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

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

Home Main Menu Order Support About Search

Share page  

Previous Contents Next

KEES THE BABOON                     219
him to come down. When they reached the tent it was quite plain that he remembered his fault, and expected to be punished; but Le Vaillant was too glad to get his pet back to take any further notice. Besides, what would have been the use ?
In spite of his penitence—or the shame of having been found out—Kees went on stealing as badly as ever. At least every article of food that disappeared—especially eggs—was always said to have been taken by him, and Le Vaillant determined to discover how far the charge was true. So one day he hid himself near where the hen was kept and waited till her loud cackling told all whom it might concern that she had laid an egg. Kees, who had been sitting patiently on a cart, at once jumped down and ran towards the egg, when his master strolled care­lessly towards him. In an instant he stopped, assumed his most innocent air, and balanced himself on his hind legs, as if he had merely come out to see the sun rise. His master pretended not to be aware of the meaning of all this, and turned his back on the bush where the egg lay. Of course the baboon seized it with a bound, and, when Le Vaillant looked round, he was in the very act of swallowing the coveted treasure.
A good whipping followed, but that did not save the eggs, so Le Vaillant hit upon another plan. He shut Kees carefully up for a few mornings, while he trained one of the dogs to find the egg and bring it to him without breaking it. Then Kees was let out and Le Vaillant watched with some curiosity to see what would happen. What did happen was this. As soon as the hen began to cackle both ape and dog ran a race to the nest. Each tried to reach the egg first, and in general it was Kees who was the lucky one. If the dog managed to pick it up he brought it straight to his master and laid it in his hand, Kees all the while following, muttering and making faces at him, though he seemed pleased that the dog did not wish to eat the egg himself. If Kees was the victor
Previous Contents Next