A Smith and His Dog

A dog slept while his Master, a Blacksmith, worked. When the Master went to eat the Dog woke for his food. In jest, one day the Master chided the Dog.

All creatures naturally look to the business of food and propagation.

Townsend VersionTownsend version

A brazier had a little Dog, which was a great favorite with his master, and his constant companion. While he hammered away at his metals the Dog slept; but when, on the other hand, he went to dinner and began to eat, the Dog woke up and wagged his tail, as if he would ask for a share of his meal. His master one day, pretending to be angry and shaking his stick at him, said, “You wretched little sluggard! what shall I do to you? While I am hammering on the anvil, you sleep on the mat; and when I begin to eat after my toil, you wake up and wag your tail for food. Do you not know that labor is the source of every blessing, and that none but those who work are entitled to eat?’

CaldecottCaldecott (The Coppersmith and His Puppy)

Coppersmith Puppy C1

Design: Randolph Caldecott, Engraving: J.D. Cooper, 1883

Coppersmith Puppy C2

Design: Randolph Caldecott, Engraving: J.D. Cooper, 1883

A certain Coppersmith had a Puppy. While the Coppersmith was at work the Puppy lay asleep; but when meal-time came he woke up. So his master, throwing him a bone, said: “You sleepy little wretch of a Puppy, what shall I do with you, you inveterate sluggard? When I am thumping on my anvil you can go to sleep on the mat; but when I come to work my teeth immediately you are wide awake and wagging your tail at me.”

Coppersmith Puppy C3

Design: Randolph Caldecott, Engraving: J.D. Cooper, 1883

Coppersmith Puppy C4

Design: Randolph Caldecott, Engraving: J.D. Cooper, 1883

L'Estrange VersionL’Estrange version

A blacksmith took notice of a cur he had, that would be perpetually sleeping, so long as his master was at his hammer; but whenever he went to dinner, the dog would be sure to make one. So he ask’d the dog the reason on’t. What’s the meaning of it, says he, that so long as I’m at the forge, you are still taking your nap; but so soon as my chops begin to walk, yours must be walking too for company? There’s a time to sleep (says the dog) and a time to wake; and every thing is well done that is done in due season.


All creatures do naturally look to the main chance; that is to say, the bus’ness of food and propagation.

1001Canis et Faber

Fabrorum aerariorum in domo degebat canis, iisque laborantibus, dulci indulgebat somno. Qui simulatque accumbentes ceperunt cibum, canis, repente expergefactus, blanditus est dominis. Tum illi interrogarunt eum, “Qui fit, strepitu malleorum gravissimorum ut numquam exciteris, dentium vero lenissimo crepitu statim expergiscaris?”


Ita quoque homines, quae sibi utilia fore censent, patulis arripiunt auribus; quae vero eis displicent, negligenter et lente audiunt.

Perry #415