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a mad bull approaching from the other side of the field. With the first impulse of fear, he dropped the rope with which he was pulling the sledge on which sat his little brother, and sprang away, in order to reach the fence before the infuriated animal came up.
He had only gone a few steps, however, before he thought of the innocent child on the sledge, who would surely be gored to death by the bull if left where he was. This thought made him stop and turn round. The bull was now running toward them, muttering and bellowing dreadfully. If he went back for his brother, escape was almost impossible. But how could he leave the dear child to a terrible death without making an effort to save him? These were the hurried thoughts that rushed through his mind. Then he remembered the mill-pond, the boy and the mad dog, the child in the spring and his brave brother, and what his father
had said about being courageous. It took scarcely an instant of time for all this to be presented to the frightened boy. By a strong effort he composed himself, and then ran back to where his brother was still upon
the sledge. The bull was now very near; but Edward, though he had taken the child in his arms, was able to run so fast as to reach the fence and climb over it before the mad creature could reach them. In less than a quarter of a minute after he was beyond the reach of danger, the bull came dashing up to the fence, foaming and bellowing with rage.
“Well and bravely done, my noble boy!” exclaimed Edward's father, who, seeing his children's danger, had been running toward them unperceived. Just as Edward landed, with his brother still clasped in his arms, safely on the right side of the fence, he came up.
Edward turned quickly toward his
father, who saw that his face was very pale, and that his lips were quivering.
" It was a narrow escape, my son, said Mr. Jones, “a very narrow escape. But Heaven is always on the side of those who seek to save others that are in danger. If you had hesitated a moment about acting courageously, our dear little Willie would now have been bleeding, it may be, upon the horns of that mad animal. How thankful I feel that you had the bravery to do as you have done.”
" And I am thankful too, father,” said the boy, in a trembling voice. "0! if in my cowardice I had permitted Willie to be killed, I should never have been happy again in all my life.”
After such a trial and triumph, Edward was able in the future to act with becoming presence of mind in all cases of danger and peril that happened to occur.