Saturday, April 24, 2010

A Mongrel Imposter

Robert K. Dodge, Early American Almanac Humor (Bowling Green, OH: Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1987), p. 22.

The Countess of Jervac, having some time since lost a favorite lapdog, desired a friend, on his next passing over the Pont-neuf, to replace it, by purchasing another from the people, who there vend these animals. The gentleman, accordingly bought for two Louis, the handsomest in the place. The Countess became instantly enamoured of the beauty of its colour, and the silkness of its coat. The new favourite was the admiration of every visitant, until one gentleman unfortunately observed that it had a little stiffness in its walk. The dear creature was taken up to examine into the cause of its lameness, when a seam presented itself running along the belly, which being rip't and pursued with great caution, out skipped a little black mongrel puppy. The Countess was astonished -- the visitors stared -- but the little animal himself, seemed greatly rejoiced at being released from the skin into which he had been inserted with so much ingenuity. (Wheeler's North American Calendar...for...1789)