A good many years ago there was a farmer living in the western part of Pennsylvania who had a large family of children. One day the youngest child of the family, a little boy about four years old, whose name was Derrick, went into the woods near their house and was lost. This was a great grief to his father and mother, who were very fond of the child. The father got several neighbors of his to go with him, and then they went into the woods to try to find the lost child.
They spent the rest of the day in seeking for the child, but without success. When night came on his neighbors went home, but the father refused to go. He got a lantern and lighted it, and said he would spend the night in hunting for his child. The night passed wearily away, and the morning came, but the child was not found. Then the father went home to get something to eat before starting again on his search.
Just as he was getting ready to go, an Indian who lived in that neighborhood, and whom they knew very well, called to see the farmer. The Indian had a dog with him that he was very fond of. On finding what the trouble was, the Indian asked the farmer for the shoes and stockings which Derrick had worn last. They were brought and given to the Indian. He held them out to his dog, and said, “Rover, I want you to smell these, and then go into the woods, and try to find the child who has worn them.”
The dog looked at his master a moment, as if he meant to say, “I know what you want, and I’ll see what I can do to help you.”
Then he took two or three good smells of the shoes and stockings, and started into the woods.
Knowing that they could not keep up with the dog, the farmer and the Indian concluded to remain sitting in the porch till he should return. As they sat there they could hear him barking every little while. And in about an hour from the time he left, he came running back, wagging his tail, and looking very bright and happy.
“There!” said the Indian;” he has found the child. Let us go with him.”
They went, and soon found the poor child, almost dead with cold and hunger, lying at the foot of a great tree.
What a happy day that was to the farmer and his family. And how much indebted they felt to that intelligent dog for the kindness he had done them.