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 weitee in Chambers' Journal, more than twenty years ago, tells an interesting story about a pet kangaroo that he and his sisters had for a playmate. How she came into the family he does not say. Perhaps some sailor uncle or cousin brought her from Australia ; but, at any rate, there she was, and dearly the children loved her.
To begin with, she was so pretty, tall, and slight—she measured quite five feet when standing up—with a small head, large eyes, and soft silky skin. Her tail, which she used both as a wrhip and as a means of expressing her feelings, was long and powerful, and with her two little hands she helped herself at meals in the most delicate and polite manner. And then, how she could jump! The flight of stairs she cleared at a bound, with an ease no boy ever managed to imitate ; and as for the big hall, four skips brought her from one end to the other. The cats, who had been rather pleased with their own leaping performances before Kanny came, treated her coldly, and not very civilly ; when she bounded into the room where they were all comfortably seated on the best chairs, they rose as one cat, and put their tails up and their ears down. Kanny did not understand the language of cats —it was only quite lately she had made the acquaintance of any—and stared at them with wonder, and when the cats found it was no use being rude, they became polite, and at last grew quite fond of Kanny, who never tried to take liberties with them, though she was so big. But to
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