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MAPPO AND THE ORGAN-MAN

from Good Stories For Children





Some monkeys, if they had been caught by a boy, in the woods, would have
bit and scratched and fought to get away. But Mappo was both a merry
monkey, and a good, kind one. So, when he saw that the boy was holding
him tightly, Mappo made up his mind that it would not be nice to try to
get away.

Besides, he liked boys, as well as girls, for so many of them had fed
him peanuts in the circus. And I rather think that Mappo was getting
tired of having run away, for he did not find these woods as nice as he
thought he would.

"Oh, father, look!" the boy cried. "I've caught a monkey."

"Have you, really?" asked a man, who came up near the boy. "Why, so you
have!" he exclaimed. "It must have escaped from the circus that went
through here the other day."

"Oh, father, mayn't we keep it?" the boy asked, as he patted Mappo.
"See, he is real tame, and maybe he does tricks."

"Of course I'm tame and do tricks!" Mappo chattered, but the boy did
not understand monkey talk.

"Oh, let me keep him!" the boy begged of his father.

"Well, I don't know," spoke the man, slowly. "A monkey is a queer sort
of a pet, and we haven't really any place for him."

"Oh, I'll make a place," the boy said. "Do let me keep him!"

"Well, you may try," his father said. "But if the circus men come back
after him, you'll have to give up your monkey. And he may run away, no
matter what sort of a cage you keep him in."

"Oh, I don't believe he will," the boy said.

So Mappo was taken home to the boy's house. It was quite different from
the circus where the merry little monkey had lived so long. There were
no sawdust rings, no horses or other animals, and there was no
performance in the afternoon, and none in the evening.

But, for all that, Mappo liked it. For one thing he got enough to eat,
and the things he liked--cocoanuts and bananas, for the boy read in a
book what monkeys liked, and got them for his new pet. The boy made a
nice box cage for Mappo to sleep in, and tied him fast with a string
around the collar, which Mappo wore.

"But I could easily loosen that string and get away if I wanted to,"
Mappo thought as he played with the knot in his odd little fingers.
Monkeys can untie most knots, and a chain is about the only thing that
will hold them.

The boy's mother was afraid of Mappo at first, but the little monkey was
so kind and gentle, that she grew to like him. And Mappo was a very good
monkey. He did not bite or scratch.

The house where the boy lived was quite different from the circus tent,
or the big barn where Mappo had first learned to do tricks. There was an
upstairs and downstairs to the house, and many windows. Mappo soon
learned to go up and down stairs very well indeed, and he liked nothing
better than to slide down the banisters. Sometimes he would climb up on
the gas chandelier and hang by his tail. This always made the boy laugh.

"See, my monkey can do tricks!" he would cry.

Then, one day, something sad happened. Mappo was sitting near the
dining-room window, which was open, and he was half asleep, for the sun
was very warm. The little monkey was dreaming, perhaps of the days when
he used to sleep in the tree-house in the jungle, or he may have been
thinking of the time when he went with the circus.

Suddenly he was awakened by hearing some music. He looked out in the
street, and there he saw a hand-organ man grinding away at the crank
which made the nice music. Mappo liked it very much. It reminded him a
little of the circus music.

And, as soon as the hand-organ man saw the monkey, he cried out:

"Ha! A monkey! Just what I need. My monkey has gone away, and I'll take
this new little monkey to go around with me and get the pennies in his
cap."

Then, before Mappo knew what was going to happen, the hand-organ man ran
up to the open window, grabbed the little monkey off the sill, and,
stuffing him under his coat, ran away down the street with him as fast
as he could go.

"Let me go! Let me out!" chattered Mappo, in his own, queer language.
The man paid no attention to him. Perhaps he did not understand what
Mappo meant, though hand-organ men ought to know monkey talk, if any one
does. At any rate, the man did not let Mappo go. Instead, he carried him
on and on through the streets, until he came to the place where he
lived.

"Now I'll put a chain and a long string on you, and take you around with
me when I make music," said the hand-organ man. "You will have a little
red cap to take the pennies the children give you."

While he was thus talking the man thrust Mappo into a box, that was not
very clean, and tossed him a crust of bread.

"I wonder if that is all I am to get to eat," thought Mappo. "Oh, dear!
I might better have stayed in the circus. It was nice at the boy's
house, but it is not nice here."

Mappo was shut up in the box, with only a little water, and that one
piece of bread crust to eat. And then the hand-organ man went to sleep.

Poor Mappo did not like this at all, but what could he do? He was shut
up in a box, and try as he did, he could not get out. Some other monkey
had lived in the box before. Mappo could tell that, because there were
scratches and teeth marks in the wood which Mappo knew must have been
made by some such little monkey as himself.

Mappo's life from then on, for some time, was rather hard. The next
morning the hand-organ man fastened a chain to the collar of the monkey,
and a long rope to the chain.

"Now I'll teach you to climb up on porch houses, go up the rain-water
pipes, and up to windows, to get pennies," said the hand-organ man.
"Come, be lively!"

He did not-have to teach Mappo very much, for the monkey could already
do those things.

"Ha! I see you are a trick monkey!" the man said. "So much the better
for me. I'll get many pennies from the children."

Then, every day, Mappo was made to go out with the man and his
hand-organ, and when the man played tunes, Mappo would watch the windows
of the houses in front of which his master stopped. The children would
come to the windows when they heard the music.

"Go up and get the pennies!" the man would cry, and he would pull and
jerk on the long string so that the collar around Mappo's neck choked
and hurt him. Then the monkey would squeal, and hold the chain with his
paw, so the pulling on it would not pain him so much. The hand-organ man
was not very kind to Mappo.

But Mappo made up his mind he would do his best to please his master.

"Some day I may get loose," Mappo thought. "If I do, I'll run back to
the circus, and never go away from it again. Oh that circus! And Tum
Tum! I wonder if I'll ever see the jolly elephant again."

Thinking such thoughts as these, Mappo would climb up the front of the
houses, to the windows, scrambling up the rain-water pipe, and he would
take off his cap, and catch in it the pennies the children threw to
him. Then sometimes, on the porch roof, Mappo would turn a somersault,
or play soldier, doing some of his circus tricks. This made the children
laugh again, and they would ask their mammas for more pennies.

"Ah, he is a fine monkey!" the hand-organ man would say. "He brings me
much money."

The hand-organ man never let him loose; always was there that chain and
string fast to the collar on Mappo's neck.

Mappo was made to wear a little red jacket, as well as a cap, and, as
the things had been made for a smaller monkey than he, they were rather
tight for him.

For many weeks Mappo was kept by the hand-organ man, and made to gather
pennies. Mappo grew very tired of it.

"Oh, if I had only stayed with the circus," thought Mappo, sorrowfully.

One morning the hand-organ man got up earlier than usual.

"We make much money to-day," he said to Mappo, for he had a habit of
speaking to the monkey as though he could understand. And indeed, Mappo
knew a great deal of what his master said. "We will make many pennies
to-day," went on the man. "Out by the big show, where everybody will be
jolly."

He brushed Mappo's jacket and cap, and then, after a very little
breakfast, out they started. Through street after street they went, but
the man did not stop to play in front of any houses.

"I wonder why that is," thought Mappo, for his master had never done
that before.

And then, all of a sudden, Mappo saw a big white tent, with gay flags
flying from the poles. He saw the big red, gold and green wagons. He
heard the neighing of the horses, the trumpeting of the elephants, the
roaring of the lions, and the snarling of the tigers.

"Oh, it's the circus! It's my circus!" cried Mappo to himself, and so it
was.

"Now we make much money!" said the hand-organ man. "The people who come
to the circus have many pennies. They give them to me when I play. Come,
Mappo, be lively--do tricks and get the pennies," and he shook the
string and chain, hurting Mappo's neck.

Then the organ began to play. But Mappo did not hear it. He heard only
the circus band. And he smelled the sawdust ring.

"Oh, I must get back to my dear circus!" he chattered. Then, with one
big, strong pull of his paws, Mappo broke the collar around his neck,
and, as fast as he could run, he scampered toward the big tent--the tent
where he knew his cage was. Oh, how Mappo ran!





Next: MAPPO AND THE BABY

Previous: MAPPO AND SQUINTY



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