The Baldwin Library
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TH DG N KTTN
AND DOINGS OF ANIMALS.
MRS. R. LEE,
AUTHOR OF THE "C AFRICAN WANDERERS," ADVENTURES IN AUSTRALIA,"
ANECDOTES OF ANIMALS," ETC.
WITH FOUR ILLUSTRATIONS BY J. W. ARCHER.
(SUCCESSORS TO NEW]BERY AND HARRIS,)
CORNER OF ST. PAUL'S CHURCHYARD.
PiINTED BY ROBSON, LEVEY, AND FRANKLIN,
Great New Street and Fetter Lane.
I. THE SWALLOWS 1
II. THE DOG AND THE KITTEN 9
nI. OLD AND NEW FRIENDS 15
IV. THE PARROT WHO DID NOT CARE 23
V. THE POACHERS 32
VI. JACK SKIP 39
VII. PATCH, THE CAT 46
VIII. THE DISOBEDIENT LAB 53
IX. THE GREEDY Cow 59
X. THE TRAVELLED EEL .67
XI. THE GRATEFUL MICE 76
XII. THE GREAT REBELLION 84
SAYINGS AND DOINGS OF ANIMALS.
" I AM afraid you feel very uncomfortable, my dear," said a
Swallow to her husband, as he flew back, with a worm in
his mouth, to their nest; you have appeared very restless
all day. Suppose you fly away after our friends, and leave
me to take care of our poor little child."
I would not do so for the world," said the cock Swal-
low, moving the worm to his claws. I must own that I
sometimes am uneasy at staying here at a time when we all
go away to a warmer country; but I will not go alone; and
our Flappet would be starved if we deserted him. I can-
not think how that piece of red worsted got so twisted
round his leg, or how the other end got so fastened in
with the mud of which our nest was built."
"' We have stayed two months already," added the hen
Swallow; so perhaps we shall manage to get through the
cold winter. And we will collect as much wool as we can,
to cover us; and as for food, I hope we shall discover the
eggs of insects, and then we can eat them."
So talking together, the old birds reached their young
one, who welcomed them home with chirpings of delight.
'"I am so glad you are come," said he, and have
brought me a worm; for the wing-cases of the last beetle
have stuck in my throat, and I very much wish for some
water to wash them down."
I will fetch you some in my mouth," said his mother,
and flew off to the pond. Then they all three lay down in
the nest, the young one in the middle, who was covered
up by his lather's and mother's wings, and went fast asleep.
The next day, after breakfast, the two old ones set off
again; and when they returned in the middle of the day,
the parents found the young bird half dead with fear. The
nest was built in the corner of a false window, fronting the
south, so as to catch all the sun's rays; and Flappet sat as
well as he could on the edge, and swelled his little throat
as he sang. Presently he saw a great long thing put
against the wall close by him, and an enormous creature
walk up it, till he came to the nest. He took hold of
Flappet, who was sure he was going to be killed, examined
the leg which was fastened to the nest, muttered some-
thing, and went down again. When he told this to his
father and mother, they were very much puzzled and dis-
tressed, and determined, however hungry they might be, to
stay at home for the rest pf the afternoon. By and by, the
long thing was again put against the wall, which they knew
to be a ladder; and then they saw a man come up. When
he was close to the nest, they themselves were very much
frightened; and, as they were not big or strong enough to
fight with him, they flew round and round his head, crying
loudly for pity on their child. Although he did not know
what they said, he saw they were alarmed, and spoke
kindly to them, exclaiming that he was going to set the
prisoner free. He took a pair of scissors from his pocket,
snipped the scarlet worsted inr two, and taking the little
bird up in his hand, smoothed his head and back, laid him
gently in the nest, went down the ladder, and took it away
The old birds were first made to know that their little
one was free, by his nearly tumbling off the edge of the
nest; but they saved him, and screamed with joy. The
mother stayed with him, but the father flew backwards and
forwards, getting food for both; and when it was dark
they all again got into the nest; not that they could sleep
much, so they lay awake, talking of what they should
In the morning the Swallows breakfasted early, and
then Flappet was taught to fly. At first the old birds
supported him on each side, but he soon began to feel
courage; and as his feathers were full-grown in a few days
they all set out on a long journey to the south. On pass-
ing over the head of the gardener who had released Flappet,
they gave him a grateful song of joy, which made him look
up and smile. They at first did not go to a very great dis-
tance, for their young son was tired. As the leaves were
almost all off the other trees, they roosted on the tops of
firs. At last they came to the sea, and the mother began
to be anxious about her child being able to cross it.
Courage!" said the father; if we find he is tired, we
can lay him on his back, on the top of a wave, to rest, and
then go on again. But why should we go across the great
sea ? Why not travel -over France ?"
Because it will be colder," answered the mother.
We can but try," added her husband; and away they
all went, right across the English Channel to France.
They only stopped to get food, and took no notice of the
cities and villages, the beautiful and ancient houses, and
the charming country; for they knew, as snow was coming,
they had no time to lose. The warmth increased; they
passed over the blue waters of the Mediterranean, and
reached Africa, in which continent they intended to pass
the rest of the winter.
The first time the travellers rested for a few days was
on the top of a beautiful palm-tree, with its long, straight
trunk, and a bunch of leaves at the top, waving about like
a plume of feathers. The fruit grew by hundreds in the
midst of these leaves, and the insects on which the Swal-
lows fed there made them all fat after their long journey.
They next stopped at some stunted-looking trees with
yellow blossoms; but as some men were gathering the
gum arabic which oozed out of their trunks, they soon left
them. At length they came to an immense forest, where
grew all sorts of trees, and lived all sorts of insects, par-
ticularly on the outskirts; for those creatures, who love
the sun, do not frequent the inmost parts, the leaves being
so thick there that the sun cannot get to them.
The little birds were quite happy in their new home:
sometimes they sheltered themselves from the fierce heat
THE SWALLOWS. 5
by sitting under the boughs; and at evening they darted
after the numerous insects, which flitted through the air in
thousands; some looking as if they were covered with
gold, others as if their backs were set with precious stones;
many were of the brightest green, some red. Then there
were horned beetles; and those which fed on wood had
such hard backs, that Flappet pecked at them without
making even a hole in them. A very large one used often
to come in his way, and he was quite surprised that he
never even moved when attacked; his father laughed, and
said, "Ah, Flappet, it is of no use; you can never get the
better of him. Men call him Goliath, because he is such a
size." The fire-flies, however, surprised the young Swal-
low more than any thing; for he thought they were little
flames dancing about. There were a great many insects,
the front and hind parts of which were joined together by
a small tube;* and by day the most splendid butterflies
flew in all directions, some of which had their wings
fringed with feathers.
The swallows ran some danger from the vultures and
eagles, who chased them, and who could have snapped
them up in a minute; and a still worse danger happened to
Flappet. He was very busily engaged picking little brown
bugs from the beautiful jessamine which hung over the
bough of a tree, when a scream from his mother startled
him, and made him fly away very suddenly. It was a nar-
row escape; for a snake was on the next bough, who had
drawn himself back, in order to make a spring at the bird.
Flappet's father and mother loved him so very much,
on account of his having been a prisoner so long in the
nest, and thus causing them to stay with him, that they
were more anxious about him than most birds are about
their children wheu they are grown up; so they were very
careful that he should not make acquaintance with any bad
birds, who might teach him to do wrong. They however
approved of a friendship which he formed with some little
green parroquets, with yellow and orange heads, who are so
affectionate to each other that they are generally called
love-birds. They ate fruit, and Flappet's mother was
afraid he might do so too, and warned him against it, be-
cause it was a very bad thing in Africa to eat much of that
food; but Flappet assured his mother that he only picked
off the insects which were on the outside. The parroquets
took him beyond the forest to the large nests of the white
ants, looking as big as the hay-cocks in England, and where
there was so much food, that he could not be happy till he
had flown back to fetch his father and mother.
After leading this happy life for some months, as the
Swallows and their friends were sitting together on a tree,
the sky became very dark, and the love-birds led them
to a safer place, in a very big and very old tree, which
spread its arms over a large space of ground, whose trunk
was full of furrows, and each furrow made a snug place for
a sleep, and whose fruit hung down like green velvet
bags.* Presently they heard a great many cries from wild
beasts: lions, leopards, panthers, and hymnas; the sloth
uttered his mournful sounds, and every thing seemed to be
frightened. Then came such a wind, that the birds crept
closer together, and stuck their claws into the bark where
they were perched; for even their large resting-place
rocked. Then followed such lightning and thunder, that
the forest seemed to be all in a blaze; and then silence;
and then all began again; and the very tree which they had
left fell to the ground with a great crash, bringing others
with it; and the rain poured down like a river from the
After this tempest, Flappet's father said, "We must
now think of going, for this is the beginning of the African
Will it be cold here ?" asked his son.
No," said the old bird ; but it will rain for days at
a time, and food will be scarce, and we shall be drenched,
and have the rheumatism; and so, as it is getting fine
weather in England now, we had better return to it. As
to you, Flappet, if you like to stay here with your new
friends, you may, without causing us to feel affronted."
"Do you think," replied Flappet, after all your good-
ness to me, that I would ever leave you? I wish I could
persuade my friends to come with us; but they tell me they
could never eat the sour, hard fruit of England. However,
I hope we shall meet again next year."
The last evening was spent by all the party together,
sitting upon the top of a teak-tree, and looking at the
purple, crimson, and golden clouds with which the sun was
surrounded when he set. The next morning came the
parting, which was sad enough: but the parroquets had
their home to provide for during the rain, so they said,
" Good by; we shall meet again;" and the Swallows took
their way to the north. They looked about for some large
company of other swallows, that they might join it, for it
was always safer to travel in that way; but they did not see
any till they reached Morocco, where they met with a great
number, perched upon the top of a high building. Here
they separated into companies; some went over Spain,
others at once across to France. Among the first were
Flappet and his parents, who thus saw the wide plains, the
beautiful mountains of that country, and the still more
beautiful Pyrenees; and at last they reached the very
same spot where Flappet had been born and imprisoned.
The old nest was a little damaged by weather, but was
soon mended; and Flappet, who had chosen a wife among
the young lady birds with whom he had travelled, built a
house for himself, with her help, in the opposite corner of
the false window; so that he could see, and be often with
his father- and mother; and his children and their new
children learned to fly together, and had a great affection
for each other.
THE DOG AND THE KITTEN.
THERE was once a dog, named Bruin, who lived in a house
where he was much loved; and he belonged to a little boy
in the family. This dog was brown, with a short tail and
short ears; a black nose; very bright black eyes, peeping
out of the long hair which was on his head; and he had a
grey beard. The same sort of long hair which grew on his
head covered him all over; so that he was rough and
shaggy. People called him a Scotch terrier, and he was
a very clever, good-natured dog, very gentle to those whom
he knew; but if any strange person came to the house, he
barked loudly, as if to tell them they had no right there.
Boys used to tease him as they went by, and make him
very angry; so that at one time he never saw a boy with-
out beginning to bark, whether he provoked him or not.
This was a very bad habit, and he was often told of it;
but he forgot; and one day came to his little master, hang-
ing his head and tail, and looking very ill. One of his eyes
was closed, and on feeling his head, there was a great bump
just over the eye; so it was plain that he had rushed out
upon a boy, and been kicked or knocked by him.
Bruin was quite ill for several days; his poor inflamed
eye was bathed very often; and as he recovered, he seemed
to think when the lotion wetted his head, that he had been
washed all over; and as soon as he was able to move, he
set off directly to rush about the house, and rub and dry
THE DOG AND THE KITTEN.
himself upon all the rugs and mats he could find. He at
one time had a great deal of fever, and his master's mamma
felt his pulse, and gave him some medicine; which he took
very well, and was very thankful for it, because he knew
it would do him good. At last he got quite well again;
and he was not, after this hurt, quite so apt to bark at boys
as he had been.
A great trial came upon Bruin; for one morning, when
he returned from taking a walk, he saw a strange animal in
the house. It was a soft, pretty-looking creature, with
long, sharply-pointed ears, and a very long tail; covered
every where with short, straight hairs; grey, with black
stripes, and two of her little paws were white; her eyes
were not set straight in her head; she had a little pink
nose, and long pointed whiskers came from each side of
her mouth. "What can this creature be ?" thought Bruin.
"Is it another dog, come to pay me a visit ? No! it is not
like a dog. I wonder if it will bark, it looks very good-
natured." So Bruin walked up to the new arrival, as if to
say, How do you do ?" and put his nose close to her. In
a moment the creature jumped upon all her four feet,
arched up her back, swelled out her tail, stuck up her hair,
and looked very fierce. Dear me !" said Bruin to himself,
" what a cross creature !" and he lay down at some distance
A few minutes after this, Bruin determined to try again
to be friends with the new animal; so he very respectfully
walked round and round her, each time coming nearer, till
at last his nose touched her: in an instant she spit at him,
and gave his nose such a scratch, that if he had not been
THE DOG AND THE KITTEN.
ashamed, he would have cried out. What, however, vexed
him still more, was a loud laugh just behind him; and
turning round, he saw his master and his master's sister
looking on, and very much amused with the manner in
which he had been treated.
Bruin crept under the table; and although the little boy
called him, he was so affronted that he would not move.
He wondered what strange, ill-natured being could have
been brought there, and how long it was going to stay in
his house. So vulgar too," said he to himself, to spit
at me," for he did not know it was her nature to do so.
" I cannot think why they let it stay here a minute longer,
with its bad manners."
Bruin's good temper soon returned, and he began to
think he was very silly to quarrel with his dear master,
especially on account of such an ill-behaved beast, who, at
that time, lay snugly sleeping in the young lady's lap. He
walked up to his dear friend, laid his chin upon his knee,
looked in his face, and then he was taken up and kissed,
which made him very happy; and as he remained in the
little boy's arms, on the opposite side of the fire, he heard
a very odd noise: he soon discovered that this proceeded
from the visitor, and he thought to himself, I am sure
that is not pretty; it is neither growling, nor whining, and
all in the throat. I should not wonder if my young mistress
called it singing."
Darling creature !" said the young lady at that mo-
ment; how she purrs! What a beautiful kitten she is !"
Oh ho!" muttered Bruin; that's a kitten is it?
I have heard of such creatures before, and I dare say I have
THE DOG AND THE KITTEN.
seen them, but they were never worth my notice." So he
determined not to look at her again.
With all his pretended carelessness, uneasy thoughts
would come into Bruin's mind, and he could not help con-
sidering why the kitten should be brought there to scratch
him, and cause him to be laughed at.
I have heard," he said, with a sigh, that such ani-
mals are good for catching rats and mice. Is it that I have
not done my duty ? It is not so, because I have killed all
the rats, and snapped up the last mouse a week ago." He
was very unhappy; but when he curled himself round on
the soft mat by his master's bedside, he went to sleep, and
forgot his troubles.
The next morning his grievances began again: a saucer
of milk was put on to the floor for both animals to drink,
and Bruin was about to take his share quietly, but the
kitten put up her paw and gave him a box of the ears.
He retired, and the young-lady then said, What a coward
he was, and how much more courageous her cat was than
her brother's dog!" Then Bruin was sure he ought to
shew this was not true; so he walked boldly up to the
saucer before the cat had done drinking, seized her on the
back with his mouth, and, the door being open, took her
out of the room, and dropped her in the hall without hurt-
ing her. She caterwauled and struggled, but he persevered,
and shewed her he would be master.
What do you think of Bruin now, sister?" said the
little boy; come here, my dog, and drink all the milk, for
you deserve it;" but Bruin, after lapping up a part, left the
rest for his enemy.
THE DOG AND THE KITTEN.
For several days the kitten continued to be very cross,
and every now and then Bruin was very jealous; but he
was better pleased when he found that Minette-for so the
kitten was named-was only brought to the house to be a
plaything to the young lady. She was very much spoiled,
and often very ill-humoured, as all spoiled animals are,
whether they have two feet or whether they have four.
Bruin either took no notice of her, ox shewed his teeth at
her when she was very naughty; but she did not dare to
attack him after his conduct.
At last the good dog found it very uncomfortable to live
with any creature and not be friends with it, so he deter-
mined to do all he could to win her favour. He made her
feel that he was to be the master in his own house, and
because he was the elder; but in other matters he gave way.
If a nice morsel were to be eaten, he let her have it, and
allowed her to take the best place before the fire; for which
puss seemed sometimes to be obliged, but at others was very
saucy. She did not always know her own mind, and then
Bruin would not have any thing to say to her; for all such
people ought to be left alone, and never coaxed.
At last, one afternoon, as Minette was sitting at the
yard-door, which was open to the street, a strange dog
came past, and she, with her usual impertinence, set up
her back and spit at him. He was not so good-natured as
Bruin, and therefore took her up in his mouth, shook her
well, and would have killed her in a minute; but Bruin,
hearing the noise, rushed out to save her, and, although the
dog was bigger than himself, flew at him in such good ear-
nest, that he dropped the kitten, and ran howling away.
THE DOG AND THE KITTEN.
Minette thought she was dead; but Bruin took her in his
mouth very softly, and laid her before the fire, where he
licked her all over till she recovered her fright, and espe-
cially attended to her poor bleeding ear.
From that time the kitten and the terrier were great
friends, and were seldom separated. When they went into
the garden, she would hide herself under a bush, and as he
passed jump out upon him; they went about the house
together, lay side by side when they slept; she jumped over
his back, played with his tail as he wagged it, and had
many frolics. Her temper grew quite good, and he always
had a friend and a playfellow in the once cross kitten,
owing to his own patience and kind nature.
OLD AND NEW FRIENDS.
IN one of those calm and bright moonlight evenings which
so often shew themselves in the far-off country of Australia,
a young horse lay upon the grass of an enclosed piece of
ground. The hedges round him were made of the thorny
bushes which are so abundant in that land, and which,
from the length and thickness of their thorns, are called
" Horrid Acacias." They were not yet very high, for they
had not been long planted, and they went round three sides
of the little park, into which only the riding-horses of the
family were allowed to come. On the fourth side was a
river, which glittered like silver in the moon's rays, and the
whole air was scented by the sweet-smelling flowers of that
part of the country.
The horse was of a chestnut colour, with a long mane
and tail; his broad chest, his arched neck, his handsome
eyes, shining coat, and beautiful shape, made him deserve
the name of Paragon, which had been given to him by one of
his'young masters. He was a good-tempered, affectionate,
and obedient horse; very full of play, and yet so gentle,
that his mistresses frequently rode him. His great faults
were, that he often did things in a hurry, and suffered himself
to be persuaded to do that which, if he had thought of it,
he would have refused, because he knew it was wrong.
As he lay upon the cool, soft grass, the young horse was
16 OLD AND NEW FRIENDS.
startled at hearing a voice, which, though strange to him,
spoke his own language.
How do you do, Paragon ?" it said. He started up,
looked round, and saw three other horses on the further side
of the hedge, one of whom had raised himself above the
rest, by putting his fore-feet on the top of a small gate.
-C We have often seen and admired you," continued the
speaker; and we so much wish to have you among us,
that we are come to ask you to join us, and to be happy for
the rest of your life. No more hard work, but roaming
where you please and when you please, and nobody whose
leave you are obliged to ask. Will you come ?"
I cannot," answered Paragon; '" my master would not
let me; besides which, my young lady wants me to carry
That is all very fine," said the stranger; but the
time will come when her brothers will take you out to hunt
wild cattle; ride you till you are ready to drop; and your
mouth will be cut by the bridle when they want you to turn
round quickly, and your sides will bleed with the prickings
of the spur; and very likely a great old bull will poke his
horns into you, and tear you open."
That would be very shocking," said Paragon; '" but
all my masters are very good to me, and would not put me
They cannot always help it," continued the other
horse; but I and several others are waiting for you; we
three have come here, and the rest are on the other side of
the hill. We have run away from our masters; and if you
will come with us, you will be the best and most beautiful
OLD AND NEW FRIENDS.
of all; we will shew you delicious grass, just like green
oats, and plenty of the juicy sow-thistle." Do come and
enjoy yourself with us," exclaimed the other two.
With such speeches as these poor Paragon was tempted,
and began to doubt; he looked about him, and said, I
cannot get out, the gates are locked."
Pooh !" said the tempters; "just put your feet on the
top bar of the gate, and you will be over in a minute."
Rather wishing to shew how clever he was, Paragon took
the leap, and found himself at liberty on the hill-side. He
was not so bad-hearted as quite to forget his old friends,
and he turned to take another look; but his new compa-
nions said more sweet words to him, and so, thinking to
himself that he could come back whenever he pleased, he
joined the rest of the herd, who received him with praises
and caresses, and they all galloped off together.
When the horses thought they were too far from the
farms of the neighbourhood to be caught, they went at a
slower pace; and Paragon found it such a delightful life,
that he forgot all whom he had left behind, and thought of
nothing but pleasure. He was treated like a king, taken
to the best pastures, where the grass was mixed with the
sweetest wild flowers; if they crossed a river, his friends
swam on each side of him to take care of him; if the wild
dogs attacked them in the night, the other horses sur-
rounded him, and kept him safe; the best of every thing
was given him; what he liked was always done; and when
their frolics began, he chose all the games. He was very
fond of hide and seek, and puss in the corner; both of
which were well suited to the forests of that country, where
OLD AND NEW FRIENDS.
no bushes grow under the trees, and where the trunks are
large enough to get behind them without being seen; and
as he hid himself, and then rushed out upon his friends with
a loud neigh, he praised himself for having come with such
roving and jolly companions. Very few, however, of his
former friends would have known him, with his rough and
dusty coat, his long mane flapping over his face, and his
tail streaming out behind; and when he looked at himself
in the rivers, he was quite shocked at his untidy appear-
ance, and would have very much liked to have had a groom
now and then to cut his hair away from his eyes, and take
the prickles off his sides. Also, when it was wet weather,
he wished for a nice dry stable. But he shook himself,
snorted, and scampered away again. One very great amuse-
ment of the herd was to dash in among a number of the
wild men and women who lived in some parts, and scatter
them; for these people were much afraid of them, and
thought they were very large wild dogs.
There was no end to the strange things which Paragon
saw for the first time. Occasionally they flounced into a
herd of kangaroos, with their long hind legs, and their
large tails, and their short fore legs. Then hundreds of
parrots and cockatoos flew screaming over their heads, and
they were often kept awake at night by the noise of the
pigeons roosting in the trees above them.
One day, as Paragon was drinking some water out of a
river, a very curious creature crawled out of a hole, and
quite startled him. What is that ?" he cried to a friend
standing near him. Men give it such a very hard name,*
OLD AND NEW FRIENDS.
that I cannot even try to pronounce it," was the answer;
" but we say it is a duck-rat, because it has a beak like
that bird, and its fur is something like that of the beast,
though not so soft. Behind its back paws there is a very
sharp claw, to which a bag of poison belongs; so we always
get out of its way for fear it should strike this claw into
our heels. There is another curious animal near here,
covered with prickles, even inside its mouth, which has
another hard name;* but they neither of them have any
As long as this sort of life continued, Paragon was
happy; but nothing lasts long in this world, as he was
made to feel. The herd one day met with a number of
horses who were driven by men, and who were going across
the country to a distant place. As they passed, several of
Paragon's friends said, Did you see that beautiful grey
horse? Let us try to catch him, and bring him among us.
At night, when he is unfastened and lying down, we will
creep between the fires where the men sleep, and get at
him: they seldom light fires enough to keep us out." So
two of the wild horses found their way to the grey; and to
Paragon's great astonishment, he heard them make use of
nearly the same words as they had said to him. He was
very much vexed and jealous; but he was still more sorry,
and, in fact, very angry, when the next morning the new
horse was brought among the others, with just the same
honour as they had shewn to him, calling him beautiful
and clever, and promising him the same nice things. So
the grey was made the chief, asked which way he would
OLD AND NEW FRIENDS.
like to go, chose his sports, and poor Paragon was forgotten.
It made him very low-spirited, but nobody seemed to care.
He did not speak to the new comer, and his friends called
him jealous, and mocked him. Then Paragon began to
keep away from the herd, and to repent that he had been
tempted to come with them from his home; and he even
thought of going back, and how he should find his way.
The poor horse's worst time, however, was still to come,
for no rain had fallen for two years, as often happens in
Australia: the pools and little streams were all dried up,
and also some of the rivers; so that the horses were fre-
quently in want, not only of water, but of food. The grass,
herbs, and shrubs, were parched up, and the only thing
they could find to eat was the twigs of trees. Before the
grey horse came, Paragon would have had the preference
when the water was scarce; but now, when the herd met
with even a little wet mud, and he dared to come near it,
he was kicked away, and the favourite allowed to plunge
his nose in. At last they determined to go to a river which
was never dry, but which was dangerous for them, because
there were so many men and flocks and herds near it, and
they might be caught. They could not, however, help
themselves, and they set off.
Paragon sadly followed behind the companions, who no
longer thought any thing of him, but shewed all fondness
for a stranger. After many days of painful marching, he
laid himself down at some distance from the rest, and as
he could not sleep, he raised his head and looked about.
He recollected the place, was certain that he had passed it
before, and then he felt sure that it would take him to the
OLD AND NEW FRIENDS.
home which he was now very sorry he had deserted. He
stood up, and leaning against a tree, thought of what he
had done, and how he should like to go back to his kind
friends. But then," said he to himself, i" would they re-
ceive me after running away as I did ?" He turned it over
and over in his mind, and it seemed to be less and less
difficult. I will ask pardon, and I don't care to leave these
horses," said he; for they are only false friends, and by
and by they will leave the grey for some new favourite."
So he quietly took the path to his old home, and was soon
far from his companions.
The next morning, when the horses awoke, they missed
Paragon. What has become of Paragon?" said one.
" Oh, he is in the sulks," said another. He has been so
ever since we brought the grey among us," added a third.
" Let him go his way," observed a fourth; he will soon be
glad to overtake us." They then started on their way, but
they never saw Paragon again.
The repentant horse journeyed a long time, often going
the wrong way; but at last, hungry, thirsty, lean, footsore,
and with ragged coat and mane, he stood before his master's
gate. Some of the servants of the farm saw him in the
morning as they went to work; and one said, What un-
happy looking beast is that at the gate; he seems to be
half starved; he ought to be driven away ?" Another said,
"No! he looks very humble and miserable: he is come to
beg for food; don't turn him away." I do believe I know
him," said a third, and opened the gate: the horse raised
his head, gave a faint neigh, and laid his nose on the
shoulder of his former groom. Why it is Paragon," cried
OLD AND NEW FRIENDS.
the servant. "c Paragon Paragon is come back," was
shouted all over the farm; the master, the young lady, and
her brothers, all rushed to the gate, and forgave and wel-
comed the wanderer: his feet were bathed, his hair was
cut, his coat combed and brushed; food and drink were
given to him by degrees, for he had been so long without,
that he could not bear a quantity. His bones were soon
covered again with flesh, and his beauty returned. But
what was best of all, he was a much better horse than
he had ever been; for he never forgot this kind treatment,
and tried to prove, by his service and obedience, that he
thought old friends the best.
THE PARROT WHO DID NOT CARE
THE PARROT WHO DID NOT CARE.
" IF you go up those trees the monkeys will come after you
and pull the feathers out of your tail," said a grave old
parrot to a foolish young bird of the same kind.
Oh no, ma'am," said Miss Poll, they won't touch
me; and if they do I don't care."
"Very well," said the old lady, and went on with her
dinner. Away flew Poll, and sure enough, the monkeys
did come after her; she screamed, they chattered, she flew
to a high branch, and called out, Mr. Rolldom, you can't
catch me; I don't care if you do.i' While mocking this
monkey, she did not know that another was close behind
her, and had already laid hold- of her tail. Out came some
of the feathers, and as she turned round to peck at him
with her sharp beak, Mr. Rolldom caught her and took
some more feathers. While the two monkeys were sucking
the quills, she mounted to the highest branch of the tree,
which would not bear their weight, and scolded them for
being so rude and impudent as to touch her. They only
made faces at her, and jumped to another tree; she had
hardly a feather left in her tail, and she felt very uncomfort-
able; besides, she knew she was a great fright, and therefore
THE PARROT WHO DID NOT CARE.
she waited where she was till it was getting dark, hoping she
should get home without being seen by her neighbours.
Poll was not so lucky as to get back to her own tree
without being seen; for she met the old parrot who had
cautioned her in the day against the monkeys. We are
going the same way," said the good old lady, we can fly
together;" but Poll backed into a tree, and replied, I
thank you, but I ain tired, and shall go so slowly, you will
be weary of me;" and it was quite true, she was tired.
There is something the matter," said her friend; why
do you sit there in such an awkward manner, what has
happened to you ?"
Nothing of any consequence," returned Poll.
You need not try to hide it," continued the old lady;
" I saw you with the monkeys, and I know what is the
matter. I would have pitied you, but you do not seem to
care; therefore I shall wish you good evening. A good
thing too," whispered she, as she went away. "' I hope it
will bring down her pride, and make her take good advice."
Poll reached her tree, and did not leave it again, except
in the dusk to get something to eat. When her friends knew
of her misfortune, they paid her many visits. Parrots are
great chatterboxes; and this was a capital time in which
to indulge their love of talking. In a few days, the'low
tree where Poll lived, was filled with other parrots who
lived near, and their numbers frightened away most other
animals; for they bite very hard, and scream loud enough
to make every body deaf. A rookery in England, noisy as
it is, is nothing to a company of parrots. Do tell me
how your trouble came upon you," said a newly-arrived
THE PARROT WHO DID NOT CARE.
bird; and Poll, for about the hundredth time, repeated
the story. The listener started; Poll stopped and stared.
" Dear me," said the parrot, I thought I heard the mon-
keys behind me; but it was nothing. I suppose I am a
a little nervous: go on, my dear friend." Poll proceeded
with her story, when all at once a large cloud, as they
thought, dropped over the tree in which they were sitting,
and covered them with darkness.
The parrots dared not speak, but they felt themselves
seized; their heads were put under their wings in a mo-
ment, and they were all packed into a basket; they dared
not move after that; but they were sure their companions
were- not killed, because they felt they were warm and
breathing. After being carried to a distance, each was
taken out, a string fastened round one leg, their head was
taken from under the wing, and before they could recover
their senses, they were all in a large room, each fastened to
a peg stuck into the ground. As they began to know where
they were, they were in great trouble; some screamed,
some tried to get away, some kept muttering to themselves,
and so they passed the next day. Corn was spread on the
ground before them, and pans of water placed within their
reach; but they could not eat, and at last, worn out with
sorrow, when night came, they slept. In the morning, the
old parrot peeped in at the window, and said,
Do you care now, Poll? Your frolic with the monkeys
has not only brought yourself into trouble, but many of
I don't care for myself," cried Poll, and would not
say another word.
THE PARROT WHO DID NOT CARE.
In the course of a few weeks all Poll's companions were
sold to people who came to the place in ships; but she
was left to the last because her tail was so shabby. Fresh
feathers, however, began to grow, and the steward of a
ship bought her, giving for her an old pair of worsted
stockings. He was a judge of parrots, and knew, when
her tail was restored, she would be very handsome; and he
joyfully took her on board his vessel. She was very stiff,
and thought even a cage better than being fastened by the
leg; she stretched her wings, jumped up and down her
perches, and said to herself, I don't care at all. I shall
always now be free from monkeys."
Poll's master was going to give her to a lady in his own
country, who had been very kind to him; so he fed her up
with all sorts of good things, and at first she was not sorry
to have lost her liberty; but when she saw some of her
former companions fly over the ship, she beat her wings
against the cage, and hung her head. As she was at one
time standing in a melancholy way on her perch, she felt
something twitch her tail, and to her great surprise she
saw one of her old enemies, the monkeys, giving a pull at
her bright, newly-grown feathers. She turned herself
round and gave him a peck; and, by keeping her beak
always opposite to his face, she contrived to escape him.
" I don't care for you at all," said she; you cannot get
at me here." "" You'll see for that," said the monkey.
Very early one morning, Poll was placed on the top of
a high place, and was screaming and enjoying the air,
when all at once she found herself upset; her cup of water
was overturned upon her, and she lay panting, on her back,
THE PARROT WHO DID NOT CARE.
at the bottom. Jack had just reached out his hand to give
her a pull, when he saw her piece of sugar; and thinking
that a much better thing, picked it up, and put it into his
mouth. The steward heard the cage fall, ran to take up his
pet, put her all right, beat Jack, and shut him up. I don't
care for you now," said Poll; and she thought she did not
care for being taken into the steward's little room; but she
found it sometimes very hot, dark, and stifling, and then
she longed for her tall trees again, even though they were
full of monkeys.
When the weather grew colder, she was glad to be
down stairs, for several of the other parrots died in con-
sequence of the change; but she was always sheltered, and
she learned to speak, to whistle tunes, and call all the people
about her by their names. That of the cabin-boy being
most often repeated; she was always crying out, Bill, come
here; you're wanted," and brought him down so often, that
he was very angry, and scolded her. "I don't care," said
she to herself; the steward will take care of me." But
one day, quite out of patience, he gave her a knock upon
the crown, which caused her to have a headache for many
At last Poll reached London, and as it was winter-time
she could hardly persuade herself it was daylight, and found
it difficult to breathe. But at length the steward took her
to her mistress, who lived in a fine house in a square, had
flowers in her rooms, gave Poll a beautiful large cage, a
handsome china cup to drink out of, and let her walk about
sometimes. I don't care for any thing," said she, I am
so grand." Don't you? Mighty fine !" said a voice from
THE PARROT WHO DID NOT CARE.
the other side of the room. Ha, ha, ha!" Who can
that be laughing at me ?" said Poll. The laugh was re-
peated, till Poll grew very angry, screamed, and ruffled her
feathers. Then she thought it might be a monkey, though
she could not see one, and thought she would not care, and
turned her back to the side whence the laugh came.
Poll improved very fast, repeated all she heard, and
having a great taste for music, whistled many tunes, and
was very much caressed by her mistress. Whenever the
lady talked to her, she heard the same laugh which had
before affronted her; and as she was one day riding about
on her mistress's finger, she discovered that there was ano-
ther parrot in the room, and that it was he who had been
so rude. He was quite angry when he saw her with their
mistress, called her ugly, for. she was only grey and red,
while he was green, red, yellow, and blue, and fancied him-
self much the handsomest. I don't care for him," said
she; I am as good as he."
From this time the two birds quarrelled terribly, for
Red Top was very jealous of Poll; and it must be owned,
it was rather hard for a new comer to be thought so much
of. Had he been a good-natured bird, they might have
been placed side by side, and enjoyed each other's com-
pany; but as the jealousy went on, it seemed as if he recol-
lected all the bad words he had heard the sailors say when
they quarrelled in the ship which brought him over, and
his mistress was obliged to keep him in the back drawing-
room. When she went to bed, she always shut the doors
between them, so that they could not scream at each other
in the morning before she came down stairs.
THE PARROT WHO DID NOT CARE.
The lady was out all of one day, and did not get home
till it was quite late, so that she went to bed directly, with-
out seeing the parrots; and supposed that the housemaid
had closed the doors as usual. Red Top thought this an
excellent time to get rid of Poll, whom he so much dis-
liked. He worked and pulled at the door of his cage, and
at last managed to get it open; he then walked up to that
of Poll, and before she was quite awake, he put his claws
into the cage, dragged her close to the bars, pulled off
some of her feathers, and picked a piece out of her flesh.
Poll gave such a scream that she awoke her mistress, who
got up in haste, ran down stairs, and found her favourite
bleeding. She beat Red Top, and carried him back to his
cage; which made him so angry that he even bit her-his
best friend. He did himself no good by this, for he was
sent into the kitchen, and out of the house, as soon as a
good home could be found for him.
After that time, Poll, who soon got well, was treated
just like a queen, and grew so conceited in consequence,
that she fancied she might do any sort of mischief and not
be even scolded. One day she threw down a glass which
had cost a great deal of money; and when the housemaid
blamed her, she said to herself, I don't care." Then she
was found picking a screen to pieces; and for this she was,
beaten, put into her cage, and not allowed to come out for
a long time. Still she was not cured, and was as impudent
as ever, and did not care for any body. But there is no-
thing like trouble to make people leave off their wicked-
ness. Poll was at length let out once more; and soon
after, the window being open, she perched upon the out-
30 THE PARROT WHO DID NOT CARE.
side ledge, and determined to see a little of the English
world by flying across the square. She knew she ought
not to do so, but she said, I don't care, I shan't be long;
I choose to take my pleasure."
There was such an outcry for Poll all through the
place, and at last she was seen sitting on the top of a house
nearly opposite. The servants knocked at the door, and
asked leave to go and catch her; but by the time they had
mounted all the stairs, she was gone to another at some
little distance. The policemen were called for, to see that
no one stole her, and keep the boys in order, who ran from
all parts, hoping to catch Poll and get a reward. One of
them from a corner, who appeared to be very quiet, saw
her fly into a tree in the square, threw a stone at her, and
brought her down. As she fell, he picked her up and
carried her to her mistress, who instantly gave him five
Oh, Poll," said the lady, how could you play such a
trick and was going to scold her; but when she saw how
Poll was hurt, she quite cried. A doctor was sent for
directly, felt her wounded leg, shook his head, and said it
was so badly broken that it must come off. The lady was
quite shocked, but it was necessary. Poll trembled, and
was dreadfully frightened; but her head was wrapped up
in a cloth, her mistress's maid held her, the sharp knife
and scissors were taken out of the doctor's case, and in one
minute the leg was cut away. Bandages were put on, a soft
bed was made for Poll inside her cage, where she might lie
if she liked. She had a great deal of pain, and was very
ill for some time; and then she thought of all she had done,
THE PARROT WHO DID NOT CARE. 31
and promised to herself never to say 6" I don't care" again;
for now she was made to care all her life, only being able
to hop about in the most awkward manner the rest of her
days. However, by losing her leg, she lost her worst
faults; and that was better than keeping her leg and re-
GRIP, Pincher, and Trump, were, in some respects, three
terrible rogues. They were very good-tempered dogs; very
clever, and such capital watch-dogs, that no one could come
near their master's house and grounds in the night or the
day, without their giving notice that a stranger was near.
They were very affectionate and fond of their owner, his
sons, and his servants; but for all that they were great
rogues. That is, they would take that which did not belong
to them, scratch great holes in the garden, bark at every
body, snap up the young chickens, run away with all sorts
of things and bite them to pieces; kill every cat they could
find, except that belonging to their own house; and it was
only because they had been well flogged that they did not
Grip was a sharp-looking, grisled Scotch terrier;
Pincher was an English terrier, all white, except a brown
patch over one eye, which gave him a very sly, droll look,
which he increased by holding his head on one side; Trump
was a daring, heedless, red spaniel. Perhaps their mothers
had not taken care of them when they were young, for they
had been accustomed to run about the village with the
butcher's and the tinker's dog; especially the last, from
whom they learned a great many very bad tricks.
Sometimes all three walked out with their masters,
when Grip and Pincher were tolerably obedient; but
Trump never would mind what Was said to him if he did
not like it, and therefore when called away from doing
mischief, pretended to be deaf, for which, one day, he was
so severely beaten that he could scarcely move; but the
foot-boy, who loved him very much, took him up to his
own bed, and slept with him in his arms; which of course
prevented the dog from feeling how naughtily he had be-
haved. Grip was often caught stealing round to the kitchen
when dinner was preparing, and putting his nose into the
dishes to lap up the gravy, or to run away with a nice bit
between his teeth. As for Pincher, he was never caught
doing any thing wrong at home; but it was said, that more
than once he had contrived to get into the houses of the
poor neighbours, and run off with a great piece of pork in
As so many of the bad parts of the dog's characters have
been told, one of their strangely good qualities must be
related. They always knew when it was Sunday; and when
they saw the people of their house put on their hats or
bonnets to go to church, they walked with them a distance
of a mile, in the steadiest manner possible, left them at
the church-door, returned home, lay down quietly, and at
the proper time met their friends as they returned. When
their mistresses went to church on Wednesdays and Fridays,
they were very troublesome, and only understood what was
dutiful to the Sabbath.
They were capital romps, these same rogues; and were
very clever in carrying things in their mouths. Grip thus
conveyed the dinner of one of his young masters to his
school, a distance of two miles, and all by himself; which
proved that the poor dog knew what was right sometimes.
Trump, whenever any one came to see his mistress, took
the opportunity of being unobserved, and jumped upon the
tables and ran off with some precious thing in his mouth,
merely for the fun of being run after, and making a disturb-
ance when his lady had company. All three killed rats
and mice, and Grip was known to take away the life of
twelve rats in ten minutes; although the second rat fastened
on his ear, and hung there till he had despatched the rest,
when he shook it off, gave it a nip on the back of its neck,
and flung it over his head.
After a year passed in this sort of way, it was observed,
that every fine night these three dogs went out of the yard
together, stayed away some time, and regularly returned to
the outhouse where they usually slept. No one knew
where they went, or what they did when absent, and it
was only by accident discovered that they went at all.
Inquiries were made of the people in the neighbourhood,
and then it appeared, that they had been often seen by the
working people in different directions, always together; at
times in the lanes, at others crossing the common, and
passing by the persons whom they met, with a serious and
innocent look, as if they were merely taking a walk for
One morning, however, Grip and Pincher were the only
two at home, and even they did not come to their master's
breakfast-table. They were looked for, and found fast
asleep in their outhouse, their mouths torn, and one of
Pincher's feet bloody. There was not the least sign of
Trump any where. Their wounds were washed, the torn
foot bandaged up, and some food placed before them.
They, however, refused to eat, and went to sleep again.
After a short time they got up, and as they crossed the
yard, were observed to stop and listen. Men listened also,
and faint cries, like those of a dog in distress, were heard
at a distance.
"" You may be sure that is Trump," said one of the ser-
vants, and told his young masters.
Pretend not to notice them," said the latter, "but let
us watch the dogs well: if they think they are not seen,
they will go after him, and we will follow at a distance."
In about half an hour the dogs slipped off, and the
young gentlemen after them, taking care not to suffer
themselves to be seen. They had not gone very far before
the cries quite ceased, but Grip and Pincher went on, only
looking back occasionally to see if they were followed. At
last they reached a turnip-field, and ran straight to the
middle of it, where they stopped, and appeared to be much
surprised and puzzled. Their masters then came up, and
they went humbly to them, lay down at their feet, wagged
their tails, and whined as if they were ashamed to ask, and
yet wanted something to be done for them. The tops of the
turnips were much trodden down, and a broken piece of
wire shewed that a trap had been set there to catch foxes.
You may depend on it that Trump has been caught
in this trap," said one of the young men, and when the
cries stopped he was taken away, for here are the marks of
men's feet-we will follow the track which they have left,
and see what is become of him."
36 THE POACHERS.
They said, Seek him!" to Grip and Pincher. The
dogs then started off before them, their noses close to the
ground, ran through the rest of the field, crossed several
others, and went along a road till they came to the gate of
a farm-yard. Here they stood still, and looked very meekly
in their masters' faces.
There a shocking sight was before their eyes; no less
than the farmer carrying Trump across the yard, with a
rope round*his neck, and going to hang him on the bough
of a tree. In another minute he would have been dead;
but his masters called out as loudly as they could,
Stop! stop! Mr. Pung. Pray, farmer, stop; that is
our dog;" and leaping over the gate they ran to the spot.
The farmer touched his hat, and said,
"I beg your pardon, gentlemen. I did not know it
was your dog. He and two or three more come almost
every night into my fields, and take my rabbits; but what
is more, they have been often into my yard, and taken my
ducks and chickens : now and then a dropped feather marked
the path they had followed, so we set some traps for them,
supposing they were foxes. This morning, I and my man
were quite surprised to find we had caught a well-bred dog,
and by the marks of their feet, there is no doubt his com-
panions had tried to set him free, and that proved to us he
was not there by accident. One of my boys now tells me
he has often met this rascal and two terriers close to the
yard." This accounted for the torn mouths and paw, and
it may be supposed how Grip and Pincher trembled while
the farmer was speaking.
The young gentleman offered to pay the farmer for all
the mischief that had been done, and promised to shut the
dogs up in future; but the farmer refused the money, and
said he thought it would be a good plan to flog them all
three on the very spot where they had done the most harm.
Their masters agreed, and going to the gate, brought in the
two shaking rogues. The farmer fetched a whip, and made
them all three feel it well, the young gentlemen all the
time calling out Mr. Pung's name. At last the punish-
ment was over, and the dogs crawled home through the
lanes and by-places, not liking to be seen by their friends.
When they reached their outhouse, they threw themselves
upon their bed in a sore and miserable condition. As soon
as they could speak to each other for pain and crying, they
said it was all owing to that wicked dog who stole the
sheep, who had come a stranger to the village, tempted
them out at nights, and taught them to do such wrong
things. They were very sorry that they had been per-
suaded to follow his example, and they made good resolu-
tions never to do so any more.
All t]iat day they were kept without food, and were
only allowed a little water to drink. At night the door of
their sleeping-place was closed upon them, and no one was
allowed to notice them, not even the foot-boy. By degrees,
their good and humble conduct obtained their forgiveness,
and they then rambled about the village very steadily, kept
at home at nights, and when they walked out with their
masters remained close to their sides. Even Trump was
cured of his old trick of running away. They were at last
reckoned the best dogs in the whole place; but as long as
38 THE POACHERS.
they lived, they could never bear to hear the farmer's
name, and down went their heads and tails whenever their
Good Farmer Pung
Will have you hung."
" I AM afraid that son of Mr. Skip's will never do any
good for himself, he is so idle. How sorry I should be to
have such an idle son as Jack Skip!" My poor neigh-
bour Mrs. Skip must find that idle child of hers a very
great plague." All these observations were made in Hazel-
wood, concerning a young squirrel, son of one of the prin-
cipal inhabitants of the place, which was a great resort for
these animals, from the number of nuts which were to be
found in it, and from which it was named. Jack, do you
hear what your acquaintances say of you ?" said his father.
" Let them mind their own business," replied Jack. '" I am
afraid it is too true," the father went on to say. Recollect
that winter is coming, and if you do not lay up a store of
nuts and acorns for yourself, you will starve, for I will not
help you any more. Your mother and I can only provide
for your little brothers and sister; and as you are old
enough and strong enough to take care of yourself, we
will not be troubled with you." I shall not want to
trouble you," said Jack, and bounded away from the tree
on which they were both sitting.
Jack was not lazy, for he was always jumping about;
and even when others were contented to bask in the sun,
he was running up and down the trunks of trees. His
fault was, that he would not work, so that he very often
was obliged to go without a dinner, unless he begged one
from a friend, or perhaps his mother; it was not of any use
to ask his father, who, by refusing, hoped to cure him of
Three or four of Jack's companions were quite as fond
of play as he was, so that they tempted each other, and one
day they told him they were going to a garden full of nice
fruit, and invited him to join them. They intended to
sleep there and return in the morning, and also intended
to have a great deal of fun. Of course I shall come," said
Jack. As they went along the next evening, Jack's father
met them, and asked where they were going. They told
him, to Mr. Sumner's garden; and he begged of them not to
do so, for a very watchful gardener lived there, who would
most likely kill them if they were caught; but the young
ones would not be advised, and saying they were not
afraid, went on their way. They clambered over a wall
and crossed a park in safety; but when they came near
the garden, they were very much frightened by two savage
dogs who guarded it. One squirrel was wise enough to
turn back; but the others said they would run fast to some
high trees, from which they could jump over the garden
palings, if Jack would mount that one close by, and take
off the attention of the dogs. Jack, who was very good-
tempered, went boldly up his tree, in sight of the dogs, who
barked furiously at him, whilst his friends made their
escape. He sat quietly till his enemies were tired, and
went away; and then he joined his companions.
It was an enormous leap from the trees to the garden;
but the tails of the squirrels guided them as they went
through the air, and they all came safe into a plum-tree,
where they began their feast. The gardener, however, who
was walking about in the cool air, thought he saw some-
thing moving in the tree as he passed it, went softly up to
it, and perceiving the bushy tail of one of the rogues,
stretched out his long arm and took it in his hand. The
squirrel gave a loud scream, which roused the dogs, and
frightened the others; and Jack, who had been too idle to
go far into the tree, tried to scramble over the palings, and
a dog gave him a squeeze with his great jaws, which so
suffocated him that he was left for dead in the ditch. After
lying there for some hours he gradually came to himself,
and slowly crawled to his home in the wood. He never
saw his friends any more, but he afterwards heard that the
squirrel caught by the gardener was shut up in a cage for
life. He was very ill for several days, but his father and
mother nursed him very kindly, not finding any fault with
him till he was quite well again. They then hoped he
would be steadier in future, and if he did not like to stay
with them and help his brothers and sister, he would get
a house of his own, and make it comfortable.
All this had for a time some effect upon Jack, and he
really spent three days looking for a hollow tree in which
he could live. At last he came to one with a nice hole in
it, and he for a few hours worked quite hard, trying to clear
away the rubbish which had fallen into it, by carrying it
out between his paws and in his mouth; but, as usual, the
idle fit came on again, and the clearing of the house stood
Now was the time for making the winter stores, and
the squirrels of Hazel-wood might be seen very busily em-
ployed in carrying their stock to their dwellings; and Jack,
rather ashamed of being the only one who did not work, re-
sumed his clearing labours; but after -carrying away a quan-
tity of little bits of wood and rotten leaves, he persuaded
himself he was taking useless trouble, and he could sleep
on them as well as on the bare wood. His mother told him
to get some hay to make himself a warm bed; but he did'
not, because it was too much trouble. The cold and wet
came early in the autumn of that year, and found Jack
without any thing to sleep on, or to cover himself up with,
and very little laid by for eating. At first he curled his
thick tail round him when he slept, and ate the half-rotten
seeds which were still to be found on the trees; but even
these became very scarce, for the birds pecked at them, and
Jack was very badly off indeed. He was ashamed to ask
his father and mother to help him, and slowly crept in and
out of his hole, in a lean and melancholy condition.
At last, after eating the dry bark of trees for some
days, Jack went to sleep; and in January, after a whole
week, he crept out of his house to get some more bark,
and felt very weak. A heavy fall of snow came during his
absence, and he could scarcely find his home when he re-
turned. At last, to his great joy, he came upon it; but on
getting into the hole he knocked some of the snow down,
and as he laid himself upon it, the silly squirrel found it so
soft, that he stretched himself contentedly along it, saying
it was softer than hay. But no sooner did the warmth of
his body melt it, than he felt the difference. There was,
however, now no help for it. By the next morning, the
mouth of his hole was entirely filled up, so he ate a couple
of acorns from his scanty provision, and settled himself to
sleep. For six weeks, he awoke only to nibble a morsel or
two to keep himself from starvation, and scarcely turned
upon his wet bed. Then came one of those warm days
which frequently shew themselves in February, just before
the-cold March winds begin to blow; and the sun melting
the siiow on the top of his hole, the wet came pouring
down, and he was obliged to get up, in trying to do which,
he found he was quite stiff from rheumatism. He almost
screamed as he tried to clamber up the inside of his hole,
and he reached the top panting and gasping, and the tears
streaming down his cheeks.
What was to be done ? The only thing he could think
of was to crawl to his father's house and ask for help.
The sun's warmth a little revived him, and he managed to
get there, but no longer deserving the name of Jack Skip;
he even looked older than his father, who, with his two
other sons, was sitting upon the bough of a tree, all quite
well and plump. They saw Jack with his matted tail, his
lean sides, his -hollow cheeks and limping walk, and won-
dered who was coming. At last they knew him, and Mr.
Skip cried, Why, Jack, what is the matter ? As we did
not hear any thing of you, we thought you were very com-
fortable; and as you never told us where you lived, we
could not find you, though we looked for you in a great
many places." Jack's mother then came out of her warm,
comfortable house, and when she saw his miserable condi-
tion, and heard him tell his story, she cried over him, and
said she was sure that he was quite cured of his bad fault
by this time, and they must think what could be done to
make him more comfortable, for the fine weather which
they had then was sure not to last long.
While Mrs. Skip was speaking, one of the children
darted away to the house, and brought four nuts with him
to Jack, saying, Eat, brother; I can go without my din-
ner, for I have had a very good breakfast." Jack thanked
him, and devoured them with great eagerness. All the
family then agreed to stint themselves a little, till food be-
came plentiful, that they might spare some of their store
for the poor half-starved Jack; and they went to his hole,
and found it in a terrible state. The father and mother
cleaned it well; his brothers went to a haystack at some
distance, and returned with their arms full of hay, and
when the hole was quite dry, lined it with this soft, clean
stuff, and then his mother laid him down upon it, and
afterwards went to a meadow in the neighbourhood, and
brought two of the bulbs of the meadow-saffron, and de-
sired Jack to bite a small piece off every night and morn-
ing, but to be very careful not to take too much, for it was
very strong, although it was good for the rheumatism.
Jack was quite ashamed to see his young brothers work-
ing for him, and he made promises to himself that he would
never be idle again, and he kept them too. His mother
told him to go to sleep, and when she got to the top of the
hole, she put her head in again, and said, Jack, I have
put a bush over here to save you from the snow, for I dare
say it will come again soon. I, or one of your brothers,
will come every morning to see how you are going on, and
rub your poor limbs. Good-by." Good-by, dear, best
JACK SKIP. 45
mother," said Jack faintly; for his heart was so full he
could scarcely speak a word.
With all these cares, Jack was quite well by the end of
March; and then he became so industrious, that he was
often able to help his brothers when they were in trouble.
PATCH, THE CAT.
A YOUNG lady, whose name was Mary, was one day running
across a yard paved with bricks; it was very frosty, her
foot slipped, and down she came with her right arm under
her. The cook of the family, who happened to be there
at the time, saw her fall, and helped her to get up again.
When she tried to move her arm, she found it was broken,
and a little sharp piece of bone came through the skin.
There was such a hurry, such a running about, such a
calling from one to the other, for Miss Mary was a great
favourite; a horse was saddled and bridled, and away gal-
loped her father on its back, to fetch a doctor from the
nearest town. While he was gone, Mary was put upon a
sofa, the sleeves of her dress were cut open, and the arm
being laid in a deep pan, was constantly bathed with
vinegar and water, to prevent it from swelling.
At last the doctor arrived: but he was so young, that
he had not mended many broken bones; he therefore put
the young lady to a great deal of pain, and when all was
done, he bound up the arm, tied it in two thin pieces of
wood, put it into a sling, and ordered her to keep quiet.
The next day, however, she was able to walk about, and a
farmer's wife begged to see her. When she came into the
drawing-room, the good woman had a basket on her arm;
she made a curtsey, and said, I heard of your accident,
Miss, and am very sorry for it. I am afraid you will be
PATCH, THE CAT.
very dull, so I have brought you a little kitten to amuse
you." Mary was quite pleased, thanked Mrs. Collins very
much for her present, and asked her to have some dinner.
When the basket was opened, the funniest little kitten
in the world made its appearance. One side of her face
and one leg were quite black; the middle of the forehead
and the nose were of a tawny colour; and the other side
and the other leg were white, as well as the paws. The
body was chiefly what is called tortoise-shell, and white
underneath; while the tail was tawny, with broad, black
rings. Directly she was taken from the basket, she sprang
upon a table, and looked about her as if to ask where
she was. Her young mistress took -her in her lap, gave
her some milk, and made her so comfortable that she very
soon began to purr, and then went to sleep.
"I shall call her Patch," said Mary to her mamma;
" and I hope my brothers will not tease her as they do the
After her nap, Patch walked about the room, smelt
the furniture, and did not offer to run away, for she seemed
to know where she was likely to be comfortable.
When dinner was over, the new cat was brought in
to be seen by the young gentlemen, who laughed at her
odd marks as they sat round the fireplace. An old cat,
and a great favourite, came in, and naturally went up to
Patch, not ill-naturedly, but as if to bid her welcome; but
Patch scratched his face, which led to a regular battle
between them, and which amused the young gentlemen
very much. Mary begged they might be separated; and
to please her, her eldest brother put the kitten into her
PATCH, THE CAT,
lap, where, however, she was not the least inclined to be
quiet, for a dog then entered, and she set him at defiance
with her back and tail. His masters, for the sake of what
they called fun, set him to hunt her about the room; she
jumped over the chairs and tables to escape him, and at
last, when he had her almost in his mouth, she leaped
quite over the flames, up the chimney, and all present
thought she was gone for ever. Mary was very much
startled, and displaced the bones of her arm; which, by-
the-bye, were obliged to be set again the next day. The
dog stood and stared up the chimney, and the boys turned
quite pale, and did not speak for some time. At length,
one of them said,
It is of no use grieving; we are very sorry for having
teased her, but we could not possibly suppose she would
take such an extraordinary leap as that. Pray, sister, for-
Certainly I do," answered Mary; but I think much
less of my own loss than I do of the shocking death of the
As she said these words, down jumped Patch into the
midst of the party, with only a few of her hairs singed, covered
with soot, and looking as bold as ever. It was impossible
to help laughing at her; but her coat was wiped, and she
was not teased any more by creatures with two, or four
It was an old-fashioned chimney of which we have been
speaking, with a ledge on each side of it; on one of which
she must have sat till she was too hot to remain any longer,
and then came down by the way she went up.
PATCH, THE CAT.
Patch continued to be the most daring, impudent cat
that ever entered a house; a famous mouser and rat-catcher;
but nothing was safe from her, and no place was too high,
or too difficult for her to reach. Poor old Tom, the cook's
cat, had a sad life with her; he was so old, that he could
not catch any more rats or mice, and generally slept in a
great chair belonging to his mistress, which stood in the
kitchen, while Patch did his work. If his tail happened
to hang down, she made a plaything of it; then she would
jump down upon him from a shelf or a table, and scarcely
ever let him be at peace. He tried to give her many a
hard blow for this, but she was much too nimble for him,
and generally managed to escape.
One evening, the footman came into the drawing-room,
looking rather frightened, and said to his master,
"May I speak with you, sir ?"
Certainly," answered Mary's papa. What is the
matter, William ?"
I will tell you outside, if you please, sir," continued
the man. His master went out with him, and the servant
added, I went to draw some beer, sir, just now, and
knowing exactly where the barrel stood, I did not take a
candle with me. On opening the cellar-door I saw a strange
light at the farther end; part of it moved, and there was a
very odd noise, like scratching and growling; and I was so
startled, that the jug dropped out of my hand and was
broken to pieces; so I came to tell you, sir."
Mary's father thought, if the man had not been a
coward, he would have gone straight to the spot to see
what it was which had so frightened him; but he did not say
PATCH, THE CAT.
so, and went directly to the cellar. On pulling the door
open, sure enough he also saw the light, and heard the odd
noise, which he thought would explain the secret.
That is very like Patch's growl," said he; fetch a
candle, William." The candle being brought, he examined
the cellar, and found that a dish full of salted cod had been
put on to the head of one of the casks, which it is well
known will shine in the dark; and as Patch rushed out
between his legs as he went in, he then knew that the
movement was owing to Patch's large eyes, and her pulling
about the fish; while the odd noises arose at her impudent
way of shewing her anger at being disturbed. He of course
did not laugh at William; but he told the story to his
children, who told it to their maid, who repeated it in the
kitchen, where William was much laughed at, and who said,
" there was no mischief but Patch was sure to be at the
bottom of it."
One of Patch's favourite sports was catching birds, in
which she was very successful; for she laid herself along
the branches of trees at full length, and pretended to be
asleep, so that the little birds came close to her without
fear, and then she sprang upon them. There was one bird,
however, whom she never could conquer, even by daylight,
when he did not see very well; for he was an owl, which
belonged to Mary, and which she kept in an apple-tree.
This owl also ate small birds, and frequently, when Patch
was lying in wait for her prey, he gave her such a peck,
that she ran away with a screech. They had several fights,
and the owl's beak and claws were the only things of which
this bold cat seemed to be afraid.
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PATCH THE CAT Page 50.
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PATCH, THE CAT.
One day, Patch killed a goldfinch which belonged to
one of her young masters, having thrust her paw between
the bars of the cage; and he caught her trying to drag out
her victim. He was so angry, that he seized her by the
back of her neck, and threw her into a deep river which ran
close to his father's house. Cats hate water, and are soon
drowned; but to his great astonishment, Patch put up her
head, and swam as well as if she had been a dog.
A terrible adventure at last tamed the wild spirit of
this strange cat; but, at the same time, it spoiled her
beauty. She was very fond of going slily to the butcher's,
at the end of the village, and often laid her paw upon a
nice little piece of raw meat, just about to be shaped into
a cutlet, for which she had received many a thump, and
once or twice had had to run for her life, for the butcher
declared, if he could catch her, he would kill her. Nothing,
however, daunted her, till one morning, thinking she was
not seen, she lay hold of a dainty mutton-chop, which had
just been cut off for the dinner at her master's house.
Now that is too bad," said the butcher, and holding
her down with his large hand, he was about to take off her
head with his great chopper, when his wife caught hold of
"Don't kill her," said she; "it is Miss Mary's cat."
So, instead of chopping off her head, he chopped off her
It was a great grief to Mary, when her darling cat came
home with a bleeding stump for a tail. The blood, how-
ever, was stopped, a plaster was put upon the wound, and
Patch became much steadier. She never went to the
52 PATCH, THE CAT.
butcher's again; and it is impossible to describe what an
odd looking creature she was, with her curiously marked
skin, her ears all in ragged notches from the bites of rats
and owl-pecks, and no tail. When she got well, however,
she was still very full of fun, although much wiser; and
when she became a mamma, she told her children how she
was served for her wild and thieving conduct, and she
taught them to avoid her mischievous behaviour.
THE DISOBEDIENT LAMB.
" KEEP closer to me, Baakin," said a mother sheep one day
to her wild, playful little lamb, as they were grazing in a
field amidst a large flock; you are so giddy that I cannot
trust you to go far away."
For about half an hour Baakin obeyed his mother, and
nibbled the grass close to her side; then another-lamb
came and asked him to play; and they began to jump
about together, and raced each other along the field.
Mamma sheep shook her head, and called after them;
but the thoughtless young things neither heard nor saw
her, and their little black legs scampered up and down at a
While frolicking in this manner, they, without know-
ing it, reached a corner of the field far from their mothers.
They stopped to rest a little while, and lay down close to a
hedge, where they fell asleep. When they awoke, Baakin
lifted up his head, looked round him, and said,
I wonder where that hole in the hedge goes to. I
should like to see."
You had better not," said his companion; the sun
is getting low in the sky, and I think we ought to go back
to our mothers, as they will be uneasy."
There can be no harm in just looking," replied Baa-
THE DISOBEDIENT LAMB.
kin. I very much want to know what is on the other
Well, do as you please," again said his friend; this
field is enough for me; so I shall walk slowly back, and
you can overtake me. Be sure you do not go beyond the
hole; for I have very often heard your mother tell you
never to be out of sight without her leave."
I think I can take care of myself," observed Baakin,
tossing up his little head as if he were affronted.
He walked off from his friend, and on reaching the
hole was quite surprised to see a large place without
hedges, full of little hills, small pools of water, and uneven
How I should like to climb up those hills," said the
naughty lamb, and rush down again through those ponds!
I have a great mind to go there now, it must be such fun.
I only wonder our master never takes us there; and when
I tell my mamma how very nice it is, I am sure she will
forgive me; and I shall soon be back."
So out went BaLkin, and soon found himself unex-
pectedly slipping down a bank. He however reached the
bottom in safety; and when there, set off to enjoy himself.
He jumped and kicked about, and often thought it was time
to go back; but then he saw some pretty flowers which he
would like to munch, and he ran up to them; and so he
went on and on, till at last the light began to go away, and
then he was a little frightened. He tried to get back the
way he came, but he could no longer find it; and as it grew
darker and darker, he could not see where to set his feet,
and they slipped, and more than once he soused into the
THE DISOBEDIENT LAMB.
water. Oh! how he then wished he had minded what his
mamma said; and as he thought of his mother, and how
very unhappy she would be about him, he laid himself down
Baakin was not a bad hearted lamb, and really did love
his mother; but he was thoughtless, and fancied himself
cleverer than he really was, which made him think he knew
better than she did. Now, however, he found out the truth,
and put his little head down and sobbed. He then recol-
lected that, in a short time, the moon would rise, and by
her light he perhaps might find his way to the field; so he
determined to remain where he was till she appeared.
Moonlight was longer coming than he thought, but no
sooner did it shine upon him, than he got up, shook him-
self, mounted on the highest of the hills, looked around
him, saw the hedge a great way off, and turned towards it,
feeling more and more, at every step, his great naughti-
At last, the lost lamb reached the hole in the hedge,
and tried to get up the bank and creep through it; but the
ground was slippery, and he tumbled down again; he rested,
and then he tried once more. This time he got his head
through the hole; and what was his surprise, his fright, and
his distress, when he saw that all the sheep were gone out
of the field; not one left! He was so startled that his
knees trembled, and he fell down again to the bottom of
the bank, where he lay for some time as if he were quite
stupified. At last he cried out, Mamma, mamma! why
did you go away, and leave your child all alone ?" Then
he knew it was he who had left her, and that he deserved
56 THE DISOBEDIENT LAMB.
his punishment. When it was too late, he promised that
he never would do so any more, and would try all he could
to make up for his disobedience.
After lying for a little while, thinking what he could
do, Baakin supposed it would be best to get back to the
field, in case the shepherd should look for him; but, worse
and worse, when he tried to move, he found he had hurt
his leg in his fall, and he was obliged to lie among the
thorns and the brambles, without a blade of grass on that
sand-bank to moisten his mouth; and he thought he should
lie there till he died of hunger.
Once or twice, during that long night, he fancied he
heard dogs bark; and as he was so silly as to be afraid of
dogs, he thought they would come and kill him. Nobody
knows how miserable he was as he lay there, wet from
having been in the ponds, cold and stiff, moaning and cry-
ing. At last, quite exhausted, he fell asleep; and when he
awoke the sun was high, and he tried to rise. He could
not stand, and in his pain, cried out, Oh dear! oh dear!
I suppose I have broken my leg. I shall never be able to
stand any more. I shall never see my dear mamma again.
What shall I do! what shall I do !"
As poor Baakin lay bleating and crying, two young
ladies were taking an early walk, before the violent heat of
a summer day came on; and they had passed along the
hedge, to gather wild roses while the dew was upon them.
When they heard the lamenting of the lamb, one said,
", There is a poor little creature in distress; let us look and
see what can be done for it." They soon came up to Baa-
kin, who trembled when he saw them, but said Baa," in
THE DISOBEDIENT LAMB.
a very weak voice. They pitied him very much, and tried
to set him on his legs ; but when they found that he could
not stand, they felt him all over, and as he started when
they touched his leg, they were sure that was the part in
which he was hurt.
At first the young ladies did not know what to do with
him, but at last they agreed to carry him in turns; and re-
collecting they had passed a field in which was a large flock
of sheep, they supposed he might belong to it, and said
they would take him there. Baakin longed to tell them
who he was, but he could not speak their language, and all
he could do was to bleat, and lick their hands. He was
very fat, and therefore very heavy, but they did not mind
that, and sometimes put him across their shoulders; but
seeing this gave him pain, they carried him in their frocks.
They were often obliged to rest, and they sat down and
rubbed him, and fed him with handfuls of fine, cool grass,
which did him a great deal of good.
At last the kind helpers of the lamb came to the field
where the flock was; they opened the gate, and went in.
They looked round them, and saw a sheep lying at a little
distance from the others, appearing to be very sad, and now
and then moaning. Baakin bleated; she stood up, put back
her ears, and listened. He bleated again, and she rushed to
the place where the young ladies stood with him in their
arms, crying aloud; they laid him down on the ground,
and the two then bleated together so much, that many of
the other sheep came round them to see what was the mat-
ter. The young ladies almost cried to see the joy of the
good mother, and were quite pleased that they had brought
THE DISOBEDIENT LAMB.
her child to her. She did not scold him as he deserved,
but told him how unhappy she had been, and was very
sorry he was so hurt. She laid herself close to him
to warm him, and said that the shepherd had come in a
great hurry to take them to another field; that his dogs had
driven them all close together, and she thought he was in
the crowd, so that it was not till they were far away that
she knew he was not there.
The young ladies went to the farmer's house to tell
what they had done, and ask him to see to the lamb's hurt
leg. He was greatly obliged to them for carrying him so
far, and gave them some strawberries and cream for break-
fast. He then went to Baakin, and was much pleased to
find that he had only sprained, and not broken, his leg.
He put a bandage upon it, and the lamb was soon able to
skip round his mother, whose side he took care never to
leave again as long as she lived. By the time she died, he
himself was grown up, and walked about, with a bell round
his neck, at the head of the flock. He told all the young
lambs the story of the night passed in such sorrow and
pain, and how he should have died if it had not been for
the kind young ladies; and how all his trouble came from
not minding what his mamma said, and thinking he knew
better than any body else.
THE GREEDY COW.
FARMER PAWSEY had several cows, who supplied him
with plenty of butter and cheese for market, and among
them was one named Fair Star. She was so called, not
only because she was so very pretty, but because she was
white all over, except a few small red spots on her sides,
with a large red star upon her forehead. Her coat shone
like satin; her small head, her full eyes, and her whole
shape, made her the handsomest cow in the yard. She
was also very good-tempered, never had her legs tied when
she was milked, for fear she should kick the pail and the
milk-maid into the dirt, and always answered when she was
called. She was very full of fun; sometimes stuck up her
long tail, al-d ran across the meadows as if she thought she
was as good as a race-horse, in which she was very much
mistaken, for cows can never run as fast as horses. Fair
Star, however, was such a favourite with all the people in
the yard, and had so often heard herself praised, that she
thought a great deal of herself. I am afraid to say how
conceited she was, for she not only supposed she was better
looking than all the others, but better tempered.
Fair Star always obeyed the voice of Ben the cow-boy
when he called her to go to the farm to be milked, even
though she might be lying on the ground chewing the grass
which she had swallowed, as it rose again into her mouth,
THE GREEDY COW.
and which is called chewing the cud; so that Ben said she
was his darling, and never gave him any trouble. As she
walked quietly home, she sometimes turned her head round
to see who -was looking at her, and.expected them to say,
" What a pretty cow !" which was very silly of her, for she
did not make herself, and therefore need not have been
proud of her beauty.
A worse fault was that of boasting that she was very
good, and telling the other cows she never was naughty,
and always did as she was bid; and when they had some
food thrown to them in the yard, and rushed to it, and
pushed each other in order to get the first mouthful, she
declared she could not think how they could be so vulgar
as to make such a noise and bustle to get something to eat,-
they ought to wait quietly for their turns, as she did. Then
they answered, We know why you are so patient, it is
because when Ben sees you have not had any, he always
brings you some on purpose for yourself, and therefore
you have the most." To this Fair Star never replied, but
she felt it was true; and therefore she was sometimes so
angry, that if she had had horns, she would have stuck
them into the cows who made this spiteful speech.
The fact is, that both daintiness and greediness were
two great defects in Fair Star's character. If, in the corner
of a field, she found a patch ofjuicy, tender grass, sprinkled
with buttercups or daisies, she never called her companions
to share it with her, but munched it all up herself as fast
as she could; or if she thought any of them came near
enough to see it, she lay down upon it, and covered it,
that they might not deprive her of the treat. It must be
THE GREEDY COW.
owned that this was a very bad fault, and an old cow, who
was very wise, and gave good advice to the young ones,
told her she ought to be ashamed of such greediness, and
said some day she would go too far, for selfishness never
knew where to stop. Fair Star at first took Mrs. Colly's
reproofs very good-humouredly, and said, Ah, Mrs. Colly,
if you knew how good it was, you would not be surprised
at my liking to keep it all to myself;" but she often grew
tired of listening to the truth, especially when any of the
other cows joined good Mrs. Colly.
Whenever it rained, the farmer would not let the cows
go and lie in the damp, but kept them in the farmyard;
and after a wet night, when they all got back to the.field,
two cows went up to Fair Star, and said, You thought
we did not see you last night, but we did, prowling about
the yard, close to the gardener's shed, where he keeps his
dahlia-roots. Some are gone, and he little thinks it was
the favourite who took them." Fair Star was very angry,
and the skin of her face got quite red under the hair, but
she turned away. She had, however, gone through a hole
in the palings of the garden, routed her nose in a heap of
sand under a shed, and feasted on the stores of roots, no-
thing being more delicious to a cow than dahlias. Fair
Star thought the others had been asleep, and that she had
not been seen, but she stalked across the field in a great
passion, as people always do when they are found out in
such things; and old Mrs. Colly shook her head, and said,
" She never knew any good come of a spoiled beauty."
It was several weeks after the taking the dahlia-roots,
that any fresh proof of Fair Star's great failing was found
THE GREEDY COW
out, at which time the hay harvest was begun, and the
cows were driven to different pastures, as the hay was
cleared off the ground.
She and some other giddy ones broke into a field, where
the newly-mown grass was put into cocks, and knocked them
down, and frolicked about at a great rate; but they were
discovered, the men came down upon them with rakes,
and drove them away with many a hard thump, and Fair
Star was not only frightened, but very much astonished,
to find that her beauty had made no difference, and that
she had had as many knocks as any of the others, and that
even Ben had had no mercy on her back.
On being taken to quite a fresh field one evening, all
the cows observed what a charming smell there was in the
air, particularly on one side; and as the young ones could
not imagine the cause, they asked Mrs. Colly if she knew
what it was.
To be sure I do," said the old lady; it is a field of
It must be very good to eat," said Fair Star.
Yes," said Mrs. Colly, but it is very dangerous food.
Only a little of it must be taken at a time, while it is green,
for it swells you out; and it is so sweet, that you are apt
to eat more of it than is good for you, and you do not find
that out till it has disagreed with you, and I have known
many a cow die from doing so."
What a pity 1" said Fair Star, and walked away. She,
however, could not help thinking of it, and deemed it best
to go to another part of the field in which she was; but
there she found the grass coarse and dry, and she, almost
THE GREEDY COW.
without knowing it, in her search for better, came nearer
and nearer to the clover.
Presently Fair Star thought she should like to look at
this sweet-smelling stuff, and she peeped through the
thinnest part of the hedge; but even there the leaves were
too thick to allow her to see it, so she sighed, laid herself
down, and went to sleep. She often woke in the night,
and the smell of the clover was so strong, that she very
much longed to get at it. Then Ben called the cows. She
was the first to go; and as she went out, put her nose up to
his cheek, and he kissed her, and called her his pretty lady,
and a number of other endearing names, and told her to
walk on, for she was always ready to go. Her thoughts,
however, were all upon the clover-field, and as she walked
on, she looked at the gate, and wondered if it were
Fair Star arriving first, was milked before the others,
and directly the maid had done with her, left the yard,
and went straight to the clover-field. She pushed the gate
with her nose, and to her great pleasure it opened; but as
she supposed she should be turned out again if seen, she
got into a ditch, and hid herself under some bushes, till her
companions were in the other field. Ben missed her; but
thought she was already in her place, and going no farther
than just to shut the gate, contented himself by saying,
" Pretty creature, she knows her way every where."
At last Fair Star crept out of the ditch, and looked all
over the clover-field. It was covered with pink blossoms,
and bees and beautiful insects were flying over them. She
had never seen any thing so tempting; but she said to her-
THE GREEDY COW.
self, I must be good, or else they will all think came
here for greediness ; at the same time, if this clover does not
hurt the bees, why should it hurt me ? I shall only take
some of the grass by the side, and they shall see that I can
go into a clover-field without making myself ill." She went
on steadily enough for some little while, till later in the
day, when nibbling the grass, she bit off a head of clover.
Directly she tasted it, she exclaimed, Delicious! this is
food fit for Queen Victoria. If I were Queen of England,
I would have it every day for my dinner. Another head
cannot do me any harm." So she thought of a third, and
a fourth; and at last, without thinking any more about it,
she gave herself up to the feast, heedless of the conse-
After having eaten for some time, but which she sup-
posed to be only five minutes, Fair Star heard Ben call the
cows; so, ashamed of being caught, she walked out of the
clover-field as fast as possible, and went into the road.
When the cows and Ben saw her there, they wondered
where she had been; but the open gate of the dangerous
field told the tale, and coming up with her, one said,
" How do you do, Fair Star? I hope you have had a
good dinner ?" Another inquired how the clover agreed
with her. But by this time the greedy cow began to feel
very ill, and not to care what they said; for she got worse
every moment, and when Ben saw her stagger from side to
side, he was quite frightened. She wished to lie down, but
he made her go on, for the second time in his life beating
her, and now to make her go faster. She thought him very
cruel; but he scolded, pushed, dragged, and struck her, and
THE GREEDY COW.
although she became worse every minute, he would not let
her stop. Her breathing got more and more difficult, she
swelled out till her body was nearly as big as that of two
cows, and was in the greatest pain.
As Ben passed the farm-house, where his master was
sitting at tea before an open window, he called out, Mr.
Pawsey! Fair Star has been in the clover-field, and eaten
till she is like to burst."
Fair Star heard no more, but crying out, "Oh, I shall
die !" fell upon the ground just inside the gate. The farmer,
seizing the bread-knife, rushed out with it in his hand, and
plunged it into the cow's body on each side of her hips;
the wind with which the clover had filled her came out,
and she was kicked and dragged till she was again upon
her legs; then a rope was tied round her neck, and she
was made to walk about, although she was in such pain.
The cow-doctor was sent for, who told Mr. Pawsey, that
to stab Fair Star had been ve dangerous, but she would
have died if he had not; and heput a hollow horn down
her throat, and poured some filthy medicine through it, so
that she was forced to swallow it, and her life was saved
with difficulty. Her pretty coat was all stained with blood;
and when, after some days, she was allowed to go back to
the grass field, she had two great ugly marks where the
knife had gone into her, and she was so ashamed that she
could not look the other cows in the face. Some pitied
her, but others laughed at her; good Mrs. Colly, however,
took her to her side, and scolded those who mocked her,
saying, she was very sorry for her fault, and they did not
know how they might be tempted some day to do wrong,
66 THE GREEDY COW.
and how would they like to be treated as they were
treating her ?
From that time Fair Star always took Mrs. Colly's
advice, and she quite recovered her health and character,
for she was never again known to eat too much as long as
THE TRAVELLED EEL.
" Is that you, Mr. Curly ? How well you look! I should
scarcely have known you, you are so grown. What a long
time you have been away!" said a large old eel to a fine,
fat, handsome young eel, who just then swam into a snug
nook of the river Severn.
I have indeed," replied the new arrival, been a
great while from home, and I have been very far also."
Where have you been ?" asked another of the same
family. What made you leave us ? Tell us all you have
Ah, do," said a merry little twisting thing, as she
curled herself up in the mud; it is a nice warm day, and
we can enjoy ourselves close to this bank, while you talk
Mr. Curly, thus asked, although he did not like to talk
too much of himself, began by saying, You know the
shocking end of my poor mamma ?"
No," said the others, all at one time; "what happened
to her ?"
She and I were lying, one day, not far from the shore,
in company with several others, just beyond this spot,
and on our way out of the river. My mamma was just
telling me what I should see when I got out into the big
water, when a great shining thing, divided into several
pieces, came down just over our heads. As it touched us,
THE TRAVELLED EEL.
these pieces opened, and several eels were caught between
them, and then it was suddenly taken up again. Among
these was my poor mamma; and I shall never forget seeing
her twist herself about as she mounted into the air. I can-
not bear to think of it even now," and here poor Mr. Curly
hid his eyes in the mud for a minute, and the rest did not
attempt to speak. He raised his head, and then went on
to say, that he never saw his mother again, and he was so
frightened and so distressed, that he could not remain any
longer in the river, but went as fast as he could into the
I was restless," continued he, and did not like to
stay with the other eels, some of whom I knew, and others
whom I did not, and I wished to travel; so I went off quite
alone. Now, as I never learned geography, I cannot tell
you where I have been, but it was a great many miles
away, sometimes to the right and sometimes to the left,
sometimes slanting and sometimes straightforward, just as
I fancied; and I have seen some very extraordinary things,
and very odd creatures, and had many narrow escapes."
Make haste, then, and tell us all about them," said
a little lady eel, who was rather impatient.
At first," continued Mr. Curly, I thought I should
see more if I went very deep indeed into the sea; so I tried,
but I found I could not breathe there. It seemed as if the
hole under my fin could not open, on account of the weight
of the water; so I chiefly kept at a certain distance from
the top. I met with very curious creatures, which were
not fishes, and had very odd shapes; sometimes they looked
like little pieces of skin, and then they filled themselves with
THE TRAVELLED EEL.
water, and swam about like balls.* One sort in particular,
of which there were a great number in one or two places
which I passed, had several strings hanging from them, and
used to get on the top of the water, blow themselves out,
and when I peeped my head up to see how they looked,
the water was covered with blue and pink bladders, tossing
about on the top of the waves.- When a great wind came,
they emptied themselves, and sank down again. Some-
times I saw a fish with such large, round eyes, that I was
quite put out of countenance ;+ and then another with such
a large mouth, that when it snapped at me, I thought I
must have been swallowed; but being very nimble I managed
to get away."
What did you live upon all this time?" said one of
the listeners to Mr. Curly's history of his travels.
I found a great many little creatures in the water
which were good to eat," replied he, and bits of dead
fishes, which I liked very much; and what was very curi-
ous, a great many of these little animals, and the bits of
dead fishes, used often to shine at night; so much so, that
you might have fancied the sea on fire. When I had been
a long time out, I came to a quantity of weed which had
little round berries on it, and it was so thick in some places
that I could not get away from it, and I was carried very far
by it.11 All this while the water was quite warm, and it rested
me to be borne along. At last it became thinner, and as
I swam away from it I found the sea very smooth and clear,
and there I generally met with very large creatures. One
Jelly fishes. t Portuguese men-of-war. ,+ Priacanthus.
Baudroie. [1 Gulf weed.
THE TRAVELLED EEL.
which I recollect was enormous, rather flat, and of a three-
sided shape. From it came some very long arms, each
having a claw at the end, and I never saw any thing so hor-
rid. It tried to hold me in one of its arms, but I slipped
away. It had also a bunch of long, fleshy strips on its
head, with holes all along them, made for sucking; and it
would have made nothing of sucking me up in a minute. I
once saw one of them try to pull a small boat down. I
swam away as fast as I could; but before I was very far
off, I heard some other great creature attack it, and then
the sea became all black, and I am very sure the black
stuff came out of the three-sided monster."*
What very wonderful things you are telling us," said
a quiet little eel, who had been very attentive, and had not
spoken a word all this time; "I hope you are speaking
"" Indeed I am," answered Mr. Curly; true histories
are much more wonderful than -any thing which I could
Did you meet with any sharks,?" continued the sedate
Yes, many. I saw one very much tormented by a
number of sucking-fish, who had stuck themselves upon
him, and he plunged and leaped out of the water, and
flapped his tail about, but they had so fastened upon him,
that he could not get rid of them. When I looked at his
jaws and teeth as I swam under him, I could scarcely pity
him, he must have devoured so much; but you know we
must all live. There was another sort of shark, with its
THE TRAVELLED EEL.
head very much like the tool with which Will Jackson
used to make such a noise, knocking nails into his boat,
and which once dropped into the water. This shark had
an eye on each side, and I used to think that he could
take two things at once, but that could not be."*
I suppose you saw some large whales ?" said a grave
old eel ;-' though they are not fishes."
Certainly, a great many; and you should hear the
noise which they make when they leap out of the water and
plump down again, in play. I was once sucked into the
mouth of a whale, as I was swimming with some small
fishes on the top of the water, and I was very near getting
into his stomach; but when I found where I was going I
kicked so hard, and twisted myself about at such a rate,
that he sent all the water out again in a great hurry, and
me along with it; when I hurried off, and took good care
never to go near a whale again.
Sometimes a ship passed over me, and not only made
the water dark, but for a time I and others were carried
along by the bustle which she made in the water. Once, a
dead body was thrown out from one of these ships, and
immediately the sharks swam round it, hoping to feed upon
it; but I could not bear to see them, and left them to their
There were some fishes very like myself in shape, near
the shores; but they had such a wicked look, that I did not
wish to make their acquaintance.t Once I got among
islands, and then I saw snakes, some of which were very
* Hammer-headed shark.
THE TRAVELLED EEL.
large. I did not admire their faces at all, so I let them
pass by without a word."
Did you not make any friends among all the strangers
whom you saw?" asked a listener.
"" I did not stay long enough in one place to be very in-
timate with any of them," answered Mr. Curly. Gene-
rally speaking, the fishes were very civil to me, and there
was plenty of room for us all, so that we were not obliged to
come in each other's way. There was a very spiteful
sword-fish who went about looking for whales, and his
delight was to stab them with the long sword which grew
out of his nose; but I was fortunately too small for his
In the warm seas were some fishes, with shreds stick-
ing out of them, of different shapes and sizes, and of the
most beautiful colours, chiefly scarlet.* But I am afraid of
tiring you by talking so entirely of the water, and I will
now mention something belonging to the land, which sur-
prised me more than any thing else. I was rather tired of
always roaming about, and, in order to rest myself for a
little while, I went up a river, and chose a nice place where
I could remain for some time, there being plenty of food
and a quantity of soft mud to lie in under the roots of
trees. Occasionally I stretched myself out on these roots,
where the water every now and then flowed over me and
kept me cool. I was fast asleep in the sun one day, when
I was awoke by something which passed over my body,
pricking me as it went along. I raised my head, and saw
it was a walking fish."
THE TRAVELLED EEL.
"' A walking fish i" exclaimed all Mr. Curly's listeners
Yes, my good friends," returned he, "a walking fish.*
More of the same kind came after him, probably mistaking
me for a root, and they not only walked on their fins, but
climbed the trees. I never was so astonished in my life. I
could not be mistaken; I saw them go up and come down
again several times, as plainly as I see you. But I have
yet another wonderful thing to describe. It was so very
hot in one'place where I was, that the water was quite dis-
agreeable, and on creeping into a very shady spot, to shelter
myself, I actually saw two fishes making a nest of weed
and stones.t With these I really did form a friendship,
they were such good people, and stayed with them some
time, during which the eggs were laid in that nest, and the
father and mother fishes watched till the little fishes came
out of them; and when they were big enough, they swam
away with them. I asked them if they had learnt to do
this from birds; but they replied that they did not know
any thing about birds, except those who came with their
long legs into the water, and often snapped them up with
their great beaks, especially their young ones, which made
them anxious to get away into bigger water as soon as they
were old enough to bear the journey.
"' I do not know how long I should have stayed in this
place, had I not been frightened from it by a narrow escape
for my life. I was gaily tumbling about in the water one
evening, thinking that I might perhaps spend the rest of my
days there, when I heard a tremendous noise behind me; it
THE TRAVELLED EEL.
was like the clapping of two great boat-hooks together, and
I was making off, when I found myself held fast by the tail.
I turned round, and saw a fierce creature; and his shape I
afterwards found (for I was at the time too frightened to
see him clearly) just like those long-tailed creatures with
legs which we see here in England among the grass by the
sides of ponds, only he was a thousand times bigger, was
covered with scales, and had large teeth."*
How did you get away?" asked the gay little eel.
I pulled and pulled, and at last dragged myself away;
but I left the tip of my tail in his horrid mouth, as you
may see; and I have never been able to swim so well
since." So saying, Mr. Curly turned the end of his tail to
the eyes of his friends, who saw the scar, and pitied and
wondered at him.
Mr. Curly then went on thus with his story: To tell
you the truth, this tired me of travelling, and I felt, after
such an accident, I should never again be able to do as I
had done; so I determined to get back to dear England as
fast as I could, and finding the river where I was born, see
my old friends once more.
On my way home, I of course met with many other
fishes, among which were some who had no heads, others
appeared to be all head,t and some had heads like cats."+
I never saw a cat," said the young eels.
I have," said a much older eel. One time, when I
was crossing a field to get to a pond, I saw a creature catch
a bird, and when I described it to my father, he told me it
must be a cat;-but go on, Mr. Curly."
t Lump fishes.
THE TRAVELLEBD EEL.
THE TRAVELLED EEL.
One fish," continued the traveller, was covered all
over with spines; and when I went near him, I suppose he
thought that I was going to attack him, for he swelled him-
self out into a ball, stuck every- spine straight out, and
floated on his back; and he might be very sure neither I
nor any other would dare to swallow him."*
How did you find your way home ?" asked the first
"" I was rather puzzled," replied Mr. Curly; but I re-
collected that when I left my own country I' seemed to go
towards the sun; and so, I thought, if I left the sun behind
me I should be in the right path. Thus, although I went
from side to side very often, I at last reached our own seas;
and right glad was I to meet the fat old turbots, the steady
soles, the bright-green mackerel, and the crabs and the
lobsters; it seemed as if I knew them all.
I was sure I had come to my own river, for I knocked
up against one of those large round creatures, with holes
in their necks, and round mouths, which they fasten upon
you, and suck you all to pieces.- I however darted away,
and here I am, safe and sound, with the exception of my
tail, which I hope you will excuse."
All the eels welcomed the traveller back again, thanked
him for telling them his history, and hoped he would settle
among them for the rest of his life.
THE GRATEFUL MICE.
A MOUSE in search of food, one day happened to get into
a sack of peas; and while he was feasting upon them, the
mouth of the sack was tied up, lifted on to a man's shoulders,
and carried away. Longtail-for-so the mouse was named
-was quite frightened when he found himself moving, and
wondered where he was going to; but he lay very still, for
he knew, if it were found out that he was in the sack, he
should be taken out, and have his neck wrung. At last
the sack was thrown down with great violence into a deep
place, and poor Longtail had such a thump, that he quite
lost his senses for a time; and when he recovered them he
felt every thing under him was still moving, and that he
was very faint and sick, and he thought to himself, I can-
not tell where I am, but unless I have some air I shall die;"
so he nibbled a little hole in the sack and came out. He
lay for three or four days on the floor of-a dark place., at
the end of which time he was able to raise up his head and
look about him.
He found he was in a store-room, full of all sorts of
good things to eat; and he began to think he had not been
quite so unlucky as he at first supposed, and looked forward
to many a feast. His appetite having returned, he first
attacked the cheese, then he got at a box of candles, and a
great many other dainties; but after a time, he grew tired
THE GRATEFUL MICE.
of being alone, and wished himself back with his friends;
however, there he was forced to stay.
Occasionally he went into the captain's cabin, by way
of having company; but it was much too dangerous to go
often, and he contented himself with sitting at the mouth
of a little hole, and peeping out.
The ship went and returned, and Longtail was never
discovered; so he returned to Liverpool in safety, and quite
surprised his old companions by appearing again among
them. We thought you were dead," said one, "for there
have been some cats among us, who have taken us off sadly.
You look so fat and so well, that you must have had a
happy time." Longtail was made so much of, that he
began to give himself airs; strutted about, whisked his tail,
stroked his whiskers, and pretended he could scarcely under-
Some silly young mice thought Longtail very grand,
and tried to do as he did, but for this 'they were only
laughed at by the old ones; but as they did not laugh at
the traveller, it was plain, if they went away, they might
do just as he did. They asked their friend a great many
questions, who never told them of any of the disagreeable
things which he met with, but boasted of all 1re had seen,
and the poor ignorant mice determined to get secretly into
a ship and go away.
Off they started, two dozen of them; hid themselves
in some hampers, and were put away, as Longtail had been,
in the captain's store-room. Oh! how sorry some of them
were, and wished themselves at home once more, when they
got into the sea called the Irish Channel; and how they
THE GRATEFUL MICE.
abused Longtail for not telling them they would be sick!
They recovered, however, and lived much as he had done,
on the dainties around them. Some being more courageous
than he, went oftener into the captain's cabin, and they
came back to the others, and said they had heard where
they were going. "Where ?" they were asked. To live
in a castle," they replied. That will be very nice," was
the remark; it must be so charming to have long passages,
and dark staircases, with snug places to hide in, and never
be found out."
The mice arrived at the castle, got into their hampers,
were carried to the land, and lodged in the governor's
store-room instead of the captain's. As soon as they dared
they came from their hiding-places, looked about them,
and were very much surprised at finding themselves sur-
rounded by a number of strange creatures, not looking at
all as if they would like to make their acquaintance.
Some had a great many legs, others a very long tail, which
they raised in the air, and which had a bag and a very
sharp prickle at the end;* then there was no end to large
cockroaches, and great big beetles, and flies; so that the
mice rather wished themselves safe back in Liverpool.
The mice got out of the store-room as fast as they
could, and went to the living-rooms of the castle. It was
quite different to what they expected; the place was big
enough to be a castle, but there were no dark places, and
the people who lived in it were almost all black, children
as well, and they were very much shocked to see them
half naked. The worst of all was, that they found very
Centipedes and Scorpions.
THE GRATEFUL MICE.
little to eat, and they began to get thin and melancholy.
They dared not run about at night, because soldiers were
walking backwards and forwards all the time, and had they
been seen they would have been killed.
What the travellers were more afraid of than any thing
else were their relations the rats, who were so large and
fierce that they dared not even try to make friends with them;
and, indeed, they at first thought they were a new animal.
At last they took up their abode in a closet, and from
that went about in different directions to pick up a living.
" We were much better off in England," said they; but
here there are black ants, white ants, red ants, and such num-
bers of crawling creatures which eat up every thing before we
can get at it; and we dare not go near the kitchen, because
of the big birds that sit close outside the doors all day long,
and would make nothing of snapping us all up in a minute."*
For a time they were so reduced that they were obliged to
eat holes in some leopard and monkey skins, which had been
put into their closet.
One day they heard a great bustle in the room where
the closet was placed, which made them run under the floor.
On listening, they found out that a very sick lady was
brought there, and put into a bed; and although they were
very sorry for her, they could not help being glad, because
they thought they should get some of the good things
usually carried into sick persons' rooms. The poor lady,
however, had a great fever, and could not eat, besides
which, her black servants took care to clear up even the
smallest crumb, not forgetting her lamp-oil. If by any
THE GRATEFUL MICE.
chance the mice ever did get a good meal, they were in such
high spirits, that, as black people sleep very soundly, they
scampered about the room without fear of waking them;
they even ran across the lady's face one night, as she was
very quiet, trying to doze. As long as she was able, when
she saw several of them sitting together, she threw her
pillow at them, but at last got too weak even for that; and
as she could not keep them away, she had her bed moved
out into the room, that they might run all round it.
One night a very good little mouse was away all night,
and as the others were very fond of him, they were quite
unhappy. At length he came back, looking very ill, and
would not say where he had been.
What is the matter with Greyskin ?" said they, after
some days; instead of trying to gather up something in the
lady's room, he slips away somewhere else."
Greyskin overheard them, and answered, I go to the
kitchen, however dangerous it may be, for I shall not eat
any more of that lady's food."
Why ? why ?" they all called out.
I shall not tell," said Greyskin, and walked away.
How very odd he is!" they observed, shrugging their
shoulders; but he would not explain.
In order to tempt the lady to eat, a friend sent her a
very nice cake, which was soon found out by the mice.
They got together on the floor, and consulted on the best
way to get at it. Greyskin, however, sat out of the circle,
and would not help them at all. He at length got up,
walked about, and seemed to be quite restless, and then
placed himself in the middle and begged to be heard.
THE GRATEFUL MICE.
I must tell you," said he, what happened to pne the
other night. I have not done so before, because I was
ashamed of myself, and thought you would laugh at me.
I went out of the closet by myself; and after looking about
me, I discovered that a basin of cold tea was put upon a
little table by the bed-side, so I determined to have a drink.
I crawled up the bed-clothes and got upon the table. The
lady heard me, and called her servants; but they were too
fast asleep to hear her little voice. I clambered upon some
books at the side, stretched my neck over the basin, and
sipped the tea. It was very sweet and good; and trying
to get more, I lost my balance, and went plump into the
middle. I thought I should have been drowned, but by
keeping up my head, I found I should be saved. There
I sat the whole night, my chin just above the tea, very un-
happy, and expecting in the morning I should be taken out
and killed. And so I should have been but for the lady's
goodness, who said I must be spared, and after taking so
much pains to save my life, it would be quite cruel to take
it away. So the girl let me go, and I hid myself till I was
quite dry before I met you. Now you see why I never
will take any thing belonging to that lady, or help you to
All the mice agreed with Greyskin, and said, for his
sake they would do as he did, except a very few, who ob-
served that it was all very well for him, but it could not
concern them, and they should go on as usual. Accordingly,
that same night, when all was silent in the room, they ven-
tured out and mounted the drawers on which the cake was
placed. But the puzzle was how to get at it, for it had
THE GRATEFUL MICE.
been put under a tin cover. They went round and round
without finding an opening, and it smelt so nice that they
were still more anxious to have some. They thought there
might be a hole at the top of the cover, but the sides were
so slippery, that, as fast as they reached a few inches they
fell down again. They then got on to each other's shoul-
ders, and the topmost mounted the cover, but it was whole;
and unable to keep his footing, he tumbled upon his com-
panions, and down they all went together. Then they
all tried to push it; but it would not move. They then
hoped to raise it, put their little paws under and lifted it
up a very-little; but it only fell down upon the tail of one
of them, and made him squeak. The lady, who had been
watching them all the time, then laughed, and they all
scampered off as fast as possible. The next morning, and
as long as there was any left, she had some pieces of cake
scattered in the closet for her whiskered friends; and when
that was gone, she continued to feed them with biscuit, be-
cause they had so much amused her during her illness.
Of course the mice were much happier after this, but it
did not last long. They were very sorry to see some trunks
brought into the room to be packed; and by that they
knew the lady was going away. I shall go with her," said
Greyskin; "" I will get into something belonging to her,
for I am sure she will go in a ship;" and most of his friends
declared they would rather go home. A few only preferred
staying, and one of these went outside the castle one night,
and was never heard of any more. It is supposed that he
was snapped up by a hyaena, or a panther, or a genet-cat.
Those who returned were overjoyed to find that they
THE GRATEFUL MICE. 83
could live very well in the ship, without touching any thing
which belonged to their friend; and were quite as much so,
when they perceived that they were taken back to Liver-
pool. They landed in safety, found many of their old
friends living, to whom they told all that had happened
to them; and thus the goodness of that lady was known
all over English mouseland.
THE GREAT REBELLION.
" IF you please, captain," said a young sailor, as he stepped
on board the merchant-vessel of which he was the second-
mate, "we have a queer kind of passenger in the boat.
How he got there we do not know; but he hid himself be-
tween the packages, and we never saw him till we were a
good way from the shore. When we were going to heave
him overboard, before he was too far to swim back to land,
he bent so humbly to us, that we had not the heart to turn
him out; so we have brought him to you, sir." Who is
he ?" asked the captain. The mate stepped to the side of
the vessel and cried, Haul up!" The captain shouted
with laughter when he saw a fox. Poor beast," he said,
" it is very odd he should be in the port of Marseilles; but
he looks half-starved, and as if he had been hunted almost
to death; give him some food, and tie him up, so that he
may not steal any of the fowls; as we sail directly, and
yours is the last boat to come on board, there is no time to
take him back."
The fox had a cord passed round his neck, a hook was
fastened to an empty cask turned on its side and filled with
straw, and the cord securely tied to the hook. In two or
three days he was very much improved in appearance, and
was a beautiful animal: he was thin, but well made; his
THE GREAT REBELLION. 85
fur was long, and his tail thick and handsome; his head
was thrown back with rather a proud and fierce, yet noble
air; his eyes were extremely bright, and he had a keen,
clever look, which was very remarkable. When any one
approached, he seemed to bend to them, and his movements
were very graceful. His countenance was frequently sad,
but at night he walked restlessly up and down to the
length of his cord, and gnashed his teeth in the fiercest
When the captain reached London he took Reynard to
his house, a little way out of town, and tied him up in a
yard. The next morning his wife asked him what he
meant to do with him.
I do not know," answered the husband.
He cannot stay here," said the lady; he will bite the
children. Surely you had better send him into the coun-
No," observed the captain; tie poor creature took
refuge in my boat, he has behaved very well upon the voy-
age; if I send him into the country, he will be hunted and
killed, and that is not fair."
Send him to the Zoological Gardens," exclaimed the
eldest son, a lad of fourteen; George and I can take
him there this afternoon, if you like, papa."
A very good plan," said both father and mother.
And to the Zoological Gardens went Reynard the same
At first the keepers refused to admit the fox; but one
remarking that he was very handsome, with a peculiar look
about him, said, There is an empty den close to that of
THE GREAT REBELLION.
the badger, and we can put him in there till the gentlemen
of the council determine whether he shall or shall not stay
with us." The young lads left their charge; and in a few
days their papa received the thanks of the Zoological So-
ciety for the present of a very handsome fox.
For a week or two Reynard was tolerably quiet in his
new abode; but he then became restless, and continually
walked up and down his small den, talking to himself.
Confined to this small space," said he; no one to
speak to, no amusement; thoughts of the past rushing upon
me, thoughts o the future, thoughts of what I could do if
I were at liberty. What a terrible life, to be thus a pri-
soner! Why did I trust the English, and suppose, when I
reached their country, they would set me at liberty to run
over their woods and fields ?"
"'You are restless, neighbour," said a voice close to
him, which made him start; can I help you?"
And who are you that thus notices a poor prisoner,
driven from his own country to seek kindness from strang-
ers?" asked Reynard.
I am the badger who lives in the den next to yours,"
was the reply. I also am shut up by those who pretend
to be kind to me; but I take my pleasure, and am free at
night. It is so wet just now, that I have chosen to stay
at home; and that is. why I hear you for the first time."
How can you get your liberty?" inquired Reynard.
We badgers," answered his neighbour, can burrow
any where underground, and even remove stones which
many other animals of our size cannot lift; so that it was
very easy for me to get out of this den. I go about the
THE GREAT REBELLION.
garden, visit my acquaintances, talk to them, and come
back before morning, when I put the stone which I have
taken up into its place, and none of the keepers know of
"Would it not be possible for me to have such a happi-
ness ?" asked the fox; "I can also burrow."
Certainly,", said the badger, and I will help you; it
will be very nice for us to go out together; and I will take
you to see my friends. At first I was very much afraid of
the dogs, but now I have become so well acquainted with
them, that they let me pass without taking any further
notice than just to say, Good evening to you.' Of course
they will let you pass as my companion."
The next night the two friends set to work, made a
passage through the fox's den, and both found themselves
loose in the garden. Reynard was presented to all Bad-
ger's acquaintances, and they passed many a pleasant half-
hour, talking first with one and then with another. As
Reynard became intimate, however, he began to talk a
great deal about himself, and what he thought of a great
many things, especially of the other beasts in the garden.
He insisted on it that it was a shame for beasts, who were
born to be free, to be shut up in cages; that they were
clever enough to know what was right, and therefore to be
ordered by others was quite against their nature; and to
be under the rule of men, who were not as strong or as
powerful as they were in many ways, was not to be sub-
mitted to. He therefore advised them not to take it as
calmly as they did, for they were quite able to judge for
themselves. To this some replied, that the men were very
THE GREAT REBELLION.
kind to them, that they lived in very good houses, and had
plenty to eat; and that was as much as poor beasts like
them ought to expect. Reynard looked quite scornfully at
them, and muttering Poor wretches," turned his back
upon them. Others felt as if what he said were true, but it
was of no use trying to alter things; while a third set were
of opinion, that as they had been placed there without any
fault of their own, they must submit. These made Rey-
nard still more impatient than all the others, and he called
them ignorant creatures, only fit for eating and drinking,
who did not deserve any thing better. Before long, how-
ever, he made some impression; and his frequent talking
caused a feeling of uneasiness, even in those who had been
the most quiet. They began to fancy that they really were
ill treated; that, as Reynard said, their keepers were ty-
rants; that there was no reason why some should live in
large dens and some in small; that they were all brothers,
and ought to be treated alike.
It is of no use repeating all that was said, but only ob-
serve, that there was much commotion throughout the gar-
den. The monkeys Reynard never could get at, because
they were carefully shut up by night, for fear they should
catch cold; and he thought this was of no consequence, as
they were so like men they would be sure to side with
them. The hedgehogs curled themselves up into a ball,
stuck out their spines, and pretended not to mind him, as
long as they had beetles to eat, they did not care." The
bears were quite willing to join in any thing, and said, if
they could get outside, they should be sure to find plenty
of friends and cakes, people were so fond of them. The
THE GREAT REBELLION.
racoons declared they were quite ready to join in any thing
which could do harm to the keepers, who were always so
cross and ill-natured. The otter had no objection to help
friends, though he did not know what it all meant. Of
course all the other foxes joined.
The wolves hated all men; and never having enough to
eat, were ready for any thing. The hyaenas snarled a con-
sent to Reynard's plans. The tigers, leopards, panthers,
and wild-cats were delighted at the prospect of bloodshed;
and thought that such beautiful creatures as they were
ought to be seen more in the world. Some of the deer
thought liberty was the finest thing on earth, and gladly
joined in any scheme which would procure it. The gnu
said, He always longed to run at the keepers, and the
people who came to look at him; and if he could but get
out, he would knock them down with his forehead, and
then tear them open with his horns."
Reynard and Badger tried to win over the rats, who
crossed the canal at night; but they said they knew better;
they already had every thing at their own command, and to
rebel would be only fighting against themselves. The fox
knew it was useless to attempt to win the dogs over; but he
tried to flatter the lions to join their party : he told them that
such majestic, beautiful creatures ought to be the lords of
all; but the oldest lion said, "Get along, you rascal! I
was once a king myself; and now I and all of us are under
Queen Victoria, I would not disobey her to save my life,
and do you think I would suffer any body to harm her, or
her servants, the keepers ? If I could get at you I would
give you such a box on the ear that you would never be
THE GREAT REBELLION.
able to tempt any one again; and if I hear any thing wrong
going on, I will give such a roar, that it shall awaken every
body in the neighbourhood." The sloth said it was too
much trouble even to listen to the fox. All the elephants
turned their backs upon Reynard, except the baby ele-
phant, who said he should like to help in the row for a
little while, that he might be revenged on the keeper, who
had pricked his trunk with a fork, and said his long nose
was always in the way; but his mother told him he was a
silly child, and did not know what he vwas talking about.
The giraffes thanked the fox for his kindness in wishing
them to be better off, but they were quite satisfied, and
loved their keepers very much. The hippopotamus grunted
out that he had plenty to eat, and that was all he cared
about. The rhinoceros would be very glad to make one
of the rebels, if they would promise to find Mr. Gordon
Cumming for him, into whom he wanted to stick his horn,
to punish him for killing so many of his brothers.
At last, it was agreed that there should be a general
rising in the month of September, because the nights were
then beginning to get long, and yet the weather would be
still warm enough for some of the animals to sleep out, and
others would not be as closely shut up as they would be in
Reynard and Badger made several underground pas-
sages for their companions to run through, and practised
how to withdraw the bolts belonging to the doors of others,
standing on their hind legs to reach those at the top.
At length the important night arrived, and all was
ready: the two young dogs who watched the garden were
THE GREAT REBELLION.
strangled by Reynard; those who had underground pas-
sages quickly came out, the doors were opened, and all
being let loose, helped the bears to unpave their pits, and
carried the bricks to the path by which the keepers and
workmen entered their part of the garden, where they piled
them up into a barricade.
Great was the astonishment the next morning, at six
o'clock, when the men came in, to see this barricade, with
the leopards and tigers on the top, flourishing their tails,
and ready to spring upon them. The bears stood on their
hind legs, holding out their arms, as if to say, Come and be
hugged. The jackals howled; and all the other beasts
were arranged in proper order. Reynard, who had found
a red cap belonging to one of the workmen, put it on his
head, and marched up and down in front of the barricade,
sometimes on two, and sometimes on four legs, occasionally
brandishing one paw, telling his friends to keep firm, and
directing the attack; while the little badger followed at
his heels, looking at him with great admiration.
This is droll," said the men, and made a full stop.
They then retreated, and the rebels thought they were
afraid. The bears lolled out their tongues, the hyaenas
laughed, the leopards crouched down ready to spring, and
smiled conceitedly: but Reynard was anxious, he did not
like the quick retirement of the men, and kept entreating
his friends not to flinch. In about a quarter of an hour
the fight began; the keepers had gone round by another
path, so as to surprise the rebels at the back; the English
bull-dogs, mastiffs, and blood-hounds were let loose upon
them, and a fine old bull, with a famous pair of horns, ran