1. Willie's aunt sent him for a birthday present a little writing book. There was a place in the book for a pencil. Willie thought a great deal of this little book, and always kept it in his pocket.

2. One day, his mother was very busy, and he called his dog, and said, 'Come, Caper, let us have a play.'

3. When Willie's mother missed him, she went to the door and looked out, and could not see him anywhere; but she knew that Caper was with him, and thought they would come back before long.

4. She waited an, hour, and still they did not come. When she came to the gate by the road, she met Mr. Lee, and told him how long Willie had been gone. Mr. Lee thought he must have gone to sleep under the trees. So they went to all the trees under which Willie was in the habit of playing, but he was nowhere to be found.

5. By this time the sun had gone down. The news that Willie was lost soon spread over the neighborhood, and all the men and women turned out to hunt. They hunted all night.

6. The next morning the neighbors were gathered round, and all were trying to think what to do next, when Caper came bounding into the room. There was a string tied round his neck, and a bit of paper tied to it.

7. Willie's father, Mr. Lee, took the paper, and saw that it was a letter from Willie. He read it aloud. It said, 'O father! come to me. I am in the big hole in the pasture.'

8. Everybody ran at once to the far corner of the pasture; and there was Willie, alive and well, in the shaft. Oh, how glad he was when his father caught him in his arms, and lifted him out!

9. Now I will tell you how Willie came to be in the shaft. He and Caper went to the pasture field, and came to the edge of the shaft and sat down. In bending over to see how deep it was, he lost his balance, and fell in. He tried very hard to get out, but could not.

10. When the good little dog saw that his master was in the shaft, he would not leave him, but ran around and around, reaching down and trying to pull him out. But while Caper was pulling Willie by the coat sleeves, a piece of sod gave way under his feet, and he fell in too.

11. Willie called for his father and mother as loud as he could call; but he was so far away from the house that no one could hear him.

12. He cried and called till it was dark, and then he lay down on the ground, and Caper lay down close beside him. It was not long before Willie cried himself to sleep.

13. When he awoke it was morning, and he began to think of a way to get out. The little writing book that his aunt had given him, was in his pocket. He took it out, and, after a good deal of trouble, wrote the letter to his father.

14. Then he tore the leaf out, and took a string out of his pocket, and tied it round Caper's neck, and tied the letter to the string. Then he lifted the dog up, and helped him out, and said to him, 'Go home, Caper, go home!' The little dog scampered away, and was soon at home.


1. Birthday: The same day of the month in which a person was born, in each succeeding year.

5. Neighborhood: The surrounding region which lies nearest, vicinity.

5. Women: Plural of woman.

8. Shaft: A deep hole made in the earth, usually for mining purposes.

14. Scampered: Ran briskly.

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