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

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

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round the hall, Squouncer's tongue never leaving it as long as the tiniest scrap remained to eat. When it was as bare as Mother Hubbard's cupboard, he left it lying where it was, and pushing the retriever (who was taking his dinner in a polite and gentlemanly manner) rudely to one side, he began the same game over again. The re.triever was so astonished at this behaviour that he meekly stood back, and before he had collected his senses, the second plate was as bare as the first. Then Squouncer's master thought it was time to interfere, and took the retriever off to the kitchen, where he might eat his food in peace.
This success was very bad for Squouncer, for it made him despise his new companion, and think he could treat him as he chose. For several days he continued to swallow his own dinner with the same noise and indecent haste, so as to secure the best part of Negro's. He did not even take the trouble to be pleasant to him between whiles, and when one afternoon, after a huge meal, Negro detected him secretly burying some pheasant bones under a tree till he should have recovered sufficient appetite to eat them, the retriever's temper gave way, and he resolved he would stand this sort of thing no longer.
So the following day at two o'clock, when the plates were put out for dinner, and Squouncer's tin plate was heard as usual rattling round the hall, pushed over the tiles by that long, greedy tongue, Negro cocked his ears and made ready for battle. Suddenly the noise ceased, and a second later he was almost thrown down by a violent push as Squouncer advanced to the charge. What occurred next was never clearly known to any one; but a frightful shriek brought every one into the hall, where a black and yellow ball was rolling about wildly. The black half was uppermost, and was hauled off by his master, and then Squouncer's leg was found to be broken. Poor Squouncer ! he never recovered the shock and the shame of that fight. He was so unhappy at the sight of
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