Bowser The Hound by Thornton W. Burgess
Chapter V. Bowser Spends a Bad Night
There's nothing like just sticking to The thing you undertake to do. There'll be no cause then, though you fail, To hang your head or drop your tail. Bowser the Hound.
Bowser was lost, utterly lost. He hadn't the least idea in which direction Farmer Brown's house was. In fact he hadn't the least idea which way to turn to find any house. It was the most lonely kind of a lonely place to which Old Man Coyote had led him and there played the trick on him which had caused him to tumble into the strange river.
But Bowser couldn't stand still for long. Already jolly, round, red Mr. Sun was going to bed behind the Purple Hills, and Bowser knew that cold as had been the day, the night would be still colder. He must keep moving until he found a shelter. If he didn't he would freeze. So whimpering and whining, Bowser limped along.
Bowser was not afraid to be out at night as some folks are. Goodness, no! In fact, on many a moonlight night Bowser had hunted Reddy Fox or Granny Fox all night long. Never once had he felt lonesome then. But now it was very, very different. You see, on those nights when he had hunted he always had known where he was. He had known that at any time he could go straight home if he wanted to. That made all the difference in the world.
It would have been bad enough, being lost this way, had he been feeling at his best. Being lost always makes one feel terribly lonesome. Lonesomeness is one of the worst parts of the feeling of being lost. But added to this was the fact that Bowser was really not in fit condition to be out at all. He was wet, tired, lame and hungry. Do you wonder that he whimpered and whined as he limped along over the hard snow, and hadn't the least idea whether he was headed towards home or deeper into the great woods?
For a long time he kept on until it seemed to him he couldn't drag one foot after another. Then quite suddenly something big and dark loomed up in front of him. It really wasn't as big as it seemed. It was a little house, a sugar camp, just such a one as Farmer Brown has near his home. Bowser crept to the door. It was closed. Bowser sniffed and sniffed and his heart sank, for there was no scent of human beings. Then he knew that that little house was deserted and empty. Still he whined and scratched at the door. By and by the door opened ever so little, for it had not been locked.
Bowser crept in. In one corner he found some hay, and in this he curled up. It was cold, very cold, but not nearly as cold as outside that little house. So Bowser curled up in the hay and shivered and shook and slept a little and wished with all his might that he never had found the tracks of Old Man Coyote.