Bowser The Hound in "Poor Bowser"
Follow a crooked trail
and you will find a scamp at the end.
Poor Bowser! He stood shivering and shaking on the ice of the strange river to which Old Man Coyote had led him, and he knew not which way to turn. Not only was he shivering and shaking from his cold bath, but he was bruised by his fall from the top of the steep bank, and he was so tired by his long run after Old Man Coyote that he could hardly stand.
Old Man Coyote had stayed only long enough to see that Bowser had managed to get out of the water, then had turned back towards the Old Pasture, the Green Meadows and the Green Forest near Farmer Brown's. You see, Old Man Coyote knew the way back. He would take his time about getting there, for it really made no particular difference to him when he reached home. He felt sure he would be able to find something to eat on the way.
But with Bowser it was very different. Poor Bowser didn't know where he was. It would have been bad enough under any circumstances to have been lost, but to be lost and at the same time tired almost to death, bruised and lame, wet and chilled through, was almost too much to bear. He hadn't the least idea which way to turn.
He couldn't climb up the bank to find his own trail and follow it back home if he wanted to. You see, that bank was very steep for some distance in each direction, and so it was impossible for Bowser to climb it. For a few minutes he stood shivering, shaking and whimpering, not knowing which way to turn. Then he started down the river on the ice, for he knew he would freeze if he continued to stand still.
He limped badly because one leg had been hurt in his fall. After a while he came to a place where he could get up on the bank. It was in the midst of deep woods and a very, very lonely place. Hard crusted snow covered the ground, but it was better than walking on the ice and for this Bowser was thankful.
Which way should he turn? Where should he go? Night was coming on; he was wet, cold and hungry, and as utterly lost as ever a dog was. Poor Bowser! For a minute or two he sat down and howled from sheer lonesomeness and discouragement. How he did wish he had left Old Man Coyote alone! How he did long for his snug, warm, little house in Farmer Brown's dooryard, and for the good meal he knew was awaiting him there.
Now that the excitement of the hunt was over, he realized how very, very hungry he was, and he began to wonder where he would be able to get anything to eat. Do you wonder that he howled?
Old Man Coyote, trotting along on his way home, heard that howl and understood it. Again he grinned that wicked grin of his, and stopped to listen. "I don't think he'll hunt me again in a hurry," he muttered, then trotted on. Poor Bowser! Hunting for anything but his home was farthest from his thoughts.