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

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

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296             LION-HUNTING AND LIONS
lion's rage, climbed up into a tree, and there sat as in a sure castle of defence. At length the lion and the lioness returned both home, and finding their little ones dead in their own blood, according to natural affection fell both exceeding sorrowful, to see them so slaughtered whom they both loved. But smelling out by the foot the murderer, followed with rage up and down until they came to the tree whereinto the bear was ascended, and seeing her, looked both of them gastly upon her, often­times assaying to get into the tree, but all in vain, for nature which adorned them with singular strength and nimbleness, yet had not endued them with power of climbing, so that the tree hindered their revenge, gave unto them further occasion of mourning, and unto the bear to rejoice at his own cruelty, and deride their sorrow. ' Then,' continues Topsel, who writes in very long sentences, ' the male forsook the female, leaving her to watch the tree, and he like a mournful father for the loss of his children, wandered up and down the mountain, making great moan and sorrow, till at the last he saw a carpenter hewing wood, who, seeing the lion coming towards him, let his axe fall for fear. But the lion came very lovingly towards him, fawning quietly upon his breast with his forefeet, and licking his face with his tongue; which gentleness of the lion the man perceiving, he was much astonished, and being more and more embraced and fawned on by the lion, he followed him, leaving his axe behind him which he had let fall, which the lion perceiving went back, and made signs with his foot to the carpenter that he should take it up. But the lion perceiving that the man did not understand his signs, he brought it himself in his mouth, and delivered it unto him, and so led him into the cave where the young whelps lay all imbrued in their own blood, and then led him where the lioness did watch the bear. She, therefore, seeing them both coming, as one that knew her husband's purpose, did signify unto the man that he should consider
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