“Tavia, get up! It’s seven o’clock, and I must go up to the stables!”
So Dorothy called the next morning, but whether Tavia was too much
awake to do anything so “foolish” as to get up, and interview Jake,
or whether she was still sleeping, Dorothy took no further time to
inquire, for if she did so her own time would go with the effort.
Instead, she dressed hastily, and, slipping a coat on, for the morning
was heavy with dew, she quietly went up the gravel path toward the
stable. There was a wind and a turn in the road, and from this spot,
where big white stone marked “danger” for auto or carriage, the public
road opened in a short, sharp “V.”
On either side was heavy shrubbery, the pride of the gardener, and the
pleasure of the girls who loved late or early blossoms, for the hedge
was composed of such shrubs as sent forth both.
The soft, lavender, feather-blossom was plentiful now, and as Dorothy
passed along she stopped to gather a spray. As she did so she heard
something like a whine.
She listened! It could not be a cat. There was Jake waiting at the
stable door. What should she say to him? She did not hurry off, for
that cry certainly came from the bush.
Carefully she pushed back the brambles. Then she called softly, as to
The answer came. It was a faint bark! A dog surely. She glanced up to
the stable, to see if Jake was still there so that she might call him;
but he had gone.
Then she whistled the call for a dog, but could see nothing but a
movement of the briars.
“He must be in there,” she told herself, “and I will have to crawl in
and get him. Something must have him fast.”
Tucking her skirts about her as best she could, she raised bush after
bush, until she was well within the hedge. Then she could see where the
sound came from.
It was under a hawthorn!
She raised that, and there beheld little Ravelings!
“Oh, you poor little thing!” she said aloud. “How ever did you get
In spite of her anxiety that the precious animal might be injured, it
must be admitted that Dorothy was glad to see him.
Now she would have to tell nothing to Jacob. She would just hand him
“Come, Ravelings,” she coaxed, and the white fuzzy head moved but the
legs refused to do so.
“Not a trap, I hope,” she murmured.
One more perilous forward motion, for at every move she was being
scratched and torn with the briars, then she had her hand on Ravelings.
His long shaggy fur was completely wound up in a wiry bramble, and the
little creature could no more move than if he had been in a trap.
Making her way clear of the shrubs, through the path she had made
crawling in, Dorothy ran back to the hall, and up the outside stairs to
“Tavia! Quick!” she called. “Give me the scissors!”
“Mercy sakes! What’s this? Suicide!” exclaimed the lazy one, not yet
dressing. “Wait. I’ll get you something easier.”
Too impatient to talk with her, Dorothy got to her own work basket
and procured the scissors. Then back she went to the damp nest where
“It’s a shame to cut your pretty fur so,” she talked as she snipped
and snipped each knot of curly silk–the pride of Jake. “But you have
got to get out. I just hope it is only your fur, and that there are no
It took some time to get him entirely free, but as Dorothy worked the
grateful animal licked her hand and tried to “kiss” her, so that she
felt quite as happy to release him as he must have been to be free. At
last she had him in her arms.
She must not let him run, and it was not easy to hold him, and get out
“There,” she exclaimed, when on the path, “now we will go to Jake.”
She could scarcely hold him when he saw the barn. And what a big, muddy
blue bow of ribbon was around his neck! Wait until she told the girls!
They would be afraid to go up to the stable to make certain, and they
would surely not believe her.
Dorothy was flushed with pleasure and excitement.
“Jake!” she called at the barn door.
The man came out.
“Here he is! Here is Ravelings!”
“Where on earth—-”
But the dog had leaped from her, and was “kissing” Jake so eagerly that
he could not say another word.