Renni the Rescuer

Renni the Rescuer by Felix Salten Read Free Book Online

Book: Renni the Rescuer by Felix Salten Read Free Book Online
Authors: Felix Salten
had been snuffling and blowing with loud puffs outside the kitchen door. “In the morning, old boy, in the morning,” George comforted him. Renni knew there was a strange dog in the house and it was a long time before he quieted down.
    Even the next day Renni did not get to see the pointer for some little while. Only the kitten slipped into the room where they were washing the creature. There she sat on the little window sill, daintily washing her face. Once she’d seen the old pointer, her curiosity was satisfied. He stood unresisting, without any will of his own, in the warm water of the wooden tub, while the cleansing waves poured over him. Twice, three times mother and son filled the tub with fresh warm water, and every time the tub had to be washed out. They took great pains. When at length they let the hunter go, they helped him out of the tub and watched him shake himself, not very vigorously, for he did not havestrength enough for that. Still, a fine spray of drops showered around his pitiful figure.
    â€œHe must have been handsome once on a time,” George said, while Mother Marie busied herself rubbing the pointer dry. Big, brown spots appeared on his coat. His breast was snow-white, and his head brown with a narrow white stripe running from his nose up to his forehead. His dark brown ears hung low. They were so long they could be pulled together over his nose. There were scattering brown marks on his legs.
    â€œHe’s going to be handsome again soon,” promised the mother, “if we can feed him up well.”
    â€œWhat’ll we call him?” asked George.
    They tried ever so many names but the pointer answered to none of them.
    â€œLet’s call him Nemo,” suggested George, who knew a little Latin. “He really isn’t anybody. Just a shipwrecked life, a lost soul.”
    Nemo had quickly swallowed a second portion of milk and rice. Then they brought him out into the hall. He still crept along with his legs bent and his tailclose between his legs. So he met Renni. And at first he appeared terror-stricken. Renni was interested. Nemo threw himself on his back and stretched his four legs out—a gesture which meant, “Please don’t hurt me.” Renni had not the slightest idea of hurting the pitiful guest. He wagged his tail affectionately, sniffing Nemo all over. Kitty came up and thrust an experimental paw at the stranger. He was puzzled by the cat, puzzled by Renni’s friendliness. Very, very slowly he gathered himself together and risked a shy kiss in Renni’s direction. But he only reached one eye. Renni did not mind. On the contrary, he set in to wash the poor thin face thoroughly with his tongue.
    â€œWell,” smiled Mother Marie, “they’re going to make friends.”
    â€œRenni likes to get along well with everybody,” declared George. “He realises that Nemo is out of luck.”
    â€œKitty seems to feel that too,” Mother Marie pointed out. There were three now bedded down together on Renni’s mattress.
    Nemo went to sleep again at once. Kitty crawledup, purred a while, and then fell asleep. Renni acted as though he were going to keep watch over them but in a few minutes he too drowsed off. In the middle of the night Nemo waked, stretched and sighed. Renni immediately was wide awake. That went along with his ability to fall asleep instantly, a gift he shared with all dogs. Kitty didn’t move. It was pitch dark in the house.
    â€œWhy are you so sad?” asked Renni.
    â€œI want my master,” whispered Nemo.
    â€œYou ought to have stayed with Him.”
    â€œHow can I stay with Him when He drives me away?”
    â€œIf He drove you away, why do you want Him?”
    â€œBut . . . I love Him . . . in spite . . . ”
    â€œWhy would He drive you away?”
    â€œWell, because I’m old, because I’m no longer good for anything. Oh, the last few

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