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The end of autumn now approaching, the bees had filled their combs with honey; and nothing more being to be got abroad, they staid within doors, passing most of their time in sleep. They ate a little of their store, but with great frugality; and all their meals were made in public, none daring to make free with the common stock by himself. The owner of the hives now came and took them one by one into his hand, that he might judge by the weight whether or no they were full of honey. That in which Indur was, proved to be one of the heaviest; and it was therefore resolved to take the contents. For this purpose, one cold night, when the bees were all fast asleep, the hive was placed over a hole in the ground, in which were put brimstone matches set on fire. The fumes rose into the hive, and soon suffocated great part of the bees, and stupified
the rest, so that they all fell from the combs. Indur was amongst the dead.
He soon revived in the form of a young Rabbit in a spacious warren. This was like a populous town; being every where hollowed by burrows running deep under ground, and each inhabited by one or more families. In the evening the warren was covered with a vast number of rabbits, old and young, some feeding, others frisking about, and pursuing one another in wanton sport. At the least alarm, they all hurried into the holes nearest them, and were in an instant safe from enemies, who either could not follow them at all, or if they did, were foiled in the chase by the numerous ways and turnings in the earth, communicating with each other, so as to afford easy means of escape. Indur delighted much in this secure and social life; and taking a mate, was soon the father of a numerous
offspring. Several of the little ones, however, not being sufficiently careful, fell a prey either to hawks and crows, continually hovering over the warren, or to cats, foxes, and other wild quadrupeds, who used every art to catch them at a distance from their holes. Indur himself ran several hazards. He was once very near being caught by a little dog trained for the purpose, who kept playing round for a considerable time, not seeming to attend to the rabbits, till having got near, he all at once darted in the midst of them. Another time he received some shot from a sportsman who lay on the watch behind a hedge adjoining the warren,
The number of rabbits here was so great, that a hard winter coming on, which killed most of the vegetables, or buried them deep under the snow, they were reduced to great straits, and many were famished to death. Some turnips
and hay, however, which were laid for them, preserved the greater part. The approach of spring renewed their sport and pleasure; and Indur was made the father of another family. One night, however, was fatal to them all. As they were sleeping, they were alarmed by the attack of a ferret; and running with great speed to the mouth of their burrow to escape it, they were all caught in nets placed over their holes. Indur with the rest was dispatched by a blow on the back of the neck, and his body was sent to the nearest market town.
His next change was into a young Mastiff, brought up in a farm-yard. Having nearly acquired his full size, he was sent as a present to a gentleman in the neighbourhood, who wanted a faithful guard for his house and grounds. Indur presently attached himself to his master and all his family, and showed every mark of a noble and generous
nature. Though fierce as a lion whenever he thought the persons or property of his friends invaded, he was as gentle as a lamb at other times, and would patiently suffer any kind of freedoms from those he loved. He permitted the children of the house to lug him about, ride on his back, and use him as roughly as their little hands were capable of; never even when hurt, showing any displeasure further than by a low growl. He was extremely indulgent to all the other animals of his species in the yard; and when abroad would treat the impertinent barking of little dogs with silent contempt. Once indeed being provoked beyond bearing, not only by the noise, but by the snaps of a malicious whelp, he suddenly seized him in his open mouth; but when the bystanders thought that the poor cur was going instantly to be devoured, they were equally diverted and