The Animal Story Book - online children's book

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

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368
A STRANGE TIGER1
In the year 1790, a baby tiger only six weeks old, whose skin was most beautifully marked in black and yellow, and whose figure was as perfectly modelled as the figure of any tiger could be, was put on board a large East India Company's ship called the ' Pitt,' to be brought to London as a present to George III. Of course, in those days, no one ever thought of coming through the Red Sea, but all vessels sailed all the way round by the Atlantic, so the voyage naturally took many months, especially if the winds were unfavourable. Under these circumstances it was as well to choose your fellow-passen­gers carefully, as you had to live such a long time with them.
Unlike most of its tribe, the little tiger soon made itself at home on board ship, and as it was too small to do much harm, it was allowed to run about loose and played with anybody who had time for a game. It gen­erally liked to sleep with the sailors in their hammocks, and they would often pretend to use it for a pillow, as it lay at full length on the deck. Partly out of fun, and partly because it was its nature so to do, the tiger would every now and then steal a piece of meat, if it found one handy. One day it was caught red-handed by the carpenter, who took the beef right out of its mouth, and gave it a good beating, but instead of the man getting bitten for his pains, as he might have expected, the tiger
1 Bingley's Animal Biography.
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