a kitten, before he got his eyes open, that's what I think," said John, with a very decided jerk of his head.
James laughed at this; but there was a thickness in his voice when he said, "You have been my best friend except my mother; I hope you won't forget me."
"No, lad, no!" said John, "and if ever I can do you a good turn, I hope you won't forget me."
The next day Joe came to the stables to learn all he could before James left. He learned to sweep the stable, to bring in the straw and hay; he began to clean the harness, and helped to wash the carriage, as he was quite too short to do anything in the way of grooming Ginger and me, James taught him upon Merrylegs, for he was to have full charge of him; under John. He was a nice little bright fellow, and always came whistling to his work.
Merrylegs was a good deal put out, at being "mauled about," as he said, "by a boy who knew nothing;" but towards the end of the second week, he told me confidentially, that he thought the boy would turn out well.
At last the day came when James had to leave us: cheerful as he always was, he looked quite down-hearted that morning.
"You see," he said to John, "I am leaving a great deal behind; my mother and Betsey, and you, and a good master and mistress, and then the horses, and my old Merrylegs. At the new place, there will not be a soul that I shall know. If it were not that I