Bowser The Hound by Thornton W. Burgess
Chapter XXXVIII. Reddy Goes Back for His Fat Hen
Joy will make a puppy of an old dog. Bowser the Hound.
When Bowser the Hound is following the trail of Reddy Fox, it takes a great deal to make him leave that trail. His love of the hunt is so great that, as a rule, nothing short of losing the trail will make him stop. He will follow it until he cannot follow it any longer.
But for once Bowser actually forgot that he was following Reddy Fox. Yes, Sir, he did. As he came down that old road with his nose in Reddy's tracks, he was so intent on what he was doing that he didn't see Farmer Brown's boy waiting for him. He didn't see him until he almost ran into him.
For just a second Bowser stared in utter surprise. Then with a little yelp of pure joy he leaped up and did his best to lick his master's face. Could you have seen Bowser, you might have thought that he was just a foolish young puppy, he cut up such wild antics to express his joy. He yelped and whined and barked. He nearly knocked Farmer Brown's boy down by leaping up on him. He raced around in circles. When at last he was still long enough, Farmer Brown's boy just threw his arms around him and hugged him. He hugged him so hard he made Bowser squeal. Then two of the happiest folks in all the Great World started back across the snow-covered fields to the sleigh.
Bowser and Farmer Brown's boy were not the only ones who rejoiced. Reddy Fox had been badly worried. Although he had tried every trick he could think of, he had not been able to get rid of Bowser, and he had just about made up his mind that there was nothing for it but to start back to the Old Pasture which was so far away. That would mean giving up the fat hen which he had hidden in the hollow stump.
Of course, Reddy knew the instant that Bowser began to yelp and bark that something had happened. What it was he couldn't imagine. He sat down to wait and listen. Then he heard the voice of Farmer Brown's boy. Reddy knew that voice and he grinned, for he felt sure that Bowser would give up the hunt. He grinned because now he would have a chance to go back for that fat hen. At the same time that grin was not wholly a happy grin, because Reddy knew that now Bowser would return to his home.
Presently Reddy very carefully crept back to a place where he could see what was going on. He watched Farmer Brown's boy start back for the road and the sleigh, with Bowser jumping up on him and racing around him like a foolish young puppy. He waited only long enough to make sure that Bowser would not come back; then he turned and trotted swiftly along his own back trail towards that hollow stump into which he had tossed that fat hen. Reddy's thoughts were very pleasant thoughts, for they were all of the fine dinner of which he now felt sure.