The Animal Story Book - online children's book

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

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333
LIONS AND THEIR WAYS1
Although it would not be safe to put one's self into the power of a lion, trusting to its generosity to make friends, there are a great many stories of the kindness of lions to other creatures which are perfectly true. One day, more than a hundred years ago, a lion cub only three months old was caught in one of the great forests near the river Senegal, and brought to a Frenchman as a gift. The Frenchman, who was fond of animals, undertook to train it, and as the cub was very gentle and quiet this was easily done. He soon grew very fond of his master, and enjoyed being petted both by him and his friends, and what was more strange in a beast whose forefathers had passed all their lives in solitude, the lion hated being by himself. The more the merrier was clearly his motto, and whether the company consisted of dogs, cats, ducks, sheep, geese, or monkeys (which were his bedfellows), or men and women, did not matter to him; and you may imagine his joy, when one night as he went to bed he found two little new­born pups in his straw. He was quite as pleased as if he had been their mother; indeed he would hardly let the mother go near them, and when one of them died, he showed his grief in every possible way, and became still more attached to its brother.
After six months the lion, now more than a year old, was sent off to France, still with the little pup for com­pany. At first his keepers thought that the strangeness of everything would make him frightened and savage,
1 Bingley's Animal Biography.
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