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The Elephants And The Lion.

A HUNTSMAN of Kuangsi, who was out on the hills with his bow and arrows, lay down to rest awhile, and unwittingly fell fast asleep. As he was slumbering, an elephant came up, and, coiling his trunk around the man, carried him off. The latter gave himself up for dead; but before long the elephant had deposited him at the foot of a tall tree, and had summoned a whole herd of comrades, who crowded about the huntsman as though asking his assistance. The elephant who had brought him went and lay down under the tree, and first looked up into its branches and then looked down at the man, apparently requesting him to get up into the tree. So the latter jumped on the elephant’s back and then clambered up to the topmost branch, not knowing what he was expected to do next. By-and-by a lion arrived, and from among the frightened herd chose out a fat elephant, which he seemed as though about to devour. The others remained there trembling, not daring to run away, but looking wistfully up into the tree. Thereupon the huntsman drew an arrow from his quiver and shot the lion dead, at which all the elephants below made him a grateful obeisance. He then descended, when the elephant lay down again and invited him to mount by pulling at his clothes with its trunk. This he did, and was carried to a place where the animal scratched the ground with its foot, and revealed to him a vast number of old tusks. He jumped down and collected them in a bundle, after which the elephant conveyed him to a spot whence he easily found his way home.

粵中有獵獸者,挾矢如山。偶臥憩息,不覺沉睡,被象來鼻攝而去。自分必遭殘害。未幾,釋置樹下,頓首一鳴,群象紛至,四面旋繞,若有所求。前象伏樹下,仰視樹而俯視人,似欲其登。獵者會意,即足踏象背,攀援而升。雖至樹巔,亦不知其意向所存。少時,有狻猊來,眾象皆伏。狻猊擇一肥者,意將搏噬。象戰慄,無敢逃者,惟共仰樹上,似求憐拯。獵者會意,因望狻猊發一弩,狻猊立殪。諸象瞻空,意若拜舞。獵者乃下。象復伏,以鼻牽衣,似欲其乘。獵者隨跨身其上,象乃行。至一處,以蹄穴地,得脫牙無算。獵人下,束治置象背。象乃負送出山,始返。

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