86 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON
Flora, who had come with us, made several jumps, and threw herself furiously into the middle of the bushes; at the same moment a flock of flamingoes sprang out, and mounted into the air. Fritz fired, and two of the birds fell. One of them was quite dead; the other was only slightly wounded in the wing, and ran so fast towards the water that we were afraid he would escape us. Fritz plunged after him, up to his knees in the water; and Flora, coming to his help, caught hold of the flamingo and held him by the wing, though the bird struggled and flapped violently. When he had been dragged out we found some difficulty in securing him, though I tied his feet with my handkerchief, and held him under my left arm.
The boys were delighted to have captured such a fine bird alive, and spoke of being able to tame him.
' He is a bird to be easily tamed,' I said, ' for he is of a tractable though timid disposition.'
' We will catch some little fish for him,' said Ernest, who knew something of the habits of these birds. Then he examined the prize more attentively. ' What long legs he has !' he added. ' Are all flamingoes like this—of such a beautiful red colour, with wings tinted with purple ? I think