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gave a great jump sideways, and lay down flat | among the long grass. The dogs did not notice what she had done, and went on after my father.
"He knew that he could run faster than the dogs, and wanted to draw them as far as possible from my mother and me, and also to get out of reach of the white man.
"Then he made for a large piece of shallow water of which he knew. There were some big trees near the water, and when he had reached the trees, my father stood upright with his back against one of them, so that the dogs could not attack him from behind. He was nearly eight feet high when standing up, so you see what a fine Booner he
"As the first dog sprang at him, he gave just one kick and killed the dog on the spot.
"Here I must tell you that the middle toe of a kangaroo has at the tip a very long, strong, and sharp claw, which will cut like one of your knives. Sometimes when a black man has killed a Boomer, he cuts off these claws, fastens them on the ends of long sticks, and then kills kangaroos with them.
"Well, as soon as he had killed the first dog, he picked up the second in his arms, squeezed it so tightly that it could not bite, and could hardly breathe, and sprang away to the water with the dog in his arms. As soon as he reached the water he jumped in as far as he could, popped the dog into the water, and held him down with one of his feet. The third dog swam towards my father, but was afraid to come close to him, and swam back to the shore, where he could do nothing but bark. The animal was so frightened at seeing both its comrades killed that it prudently ran away, and my father rejoined us at his leisure.
"We can all swim well, and my father was a very fine swimmer. On one occasion he swam more than two miles, half the distance being against a strong wind that sent the waves dashing in his face.
"It is no wonder that, when kangaroos are so active, I should want to stretch my legs. So, one day, just as the keeper opened the gate, I jumped on him, knocked him down, and scampered away all over the place.
"I had not much time for taking notice of the other animals, because a number of keepers ran after me.
"But I had a good scamper round the houses where the elephants live-great clumsy things, with tails growing out of their noses; down through a great hole, which I heard people call a tunnel, and past some large cages full of animals which set up a horrid roaring when they heard the noise.
"All at once I stopped; for what think you I saw?
"There were actually some swans of the proper colour, real black swans! Of course they came from my own dear country, and of course, I could not pass them without speaking to them. But, just as were beginning our talk, a keeper came up slily behind me, threw a rope over me, and so my ramble was at an end.
"Did you think that some of us can climb trees? Yes, we can, and we can jump about the branches as easily as on ground. Tree-climbing kangaroos are quite black above, and their legs are shorter and their arms longer than those of the kangaroos that live on the ground.
"Then, there are others that live among the rocks, especially those of our great mountain ranges. They live in crevices of the rocks, and mostly stay at home in the daytime. Sometimes the black men try to smoke them out by making great fires at the entrance of their homes. But the kangaroos are clever enough to have several doors to their houses, so that they can slip out and escape from the smoke. These creatures are very active, and can climb trees nearly as well as the Tree Kangaroo.
"Do you want to know how I came here? Well, one day, while we were quietly feeding, a number of black men jumped out of the grass all round us. We could not tell which way to run, and so we all huddled up together in confusion.
"Then the black men threw sticks at us. Some of them were very long, and when they hit a kangaroo they went through him; others were short and thick, and others were bent. These last, which were called boomerangs-I suppose because they would kill a Boomer-were the worst of all. They flew about in the air like birds, and you could not tell where they would strike. One of them hit me on the head, and I knew nothing more until I found myself lying on the ground with my legs tied. Both my parents were killed, and I think that I was the only one who escaped with life. The black man who had knocked me down was going to kill me when he saw me move. But then he thought that there were plenty of dead kangaroos for eating, and that he might make some money by keeping me alive and selling me to a white man. This he did; so I was put into a ship, taken over the sea, and brought into this very odd country, where I suppose I shall end my days. "And that is the end of my story."
"Thank you," said Jeff; "I like your story very much, and I don't believe I should ever have learned half so much about kangaroos in all my life if I had not seen you. Of course, kangaroos know more about themselves than any one else does."
The Kangaroo nodded, pleased at the remark.
"What a pity animals can't write books," said Jeff.
"They will in time," replied the Kangaroo ; "they're thinking of it now in Australia."
"I'm sure that is odd," whispered Eva to the Elephant.
"Don't say so to the kangaroo," whispered the Elephant in answer. Then he said aloud"It is time to be moving. Good-bye for the present, friend Kangaroo; we shall meet at supper." Again the Kangaroo nodded, and then he disappeared into the recesses of his den.
"I saw the Sea-lion this morning," continued the Elephant, as they marched along, "and I promised to take you to see him."
"Why, how did you know we were coming?" exclaimed Jeff; "you could not possibly tell."
The Elephant looked comically at him a moment. "Birds in the air told me," said he, curtly; "and was I not waiting for you on the terrace?"
"Were you really? How good of you. But I am afraid that we shall tire you."
"That would be odd indeed," said the elephant. "No, I shall trot back through the tunnel, and take you round by the three islands, where you will see the black-necked swans, and then past the duck ponds. There are coloured fountains playing everywhere; they look like showers of rubies and emeralds, and the shrubs are covered with golden dew-drops. It won't seem a step to you, for it's all enchanted ground to-night."
Of course it was, and the distance appeared to be really so short that Jeff and Eva were quite surprised when they arrived at the Sea-lion's pond.
dears! it is indeed well to be young
and enjoy life, and never sigh for what you have not got. I wish I had learned that lesson sooner. If you want to know where I came from I will tell you, though you would scarcely believe it. What do you say to the Falkland Islands? Perhaps you have never heard of them," and Greybeard rolled his head waggishly, while Eva and Geoffrey looked at each other doubtfully.
"Never mind," proceeded the sage, jocularly, "I won't tell your governess, so it does not much matter. Well! long ago, when my coat was black, and my fur was soft, and I was a very young lion indeed, I used to live-at least, to spend my summers at the Falkland Isles. I don't remember anything particular we used to do in winter, but, oh! when the warm weather came, how we enjoyed
it. All my relations-hundreds and hundreds of them, old and young-used to swim off to the bleak shores, where there were ledges of flat rocks rising one over another, just the kind of place where you would like to paddle about.
"The old fathers of the families used to land first, and they would go in such a terrible hurry. They each knew the piece of rock which had belonged to them the preceding year, and, of course, wanted to take possession of it again; but that was easier said than done. It must have been fine to see those fat, heavy old fellows swimming for their dear lives, shoving each other aside, and puffing and blowing from their exertions. Then, naturally enough, whoever was left behind and was too late to get upon his own rock, used to fight for a home of some kind or other, and the roaring and bellowing must have been heard at any distance off-I say 'it must have been,' because, unfortunately, I never witnessed the scene myself, as we younger ones were not allowed to go near the shore until all the fighting was over, and our mothers and aunts had settled down comfortably in their own homes. Ah, me, it was very hard!" and he turned away and dropped a few briny tears.
"What was very hard?" inquired Eva, sympathisingly, for she felt sorry for poor old Greybeard, though she did not quite see the point of his woe.
"Hard that I was so young," sobbed the sea-lion, hysterically. "I was shut out of everything. I wanted to have a home of my own, and they said I was too young-no lion is allowed to set up house until he is six years old; and besides, I wanted so much to try how it would feel to eat no food for
four months, for none of the old grandfathers touch a morsel from the time they go on shore till they leave it again, and then they are so thin and slender."
"Dear! dear!" sighed Jeff, in horror, "what a strange creature, wishing not to eat instead of wanting nice things. I am afraid of him, Eva; let us move on."
"Ah no!" whispered his sister, gently, "the poor old Sea-lion likes to tell his troubles; it will ease his mind."
"Well, my dears," pursued Greybeard, when he had wiped his eyes with his flippers, "I must resume my story. I dare say I was silly, for if I had waited I should have had what I wanted all in
with it-" perhaps you don't know that my nose is painfully sensitive. I have to guard it carefully, for any knock puts me to torture, so you can imagine my sufferings when I was aroused in so unpleasant a manner. I started up with a ferocious snort, and then I saw beside me a poor little girl lying all in a heap, with the blood flowing from a wound in her head."
"A little girl! Was she white? What was her | name? Do tell us!" cried both the children, eagerly.
Greybeard, with a sigh that sounded like the wind whistling through a keyhole, "but I had not had the advantages of your education; so excuse me. I was going to relate the first real adventure that ever befel me. One unusually hot afternoon (for I must tell you the weather is not so very warm there as you might suppose on account of the islands being close to South America), I and my companions having tired ourselves with play, were fast asleep on a platform of rock, when all of a sudden I was awakened by something falling over me, and striking me a cruel blow on the nose. Perhaps you don't know," added the old lion, dolefullyconcealing his nasal organ behind a flipper as he spcke, as if some one might be tempted to run away
"She was an Indian, and her name was Pomara," answered Greybeard, "but brown or white matters little. She was a darling child. Poor little thing, she had been very much hurt in her fall over the rocks. She afterwards told me she had been climbing a high ledge, when a centipede stung her, and she lost her balance and fell, but of course I knew nothing of this at first. I crawled over to her, and smelt her, and wondered what was the matter, and when I saw her eyes open I did not like it, and I ran away again, but soon I found there was nothing to fear. Pomara was delighted at seeing me so close when I again ventured up, and she tried to entice me to come and talk to her. She was very weak and giddy, and could hardly
manage to walk home, but she had no bones broken, and every day after that she used to come down to the shore, and peep from behind the rocks till she saw me. She was an only child, and had no companions to play with, and she seemed delighted to make my acquaintance."
"How old was she?" inquired Eva.
"Just about your age, my dear," replied the Sealion, gazing in a mournful manner at Eva, "and, oh, I did love her so! her hair was long and dark, and her eyes were large and bright, and her dear little brown body was so
soft and plump. After she
child, and rather
water at first,
times, when I was very fortunate, I caught a seabird, but I don't get those now. Ah me!"
"I am glad you don't," muttered Geoffrey, "you might be contented with fish."
"I nearly forgot to tell you of one great pleasure I had," pursued the Sea-lion, "that was feeding my little mistress. She was often hungry; I have seen her trying to find limpets and other shell-fish
to eat, for you know the Falkland Isles are
rather barren, then I used to dash off through the surf, and dart about till I caught some splendid
fish, which I would take to
land, and lay at her feet. How her eyes would
brighten, and she would rest her head against mine, and pat me,
fun I had she was tempted to join me, so I would slip in first to show her the way, and then she would come slowly creeping after me, screaming a little if she got out of her depth suddenly; but when she was once in, ah! the time we had of it, such splashing and dashing here and there, she throwing water over me, and I trying to duck her pretty head under the foam. She tried riding on my back once, but I was too slippery, she said, and she had nothing to hold by, so she fell off into the water, laughing, and scolding me heartily, and did not try that prank a second time."
"What did you eat?" inquired Eva.
"Oh, a variety of things," replied the veteran, "sometimes fish, sometimes molluscs, and some
and thank me; then she used to run and light a fire, and heat the food before she ate it, though why she did
such a strange thing as that I never could understand, for the fish is so much nicer raw."
"Well, I cannot imagine why you were not contented with your life," said Eva, wonderingly; "I should have thought you would have been very happy."
"My dear, I was wrong, I will allow it," answered Greybeard, "but I must tell you that everything was not rose colour. First of all, though I gained the affections of my little mistress, I had lost those of my companions; they were indignant at my desertion of them, they said such a thing had never been heard of as a friendship between a sea-lion and a human being-it was absurd, romantic, silly; they would not listen to my excuses as I tried to