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Animal Stories - Page 11

Tit for tat | A long-suffering bull | The wicked fox gets a nasty shock | How the eagle lost his song |
The tortoise and the hare | The end of a comfortable life | How to win friends | Some clever mice |
Be careful who you make friends with! | Doctor Claudia | Nobody told the cook | Pigeons make a tasty meal

Tit for tat

Tit for tatMrs Eagle and Mrs Fox became quite good friends. Every time they saw each other they stopped for a chat. One day Mrs Eagle flew over Mrs Fox's den while she was out and saw her newly-born cubs. She couldn't resist such a good meal, and gobbled them up. Mrs Fox was furious. She was determined to have revenge, but the eagle's nest was high up in the tree. One day some humans had a picnic under the tree. They roasted some meat over a fire. Mrs Eagle swooped down to steal some, but the heat set her nest ablaze, her chicks fell out and Mrs Fox swallowed them all.

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A long-suffering bull

A long-suffering bullA big, strong bull was trotting through the forest when a lion sprang out with a roar and began chasing him. Just as the lion was catching up with him, he saw a cave with a narrow entrance and squeezed inside to escape. But the cave was the home of some wild goats, who were in the middle of supper and not at all pleased to see the bull. They began butting him with their horns.

"Ow!" yelled the bull. "Please don't think – ouch! – I've broken into your home because I'm bad-mannered - oof! Please don't do that – or that I'm afraid of you – yow! It's just that there's something outside that really does frighten me."

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The wicked fox gets a nasty shock

Danny the dog and Roger the rooster lived in the same farmyard and became the best of friends. The wicked fox gets a nasty shockThey decided to go on holiday together. Roger wrapped some seeds in a leaf and tucked them under his wing, Danny took some bones, and off they set. That night, Roger perched in a tree to see the sun rising and be ready to crow. Danny, who killed a good night's sleep, found a comfy bed at the foot of the tree. At dawn, Roger started crowing loudly to wake everyone up. Danny was turning over to go back to sleep when he heard a voice.

It was a wicked fox, whose mouth was watering as he looked up at the rooster and thought of breakfast. "What a fine voice," he said.

"Please come down so I can hear you better." "You'll have to ask my friend," said Roger, pointing a wing at the dog. With a growl, Danny leapt out and killed the fox.

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How the eagle lost his song

eagleOnce upon a time, they say, eagles had the most beautiful singing voices to go with their beautiful feathers. Then they heard the horses neighing in the fields. "That's an interesting noise," they said to each other.

"We should learn to make a sound like that." So they began to practice it. But the more they tried, the louder and uglier their squawking became. "It's no good," they said at last. "We'll have to go back to singing like we used to." They looked at each other. "How did our old songs go?" But nobody could remember them, and all they were left with was the horrible noise they make today.

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The tortoise and the hare

Every night, Horace the Hare cleaned his teeth and looked in the mirror thinking how fine he looked. The tortoise and the hareSo good-looking! So fast and quick! "You're no use," he said to Thomas the Tortoise next morning as he slept in the sun. "It would take you all day to reach the top of that hill." "I'd get there before you if I really tried," said Thomas. Horace laughed loudly. "I'd give you a week's supply of leaves if you can." "Right," said Thomas, and plodded off, very slowly. "Silly old tortoise," said Horace as he skipped past him, and slid under the stile. After a while, Horace stopped to nibble some grass. While he climbed the hill he kept stopping to admire the view. All the time, Thomas plodded slowly on. Horace couldn't see him anywhere as he got near the top, so he lay down for a little sleep. Then he woke up, and skipped on to the top – and who should be sitting there waiting for him but Thomas. I've never seen a tortoise grinning, but Thomas was!

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The end of a comfortable life

The end of a comfortable lifeThe local bird-catcher was sitting in front of the fire one evening when there was a knock on the door. It was an old friend, who he hadn't seen for ages. "Come in," he cried, overjoyed to see him. "You must be hungry." But then he remembered he hadn't any food in the house good enough to give an old friend. So he seized the plump partridge he kept for attracting wild birds to his garden so he could catch them. "Don't kill me," begged the partridge. "Think of all the birds I've helped you catch." "Ah. Yes." Said the bird-catcher, "you've had a long and comfortable life through betraying other birds. Now you must pay the price."

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How to win friends

How to win friendsA man once brought a beautiful parrot in the market and allowed it to go anywhere it wanted in the house. It loved to sit on the back of a chair by the fire and talk loudly, whether anyone was there or not. The man's cat became very jealous of its master's new pet. "It's not fair that you're allowed to sit there making such a racket. I was born in this house, but whenever I go miaow I'm throw out of the room." The parrot put its head on one side. "If I were you, I'd go and live outside. I give them pleasure with my fine voice, but you just annoy them."

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Some clever mice

Claudia was a very greedy cat. She ate almost anything, but nice fat mice were her favourite things. Some clever miceThere were lots of them in her master's house, and every day she caught one for breakfast, another one for lunch and a third one for supper before she went to bed. After a while the mice became very frightened, and refused to come out of their holes. They sat inside them with only their eyes showing, watching to see if the cat was around.

Claudia began to get hungry, so at last she thought of a trick. She fell down where the mice could see her, gave a little miaow and lay still, pretending to be dead. But nothing happened! After a while, Claudia said in a whisper: "I'm dead. You can come out now." But the mice called back: "We're not as stupid as you. We can tell the difference between a live cat and a dead one."

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Be careful who you make friends with!

Donkeys are rather like people – there are many different kinds. Be careful who you make friends with!Some are hard workers, some are lazy, some get worried by little things and other don't seem to care about anything. Josh the farmer had many donkeys to work on his farm, but he needed another one. When his neighbor asked him if he wanted to buy one of his, Josh said "maybe." He said he'd keep it for a day, and then say if he wanted it. His neighbor agreed, so Josh took the donkey home and put it in the barn with the rest. Then he waited and watched.

The new donkey went round all the others in turn. Then it settled down at the far end of the barn with the laziest of all the donkeys, and went to sleep. Next morning, Josh led it back to his neighbour's house. "He'll be no use to me," he said. "I can tell from the friends he keeps."

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Doctor Claudia

Claudia got thinner and thinner because the mice in her own house wouldn't come out to be caught. Doctor ClaudiaSo she was very excited when she heard that the chickens on the nearby farm were sick. She found a doctor's bag and went to the farm pretending she could make the hens better.

She knocked on the door of the chicken-house. "I'm Doctor Claudia," she said in a gruff voice. "I've come to make you better. Open the door and let me in."

She heard some high-pitched laughter inside. "All we need to make us feel better, Doctor Cat," said one of the hens, "is to know you've gone back to your own house."

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Nobody told the cook

Nobody told the cookFanny the farm dog was friends with Collie, the dog that lived on the next farm. When she heard that her master was having his friends for dinner that night she invited Collie to come and share the left-overs with her. Collie ate nothing all day to leave plenty of room. When he got there he stood in the kitchen, waging his tail with pleasure. But the cook didn't like dogs in his kitchen, so what do you think he did? He picked Collie up and threw him out of the window!

Poor Collie ran home with his tail between his legs feeling very hungry – and Fanny felt ashamed.

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Pigeons make a tasty meal

Ten plump pigeons flew off to have an adventure. Pigeons make a tasty mealThe first night they stopped to sleep in a farmer's barn, but the farmer shot two for supper, and then there were eight. Next morning, eight plump pigeons flew on and passed over a city. 'That looks safer,' they said to each other and decided to stay the night. But while everyone was asleep, the street cats came and killed four more pigeons, so that left four.

Next day the four plump pigeons, who weren't enjoying their adventure as much as they had expected, decided to make for desert. "Nothing much lives in a desert," they said, "so we'll be safe there." They didn't see the desert fox hiding in the sand dunes, licking its lips. Next morning, only one plump pigeon was left. He had discovered that pigeons are not the only hungry creatures.

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