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

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

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HOW THE REINDEER LIVE            373
of a fire. Pood and water are not always to be had either, and sometimes, in the end, he becomes almost as much a wild animal as the reindeer themselves. When he eats, he eats strange things; as for washing, he never thinks about that at all. His sole companion is his dog, with whom he shares whatever he has; but all his hard­ships seem light, for are they not suffered for his beloved herd?
In Norway and Lapland great herds of reindeer may be seen, during the summer, wandering along the banks of rivers, or making for the mountains, returning with the approach of winter to their old quarters. With the first snow-fall they are safe under shelter, for this is the time when wolves are most to be feared. In the spring they are let loose again, and are driven carefully to some spot which is freer from midges than the rest. And so life goes on from year to year.
Eeindeer herding is by no means so easy as it looks, and it would be quite impossible, even to a Lapp, if it were not for the help of dogs, who are part of the family. They are small creatures, hardly so big as a Spitz, and very thin, with close compact hair all over their bodies. These dogs are very obedient, and understand every movement of their master's eyelid. They will not only keep the herd together on land, but follow them into a river, or across an arm of the sea. It is they who rescue the weaklings in danger of drowning, after their winter's fast, and in the autumn, when the reindeer have grown strong from good living, drive the herd back again through the bay.
A herd of reindeer on the march is a beautiful sight to see. They go quickly along, faster than any other domestic animal, and are kept together by the herdsman and his dogs, who are untiring in their efforts to bring up stragglers.
When a good stretch of pasture is found, the Lapps build a fold, into which the reindeer are driven every
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