Mappo, the Merry Monkey
by Richard Barnum
Previous Part     1  2
Home - Random Browse

"Oh dear!" thought the little monkey, "I wonder where I shall land!"



Mappo was so surprised, as he felt himself fairly flying through the paper hoop, that he did not know exactly what was happening.

"I may land on the back of Tum Tum, for all I know," he thought.

But, just as he said that to himself, he came down on the back of Prince, as if nothing had happened.

"Hello, here we are again!" cried Prince, running on around the sawdust ring, with Mappo on his back. "You did that trick all right."

"Yes, but the man tossed me through the paper-covered hoop," spoke Mappo, wonderingly.

"That was to show you how to do it," went on Prince. "I have seen many monkeys do that trick."

"Oh, I see," said Mappo. "There's the man with another hoop. Shall I jump right through it?"

"Yes, don't wait for him to toss you," Prince said. "Though he didn't hurt you, did he?"

"Not a bit," laughed Mappo, who rather liked doing that trick.

The circus man stood up on a little box, holding the ring, all covered with red paper, ready for Mappo to jump through. And the man would have picked Mappo up, and tossed him through the ring, only the monkey did not wait for that. Instead, he gave a jump himself, and right through the ring he went, coming down on Prince's back as nicely as you please. Prince kept right on running around the sawdust ring.

"Fine! That's the way to do it!" cried the circus man, clapping his hands. "I'll have to get you to show the other monkeys how to do it, Mappo! You're the first monkey who ever learned that trick so quickly."

I guess I told you Mappo was a smart little chap.

The rest of that day he spent practicing jumping through more paper-covered hoops, doing some of his jumps from the back of Trotter, the pony. Then other monkeys were brought in, and they watched Mappo.

"Now let's see if they can do it," said the man, after Mappo had done his trick several times. Well, the other monkeys tried, and while some of them could do it pretty well, others fell off, or else were afraid of the paper hoops. No one did it as well as Mappo.

From then on, the little monkey learned many circus tricks. He did not learn all of them as easily as he had learned to ride the dog and pony, or jump through the hoops. In fact, it took him several days to learn the trick of turning a somersault. And it took him longer to learn to sit up at a table, and eat with a knife, fork and spoon, dressed up like a little boy, with real clothes on.

All this while the circus animals had remained in the big, warm barn, for it was still winter. But spring and summer were coming, and would soon be over all the land. Then the circus would start out with the tents, and the big red, green and golden wagons.

Other animals were being trained, too. Tum Tum, the jolly elephant could do many tricks, and Mappo loved to watch his big friend, with the long trunk, and the long white teeth, or tusks, sticking out of his mouth. Tum Tum's trainer would sometimes sit on these tusks, or on Tum Tum's trunk, and ride around the ring. Tum Tum liked his keeper, or trainer, very much, just as Mappo liked his own circus man.

One day, when Mappo had finished doing his tricks for the day, and had been given a whole, ripe, yellow banana for himself, as a treat for being good and smart, the little monkey wandered off to another part of the circus barn. Mappo, unlike the other monkeys, was not kept in a cage, or chained up.

As Mappo was walking along he came underneath a cage, and from over his head came a loud roar.

"A lion!" cried Mappo, springing away. "He'll get me!"

In the jungle he and his brothers and sisters had been taught to run and hide when a lion roared, and, for the moment, Mappo did just as he had been used to doing in the jungle. Then he sort of laughed to himself, in a way monkeys have, and he said:

"Ha! Ha! That lion can't get at me! He is locked in his cage. I'm not afraid."

But, just the same, Mappo ran over on the other side of the circus barn, and watched the lion from there.

The "King of Beasts," as he is called, though a lion is often no braver that any other animal, paced back and forth in his cage. He peered out between the bars, and tried to break them with his big paws. But he could not. Now and then the lion would utter a deep, loud roar, that seemed to shake the very ground. I suppose he roared as he had done in the jungle, when he wanted to let the other animals know he was coming. A lion must be very proud of his roar.

"Well, you can't get me, anyhow," thought Mappo. "You are safe in your cage, and I am glad of it."

"Well, how are you to-day, Tum Tum?" asked Mappo, of the jolly elephant.

"Tired. Very tired!" exclaimed Tum Tum.

"What makes you tired?" asked the monkey.

"Doing so many tricks," the elephant answered. "And you know I am a big, heavy chap, and it tires me to run fast around the ring. But never mind, we will soon be out of here, and on a journey."

"Where are we going?" asked Mappo.

"To travel from town to town, as all circuses do. We shall soon be living in tents," the elephant answered.

"I'll like that," said Mappo. "I am getting rather tired of staying here so long."

And, surely enough, a few days later, the circus started out "on the road," as it is called. The big red, golden and green wagons were drawn by many horses, and rumbled up hill and down. In the wagons the animals and tents and other things, all of which go to make up a circus, were carried.

One day, after a lot of traveling, part of which was by train, Mappo and the other animals came to a place where a big, white tent was set up in a wide, green field. The tent had been set up in the night, ready for the circus.

"Ah! Now our real circus work will begin!" said Tum Tum. And so it did.

The bands began to play, and when the tent was filled with boys and girls, and their papas and mammas, and grandpas and grandmas, there was a grand procession of all the performers. The elephants, of which Tum Tum was one, also marched around, as did lots of the ponies and dogs.

"I wonder when it will come my turn to do tricks?" thought Mappo. His turn soon came. The kind circus man who had taught the little monkey, came and dressed him up in a nice red suit, with a little red cap. Then Prince, the dog, was led in, wearing a fine yellow blanket.

"Now for the race!" cried the man, as Mappo jumped up on Prince's back. The other monkeys jumped up on the backs of other dogs, and, as the band played, off they ran.

Mappo liked it very much, especially when the children laughed and clapped their hands, for he was glad he had pleased them. Faster and faster went the racing dogs, and Mappo and Prince won.

Then came the jumping through the paper hoops, first from the backs of dogs, and, afterward backs of the ponies. In all of these tricks Mappo did very well.

Then Mappo did his other tricks—turning somersaults, standing on his head, and even riding a little bicycle the man had made for him. That was Mappo's best trick, and one that ended his part of the circus. He rode around a little wooden platform on the bicycle, holding a flag over his shoulder, and my! how the children did laugh at that.

Mappo did not see all the circus. As soon as his act was over, he was taken back to his cage, but he was not chained up. His keeper knew he could trust Mappo not to run away.

Mappo wandered around the animal tent. After a while he came to where the tiger's cage stood.

"Ah ha! There you are!" snarled Sharp-Tooth, the striped tiger, as he saw Mappo. "You're the monkey who is to blame for my being here."

"I to blame! How?" asked Mappo.

"Yes, you are to blame," went on Sharp-Tooth. "You wouldn't open my cage, and let me out when we were in the jungle. Never mind! I'll fix you! When I get out of here—and some day I'm going to break loose—when I get out of here, I'll bite you."

"Oh dear!" thought Mappo. "I hope that never happens!" and he went off to talk to Tum Tum, the jolly elephant.

For nearly a week the circus traveled from town to town, Mappo doing his tricks very well indeed. Once again Sharp-Tooth, the tiger, said to the monkey chap:

"Oh, wait until I get hold of you. I was nearly out of my cage last night. To-night I'll be out for sure, and then I'll fix you!"

Poor Mappo was frightened. The more he thought of the tiger getting loose and biting him, the more frightened he became. And that day, as Mappo was riding along in his own cage in the circus wagon, he thought he heard the tiger getting loose from the big cage.

"Oh, he'll get me, sure!" cried Mappo. He looked up. The door of his cage was open the least little bit. Mappo pulled it open wider with his paws, and then, when none of the circus men was looking, Mappo slipped out, and dropped down to the road.

The door of his cage snapped shut after Mappo got out, keeping the other monkeys in.

"I'm going to run away," said Mappo. "I'm not going to stay, and let that bad tiger catch me." And so Mappo ran away.



Mappo, as soon as he got outside the traveling circus cage on wheels, looked all about him to see if any one were watching him. But no one seemed to be doing so.

His man friend, who had trained him to do many tricks, was riding on the seat with the driver of the big monkey-cage wagon, and this man never looked around, as Mappo slipped out. All the other circus men were too busy to look after one monkey.

Mappo slipped down to the dusty country road, along which the circus procession was then going, and quickly running across it, the merry little monkey hid in the bushes on the other side.

Slowly the big circus wagons rumbled past the place where Mappo was hiding in the bushes. When the cage, in which Sharp-Tooth, the tiger, was pacing up and down, came along, the big striped beast growled and roared, and to Mappo it sounded just as if he were saying:

"Where's that monkey? Oh, wait until I get hold of him! He wouldn't let me out of my cage, and I'll fix him!"

When the last wagon in, the procession had gone past—and it was the steam piano which brought up at the end—Mappo breathed a long breath.

"Now I'm all right!" he thought. "They can't find me now. I'm going over into those woods. Maybe there is a jungle where I can find cocoanuts."

Scrambling over rocks, stones and fences, Mappo made his way to the big woods. It looked cool and green there, much better than the hot, dusty road, down which the circus procession was rumbling, with the big red, green and gold wagons.

Mappo was much disappointed when he reached the woods. He could not see any cocoanuts or bananas, and those were the things he liked best of all.

"I wonder what I shall eat," said Mappo, for he was quite hungry.

He ran about, climbing trees, going away up to the top, and hanging down by his tail. He had not had a chance to do this since he had been with the circus, and, really, it was lots of fun for him.

Soon he felt hungry again, and he looked around for something to chew. He saw nothing.

"Oh dear!" he cried out loud. "I wonder what I can eat."

"Ha!" cried a grunting little voice near him, "why don't you eat acorns, as I do?"

"What's that? Who are you? Where are you?" asked Mappo, looking up and down.

"Here I am, under this bush," the voice went on, and out walked a little pig.

"What's your name?" asked Mappo.

"My name is Squinty," answered the little pig. I suppose you had guessed that before I told you—at least those of you who have read my other book, called "Squinty, the Comical Pig."

"Squinty, eh?" remarked Mappo. "That's a queer name."

"They call me that because one of my eyes squints," said the little pig. "See!" and he looked up at Mappo in such a funny way, with one eye half shut, and the other wide open, and with one ear cocked forward and the other backward, that Mappo had to laugh.

"My name is Mappo, and I'm from the circus. I've run away, and I'm hungry," the monkey said.

"Ha! I'm running away myself," said Squinty, "and I was hungry too, but I found some acorns to eat."

"What are acorns, and where did you run from?" asked Mappo.

"Acorns are nuts, good for pigs to eat," Squinty answered, "and I ran away from my pen."

"I wish I had something to eat," said Mappo. "I am very hungry."

"Come with me, and I'll see if I can't find you something to eat," Squinty said. "Then you can tell me all about the circus, and I'll tell you all about my pen."

"All right," agreed Mappo, and the two little animal friends went off together into the woods.

"Are there any cocoanuts here?" asked Mappo, when they had gone on for some distance.

"I don't know," answered Squinty. "What are cocoanuts?"

Mappo told the little pig how cocoanuts and bananas grew in the jungle, and the little pig told about how he liked sour milk and things like that. And, after a while, they managed to find some berries for Mappo to eat, as he did not like the acorn nuts.

The two friends went on in the woods for some distance, and they were having a good time, telling each other about their adventures, when, all of a sudden, as Mappo was swinging along by his tail on a tree branch, he stopped short and cried:

"Ha! They're after me. I guess I'd better run."

"Who is after you?" asked Squinty.

"The circus men. They must have found out I ran away."

Mappo and Squinty looked through the bushes, and they saw a number of men in red coats and blue trousers coming through the woods. Squinty also saw something else.

"Oh, look!" cried the little pig. "What is that funny animal with two tails? I'm afraid of him, he's so big!"

Mappo looked and laughed.

"He hasn't two tails," he said. "One is his tail and the other is his trunk. That is Tum Tum, the circus elephant. And you needn't be afraid of him, for he is the jolliest elephant in the whole show.

"But I'm not going to be caught," went on Mappo. "I want to run away farther, and have more adventures. So I guess I'll go before Tum Tum and the men see me. Good-by, Squinty. I'm glad I met you."

"And I'm glad that I met you," said the comical little pig. Then he ran one way through the woods, for he did not want to be caught, either, and Mappo ran the other way.

On and on through the woods roamed the merry little monkey, and many things happened to him. He met Slicko, the jumping girl squirrel, and in the book about Slicko you may read all about her wonderful adventures.

At first Mappo had lots of fun, after running away from the circus. It was warm, and he managed to make himself a little house of leaves, in the woods where he slept nights, or when it rained. But, for all that, he did not have as good things to eat as he had had when he was in his cage. He missed doing his tricks, too, and he missed seeing the boys and girls and their parents, in the big tent.

One day, as Mappo was asleep in the woods, he was suddenly awakened by feeling himself caught by two hands, and a voice cried:

"Oh, I've caught a monkey. I'm going to take him home and keep him. Oh, a real, live monkey!"

Mappo opened his eyes, and he saw that a boy was holding him, and holding him so tightly that the little monkey could not get away.

"Well, I'm caught!" thought Mappo, but he was not very sorry.



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!



"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.



(From four to nine years old)



In all nursery literature animals have played a conspicuous part; and the reason is obvious, for nothing entertains a child more than the antics of an animal. These stories abound in amusing incidents such as children adore, and the characters are so full of life, so appealing to a child's imagination, that none will be satisfied until they have met all of their favorites—Squinty, Slicko, Mappo, and the rest.

1 Squinty, the Comical Pig. 2 Slicko, the Jumping Squirrel. 3 Mappo, the Merry Monkey. 4 Tum Tum, the Jolly Elephant. 5 Don, a Runaway Dog. 6 Dido, the Dancing Bear. 7 Blackie, a Lost Cat. 8 Flop Ear, the Funny Rabbit. 9 Tinkle, the Trick Pony. 10 Lightfoot, the Leaping Goat. 11 Chunky, the Happy Hippo. 12 Sharp Eyes, the Silver Fox. 13 Nero, the Circus Lion. 14 Tamba, the Tame Tiger. 15 Toto, the Rustling Beaver. 16 Shaggo, the Mighty Buffalo.

Cloth, Large 12mo., Illustrated.


Previous Part     1  2
Home - Random Browse