Nero at the Bakery

“There!” said the Baker, as he took the last loaf of bread out of the oven, “that’s as handsome a batch of bread as ever was baked. I’ll take it right upstairs to the store.”

Very soon little Sophie came into the bakery and said: “My mother wants a loaf of fresh bread, please.”

“Here it is,” said the Baker, “just fresh from the oven. It will keep your hands warm all the way home.” So saying he wrapped the bread in a brown paper and handed it to the little girl, who then gave him the money for it.

As she door opened to go out, a big dog walked in, — a great shaggy fellow with a basket in his mouth. He was all alone, but he evidently knew just what to do. Sophie stopped to look, for she had never known a dog to go to the store before.

“Why, here is Nero! Good dog! Good Nero” said the Baker. “Have you come for the bread?”

Nero walked to the Baker and held his head up, as if to offer the basket. In the basket was the money for a loaf of bread. The Baker put the money in the money drawer and then waited to see what the dog would do.

Nero looked at him as if surprised, and then gave a sharp “Bow-wow!”

“Well, it is too bad to tease such a good dog as you are — here’s your bread,” said the Baker, taking down a loaf. He wrapped it in paper and placed it in the basket and the dog wagged his tail with delight. Then, taking his basket again, he stalked out of the door which Sophie held open and walked up the street. Sophie’s home lay in the same direction, so she walked on behind Nero and saw him walk steadily along and then cross the street and go into a house where a lady was watching for him.

“Guess what I saw at the bakery!” said Sophie when she reached home. Her mother and father and the children guessed and guessed. Pies, cakes, cookies, rolls, biscuits, doughnuts, buns, gingerbread, gingerbread men, muffins. Yes, Sophie had seen all these, but they were not what she meant. At last when all the things usually seen in a bakery had been guessed, Sophie told about Nero, the clever dog who had bought a loaf of bread.