Some years ago, a ship bound for China had on board, with other passengers, an officer, his wife, their only child—a little boy five years old, and a large Newfoundland dog called Bobby.
Everybody in the ship liked Bobby, he was so good-tempered and frolicsome; but the boy was the dog's constant playmate. He was a merry little fellow, and as fond of Bobby as Bobby was of him.
One evening while the little boy and the dog were romping together, the ship gave a roll, and splash went the child into the sea!
A cry was raised, A hand over! a hand over! and the brave dog sprang over the side of the ship, clearing it like a greyhound, and swam towards the stern.
The little boy's father, half frantic, leaped with others into the jolly-boat; but it was too dark to see far before them. All gave the child up for lost.
At last they heard a splash on the left side of the ship. Pull on, quick! cried the father. The boat was turned, the men pulled with all their might, and in a moment brave Bobby was alongside, holding up the child in his mouth! Joy! joy! joy!
The boat was rowed back to the ship; the half-drowned boy soon got better; the parents were delighted; and brave Bobby was caressed by all.
At the Cape-of-Good-Hope, the passengers were to be landed. The officer got into the boat, with his wife and child; but he told the sailors to hold the Newfoundland dog tight by the collar till the boat was some distance from the ship. You will then see, said he, what a strong swimmer he is.
Brave Bobby pulled and tugged to get loose, but all in vain; for they held him till the boat was near the shore. But no sooner did the officer give the signal than the dog was set at liberty, and away he went full dash into the sea.
Suddenly the poor animal set up a shrill howl, and threw himself out of the water. At first it was thought he had been seized with cramp; but it was worse than that—a shark was after him!
A shark! a shark! sounded from the boat to the ship. Bobby swam right and left, and dived and doubled, showing his teeth, and never allowing the shark time to turn on his back; without doing which the monster could not bite him.
The officer in the boat soon saw that there was little chance of reaching the spot in time to save the dog. Poor Bobby swam and dodged, till he was almost tired out. Stop rowing, cried the officer to the men, and turn the boat round.
Just at that moment the shark, which had got very close to the dog, turned on his back and opened his horrid mouth!
Bobby was all but gone. His master rose, pointed his gun, and fired. In a moment the water was tinged with blood: the horrid jaws of the shark were shattered to pieces!
The men then rowed to the spot where Bobby was swimming about. The officer pulled the dog into the boat; the child threw his little arms around him; and the men in the boat, and the sailors in the ship, cried out with joy, Hurrah! hurrah! joy! joy! Bobby is safe! the shark is killed! Hurrah! hurrah!
How does the dog in the picture happen to be in the water? When did this occur? What fish is that near the dog? Why is it turning on its back? Who are in the boat? How was the dog saved? Why was he so much loved by his master?