The Animal Story Book - online children's book

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

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commit this act of piracy, Cartouche growled; the second time he showed his teeth; the third time he bit.
It must be owned that Cartouche had shown some excuse for his violent behaviour, because he always re­mained chained up, whereas Pyramus was allowed certain hours of liberty; and it was during one of these that he made up his mind to steal the bones from Car­touche, whose chain (he thought) would prevent any attempt at reprisals. Indeed, he even tried to make out to his conscience that probably the bones were not dainty enough for Cartouche, who loved delicate food, whereas anything was good enough for him, Pyramus. However, whether he wanted to eat the bones or not, Cartouche had no intention of letting them be stolen from him, and having managed to drive off Pyramus on the first occa­sion, he determined to get safely hold of the bones before his enemy was unchained again.
Now the chains of each were the same length, four feet, and in addition to that, Pyramus had a bigger head and longer nose than Cartouche, who was much smaller altogether. So it follows that when they were both chained up, Pyramus could stretch farther towards any object that lay at an equal distance between their kennels. Pyramus knew this, and so he counted on always getting the better of Cartouche.
But Cartouche had not been born a fox for nothing, and he watched with a scornful expression the great Pyramus straining at his chain with his eyes nearly jump­ing out of his head with greed and rage. ' Really,' said Cartouche to himself, ' if he goes on like that much longer, I shall have a mad dog for a neighbour before the day is out. Let me see if I can't manage better.' But as we know, being a much smaller animal than Pyramus, his nose did not come nearly so close to the bones; and after one or two efforts to reach the tempting morsel which was lying about six feet from each kennel, he gave it up, and retired to his warm bed, hoping that he might some-
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