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A Dog's Tale
Mark Twain

Page 1 of 19

A Dog's Tale 

by Mark Twain 


My father was a St.  Bernard, my mother was a collie, but I am a
Presbyterian.  This is what my mother told me, I do not know these nice
distinctions myself.  To me they are only fine large words meaning
nothing.  My mother had a fondness for such; she liked to say them, and
see other dogs look surprised and envious, as wondering how she got so
much education.  But, indeed, it was not real education; it was only
show: she got the words by listening in the dining-room and drawing-room
when there was company, and by going with the children to Sunday-school
and listening there; and whenever she heard a large word she said it over
to herself many times, and so was able to keep it until there was a
dogmatic gathering in the neighborhood, then she would get it off, and
surprise and distress them all, from pocket-pup to mastiff, which
rewarded her for all her trouble.  If there was a stranger he was nearly

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