Friday, January 30, 2009

Mr. Lincoln's Dog

I was sitting in the pediatrician's office with my son today and we were reading Highlights (seriously, I can't believe that is still around - I remember reading it when I was a kid - and do only doctor's offices get it? I've never see it anywhere else) when I noticed they had a story about Lincoln's dog. I think everyone is doing Lincoln stories right now! I thought this would be a fun way to end the week - on a decidedly light note.

Mr. Lincoln's Dog
by Lois Miner Huey

Jumping up and yipping, Fido chased his tail. He looked like a pinwheel going round and round. The family laughed, but soon Abraham Lincoln’s eyes grew sad. He treasured rolling on the floor with his yellow dog.

But what should he do with Fido now?

Lincoln had been elected President of the United States, and he and his family would be moving east from Springfield, Illinois, to Washington, D.C.

Humming happy tunes, Mrs. Lincoln bustled about packing their belongings in large trunks. Being the President’s wife was a dream come true.

Robert, the Lincolns’ eldest son, was attending school in the East. He was glad his family would be close by.

And sons Willie and Tad couldn’t wait to live in the White House.
But not without Fido.

“I could take care of him, Pa,” Tad insisted.

But would Fido be happy in the nation’s capital?

The floppy-eared dog usually trotted behind Lincoln as he strolled down the Springfield streets. He sometimes carried a package in his mouth and waited outside the barbershop while Lincoln got a shave and a haircut. Passersby often stopped to smooth the rough, dark patches on Fido’s back while he thumped his feathery tail.

It seemed that everyone in Springfield knew him.

Tad Lincoln and Fido walked through mud after rainstorms, squishing the soft ooze between their toes.

When the two “clay-covered” figures returned home, Mrs. Lincoln would order them to wash at the well by the back door before entering the house.

Such fun wouldn’t be possible in Washington.

Clanging bells and deep cannon booms during town celebrations sent Fido scurrying under a seven-foot-long horsehair sofa made for the tall Mr. Lincoln. If he rode with the family to Washington, surely the loud hiss of the train’s engine and the chugging of giant wheels would frighten him.

Best he stay in Springfield. But who would keep Fido happy until the Lincolns returned?

And you'll have to visit the link to find the answer....

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