The Animal Story Book - online children's book

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

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242
MONKEY STORIES
them. When people try to catch them, they let their pursuers come so near that they think they have them, and then they bound away ten paces at once, and look down defiantly from the tree-top as much as to say, ' Don't you wish you may get me ? ' One baboon had so wearied his pursuers by his antics that they pointed a gun at him, though with no intention of firing. He had evidently seen a gun before, and knew its consequences, and was so frightened at the bare idea, that he fell down senseless and was easily captured. When he came to himself again he struggled so fiercely that they had to tie his paws together, and then he bit so that they had to tie his jaws up.
Baboons are great thieves, and come down from the mountains in great bodies to plunder gardens. They cram as much fruit as they possibly can into their cheek pouches to take away and eat afterwards at their leisure. They always set a sentinel to give the alarm. When he sees anyone coming, he gives a yell that lasts a minute, and then the whole troop sets off helter-skelter.
They will rob anyone they come upon alone in the most impudent way. They come softly up behind, snatch away anything they can lay their hands on, and then run off a little way and sit down. Very often it is the poor man's dinner that they devour before his eyes. Some­times they will hold it out in their hands and pretend they are going to give it back, in such a comic way that I would defy you not to laugh, though it were your own dinner that had been snatched away and then offered to you.
Monkeys live in the tree-tops of the forests of India and South Africa, where they keep up a constant chattering and gambolling, all night as well as all day, playing games and swinging by their tails from tree to tree. One kind, the four-fingered monkey, can pass from one high tree-top to another, too far even for a monkey to jump, by making themselves into a chain, joined to each other by their tails.
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