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a web of many textures

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Page 39


It is an amiable human weakness, is the love of pets;
and the one who “crunches” them in his heart, as Gruff
and Tackleton did the crickets on his hearth, has little
affection for anything else. The love that one expends
on pets is auxiliary to a higher and holier affection, and
does not take from it; as it may be classed with loves of
kindred and friends, that may be infinite in their scope,
and yet be consistent with the one grand central affection,
and strengthen and sanctify it. Pets come in many
forms. The heart loves dogs, and birds, and flowers,
and at times queer objects become invested with an interest
which almost takes the phase of disease. A
sweet little human pet of our own, that now rests in a
land where love is the life it lives, unalloyed with the
pains that marred it here, had a strange proclivity for
toads. The little creature loved everything that lived,
but in the summer-time it was her delight to visit the
garden and find her uncouth favorites, and watch their
ungainly movements with a pleasure that one might expend
on a rose or a canary. A little book was published,
a few years since, by Grace Greenwood, called “History
of my Pets.” We have a thumbed and soiled copy
of that book, which money could not buy. It was
owned by another pet of ours, who, years ago, went
down the dark valley and left us. It was a solace to
him in all his hours of trouble and pain. The sight of
that book mollified his grief, and his sobs would subside
to smiles as his eyes rested on the pictures. The fancy
has been cherished that the loving spirit still rests
about the book, and hence it becomes a pet in itself,
sacred from the contamination of use. From its pages
the beautiful brown eyes seem to look up, and the cheerful
laugh sounds again in the glee of delighted childhood,


Page 40
and we renew again, for a moment, the old-time
presence, until the dream dies in the light of material
care, and the book is laid sacredly in its niche again.
Those pets that come in the human form, how we cling
to them and idolize them, to have them, alas! fade from
our arms in exhalation, as the dew fades from the flowers,
seemingly crushed by the intensity of the affection
with which we enfold them. But the heart follows
them, and we hear a voice that speaks comfort to our
soul, saying, “These pets ye shall behold again!” and
we still look in the way they have gone.