cries, Beheld her only friend depart.

Within the hospital that day, The porter with amazement saw A dog appear, who limped along, Holding well up an injured paw.

Straight to the doctors' room he went, Jumped on a chair, held up his leg, And seemed by a beseeching whine Their kindly aid and skill to beg.

Laughing, the kind house-surgeon said, "A stranger patient I ne'er saw; Well, let us see what we can do,— Old fellow, let me hold you paw."

He found Tray had a broken leg, And set and bound it up so well, That Tray, delighted and relieved, Sought all his gratitude to tell.

He wagged his tail and loudly barked, And licked the surgeon's kindly hand; He tried to make his human friend His thanks and joy thus understand.

"Oh, turn him out!" the doctors cry, "The sleeping patients he will wake; We cannot have their rest disturbed, By letting him this hubbub make."

The porter then put poor Tray out, But gave him, when they reached the street, A mutton bone, well covered yet, That Tray was very glad to eat.

Now in the streets the dog must live; But far far from Nell he would not stray, He howled about her home all night, And lingered near it all the day.

Poor Nelly in her dismal loft, That mournful sound in sleep would hear, And smiles would play upon her lips, Because in dreams her friend was near.

The landlady, who could not sleep For Tray's loud howling, angry grew; Her guilty conscience he awoke, And now no peace or rest she knew.

At length one morning, in her wrath, She gave poor Nell a cruel blow, And bade her join that yelping cur, And with him, begging, henceforth go.

The child fled screaming to the street, Where Tray in ambush always lay; He leaped upon her with delight, But Nelly pushed her friend away.

"Oh, Tray!" she said, "you hurt my arm," —The arm she struck—"Oh, how it aches." And in her little trembling hand The fallen arm she shrinking takes.

Tray at his little mistress looks, With thoughtful eyes and wagging tail; Then seems as if he understood Why Nelly screamed and looked so pale.

With a loud bark he seizes then The little maiden's ragged gown, And pulls her rapidly along, Down to the busy crowded town.

At length the hospital they reach, Where Tray before found kindly aid, And Nelly is dragged quickly in, Though trembling now and much afraid.

He drew her to the doctors' room, And straight up to his former friend; With wistful eyes and bark that asks, "Will you to this poor child attend?"

"Why, what is it?" the surgeon cries; "Another patient do you bring? A child, too—speak, poor little one, Can we for you do anything?"

Then Nelly, sobbing, shows her arm. "'Tis broken!" all the doctors say. They set it, and then call a nurse— For Nelly in the house must stay.

Soon in a snowy little bed The suffering child is snugly laid. Ah! what a change from the bare loft, Where in the dark and cold she stayed.

And dainty food is to her brought; While gentle words and tender smiles Soothe the slow hours of burning pain, And pity half her grief beguiles.

Yet the nurse sees an anxious look In the wide eyes of loveliest blue, And asks what troubles Nelly still— What more for her they all can do.

"Oh! please," said Nelly, "do not think I am not happy—you're too good; I never was in such a room, I never tasted such nice food.

"Only—I do so want to know What has become of old dog Tray, Who brought me here—my only friend— Where is he gone?—oh, tell me, pray."

"My darling," said the smiling nurse, "Your clever dog is safe and well; The doctor who lives in the house Has found a place where Tray may dwell."

Then Nelly gently fell asleep, And from that moment better grew; And soon the nurse—her tender friend— The hapless orphan's story knew.

Indignant at such cruelty, The nurse the kindly surgeon seeks, And of poor Nellie's hapless lot With warm, indignant pity speaks.

"What's the child's name?" the doctor asked. "Eleanor Bruce," the nurse replied; "Her father was a patient here For many months before he died."

"Bruce? Yes, I well remember him, He told me of a little store He had laid by for this poor child, 'Twas thirty pounds, I think, or more.

"The dog has saved poor Nelly's life, And brought to light a cruel wrong; What wondrous instincts, God's great gift, To His dumb creatures do belong."

When Nelly's broken arm was healed, The doctor took her to his home; He could not let the helpless child About the streets of London roam.

The housekeeper the child attends, And Tray with wild joy greets her there; Once more he watches at her side— They are a glad and happy pair.

The cruel landlady one day Was sitting by her fireside, Rejoiced that she had gained the gold, Meant for poor Nelly to provide.

When open flew the kitchen door, And in a tall policeman came, And laid his hand upon her arm, And gruffly called her by her name.

Behind him, then, the woman saw The child whom she had driven away, And near, a stately stranger stood, While at her growled the old dog Tray.

They charged her with her cruel theft, Her guilt she angrily denied; Till the tall stranger, stern and grave, With solemn voice and words replied,

"Her father told me he had saved, And given his gold to you, his friend, To keep his little, helpless child, And on her wants the sum to spend.

"But you have kept that hard won sum, And driven his orphan out to die; Say, what does such a crime deserve?"— The guilty soul cannot reply.

They made her give up all that's left, They would have sent her off to jail; But Nelly's voice for pardon prayed, And Nelly's tears and prayers prevail.

The wicked woman's heart was touched By the sweet pity of the child; Repentant tears ran down her cheeks, As Nelly's words fell soft and mild.

They left her to her grief and shame; No more will little Nelly stay Within her power to harm or kill— She goes with her new friends away.

The surgeon's mother heard the tale— A very strange and touching one— Of how the dog, with instinct strange, Had sought the succour of her son.

And how poor Nelle he had brought To ask for her the same kind aid; And how a wicked woman's sin Had been by this same act betrayed.

And, dwelling in her home alone, She asked her son the child to send To dwell with her and cheer her age, By being a merry little friend.

She wished, too, that the dog should come, And in her house with Nelly dwell; A trusty guardian for them both, Certain to do his duty well.

And thus through Tray's strange cleverness The pair a country home have found, Where all things dogs and children love About them everywhere abound.

Meadows all golden in the sun, With buttercups of golden sheen, And daisies, with their silver eyes, On every side by them are seen.

Tall trees that give a pleasant shade, And birds that in the branches sing; Sweet apple blossoms, pink and white, The orchard trees around them fling.

Together o'er the pastures green, Nelly and Tray delighted run, Chasing the yellow butterflies That flutter in the summer sun.

Or resting by the singing brook, Sit side by side amidst the flowers; Two quiet happy playfellows All through the sunny noontide hours.

And Nelly thinks, "How good is God, Who made this lovely summer day, And gave me for my own dear pet, As friend and guard, MY OLD DOG TRAY."

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With large Original Page Plates by the first Artists, in the very best style of Colour Printing, with Letterpress Descriptions.

1. The Railway A B C 2. A, Apple Pie 4. Childhood's Happy Hours 8. John Gilpin (The Story of) 10. The Seaside 11. The Robin's Christmas Eve 13. Alphabet of Fruits 14. Frisky, the Squirrel 15. Country Pets 16. Pussy's London Life 17. Hector, the Dog 18. Dick Whittington 19. The Fairy at the Fountain (Diamonds and Toads) 21. Uncle's Farmyard 22. London A B C 23. Country A B C 24. A B C of Games and Sports 25. Household Pets 26. Hare and Tortoise 27. Hey Diddle-Diddle 28. World-Wide Fables 29. The Birthday Party 30. The King, Queen, and Knave of Hearts 31. Cock Robin's Courtship 33. The Nursery Alphabet 35. Bruin, the Bear 36. Dame Trot and her Cat 37. Home for the Holidays 38. Punch and Judy 39. My Children 40. Jack and Jill 41. The Faithful Friend 42. Ten Little Niggers 43. Zoological Gardens 44. Ditto 45. Zoological Gardens 46. Ditto 47. Puzzle Alphabet 50. My Favourites 51. Home Pets 52. John Bull's Farmyard Alphabet 53. Tabby's Tea Fight 54. Rover's Dinner Party 55. London Characters 56. Globe Alphabet 57. Famous Dogs. LANDSEER 58. Noted Dogs. LANDSEER 59. Famous Horses. HERRING 60. Noted Horses. HERRING 61. Childhood's Playtime 62. Our Boys and Girls 63. Alphabet of Animals 66. Little Dame Crump 67. Childhood's Delight 68. Hush-a-bye, Baby 69. Tottie's Nursery Rhymes 70. Cinderella 71. Red Riding Hood 72. Old Mother Hubbard 73. Little Bo-Peep 74. Hop o' my Thumb 75. Droll Pictures 76. Humorous Pictures 77. Funny Pictures 78. Comic Pictures 79. Joseph and his Brethren 80. The Proverbs of Solomon 81. King David (The Story of) 82. The Wonders of Providence 83. Lear's Book of Nonsense* 84. Ditto ** 85. Lear's Book of Nonsense*** 86. Ditto **** 89. Ditto ***** 90. Ditto ****** 91. Old Nursery Songs 92. Old Nursery Rhymes 93. The Soldier's Alphabet 94. The Sailor's Alphabet 95. The Little Sportsman's Alphabet 96. The Farmyard Hunt 97. A Country Holiday 98. Play Hours 99. Play Time 100. A B C of Ships and Boats 101. The Trial of the Sparrow who killed Cock Robin 102. The Old Woman who lived in a Shoe 103. Three little Doggies 104. Childhood 105. Old Favourites 106. Playful Puss 107. Six Little Maidens 108. Home Fairies 109. Aunt Louisa's A B C 110. My Dog Tray 111. Miss Rich and Little Hungry 112. The Book of Animals


1. The Merchant of Venice 2. The Winter's Tale 3. The Tempest 4. The Taming of the Shrew.

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