Press enter after choosing selection

Ward's Kangaroo

Ward's Kangaroo image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

Few pcople who havo laughed over Artemus Ward's works, or who have seen him upon the platform with his pet tied to the leg of the tiible before him, have forgotten his "moral kangaroo," of which he once said: "It vrould make you laueh to hear the little cuss jump up and squeal." Yet there are not 50 men in the country, outside of Cleveland, who know that this famous kangaroo is alive and well to-day, and is tenderly housed and cared for by one who is ncver tired of taking QÍ the days he spent in company witn the quaint humorist, whose memory is kept forever green in the Plain Dealer establishment. When Ward decided to 2:0 to Europe upon his la.ít and fatal visit, ho determined to permanently house his pet kangaroo in quarters whero it would be sure of kind treatment and good care for tho rest of its life. Securing such a refuge required somc diploinacy, but Artemus was equal to the task. One day, during a short visit to Cleveland, he called upon his oíd friend and companioju, George Hoyt, the assoeiate editor of the daily Flain Dealer, and said, after the usual small talk. "George, we have always been good friends, and on the whole I believe that I owe you sometbing." "Hardly," said Hoyt, rejiernbering sorne of Ward's practical jokes. "Taking everything into consideralion, I believe that Iowe you half adozcn or so." "But I am serious now," said Ward, as he took Hoyt by the hand. "I have long had it in niy mind to make you a present of value; something. you know, that would cause you to think of ne now and then, when I am away aeross the water. This comes from the heart, George, and I shall feel grieved unless you accept it and treasure itcloscly and warmly for my sake. And I want you to take it, and get out of it all the good that the situation will allow." Artemus' manner was so earnest that Hoyt met him half way. "All right," he said, "do as you will, oíd boy, and no more words about it." ltYmi chull Vioar frnm mp snmi '' fiaifl Ward, as he wrung Hoyt's hand and went up street. Hoy t heard from him. Three hours af ter Ward's departure an express wagon drove slowly down Superior street and halted in front of the old Plain Dealer building. In the wagon was a large box with a dozen holes bored through the lid. Two men picked it up with some difficulty, carried it into the editorial room and deposited it before Mr. Hoyt'sdesk. Tacked upon it was a card bearing this inscription: George Hoyt, A preeent froua his best friend, Artemus Ward, Take him with my blessing, and may he stick closer tban a brottaer. Witn a sinking heart Hoyt procured a hatchet and removed the lid, Inside the box, as demure as a deacon, sat Ward's favorite kangaroo. Hoyt'sfirst impulse was to nail down the lid and send the box back, with his compliments; but, .remembering his promised to accept the gift, he concludod to make the best of the donation and to givo the animal the care and attention which ho knew Ward expected it wouiu reeeive. xie auuuiumi scuu the "traveled animal" home, where it was rested safe and happy, secure in the afl'ection and regard of its owner and with good housing and plenty to eat. I saw it a few days ago, by Mr. Hoyt's invitation. A corner of his large brick barn on Euclid Arenue has been fitted up for its use, and his stabloman has it in special charge. When Mr. Hoyt opened the door of its room and called out, r'Artemus! Artemus!" thegrayold fellow came out with a few slow and dignified hops, and sat down fearlessly at our feet. "Ho is getting old and shaky about he joints," said Mr. Hoyt, "and we cannot get half the amusement out of him that was possible 10 years ago. My children play with him, and he has never offered them any harm. On warm days we let him out in the yard, and he never attempts to get away. He does not like dogs, and will run in and hide when any oí them are about." His owner has had many offers friom howruen for "Old Artemus" since VarcTs death, but he has declined them all. "He was a present from my dear old friend," said Mr. Hoyt, "and I shall never part with bim. Barnum wanted him, but Iwould notlethim go. '. shall keep him and give him a home as long as he lives, unless he surrives me, and in that case my children will ook out for him." As we left "Artemus" was sitting on the barn floor, lookiog at us placidly, and apparently without a thought of his earlv life away among the bushmen, or of his various tours aerosss the country with the "genial showman, A. Ward.


Old News
Ann Arbor Democrat