How the dog, cat and mouse became enemies (Part II)





One day, the king was in his stable. He was looking at his horses when a messenger came to say that the eagle had killed five buffaloes in a village not far away.
"Oh!" exclaimed the king. "Isn't there anybody in my king­dom who can kill this monster? I promise that whoever kills this cruel bird will be richly rewarded. I will look upon him as my own brother and he will live in the palace, eat at my table and rule the country with me!"
It happened that three animals heard what the king said. They were a hunting dog, a stable cat and a field mouse, who were all good friends. At that time, the dog and cat were not thought of as house animals. They were not allowed to enter house and no one gave them food.
When the three friends heard the king's words, they looked at each other and the dog said, "I wish I could kill the eagle. If only he could not fly, I would be able to kill him quite easily." He bared his strong sharp teeth.
"I could scratch his eyes and blind him," hissed the cat. "Then he would not be able to hunt animals and he would die of hunger. It's true what Dog said, if be could not fly I too could make hire It would be wonderful to live in the palace," she said arching her back.
"Perhaps I can help the two of you," squeaked the mouse. "I can think of a way to stop him flying." He swished his long tail.
"You!" exclaimed Dog and Cat. "How can a tiny animal like you stop the eagle from flying?"
"I think I can," insisted the mouse. "Listen, why don't we work together? I'll make sure that the eagle cannot fly; Cat will scratch him blind and Dog will kill him. Then we'll go together to the king and share the reward."
Cat and Dog agreed -with this plan and the three of there went to the king to ask his permissionto kill the eagle together. When he had agreed, the three animals left the palace and went to the forest to look for the eagle.
"I know where the eagle sleeps," said the mouse. "He al­ways rests in a big tree in the forest. When lie's asleep, I’ll bite off the feathers of his wings. Without wings he will not be able-to fly."
So Mouse led Dog and Cat to a lonely partof the forest where there was a very tall tree. Around the tree there was a clearing covered with grass. The, three friends waited in the bushes for the eagle. Soon they heard the flapping of strong wingsand then they saw the eagle fly on to a branch of the tree. He had just finished a large meal of goat's meat and he was sleepy. He closed his eyes and was soon fast asleep.
When he saw that the big bird was asleep, the mouse crept up the trunk of the tree. He crept nearer and nearer until he was between the claws of the eagle, Mouse trembled with fright when he saw the long pointed claws. But he overcame his fear and crept up the feet of the eagle which were thicky covered with down. He moved forward, inch by inch, until he was under one of the eagle's wide wings. With his sharp teeth Mouse went to work. Quietly he bit off all the eaglet feathers. As soon as he had finished with one wing, he crept over to the other and did the same. When he had bitten through all the feathers, Mouse went down the tree. He told his friends what he had done.
 To be continued ...  
Part I 
Part III

 

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