Skip to Content
Indiana University

Search Options

View Options

Stories, Dreams and Allegories. Schreiner, Olive, 1855–1920.
page: 113


SMALL TOWSER sat with his tail in a puddle of mud. The puddle was small, but so was his tail. His nose was turned down to the paving‐stones; there were two drops running down towards the tip of it, but they weren’t raindrops, though the afternoon was sad and cloudy enough—they came from his eyes. Presently, out of the swell gate of the house over the way came a most respectable‐looking dog, of a very comfortable appearance, and as big as eight Towsers, for he was a mastiff.

“Why don’t you take your tail out of the puddle?” asked the comfortable‐looking dog.

Towser gave it a feeble little splutter in the mud: he didn’t know why he let it hang there, except that he was miserable.

“Starve you over at your house?” inquired the comfortable dog.

“No,” said Towser, “there are dishes of bones and nice little bits of fat in the kitchen.”

“Other dogs bite you?”

“No.” Towser shook his head.

page: 114

“Have to sleep out in the cold?”

“No, I’ve got a house,” said Towser.

“You’re a nice gentlemanly‐looking little dog; you oughtn’t to be unhappy. What’s the matter?” asked the comfortable‐looking dog.

“I’m not any good,” said Towser.

The big dog didn’t comprehend.

“I want someone to love me,” said Towser; “I want to help somebody; I want to be of use.”

“Love!” said the big dog. “Did you ever smell it?”

“No,” said Towser.

“Or see anybody eat it?”


“Or sleep on it?”


“Then what use is it?” said the big dog; and he went away.

Shortly after that Towser got up off the stone, and took his little tail out of the mud. He shook his little ears and let the two drops run off his nose.

“I’ll go and seek for someone that needs me,” said Towser; and so he started on his travels.