The Animal Story Book - online children's book

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

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Under these conditions, it takes a long time even for monkeys to reach their destination, which is generally a corn-field, but, once there, scouts are sent out to every rock or rising ground, so as to guard against any surprise. Then the whole tribe fall to, and after filling their cheek pouches with ears of corn, they make up bundles to tuck under their arms. After the long march and the hasty picking, they begin to get thirsty as well as hungry, and the next thing is to find some water. This is very soon done, as they seem able to detect it under the sand, how­ever deep down it may be, and by dint of taking regular turns at digging, it does not take long before they have laid bare a well that is large enough for everybody:
Monkeys love by nature to imitate what they see, and have been known to smoke a pipe, and to pretend to read a book that they have seen other people reading. But sometimes they can do a great deal more than this, and show that they can calculate and reason better than many men. A large Abyssinian monkey was one day being taken round Khartoum by its master, and made to perform all sorts of tricks for the amusement of the bystanders. Among these was a date-seller, who was squatting on the ground beside his fruit. Now the monkey was passionately fond of dates, but being very cunning was careful not to let this appear, and went on performing his tricks as usual, drawing little by little nearer to the date basket as he did so. When he thought he was near enough for his purpose, he first pretended to die, slowly and naturally, and then, after lying for a moment on the sand as stiff as a corpse, suddenly bounded up with a scream straight in front of the date-seller's face, and stared at him with his wild eyes. The man looked back at him spell-bound, quite unaware that one of the monkey's hind feet was in the date basket, clawing up as much fruit as its long toes could hold. By some such trick as this the monkey managed to steal enough food daily to keep him fat and comfortable.
No cleverer monkey ever lived than the ugly old Sally,
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