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

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

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294             LION-HUNTING AND LIONS
move away, keeping his head turned over his shoulder. When he had got to a little distance he would break into a trot, and finally, when he thought no one saw him, and he had no character to keep up, he bounded away as fast as he could. Indeed, the missionary positively declares that a man runs a much greater risk in crossing a London street than he is ever likely to do from the king of beasts—unless, of course, he is being hunted.
Besides, no young lion will look at a man as long as he can get any other food. It is only when he is old and loses his teeth that he gives up hunting wild game, and, driven by hunger, ventures down to the villages to catch goats, mice, or any stray man that may happen to be about. The village people know this' so well, that when goats are found missing from the herd they will shake their heads, and say to each other, ' His teeth are worn, he will soon'kill men,' and set about arranging a hunt immediately.
Lions generally attack their prey by leaping on to its flank from behind, though they will sometimes fly at the throat. A friend of Livingstone's tells a story of a sight he saw on the banks of Limpopo river, when on a hunting expedition in the year 1846. He was riding along with another man in seai'ch of game, when a fine water-buck jumped up from the reeds in front. The Englishman dismounted, in order to follow it, and by doing so dis­turbed three large buffaloes, which stood and looked at the strange white thing they had never seen before. A ball in the shoulder of one awoke them from their stupor, and they galloped away, closely pursued by the hunters. Suddenly three huge lions sprang on the back of the wounded buffalo and dragged him to the ground. The two Englishmen crept softly up till they were within thirty yards of the group, when they knelt down and fired from their single-barrelled rifles. One lion turned, seized a small bush between his teeth, and fell dead right on top of the buffalo; another bounded off as fast as he
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