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

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

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208 THE GAMES OF ORANG-OUTANGS
again! The first place that this particular ship put into on its way home was Java, where the orang-outang took up its quarters in a huge tamarind tree. There he at once proceeded to make a comfortable nest for himself by plaiting twigs together, and then twisted in leaves to make it soft. Here he would sit all day long, with his head just peeping out, and if any one passed by with fruit in his hands our friend always went down at once to beg for a bit. At sunset, which comes at six o'clock on the Equator, he punctually went to his own quarters, and at six next morning, when the sun rose, he knocked at the door of his master's hut to ask for breakfast.
Being accustomed to sleep on top of a tree, the moment he was left to himself on board ship he looked about for a place high enough to please him, and of course nothing short of the mast-head would do. Having decided on his bedroom, the next thing was a bedstead and coverings, and for this purpose he got hold of a sail, which he was very careful to spread perfectly smooth, and in this sort of hammock he lay down, drawing the upper part of the sail over his body. Sometimes it hap­pened that all the sails were in use, and then the clever creature would either take the blankets from one of the sailor's hammocks or steal one of their jackets. When the ship got as far south as the Cape of Good Hope the poor thing began to feel very cold, and when he woke in the morning would fling himself shivering into the arms of the sailors, and stay there till he got warm again.
It seems odd to find a monkey drinking tea and coffee, and indeed preferring them to any kind of liquid; but during the voyage, if he could get hold of them, he would take nothing else. This taste, however, died away as soon as he came on shore, for in London he showed a decided liking for beer and milk, though, at a pinch, he would accept wine, or even brandy.
All the long months at sea his master amused himself
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