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

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

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when it was seven months old, most likely finding the climate too cold for it. Her appetite was very good, and she was seldom known to refuse anything offered to her; but her favourite food was carrots, parsley, and strawberries. Still, she would accept meat, fish and eggs, which she ate very neatly, and was very fond of wine, particularly of Malaga, sometimes drinking a whole bottle at a sitting. During the voyage this clever little lady would make her own bed as well as any housemaid, first shaking up the hay and then getting it all smooth before arranging the bed clothes.
Another of the tribe which was brought from Borneo about forty years later, seems to have been stronger, and to have had a longer life. His captors did not know any­thing about orang-outangs, and instead of leaving him loose on board the ship, where he would have been per­fectly happy, they cooped him up in a cage. However, like other prisoners, he managed by cunning and per­severance, to break through his bars, and ran joyfully up to the top to the mast-head, but by-and-by hunger brought him down, and he was chained up to a strong stake. But one is not a monkey for nothing, and the knot which fastened the chain to the staple was soon undone, and flinging the chain round his shoulder, and taking the end in his mouth, he was off again to his place of refuge.
At last they decided that he had better be left alone, and then there was no end to the games he had with the sailors. None of them could run up the rigging as far as he, or if by good luck or a trick one of them did catch him up, it was nothing for him to fling himself across to a rope hanging thirty feet away ; and let the sailors shake the rope as hard as they could his wrists never gave way.
Voyages in those days were very slow, and there was plenty of time to play. Besides, the ships often waited some time at the various ports to take in fresh provisions, and how thankful everybody must have been to get on shore
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