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

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

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and great was his relief to see that naughty animal having breakfast at the edge of the stream, looking as if no idea of running away had ever occurred to him ! But he was still inclined for a game, for when his master, after a hasty meal of coffee and biscuit, came down to the stream to catch him, Charley danced about a little more, taking care just to keep out of reach.
At last Catlin thought he would try what a trick would do, and flinging the skins round his own body, and the saddle over his back, he began to walk away. For a quarter of a mile he tramped on steadily without once looking round, then he took a hasty glance over his shoulder. Charley was standing quite still near the fire, which was still burning, watching his master. Suddenly he went straight up to the place where Catlin had slept, and finding nothing there, threw up his head and neighed loudly. In another moment something rushed wildly past Catlin, who was walking steadily on, and, wheeling sharply round, stood trembling before him.
Catlin took care not to do anything which might startle the penitent, and called him gently by his name. But Charley had had a fright, too, and had no longer any wish to play with his master. So when Catlin drew near him with the bridle in his hand, he actually bent his head to receive it, and remained perfectly quiet while the saddle was being fastened on his back.
All through that day they journeyed on over the prairie, with its endless waves of flowery grass, and late in the afternoon arrived at a beautiful little valley, where Catlin determined to pass the night—and this time he determined he would run no risks with Charley. A clear stream ran through a smooth lawn, and in the stream were fish, and on it was a brood of fine young ducks. Large trees were dotted over the smooth grass, and between the wild plum and cherry trees laden with fruit hung vines bearing clusters of purple grapes. Underneath, the ground was bright with sunflowers and sweet with lilies and violets.
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