Rataplan, a rogue elephant; and other stories eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 168 pages of information about Rataplan, a rogue elephant; and other stories.

As it was, the little cubs had to do the best they could, and soon learned to shift for themselves.

The little captured one—­after he had got over the death of his mother—­grew quite tame, and was taught many tricks.  He was always well treated and well fed, and he grew extremely fond of his master; and there he may be seen to this day, walking and running about that Scandinavian farm, scaring the other animals, thinking a great deal of himself, but always looking just what he is—­a brown bear.


A Senegal forest in Western Africa is an ideal home for a monkey—­a perfect paradise, in fact.

The trees, with their delightful branches, which seem to be just made for monkeys to sit on; the nice, bushy leaves, which form such cosy hiding-places, and the delicious nuts, berries and various kinds of fruit, all combine to make monkey life extremely happy.

In this delightful place, one fine, warm evening, Mona was born.

His mother had prepared her nursery some time before; she had built a nice little hut, where it was warm and dry, under the outgrowing boughs of a tree; had carpeted it with thick, dry leaves and grass, twined and interlaced twigs and branches overhead to keep out the fierce rays of the midday sun and the occasional heavy showers, and had, in fact, made it just as cosy as it was possible for a monkey nursery to be.

So, in one way, Mona’s birth took place under good auspices, and he, being her first-born, more than came up to his mother’s expectations.  In her eyes he was the finest, the strongest and the most beautiful monkey that had ever existed, and although he whimpered all through that night, and squirmed and wrinkled up his already wrinkled little face into the most hideous contortions and grimaces, he was, notwithstanding, an ideal and lovely baby.

His mother forgot all her anxieties and troubles respecting him, and gathered him to her motherly breast with a little guttural cry of joy.

Unlike most of her tribe, Monica, Mona’s mother, was somewhat reserved, and had not, as is usually the case with matronly monkeys, chattered and gossiped about her private affairs.  And, as she clasped her little son to her, with her mother’s heart swelling with love and pride, she thought, with pleasurable anticipation, of the surprise and gossip there would be in the morning when the wonderful event became known.

But Monica understood little of her own species if she thought this great secret was to be kept until the morning; for several neighbors heard that little whimpering cry, and pricked up their sharp little ears, while their little eyes glinted about, and in a very short time their active bodies scrambled down from their various night abodes, and peeped, with true monkey curiosity, into Monica’s hut.

Instantly there was the very greatest excitement.  Most of the newcomers were mothers themselves, and therefore understood all about it, and the way in which a baby monkey should be treated from the very first.  One and all began telling Monica what to do, giving her good advice, and many scoldings for not letting them into the secret.

Project Gutenberg
Rataplan, a rogue elephant; and other stories from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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