A Dog's Tale - by Mark Twain
Then came the winter. One day I was standing a watch in the nursery.
That is to say, I was asleep on the bed. The baby was asleep in the
crib, which was alongside the bed, on the side next the fireplace. It
was the kind of crib that has a lofty tent over it made of gauzy stuff
that you can see through. The nurse was out, and we two sleepers were
alone. A spark from the wood-fire was shot out, and it lit on the slope
of the tent. I suppose a quiet interval followed, then a scream from the
baby awoke me, and there was that tent flaming up toward the ceiling!
Before I could think, I sprang to the floor in my fright, and in a second
was half-way to the door; but in the next half-second my mother's
farewell was sounding in my ears, and I was back on the bed again.
I reached my head through the flames and dragged the baby out by the
waist-band, and tugged it along, and we fell to the floor together in a
cloud of smoke; I snatched a new hold, and dragged the screaming little
creature along and out at the door and around the bend of the hall, and
was still tugging away, all excited and happy and proud, when the
master's voice shouted:
Excerpt from chapter 3
"Begone you cursed beast!" and I jumped to save myself; but he was
furiously quick, and chased me up, striking furiously at me with his
cane, I dodging this way and that, in terror, and at last a strong blow
fell upon my left foreleg, which made me shriek and fall, for the moment,
helpless; the cane went up for another blow, but never descended, for the
nurse's voice rang wildly out, "The nursery's on fire!" and the master
rushed away in that direction, and my other bones were saved.