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MAPPO AND THE BABY

from Good Stories For Children





"Come back here! Come back! My monkey! He is running away!" cried the
hand-organ man, as he raced after Mappo. Mappo looked behind, and saw
his unkind master coming, so the little monkey ran faster than ever.

"Oh, if I can only find Tum Tum, the jolly elephant, and get up on his
back, that man can never get me again!" thought Mappo. "I must find Tum
Tum!"

Into the big circus tent ran Mappo. The show had not yet begun, and one
of the men who was at the entrance to take tickets seeing Mappo, cried
out:

"Ha! One of our monkeys must have gotten loose. I will call the animal
trainer."

So Mappo came back to the circus again. But his adventures were not yet
over.

That afternoon, when he had been given his own circus suit, which fitted
him better than the one the hand-organ man had put on him, Mappo went
through his tricks in the big tent. He had not forgotten them.

He rode on the back of Prince, the big dog, and also on Trotter, the
pony, coming in first in every race. Then Mappo jumped through the
paper-covered hoops, he played soldier, and he sat up at the table and
ate his dinner with a knife, fork and spoon, almost as nicely as you
could have done it. He used his napkin, too.

The circus traveled on and on. One day it came to a big city, and some
of the tents were set up in a field, near some houses. From his place
near his cage Mappo could look out of the crack in the top of the tent,
and see the windows of the houses near him.

"I used to climb in windows like that," said Mappo to Tum Tum. "I used
to go up the rain-water pipe to get the pennies from the children."

"It must have been fun for you," said Tum Tum, "as you are such a good
climber."

"Oh, it wasn't so much fun as you'd imagine," answered Mappo as he slyly
tickled another monkey with a straw. Mappo was always up to some trick
or other; he was a very merry monkey.

It was almost time for the circus performance to start. Mappo was
thinking he had better go, and get on his pretty new red, white and blue
suit, when suddenly, from outside the tent, he heard the cry of:

"Fire! Fire! Fire!"



Now Mappo knew what a fire was. There used to be a fire in the stove at
the big circus barn, and once he went too close and burned his paw.

So Mappo knew what fire meant, even though it was cried in some other
language than monkey talk. Then Mappo looked out of a crack in the tent,
and he saw one of the houses, near the circus grounds, all ablaze. Black
smoke was coming from it.

"One of those houses is burning," said Mappo to Tum Tum. The monkey had
often seen the natives, in his jungle, kindle fires at night to cook
their suppers, and also to keep wild beasts away. For wild beasts are
afraid of fire.

"A house burning, eh?" said Tum Tum. "Well, that is nothing to us. We
have to go on with the show, no matter what happens."

"I'm going out to see it," spoke Mappo. "I have a little time yet before
I must do my tricks."

Mappo was not chained, so he had no trouble in slipping under the tent,
and in going toward the burning house. There was great excitement. Men,
boys, girls and women were running all around. Some of them were
carrying things out of the blazing dwelling. Then up came the fire
engines, tooting and whistling. Mappo of course did not know what fire
engines were. All he cared for was the black smoke, and the bright, red
fire.

Suddenly a woman in the crowd began to scream.

"My baby! Oh, my little baby is up in that room," and she pointed to one
on the side of the house which was not yet burning as much as the rest.
"Oh, my baby!" she cried, and she tried to run back into the blazing
house, but some men stopped her.

"The firemen will get your baby," they said.

"Oh, they will never be in time!" the woman cried.

Just then Mappo's circus trainer came running up.

"Oh, here you are!" he cried to Mappo. "I was afraid you had run away
again."

"No! No!" chattered Mappo, in his own language.

Mappo reached up, and put his arms around the keeper's neck. Just then
the woman cried again:

"My baby! Oh, my baby is left behind in the room, and the stairs are all
on fire. How can I get him?"

"What, is there a baby in the house?" cried Mappo's trainer.

"Yes. In that room where the window is," she said. "Oh, but we can't get
him."

"Yes, I think we can!" said the circus man. "Mappo, my monkey is very
strong, and he is a good climber. There is a rain-water pipe going up
the side of the house, close to the window. I'll send my monkey up the
pipe, and he can go in through the window, get the baby, and bring it
down to you."

"Oh, a monkey could never do that!" sobbed the woman.

"Yes, my monkey can," the man replied. "Here, Mappo!" he called. "Up you
go!" and he pointed to the rain-water pipe on the side of the house. "Go
in the window and get the baby--get the little one and bring her safely
down."

"Yes, yes!" chattered Mappo, only he spoke in his language and the man
talked as we talk. But Mappo understood. Many times he had been sent up
rain-water pipes by the hand-organ man. Of course this was a bit
different, for this house was on fire. But there were not many flames on
the side where the pipe was.

Mappo sprang for the pipe, and began to climb up it. He did not know
exactly what he was going after, but he knew it must be something
important, or his master would not be so excited.

"Get the baby! Get the baby!" cried the circus man, for the firemen had
not yet come up with their ladders. Of course they could have saved the
baby, if they had been in time. But it would soon be too late.

Up and up the rain-water pipe went the nimble Mappo. In a few seconds he
was on the window sill of the room. He stood there, looking down at his
master.

"Go on in! Get the baby and bring her down!" called the circus man,
waving his arms at Mappo.

Down into the room jumped Mappo. He knew at once it was a bedroom, for
he had been in such rooms in the home of the boy who found him in the
woods. And, in a little bed, close to the window, was something that
Mappo at first thought was a large doll, such as the sisters of the boy
used to play with.

"I wonder if this is the baby," said Mappo. "I guess it is. I'll carry
it down."

The baby was asleep. Mappo took her up in one of his strong hairy arms,
and, very luckily he picked her right-side up. Some monkeys would carry
a baby upside down, and think nothing of it. But Mappo was different.

With the baby held closely, the monkey jumped to the window sill again,
and how his master and the others yelled when they saw him!

"He has her! Oh, he has your baby!" cried the circus man.

Down the rain-pipe came Mappo carrying the little baby, which was just
beginning to wake up and cry. Mappo gave the little one to his master,
who put the baby in its anxious mother's arms.

"There's your child," he said.

"Oh, what a smart monkey, to save her!" sobbed the woman, but her tears
were tears of joy. Then the firemen put out the fire in the house, and
no one was hurt. Mappo choked a little from the smoke, but he did not
mind that.

"You surely are a smart monkey!" said the circus man, as he took him
back to the tent to do his tricks. The show went on after a while, and
Mappo was more looked at than any animal, for every one heard how he had
saved the baby.

And, after the show was over that night, the father of the baby went to
the circus man and said:

"I want to buy the monkey that saved my little girl. Please sell him to
me. We will give him a good home, and we will always love him, for what
he did for us."

"Well, I don't like to lose such a good trick monkey," said Mappo's
master, "but I will let you have him. Be kind to him, for he is a good
little chap."

"Oh, we'll be very kind to him," the baby's papa promised. "We have a
dog named Don, and a cat named Tabby. I am sure Mappo will like them.
We will be very good to him."

And so Mappo, after having lived in the jungle, and afterward joining a
circus, went to live at the home of the baby, after it was built over,
for it was badly damaged by the fire. And Mappo made friends with Don
and Tabby and had a lovely time.

But there are other animals of whose lives I can tell you, and the next
book in this series is going to be called "Tum Tum, the Jolly Elephant:
His Many Adventures."

"Weren't you afraid when you climbed up that rain-water pipe to get the
baby?" asked Don the dog of Mappo, one day.

"I wasn't afraid of climbing, but I was a little afraid of the fire,"
said the monkey.

"I wish I were as brave as you," said Tabby, the cat. "Come on, let's
have a game of tag."

And the three animal friends played a game very much like our tag; and
now we will say good-by to them.






Previous: MAPPO AND THE ORGAN-MAN



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