Let's go to Edinbugh, the capital city of Scotland. Edinburgh is an old and beautiful city, full of fascinating places to visit. One of these is a church called Greyfriars Kirk. “Kirk” is a Scottish word for “church”. The church is built on land which was once a Franciscan monastery. The Franciscan monks wore grey clothing, hence the name “Greyfriars”. Greyfriars Kirk played an important part in the history of Scotland in the 17th century, and was a centre for Protestant opposition to the king. However, the reason that thousands of people visit Greyfriars Kirk every year has nothing to do with 17th century history. No, the visitors come to see a little statue of a dog, called Greyfriars Bobby.
Bobby belonged to a man called John Gray (or “auld Jock” as he was commonly known.) Auld Jock was a night watchman, and Bobby went with him everywhere. Then, in 1858 Auld Jock died of tuberculosis. He was buried in the churchyard of Greyfriars Kirk. For the next 14 years, Bobby sat beside his master’s grave waiting for him to return, until at last in 1872 Bobby himself died. Soon after that, a wealthy lady paid for a statue to commemorate the dog, and tourists have come to visit the place ever since. There have been books and a film about Greyfriars Bobby, and in Edinburgh you can buy all sorts of Greyfriars Bobby souvenirs. Bobby is indeed one of the most famous dogs in the world.
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