The Animal Story Book - online children's book

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

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BATTLE OF MULLETS AND DOLPHINS 235
ere the voice be heard, because it is against them. How-beit, be the wind in what quarter soever, the dolphins resort thither flock-meal, sooner than a man would think, for to assist them in their fishing. And a wondrous pleasant sight it is to behold the squadrons as it were of those dolphins, how quickly they take their places and be arranged in battle array, even against the very mouth of the said pool, where the mullets are to shoot into the sea, to see (I say) how from the sea they oppose themselves and fight against them and drive the mullets (once affrighted and scared) from the deep on the shelves. Then come the fishers and beset them with net and toile, which they bear up and fortify with strong forks; how-beit, for all that, the mullets are so quick and nimble that a number of them whip over, get away, and escape the nets. But the dolphins are ready to receive them; who, contenting themselves for the present to kill only, make foul work and havoc among them, and put off the time of preying and feeding upon, until they have ended the battle and achieved the victory. And now the skirmish is hot, for the dolphins, perceiving also the men at work, are the more eager and courageous in fight, taking pleasure to be enclosed within the nets, and so most valiantly charging upon the mullets; but for fear lest the same should give an occasion unto the enemies and provoke them to retire and fly back between the boats, the nets, and the men there swimming, they glide by so gently and easily that it cannot be seen where they get out. And albeit they take great delight in leaping, and have the cast of it, yet none essayeth to get forth but where the nets lie under them, but no sooner are they out, but presently a man shall see brave pastime between them as they scuffle and skirmish as it were under the ramparts. And so the conflict being ended and all the fishing sport done, the dolphins fall to spoil and eat those which they killed in the first shock and encounter. But after this service performed, the dolphins retire not presently into the deep
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