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

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

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that time cannot heal it; and, as Claudius King of Denmark said to Hamlet on a similar occasion :
.... Your father lost a father ;
That father lost, lost his ; and the survivor hound,
In filial obligation, for some term
To do obsequious sorrow : but to persever
In obstinate condolement, is a course
Of impious stubbornness ; 'tis unmanly grief.
Hamlet refused to listen to this advice ; but, as M. Dumas afterwards said, in telling the story, ' We were wiser than Hamlet. Besides, after all, Joseph was not the father of any of us. If she was anything, she was Goujon's adopted child.'
However, all missed her, and for two or three days she was the subject of all our conversations. Then her name was heard more seldom, and at last it dropped out of our talk altogether. Only Goujon would every now and then lean over the parapet, and call softly for ' Joseph,' and even he seemed to do this now more as a matter of duty, than from the idea that it was of any use.
Things went on in this way for about three weeks, when, early one morning, at the hour when Goujon was in the habit of drinking his cup of tea, I heard cries of joy proceeding from the terrace. I ran to see what had happened, and found Goujon wild with delight at the re­appearance of Joseph (or Josephine as she ought properly to have been called), who was basking in the sun with two tiny little lizards about as long as needles and as thick as quill pens, lying beside her.
She stayed with us till the middle of November, and then vanished as suddenly as before. Nothing was seen of her during the cold days of the winter, but at the beginning of March, when the sun was growing strong again, we noticed one morning a lizard lying on the wall of the balcony, staring hard at us.
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