MAPPO ON THE SHIP





Mappo, who had taken his paws down from his eyes long enough to look at

the striped tiger, now blind-folded himself, with his paws again, and

shivered. All of a sudden the tiger growled, and Mappo shivered still

more.



"Ha! Growl and roar as much as you like!" called one of the black

natives. "You can't get out of there, Sharp-Tooth!" That was the name

the jungle men had given the tiger. "You can't get out of that crate!"

went on the native, and when Mappo heard that, he took down his paws

once more, and looked at the tiger. He was sure it was the same one at

whom he had thrown the cocoanut, and he wondered how the fierce, strong

beast had been caught. Then Mappo looked at the crate in which the tiger

was being carried along through the jungle.



"Ha! That is a good, strong crate!" thought Mappo. "It is much stronger

than the one I am in. I guess the tiger can't get out, and I am glad of

it. I mean I am sorry he is shut up, and I am sorry for myself, that I

am shut up, and being taken away, but I would not like the tiger to get

loose, while I am near him."



And indeed the cage holding the tiger was very strong. It had big pieces

of tree branches for slats, and it took eight men to carry it, for the

tiger was very heavy. Side by side, slung in their crates on the poles,

over the shoulders of the black natives, Mappo and Sharp-Tooth, the

tiger, were carried through the jungle.



The tiger kept walking back and forth in his cage. It was just long

enough to allow him to take two steps one way, and two steps the other

way. And he kept going back and forth all the while, up and down, his

red tongue hanging out of his mouth, for it was very hot. His fur, too,

was scratched and cut, as though he had fought very hard, before he had

let the natives catch him and put him into the crate.



Mappo was not so much afraid now, and once, when his cage was close to

that of the tiger, the big, striped beast spoke to the little monkey. Of

course he talked in tiger language, which the natives could not

understand, but Mappo could.



"Ha! So they caught you too, little monkey?" asked the tiger.



"Yes, I got caught in a net, while I was eating some cocoanut," answered

Mappo.



"The cocoanut was bait," said the tiger. "I got caught eating a little

goat. The goat was bait, too, and they caught me in a noose that almost

choked me. Then they slipped me in this box when I was half dead. If I

had had my strength, they never would have gotten me in it!" and the

tiger roared and growled, and tried to break out of his crate. But it

was too strong--he could not.



"Keep quiet there, Sharp-Tooth!" cried one of the black natives who was

marching along beside the tiger's cage. "Keep quiet, or I shall hit you

on the nose with a stick," and the black man held up a hard stick. The

tiger growled, away down deep in his throat, and kept quiet. But still

he spoke to Mappo, now and then.



"Seems to me I have seen you before, somewhere, little monkey," said

Sharp-Tooth.



"Yes, you--you tried to eat me, if you please," said Mappo, who spoke

politely, because he was still afraid of the tiger.



"Did I?" asked the tiger. "Well, I have to live, you know. And I have

eaten so many monkeys that one, more or less, doesn't matter. So I tried

to eat you, eh? I wonder why I didn't finish. I usually eat what I set

out to."



"I--I hit you on the head with an empty cocoanut shell and ran away,"

said Mappo.



"Oh, that's so. You did!" exclaimed the tiger. "I thought I remembered

you. So you're the chap who played that trick on me, eh? Well, I thought

I knew you. Ha! Yes. An empty cocoanut shell! I remember I was quite

frightened. I thought my head was broken. But never mind. I forgive you.

One shouldn't remember things like that when friends are in trouble.

Listen, little monkey, will you do me a favor?"



"What is it?" asked Mappo, wondering how he, a little monkey, could do

anything to help a big, strong tiger.



"Will you help me out of this cage?" asked the tiger.



"How can I?" inquired Mappo.



"Very easily," the tiger said. "I know what is going to become of us. We

are to be taken to the big ocean-water, and put in a house that floats

on the waves." That was what the tiger called a ship; a house that

floats on the waves.



"How do you know this is to happen to us?" asked Mappo.



"Because I heard the black men talking of it," said Sharp-Tooth. "And,

after a long while, we will land in another country, where there is no

jungle, such as we love."



"That will be too bad," Mappo said. "But still, it may be nice in that

other country, and we may have many adventures."



"Bah! I do not want adventures!" the tiger growled. "All I want is to

be left alone in my jungle, where I can kill what I want to eat, drink

from the jungle pool, and sleep in the sun. I hate these men! I hate

this cage! Once before I was caught and put in one, but I broke out and

got away. This time they have been too strong for me. But you can help

me to escape."



"How?" asked Mappo.



"Listen!" whispered the tiger, putting his big mouth, filled with sharp

teeth, close to the side of his cage, and nearest to Mappo's crate.

"Listen! Your paws are like hands and fingers. To-night, when the

natives set our crates down, to take their sleep, you can open your

cage, slip out and come over and open mine. I have tried to open my own,

but I cannot. However, you can easily do it. Then we will both be free,

and we can run away to the jungle together: Come, will you do it? I am

very hungry! I want to get off in the jungle and get something to eat."



Mappo thought for a minute. He was a smart little monkey, and he feared

if he opened the tiger's cage for him, the big chap might be so hungry

that he would eat the first thing he saw, which would be Mappo himself.



"Will you open my cage for me after dark?" asked Sharp-Tooth.



"I'll think about it," answered back Mappo.



But he had no idea of letting out that tiger.



"I'm sure he must still be angry at me for hitting him with that empty

cocoanut," said Mappo, "and if he is loose he can easily crush me with

one stroke of his paw. No, I think I will not let him out, though I am

sorry he is caught. But I will try to get out myself, and run back to my

mamma and papa, and sisters and brothers. Yes, I will do that."



After the tiger had asked Mappo to help him get out of the cage,

Sharp-Tooth pretended to go to sleep. He wanted to fool the natives, you

see, and make believe he was going to be good and gentle.



"Oh, but won't I roar and bite and scratch when I do get out!" thought

the tiger. Perhaps he would not have hurt Mappo, had the monkey opened

the cage; but I cannot be sure of that.



All day long through the jungle tramped the natives, carrying the wild

animals in their crates. There were several besides Mappo and

Sharp-Tooth. There were snakes, in big boxes, other monkeys, a

rhinoceros, a hippopotamus, two lions, who roared dreadfully all the

while, and many other beasts.



In fact, it was a small circus marching through the jungle, and all the

animals had been caught, in one way or another, to be sold to circuses

and menageries. But in this book I will tell you mostly about Mappo,

just as in other books I have told you of Squinty, the comical pig, and

Slicko, the jumping squirrel.



"Oh, I do wish I had something to eat!" thought poor Mappo. But he did

not see anything for a long time. It was getting dark when the natives,

carrying the crates, set them down in the jungle, and began to build

fires to cook their supper. They were going to camp out in the woods all

night, and they had stopped near a pool of water.



Mappo smelled the water. So did the other animals, and they began to

howl for drinks. You remember I told you wild animals can often smell

better than they can see.



The natives did not want to be cruel to the animals; they only wanted to

sell them to the white people. And the natives knew if the animals did

not get something to drink, they might die. So, pretty soon, they began

to give the beasts water to drink. Mappo got some, and oh! how good it

was to his little dry throat and mouth.



"Don't forget, you are going to let me loose in the night," whispered

the tiger to Mappo, as it grew darker and darker in the jungle. Mappo

said nothing. He pretended to be asleep. But, all the same, he made up

his mind that he was _not_ going to let the tiger loose.



When it was all dark and quiet in the camp, Mappo tried to open his own

cage with his smart little fingers. But the natives were smarter than

the little monkey. They knew all monkeys were very good at picking open

boxes, so they had made this one, for Mappo, especially tight. Mappo

tried his best, but he could not get out.



So, after all, he did not have to play any trick on the tiger, and not

let Sharp-Tooth out, and he was glad of it.



"Hist! Hist!" the tiger called, from his crate, near that of Mappo.

"Aren't you going to let me out?"



"I can't get out myself," answered the little monkey.



"Bur-r-r-r-r! Wow! Wuff!" roared the tiger. And then he was so angry

that he growled and jumped about, trying to break out of his cage. The

natives awoke, and one of them, running over to Sharp-Tooth, said:



"Quiet here, tiger, or I shall have to hit you on the nose with a

stick!"



But the tiger would not be quiet, and, surely enough, the black man hit

him on the nose with a stick. The tiger howled and then became quiet.

All the other animals who had made different noises when they heard the

racket made by Sharp-Tooth, grew quiet also.



Mappo went back to sleep, after trying once more to open his crate so he

could get away in the jungle.



"I guess I shall have to let them put me on the house in the big water,"

he said to himself. "Never mind, I may have some fine adventures."



When morning came, the natives got their breakfast, fed the animals in

the crates, and off they started once more through the forest. Mappo

looked out of his cage, and he could see, swinging along in the trees on

either side of the jungle path, other monkeys like himself. But they

were free, and could climb to the tops of the tallest trees.



Mappo called to them, in his own language, and told them to take the

news to his papa and mamma that he had been caught in a net, and was

being taken away to a far country. The wild monkeys promised that they

would let Mr. and Mrs. Monkey know what had become of Mappo.



In this way Mappo's folks learned what had happened to him, but they

never saw him again, nor did he see them. But monkeys are not like a

boy or girl. Once they leave their homes, they do not mind it very much.

They are always willing to look at something new. Though, of course,

they may often wish they were out of their cages, and back in the jungle

again.



After some days the natives, with the wild animals, reached the big

ocean. Mappo had never seen so much water before. He looked at it

through the slats of his crate. A little way out from shore he saw what

looked like a big house floating on the water. This was the ship.



Soon, in small boats, all the animals were taken aboard the ship, Mappo

among them.



"Now my adventures are really beginning," thought Mappo, as he found

himself in a cage on deck, next to some other monkeys, and a big cow

with a hump on her back. She was a sacred cow.





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