فصل 08

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کتاب های ساده

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فصل 08

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  • زمان مطالعه 11 دقیقه
  • سطح خیلی سخت

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CHAPTER EIGHT

A Cat Fight

Suddenly, every hair on his back stood up!

He could hear and feel an animal behind him. And it was not far away!

The cat was a fast traveler. Only the rain slowed him down. He hated the wet and hid under a tree with his ears back. When the rain stopped completely, he came out. He walked uncomfortably through the wet grass and often shook his paws.

Without his noisier friends, the dogs, the curious cat saw everything. He watched the forest animals, but they couldn’t see him. When he met an animal face to face, it turned away. He only slept a little, up in the trees. He was a smart and skillful traveler, afraid of nothing.

Early on the second morning of his travels alone, he went down to a lake to drink. He suddenly saw two men on the side of the lake with guns across their knees, and a dog. The men called out to him, but the cat didn’t look up. He put his pink tongue in the water and drank slowly. Both men called out again, amused by the cat. At last he looked up, shook each paw, and calmly walked away. Behind him the men started laughing as the proud cat continued his journey.

The two dogs felt very sad as they traveled without the cat. Tao was the terrier’s oldest friend and he missed him a lot. The Labrador loved the cat, too, but

Tao and Bodger were special friends. The two dogs tried to hunt for food, but without the cat’s help they didn’t do very well.

One day they walked near a farm. The young dog didn’t want to meet any human beings, but he was hungry. They crossed an open field to steal one of the farmer s chickens. Suddenly, they heard an angry shout and saw a man at the far corner of the field. A black farm dog was with him. It ran to attack them.

The Labrador was a terrible fighter and was hungry and weak. He was on his back, with the farm dog on top of him, when brave Bodger jumped at the farm dog’s neck. He knocked him over. The farm dog struggled to his feet and the terrier knocked him over again. Then he turned and proudly walked away. The farm dog, usually very brave, stood up shakily. His neck was covered in blood. He ran away toward his master. The farmer watched the two dogs running away across the field with one of his chickens.

“Come back here!” he shouted angrily, but the dogs were too far away.

Bodger felt stronger and braver after this fight. That evening he caught a small animal and had a delicious supper. Luath was badly hurt, but he seemed happier, too. Maybe it was because he could feel the west wind. Memories of home came back to him. He knew that every day, every hour, they were getting nearer.

The cat was following the Labrador and the old terrier. He knew which way to go. He could smell his friends clearly. But he began to feel nervous and afraid. Something was wrong, something bad was following him. He started to walk through the forest more quickly, looking for the blue sky and open country far in front of him.

Suddenly, every hair on his back stood up! He could hear and feel an animal behind him. And it was not far away! The cat jumped up into a tree and looked down. There, moving silently through the forest, was a huge cat! And it was very different from an ordinary cat like Tao.

This one was almost twice as large, heavy, with a short tail and thick legs.

Its coat was soft gray, and darker in some places. It had the wild face of a killer, much stronger and faster than Tao. It was a lynx! Tao quickly climbed to the top of the tree. The lynx heard him and stopped suddenly. It looked up, lifting one heavy paw. Its terrible eyes shone angrily. The cat looked around nervously, searching for a way to escape. His tail moved from side to side and he made a low, scared noise.

Then the lynx started climbing the tree toward the cat. As its heavy body came nearer, the tree moved dangerously. The cat found it difficult to hold on. Then the lynx attacked with its great paw. The cat hit back, the tree moved wildly and the cat fell to the ground. He heard the lynx land near him, got up fast, and ran for his life.

Almost immediately, he heard the lynx close behind him. The cat couldn’t turn and fight: this was a dangerous enemy, not a stupid bear. As he ran away, he knew it was hopeless. Every time the cat climbed up a tree, the lynx followed. Its great size shook the tree, and the cat fell off again and again. Then he saw a hole in the ground and ran into it. The hole was too small for the lynx to follow. It lay on the ground and looked into the hole with one terrible green eye. But it soon moved back when some earth hit it in the face. The cat’s back legs were working hard, throwing earth out of the hole!

The lynx sat back and thought. There was complete silence in the forest.

Deep in the hole, the cat waited, too scared to do anything. Suddenly, the lynx began to push the earth around the hole to one side with its huge paws. It didn’t hear a young boy behind it. The boy was wearing a bright red jacket and carrying a gun. He was hunting, so he walked softly. Suddenly, he saw the wild animal at the entrance to the hole. At exactly the same time, the lynx saw the boy. It made a terrible noise. No fear showed in its angry eyes as it moved toward the boy. In a second, the boy lifted his gun and shot, all in one quick movement. The lynx turned over in the air and fell. It hit the ground and lay there, dead.

The boy was shaking as he moved toward the dead animal. He couldn’t forget the crazy look in the lynx’s eyes. He looked down at it with a pale face but he couldn’t touch it. The boy’s father hurried toward his son. He stopped suddenly when he saw the huge body on the ground and his son’s white face.

The man turned the animal over. “Look, son,” he said to the boy, smiling. “Look at that hole. That’s where you shot it!”

The boy smiled back, still shaking.

“Tie this red cloth on the tree, son,” said his father. “Then it’ll be easy to find. We’ll come back later.”

The boy tied the cloth tightly on the tree and looked down at the lynx one more time. Then father and son walked away together, talking excitedly. The hidden cat could hear their voices for a long time.

When everything was silent, he came out of his hiding place into the sun.

He was tired and dirty. He didn’t look at the dead body once. He calmly walked around it, sat down near it, and started washing his body from the end of his tail to his nose. Then he continued on his way, as calm and proud as always.

Two days later, the cat found the two dogs. He came down a hill into a valley and suddenly saw his dear golden and white friends on the other side of a small stream. His tail moved in excitement, he opened his mouth and cried out. The two dogs stopped immediately, listening to the unbelievable sound in the valley. The cat jumped up onto a rock so that they could see him clearly. The young dog started to bark loudly and hurried across the stream. The old dog followed and the cat began to run, too. They met near the little stream, all of them very excited.

In his happiness, the old dog knocked the cat over twice with his head! The cat ran straight up a tree and then dropped down onto the old dog’s back! The young dog stood there, slowly wagging his tail. When the old dog was too tired to move, the Labrador walked up to the cat. Tao stood on his back legs and put his chocolate-colored front paws on the great dog’s neck.

That night the three friends were happier than any other animals in the world. They lay close together under an old tree near the stream. Bodger had his dear cat, warm and loving, between his paws again. Luath stopped worrying. His friend was back and he could continue the journey with a lighter heart.

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