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The kettle hissed and spit, thus, arousing Montmorency's curiosity. He'd growl at it to no avail, and when he finally got a hold of it was taught a lesson he wouldn't soon forget. The tea-kettle fought back and won.
It was only a little kettle, but it was full of pluck, and it up and spit at him.
“Ah! would ye!” growled Montmorency, showing his teeth; “I’ll teach ye to cheek a hard-working, respectable dog; ye miserable, long-nosed, dirty-looking scoundrel, ye. Come on!” And he rushed at that poor little kettle, and seized it by the spout.
Then, across the evening stillness, broke a blood-curdling yelp, and Montmorency left the boat, and did a constitutional three times round the island at the rate of thirty-five miles an hour, stopping every now and then to bury his nose in a bit of cool mud.
Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog)