Stránka:tales 1921.djvu/186

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… is well known; and the reason is that the wild ancestor had a white brush on the end of his tail; a white flag, indeed; and this was the flag of his signal code.

Suppose, then, that a wild Dog, prowling through the woods, sights some other animal. Instantly he crouches; for it is good woodcraft to avoid being seen and then watch from your hiding-place. As the stranger comes near, the crouching Dog sees that it is one of his own kind, and that it is needless to hide any longer; indeed, that it is impossible to remain hidden. So the moment the stranger stops and looks at the crouching Dog, the latter stands straight up on all fours, raises his tail up high, and wags the white tip from side to side in the sign which means, “Let’s be friends”.

Every Dog knows the sign, every Dog in every town does it yet; every boy has seen it a thousand times. We flatter ourselves that we invented the wig-wag code with our little white flag. Maybe so; but the Dog had it long before we did.

TALE 68

Why the Dog Turns Around Three Times Before Lying Down

Yes, they all do it; the big St. Bernard, the foolish littlest lap Dog, the ragged street Dog; give them bare boards, or a silken cushion, or snow, three turns around and down they go.

Why? Not so hard to answer as some simple questions. Long, long ago, the wild great-great-grandfather of the Dog — a yellow creature with black hair sprinkled on his back, sharp ears, light spots over his eyes, and a white tail-tip — used to live in the woods, or on the prairies. He did not have a home to which he might return every time he ..text continues