The Red Book Of Animal Stories - online children's book

Stories of Animals, Fantastic and Mundane, Edited By Andrew Lang

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117
IN THE AMERICAN DESERT
Children who are lucky enough to have read Captain Mayne Eeid's charming tales, will remember all sorts of exciting stories of animals ; but as so many of the old books have fallen out of fashion, we will give a couple of adventures taken from the ' Desert Home,' and no child who has once looked at these will be content without getting hold of the original volume.
The ' Home ' was in the great American desert, which spreads over a large tract of country in the west of Texas and the east of New Mexico, nearly to the foot of the Eocky Mountains. People who live in such places must expect strange sights and sounds, and the battle of the snakes, which the settlers one day witnessed, was the sort of thing one might see at any moment.
Eobert Eolfe, his wife and family had gone out West, to find a place where they might build a cabin, and live a happy and peaceable life. All sorts of things had to be thought of before a suitable spot was fixed on, but at last a log cabin was put up, and everyone began to hope that, by the time the winter came, the house would be snug and comfortable.
One day they all started for one of the salt springs which are to be found in such numbers through this region, and took a huge kettle with them, to boil down the salt before they carried it home. They had just finished dinner, and were sitting over the fire, when they heard a blue-jay screaming from a tree near by, and
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