The Story Finder

Voices in Fairy Tales

by Michelle Tocher

Story finder - Curly

Click the image above to fetch a new random story.

Loving Dog

I lived with an old couple who had no children of their own. They doted on me and I never left their sides.

One hot summer day when the old man was working in the garden, I caught the scent of something a little way off. I sniffled and scratched at the spot. Then I ran to my master, barking loudly to get his attention. He picked up his spade, followed me, and began to dig into the earth until his spade struck something hard. He stooped down and pulled out a large box filled with shining gold pieces.

Now the old man and the old woman were rich and they treated me like a prince. Then one day, the neighbor came over. He thought if he borrowed me for a while, I would make him rich, too. The old man said, “How can you ask such a thing? You know how much we love him. We won’t let him out of our sight for five minutes!” But the envious neighbor would not give up, and every day he came back with the same request until finally the old people let me go with him.

He put me in his garden, and I raced around, unable to find anything of value there. But I did smell a particularly pungent parcel of old bones so I dug those up. The last thing I saw was the man coming at me in a rage with a pickaxe.

That was the end of my life but not the end of my love for the old man and the old woman. I came to them in dreams and helped them to deal with their envious neighbor again and again.

Loving Dog in The Envious Neighbour, Violet Fairy Book. Illustration by Lucy Dawson.

What animal in your life has been your own “loving dog”? What has the animal shown you or opened up to you that lives on to this day?