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021. The Elephant and the Dog

XXI

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THE ELEPHANT AND THE DOG


Once upon a time a Dog used to go into the stable where the king'sElephant lived. At first the Dog went there to get the food that wasleft after the Elephant had finished eating.

Day after day the Dog went to the stable, waiting around for bits toeat. But by and by the Elephant and the Dog came to be great friends.Then the Elephant began to share his food with the Dog, and they atetogether. When the Elephant slept, his friend the Dog slept besidehim. When the Elephant felt like playing, he would catch the Dog inhis trunk and swing him to and fro. Neither the Dog nor the Elephantwas quite happy unless the other was nearby.

One day a farmer saw the Dog and said to the Elephant-keeper: "I willbuy that Dog. He looks good-tempered, and I see that he is smart. Howmuch do you want for the Dog?"

The Elephant-keeper did not care for the Dog, and he did want somemoney just then. So he asked a fair price, and the fanner paid it andtook the Dog away to the country.

[Illustration]

The king's Elephant missed the Dog and did not care to eat when hisfriend was not there to share the food. When the time came for theElephant to bathe, he would not bathe. The next day again the Elephantwould not eat, and he would not bathe. The third day, when theElephant would neither eat nor bathe, the king was told about it.

The king sent for his chief servant, saying, "Go to the stable andfind out why the Elephant is acting in this way."

[Illustration]

The chief servant went to the stable and looked the Elephant all over.Then he said to the Elephant-keeper: "There seems to be nothing thematter with this Elephant's body, but why does he look so sad? Has helost a playmate?"

"Yes," said the keeper, "there was a Dog who ate and slept and playedwith the Elephant. The Dog went away three days ago."

[Illustration]

"Do you know where the Dog is now?" asked the chief servant.

"No, I do not," said the keeper.

Then the chief servant went back to the king and said, "The Elephantis not sick, but he is lonely without his friend, the Dog."

"Where is the Dog?" asked the king.

"A farmer took him away, so the Elephant-keeper says," said the chiefservant. "No one knows where the farmer lives."

"Very well," said the king. "I will send word all over the country,asking the man who bought this Dog to turn him loose. I will give himback as much as he paid for the Dog."

When the farmer who had bought the Dog heard this, he turned himloose. The Dog ran back as fast as ever he could go to the Elephant'sstable. The Elephant was so glad to see the Dog that he picked him upwith his trunk and put him on his head. Then he put him down again.

When the Elephant-keeper brought food, the Elephant watched the Dog ashe ate, and then took his own food.

All the rest of their lives the Elephant and the Dog lived together.

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