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

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

Home Main Menu Order Support About Search

Share page  

Previous Contents Next

number will betake themselves to the walls, while others mount to the thatched roofs of the low round huts, and lie quietly down, their eyes open and their ears at full cock, waiting to catch the slightest sound. Sometimes, when the hyaenas and leopards have been particularly fierce, a dog or two will take up positions in the outskirts of the village, to give the first warning of danger. Here and there, early in the evening, a bark or a growl may be heard, but as the darkness deepens these die away and all is still, till suddenly the village is awakened by the sound of a battle. Rarely does a night pass without something of the kind. In a few minutes every dog is gathered at the place where the enemy has come up, and directly he is dead on the ground, they leave him there, and go proudly back to their posts. Only on one occasion is their courage known to fail, and that is When the robber turns out to be a lion. Then the conquerors of leopards and hyaenas tremble with fear, and shrink howling into some safe corner or hide themselves amongst the thorny hedges that surround the village.
Twice in every week the dogs were given a rare treat. Very early on these mornings the sound of a horn was heard, and then what stir there was among them ! From each house three or four came bounding to the place from which the noise proceeded, and in a few minutes after the first blast, fifty or sixty dogs were gathered together. Like eager boys they crowded round the man, jumping up on him or running to and fro with excitement, howling, barking, yelping, snarling, jostling each other to get nearest to the trumpeter, and really behaving as if they had all gone mad. In the midst of all this confusion the young men arrived, bearing in their hands lances and ropes, and sought out their own dogs from the throng. From five to six were led by each man, and hard work it was to get the restless creatures leashed together, jumping and barking all the while with joy ! At last all was ready and the hunting procession moved out of
Previous Contents Next