The Animal Story Book - online children's book

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

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164                  STORIES ABOUT WOLVES
called out to destroy them. In such times a wolf in broad daylight will steal up to a flock of sheep peacefully feeding, seize on a fine fat one, and make away with it, unseen and unsuspected even by the watchful sheep dog. Should a first attempt prove successful, he will return again and again, till, finding he can no longer rob that flock unmolested, he will look out for another one still un­suspicious. If he once gets inside a sheep-fold at night, he massacres and mangles right and left. When he has slain to his heart's content, he goes off with a victim and devours it, then comes back for a second, a third, and a fourth carcase, which he carries away to hide under a heap of branches or dead leaves. When dawn breaks, he returns gorged with food to his lair, leaving the ground strewn with the bodies of the slain. The wolf even contrives to get the better of his natural enemy, the dog, using stratagem and cleverness in the place of strength. If he spies a gawky long-legged puppy swag­gering about his own farmyard, he will come closer and entice him out to play by means of every sort of caper and gambol. When the young simpleton has been induced to come out beyond the farmyard, the wolf, throwing off his disguise of amiable playfulness, falls upon the dog and carries him away to make a meal of. In the case of a dog stronger and more capable of making resistance the stratagem requires two wolves; one appears to the dog in its true character of wolf, and then disappears into an ambush, where the other lies hidden. The dog, follow­ing its natural instinct, pursues the wolf into the ambush, where the two conspirators soon make an end of it.
So numerous have wolves always been in the rural districts of France, that from the earliest times there has been an institution called the Louveterie, for their exter­mination. Since the French Revolution this has been very much modified, but there is still a reward of so much per head for every wolf killed. Under ordinary circum­stances the wolf will not only not attack man, but will
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