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

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

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He had not long to wait. The bear, a huge animal, followed exactly in his footsteps and marched straight upon him.
The situation was unpleasant, for the Captain's only weapon was his stick, and when the bear arrived within two paces of him, the Captain raised it. The bear in­stantly rose on his hind legs and began to dance !
It was a tame bear, which had broken loose and escaped.
Captain Pamphile, reassured by his enemy's deport­ment, now noticed that he was muzzled, and that part of the broken chain still hung at his neck.
He at once saw all the advantages to be derived from such companionship, so, seizing the end of the chain, he resumed his journey, leading the bear like a dog.
Towards evening, as they were crossing a great field, he noticed that the bear tried to stop near certain plants, which were unknown to him. Thinking there must be some special reason for this, he made a halt the next time it happened. The bear began to claw the ground and grubbed up a number of tubers or roots. Pamphile tasted one, and found it excellent, with a flavour reminding him of truffles. This was a valuable discovery, so he let the bear continue his hunt, and in an hour they had collected an ample supper for man and beast.
Then the Captain took note of a tree standing by itself, and having carefully examined it without discover­ing the trace of any reptile, he tied his bear to the trunk, used his back as a stepping-stone to the branches, and soon made himself a bed, where he slept soundly all night.
Next morning he woke refreshed and saw the bear sleeping quietly below. He climbed down and roused him, and both marched on so briskly that they reached Philadelphia by eleven o'clock that night.
Here a fresh difficulty arose. No innkeeper cared to house a savage bear at such a late hour. One after
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