Tattle Tail

“Tattle Tail,” Friend, June 1990, 27–29

Tattle Tail

When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom (Prov. 11:2).

Billy had a boxer,

And Sandy had a spaniel.

Jimmy had a shepherd pup;

Its name was Dapper Daniel.

Jackie had a dachshund,

Brown and long and fat.

Bobby had a poodle

Not much bigger than a cat.

But Timmy didn’t have a pet,

So he was very sad.

“My birthday’s coming soon,” he said.

“I’ll ask my mom and dad

“If I can have a collie

Or perhaps an Irish setter.

I’d take good care of such a dog.

I’d brush her, and I’d pet her.”

“We’ll think about it,” said his dad.

“But if you have a pet,

You’ll have to take good care of it.

Are you sure you’re ready yet?”

“Oh yes,” said Timmy. “Yes indeed!

I’m almost six, you know.

I could train my birthday pup

And help my dog to grow.”

So on his birthday Timmy got

A wonderful surprise—

A beagle puppy, brown and white,

A just-right, small-boy size.

The puppy had a stubby tail;

He wagged it left and right.

He seemed to wag it all day long

And even in the night.

Timmy and his brand-new pet

Were friends right from the start.

The beagle with the waggy tail

Quite stole young Timmy’s heart.

“I’ll name you Stubby,” Timmy said.

“Your tail is short and small;

But you can wag it better

Than a dog that’s big and tall.”

So Stubby and his master

Had lots and lots of fun.

Timmy taught his dog to catch

A ball, to jump, to run.

When Timmy and his other friends

Were playing ball one day,

Stubby sat and watched the game

And studied every play.

He barked and barked and wagged his tail,

Till Billy gruffly said,

“Stop that noise, you silly dog!”

Poor Stubby hung his head.

He looked around at all the boys.

They laughed, poked fun at him.

“Your dog’s a tattle tail,” one said.

“Where are his manners, Tim?”

“Yes, he’s a tattle tail all right,”

Said Jack and Bobby too.

“He wags his stubby tail too much—

A silly thing to do!”

Timmy felt a little sad

Because he loved his pet.

“Be quiet, boy,” he said to him.

“No barking—not just yet.”

So Stubby lay upon the ground

And closed his beagle eyes.

“Play ball!” called Billy. “Come on, team!

We need a run, you guys!”

Jimmy threw a fast curveball,

And Bobby hit it hard.

It flew so fast and went so high

It fell outside the yard.

“Wow!” said Timmy. “What a hit!

But where’s our brand-new ball?”

“I’m afraid it’s lost,” said Jackie.

“It’s way beyond the wall.”

The boys looked worried; they looked sad.

“Now what are we going to do?”

“We’ll have to hunt for it,” said Tim.

“Boy, that baseball flew!”

Now Stubby hadn’t been asleep.

He’d seen that baseball fly.

He knew just where the ball had gone—

He had a hunter’s eye.

Without a sound he scooted off

Across the garden bed.

Soon the boys heard barking sounds.

“Let’s go and see,” they said.

They followed till they saw a fence

With one old broken rail,

And just beyond—in weeds and grass—

The tip of Stubby’s tail.

“He’s found our ball!” whooped Timmy then.

“It’s right there by his paw.”

“You’re right,” cried Billy. “What a dog!

He’s the best I ever saw!”

Then Stubby wagged his little tail

And barked as if to say,

“My tattle tail is not so bad—

It helped a lot today!”

Illustrated by Dale Kilbourn