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MAPPO IN THE CIRCUS

from Good Stories For Children





"Well, I declare!" exclaimed the sailor who had brought Mappo downstairs
in the ship to see Tum Tum, the jolly elephant. "You two animals seem to
get along fine together!"

And indeed Mappo and Tum Tum were the best of friends at once. Elephants
and monkeys very seldom quarrel, and they live together in peace, even
in the jungle, and do not fight, and bite and scratch, as some wild
beasts do.

"Hello!" said Mappo to Tum Tum, as the little monkey sat on the
elephant's back. "Hello!"

"Hello yourself!" answered Tum Tum, and his voice was deep and rumbling,
away down in his long nose or trunk, while Mappo's was chattery and
shrill, as a monkey's voice always is.

"Well, where did you come from?" asked Mappo. "I've often seen you, or
some elephant friends of yours in the jungle. How did you get on this
ship with the other animals? You don't mean to say that the hunter men
caught you--you, a great big strong elephant, do you?"

"That's just what they did, Mappo," said Tum Tum, and the sailor,
looking at the two animals, did not know they were telling secrets to
each other.

"I'll just leave 'em together a while," said the sailor. "I don't
believe the monkey will run away, and, as he's getting homesick, it may
make him feel better to be with the elephant a while."

Mappo was indeed getting homesick for the jungle, and for his folks, but
when he saw Tum Tum, he felt much better.

"How did they catch you?" asked the monkey, as the sailor went up on
deck, while Mappo and the elephant stayed down in the lower part of the
ship, where it was nice and warm, talking to one another.

"Oh, the hunters made a big, strong fence in the jungle," said Tum Tum.
"They left one opening in it, and then they began to drive us elephants
along toward it. We did not know what was happening until it was too
late, and at last we were caught fast in a sort of big trap, and could
not get out."

"I should think you were so strong that you could easily have gotten
out," Mappo said.

"Well, we did try--we wild elephants," spoke Tum Tum. "We rushed at the
bamboo fence, and tried to break it down with our big heads. But tame
elephants, who had helped to drive us into the trap, came up, and struck
us with their trunks, and stuck us with their tusks, and told us to be
good, and not to break the fence, and that we would be kindly treated.
So we behaved, and, after a while, we found ourselves on this ship."

"Do you like it here?" asked Mappo.

"Well, it isn't so bad," said Tum Tum. "I get all I want to eat, and I
don't have to hunt for it. I am to go in a circus and menagerie, I hear.
I don't quite know what that is, do you?"

"Not exactly," answered Mappo, scratching his nose.

"Well, maybe we'll be in it together," went on Tum Tum. "But how did you
happen to get caught, and brought away from the jungle, little monkey?"

Then Mappo told of being caught in the net when he picked up the pieces
of cocoanut.

"Were any other animals caught with you?" asked Tum Tum.

"Oh, yes, the hunters had other animals--some monkeys, and a big tiger
in a cage. He was named Sharp-Tooth, the tiger was."

"Hush!" whispered Tum Tum through his trunk, and looking around
carefully, he went on: "Don't let him know I'm here!"

"Let who know?" asked Mappo.

"Sharp-Tooth, the tiger. Don't tell him I'm here," Tum Tum said.

"Why not?" the little monkey wanted to know.

"Well, because he and I aren't friends," said Tum Tum. "You know in the
jungle, hunters sometimes ride on the backs of myself, and my elephant
friends, to hunt tigers. That's why the tigers don't like us. So don't
mention to Sharp-Tooth that I'm on board this ship."

"I won't, of course," spoke Mappo in his funny, monkey talk. "But it
wouldn't matter, anyhow, as he's in a cage."

"He might break loose, and scratch me," said Tum Tum. "So don't mention
it to him."

Mappo promised not to. He sat up there on the elephant's back a long
time, and they talked of many things that had happened in the jungle
woods.

"Well, you two seem to like each other so well that I guess I'll leave
you together," said the sailor, when he came back and found Mappo asleep
on Tum Tum's back. "I'll bring the monkey's cage down here," the sailor
went on, "and let him stay. They might just as well get acquainted, for
they'll be together in the circus, anyhow."

"That will be nice," thought Mappo, as he heard what the sailor said.

Many things happened to Mappo aboard the ship in which he journeyed
from the jungle to this country. I have not room to tell you about all
of them in this book.

Once there came a great storm, so that the big ship rolled and rocked
like a rocking-chair, and Mappo felt ill. So did Tum Tum, and the other
elephants, and they made loud noises through their trunks. Mappo and the
other monkeys chattered with fear, and even Sharp-Tooth, the big striped
tiger, in his cage, was afraid, and growled, while the lions roared like
thunder.

But finally the storm passed, the sea grew calm and the animals felt
better. Then came a day when Mappo was shut up in his cage again. Most
of the time he had been loose, to run about as he pleased.

"I'm sorry to have to do it, old chap," said his sailor friend, "but all
you animals are going to be taken off the ship now, and put ashore, and
we don't want to lose you."

"I don't want to get lost, either," said Mappo to himself. "I wonder
what is going to happen now."

Many things happened to him, and also to Tum Tum and the others. Mappo's
cage, as well as the cages holding the lions and tigers, were lifted off
the ship onto land. Then they were put on big wagons and carted off
through a strange place. At first Mappo thought it was a new kind of
jungle, for he saw some trees.

But when Mappo saw many boys and girls, and men and women, all in
strange dresses, not at all like the brown natives, and when he saw many
houses, he knew it could not be a jungle. No, it was a big city where
Mappo had been taken. And it was the city where the circus stayed in
winter, the animals living in barns, and in menageries, instead of in
tents. But when the warm summer came, they would be taken out on the
road, and sent from place to place with the traveling circus. Of course,
Mappo knew nothing of this yet. Neither did Tum Tum.

Mappo's cage, with a number of others, was finally put into a big barn,
where it was nice and warm. On the earth-floor of the barn was sawdust,
and Mappo saw many men and horses, and many strange things. Finally a
man came up to Mappo's cage.

"Ha! So these are some of the monkeys I am to teach to do tricks, eh?"
said the man. "Well, they look like nice monkeys. And that one seems a
little tame. I think I'll begin on him," and he pointed right at Mappo.

"Better look out," said another man. "Maybe he is an ugly chap, and will
bite you."

"Oh, indeed I won't!" chattered Mappo. "I guess I know better than
that!" But of course the circus man did not understand this monkey talk.
Mappo jumped about in his cage, for he felt that he was going to be
taken out, and he was tired of being shut up. He wanted to hang by his
tail, and do other things, as he had done in the jungle.

"He's a lively little fellow, anyhow," said the circus man, as he opened
the door of Mappo's cage. "Come on out, old chap," he went on, "and
let's see what you look like."

Very gently he took Mappo out, and Mappo was very quiet. He wanted to
show the man how polite and nice even a jungle monkey could be, when he
tried.

"You're a nice fellow," the man said, stroking Mappo's back. "Now let's
see. I guess I'll teach you first to ride a pony, or a dog, and then
jump through paper hoops. After that you can turn somersaults, and sit
up at the table and eat like a real child. Oh, I'll teach you many
tricks."

Mappo did not understand very much of this talk. No monkey could. But
Mappo did understand the word "eat," and he wondered when the man was
going to feed him, for Mappo was hungry.

All around the circus barn different animals were being taught tricks,
for the men were training them to be ready for the summer circus in the
big tents. Horses were racing about sawdust rings, men were shouting and
calling, and snapping long whips. In one corner a man was trying to make
an elephant stand on his hind legs. Mappo looked a second time.

"Why, that's Tum Tum! He's learning tricks too!" said Mappo, to himself.
"That's fine! I hope he and I can do tricks together."

Tum Tum did not look very happy. A long rope was fastened to him, and he
was being pulled up so his head and trunk were in the air. That's how
elephants are first taught to do the trick of standing on their hind
legs. After a bit they learn to do it without being hoisted up by a
rope.

"Now then, monkey boy, here we are!" exclaimed the man who had taken
Mappo out of his cage. The man soon found that Mappo was good and
gentle. "Now for your first trick," the man said. "Here, Prince!"

A great big, shaggy dog, almost as large as Sharp-Tooth, the tiger, came
bounding into the circus ring. Right at Mappo rushed the dog, barking as
loudly as he could:

"Bow wow! Bow wow! Bow wow!"





Next: MAPPO AND HIS TRICKS

Previous: MAPPO MEETS TUM TUM



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