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

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

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a couple of English dogs—bull-dogs, in all probability. He now taught his servants how to make the tow dragon imitate the movements of the real dragon ; that is to say, they snapped its jaws, and made it lash its tail about and flap its wings ; all this they did by means of ropes. Next he mounted his horse and brought his dogs into action, setting them at the sham dragon, and exciting them with cries, until their rage knew no bounds; hardly did they set eyes upon it, w7hen they flew at it to tear it in pieces. These exercises went on for the space of two months, at the end of which De Gozon, consider­ing his men and dogs sufficiently well drilled, returned to the city. Arrived there he lost no time in carrying out his project; arming himself with breastplate, lance and sword, he went to the church of St. Stephen, which was near the monster's den, and prayed, devout knight as he was, that his enterprise might be crowned with success. He then gave particular instructions to his servants as to what they were to do : they were to watch the battle from a lofty rock, and if the creature won, they were to escape as best they could ; but if he slew the dragon, they were to hasten to his aid, for it was only too likely that even victory would cost him dear, and that he would stand sadly in need of such remedies as they could bring.
All was now ready; so the Knight, entering the cave, began to screech and yell lustily in order to wake up the dragon and annoy it; then, rushing out himself, he mounted his charger, and awaited the attack on a piece of level ground. He did not have long to wait; scarcely was he mounted when the sound of the well-known hissing was heard, and the clattering of the huge plate­like scales warned him that me monster was after him in full cry—and, indeed, as it came at him, partly running, partly flying, the creature itself thought it saw in the bold Knight an opportunity not lightly to be missed ; for all was grist that came to its mill—flocks, herds, horses, and
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