As you know, pythons are big snakes that squeeze their prey to death before they swallow it. A big python once crawled into a little cottage and killed the baby sleeping there. The baby's father determined to have his revenge. He found the hole where the python lived, and called down: "I know you can only behave as all snakes do. I will forgive you if you come out and say you are sorry." Very carefully, the python put the tip of its nose out of the hole. Immediately, the father swung his axe to kill it, but missed and hit a rock. "I cannot trust you, nor you me," said the python. "We were made to be enemies."
There was once a little gnat who was very pleased with himself. He sat flexing his muscles and telling the other gnats how strong he was. They laughed so much they had to hold their sides to stop it hurting. "I'll show you!" buzzed the little gnat. "I'll make that great lion there beg me to stop fighting him."
At this the other gnats laughed louder than ever. So George flew onto the lion's face and began biting and scratching him all around his nose, where there was no fur for protection. The lion beat his face with his claws to try and stop it, but the more he scratched the worse it got. "Stop little gnat," roared the lion so loudly that all the others could hear him. "I give up. Go away. Leave me in peace."
The little gnat was tremendously pleased with himself. He buzzed away without looking where he was going, and flew straight into a spider's web. "You're not as strong as my web," said the spider, and gobbled him up in a mouthful.
Every day, Minnie the Mole shuffled along behind her mum digging tunnels in the dark, sniffing for worms. It was so-o-o boring. "Mum, why can't I go above ground and have a bit of fun?" she kept on saying. "Because moles live in the dark and can't see anything dear," said mum. "But I can see, I can, I can," wailed Minnie, stamping her paws. That night, Minnie waited till her mum was asleep. Then she crept up the tunnel and stuck her head above the ground. She couldn't see the cat waiting. Next day, her mum had to dig the tunnels all alone.
"Hey, look at him," said Fergus the frog to the others. "What a handsome fellow." The other frogs looked up. "Oh, that's Basil the Beaver," they said. He's just come to live in the lake." "But look how big and strong he is, said Fergus. "I'm going to grow up to look like him. Just you watch."
All day and all night Freddy sat by the lake eating insects, and getting fatter and fatter. "What do you think?" he asked at the end of a week. "Am I as big and strong as Basil the Beaver yet?" "No," said the other frogs, "but you're a bigger chump." Fergus took no notice. He ate and ate and got fatter and fatter until, one day, there was a loud Pop! – and he burst. "What a fool," said the other frogs. Basil the Beaver didn't even notice he'd disappeared.
Denzil wasn't a very clever donkey. He was the kind who always had sill accidents because he wasn't thinking. "Look out," the other donkeys used to cry. "Here comes Denzil – everybody scatter before he knocks something over!" One day, Denzil was crossing a big river with two heavy baskets of salt, one on each side of his back, when he missed his footing and fell into the deep water.
The salt began to melt, and the more he kicked, the lighter his load became until he managed to struggle onto his feet. "Hey, that's a really cool trick," thought Denzil. "I must remember that next time I'm crossing a river." Poor old Denzil!
The next load he had to carry across were two baskets full of his master's clothes. "Watch this everybody," said Denzil as they got to the middle of the river. He stepped into the deepest bit of the water – and disappeared! Nobody told him that clothes get heavier in water. If the other donkeys hadn't stopped laughing long enough to drag him out he might have drowned!
Fred was a farm-worker who found a young eagle caught in a trap. He couldn't bear to see such a beautiful bird in pain, so he released it. A few days later, he was sitting in the shade of an old wall, having bread and cheese for his lunch. Suddenly, with a flapping of wings, the eagle swooped and stole the cap from his head. It flew away just above the ground with Fred rushing after it, shouting, until it dropped his cap. Fred put it back on his head and trudged back to finish his lunch. But what do you think? Exactly where he had been sitting the old wall had collapsed! Each of them had saved the other.
A mother dog was taking a stroll through the woods one day when she passed a lion's den. The lioness was lying outside while her baby cub played round about her. "Well, well" said the dog. "I always thought lions were the greatest of animals. But look at you. You are only able to have one cub at a time." The lioness looked at the dog with pity. Then she lifted one large paw and sent her spinning through the air, head over heels. "That is true," she said as the dog hit the ground head first, "but that one cub is a lion."
In the old days, farmers sometimes encouraged snakes and weasels to live in the barn and kill the mice that ate their corn. But on one farm there was a bad-tempered weasel and a peppery old snake, and instead of killing the mice they kept fighting each other. The mice thought this was wonderful, of course. At first, they just put their heads cautiously out of their holes to watch.
Before long, they began to form a circle around the two fighters and cheer for one side or the other. For a while, the snake and the weasel were so busy scrapping they didn't even notice. One day, however, they stopped for a rest in the middle of a particularly tiring fight. They looked around them and then at each other. "Why are we wasting so much eating time," they asked themselves. "There's enough food here to make us fat and good-tempered." And they set about gobbling up the mice.