The red book of animal stories

The red book of animal stories  (1899) 


ANIMAL STORIES


EDITED BY ANDREW LANG.




THE BLUE FAIRY BOOK. With 138 Illustrations.
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LONGMANS, GREEN, & CO., 39 Paternoster Row, London
New York and Bombay.


The lion falls in love with Aissa


THE RED BOOK

OF

Animal Stories


SELECTED AND EDITED

BY

ANDREW LANG


The Odenthos


WITH NUMEROUS ILLUSTRATIONS BY H. J. FORD


LONGMANS, GREEN, AND CO.

39 PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON

NEW YORK AND BOMBAY

1899


All rights reserved


Copyright 1899

BY

Longmans, Green, & Co.





Sybil, the Beasts we bring to you
Are not so friendly, not so odd,
As those that all amazed we view,
The brutes created by your nod—
The Wuss, the Azorkon, and the Pod;
But then our tales are true!


Fauna of fancy, one and all
Obey your happy voice, we know;
A garden zoological
Is all around, where'er you go.
Mellys and Kanks walk to and fro,
And Dids attend your call.


We have but common wolves and bears,
Lion and leopard, hawk and hind,
Tigers, and crocodiles, and hares:
But yet they hope you will be kind,
And mark with sympathetic mind
These moving tales of theirs.


PREFACE


Children who read this book will perhaps ask whether all the stories are true? Now all the stories are not true; at least, we never meet the Phœnix now in any known part of the world. To be sure, there are other creatures, such as the Mastodon and the Pterodactyl, which are not found alive anywhere, but their bones remain, turned into stones or fossils. It is unlikely that they were changed into rocks by a witch, or by Perseus with the Gorgon's Head, in the Greek story. It must have been done in some other way. However, the bones, now stones, show that there were plenty of queer beasts that have died out. Possibly the sight of the stone beasts and birds made people believe, long ago, in such creatures as Dragons, and the water-bulls that haunt the lochs in the Highlands. One of these was seen by a shepherd about eighty years since, and an account of it was sent to Sir Walter Scott. There is also the Bunyip, a strange creature which both white and black men say that they have seen in the lakes of Australia. Then there is the Sea Serpent; many people have seen him alive, but no specimen of a dead Sea Serpent is in any of the museums. About 1,300 years ago, more or less, St. Columba saw a great water-beast, which lived in the river Ness, and roared as it pursued men; but the Saint put an end to its adventures. For my part, I do not disbelieve that there may be plenty of strange animals which scientific men have not yet dissected and named by long names. Some of the last of these may have been remembered and called Dragons. For, if there were never any Dragons, why did all sorts of nations tell stories about them? The Fire Drake, however, also the Ice Beast, or Remora, do seem very unlikely creatures, and perhaps they are only a sort of poetical inventions. The stories about these unscientific animals are told by Mr. H. S. C. Everard, who found them in very curious old books.

The stories about Foxes are by Miss B. Grieve, who is a great friend of Foxes, and takes their side when they are hunted by the Duke of Buccleuch's hounds. I am afraid she would not tell where the Fox was hiding, if she knew (as she sometimes does), just as you would not have told his enemies, if you had known that Charles II. was hiding in the oak tree. Not that it is wrong to hunt foxes, but a person who is not hunting naturally takes the weaker side. And, after all, the fun is to pursue the fox, not to catch him. The same lady wrote about sheep in 'Sheep Farming on the Border."

The stories about 'Tom the Bear' are taken from the French works on natural history by M. Alexandre Dumas. We cannot be sure that every word of them is true, for M. Dumas wrote novels chiefly, which you must read when you are older. One of these novels is about Charles I, and it is certainly not all true, so we cannot believe every word that M. Dumas tells us. He had a great deal of imagination—enough for about thirteen thousand living novelists.

Most of the other tales are written by Mrs. Lang, and are as true as possible; while Miss Lang took the adventures of a Lion Tamer, and 'A Boar Hunt by Moonlight,' out of French and German books. The story of greedy Squouncer, by Mrs. Lang, is true, every word, and I wrote 'The Life and Death of Pincher,' who belonged to a friend of mine.[1] Squouncer's portrait is from a photograph, and does justice to his noble expression.

Miss Blackley also did some of the stories. Most of the tales of 'Thieving Dogs and Horses' were published, about 1819, by Sir Walter Scott, in 'Blackwood's Magazine,' from which they are taken by Mrs. Lang.

I have tried to make it clear that this is not altogether a scientific book; but a great deal of it is more to be depended on than 'A Bad Boy's Book of Beasts,' or Miss Sybil Corbet's books, 'Animal Land,' and 'Sybil's Garden of Pleasant Beasts.'

These are amusing, but it is not true that 'the Garret Lion ate Sybil's mummy.' Indeed, I think that when people, long ago, invented the Fire Drake, and the Ice Beast, they were just like Miss Corbet, when she invented the Kank, the Wuss, and other animals. That is to say, they were children in their minds, though grown up in their bodies. They fancied that they saw creatures which were never created.

If this book has any moral at all, it is to be kind to all sorts and conditions of animals—that will let you. Most girls are ready to do this, but boys used to be apt to be unkind to Cats when I was a boy. There is no reason why an exception should be made as to Cats, and a boy ought to think of this before he throws stones or sets dogs at a cat. Now, in London, we often see the little street boys making friends with every cat they meet, but this is not so common in the country. If anything in this book amuses a boy, let him be kind to poor puss, and protect her, for the sake of his obedient friend,



CONTENTS


  PAGE
The Phœnix 1
Griffins and Unicorns 4
About Ants, Amphisbænas, and Basilisks 12
Dragons 20
The Story of Beowulf, Grendel, and Grendel's Mother 33
The Story of Beowulf and the Fire Drake 43
A Fox Tale 49
An Egyptian Snake Charmer 55
An Adventure of Gérard, the Lion Hunter 61
Pumas and Jaguars in South America 84
Mathurin and Mathurine 98
Joseph: Whose proper name was Josephine 102
The Homes of the Vizcachas 108
Guanacos Living and Dying 112
In the American Desert 117
The Story of Jacko II 128
'Princess' 135
The Lion and the Saint 138
The Further Adventures of ‘Tom', a Bear, in Paris 143
Recollections of a Lion Tamer 154
Sheep Farming on the Border 171
When the World was Young 177
Bats and Vampires 196
The Ugliest Beast in the World 200
The Games of Orang-Outangs, and Kees the Baboon 206
Greyhounds and their Masters 224
The Great Father, and Snakes' Ways 232
Elephant Shooting 238
Hyenas and Children 252
A Fight with a Hippopotamus 257
Kanny, the Kangaroo 261
Collies, or Sheep Dogs 266
Two Big Dogs and a Little One 273
Crocodile Stories 280
Lion-Hunting and Lions 285
On the Trail of a Man-eater 304
Greyhounds and their Arab Masters 310
The Life and Death of Pincher 317
A Boar Hunt by Moonlight 321
Thieving Dogs and Horses 328
To the Memory of Squouncer 339
How Tom the Bear was born a Frenchman 344
Charley 357
Fairy Rings; and the Fairies who make them 364
How the Reindeer Live 370
The Cow and the Crocodile 376


ILLUSTRATIONS


PLATES


The Lion falls in love with Aissa Frontispiece
The Griffin to face p. 4
How the Unicorn was Trapped 9
Finding a Mermaid 16
Victor carried up the Chasm by the Dragon 26
Queen Waltheow and Beowulf 34
Grendel's Mother drags Beowulf to the bottom of the Lake 38
The Death of Beowulf 44
The Lion falls in love with Aissa 62
Aissa’s Father finds her Axe 70
The Lion appears at the top of the Ravine 78
Maldonada guarded by the Puma 88
The Jaguar besieged by Peccaries 92
Joseph’s Breakfast 104
St. Jerome draws out the Thorn 138
Tom frightens the Little Girl 144
Just in time to save Tom 150
Securing a Mammoth 178
Megatheria 184
The Vampire Bat 196
How the Namaquas hunt the Rhinoceros 202
Orang-Outangs eating Oysters on the Sea-shore 208
The Orang determines to throw the rival Monkeys overboard 212
When this Prize was laid at the feet of the Lady, the Giver might ask in return for anything he chose to face p. 224
Baker shooting the Elephants at the Island 240
Hannibal’s Elephants 248
The Lion was in the air close to him 290
The Woodman and the Lions get the best of the Bear 296
The Highwayman’s Horse 334
The Captain had a Strange Dream 346
The Bear instantly rose on its hind legs and began to Dance 352
Then a soft nose touched him 358




IN TEXT


The Phœnix 2
The Odenthos 13
The Demon of Cathay 15
Ragnar does battle with the Serpents 23
De Gozon and his Dogs fight the Dragon 31
The Snake Charmer 57
The Lion said to the Gazelles 'Do not flee' 67
The Lion laughs at the Marabout’s Question 75
Mathurin and Mathurine 99
Spaniards meeting a Caravan of Llamas 113
Watching the Combat 121
The Moccason Snake fascinates the Orioles 123
'Princess and the Invalid' 136
The Lion rescues the Ass from the Caravan 142
I seized him by the scruff of the neck 159
The Lion Tamer offers to wake the (stuffed) Crocodile! 163
Digging the imprisoned Sheep out of the Snow 175
Stegosaurus 189
Pterodactyl 193
Le Vaillant and Fees out limiting 217
The Baboon who looked after the Goats 221
The Snakes found in the Lame Man's Bed 235
Oswell's narrow Escape 245
How the Hippopotamus attacked the Boat 259
The New Arrival 262
Kanny frightens the Carpenters 264
The Faithful Messenger 267
Finding the Necklace 283
The Lion in the Camp 301
Cumming's Cap frightens the Tiger 305
The Elephant tried to gore the Tiger with his Tusks 308
The Summons to the Hunt 313
Vomhammel in Danger 325
A Portrait of Greedy Squouncer 341
Hunting the Bison 367