This awakened the lion and made him very angry.
He put his paw over the mouse and said, “What do you mean by waking me? You shall pay for this,” and he opened his big mouth to swallow the mouse.
“Oh, do not kill me, Mr. Lion!” squealed the mouse. “I did not mean to waken you. Do let me go and I will never trouble you again.”
“No, I will not let you go,” roared the lion.
“Please do,” cried the frightened mouse. “If you will let me go perhaps I can do something for you sometime.”
This made the lion laugh. “You do something for me,” he said. “What a joke! Well, you are such a little fellow that I will let you go this time, but never let me see you about here again,” and he lifted his paw.
As the little mouse scampered off, he said, “Thank you, kind lion, I shall not forget your kindness.”
Some time after this the lion was caught in a trap. The hunters tied him to a tree while they went to get a wagon to carry him away.
The lion roared so loud that the ground shook. The little mouse heard him.
“That lion is in trouble,” he said. “I will see what I can do to help him,” and he ran to the lion.
When the mouse saw that the lion was tied with ropes, he said, “Cheer up, Mr. Lion. Be quiet and I will set you free,” and he began gnawing the ropes.
He worked long and hard and at last the lion was free.
An ant went to the river to get a drink. The water rushed along so fast that he was washed off the bank into the river.
“I shall drown!” he cried. “Help! help! help!” but his voice was so tiny that it could not be heard.
A dove was sitting in a tree that overhung the water. She saw the ant struggling, and quickly nipped off a leaf and let it fall into the water. The ant climbed upon it and floated down the river until the leaf was washed upon the bank of the stream.
The ant called out in its tiny voice, “Thank you, kind dove, you have saved my life;” but of course the dove could not hear him.
Several days after this, the dove was again sitting in a tree. A hunter crept carefully up to the tree. His gun was pointed at the dove and he was about to shoot, when he was bitten in the leg by an ant.
He cried out with pain and dropped his gun. This frightened the dove and she flew away.
“Thank you, kind ant,” cooed the dove, and the ant heard and was glad.
There was once a very queer family living in the woods. There were four in all—a rat, a raven, a tortoise, and a gazelle.
All day the animals were away from home hunting food.
The rat caught beetles which had hidden under leaves. He visited fields and barns Now and then he went to a henhouse.