Children’s Story – Gambetta and His Dog

When God made the animals He gave each of them some special abilities. The dog, who has been a great helper to man, was given a very sensitive nose and the ability to smell out tracks and trails to find animals or things that are lost.

Some years ago, a great French statesman named Gambetta was traveling from Paris to his home in the country by horseback. The night was so dark that he could hardly see his horse’s head, so he was traveling very slowly.

Suddenly the horse reared. A man who had been bending down on the road felt the horse’s nose touch him, and started up. As soon as Gambetta saw what had happened, he said, “You stupid fellow! You were nearly killed.”

“I wish I had been.”

“Why so?”

“I am a poor workman. My master told me to go to the village to get some money which was due to him. I was paid in gold, and I put the money in my pocket. I did not know that there was a hole in it, but I find that all the gold has fallen out. I cannot hope to find it all again this dark night, and I dare not go back without it.”

“Have you one coin left?”

“Yes, here is the only one left me.”

Gambetta untied a dog which was under the carriage, held the coin to his nose, and said, “Go seek, Tom.”

Off Tom ran, with his nose close to the ground so as to smell the footsteps of the man, and in a minute he came back with a coin in his mouth. Again and again he ran away into the darkness, and each time he returned bringing another coin with him.

In half an hour the workman had all his money again. Thanks to the cleverness of the dog and the kindness of his owner, he was able to go on his way once more with a light heart.

Tom’s master was so pleased with his dog that the next day he bought him a new collar, and had the date marked on it in memory of his clever act.

This case showed the great keenness of scent in the dog, for a coin is very small and not likely to smell strongly. Many other true stories are told, which show what a wonderful power of smell God gave to dogs.

Storytime Treasury, compiled by P. G. Temple, Harvestime Books, Altamont, Tennessee 37301.