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CONDUCT TOWARDS ANIMALS.
THERE are many harmless little animals, as flies, snails, worms, and frogs, which some people torture and kill whenever they see them. We ought not to do so, because it is wrong to cause unnecessary pain to any creatures. Besides, from being cruel to little animals, we are led to become cruel to our fellow-creatures, and thus by and bye may do very wicked actions. When we are tempted to hurt kill
any such creatures, we should consider how we should like if any greater being than ourselves were to do the same by us.
If we keep any animal, as a horse, or a dog, for our convenience or pleasure, it is our duty to treat it well—to give it sufficient food and proper lodging—and not to make it work beyond its strength. It is shameful to lash a horse or ass for going slow, when probably it is too old, or too much fatigued, or too sparingly fed, to go any faster.
It is allowable to kill animals which may thereby become of use to us. But though we may kill them, we ought not to give them unnecessary pain. They should not be ill used on their way to the market, and they ought to be put to death as quickly as possible. Even a butcher may be, to a certain extent, humane.
THE BOYS AND THE FROGS: A FABLE.
On the margin of a large lake, which was inhabited by a great number of frogs, a company of boys happened to be at play. Their diversion was duck and drake ; and whole volleys of stones were thrown into the water, to the great annoyance and danger of the poor terrified frogs. At length, one of the most hardy, lifting up his head above the surface of the lake, “ Ah, dear children,” said he, “why will you learn so soon to be cruel ? Consider, I beseech you, that though this may be sport to you, it is death to us."
JAMES AND ROBERT.
James and Robert were brothers, the one being about seven years of age, and the other less than five. James was a boy of good sense and fine dispositions. Robert was good a boy; but, being younger, he had less knowledge and sense,
more frequently did wrong. One day, these two boys took a walk into the fields. As they passed along, Robert observed a bird's nest in a hedge. The parent bird, which was sitting in the nest, flew out at their approach, and when they looked in, they saw three young ones, which she had just been feeding. Robert wished to take the young ones out, and
them home. But James prevented him. “My papa,” he said, “ told me long ago that it is wrong to rob birds' nests. The birds love their young ones just as much as our father and mother love us. When their little ones are taken away, they grieve as much for them as our papa and mamma would grieve, if any wicked person were to come to our house, and take away us and the little babies. Besides, young birds can only thrive under a mother's care, and when boys take them, they almost always die miserably. It will be much better to let the poor
bird keep her little family at home in her nest, till they are fit to fly, and to take care of themselves.” Robert had not thought of this before, but he now saw that it would be wrong to give so much pain even to a bird, and he resolved to follow his brother's advice.
It happened that the father of James and Robert was on the other side of the hedge, where he heard all that his children had said. He now came across to them, and told them that they had been very good boys, and he loved them more than he had ever done before. The grief of a little bird