In A Human Moment

Miscellany from the 19th century

Mrs. Hubbard’s Dog

Old_Mother_Hubbard_and_Her_Dog_1889

 

Mrs. Hubbard was a well-preserved old lady of sixty-five. She was a widow. Her husband had been dead fifteen years. He was in the milk business, and had left her a nice little cottage in the village, and a yellow dog whose name was Dionysius.

One day Dionysius disappeared, and old Mrs. Hubbard got very anxious about him. She heard, however, that he had followed a butcher’s waggon, and knew that he would come back again. He walked into the cottage in the afternoon of the following day, and began smelling about for something to eat.

The old lady was very glad to see Dionysius, and went immediately to the pantry to get two mutton chop bones that she had put on one side for him. But they were gone. The girl who used to come in to do the odd jobs around the house had given them to a big bull-terrier in the adjoining yard.

Mrs. Hubbard felt angry; but Dionysius was a good dog, and had been trained to eat anything. She put on her hat, and went to O’Neil’s the baker, to get a loaf of bread, as there were only biscuits in the house, and she didn’t care to give them to Dionysius. She had a pleasant chat with Mr. O’Neil, and then came home. She had been absent about twenty-five minutes. She called for the dog. She looked behind the pantry door, and there lay poor Dionysius dead.

Old Mrs. Hubbard was almost prostrate with grief. She resolved that her favourite should have a decent burial. She called at once on the village undertaker.

“What is the matter, Mrs. Hubbard?” the coffin dealer asked, on noticing the grief stricken countenance of the old lady.

“My poor dog is dead and I want a casket for him.”

“Here is one,” said the undertaker; “It is a misfit, and I’ll let you have it cheap.”

“Send it round,” gasped Mrs. Hubbard.

When she reached home the rascal Dionysius was outside, wagging his tail as if nothing had happened. The undertaker was obliged to take back the coffin; but Mrs. Hubbard had to pay him to do it.

“You naughty dog,” said the old lady: “if you play any more tricks on me I’ll thrash the life out of you!”

It was now time to think about supper, and, as the old lady found that there was no wine in the house, she went to the grocery to get some. She was of French descent, and liked a little claret or Sauterne with her meals. She bought a bottle of St. Julien and a bottle of Haut Sauterne, and her surprise was great, on coming back, to find Dionysius standing on his head.

Each time she went out she found the dog doing stranger things on her return. Now he was dancing a jig; then he dressed himself up like a dude, using for the purpose all the clothes he could lay his paws on. He became such an accomplished dog that, much as Mrs. Hubbard loved him, she was at last induced to sell him.

He is in Barnum’s circus to this day, and is to preceded the white elephant in the procession on its arrival.

The Dart: The Midland Figaro (Birmingham, England), Friday, January 04, 1884; pg. 7; Issue 376.
Gale Document Number: DX1901186508
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