The Animal Story Book - online children's book

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

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LIONS AND THEIR WAYS
337
the tree aloes in which some steps had been cut by the natives, as the lion bounded into the air. However the man swung himself out of his enemy's range, and the lion fell flat upon the ground. Now the branches of the tree were covered with hundreds of nests of a kind of bird called the Sociable Grosbeak, and it was to get these nests that the natives had cut in the smooth trunk the steps which had proved the salvation of the Hottentot. Behind the shelter of the nests the Hottentot cowered, hoping that when he was no longer seen, the lion would forget him and go in search of other prey. But the lion seemed inclined to do nothing of the sort. For a long while he walked round and round the tree, and when he got tired of that he lay down, resolved to tire the man out. The Hottentot hearing no sound, peeped cautiously out, to see if his foe was still there, and almost tumbled down in terror to meet the eyes of the lion glaring into his. So the two remained all through the night and through the next day, but when sunset came again the lion could bear his dreadful thirst no longer, and trotted off to the nearest spring to drink. Then the Hottentot saw his chance, and leaving his hiding place he ran like lightning to his home, which was only a mile distant. But the lion did not yield without a struggle; and traces were afterwards found of his having returned to the tree, and then scented the man to within three hundred yards of his hut.
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