Gateway to the Classics: The Golden Ladder Book by E. Hershey Sneath
The Golden Ladder Book by  E. Hershey Sneath

The Children and The Dog

Woo-Hsing lived near the market place, and all the children thought him a very wonderful man. He trained fine dogs to do almost everything but talk. If one wanted a dog educated, Woo-Hsing was the man to take him to. Whether for hunting, for performing tricks in public places or from door to door—anything, all things, Woo-Hsing could teach his dogs. This is why the children thought him a wonderful man.

It came time for Woo-Hsing's little boy to learn how to teach dogs. So one day he brought his son a young one from the market place. Then he told him how the dog should be taught. It would take three years of teach him all: to play soldier with a gun, to dance, to bow his head, to kneel, to play churn the rice, to swim in water with a boy on his back, or to take a basket and go from door to door and beg rice and money for his master. Even then his training was not complete until he could hunt the fox, the gibbon, the mouse deer, and other animals.

Woo-Hsing's little boy had been named Yiong-Yueng, which in Chinese means "Forever." The reason for the name was this: Woo-Hsing had been given many sons, but they had all died young, so when the last one came, he named him "Forever," for he said, "He will then live a long time and I shall not be childless."

Yiong-Yueng called his dog Hsi-Long, which means "for fun." He was a very wise dog and learned so many tricks in a short time that he was known and admired by all the boys in the country around.


One day a crowd of children, coming home from school, met Hsi-Long in the road. They all shouted: "Here is Yiong-Yueng's dog. Now we will have some fun and make him do all his tricks for us."

So one boy said; "Here, Hsi-Long! Come here," but the dog would not even notice him. Then another boy pulled his tail because he would not obey; and Hsi-Long bit the boy's finger and growled, and the boy ran home crying.

Another boy said, "Now see me. I will make him take me on his back for a swim in the water, as he takes Yiong-Yueng;" and he caught Hsi-Long roughly and tried to pull him into the water. But the dog seized his clothes and growled so fiercely that the boys scattered and ran home.

One of the boys, Ah-Gum, told his mother what had happened, and how angry they all were at the dog, who needed a beating, as they thought. "When Yiong-Yueng has visitors, Hsi-Long Kneels and bows and does all his tricks for him. Why would he not do them for us, Ah-Ma? How can we make him do the tricks for us?"

"Well, my son," said his mother, "you wanted the dog to do many things for you. Have you ever done anything for the dog? You are a stranger to him. Did you ever give him anything to eat or drink?

"Try this," continued the mother. "To-morrow, take a bowl of rice, put a little meat and gravy with it, and give it to the dog. Speak kindly to him, and pet him. Do this two or three times, and he will surely like and trust you. Then he will do for you all that he knows how to do.

"You will find people in the world are just the same, my son. Do not expect people to do things for you when you do nothing for them, for that is not right. You must give, if you expect to receive, and it is better to give first."

Mary Hayes Davis and Chow-Leung

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