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

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

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trodden down by a herd of buffaloes, and, trembling with fatigue and fear, Charley staggered out, and lay down in the soft grass to be dried by the sun.
When the two travellers reached the Osage river they found it so swollen by the heavy rains that it had spread to a width of sixty or eighty yards, and had a fierce and rapid current that swept everything before it. Catlin at once unloaded Charley and tied him safely up to feed, while he wandered along the banks for some distance collecting all the wood that had been carried down by the stream and had stuck along the edge. With this he made a small raft, and on the raft he lashed his skins, his guns, his portmanteau, and even the clothes he had on. This done, Charley was driven into the river, and left to cross by himself, which he managed very well, in spite of the current, and soon might be seen enjoying his dinner on the opposite shore. Then his master plunged in after him, and pushing the raft in front, landed it safely about half a mile below. This sounds easy enough in the telling, but any one who has ever watched a river in flood, and knows the great trees and big animals that it hurries along, will understand how many things Catlin had to dodge in that short distance, and how glad he must have felt to be on Charley's back again.
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