The Animal Story Book - online children's book

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

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FIRE-EATING DJIJAM                    263
singed off his moustaches. Perhaps the oddest of his fiery tricks was performed one day when he wished the cook to hand him some dainty morsel on which she chanced to be operating. This was against the rules, as he well knew, so she declined to accept the hint. Djijam was at once provoked to anger and cast round for some way of obtaining compensation, at the same time hoping, perhaps, to retaliate. He naturally went for the kitchen fire, out of which he drew a red-hot cinder and carried it in his mouth across the kitchen, through a small lobby into the scullery, to his box-bed, into the straw of which he must have speedily dropped the live coal, and jumped in after it. Soon after, the cook smelt wood burning and searched the lower part of the house lest anything were afire. Finding nothing wrong, she last of all visited the scullery, and found Djijam enjoying the warmth of his smouldering straw bed and wooden box.
Alas, Djijam grew snappish even to his best friends, and although it was suggested that he might be found an engagement on the Variety stage of the Westminster Aquarium, as a fire-eating hound, it was reluctantly de­cided that he should go the way of all flesh. I am sure if he had been asked, he would in some way have indicated that he preferred cremation to any other mode of disposal. But it was not to be, yet it was a melancholy satisfaction to learn that his end was peaceful though common­place.
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