The Animal Story Book - online children's book

Edited By Andrew Lang And With Numerous Illustrations By H. J. Ford

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32
COWPER AND HIS HARES
hard as he could towards the window. Puss was, per­haps, the pleasantest of all the hares, but Bess, who died young, was the cleverest and most amusing. He had his little tempers, and when he was not feeling very well, he was glad to be petted and made much of; but no sooner had he recovered than he resented any little attentions, and would growl and run away or even bite if you at­tempted to touch him. It was impossible really to tame Tiney, but there was something so serious and solemn in all he did, that it made you laugh even to watch him.
Bess, the third, was very different from the other two. He did not need taming, for he was tame from the be­ginning, as it never entered into his head that anyone could be unkind to him. In many things he had the same tastes as his friends. All three loved lettuces, dandelions, and oats; and every night little dishes were placed in their bedrooms, in case they might feel hungry. One day their master was clearing out a birdcage while his three hares were sitting by, and he placed on the floor a pot containing some white sand, such as birds use instead of a carpet. The moment they saw the sand, they made a rush for it and ate it up greedily. Cowper took the hint, and always saw, after that, that sand was placed where the hares could get at it.
After supper they all spent the evenings in the parlour, and would tumble over together, and jump over each other's backs, and see which could spring the farthest, just like a set of kittens. But the cleverest of them all was Bess, and he was also the strongest.
Poor Bess! he was the first to die, soon after he was grown up, and Tiney and Puss had to get on as best they could without him, which was not half as much fun. There was no one now to invent queer games, or to keep the cat in order when it tried to take liberties; and no one, too, to prevent Tiney from bullying Puss, as he was rather fond of doing. Tiney lived to be nine, quite a re­spectable age for a hare, and died at last from the effects
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