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0100_005E Lives of Girls Who Became Famous Sarah Knowles Bolton

Florence Nightingale

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She had also the greatest tenderness toward dumb animals, and never could bear to see them injured. Miss Alldridge, in an interesting sketch of Miss Nightingale, quotes the following story from Little Folks:--

"Some years ago, when the celebrated Florence Nightingale was a little girl, living at her father's home, a large, old Elizabethan house, with great woods about it, in Hampshire, there was one thing that struck everybody who knew her. It was that she seemed to be always thinking what she could do to please or help any one who needed either help or comfort. She was very fond, too, of animals, and she was so gentle in her way, that even the shyest of them would come quite close to her, and pick up whatever she flung down for them to eat.

"There was, in the garden behind the house, a long walk with trees on each side, the abode of many squirrels; and when Florence came down the walk, dropping nuts as she went along, the squirrels would run down the trunks of their trees, and, hardly waiting until she passed by, would pick up the prize and dart away, with their little bushy tails curled over their backs, and their black eyes looking about as if terrified at the least noise, though they did not seem to be afraid of Florence.

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"Then there was an old gray pony named Peggy, past work, living in a paddock, with nothing to do all day long but to amuse herself. Whenever Florence appeared at the gate, Peggy would come trotting up and put her nose into the dress pocket of her little mistress, and pick it of the apple or the roll of bread that she knew she would always find there, for this was a trick Florence had taught the pony. Florence was fond of riding, and her father's old friend, the clergyman of the parish, used often to come and take her for a ride with him when he went to the farm cottages at a distance. He was a good man and very kind to the poor.

"As he had studied medicine when a young man, he was able to tell the people what would do them good when they were ill, or had met with an accident. Little Florence took great delight in helping to nurse those who were ill; and whenever she went on these long rides, she had a small basket fastened to her saddle, filled with something nice which she saved from her breakfast or dinner, or carried for her mother, who was very good to the poor.

"There lived in one of two or three solitary cottages in the wood an old shepherd of her father's, named Roger, who had a favorite sheep-dog called Cap. Roger had neither wife nor child, and Cap lived with him and kept him, and kept him company at night after he had penned his flock. Cap was a very sensible dog; indeed, people used to say he could do everything but speak. He kept the sheep in wonderfully good order, and thus saved his master a great deal of trouble. One day, as Florence and her old friend were out for a ride, they came to a field where they found the shepherd giving his sheep their night feed; but he was without the dog, and the sheep knew it, for they were scampering in every direction. Florence and her friend noticed that the old shepherd looked very sad, and they stopped to ask what was the matter, and what had become of his dog.

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Lives of Girls Who Became Famous
Sarah Knowles Bolton

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