The Tale of Black Beauty


Some neighbors ended up taking him in, so we still got to run around with him in the woods. He really was a great dog.





88 responses to “The Tale of Black Beauty”

  1. Tin Roof Press Avatar

    hahahah omg. that looks like the dog we have now. She’s missing a toe, part of an ear, doesn’t like men. My mother loves her. So really it is the total opposite of this story.

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      Hahaha! Aw, the doggie only a mother could love?

      1. Tin Roof Press Avatar

        Only my mother and father. She’s bitten 10 people so far.

  2. becomingcliche Avatar

    Can’t stop laughing! I adore the starry eyes! And the final image may be your best yet.

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      Thanks :) This dog was so wonderful, I had to give him a good story and portrait!

  3. sj Avatar

    OMG, the look on your mom’s face is fantastic.

    I also loved the rainbows in the clearing. I could hear a heavenly choir singing in my head.

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      :D I have to imagine that is exactly how Charlotte always saw this dog. I’ll always remember his dirty, matted fur and staring at his empty eye socket while Charlotte just hugged and hugged him…

      1. sj Avatar

        HA! I really love the frame with her riding him home. I’m trying to imagine what that would’ve looked like in real life.

  4. rpgarilli Avatar

    The mom’s reaction – best frame by far.

  5. Worrywart Avatar

    I love the star in her eyes and the expression on mom’s face!!

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      Thanks! That star was so tiny and hard to cut, but I just had to have it in there.

      1. Winn Avatar

        Totally love that star too! It must have been MINISCULE! Hand cramp? Thanks for the awesome work Nicki! LOVED this!!!

  6. Ashley Edits Avatar

    Those woods make me want to run RUN back to Massachusetts right now.

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      I miss the woods. Even the skunk cabbage.

      1. Charlotte Belanger III Avatar

        So many adventures left to be had!

  7. skippingstones Avatar

    So funny! Perception is everything.

  8. Michelle Gillies Avatar
    Michelle Gillies

    Apparently “Black Beauty” is in the eye of the beholder. Great work!

  9. Lori-Ann Avatar

    This really made me laugh. I loved your mother’s face. And who hasn’t fallen in love with a mutt? Beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder. Did you keep the dog? Or was this more in the line with a short but blissful visit?

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      Some neighbors wound up taking him in. He was a total sweetheart :)

  10. The Simple Life of a Country Man's Wife Avatar

    ha! blinded by love – awesome creation

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      Glad you like it! :D

  11. Emily Avatar

    Did you keep the dog?

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      Our neighbors took him in :) We still played with him all the time. He was great!

      1. Emily Avatar

        Oh, okay. I thought that dog looked different from Doogie, but I didn’t see any pictures of him (the other dog) in any other stories. I’m glad this story had a happy ending in real life, though……I’ve found strays over the years, and had to return them to whatever animal shelter was in the area, but I never found out what happened to them. So, I’m glad the dog in this story found a good home at your neighbours’ house. :)

  12. whisperingiris Avatar

    Kids sometimes find beauty in everything!

  13. MJ, Nonstepmom Avatar

    If only we could all love that way !
    I saw that expression on my moms face quite a bit…..

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      :) His personality was Best In Show.

  14. Miranda Gargasz Avatar
    Miranda Gargasz

    LOL! Charlotte and I are kindred spirits!
    My friend Mary Ann had a son named Dave with the same kind heart as your sister. He walked into the house one day with his hands behind his back saying, “Don’t get upset, but I want to know can I keep it?” Dave, notorious for keeping worms in his pockets and forgetting about them, didn’t fool Mary Ann. “I need to see it first.” Dave then pulled out a possum, complete with tail curled around his arm. Imagine the screaming that commenced.

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      Oh, wow. I would scream, for sure. How did he ever coax a possum into his arms?!

      1.  Avatar

        I suspect he was a possum whisperer. At least that’s what I’m going with. Considering I always thought they were nocturnal, I was more freaked it could be rabid! It gives me the creeps just thinking about it!

  15. Rae Avatar

    I love the paper print you used for the bushes and greenery; it’s so perfect! Amazing job on the dog too!

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      I love that paper :) Thanks!

  16. dpbowman Avatar

    I begged for a dog. BEGGED. Then my parents got wind of a stray we could get a hold of at a friend’s farm. We brought that scraggly Benji wanna-be home. He got chained up outside my room. He didn’t like the dark. AT ALL. He whined ALL night. So, I had a dog for three days, then I begged to get rid of him. BEGGED. No dogs since, Black Beauty or otherwise. I’m cured! ~Loved it, Dan

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      Aww… Dogs are pretty needy, for sure.

  17. notquiteold Avatar

    Please tell us that you kept the dog!

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      We didn’t, but he was adopted by some neighbors. He lived a good ol’ life, and we still got to run around with him in the woods :)

      1. notquiteold Avatar

        Years ago, a friend asked us to adopt an “adorable little kitten”. We agreed. Then he brought the cat over and it was a dirty scrawny adult cat. And the homeliest cat I had ever seen. Buy you know, after a year or so, he started to look cute to us. We still have Stewart – he’s around ten years old and very handsome (in his own way).

        1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

          Awwww, like the homely cat at the end of “Millions of Cats”… “And it is a very pretty cat, after all!”

  18. jensine Avatar

    too cute and yes I think he deserves a home

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      He had a very happy life, and he definitely deserved it :)

  19. littlemissobsessivesanatomy Avatar

    OMG look at that cute doggy…so so cute :)
    loved it :D

  20. muddledmom Avatar

    You do it every week! You outdo yourself. Love it. The dog at the end is just great. Any kid would be starry-eyed. Glad he found a home.

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      Thanks :D I feel bad for Mom… we were always bringing home all kinds of animals. She has a huge soft spot for animals (I even caught her playing with my pet rat once!)

  21. speaker7 Avatar

    Fantastic! Mom’s reaction, the real dog. . . I’m amazed that you create so much with felt (it is felt, right?). Love, love, love it.

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      Thanks! It’s paper, actually– some fancy paper, some recycled from packaging, greeting cards, magazines, etc. It’s why I switched from paint to paper as a medium– paper just comes to me in the mail every day for free :) It’s a far cheaper hobby.

  22. Russ Nickel Avatar

    Final picture is amazing. You’re amazing.

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      Thanks! Glad you liked it :D

  23. missemmalou Avatar

    I truly love this! I love the “sparkle” in her eyes! You were lucky that your mom allowed you to bring him in the house. My parents strongly disliked stray animals. I begged (for years) for my parents to get me a dog, but they never did. Your mom sounds so cool! Again, lovely details!

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      Oh, we never asked permission before bringing all sorts of critters into the house… salamanders, lizards, rats, snails, strays, baby rabbits, turtles… I could go on. Mom loves animals :) (Although she won’t admit to loving the rats in front of “respectable” company.)

  24. Paprika Furstenburg Avatar

    Love the new banner. Once again, your attention to detail blows me away. Love the twinkle in Charlotte’s eye.

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      Thanks! Someone asked me a while ago to add the girls’ names because it was hard to remember who was who. Finally got around to it!

  25. Monica Avatar

    What a wonderful make believe! I just love the whole imaginary forest bit and your mom’s expression is superclassic. Poor doggie. But we’re glad he found a home ; )

  26. whatimeant2say Avatar

    Your mom looks so resigned to the idea! My mom would have had a “when hell freezes over” expression!

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      Mom has a soft spot for animals :)

  27. drewpan Avatar

    That is just so awesome! It’s like a little girl version of that Shallow Hal movie.

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      Haha! Excellent description!

  28. timmer Avatar

    The little details and choice of material for certain objects is so awesome! But better yet is how the story itself would be great no matter what medium you used to tell it.

  29. bhbkidstyle Avatar

    So true to life, your sis’s reaction! – Great one as usual!

    … and I love your new banner! (or is it just new to me?) Makes it easier to identify the characters, too.

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      Thanks! It’s new. Someone told me I should add the girls’ names up there so it would be less confusing… good advice!

  30. Sara T Avatar

    Love the updated banner. Too bad it wasn’t there a couple of days ago when I spent about an hour cross referencing various posts trying to figure out the birth order of you and your sisters! Haha!

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      Haha! Oh, no! It’s in the FAQ… but I guess it’s too late now!

      1. Sara T Avatar

        Yes I went to the FAQ because I couldn’t figure out why Nicki (you) were the the oldest. But that too was addressed in the FAQ! Basically, I spent most of my day reading your blog from start to finish :-)

        Totally a good day!

  31. morristownmemos by Ronnie Hammer Avatar

    I’m suffering from “Fairy Tale Confusion,” or FTC. When I saw the first picture I bought of Little Red Riding Hood. So I was afraid that the dog was a wolf, and that he was dangerous. I like your story much better.

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      Heh– I promise you, The Middlest Sister will (probably) never take a dark turn.

  32. hushsecret Avatar

    What happened at the end?! D:

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      They all lived happily ever after :) The dog was taken in by neighbors, and we all got to play with him often.

  33. conanon Avatar

    Me and my sister used to bring small puppies home and our father shooed them away. Then once she brought a kitten! He couldn’t say no to such a cute little thing; his eyes weren’t even open!

    PS – Can’t you tie your laces properly? Just love, love, love the banner!

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      Aww :) I’m glad you like the new banner!

  34. russelllindsey Avatar

    Reblogged this on Ramblings of a Misguided Blonde and commented:
    Nothing comes between a girl and a dog. Nothing.

  35. VV Avatar

    the illustrations are very good , congrats :)

  36. anotherperspectivephotography Avatar

    this is quite amazing! I am new to WordPress and decided to follow the editors picks- and WOW… I love your sense of humour, and your attention to detail!
    I look forward to so much more!

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      Thank you :) WordPress has been my favorite blogging platform that I’ve tried… and I’m not just saying that because they made me a staff pick ;) It has a great community and so many awesome features. I hope you like it here!

  37. Angie Z. Avatar

    This might be in my top five favorite. Of course, it speaks to me and my animal-loving soul. I think I emotionally adopted every nasty stray animal I ever ran across. I can’t believe I never got rabies.

    I love your new blog banner!

  38. publikworks Avatar

    Awww. Every dog is beautiful!! Great post : )

  39. jell jell @ I'll Sleep When They're Grown Avatar

    I love the foliage paper! And the heart made of vines. AMAZING.

  40. Barbara Backer-Gray Avatar

    The paper you used for the bushes in the forest is wonderful. It really suggests the dappled light.

  41. […] do check out her blog! There is seriously no reason why you won’t enjoy it! I mean, check out this particular story about a lost dog and try not to […]

  42. […] The Tale of Black Beauty | The Middlest Sister.You can see the rest of the story at The Middle Sisters. […]

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