The Red Book Of Animal Stories - online children's book

Stories of Animals, Fantastic and Mundane, Edited By Andrew Lang

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to observe accurately, and indeed was nearly fainting; but when he recovered, he found in a meadow a mass of what appeared to be solid blood. Enclosed in this was a stone of many colours; this stone turned out to be of priceless value, for it was a certain cure for every disease under the sun ; and more especially for such as were caused by poison or bad air of any kind; it was still in Lucerne at the time the author wrote.
Another man of that city, called Victor, saw a still stranger thing on Mount Pilatus. He was a cooper by trade, and one day, when out looking for wood wherewith to make his casks, he lost his way in the recesses of these Alpine rocks and forests. All day long he wandered about, until, at twilight, as he was just about to lie down and rest, he fell into a deep chasm which, owing to the failing light, he had not noticed. Fortunately he fell into some soft mud at the bottom, but though he broke no bones, he fainted. When he recovered, and began to look round, he discovered that there were absolutely no means of escape. The hole was as deep as a well, with steep sides which could not be scaled. Stretching along the whole length of this cavern, and on either side, were other tunnel-like openings, a succession of smaller caves; into one of which he was about to enter when, lo ! two dragons came forth from it, and he supposed that his last hour was at hand. The creatures, however, offered him no violence ; they were inquisitive, it is true, wondering, no doubt, what sort of new companion this was, who had found his way into their dwelling ; but all they did was to rub themselves against the man's body, caressing him, as it were, with their long necks and with their tails, just like a purring cat. For six months Victor lived in this underground cavern. ' But what did he live on ? ' you may ask, with Alice, when the Dormouse told his story of Elsie, Lacie, and Tillie in the well. These three sisters, you may remember, lived upon treacle, which was sweet, if unwholesome ; but the Lucerne man's diet was
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