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

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

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In his ' Pioneering in South Brazil,' Mr. Bigg-Wither tells a curious story of a fight between a jaguar and a herd of wild pigs, witnessed by some friends of his who were exploring the country. One evening the two men had come in very tired after a long day's work, during which they had eaten nothing but fruit and honey, and set up their camp in a belt of forest between two rivers. They were sitting round their fire feeling very hungry and longing for a good meal, when suddenly a great noise of grunting and squeaking close by betrayed the presence of pigs, and the men seized their guns and pricked up their ears, thinking that here at last was their chance of a dinner.
Going cautiously in the direction of the sound, they came upon a clearing. In the midst of the clearing was an anthill, about five feet high, and on the top of the anthill stood a large jaguar. Bound the foot of the anthill were a herd of fifty or sixty wild pigs, grunting, squeaking, and bustling noisily about, but not knowing how to get at the jaguar, who stood balancing himself uneasily on the crest of the anthill, with his four feet well together, and his tail high in the air, out of harm's way.
But it was plain to the two men who were watching that this state of things could not last long, and, indeed, very soon, either from forgetfulness or from laziness, the jaguar allowed his tail to drop a little. In an instant it was seized by a smart young pig, and the jaguar dragged right down among his enemies, who closed in a dense mass round him. In spite of the immense odds against him, the animal fought well and pluckily. Two or three times he actually struggled to his feet, and struck out fiercely with his paws; but the battle was against him, and little by little the noise began to cease.
Then the pigs slowly dispersed, and sauntered off by ones and twos and threes, some in this direction and some in that. When they were all out of sight the men came out from behind their tree, and walked quickly to the battle-
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