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many of the best store-farming families in the county, had been tempted to commit some extensive depredations upon the flocks of his neighbours, in which he was assisted by his shepherd. The pastoral farms of Tweeddale, which generally consist each of a certain range of hilly ground, had in those days no enclosures : their boundaries were indicated only by the natural features of the country. The sheep, were accordingly liable to wander, and to become intermixed with each other; and at every reckoning of a flock, a certain allowance had to be made for this, as for other contingencies. For some time, Mr William Gibson, tenant in Newby, an extensive farm stretching from the neighbourhood of Peebles to the borders of Selkirkshire, had remarked a surprising increase in the amount of his annual losses. He questioned his shepherds severely, taxed them with carelessness in picking up and bringing home the dead, and plainly intimated that he conceived some unfair dealing was in progress. The men, finding themselves thus exposed to suspicions of a very painful kind, were as much chagrined as the worthy farmer himself, and kept their minds alive to every circumstance which might tend to afford any elucidation of the mystery One day, while they were summering their lambs, the eye of a very acute old shepherd, named Hyslop, was caught by a black-faced ewe which they had formerly missed for the shepherds generally know every particular member of their flocks,and which was now suckling its own lamb, as if it had never been absent. On inspecting it carefully, it was found to bear an additional birn upon its face. Every farmer, it must be mentioned, was in the habit of impressing with a hot iron a particular letter upon the faces of his sheep, as a means of distinguishing his own from those of his neighbours'. Mr Gibson's birn was the letter T, and this was found distinctly enough impressed on the face of the ewe. But above this mark there was an 0, which was known to be the mark of the tenant of Ormiston, the individual already mentioned. It was immediately suspected that this and the other missing sheep had been abstracted by that person-a suspicion which derived strength from the reports of the neighbouring shepherds, by whom, it appeared, the blackfaced ewe had been tracked for a considerable way in a direction leading from Ormiston to Newby. It was indeed ascertained that instinctive affection for her lamb had led this animal across the Tweed, and over the lofty heights between Kailzie and Newby; a route of very considerable difficulty, and probably quite different from that by which she had been led away, but the most direct that could have been taken. Mr Gibson only stopped to obtain the concurrence of neighbouring fariner, whose losses had been equally great, before proceeding with some of the legal authorities to Ormiston, where Millar, the shepherd, and his master, were taken into custody, and conducted to the prison of Peebles. On'a search of the farm, no fewer than thirty-three score of sheep belonging to various individuals were found, all bearing the condemnatory O above the original birns; and it was remarked that there was not a single ewe returned to Grieston, the farm on the opposite bank of the Tweed, which did not minny her lambs-that is, assume the character of mother towards the offspring from which she had been separated.
The magnitude of this crime, the rareness of such offences in the district, and the station in life of at least one of the offenders, produced a great sensation in Tweeddale, and caused the elicitation of every minute circumstance that could possibly be discovered respecting the means which had been employed for carrying on such an extensive system of depredation. The most surprising part of the tale is the extent to which it appears that the instinct of dumb animals had been instrumental both in the crime and in its detection. While the farmer seemed to have deputed the business chiefly to his shepherd, the shepherd seemed to have deputed it again, in many instances, to a dog of extraordinary sagacity, which served him in his customary and lawful business. This animal, which bore the name of Yarrow, would not only act under his immediate direction in cutting off a portion of a flock, and bringing it home to Ormiston, but is said to have been able to proceed solitarily, and by night, to a sheep-walk, and there detach certain individuals previously pointed out by its master, which it would drive home by secret ways, without allowing one to straggle. It is mentioned that, while returning home with their stolen droves, they avoided, even in the night, the roads along the banks of the river, or those that descend to the valley through the adjoining glens. They chose rather to come along the ridge of mountains that separate the small river Leithen from the Tweed. But even here there was sometimes danger, for the shepherds occasionally visit their flocks even before day; and often when Millar had driven his prey from a distance, and while he was yet miles from home, and the weather-gleam of the eastern hills began to be tinged with the brightening dawn, he had left them to the charge of his dog, and descended himself to the banks of the Leithen, off his way, that he might not be seen connected with their company. Yarrow, although between three and four miles from his master, would continue, with care and silence, to bring the sheep onward to Ormiston, where his master's appearance could be neither a matter of question nor surprise.
Near to the thatched farmhouse was one of those old square towers, or peel-houses, whose picturesque ruins were then seen ornamenting the course of the Tweed, as they had been placed alternately along the north and south generally from three to six hundred yards from it-sometimes on the shin, and sometimes in the hollow of a hill. In the vault of this tower, it was the practice of these men to conceal the sheep they had recently stolen ; and while the rest of their people were absent on Sunday at the church, they used to employ themselves in cancelling with their knives the ear-marks, and impressing with a hot iron a large O upon the face, that covered both sides of the animal's nose, for the purpose of obliterating the brand of the true owner. While his accomplices were so busied, Yarrow kept watch in the open air, and gave notice without fail, by his barking, of the approach of strangers.
The farmer and his servant were tried at Edinburgh in January 1773, and the proceedings excited an extraordinary interest, not only in the audience, but amongst the legal officials. Hyslop, the principal witness, gave so many curious particulars respecting the instincts of sheep, and the modes of distinguishing them both by natural and artificial marks, that he was highly complimented by the bench. The evidence was so complete, that both culprits were found guilty, and, according to the barbarous policy of those times, they expiated their crime on the scaffold.
The general tradition is, that Yarrow was also put to death, though in a less ceremonious manner; but this has probably no other foundation than a jeu d'esprit, which was cried through the streets of Edinburgh as his dying speech. We have been informed that the dog was in reality purchased, after the execution of Millar, by a sheep-farmer in the neighbourhood, but did not take kindly to honest courses, and his new master having no work of a different kind in which to engage him, he was remarked to shew rather less sagacity than the ordinary shepherd's dog.
An instance of shrewd discrimination in the shepherd's dog, almost as remarkable as that of poor Yarrow, was mentioned a number of years ago in a Greenock newspaper. In the course of last summer, says the narrator, it chanced that the sheep on the farm of a friend of ours, on the water of Stinchar, were, like those of his neighbours, partially affected with that common disease, maggots in the skin, to cure which distemper it is necessary to cut off the wool over the part affected, and apply a small quantity of tobacco-juice, or some other liquid. For this purpose, the shepherd set off to the hill one morning, accompanied by his faithful canine assistant, Laddie. Arrived among the flock, the shepherd pointed out a diseased animal ; and making the accustomed signal for the dog to capture it, “poor Malie' was speedily sprawling on her back, and gently held down by the dog till the arrival of her keeper, who proceeded to clip off a portion of her wool, and apply the healing balsam. During the operation, Laddie continued to gaze on the operator with close attention ; and the sheep having been released, he was directed to capture in succession two or three more of the flock, which underwent similar treatment. The sagacious animal had now become initiated into the mysteries of his master's vocation, for off he set unbidden through the flock, and picked out with unerring precision those sheep which were affected with maggots in their skin, and held them down until the arrival of his master, who was thus, by the extraordinary instinct of Laddie, saved a world of trouble, while the operation of clipping and smearing was also greatly facilitated.
Hundreds of such anecdotes, we believe, could be told of the shepherd's dog, but we shall content ourselves with the following, as an instance of sagacity and maternal tenderness in the animal : In October 1843, a shepherd had purchased at Falkirk, for his master in Perthshire, four score of sheep. Having occasion to stop a day in the town, and confident of the sagacity of his collie,' which was a female, he committed the drove to her care, with orders to drive them home-a distance of about seventeen miles. The poor animal, when a few miles on the road, dropped two whelps ; but, faithful to her charge, she drove the sheep on a mile or two further; then allowing them to stop, returned for her pups, which she carried for about two miles in advance of the sheep. Leaving her pups, the collie again returned for the sheep, and drove them onwards a few miles. This she continued to do, alternately carrying her own young ones and taking charge of the flock, till she reached home. The manner of her acting on this trying occasion was afterwards gatherect by the shepherd from various individuals, who had observed these extraordinary proceedings of the dumb animal on the road. However, when collie reached her home, and delivered her charge, it was found that the two pups were dead. In this extremity, the instinct of the poor brute was, if possible, yet more remarkable. She went immediately to a rabbit brae in the vicinity, and dug out of the earth two young rabbits, whom she deposited on some straw in a barn, and continued to suckle for some time, until one of the farm-servants unluckily let down a full sack above them, and smothered them.
EDUCABILITY OF DOGS
The possibility of teaching dogs to perform various feats is well known. Fetching and carrying, going to a baker's shop with a penny and getting a loaf in exchange, and such-like performances, demonstrate only a mean species of cleverness. It is only when they attain the power of acting an independent part in a wellsustained scene, that their performances rise to the wonderful.
An aged gentleman has mentioned to us that, about eighty years ago, a Frenchman brought to London from eighty to a hundred dogs, chiefly poodles, the remainder spaniels, but all nearly of the same size, and of the smaller kind. On the education of these animals their proprietor had bestowed an immense deal of pains. From puppyhood upwards, they had been taught to walk on their hind-legs, and maintain their footing with surprising ease in that unnatural position. They had likewise been drilled into the best possible behaviour towards each other; no snarling, barking, or indecorous conduct took place when they were assembled in company. But what was most surprising of all, they were able to perform in various theatrical pieces of the character of pantomimes, representing various transactions in heroic and familiar life with wonderful fidelity. The object of their proprietor was, of course, to make money by their performances, which the public were accordingly invited to witness in one of the minor theatres.
Amongst their histrionic performances was the representation of a siege. On the rising of the curtain, there appeared three ranges of ramparts, one above the other, having salient angles and a moat, like a regularly constructed fortification. In the centre of the fortress arose a tower, on which a flag was flying; while in the distance behind appeared the buildings and steeples of a town. The ramparts were guarded by soldiers in uniform, each armed with a musket or sword, of an appropriate size. All these were dogs, and their duty was to defend the walls from an attacking party, consisting also of dogs, whose movements now commenced the operations of the siege. In the foreground of the stage were some rude buildings and irregular surfaces, from among which there issued a reconnoitring party; the chief, habited as an officer of rank, with great circumspection surveyed the fortification, and his sedate movements, and his consultations with the troops that accompanied him, implied that an attack was determined upon. But these consultations did not pass unobserved by the defenders of the garrison; the party was noticed by a sentinel, and fired upon, and this seemed to be the signal to call every man to his post at the embrasures.
Shortly after, the troops advanced to the escalade ; but, to cross the moat, and get at the bottom of the walls, it was necessary to bring up some species of pontoon, and accordingly several soldiers were seen engaged in pushing before them wicker-work scaffoldings, which moved on castors towards the fortifications. The drums beat to arms, and the fearful bustle of warfare opened in earnest. Smoke was poured out in volleys from shot-holes; the besieging forces pushed forward in masses, regardless of the fire; the moat was filled with the crowd; and, amid much confusion and scrambling, scalingladders were raised against the walls. Then was the grand tug of
The leaders of the forlorn-hope who first ascended were opposed with great gallantry by the defenders; and this was perhaps the most interesting part of the exhibition.. The chief of the assailants did wonders; he was seen now here, now there, animating his men, and was twice hurled, with ladder and followers, from the second gradation of ramparts; but he was invulnerable, and seemed to receive an accession of courage on every fresh repulse. The scene became of an exciting nature. The rattle of the miniature cannon, the roll of the drums, the sound of