386 WOODPECKER TAPPING THE OAK TREE
and he began at once to attack the weak place. He worked so hard that when his master returned he had laid bare the laths, and had bored a hole bigger than his own head, while the bed was strewn with big fragments of plaster. A very little while longer and he would have been free, and what a pity that he was disturbed in his work! But his master was most anxious to keep him a little longer, to observe his ways, so he tied him to the leg of the table, and went off to get him some food. By the time the man came back the mahogany table was lying in bits about the floor, and the woodpecker was looking eagerly round to see what other mischief he could do. He would not eat food of any kind, and died in three days, to the great regret of his captor.