The Talking Beasts eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 288 pages of information about The Talking Beasts.
“’Keep quite quiet till I have tied you up properly, and then I’ll give you the simples.”  But presently he dragged the Shark up on to the dry beach, and made butcher’s meat of him.  Just then, however, a Tiger came up, exclaiming, “Here’s really a good meal for Me, for once in a way!” To this, however, the Mouse-deer replied:  “What is the use of eating me, when there’s already plenty of butcher’s meat and to spare?” “Very well, I’ll share it with you,” said the Tiger.  The Mouse-deer replied, “You may share it with me by all means, if you will only go and get some water to do the cooking.”  So the Tiger went off to get water and presently came back with it.

“Wash the meat before you roast it,” said the Mouse-deer.  The Tiger took the meat and washed it in the water.  “Go and fetch fire and roast it,” said the Mouse-deer.  The Tiger fetched fire and came back to do the cooking.  And when the meat was done, “Now go and fetch some drinking water,” said the Mouse-deer, “and we’ll have our meal together.”  So the Tiger went off again to fetch the drinking water.  But the Mouse-deer in the meantime made off with the Shark’s meat and climbed up with it to the top of a She-oak Tree.  And presently the Tiger came back and found both Mouse-deer and meat missing.  At this he exclaimed:  “For once in a way, Mr. Mouse-deer, you’ve fairly cheated Me; if we don’t meet again no matter, but if we do, I’ll be the death of you.”  And here the story ends.

The Tiger Gets His Deserts

A Tiger which had been caught in a trap, seeing a man, begged to be released.  The man said to the Tiger:  “If I let you out of the trap will you promise not to attack me?” “Certainly,” said the Tiger, and the man therefore let the Tiger go; but the moment the Tiger was loose it sprang upon the man and caught him.  At this the man begged the Tiger to wait until he had inquired how the law stood with reference to their contract, and the Tiger agreed to do so.  The man and the Tiger therefore set out together; and on coming to a Road the man said:  “O Road, Road, is it lawful to requite evil for good, or good for good only?” The Road replied:  “I do good to mankind, but they requite me with evil, defiling my surface as they go.”  Then they came to a Tree, of which the man asked the same question.  The Tree replied:  “I do good to mankind, but they requite me with evil, lopping off my branches and cutting me down.”  At last they came to the Mouse-deer and the man made the same inquiry as before.  The Mouse-deer replied:  “I must really go into the question thoroughly before I answer it; let us go back together to the trap.”  On reaching the trap, he requested the Tiger to “Step inside,” and the Tiger entering the trap, the Mouse-deer let down the door of the trap, and exclaimed, “Accursed Brute, you have returned evil for good and now you shall die for it.”  He then called in the neighbours and had the Tiger killed.

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The Talking Beasts from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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