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Copyright, 1920, by 

All rights reserved, including that of translation 
into foreign languages 

First Printing, Aug. 24, 1920 

Second Printing, Dec. 17, 1920 

Third Printing, April 16, 1921 

Fourth Printing, July 7, 1921 

Fifth Printing, Sept. 1, 1921 

Sixth Printing, Oct. 26, 1921 

Seventh Printing, Pec. 5, 1921 

Eighth Printing, April 3, 1922 

Ninth Printing, Aug. 18, 1922 

Tenth Printing, Nov. 28, 1922 

Eleventh Printing, April 2, 1923 


I y n ft ~> 

I- Cm W NEW VOPtK K I ^ "1 3 






THERE are some of us now reaching 
middle age who discover themselves to be la- 
menting the past in one respect if in none other, 
that there are no books written now for children 
comparable with those of thirty years ago. I 
say written for children because the new psycho- 
logical business of writing about them as though 
they were small pills or hatched in some espe- 
cially scientific method is extremely popular to- 
day. Writing for children rather than about 
them is very difficult as everybody who has tried 
it knows. It can only be done, I am convinced, 
by somebody having a great deal of the child 
in his own outlook and sensibilities. Such was 
the author of "The Little Duke" and "The 
Dove in the Eagle's Nest," such the author of 
"A Flatiron for a Farthing," and "The Story 
of a Short Life." Such, above all, the author of 
"Alice in Wonderland." Grownups imagine 
that they can do the trick by adopting baby 


viii Introduction 

language and talking down to their very critical 
audience. There never was a greater mistake. 
The imagination of the author must be a child's 
imagination and yet maturely consistent, so that 
the White Queen in "Alice/ 1 for instance, is 
seen just as a child would see her, but she con- 
tinues always herself through all her distressing 
adventures. The supreme touch of the white 
rabbit pulling on his white gloves as he hastens 
is again absolutely the child's vision, but the 
white rabbit as guide and introducer of Alice's 
adventures belongs to mature grown insight. 
Geniuses are rare and, without being at all 
an undue praiser of times past, one can say with- 
out hesitation that until the appearance of Hugh 
Lofting, the successor of Miss Yonge, Mrs. 
Ewing, Mrs. Gatty and Lewis Carroll had not 
appeared. I remember the delight with which 
some six months ago I picked up the first "Do- 
little" book in the Hampshire bookshop at 
Smith College in Northampton. One of Mr. 
Lofting's pictures was quite enough for me. 
The picture that I lighted upon when I first 
opened the book was the one of the monkeys 



making a chain with their arms across the gulf. 
Then I looked further and discovered Bumpo 
reading fairy stories to himself. And then 
looked again and there was a picture of John 
Dolittle's house. 

But pictures are not enough although most 
authors draw so badly that if one of them hap- 
pens to have the genius for line that Mr. Lofting 
shows there must be, one feels, something in his 
writing as well. There is. You cannot read the 
first paragraph of the book, which begins in the 
right way "Once upon a time" without know- 
ing that Mr. Lofting believes in his story quite 
as much as he expects you to. That is the first 
essential for a story teller. Then you discover 
as you read on that he has the right eye for the 
right detail. What child-inquiring mind could 
resist this intriguing sentence to be found on the 
second page of the book: 

"Besides the gold-fish in the pond at the bot- 
tom of his garden, he had rabbits in the pantry, 
white mice in his piano, a squirrel in the linen 
closet and a hedgehog in the cellar." 

x Introduction 

And then when you read a little further you 
will discover that the Doctor is not merely a 
peg on whom to hang exciting and various ad- 
ventures but that he is himself a man of original 
and lively character. He is a very kindly, gen- 
erous man, and anyone who has ever written 
stories will know that it is much more difficult 
to make kindly, generous characters interesting 
than unkindly and mean ones. But Dolittle is in- 
teresting. It is not only that he is quaint but 
that he is wise and knows what he is about. The 
reader, however young, who meets him gets very 
soon a sense that if he were in trouble, not neces- 
sarily medical, he would go to Dolittle and ask 
his advice about it. Dolittle seems to extend 
his hand from the page and grasp that of his 
reader, and I can see him going down the cen- 
turies a kind of Pied Piper with thousands of 
children at his heels. But not only is he a dar- 
ling and alive and credible but his creator has 
also managed to invest everybody else in the 
book with the same kind of life. 

Now this business of giving life to animals, 
making them talk and behave like human 

Introduction xi 

beings, is an extremely difficult one. Lewis Car- 
roll absolutely conquered the difficulties, but I 
am not sure that anyone after him until Hugh 
Lofting has really managed the trick; even in 
such a masterpiece as "The Wind in the Wil- 
lows" we are not quite convinced. John Do- 
little's friends are convincing because their cre- 
ator never forces them to desert their own char- 
acteristics. Polynesia, for instance, is natural 
from first to last. She really does care about 
the Doctor but she cares as a bird would care, 
having always some place to which she is going 
when her business with her friends is over. And 
when Mr. Lofting invents fantastic animals he 
gives them a kind of credible possibility which 
is extraordinarily convincing. It will be im- 
possible for anyone who has read this book not 
to believe in the existence of the pushmi-pullyu, 
who would be credible enough even were there 
no drawing of it, but the picture on page 153 
settles the matter of his truth once and for all. 
In fact this book is a work of genius and, as 
always with works of genius, it is difficult to 
analyze the elements that have gone to make 

xii Introduction 

it. There is poetry here and fantasy and humor, 
a little pathos but, above all, a number of crea- 
tions in whose existence everybody must believe 
whether they be children of four or old men of 
ninety or prosperous bankers of forty-five. I 
don't know how Mr. Lofting has done it; I 
don't suppose that he knows himself. There it 
is the first real children's classic since "Alice." 









V THE GREAT JOURNEY . . . . . -37 









XIV THE RATS' WARNING . . , . . . 117 








"A little town called Puddleby-on-the-Marsh" Frontispiece 


"And she never came to see him any more" ... 3 

"He could see as well as ever" 14 

"They came at once to his house on the edge of the 

town 15 

"They used to sit in chairs on the lawn" . . . . 19 

" 'All right,' said the Doctor, 'go and get married' . 23 

"One evening when the Doctor was asleep in his chair" 24 

"'I felt sure there was twopence left' . ... 31 

"And the voyage began" 35 

" 'We must have run into Africa' 41 

" 'I got into it because I did not want to be drowned' 44 

"And Queen Ermintrude was asleep" 48 

"'Who's that?'" 52 

"Cheering and waving leaves and swinging out of the 

branches to greet him" 61 

"John Dolittle was the last to cross" 65 

"He made all the monkeys who were still well come and 

be vaccinated" 68 

"'ME, the King of Beasts, to wait on a lot of dirty 

monkeys?' 7 

"Then the Grand Gorilla got up" 76 

" 'Lord save us!' cried the duck. 'How does it make 

up its mind?' 85 



"He began reading the fairy-stories to himself" . . 96 

"Crying bitterly and waving till the ship was out of 

sight" 109 

'They are surely the pirates of Barbary' . . .114 

'And you have heard that rats always leave a sinking 
ship?' 119 

" 'Look here, Ben Ali ' 127 

"'Sh! Listen! I do believe there's someone in 

tllCl C J. ^ \j 

'You stupid piece of warm bacon!' . . . . . 153 

"'Doctor!' he cried. 'I've got it!' " 160 

"And she kissed the Doctor many times" . . . .170 

"The Doctor sat in a chair in front" 176 

"He began running round the garden like a crazy thing" 178 





NCE upon a time, many years ago 
when our grandfathers were 
little children there was a doc- 
tor; and his name was Dolittle 
John Dolittle, M.D. "M.D." 
means that he was a proper doc- 
tor and knew a whole lot. 

He lived in a little town called, Puddleby- 
on-the-Marsh. All the folks, young and old, 
knew him well by sight. And whenever he 
walked down the street in his high hat every- 
one would say, "There goes the Doctor! He's 
a clever man." And the dogs and the children 
would all run up and follow behind him; and 

2 The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

even the crows that lived in the church-tower 
would caw and nod their heads. 

The house he lived in, on the edge of the 
town, was quite small; but his garden was very 
large and had a wide lawn and stone seats and 
weeping-willows hanging over. His sister, 
Sarah Dolittle, was housekeeper for him; but 
the Doctor looked after the garden himself. 

He was very fond of animals and kept many 
kinds of pets. Besides the gold-fish in the pond 
at the bottom of his garden, he had rabbits in 
the pantry, white mice in his piano, a squirrel 
in the linen closet and a hedgehog in the cellar. 
He had a cow with a calf too, and an old lame 
horse- -twenty- five years of age and chickens, 
and pigeons, and two lambs, and many other 
animals. But his favorite pets were Dab-Dab 
the duck, Jip the dog, Gub-Gub the baby pig, 
Polynesia the parrot, and the owl Too-Too. 

His sister used to grumble about all these ani-. 
mals and said they made the house untidy. 
And one day when an old lady with rheumatism 
came to see the Doctor, she sat on the hedge- 
hog who was sleeping on the sofa and never came 







4 The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

to see him any more, but drove every Saturday 
all the way to Oxenthorpe, another town ten 
miles off, to see a different doctor. 

Then his sister, Sarah Dolittle, came to him 
and said, 

"John, how can you expect sick people to 
come and see you when you keep all these ani- 
mals in the house? It's a fine doctor would have 
his parlor full of hedgehogs and mice! That's 
the fourth personage these animals have driven 
away. Squire Jenkins and the Parson say they 
wouldn't come near your house again no mat- 
ter how sick they are. We are getting poorer 
every day. If you go on like this, none of the 
best people will have you for a doctor.'* 

"But I like the animals better than the 'best 
people'," said the Doctor. 

"You are ridiculous," said his sister, and 
walked out of the room. 

So, as time went on, the Doctor got more and 
more animals; and the people who came to see 
him got less and less. Till at last he had no 
one left except the Cat's-meat-Man, who didn't 
mind any kind of animals. But the Cat's-meat- 

Puddle by 5 

Man wasn't very rich and he only got sick once 
a year at Christmas-time, when he used to give 
the Doctor sixpence for a bottle of medicine. 

Sixpence a year wasn't enough to live on 
even in those days, long ago ; and if the Doctor 
hadn't had some money saved up in his money- 
box, no one knows what would have happened. 

And he kept on getting still more pets; and of 
course it cost a lot to feed them. And the money 
he had saved up grew littler and littler. 

Then he sold his piano, and let the mice live 
in a bureau-drawer. But the money he got for 
that too began to go, so he sold the brown suit 
he wore on Sundays and went on becoming 
poorer and poorer. 

And now, when he walked down the street 
in his high hat, people would say to one another, 
"There goes John Dolittle, M.D. 1 There was a 
time when he was the best known doctor in the 
West Country Look at him now He hasn't 
any money and his stockings are full of holes!" 

But the dogs and the cats and the children 
still ran up and followed him through the town 
the same as they had done when he was rich. 



T happened one day that the Doc- 
tor was sitting in his kitchen talk- 
ing with the Cat's-meat- Man 
who had come to see him with a 

"Why don't you give up being 
a people's doctor, and be an animal-doctor?" 
asked the Cat's-meat-Man. 

The parrot, Polynesia, was sitting in the win- 
dow looking out at the rain and singing a sailor- 
song to herself. She stopped singing and 
started to listen. 

"You see, Doctor," the Cat's-meat-Man went 
on, "you know all about animals much more 
than what these here vets do. That book you 
wrote about cats, why, it's wonderful! I can't 
read or write myself or maybe I'd write some 
books. But my wife, Theodosia, she's a scholar, 


8 The Story of Doctor Dollttle 

she is. And she read your book to me. Well, 
it's wonderful- -that's all can be said- -wonder- 
ful. You might have been a cat yourself. You 
know the way they think. And listen : you can 
make a lot of money doctoring animals. Do 
you know that? You see, I'd send all the old 
women who had sick cats or dogs to you. And 
if they didn't get sick fast enough, I could put 
something in the meat I sell 'em to make 'em 
sick, see?" 

"Oh, no," said the Doctor quickly. "You 
mustn't do that. That wouldn't be right." 

"Oh, I didn't mean real sick," answered the 
Cat's-meat-Man. "Just a little something to 
make them droopy-like was what I had refer- 
ence to. But as you say, maybe it ain't quite 
fair on the animals. But they'll get sick any- 
way, because the old women always give 'em too 
much to eat. And look, all the farmers round 
about who had lame horses and weak lambs 
they'd come. Be an animal-doctor." 

When the Cat's-meat-Man had gone the par- 
rot flew off the window on to the Doctor's table 
and said, 

Animal Language 

"That man's got sense. That's what you 
ought to do. Be an animal-doctor. Give the 
silly people up if they haven't brains enough 
to see you're the best doctor in the world. Take 
care of animals instead they'll soon find it out. 
Be an animal-doctor." 

"Oh, there are plenty of animal-doctors," said 
John Dolittle, putting the flower-pots outside on 
the window-sill to get the rain. 

"Yes, there are plenty," said Polynesia. "But 
none of them are any good at all. Now listen, 
Doctor, and I'll tell you something. Did you 
know that animals can talk?" 

"I knew that parrots can talk," said the Doc- 

"Oh, we parrots can talk in two languages- 
people's language and bird-language," said 
Polynesia proudly. "If I say, Tolly wants a 
cracker,' you understand me. But hear this: 
Ka-ka oi-ee, fee-fee?' 

"Good Gracious!" cried the Doctor. "What 
does that mean?" 

"That means, 'Is the porridge hot yet?' in 

io The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

"My! You don't say so!" said the Doctor. 
"You never talked that way to me before.' 1 

"What would have been the good?" said 
Polynesia, dusting some cracker-crumbs off her 
left wing. "You wouldn't have understood me 
if I had." 

"Tell me some more," said the Doctor, all ex- 
cited; and he rushed over to the dresser-drawer 
and came back with the butcher's book and a 
pencil. "Now don't go too fast and I'll write 
it down. This is interesting very interesting 
something quite new. Give me the Birds' 
A.B.C. first slowly now." 

So that was the way the Doctor came to know 
that animals had a language of their own and 
could talk to one another. And all that after- 
noon, while it was raining, Polynesia sat on the 
kitchen table giving him bird words to put down 
in the book. 

At tea-time, when the dog, Jip, came in, the 
parrot said to the Doctor, "See, his talking to 

"Looks to me as though he were scratching his 
ear," said the Doctor. 

Animal Language II 

"But animals don't always speak with their 
mouths," said the parrot in a high voice, rais- 
ing her eyebrows. "They talk with their ears, 
with their feet, with their tails with every- 
thing. Sometimes they don't want to make a 
noise. Do you see now the way he's twitching 
up one side of his nose?" 

"What's that mean?" asked the Doctor. 

"That means, 'Can't you see that it has 
stopped raining?' Polynesia answered. "He 
is asking you a question. Dogs nearly always 
use their noses for asking questions." 

After a while, with the parrot's help, the 
Doctor got to learn the language of the animals 
so well that he could talk to them himself and 
understand everything they said. Then he gave 
up being a people's doctor altogether. 

As soon as the Cat's-meat-Man had told every 
one that John Dolittle was going to become an 
animal-doctor, old ladies began to bring him 
their pet pugs and poodles who had eaten too 
much cake; and farmers came many miles to 
show him sick cows and sheep. 

One day a plow-horse was brought to him; 

12 The Story of Doctor Dollttle 

and the poor thing was terribly glad to find a 
man who could talk in horse-language. 

"You know, Doctor," said the horse, "that 
vet over the hill knows nothing at all. He has 
been treating me six weeks now for spavins. 
What I need is spectacles. I am going blind in 
one eye. There's no reason why horses 
shouldn't wear glasses, the same as people. But 
that stupid man over the hill never even looked 
at my eyes. He kept on giving me big pills. 
I tried to tell him; but he couldn't understand 
a word of horse-language. What I need is spec- 

"Of course of course," said the Doctor. 
"I'll get you some at once." 

"I would like a pair like yours," said the 
horse "only green. They'll keep the sun out 
of my eyes while I'm plowing the Fifty-Acre 

"Certainly," said the Doctor. "Green ones 
you shall have." 

"You know, the trouble is, Sir," said the 
plow-horse as the Doctor opened the front door 
to let him out "the trouble is that anybody 

Animal Language 13 

thinks he can doctor animals- -just because the 
animals don't complain. As a matter of fact 
it takes a much cleverer man to be a really good 
animal-doctor than it does to be a good people's 
doctor. My farmer's boy thinks he knows all 
about horses. I wish you could see him his 
face is so fat he looks as though he had no eyes 
and he has got as much brain as a potato-bug. 
He tried to put a mustard-plaster on me last 

"Where did he put it?" asked the Doctor. 

"Oh, he didn't put it anywhere on me," said 
the horse. "He only tried to. I kicked him 
into the duck-pond." 

"Well, well!" said the Doctor. 

"I'm a pretty quiet creature as a rule," said 
the horse "very patient with people don't 
make much fuss. But it was bad enough to 
have that vet giving me the wrong medicine. 
And when that red-faced booby started to 
monkey with me, I just couldn't bear it any 

"Did you hurt the boy much?" asked the Doc- 

The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

"Oh, no," said the horse. "I kicked him in 
the right place. The vet's looking after him 

now. When will my glasses be ready?" 

"I'll have them for you next week," said the 
Doctor. "Come in again Tuesday Good 


\ S~-, i 'i 

"He could see as well as ever" 

Then John Dolittle got a fine, big pair of 
green spectacles; and the plow-horse stopped 
going blind in one eye and could see as well as 

And soon it became a common sight to see 
farm-animals wearing glasses in the country 
round Puddleby; and a blind horse was 3 thing 

Animal Language 

And so it was with all the other animals that 
were brought to him. As soon as they found 
that he could talk their language, they told him 
where the pain was and how they felt, and of 
course it was easy for him to cure them. 



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"They came at once to his house on the edge of the town" 

Now all these animals went back and told 
their brothers and friends that there was a doc- 
tor in the little house with the big garden who 
really 'was a doctor. And whenever any crea- 
tures got sick not only horses and cows and 

16 The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

dogs--but all the little things of the fields, like 
harvest-mice and water-voles, badgers and bats, 
they came at once to his house on the edge of the 
town, so that his big garden was nearly always 
crowded with animals trying to get in to see 

There were so many that came that he had to 
have special doors made for the different kinds. 
He wrote "HORSES" over the front door, 
"COWS" over the side door, and "SHEEP" on 
the kitchen door. Each kind of animal had a 
separate door even the mice had a tiny tunnel 
made for them into the cellar, where they 
waited patiently in rows for the Doctor to come 
round to them. 

And so, in a few years' time, every living 
thing for miles and miles got to know about 
John Dolittle, M.D. And the birds who flew 
to other countries in the winter told the ani- 
mals in foreign lands of the wonderful doctor 
of Puddleby-on-the-Marsh, who could under- 
stand their talk and help them in their troubles. 
In this way he became famous among the ani- 
mals all over the world better known even 

Animal Language 17 

than he had been among the folks of the West 
Country, And he was happy and liked his life 
very much. 

One afternoon when the Doctor was busy 
writing in a book, Polynesia sat in the win- 
dow as she nearly always did looking out at 
the leaves blowing about in the garden. Pres- 
ently she laughed aloud. 

"What is it, Polynesia?" asked the Doctor, 
looking up from his book. 

"I was just thinking/' said the parrot; and 
she went on looking at the leaves. 

"What were you thinking?" 

"I was thinking about people," said Polynesia. 
"People make me sick. They think they're so 
wonderful. The world has been going on now 
for thousands of years, hasn't it? And the only 
thing in animal-language that people have 
learned to understand is that when a dog wags 
his tail he means 'I'm glad!' It's funny, isn't 
it? You are the very first man to talk like us. 
Oh, sometimes people annoy me dreadfully 
such airs they put on talking about 'the dumb 
animals.' Dumb! Huh! Why I knew a 

l8 The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

macaw once who could say 'Good morning!' in 
seven different ways without once opening his 
mouth. He could talk every language and 
Greek. An old professor with a gray beard 
bought him. But he didn't stay. He said the 
old man didn't talk Greek right, and he couldn't 
stand listening to him teach the language wrong. 
I often wonder what's become of him. That 
bird knew more geography than people will ever 
know. People, Golly! I suppose if people 
ever learn to fly like any common hedge- 
sparrow we shall never hear the end of it!" 

"You're a wise old bird," said the Doctor. 
"How old are you really? I know that parrots 
and elephants sometimes live to be very, very 

"I can never be quite sure of my age," said 
Polynesia. "It's either a hundred and eighty- 
three or a hundred and eighty-two. But I 
know that when I first came here from Africa, 
King Charles was still hiding in the oak-tree 
because I saw him. He looked scared to 



ND soon now the Doctor 
began to make money 
again; and his sister, 
Sarah, bought a new 
dress and was happy. 

Some of the animals 

who came to see him were so sick that they had 
to stay at the Doctor's house for a week. And 

"They used to sit in chairs on the lawn" 

when they were getting better they used to sit in 
chairs on the lawn. 

And often even after they got well, they did 

not want to go away they liked the Doctor 


2O The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

and his house so much. And he never had the 
heart to refuse them when they asked if they 
could stay with him. So in this way he went 
on getting more and more pets. 

Once when he was sitting on his garden wall, 
smoking a pipe in the evening, an Italian organ- 
grinder came round with a monkey on a string. 
The Doctor saw at once that the monkey's collar 
was too tight and that he was dirty and un- 
happy. So he took the monkey away from the 
Italian, gave the man a shilling and told him 
to go. The organ-grinder got awfully angry 
and said that he wanted to keep the monkey. 
But the Doctor told him that if he didn't go 
away he would punch him on the nose. John 
Dolittle was a strong man, though he wasn't 
very tall. So the Italian went away saying rude 
things and the monkey stayed with Doctor Do- 
little and had a good home. The other ani- 
mals in the house called him "Chee-Chee" 
which is a common word in monkey-language, 
meaning "ginger." 

And another time, when the circus came to 
Puddleby, the crocodile who had a bad tooth- 

More Money Troubles 21 

ache escaped at night and came into the Doc- 
tor's garden. The Doctor talked to him in 
crocodile-language and took him into the house 
and made his tooth better. But when the croco- 
dile saw what a nice house it was with all the 
different places for the different kinds of ani- 
mals- -he too wanted to live with the Doctor. 
He asked couldn't he sleep in the fish-pond at 
the bottom of the garden, if he promised not 
to eat the fish. When the circus-men came to 
take him back he got so wild and savage that 
he frightened them away. But to every one in 
the house he was always as gentle as a kitten. 

But now the old ladies grew afraid to send 
their lap-dogs to Doctor Dolittle because of the 
crocodile; and the farmers wouldn't believe that 
he would not eat the lambs and sick calves they 
brought to be cured. So the Doctor went to 
the crocodile and told him he must go back 
to his circus. But he wept such big tears, and 
begged so hard to be allowed to stay, that the 
Doctor hadn't the heart to turn him out. 

So then the Doctor's sister came to him and 

22 The Story of Doctor Dolittle 


'John, you must send that creature away. 
Now the farmers and the old ladies are afraid 
to send their animals to you- -just as we were 
beginning to be well off again. Now we shall 
be ruined entirely. This is the last straw. I 
will no longer be housekeeper for you if you 
don't send away that alligator." 

"It isn't an alligator," said the Doctor "it's 
a crocodile." 

"I don't care what you call it," said his sister. 
"It's a nasty thing to find under the bed. I 
won't have it in the house." 

"But he has promised me," the Doctor an- 
swered, "that he will not bite any one. He 
doesn't like the circus; and I haven't the money 
to send him back to Africa where he comes 
from. He minds his own business and on the 
whole is very well behaved. Don't be so 

"I tell you I will not have him around," said 
Sarah. "He eats the linoleum. If you don't 
send him away this minute I'll I'll go and get 

"All right," said the Doctor, "go and get mar- 

More Monev Troubles 

ried. It can't be helped." And he took down 
his hat and went out into the garden. 

So Sarah Dolittle packed up her things and 
went off; and the Doctor was left all alone with 
his animal family. 

'All right,' said the Doctor, 'go and get married' 

And very soon he was poorer than he had 
ever been before. With all these mouths to fill, 
and the house to look after, and no one to do 
the mending, and no money coming in to pay 
the butcher's bill, things began to look very diffi- 
cult. But the Doctor didn't worry at all. 

The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

"Money is a nuisance," he used to say. 
"We'd all be much better off if it had never 
been invented. What does money matter, so 
long as we are happy?" 

"One evening when the Doctor was asleep in his chair' 

But soon the animals themselves began to get 
worried. And one evening when the Doctor 
was asleep in his chair before the kitchen-fire 

More Money Troubles 25 

they began talking it over among themselves in 
whispers. And the owl, Too-Too, who was 
good at arithmetic, figured it out that there was 
only money enough left to last another week 
if they each had one meal a day and no more. 

Then the parrot said, "I think we all ought 
to do the housework ourselves. At least we can 
do that much. After all, it is for our sakes that 
the old man finds himself so lonely and so 

So it was agreed that the monkey, Chee-Chee, 
was to do the cooking and mending; the dog 
was to sweep the floors; the duck was to dust 
and make the beds; the owl, Too-Too, was to 
keep the accounts, and the pig was to do the 
gardening. They made Polynesia, the parrot, 
housekeeper and laundress, because she was the 

Of course at first they all found their new 
jobs very hard to do all except Chee-Chee, who 
had hands, and could do things like a man. But 
they soon got used to it; and they used to think 
it great fun to watch Jip, the dog, sweeping 
his tail over the floor with a rag tied onto it for 

26 The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

a broom. After a little they got to do the work 
so well that the Doctor said that he had never 
had his house kept so tidy or so clean before. 

In this way things went along all right for a 
while; but without money they found it very 

Then the animals made a vegetable and flower 
stall outside the garden-gate and sold radishes 
and roses to the people that passed by along the 

But still they didn't seem to make enough 
money to pay all the bills and still the Doc- 
tor wouldn't worry. When the parrot came to 
him and told him that the fishmonger wouldn't 
give them any more fish, he said, 

"Never mind. So long as the hens lay eggs 
and the cow gives milk we can have omelettes 
and junket. And there are plenty of vegetables 
left in the garden. The Winter is still a long 
way off. Don't fuss. That was the trouble 
with Sarah she would fuss. I wonder how 
Sarah's getting on an excellent woman in 
some ways Well, well!" 

But the snow came earlier than usual that 

More Money Troubles 27 

year; and although the old lame horse hauled 
in plenty of wood from the forest outside the 
town, so they could have a big fire in the kitchen, 
most of the vegetables in the garden were gone, 
and the rest were covered with snow; and many 
of the animals were really hungry. 




HAT Winter was a very cold 
one. And one night in Decem- 
ber, when they were all sitting 
round the warm fire in the 
kitchen, and the Doctor was 
reading aloud to them out of 
books he had written himself in animal-language, 
the owl, Too-Too, suddenly said, 
"Sh! What's that noise outside?" 
They all listened; and presently they heard 
the sound of some one running. Then the door 
flew open and the monkey, Chee-Chee, ran in, 
badly out of breath. 

"Doctor!" he cried, "I've just had a message 
from a cousin of mine in Africa. There is a 
terrible sickness among the monkeys out there. 
They are all catching it and they are dying 
in hundreds. They have heard of you, and beg 

you to come to Africa to stop the sickness." 


30 The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

"Who brought the message?" asked the Doc- 
tor, taking off his spectacles and laying down 
his book. 

"A swallow," said Chee-Chee. "She is out- 
side on the rain-butt." 

"Bring her in by the fire," said the Doctor. 
"She must be perished with the cold. The swal- 
lows flew South six weeks ago!" 

So the swallow was brought in, all huddled 
and shivering; and although she was a little 
afraid at first, she soon got warmed up and sat 
on the edge of the mantelpiece and began to 

When she had finished the Doctor said, 

"I would gladly go to Africa especially in 
this bitter weather. But I'm afraid we haven't 
money enough to buy the tickets. Get me the 
money-box, Chee-Chee." 

So the monkey climbed up and got it off the 
top shelf of the dresser. 

There was nothing in it not one single 

"I felt sure there was twopence left," said the 

A Message from Africa 

"There <was" said the owl. "But you spent 
it on a rattle for that badger's baby when he 
was teething." 

"Did I?" said the Doctor "dear me, dear 
me! What a nuisance money is, to be sure! 
Well, never mind. Perhaps if I go down to 

" 'I felt sure there was twopence left' 

the seaside I shall be able to borrow a boat that 
will take us to Africa. I knew a seaman once 
who brought his baby to me with measles. 
Maybe he'll lend us his boat the baby got 

So early the next morning the Doctor went 
down to the sea-shore. And when he came back 

32 The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

he told the animals it was all right the sailor 
was going to lend them the boat. 

Then the crocodile and the monkey and the 
parrot were very glad and began to sing, be- 
cause they were going back to Africa, their real 
home. And the Doctor said, 

"I shall only be able to take you three with 
Jip the dog, Dab-Dab the duck, Gub-Gub the 
pig and the owl, Too-Too. The rest of the ani- 
mals, like the dormice and the water-voles and 
the bats, they will have to go back and live in 
the fields where they were born till we come 
home again. But as most of them sleep through 
the Winter, they won't mind that and besides, 
it wouldn't be good for them to go to Africa." 

So then the parrot, who had been on long sea- 
voyages before, began telling the Doctor all the 
things he would have to take with him on the 

"You must have plenty of pilot-bread," she 
said " 'hard tack' they call it. And you must 
have beef in cans and an anchor." 

"I expect the ship will have its own anchor," 
said the Doctor. 

A Message from Africa 33 

"Well, make sure," said Polynesia. "Because 
it's very important. You can't stop if you 
haven't got an anchor. And you'll need a 

"What's that for?" asked the Doctor. 

"To tell the time by," said the parrot. "You 
go and ring it every half-hour and then you 
know what time it is. And bring a whole lot of 
rope it always comes in handy on voyages." 

Then they began to wonder where they were 
going to get the money from to buy all the 
things they needed. 

"Oh, bother it! Money again," cried the 
Doctor. "Goodness! I shall be glad to get to 
Africa where we don't have to have any! I'll 
go and ask the grocer if he will wait for his 
money till I get back No, I'll send the sailor 
to ask him." 

So the sailor went to see the grocer. And 
presently he came back with all the things they 

Then the animals packed up; and after they 
had turned off the water so the pipes wouldn't 
freeze, and put up the shutters, they closed the 

34 The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

house and gave the key to the old horse who 
lived in the stable. And when they had seen 
that there was plenty of hay in the loft to last 
the horse through the Winter, they carried all 
their luggage down to the seashore and got on 
to the boat. 

The Cat's-meat-Man was there to see them 
off; and he brought a large suet-pudding as a 
present for the Doctor because, he said he had 
been told, you couldn't get suet-puddings in for- 
eign parts. 

As soon as they were on the ship, Gub-Gub, 
the pig, asked where the beds were, for it was 
four o'clock in the afternoon and he wanted 
his nap. So Polynesia took him downstairs into 
the inside of the ship and showed him the beds, 
set all on top of one another like book-shelves 
against a wall. 

"Why, that isn't a bed!" cried Gub-Gub. 
"That's a shelf!" 

"Beds are always like that on ships," said the 
parrot. "It isn't a shelf. Climb up into it and 
go to sleep. That's what you call 'a bunk.' 

"I don't think I'll go to bed yet," said Gub- 

i < 

' -\\ 


.1 1 r I 

! f 




, , i I 

< , ) 





36 The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

Gub. "I'm too excited. I want to go upstairs 
again and see them start." 

"Well, this is your first trip," said Polynesia, 
"You will get used to the life after a while.' 1 
And she went back up the stairs of the ship, 
humming this song to herself, 

I've seen the Black Sea and the Red Sea; 

I rounded the Isle of Wight; 
I discovered the Yellow River, 

And the Orange too by night. 
Now Greenland drops behind again, 

And I sail the ocean Blue. 
I'm tired of all these colors, Jane, 

So I'm coming back to you. 

They were just going to start on their journey, 
when the Doctor said he would have to go back 
and ask the sailor the way to Africa. 

But the swallow said she had been to that 
country many times and would show them how 
to get there. 

So the Doctor told Chee-Chee to pull up the 
anchor and the voyage began. 



for six whole weeks they 
went sailing on and on, over 
the rolling sea, following the 
swallow who flew before the 
ship to show them the way. 
At night she carried a tiny 
lantern, so they should not miss her in the dark; 
and the people on the other ships that passed 
said that the light must be a shooting star. 

As they sailed further and further into the 
South, it got warmer and warmer. Polynesia, 
Chee-Chee and the crocodile enjoyed the hot 
sun no end. They ran about laughing and look- 
ing over the side of the ship to see if they could 
see Africa yet. 

But the pig and the dog and the owl, Too- 
Too, could do nothing in such weather, but 
sal at the end of the ship in the shade of a big 


38 The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

barrel, with their tongues hanging out, drink- 
ing lemonade. 

Dab-Dab, the duck, used to keep herself cool 
by jumping into the sea and swimming behind 
the ship. And every once in a while, when 
the top of her head got too hot, she would dive 
under the ship and come up on the other side. 
In this way, too, she used to catch herrings on 
Tuesdays and Fridays when everybody on the 
boat ate fish to make the beef last longer. 

When they got near to the Equator they saw 
some flying-fishes coming towards them. And 
the fishes asked the parrot if this was Doctor 
Dolittle's ship. When she told them it was, they 
said they were glad, because the monkeys in 
Africa were getting worried that he would never 
come. Polynesia asked them how many miles 
they had yet to go; and the flying-fishes said 
it was only fifty-five miles now to the coast of 

And another time a whole school of porpoises 
came dancing through the waves; and they too 
asked Polynesia if this was the ship of the fa- 

The Great Journey 39 

mous doctor. And when they heard that it was, 
they asked the parrot if the Doctor wanted any- 
thing for his journey. 

And Polynesia said, "Yes. We have run 
short of onions." 

"There is an island not far from here," said 
the porpoises, "where the wild onions grow tall 
and strong. Keep straight on we will get 
some and catch up to you." 

So the porpoises dashed away through the 
sea. And very soon the parrot saw them again, 
coming up behind, dragging the onions through 
the waves in big nets made of seaweed. 

The next evening, as the sun was going down, 
the Doctor said, 

"Get me the telescope, Chee-Chee. Our 
journey is nearly ended. Very soon we should 
be able to see the shores of Africa." 

And about half an hour later, sure enough, 
they thought they could see something in front 
that might be land. But it began to get darker 
and darker and they couldn't be sure. 

Then a great storm came up, with thunder 

4O The Story of Doctor Dollttle 

and lightning. The wind howled; the rain 
came down in torrents; and the waves got so 
high they splashed right over the boat. 

Presently there w 7 as a big BANG! The ship 
stopped and rolled over on its side. 

"What's happened?" asked the Doctor, com- 
ing up from downstairs. 

"I'm not sure," said the parrot; "but I think 
we're ship-wrecked. Tell the duck to get out 
and see." 

So Dab-Dab dived right down under the 
waves. And when she came up she said they 
had struck a rock; there was a big hole in the 
bottom of the ship; the water was coming in; 
and they were sinking fast. 

"We must have run into Africa," said the 
Doctor. "Dear me, dear me! Well we must 
all swim to land." 

But Chee-Chee and Gub-Gub did not know 
how to swim. 

"Get the rope!" said Polynesia. "I told you 
it would come in handy. Where's that duck? 
Come here, Dab-Dab. Take this end of the 
rope, fly to the shore and tie it on to a palm- 

The Great Journey 

tree; and we'll hold the other end on the ship 
here. Then those that can't swim must climb 
along the rope till they reach the land. That's 
what you call a 'life-line.' " 

" 'We must have run into Africa' 

So they all got safely to the shore some swim- 
ming, some flying; and those that climbed along 
the rope brought the Doctor's trunk and hand- 
bag with them. 

But the ship was no good any more with the 

42 The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

big hole in the bottom; and presently the rough 
sea beat it to pieces on the rocks and the timbers 
floated away. 

Then they all took shelter in a nice dry cave 
they found, high up in the cliffs, till the storm 
was over. 

When the sun came out next morning they 
went down to the sandy beach to dry them- 

"Dear old Africa!" sighed Polynesia. "It's 
good to get back. Just think it'll be a hun- 
dred and sixty-nine years to-morrow since I was 
here! And it hasn't changed a bit! Same old 
palm-trees; same old red earth; same old black 
ants! There's no place like home!" 

And the others noticed she had tears in her 
eyes she was so pleased to see her country once 

Then the Doctor missed his high hat; for it 
had been blown into the sea during the storm. 
So Dab-Dab went out to look for it. And pres- 
ently she saw it, a long way off, floating on the 
water like a toy-boat. 

When she flew down to get it, she found one 

The Great Journey 43 

of the white mice, very frightened, sitting in- 
side it. 

"What are you doing here?" asked the duck. 
"You were told to stay behind in Puddleby." 

"I didn't want to be left behind/' said the 
mouse. "I wanted to see what Africa was like 
I have relatives there. So I hid in the bag- 
gage and was brought on to the ship with the 
hard-tack. When the ship sank I was terribly 
frightened because I cannot swim far. I 
swam as long as I could, but I soon got all ex- 
hausted and thought I was going to sink. And 
then, just at that moment, the old man's hat came 
floating by; and I got into it because I did not 
want to be drowned." 

So the duck took up the hat with the mouse in 
it and brought it to the Doctor on the shore. 
And they all gathered round to have a look. 

"That's what you call a 'stowaway,' ' said the 

Presently, when they were looking for a place 
in the trunk where the white mouse could travel 
comfortably, the monkey, Chee-Chee, suddenly 


The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

"Shi I hear footsteps in the jungle!" 
They all stopped talking and listened. And 
soon a black man came down out of the woods 
and asked them what they were doing there. 

'I got into it because I did not want to be drowned' 

"My name is John Dolittle M.D.," said the 
Doctor. "I have been asked to come to Africa 
to cure the monkeys who are sick." 

The Great Journey 45 

"You must all come before the King," said the 
black man. 

"What king?" asked the Doctor, who didn't 
want to waste any time. 

"The King of the Jolliginki," the man an- 
swered. "All these lands belong to him ; and all 
strangers must be brought before him. Follow 


So they gathered up their baggage and went 
off, following the man through the jungle. 



HEN they had 
gone a little 
way through 
the thick for- 
est, they came 
to a wide, clear 

space; and they saw the King's palace which was 
made of mud. 

This was where the King lived with his 
Queen, Ermintrude, and their son, Prince 
Bumpo. The Prince was away fishing for sal- 
mon in the river. But the King and Queen 
were sitting under an umbrella before the palace 
door. And Queen Ermintrude was asleep. 

When the Doctor had come up to the palace 
the King asked him his business; and the Doctor 
told him why he had come to Africa. 

"You may not travel through my lands," said 
the 'King. "Many years ago a white man came 



The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

to these shores; and I was very kind to him. 
But after he had dug holes in the ground to get 
the gold, and killed all the elephants to get their 
ivory tusks, he went away secretly in his ship 

K k < fe^^r'N 

s,jfrA - JK//v,.:-:\*-i 

.-- >*ti>i2v s i&s>^\ | 


"And Queen Ermintrude was asleep" 

without so much as saying 'Thank you.' Never 
again shall a white man travel through the lands 
of Jolliginki." 

Then the King turned to some of the black 
men who were standing near and said, "Take 

Polynesia and the King 49 

away this medicine-man with all his animals, 
and lock them up in my strongest prison." 

So six of the black men led the Doctor and 
all his pets away and shut them up in a stone 
dungeon. The dungeon had only one little win- 
dow, high up in the wall, with bars in it; and 
the door was strong and thick. 

Then they all grew very sad; and Gub-Gub, 
the pig, began to cry. But Chee-Chee said he 
would spank him if he didn't stop that horrible 
noise; and he kept quiet. 

"Are we all here?" asked the Doctor, after 
he had got used to the dim light. 

"Yes, I think so," said the duck and started 
to count them. 

"Where's Polynesia?" asked the crocodile. 
"She isn't here." 

"Are you sure?" said the Doctor. "Look 
again. Polynesia! Polynesia! Where are 

"I suppose she escaped," grumbled the croco- 
dile. "Well, that's just like her! Sneaked off 
into the jungle as soon as her friends got into 

50 The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

"I'm not that kind of a bird/' said the parrot, 
climbing out of the pocket in the tail of the 
Doctor's coat. "You see, I'm small enough to 
get through the bars of that window; and I was 
afraid they would put me in a cage instead. 
So while the King was busy talking, I hid in 
the Doctor's pocket and here I am! That's 
what you call a 'ruse,' she said, smoothing 
down her feathers with her beak. 

"Good Gracious!" cried the Doctor. 
"You're lucky I didn't sit on you." 

"Now listen," said Polynesia, "to-night, as 
soon as it gets dark, I am going to creep through 
the bars of that window and fly over to the 
palace. And then you'll see I'll soon find 
a way to make the King let us all out of prison." 

"Oh, what can you do?" said Gub j Gub, turn- 
ing up his nose and beginning to cry again. 
"You're only a bird!" 

"Quite true," said the parrot. "But do not 
forget that although I am only a bird, / can talk 
like a man and I know these darkies." 

So that night, when the moon was shining 
through the palm-trees and all the King's men 

Polynesia and the King 51 

were asleep, the parrot slipped out through the 
bars of the prison and flew across to the palace. 
The pantry window had been broken by a ten- 
nis ball the week before; and Polynesia popped 
in through the hole in the glass. 

She heard Prince Bumpo snoring in his bed- 
room at the back of the palace. Then she tip- 
toed up the stairs till she came to the King's 
bedroom. She opened the door gently and 
peeped in. 

The Queen was away at a dance that night 
at her cousin's; but the King was in bed fast 

Polynesia crept in, very softly, and got under 
the bed. 

Then she coughed just the way Doctor Do- 
little used to cough. Polynesia could mimic 
any one. 

The King opened his eyes and said sleepily: 
"Is that you, Ermintrude?" (He thought it 
was the Queen come back from the dance.) 

Then the parrot coughed again loud, like a 
man. And the King sat up, wide awake, and 
said, "Who's that?" 

The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

"I am Doctor Dolittle, 7 ' said the parrot just 
the way the Doctor would have said it. 

"What are you doing in my bedroom?" cried 
the King. "How dare you get out of prison! 
Where are you? I don't see you." 


, : ' i ii ? 'i' 

ii: 'i,.li 9! 
1 ' l!M il 

% ! i ' Ml I I . Ill 1 *^ ^. T ' I 5C 

Hilffliiiy^ra MiJyl 1 

, ; ' f-r^^^^^^:^^ ' -^ ^s^^M"^^^^^^.^ 



"Who's that?' 

But the parrot just laughed a long, deep t 
jolly laugh, like the Doctor's. 

"Stop laughing and come here at once, so I 
can see you," said the King. 

Polynesia and the King- 53 

"Foolish King!" answered Polynesia. "Have 
you forgotten that you are talking to John Do- 
little, M.D. the most wonderful man on earth? 
Of course you cannot see me. I have made my- 
self invisible. There is nothing I cannot do. 
Now listen : I have come here to-night to warn 
you. If you don't let me and my animals travel 
through your kingdom, I will make you and all 
your people sick like the monkeys. For I can 
make people well : and I can make people ill 
just by raising my little finger. Send your sol- 
diers at once to open the dungeon door, or you 
shall have mumps before the morning sun has 
risen on the hills of Jolliginki." 

Then the King began to tremble and was very 
much afraid. 

"Doctor," he cried, "it shall be as you say. 
Do not raise your little finger, please!" And he 
jumped out of bed and ran to tell the soldiers 
to open the prison door. 

As soon as he was gone, Polynesia crept down- 
stairs and left the palace by the pantry window. 

But the Queen, who was just letting herself 
in at the backdoor with a latch-key, saw the par- 

54 The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

rot getting out through the broken glass. And 
when the King came back to bed she told him 
what she had seen. 

Then the King understood that he had been 
tricked, and he was dreadfully angry. He hur- 
ried back to the prison at once. 

But he was too late. The door stood open. 
The dungeon was empty. The Doctor and all 
his animals were gone. 



never in her life seen her hus- 
band so terrible as he got that 
night. He gnashed his teeth 
with rage. He called every- 
body a fool. He threw his 
tooth-brush at the palace cat. He rushed round 
in his night-shirt and woke up all his army and 
sent them into the jungle to catch the Doctor. 
Then he made all his servants go too his cooks 
and his gardeners and his barber and Prince 
Bumpo's tutor even the Queen, who was tired 
from dancing in a pair of tight shoes, was packed 
off to help the soldiers in their search. 

All this time the Doctor and his animals were 
running through the forest towards the Land of 
the Monkeys as fast as they could go. 

Gub-Gub, with his short legs, soon got tired ; 
and the Doctor had to carry him which made 


56 The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

it pretty hard when they had the trunk and the 
hand-bag with them as well. 

The King of the Jolliginki thought it would 
be easy for his army to find them, because the 
Doctor was in a strange land and would not 
know his way. But he was wrong ; because the 
monkey, Chee-Chee, knew all the paths through 
the jungle better even than the King's men did. 
And he led the Doctor and his pets to the very 
thickest part of the forest a place where no 
man had ever been before and hid them all in 
a big hollow tree between high rocks. 

"We had better wait here," said Chee-Chee, 
"till the soldiers have gone back to bed. Then 
we can go on into the Land of the Monkeys.'' 

So there they stayed the whole night through. 

They often heard the King's men searching 
and talking in the jungle round about. But 
they were quite safe, for no one knew of that 
hiding-place but Chee-Chee not even the other 

At last, when daylight began to come through 
the thick leaves overhead, they heard Queen 
Ermintrude saying in a very tired voice that it 

The Bridge of Apes 57 

was no use looking any more that they might 
as well go back and get some sleep. 

As soon as the soldiers had all gone home, 
Chee-Chee brought the Doctor and his animals 
out of the hiding-place and they set off for the 
Land of the Monkeys. 

It was a long, long way; and they often got 
very tired especially Gub-Gub. But when he 
cried they gave him milk out of the cocoanuts, 
which he was very fond of. 

They always had plenty to eat and drink; be- 
cause Chee-Chee and Polynesia knew all the 
different kinds of fruits and vegetables that grow 
in the jungle, and where to find them like 
dates and figs and ground-nuts and ginger and 
yams. They used to make their lemonade out of 
the juice of wild oranges, sweetened with honey 
which they got from the bees' nests in hollow 
trees. No matter what it was they asked 
for, Chee-Chee and Polynesia always seemed to 
be able to get it for them or something like it. 
They even got the Doctor some tobacco one day, 
when he had finished what he had brought with 
him and wanted to smoke. 

58 The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

At night they slept in tents made of palm- 
leaves, on thick, soft beds of dried grass. And 
after a while they got used to walking such a lot 
and did not get so tired and enjoyed the life of 
travel very much. 

But they were always glad when the night 
came and they stopped for their resting-time. 
Then the Doctor used to make a little fire of 
sticks; and after they had had their supper, they 
would sit round it in a ring, listening to Poly- 
nesia singing songs about the sea, or to Chee- 
Chee telling stories of the jungle. 

And many of the tales that Chee-Chee told 
were very interesting. Because although the 
monkeys had no history-books of their own be- 
fore Doctor Dolittle came to write them for 
them, they remember everything that happens by 
telling stories to their children. And Chee-Chee 
spoke of many things his grandmother had told 
him tales of long, long, long ago, before Noah 
and the Flood, of the days when men dressed 
in bear-skins and lived in holes in the rock and 
ate their mutton raw, because they did not know 
what cooking was having never seen a fire. 

The Bridge of Apes 59 

And he told them of the Great Mammoths and 
Lizards, as long as a train, that wandered over 
the mountains in those times, nibbling from the 
tree-tops. And often they got so interested 
listening, that when he had finished they found 
their fire had gone right out; and they had to 
scurry round to get more sticks and build a new 

Now when the King's army had gone back 
and told the King that they couldn't find the 
Doctor, the King sent them out again and told 
them they must stay in the jungle till they caught 
him. So all this time, while the Doctor and his 
animals were going along towards the Land of 
the Monkeys, thinking themselves quite safe, 
they were still being followed by the King's men. 
If Chee-Chee had known this, he would most 
likely have hidden them again. But he didn't 
know it. 

One day Chee-Chee climbed up a high rock 
and looked out over the tree-tops. And when 
he came down he said they were now quite close 
to the Land of the Monkeys and would soon 
be there. 

60 The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

And that same evening, sure enough, they saw 
Chee-Chee's cousin and a lot of other monkeys, 
who had not yet got sick, sitting in the trees by 
the edge of a swamp, looking and waiting for 
them. And when they saw the famous doctor 
really come, these monkeys made a tremendous 
noise, cheering and waving leaves and swinging 
out of the branches to greet him. 

They wanted to carry his bag and his trunk 
and everything he had and one of the bigger 
ones even carried Gub-Gub who had got tired 
again. Then two of them rushed on in front to 
tell the sick monkeys that the great doctor had 
come at last. 

But the 'King's men, who were still following, 
had heard the noise of the monkeys cheering; 
and they at last knew where the Doctor was, 
and hastened on to catch him. 

The big monkey carrying Gub-Gub was com- 
ing along behind slowly, and he saw the Cap- 
tain of the army sneaking through the trees. 
So he hurried after the Doctor and told him to 

Then they all ran harder than they had ever 

> - ^1 
































62 The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

run in their lives; and the King's men, coming 
after them, began to run too; and the Captain 
ran hardest of all. 

Then the Doctor tripped over his medicine- 
bag and fell down in the mud, and the Captain 
thought he would surely catch him this time. 

But the Captain had very long ears- -though 
his hair was very short. And as he sprang for- 
ward to take hold of the Doctor, one of his ears 
caught fast in a tree; and the rest of the army 
had to stop and help him. 

By this time the Doctor had picked himself 
up, and on they went again, running and run- 
ning. And Chee-Chee shouted, 

"It's all right! We haven't far to go now!" 

But before they could get into the Land of 
the Monkeys, they came to a steep cliff with a 
river flowing below. This was the end of the 
Kingdom of Jolliginki; and the Land of the 
Monkeys was on the other side across the 

And Jip, the dog, looked down over the edge 
of the steep, steep cliff and said, 

The Bridge of Apes 63 

"Golly! How are we ever going to get 
across?' 1 

"Oh, dear!" said Gub-Gub. "The King's 
men are quite close now Look at them! I am 
afraid we are going to be taken back to prison 
again." And he began to weep. 

But the big monkey who was carrying the 
pig dropped him on the ground and cried out 
to the other monkeys, 

"Boys a bridge! Quick! Make a bridge! 
We've only a minute to do it. They've got the 
Captain loose, and he's coming on like a deer. 
Get lively! Abridge! Abridge!" 

The Doctor began to wonder what they were 
going to make a bridge out of, and he gazed 
around to see if they had any boards hidden any 

But when he looked back at the cliff, there, 
hanging across the river, was a bridge all ready 
for him made of living monkeys! For while 
his back was turned, the monkeys quick as a 
flash had made themselves into a bridge, just 
by holding hands and feet. 

64 The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

And the big one shouted to the Doctor, "Walk 
over! Walk over all of you hurry!" 

GutnGub was a bit scared, walking on such 
a narrow bridge at that dizzy height above the 
river. But he got over all right; and so did all 
of them. 

John Dolittle was the last to cross. And just 
as he was getting to the other side, the King's 
men came rushing up to the edge of the cliff. 

Then they shook their fists and yelled with 
rage. For they saw they were too late. The 
Doctor and all his animals were safe in the Land 
of the Monkeys and the bridge was pulled across 
to the other side. 

Then Chee-Chee turned to the Doctor and 

"Many great explorers and gray-bearded 
naturalists have lain long weeks hidden in the 
jungle waiting to see the monkeys do that trick. 
But we never let a white man get a glimpse of it 
before. You are the first to see the famous 
'Bridge of Apes.' " 

And the Doctor felt very pleased. 

;,;: i 'iii!' i'l' ;, I i ' < \ 

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llJr , i'i Liilff^iL _ 

ft I irt^r 


iriiV/;!! ! ^ i ; 
tojliiillr-i] i' 

I! ' 1 1 1 i ' I ' ' I ' I 

' u.' ' :I '^4 y : i i i 




OHN DOLITTLE now became 
dreadfully, awfully busy. He 
found hundreds and thousands of 
monkeys sick gorillas, orang-ou- 
tangs, chimpanzees, dog-faced ba- 
boons, marmosettes, gray monkeys, 
red ones--all kinds. And many had died. 

The first thing he did was to separate the 
sick ones from the well ones. Then he got 
Chee-Chee and his cousin to build him a little 
house of grass. The next thing: he made all 
the monkeys who were still well come and be 

And for three days and three nights the 
monkeys kept coming from the jungles and the 
valleys and the hills to the little house of grass, 
where the Doctor sat all day and all night, vac- 
cinating and vaccinating. 


The Leader of the Lions 69 

Then he had another house made- -a big one, 
with a lot of beds in it; and he put all the sick 
ones in this house. 

But so many were sick, there were not enough 
well ones to do the nursing. So he sent mes- 
sages to the other animals, like the lions and the 
leopards and the antelopes, to come and help 
with the nursing. 

But the Leader of the Lions was a very proud 
creature. And when he came to the Doctor's 
big house full of beds he seemed angry and 

"Do you dare to ask me, Sir?" he said, glaring 
at the Doctor. "Do you dare to ask me ME, 
the King of Beasts, to wait on a lot of dirty 
monkeys? Why, I wouldn't even eat them be- 
tween meals!" 

Although the lion looked very terrible, the 
Doctor tried hard not to seem afraid of him. 

"I didn't ask you to eat them," he said quietly. 
"And besides, they're not dirty. They've all 
had a bath this morning. Your coat looks as 
though it needed brushing badly. Now 
listen, and I'll tell you something: the day may 

The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

come when the lions get sick. And if you don't 
help the other animals now, the lions may find 
themselves left all alone when they are in 
trouble. That often happens to proud peo- 

'ME, the King of Beasts, to wait on a lot of dirty 

monkeys ?' 

"The lions are never In trouble they only 
make trouble," said the Leader, turning up his 
nose. And he stalked away into the jungle, feel- 
ing he had been rather smart and clever. 

Then the leopards got proud too and said 
they wouldn't help. And then of course the 

The Leader of the Lions 71 

antelopes although they were too shy and timid 
to be rude to the Doctor like the lion they 
pawed the ground, and smiled foolishly, and said 
they had never been nurses before. 

And now the poor Doctor was worried fran- 
tic, wondering where he could get help enough 
to take care of all these thousands of monkeys 
in bed. 

But the Leader of the Lions, when he got 
back to his den, saw his wife, the Queen Lioness, 
come running out to meet him with her hair un- 

"One of the cubs won't eat," she said. "I 
don't know 'what to do with him. He hasn't 
taken a thing since last night." 

And she began to cry and shake with nervous- 
ness for she was a good mother, even though 
she was a lioness. 

So the Leader went into his den and looked 
at his children two very cunning little cubs, ly- 
ing on the floor. And one of them seemed quite 

Then the lion told his wife, quite proudly, just 
what he had said to the Doctor. And she got 

72 The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

so angry she nearly drove him out of the den. 

"You never did have a grain of sense!" she 
screamed. "All the animals from here to the 
Indian Ocean are talking about this wonderful 
man, and how he can cure any kind of sickness, 
and how kind he is--the only man in the whole 
world who can talk the language of the animals! 
And now, now when we have a sick baby on 
our hands, you must go and offend him! You 
great booby! Nobody but a fool is ever rude 
to a good doctor. You ," and she started pull- 
ing her husband's hair. 

"Go back to that white man at once," she 
yelled, "and tell him you're sorry. And take 
all the other empty-headed lions with you 
and those stupid leopards and antelopes. Then 
do everything the Doctor tells you. Work like 
niggers! And perhaps he will be kind enough 
to come and see the cub later. Now be off! 
Hurry, I tell you! You're not fit to be a 

And she went into the den next door, where 
another mother-lion lived, and told her all about 

The Leader of the Lions 73 

So the Leader of the Lions went back to the 
Doctor and said, "I happened to be passing this 
way and thought I'd look in. Got any help 

"No," said the Doctor. "I haven't. And 
I'm dreadfully worried." 

"Help's pretty hard to get these days," said 
the lion. "Animals don't seem to want to work 
any more. You can't blame them in a way. 
. . . Well, seeing you're in difficulties, I don't 
mind doing what I can just to oblige you 
so long as I don't have to wash the creatures. 
And I have told all the other hunting animals 
to come and do their share. The leopards 
should be here any minute now. . . . Oh, and 
by the way, we've got a sick cub at home. I 
don't think there's much the matter with him 
myself. But the wife is anxious. If you are 
around that way this evening, you might take 
a look at him, will you?" 

Then the Doctor was very happy; for all the 
lions and the leopards and the antelopes and 
the giraffes and the zebras all the animals of 
the forests and the mountains and the plains 

74 The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

-came to help him in his work. There were 
so many of them that he had to send some away, 
and only kept the cleverest. 

And now very soon the monkeys began to 
get better. At the end of a week the big house 
full of beds were half empty. And at the end 
of the second week the last monkey had got 

Then the Doctor's work was done; and he was 
so tired he went to bed and slept for three days 
without even turning over. 







HEE-CHEE stood outside the 
Doctor's door, keeping every- 
body away till he woke up. 
Then John Dolittle told the 
monkeys that he must now go 
back to Puddleby. 

They were very surprised at this; for they 
had thought that he was going to stay with them 
forever. And that night all the monkeys got 
together in the jungle to talk it over. 

And the Chief Chimpanzee rose up and said, 
"Why is it the good man is going away? Is 
he not happy here with us?" 

But none of them could answer him. 
Then the Grand Gorilla got up and said, 
"I think we all should go to him and ask him 
to stay. Perhaps if we make him a new house 
and a bigger bed, and promise him plenty 


The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

of monkey-servants to work for him and to 
make life pleasant for him perhaps then he 
will not wish to go." 

Then Chee-Chee got 

' ' , ^ '" ' J'^fiiFjaM'ip* f'> : " l > r "'V'd'l tf 1 i 

whispered, "Sh! Look! 
Chee-Chee, the great 
Traveler, is about to 

And Chee-Chee said 
to the other monkeys, 

friends, I am 
afraid it is useless to ask 
the Doctor to stay. He 
owes money in Puddle- 
by; and he says he must 
go back and pay it." 

And the monkeys 
asked him, "What is 

Then Chee-Chee told 
them that in the Land 

of the White Men you could get nothing with- 
out money; you could do nothing without money 

"Then the Grand Gorilla 
got up" 

The Monkeys' Council 77 

that it was almost impossible to live without 

And some of them asked, "But can you not 
even eat and drink without paying?" 

But Chee-Chee shook his head. And then he 
told them that even he, when he was with the 
organ-grinder, had been made to ask the chil- 
dren for money. 

And the Chief Chimpanzee turned to the 
Oldest Orang-outang and said, "Cousin, surely 
these Men be strange creatures! Who would 
wish to live in such a land? My gracious, how 

Then Chee-Chee said, 

"When we were coming to you we had no 
boat to cross the sea in and no money to buy 
food to eat on our journey. So a man lent us 
some biscuits; and we said we would pay him 
when we came back. And we borrowed a boat 
from a sailor; but it was broken on the rocks 
when we reached the shores of Africa. Now 
the Doctor says he must go back and get the 
sailor another boat because the man was poor 
and his ship was all he had." 

78 The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

And the monkeys were all silent for a while, 
sitting quite still upon the ground and thinking 

At last the Biggest Baboon got up and said, 

"I do not think we ought to let this good man 

leave our land till we have given him a fine 

present to take with him, so that he may know 

we are grateful for all that he has done for 


And a little, tiny red monkey who was sit- 
ting up in a tree shouted down, 

"I think that too!" 

And then they all cried out, making a great 
noise, "Yes, yes. Let us give him the finest 
present a White Man ever had!" 

Now they began to wonder and ask one an- 
other what would be the best thing to give him. 
And one said, "Fifty bags of cocoanuts!" And 
another "A hundred bunches of bananas! 
At least he shall not have to buy his fruit in the 
Land Where You Pay to Eat!" 

But Chee-Chee told them that all these 
things would be too heavy to carry so far and 
would go bad before half was eaten. 

The Monkeys' Council 79 

"If you want to please him," he said, "give 
him an animal. You may be sure he will be 
kind to it. Give him some rare animal they 
have not got in the menageries." 

And the monkeys asked him, "What are 

Then Chee-Chee explained to them that 
menageries were places in the Land of the 
White Men, where animals were put in cages 
for people to come and look at. And the 
monkeys were very shocked and said to one 

"These Men are like thoughtless young ones 
stupid and easily amused. Sh! It is a prison 
he means. " 

So then they asked Chee-Chee what rare ani- 
mal it could be that they should give the Doc- 
tor one the White Men had not seen before 
And the Major of the Marmosettes asked, 

"Have they an iguana over there?" 

But Chee-Chee said, "Yes, there is one in the 
London Zoo." 

And another asked, "Have they an okapi?" 

But Chee-Chee said, "Yes. In Belgium. 

8o The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

where my organ-grinder took me five years ago, 
they had an okapi in a big city they call Ant- 

And another asked, "Have they a pushmi- 

Then Chee-Chee said, "No. No White 
Man has ever seen a pushmi-pullyu. Let us 
give him that." 



extinct. That means, there 
aren't any more. But long ago, 
when Doctor Dolittle was alive, 
there were some of them still left 
in the deepest jungles of Africa; 
and even then they were very, very 
scarce. They had no tail, but a head at each end, 
and sharp horns on each head. They were very 
shy and terribly hard to catch. The black men 
get most of their animals by sneaking up behind 
them while they are not looking. But you could 
not do this with the pushmi-pullyu because, no 
matter which way you came towards him, he 
was always facing you. And besides, only one 
half of him slept at a time. The other head 
was always awake and watching. This was 

why they were never caught and never seen in 


82 The Story of Doctor Dollttle 

Zoos. Though many of the greatest huntsmen 
and the cleverest menagerie-keepers spent 
years of their lives searching through the 
jungles in all weathers for pushmi-pullyus, not a 
single one had ever been caught. Even then, 
years ago, he was the only animal in the world 
with two heads. 

Well, the monkeys set out hunting for this 
animal through the forest. And after they had 
gone a good many miles, one of them found 
peculiar footprints near the edge of a river; 
and they knew that a pushmi-pullyu must be 
very near that spot. 

Then they w r ent along the bank of the river 
a little way and they saw a place where the 
grass was high and thick; and they guessed that 
he was in there. 

So they all joined hands and made a great 
circle round the high grass. The pushmi- 
pullyu heard them coming; and he tried hard 
to break through the ring of monkeys. But he 
couldn't do it. When he saw that it was no 
use trying to escape, he sat down and waited to 
see what they wanted. 

The Rarest Animal of All 83 

They asked him if he would go with Doctor 
Dolittle and be put on show in the Land of the 
White Men. 

But he shook both his heads hard and said, 
"Certainly not!" 

They explained to him that he would not be 
shut up in a menagerie but would just be looked 
at. They told him that the Doctor was a very 
kind man but hadn't any money; and people 
would pay to see a two-headed animal and the 
Doctor would get rich and could pay for the boat 
he had borrowed to come to Africa in. 

But he answered, "No. You know how shy 
I am I hate being stared at." And he almost 
began to cry. 

Then for three days they tried to persuade 

And at the end of the third day he said he 
would come with them and see what kind of a 
man the Doctor was, first. 

So the monkeys traveled back with the 
pushmi-pullyu. And when they came to where 
the Doctor's little house of grass was, they 
knocked on the door. 

84 The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

The duck, who was packing the trunk, said, 
"Come in!" 

And Chee-Chee very proudly took the ani- 
mal inside and showed him to the Doctor. 

"What in the world is it?" asked John Do- 
little, gazing at the strange creature. 

"Lord save us!" cried the duck. "How does 
it make up its mind?" 

"It doesn't look to me as though it had any," 
said Jip, the dog. 

"This, Doctor," said Chee-Chee, "is the 
pushmi-pullyu--the rarest animal of the Afri- 
can jungles, the only two-headed beast in the 
world! Take him home with you and your 
fortune's made. People will pay any money to 
see him." 

"But I don't want any money," said the Doc- 

"Yes, you do," said Dab-Dab, the duck. 
"Don't you remember how we had to pinch 
and scrape to pay the butcher's bill in Pud- 
dleby? And how are you going to get the 
sailor the new boat you spoke of unless we have 
the money to buy it?" 


86 The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

"I was going to make him one," said the Doc- 

"Oh, do be sensible!" cried Dab-Dab. 
"Where would you get all the wood and the 
nails to make one with?--And besides, what are 
we going to live on? We shall be poorer than 
ever when we get back. Chee-Chee's perfectly 
right: take the funny-looking thing along, do!" 

"Well, perhaps there is something in what 
you say," murmured the Doctor. "It certainly 
would make a nice new kind of pet. But does 
the er what-do-you-call-it really want to go 

"Yes, I'll go," said the pushmi-pullyu who 
saw at once, from the Doctor's face, that he was 
a man to be trusted. "You have been so kind 
to the animals here and the monkeys tell me 
that I am the only one who will do. But you 
must promise me that if I do not like it in the 
Land of the White Men you will send me 

"Why, certainly of course, of course," said 
the Doctor. "Excuse me, surely you are re- 
lated to the Deer Family, are you not?" 

The Rarest Animal of All 87 

"Yes," said the pushmi-pullyu "to the 
Abyssinian Gazelles and the Asiatic Chamois 
on my mother's side. My father's great- 
grandfather was the last of the Unicorns." 

"Most interesting!" murmured the Doctor; 
and he took a book out of the trunk which Dab- 
Dab was packing and began turning the pages. 
"Let us see if Buffon says anything " 

"I notice," said the duck, "that you only talk 
with one of your mouths. Can't the other head 
talk as well?" 

"Oh, yes," said the pushmi-pullyu. "But I 
keep the other mouth for eating mostly. In 
that way I can talk while I am eating without 
being rude. Our people have always been very 

When the packing was finished and every- 
thing was ready to start, the monkeys gave a 
grand party for the Doctor, and all the animals 
of the jungle came. And they had pineapples 
and mangoes and honey and all sorts of good 
thmgs to eat and drink. 

After they had all finished eating, the Doctor 
got up and said, 

The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

"My friends: I am not clever at speaking 
long words after dinner, like some men; and I 
have just eaten many fruits and much honey. 
But I wish to tell you that I am very sad at 
leaving your beautiful country. Because I have 
things to do in the Land of the White Men, I 
must go. After I have gone, remember never 
to let the flies settle on your food before you 
eat it; and do not sleep on the ground when the 
rains are coming. I--er er I hope you will 
all live happily ever after." 

When the Doctor stopped speaking and sat 
down, all the monkeys clapped their hands a 
long time and said to one another, "Let it be 
remembered always among our people that he 
sat and ate with us, here, under the trees. For 
surely he is the Greatest of Men!" 

And the Grand Gorilla, who had the strength 
of seven horses in his hairy arms, rolled a great 
rock up to the head of the table and said, 

"This stone for all time shall mark the spot." 

And even to this day, in the heart of the jun- 
gle, that stone still is there. And monkey- 
mothers, passing through the forest with their 

The Rarest Animal of All 89 

families, still point down at it from the branches 
and whisper to their children, "Sh! There it 
is look where the Good White Man sat and 
ate food with us in the Year of the Great Sick- 

Then, when the party was over, the Doctor 
and his pets started out to go back to the sea- 
shore. And all the monkeys went with him as 
far as the edge of their country, carrying his 
trunk and bags, to see him off. 



Y the edge of the river they 
stopped and said farewell. 

This took a long time, because 
\ all those thousands of monkeys 
r/ wanted to shake John Dolittle by 

the hand. 

Afterwards, when the Doctor and his pets 
were going on alone, Polynesia said, 

"We must tread softly and talk low as we 
go through the land of the Jolliginki. If the 
King should hear us, he will send his soldiers 
to catch us again; for I am sure he is still very 
angry over the trick I played on him." 

"What I am wondering," said the Doctor, 
"is where we are going to get another boat to 
go home in. ... Oh well, perhaps we'll find 
one lying about on the beach that nobody is 
using. 'Never lift your foot till you come to 
the stile.' " 


92 The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

One day, while they were passing through 
a very thick part of the forest, Chee-Chee went 
ahead of them to look for cocoanuts. And 
while he was away, the Doctor and the rest of 
the animals, who did not know the jungle-paths 
so well, got lost in the deep woods. They wan- 
dered around and around but could not find 
their way down to the seashore. 

Chee-Chee, when he could not see them any- 
where, was terribly upset. He climbed high 
trees and looked out from the top branches to 
try and see the Doctor's high hat; he waved and 
shouted; he called to all the animals by name. 
But it was no use. They seemed to have dis- 
appeared altogether. 

Indeed they had lost their way very badly. 
They had strayed a long way off the path, and 
the jungle was so thick with bushes and creep- 
ers and vines that sometimes they could hardly 
move at all, and the Doctor had to take out 
his pocket-knife and cut his way along. They 
stumbled into wet, boggy places; they got all 
tangled up in thick convolvulus-runners; they 
scratched themselves on thorns, and twice they 

The Black Prince 93 

nearly lost the medicine-bag in the under-brush. 
There seemed no end to their troubles; and 
nowhere could they come upon a path. 

At last, after blundering about like this for 
many days, getting their clothes torn and their 
faces covered with mud, they walked right into 
the King's back-garden by mistake. The King's 
men came running up at once and caught them. 

But Polynesia flew into a tree in the garden, 
without anybody seeing her, and hid herself. 
The Doctor and the rest were taken before the 

"Ha, ha!" cried the King. "So you are 
caught again! This time you shall not escape. 
Take them all back to prison and put double 
locks on the door. This White Man shall 
scrub my kitchen-floor for the rest of his 

So the Doctor and his pets were led back to 
prison and locked up. And the Doctor was told 
that in the morning he must begin scrubbing the 

They were all very unhappy. 

"This is a great nuisance," said the Doctor. 

94 The Story of Doctor Dollttle 

really must get back to Puddleby. That 
poor sailor will think I've stolen his ship if I 
don't get home soon. ... I wonder if those 
hinges are loose." 

But the door was very strong and firmly 
locked. There seemed no chance of getting out. 
Then Gub-Gub began to cry again. 

All this time Polynesia was still sitting in the 
tree in the palace-garden. She was saying noth- 
ing and blinking her eyes. 

This was always a very bad sign with Poly- 
nesia. Whenever she said nothing and blinked 
her eyes, it meant that somebody had been mak- 
ing trouble, and she was thinking out some way 
to put things right. People who made trouble 
for Polynesia or her friends were nearly always 
sorry for it afterwards. 

Presently she spied Chee-Chee swinging 
through the trees still looking for the Doctor. 
When Chee-Chee saw her, he came into her 
tree and asked her what had become of him. 

"The Doctor and all the animals have been 
caught by the King's men and locked up again," 

The Black Prince 95 

whispered Polynesia. "We lost our way in the 
jungle and blundered into the palace-garden by 

" But couldn't you guide them?" asked Chee- 
Chee; and he began to scold the parrot for let- 
ting them get lost while he was away looking 
for the cocoanuts. 

"It was all that stupid pig's fault," said 
Polynesia. "He would keep running off the 
path hunting for ginger-roots. And I was kept 
so busy catching him and bringing him back, 
that I turned to the left, instead of the right, 
when we reached the swamp. Sh! Look! 
There's Prince Bumpo coming into the garden! 
He must not see us. Don't move, whatever you 

And there, sure enough, was Prince Bumpo, 
the 'King's son, opening the garden-gate. He 
carried a book of fairy-tales under his arm. He 
came strolling down the gravel-walk, humming 
a sad song, till he reached a stone seat right un- 
der the tree where the parrot and the monkey 
were hiding. Then he lay down on the seat 

9 6 

The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

and began reading the fairy-stories to himself. 
Chee-Chee and Polynesia watched him, 
keeping very quiet and still. 

oP, ^ 

>< .->--,..-. -- 

[ He began reading the fairy-stories to himself" 

After a while the King's son laid the book 
down and sighed a weary sigh. 

The Black Prince 97 

"If I were only a white prince!" said he, with 
a dreamy, far-away look in his eyes. 

Then the parrot, talking in a small, high voice 
like a little girl, said aloud, 

"Bumpo, some one might turn thee into a 
white prince perchance." 

The King's son started up of! the seat and 
looked all around. 

"What is this I hear?" he cried. "Methought 
the sweet music of a fairy's silver voice rang 
from yonder bower! Strange!" 

"Worthy Prince," said Polynesia, keeping 
very still so Bumpo couldn't see her, "thou say- 
est winged words of truth. For 'tis I, Tripsi- 
tinka, the Queen of the Fairies, that speak to 
thee. I am hiding in a rose-bud." 

"Oh tell me, Fairy-Queen," cried Bumpo, 
clasping his hands in joy, "who is it can turn 
me white?" 

"In thy father's prison," said the parrot, "there 
lies a famous wizard, John Dolittle by name. 
Many things he knows of medicine and magic, 
and mighty deeds has he performed. Yet thy 
kingly father leaves him languishing long and 

98 The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

lingering hours. Go to him, brave Bumpo, 
secretly, when the sun has set; and behold, thou 
shalt be made the whitest prince that ever won 
fair lady! I have said enough. I must now go 
back to Fairyland. Farewell!" 

"Farewell!" cried the Prince. "A thousand 
thanks, good Tripsitinka!" 

And he sat down on the seat again with a smile 
upon his face, waiting for the sun to set. 



ERY, very quietly, making 
sure that no one should see 
her, Polynesia then slipped 
out at the back of the tree 
and flew across to the 

She found Gub-Gub poking his nose through 
the bars of the window, trying to sniff the 
cooking-smells that came from the palace- 
kitchen. She told the pig to bring the Doctor 
to the window because she wanted to speak to 
him. So Gub-Gub went and woke the Doctor 
who was taking a nap. 

"Listen," whispered the parrot, when John 
Dolittle's face appeared: "Prince Bumpo is 
coming here to-night to see you. And you've 
got to find some way to turn him white. But 
be sure to make him promise you first that he 


100 7Yz 5/ory of Doctor Dolittle 

will open the prison-door and find a ship for 
you to cross the sea in." 

"This is all very well," said the Doctor. 
"But it isn't so easy to turn a black man white. 
You speak as though he were a dress to be re- 
dyed. It's not so simple. 'Shall the leopard 
change his spots, or the Ethiopian his skin,' you 

"I don't know anything about that," said 
Polynesia impatiently. "But you must turn this 
coon white. Think of a way think hard. 
You've got plenty of medicines left in the bag. 
He'll do anything for you if you change his 
color. It is your only chance to get out of 

"Well, I suppose it might be possible," said 
the Doctor. "Let me see ," and he went over 
to his medicine-bag, murmuring something 
about "liberated chlorine on animal-pigment 
perhaps zinc-ointment, as a temporary measure, 
spread thick- 
Well, that night Prince Bumpo came secretly 
to the Doctor in prison and said to him, 

"White Man, I am an unhappy prince. 

Medicine and Magic 101 

Years ago I went in search of The Sleeping 
Beauty, whom I had read of in a book. And 
having traveled through the world many days, 
I at last found her and kissed the lady very 
gently to awaken her as the book said I should. 
Tis true indeed that she awoke. But when 
she saw my face she cried out, 'Oh, he's black! 7 
And she ran away and wouldn't marry me but 
went to sleep again somewhere else. So I came 
back, full of sadness, to my father's kingdom. 
Now I hear that you are a wonderful magician 
and have many powerful potions. So I come to 
you for help. If you will turn me white, so 
that I may go back to The Sleeping Beauty, I 
will give you half my kingdom and anything be- 
sides you ask." 

"Prince Bumpo," said the Doctor, looking 
thoughtfully at the bottles in his medicine-bag, 
"supposing I made your hair a nice blonde 
color would not that do instead to make you 


"No," said Bumpo. "Nothing else will sat- 
isfy me. I must be a white prince." 

"You know it is very hard to change the color 

IO2 The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

of a prince," said the Doctor--"one of the hard- 
est things a magician can do. You only want 
your face white, do you not?" 

"Yes, that is all," said Bumpo. "Because I 
shall wear shining armor and gauntlets of steel, 
like the other white princes, and ride on a 

"Must your face be white all over?" asked 
the Doctor. 

"Yes, all over," said Bumpo "and I would 
like my eyes blue too, but I suppose that would 
be very hard to do." 

"Yes, it would," said the Doctor quickly. 
"Well, I will do what I can for you. You will 
have to be very patient though you know with 
some medicines you can never be very sure. I 
might have to try two or three times. You have 
a strong skin yes? Well that's all right. 
Now come over here by the light Oh, but be- 
fore I do anything, you must first go down to 
the beach and get a ship ready, with food in it, 
to take me across the sea. Do not speak a word 
of this to any one. And when I have done as 
you ask, you must let me and all my animals 

Medicine and Magic 103 

out of prison. Promise by the crown of Jol- 

So the Prince promised and went away to get 
a ship ready at the seashore. 

When he came back and said that it was done, 
the Doctor asked Dab-Dab to bring a basin. 
Then he mixed a lot of medicines in the basin 
and told Bumpo to dip his face in it. 

The Prince leaned down and put his face in 
right up to the ears. 

He held it there a long time so long that 
the Doctor seemed to get dreadfully anxious 
and fidgety, standing first on one leg and then 
on the other, looking at all the bottles he had 
used for the mixture, and reading the labels on 
them again and again. A strong smell filled 
the prison, like the smell of brown paper burn- 

At last the Prince lifted his face up out of the 
basin, breathing very hard. And all the ani- 
mals cried out in surprise. 

For the Prince's face had turned as white as 
snow, and his eyes, which had been mud-colored, 
were a manly gray! 

104 The Story of Doctor Dollttle 

When John Dolittle lent him a little looking- 
glass to see himself in, he sang for joy and be- 
gan dancing around the prison. But the Doc- 
tor asked him not to make so much noise about 
it; and when he had closed his medicine-bag 
in a hurry he told him to open the prison- 

Bumpo begged that he might keep the look- 
ing-glass, as it was the only one in the Kingdom 
of Jolliginki, and he wanted to look at himself 
all day long. But the Doctor said he needed 
it to shave with. 

Then the Prince, taking a bunch of copper 
keys from his pocket, undid the great double 
locks. And the Doctor with all his animals ran 
as fast as they could down to the seashore; while 
Bumpo leaned against the wall of the empty 
dungeon, smiling after them happily, his big 
face shining like polished ivory in the light of 
the moon. 

When they came to the beach they saw Poly- 
nesia and Chee-Chee waiting for them on the 
rocks near the ship. 

"I feel sorry about Bumpo," said the Doctor. 

Medicine and Magic 105 

"I am afraid that medicine I used will never 
last. Most likely he will be as black as ever 
when he wakes up in the morning that's one 
reason why I didn't like to leave the mirror with 
him. But then again, he might stay white I 
had never used that mixture before. To tell the 
truth, I was surprised, myself, that it worked 
so well. But I had to do something, didn't I? 
I couldn't possibly scrub the King's kitchen 
for the rest of my life. It was such a dirty 
kitchen! I could see it from the prison- 
window. Well, well! Poor Bumpo!" 

"Oh, of course he will know we were just 
joking with him," said the parrot. 

"They had no business to lock us up," said 
Dab-Dab, waggling her tail angrily. "We 
never did them any harm. Serve him right, if 
he does turn black again! I hope it's a dark 

"But he didn't have anything to do with it," 
said the Doctor. "It was the King, his father, 
who had us locked up it wasn't Bumpo's fault. 
... I wonder if I ought to go back and apolo- 
gize oh, well I'll send him some candy 

106 The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

when I get to Puddleby. And who knows ?- 
he may stay white after all." 

"The Sleeping Beauty would never have him, 
even if he did," said Dab-Dab. "He looked bet- 
ter the way he was, I thought. But he'd never 
be anything but ugly, no matter what color he 
was made." 

"Still, he had a good heart," said the Doctor 
"romantic, of course- -but a good heart. After 
all, 'handsome is as handsome does.' 

"I don't believe the poor booby found The 
Sleeping Beauty at all," said Jip, the dog. 
"Most likely he kissed some farmer's fat wife 
who was taking a snooze under an apple-tree. 
Can't blame her for getting scared! I wonder 
who he'll go and kiss this time. Silly busi- 

Then the pushmi-pullyu, the white mouse, 
Gub-Gub, Dab-Dab, Jip and the owl, Too-Too, 
went on to the ship with the Doctor. But Chee- 
Chee, Polynesia and the crocodile stayed behind, 
because Africa was their proper home, the land 
where they were born. 

And when the Doctor stood upon the boat, he 

Medicine and Magic 107 

looked over the side across the water. And then 
he remembered that they had no one with them 
to guide them back to Puddleby. 

The wide, wide sea looked terribly big and 
lonesome in the moonlight; and he began to 
wonder if they w r ould lose their way when they 
passed out of sight of land. 

But even while he was wondering, they heard 
a strange whispering noise, high in the air, 
coming through the night. And the animals all 
stopped saying Good-by and listened. 

The noise grew louder and bigger. It seemed 
to be coming nearer to them a sound like the 
Autumn wind blowing through the leaves of a 
poplar-tree, or a great, great rain beating down 
upon a roof. 

And Jip, with his nose pointing and his tail 
quite straight, said, 

"Birds! millions of them flying fast 
that's it!" 

And then they all looked up. And there, 
streaming across the face of the moon, like a 
huge swarm of tiny ants, they could see thou- 
sands and thousands of little birds. Soon the 

io8 The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

whole sky seemed full of them, and still more 
kept coming more and more. There were so 
many that for a little they covered the whole 
moon so it could not shine, and the sea grew 
dark and black like when a storm-cloud passes 
over the sun. 

And presently all these birds came down close, 
skimming over the water and the land; and the 
night-sky was left clear above, and the moon 
shone as before. Still never a call nor a cry 
nor a song they made no sound but this great 
rustling of feathers which grew greater now 
than ever. When they began to settle on the 
sands, along the ropes of the ship anywhere 
and everywhere except the trees the Doctor 
could see that they had blue wings and white 
breasts and very short, feathered legs. As soon 
as they had all found a place to sit, suddenly, 
there was no noise left anywhere all was quiet; 
all was still. 

And in the silent moonlight John Dolittle 

"I had no idea that we had been in Africa 
so long. It will be nearly Summer when we 

Medicine and Magic 


get home. For these are the swallows going 
back s Swallows, I thank you for waiting for 
us. It is very thoughtful of you. Now we need 
not be afraid that we will lose our way upon the 
sea. . . . Pull up the anchor and set the sail!" 

- : .V- ? > X^ vC 

: : : v: "; V.":**!iV. 1" 


"Crying bitterly and waving till the ship was out of sight" 

When the ship moved out upon the water, 
those who stayed behind, Chee-Chee, Polynesia 
and the crocodile, grew terribly sad. For never 
in their lives had they known any one they liked 
so well as Doctor John Dolittle of Puddleby-on- 

HO The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

And after they had called Good-by to him 
again and again and again, they still stood there 
upon the rocks, crying bitterly and waving till 
the ship was out of sight. 



AILING homeward, the Doc- 
tor's ship had to pass the coast 
of Barbary. This coast is the 
seashore of the Great Desert. It 
is a wild, lonely place all sand 
and stones. And it was here that 
the Barbary pirates lived. 

These pirates, a bad lot of men, used to wait 
for sailors to be shipwrecked on their shores. 
And often, if they saw a boat passing, they would 
come out in their fast sailing-ships and chase it. 
When they caught a boat like this at sea, they 
would steal everything on it; and after they had 
taken the people off they would sink the ship 
and sail back to Barbary singing songs and feel- 
ing proud of the mischief they had done. Then 
they used to make the people they had caught 
write home to their friends for money. And if 

112 The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

the friends sent no money, the pirates often threw 
the people into the sea. 

Now one sunshiny day the Doctor and Dab- 
Dab were walking up and down on the ship 
for exercise; a nice fresh wind was blowing the 
boat along, and everybody was happy. Pres- 
ently Dab-Dab saw the sail of another ship a 
long way behind them on the edge of the sea. 
It was a red sail. 

"I don't like the look of that sail," said Dab- 
Dab. "I have a feeling it isn't a friendly ship. 
I am afraid there is more trouble coming to 


Jip, who was lying near taking a nap in the 
sun, began to growl and talk in his sleep. 

"I smell roast beef cooking," he mumbled 
"underdone roast beef- -with brown gravy over 

"Good gracious!" cried the Doctor. "What's 
the matter with the dog? Is he smelling in his 
sleep as well as talking?" 

"I suppose he is," said Dab-Dab. "All dogs 
can smell in their sleep." 

"But what is he smelling?" asked the Doctor, 

Red Sails and Blue Wings 113 

"There is no roast beef cooking on our ship." 

"No," said Dab-Dab. "The roast beef must 
be on that other ship over there." 

"But that's ten miles away," said the Doctor. 
"He couldn't smell that far surely!" 

"Oh, yes, he could," said Dab-Dab. "You 
ask him." 

Then Jip, still fast asleep, began to growl 
again and his lip curled up angrily, showing 
his clean, white teeth. 

"I smell bad men," he growled "the worst 
men I ever smelt. I smell trouble. I smell a 
fight six bad scoundrels fighting against one 
brave man, I want to help him. Woof oo 
WOOF!" Then he barked, loud, and woke 
himself up with a surprised look on his face. 

"See!" cried Dab-Dab. "That boat is nearer 
now. You can count its three big sails all red. 
Whoever it is, they are coming after us. ... I 
wonder who they are." 

"They are bad sailors," said Jip; "and their 
ship is very swift. They are surely the pirates 
of Barbary." 

"Well, we must put up more sails on our boat," 

The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

said the Doctor, "so we can go faster and get 
away from them. Run downstairs, Jip, and 
fetch me all the sails you see." 

The dog hurried downstairs and dragged up 
every sail he could find. 

s-,, C 

'They are surely the pirates of Barbary' 

But even when all these were put up on the 
masts to catch the wind, the boat did not go 
nearly as fast as the pirates' which kept com- 
ing on behind, closer and closer. 

"This is a poor ship the Prince gave us," said 
Gub-Gub, the pig "the slowest he could find, I 

Red Sails and Blue Wings 115 

should think. Might as well try to win a race 
in a soup-tureen as hope to get away from them 
in this old barge. Look how near they are now! 
You can see the mustaches on the faces of the 
men six of them. What are we going to do?" 

Then the Doctor asked Dab-Dab to fly up and 
tell the swallows that pirates were coming after 
them in a swift ship, and what should he do 
about it. 

When the swallows heard this, they all came 
down on to the Doctor's ship ; and they told him 
to unravel some pieces of long rope and make 
them into a lot of thin strings as quickly as he 
could. Then the ends of these strings were tied 
on to the front of the ship; and the swallows 
took hold of the strings with their feet and flew 
off, pulling the boat along. 

And although swallows are not very strong 
when only one or two are by themselves, it is 
different when there are a great lot of them to- 
gether. And there, tied to the Doctor's ship, 
were a thousand strings; and two thousand swal- 
lows were pulling on each string all terribly 
swift fliers. 

Ii6 The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

And in a moment the Doctor found himself 
traveling so fast he had to hold his hat on with 
both hands; for he felt as though the ship itself 
were flying through waves that frothed and 
boiled with speed. 

And all the animals on the ship began to 
laugh and dance about in the rushing air, for 
when they looked back at the pirates' ship, they 
could see that it was growing smaller now, in- 
stead of bigger. The red sails were being left 
far, far behind. 



RAGGING a ship through the 
sea is hard work. And after 
two or three hours the swal- 
lows began to get tired in the 
wings and short of breath. 
Then they sent a message 
down to the Doctor to say that they would have 
to take a rest soon; and that they would pull the 
boat over to an island not far off, and hide it in 
a deep bay till they had got breath enough to 
go on. 

And presently the Doctor saw the island they 
had spoken of. It had a very beautiful, high, 
green mountain in the middle of it. 

When the ship had sailed safely into the bay 
where it could not be seen from the open sea, 
the Doctor said he would get off on to the island 
to look for water because there was none left 


Ii8 The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

to drink on his ship. And he told all the ani- 
mals to get out too and romp on the grass to 
stretch their legs. 

Now as they were getting off, the Doctor no- 
ticed that a whole lot of rats were coming up 
from downstairs and leaving the ship as well. 
Jip started to run after them, because chasing 
rats had always been his favorite game. But 
the Doctor told him to stop. 

And one big black rat, who seemed to want 
to say something to the Doctor, now crept for- 
ward timidly along the rail, watching the dog 
out of the corner of his eye. And after he had 
coughed nervously two or three times, and 
cleaned his whiskers and wiped his mouth, he 

"Ahem er you know of course that all ships 
have rats in them, Doctor, do you not?" 

And the Doctor said, "Yes." 

"And you have heard that rats always leave 
a sinking ship?" 

"Yes," said the Doctor "so I've been told." 

"People," said the rat, "always speak of it 
with a sneer as though it were something dis- 

The Rats' Warning 


graceful. But you can't blame us, can you? 
After all, who 'would stay on a sinking ship, if 
he could get off it?" 

atsss^BSSIeSs-sjuJ #-. --is 

^tS^^^^^^ 1 '*' v -^T^Sfjt -X^Sr^*- 

i-~v ; -_ 7 / 

" 'And you have heard that rats always leave a sinking 


"It's very natural," said the Doctor "very 
natural. I quite understand. . . . Was there- 
Was there anything else you wished to say?" 

I2O The Story of Doctor Dollttle 

"Yes," said the rat. "I've come to tell you 
that we are leaving this one. But we wanted to 
warn you before we go. This is a bad ship you 
have here. It isn't safe. The sides aren't 
strong enough. Its boards are rotten. Before 
to-morrow night it will sink to the bottom of the 


"But how do you know?" asked the Doctor. 

"We always know," answered the rat. "The 
tips of our tails get that tingly feeling like 
when your foot's asleep. This morning, at six 
o'clock, while I was getting breakfast, my tail 
suddenly began to tingle. At first I thought 
it was my rheumatism coming back. So I went 
and asked my aunt how she felt you remember 
her? the long, piebald rat, rather skinny, who 
came to see you in Puddleby last Spring with 
jaundice? Well and she said her tail was 
tingling like everything! Then we knew, for 
sure, that this boat was going to sink in less than 
two days; and we all made up our minds to 
leave it as soon as we got near enough to any 
land. It's a bad ship, Doctor. Don't sail in 
it any more, or you'll be surely drowned. . . . 

The Rats' Warning 121 

Good-by! We are now going to look for a good 
place to live on this island." 

"Good-by!" said the Doctor. "And thank 
you very much for coming to tell me. Very 
considerate of you very! Give my regards to 
your aunt. I remember her perfectly. . . . 
Leave that rat alone, Jip! Come here! Lie 

So then the Doctor and all his animals went 
off, carrying pails and saucepans, to look for 
water on the island, while the swallows took 
their rest. 

"I wonder what is the name of this island," 
said the Doctor, as he was climbing up the 
mountainside. "It seems a pleasant place. 
What a lot of birds there are!" 

"Why, these are the Canary Islands," said 
Dab-Dab. "Don't you hear the canaries sing- 

The Doctor stopped and listened. 

"Why, to be sure of course!" he said. 
"How stupid of me! I wonder if they can tell 
us where to find water." 

And presently the canaries, who had heard all 

122 The Story of Doctor Dollttle 

about Doctor Dolittle from birds of passage, 
came and led him to a beautiful spring of cool, 
clear water where the canaries used to take their 
bath ; and they showed him lovely meadows 
where the bird-seed grew and all the other 
sights of their island. 

And the pushmi-pullyu was glad they had 
come; because he liked the green grass so much 
better than the dried apples he had been eating 
on the ship. And Gub-Gub squeaked for joy 
when he found a whole valley full of wild sugar- 

A little later, when they had all had plenty 
to eat and drink, and were lying on their backs 
while the canaries sang for them, two of the 
swallows came hurrying up, very flustered and 

"Doctor!" they cried, u the pirates have come 
into the bay; and they've all got on to your ship. 
They are downstairs looking for things to steal. 
They have left their own ship with nobody on 
it. If you hurry and come down to the shore, 
you can get on to their ship which is very fast 
and escape. But you'll have to hurry." 

The Rats' Warning 123 

"That's a good idea," said the Doctor 

And he called his animals together at once, 
said Good-by to the canaries and ran down to the 

When they reached the shore they saw the 
pirate-ship, with the three red sails, standing in 
the water; and just as the swallows had said 
there was nobody on it; all the pirates were 
downstairs in the Doctor's ship, looking for 
things to steal. 

So John Dolittle told his animals to walk very 
softly and they all crept on to the pirate-ship. 




VERYTHING would have gone 
all right if the pig had not caught 
a cold in his head while eating 
the damp sugar-cane on the 
island. This is what happened: 
After they had pulled up the 
anchor without a sound, and were moving the 
ship very, very carefully out of the bay, Gub- 
Gub suddenly sneezed so loud that the pirates 
on the other ship came rushing upstairs to see 
what the noise was. 

As soon as they saw that the Doctor was es- 
caping, they sailed the other boat right across 
the entrance to the bay so that the Doctor could 
not get out into the open sea. 

Then the leader of these bad men (who called 
himself "Ben Ali, The Dragon") shook his fist 

at the Doctor and shouted across the water, 


126 The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

"Ha! Ha! You are caught, my fine friend! 
You were going to run off in my ship, eh? But 
you are not a good enough sailor to beat Ben 
Ali, the Barbary Dragon. I want that duck 
you've got and the pig too. We'll have pork- 
chops and roast duck for supper to-night. And 
before I let you go home, you must make your 
friends send me a trunk-full of gold." 

Poor Gub-Gub began to weep; and Dab-Dab 
made ready to fly to save her life. But the owl, 
Too-Too, whispered to the Doctor, 

"Keep him talking, Doctor. Be pleasant to 
him. Our old ship is bound to sink soon the 
rats said it would be at the bottom of the sea be- 
fore to-morrow-night and the rats are never 
wrong. Be pleasant, till the ship sinks under 
him. Keep him talking." 

"What, until to-morrow night!" said the Doc- 
tor. "Well, I'll do my best. . . . Let me see 
What shall I talk about?" 

"Oh, let them come on," said Jip. "We can 
fight the dirty rascals. There are only six of 
them. Let them come on. I'd love to tell that 
collie next door, when we get home, that I had 

The Barbary Dragon 


bitten a real pirate. Let 'em come. We can 
fight them." 

"But they have pistols and swords," said the 


Look here, Ben All ' 

Doctor. "No, that would never do. I must 
talk to him. . . . Look here, Ben Ali " 

But before the Doctor could say any more, 
the pirates began to sail the ship nearer, laugh- 
ing with glee, and saying one to another, "Who 
shall be the first to catch the pig?" 

128 The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

Poor Gub-Gub was dreadfully frightened; 
and the pushmi-pullyu began to sharpen his 
horns for a fight by rubbing them on the mast 
of the ship; while Jip kept springing into the 
air and barking and calling Ben Ali bad names 
in dog-language. 

But presently something seemed to go wrong 
with the pirates; they stopped laughing and 
cracking jokes; they looked puzzled; something 
was making them uneasy. 

Then Ben Ali, staring down at his feet, sud- 
denly bellowed out, 

"Thunder and Lightning! Men, the boat's 

And then the other pirates peered over the 
side and they saw that the boat was indeed get- 
ting lower and lower in the water. And one 
of them said to Ben Ali, 

"But surely if this old boat were sinking we 
should see the rats leaving it.' 3 

And Jip shouted across from the other ship, 

"You great duffers, there are no rats there 
to leave! They left two hours ago! 'Ha, ha,' 
to you, 'my fine friends!' 

The Barbary Dragon 129 

But of course the men did not understand him. 

Soon the front end of the ship began to go 
down and down, faster and faster till the boat 
looked almost as though it were standing on its 
head; and the pirates had to cling to the rails 
and the masts and the ropes and anything to 
keep from sliding off. Then the sea rushed 
roaring in through all the windows and the 
doors. And at last the ship plunged right down 
to the bottom of the sea, making a dreadful 
gurgling sound; and the six bad men were left 
bobbing about in the deep water of the bay. 

Some of them started to swim for the shores 
of the island; while others came and tried to get 
on to the boat where the Doctor was. But Jip 
kept snapping at their noses, so they were afraid 
to climb up the side of the ship. 

Then suddenly they all cried out in great fear, 

"The sharks! The sharks are coming! Let 
us get on to the ship before they eat us! Help, 
help ! The sharks ! The sharks I" 

And now the Doctor could see, all over the 
bay, the backs of big fishes swimming swiftly 
through the water. 

130 The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

And one great shark came near to the ship, 
and poking his nose out of the water he said to 
the Doctor, 

"Are you John Dolittle, the famous animal- 

"Yes," said Doctor Dolittle. "That is my 


"Well," said the shark, "we know these pir- 
ates to be a bad lot especially Ben Ali. If they 
are annoying you, we will gladly eat them up for 
you and then you won't be troubled any 


"Thank you," said the Doctor. "This is 
really most attentive. But I don't think it will 
be necessary to eat them. Don't let any of them 
reach the shore until I tell you just keep them 
swimming about, will you? And please make 
Ben Ali swim over here that I may talk to 

So the shark went off and chased Ben Ali over 
to the Doctor. 

"Listen, Ben Ali," said John Dolittle, lean- 
ing over the side. "You have been a very bad 
man; and I understand that you have killed 

The Barbary Dragon 131 

many people. These good sharks here have just 
offered to eat you up for me and 'twould in- 
deed be a good thing if the seas were rid of you. 
But if you will promise to do as I tell you, I 
will let you go in safety." 

"What must I do?" asked the pirate, looking 
down sideways at the big shark who was smell- 
ing his leg under the water. 

"You must kill no more people," said the 
Doctor; "you must stop stealing; you must never 
sink another ship ; you must give up being a 
pirate altogether." 

"But what shall I do then?" asked Ben AIL 
"How shall Hive?" 

"You and all your men must go on to this 
island and be bird-seed-farmers," the Doctor an- 
swered. "You must grow bird-seed for the 


The Barbary Dragon turned pale with anger, 
"Grow bird-seed!" he groaned in disgust. 
"Can't I be a sailor?" 

"No," said the Doctor, "you cannot. You 
have been a sailor long enough and sent many 
stout ships and good men to the bottom of the 

132 The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

sea. For the rest of your life you must be a 
peaceful farmer. The shark is waiting. Do 
not waste any more of his time. Make up your 

"Thunder and Lightning !" Ben Ali muttered 
-'Bird-seed!" Then he looked down into the 
water again and saw the great fish smelling his 
other leg. 

"Very well," he said sadly. "We'll be farm- 


"And remember," said the Doctor, "that if 
you do not keep your promise if you start 
killing and stealing again, I shall hear of it, 
because the canaries will come and tell me. 
And be very sure that I will find a way to pun- 
ish you. For though I may not be able to sail 
a ship as well as you, so long as the birds and 
the beasts and the fishes are my friends, I do not 
have to be afraid of a pirate chief even though 
he call himself 'The Dragon of Barbary.' Now 
go and be a good farmer and live in peace." 

Then the Doctor turned to the big shark, and 
waving his hand he said, 

"All right. Let them swim safely to the land." 



"AVING thanked the sharks 
again for their kindness, the 
Doctor and his pets set off 
once more on their journey 
home in the swift ship with 
the three red sails. 

As they moved out into the open sea, the ani- 
mals all went downstairs to see what their new 
boat was like inside; while the Doctor leant on 
the rail at the back of the ship with a pipe in his 
mouth, watching the Canary Islands fade away 
in the blue dusk of the evening. 

While he was standing there, wondering how 
the monkeys were getting on and what his 
garden would look like when he got back to 
Puddleby, Dab-Dab came tumbling up the 
stairs, all smiles and full of news. 

"Doctor!" she cried. "This ship of the pi- 


134 The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

rates is simply beautifulabsolutely. The beds 
downstairs are made of primrose silk with 
hundreds of big pillows and cushions; there are 
thick, soft carpets on the floors; the dishes are 
made of silver; and there are all sorts of good 
things to eat and drink special things; the 
larder well, it's just like a shop, that's all. 
You never saw anything like it in your life 
Just think they kept five different kinds of 
sardines, those men! Come and look. . . . Oh, 
and we found a little room down there with the 
door locked ; and we are all crazy to get in and 
see what's inside. Jip says it must be where the 
pirates kept their treasure. But we can't open 
the door. Come down and see if you can let 

us in/ 

So the Doctor went downstairs and he saw that 
it was indeed a beautiful ship. He found the 
animals gathered round a little door, all talking 
at once, trying to guess what was inside. The 
Doctor turned the handle but it wouldn't open. 
Then they all started to hunt for the key. They 
looked under the mat; they looked under all the 
carpets; they looked in all the cupboards and 

Too-Too, the Listener 135 

drawers and lockers in the big chests in the 
ship's dining-room; they looked everywhere. 

While they were doing this they discovered 
a lot of new and wonderful things that the pi- 
rates must have stolen from other ships: Kash- 
mir shawls as thin as a cobweb, embroidered 
with flowers of gold; jars of fine tobacco from 
Jamaica; carved ivory boxes full of Russian 
tea; an old violin with a string broken and a 
picture on the back; a set of big chess-men, 
carved out of coral and amber; a walking-stick 
which had a sword inside it when you pulled 
the handle; six wine-glasses with tourquoise and 
silver round the rims; and a lovely great sugar- 
bowl, made of mother o' pearl. But nowhere 
in the whole boat could they find a key to fit 
that lock. 

So they all came back to the door, and Jip 
peered through the key-hole. But something 
had been stood against the wall on the inside 
and he could see nothing. 

While they were standing around, wondering 
what they should do, the owl, Too-Too, sud- 
denly said, 


The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

"Shi- -Listen!- -I do believe there's some one 
in there!' 5 

They all kept still a moment. Then the Doc- 
tor said, 


" 'Sh ! Listen ! I do believe there's some one in there !' 

"You must be mistaken, Too-Too. I don't 
hear anything." 

"I'm sure of it," said the owl. "Sh! There 
it is again Don't you hear that?" 

"No, I do not," said 'the Doctor. "What 
kind of a sound is it?" 

Too-Too, the Listener 137 

"I hear the noise of some one putting his hand 
in his pocket," said the owl. 

"But that makes hardly any sound at all," said 
the Doctor. "You couldn't hear that out here." 

"Pardon me, but I can," said Too-Too. "I 
tell you there is some one on the other side of 
that door putting his hand in his pocket. Al- 
most everything makes some noise if your ears 
are only sharp enough to catch it. Bats can hear 
a mole walking in his tunnel under the earth 
and they think they're good hearers. But we 
owls can tell you, using only one ear, the color 
of a kitten from the way it winks in the dark." 

"Well, well!" said the Doctor. "You sur- 
prise me. That's very interesting. . . . Listen 
again and tell me what he's doing now." 

"I'm not sure yet," said Too-Too, "if it's a 
man at all. Maybe it's a woman. Lift me up 
and let me listen at the key-hole and I'll soon 
tell you." 

So the Doctor lifted the owl up and held him 
close to the lock of the door. 

After a moment Too-Too said, 

"Now he's rubbing his face with his left 

138 The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

hand. It is a small hand and a small face. It 
might be a woman No. Now he pushes his 
hair back off his forehead It's a man all 

"Women sometimes do that," said the Doc- 

"True," said the owl. "But when they do, 
their long hair makes quite a different sound. 
. . . Sh! Make that fidgety pig keep still. 
Now all hold your breath a moment so I can 
listen well. This is very difficult, what I'm do- 
ing now and the pesky door is so thick! Sh! 
Everybody quite still shut your eyes and don't 

Too-Too leaned down and listened again very 
hard and long. 

At last he looked up into the Doctor's face and 

"The man in there is unhappy. He weeps. 
He has taken care not to blubber or sniffle, lest 
we should find out that he is crying. But I 
heard quite distinctly the sound of a tear fall- 
ing on his sleeve." 

"How do you know it wasn't a drop of water 

Too-Too, the Listener 139 

falling off the ceiling on him?" asked Gub-Gub. 

"Pshaw! Such ignorance!" sniffed Too-Too. 
"A drop of water falling off the ceiling would 
have made ten times as much noise!" 

"Well," said the Doctor, "if the poor fellow's 
unhappy, we've got to get in and see what's the 
matter with him. Find me an axe, and I'll chop 
the door down." 



IGHT away an axe was found. 
And the Doctor soon chopped a 
hole in the door big enough to 
clamber through. 

At first he could see nothing 
at all, it was so dark inside. So 
he struck a match. 

The room was quite small; no window; the 
ceiling, low. For furniture there was only one 
little stool. All round the room big barrels 
stood against the walls, fastened at the bottom 
so they wouldn't tumble with the rolling of the 
ship ; and above the barrels, pewter jugs of all 
sizes hung from wooden pegs. There was a 
strong, winey smell. And in the middle of the 
floor sat a little boy, about eight years old, cry- 
ing bitterly. 

"I declare, it is the pirates' rum-room!" said 

Jip in a whisper. 


142 The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

"Yes. Very rum!" said Gub-Gub. "The 
smell makes me giddy." 

The little boy seemed rather frightened to 
find a man standing there before him and all 
those animals staring in through the hole in the 
broken door. But as soon as he saw John Do- 
little's face by the light of the match, he stopped 
crying and got up. 

"You aren't one of the pirates, arc you?" he 

And when the Doctor threw back his head 
and laughed long and loud, the little boy smiled 
too and came and took his hand. 

"You laugh like a friend," he said "not like 
a pirate. Could you tell me where my uncle 

"I am afraid I can't," said the Doctor. 
"When did you see him last?" 

"It was the day before yesterday," said the 
boy. "I and my uncle were out fishing in our 
little boat, when the pirates came and caught 
us. They sunk our fishing-boat and brought us 
both on to this ship. They told my uncle that 
they wanted him to be a pirate like them for 

The Ocean Gossips 143 

he was clever at sailing a ship in all weathers. 
But he said he didn't want to be a pirate, be- 
cause killing people and stealing was no work 
for a good fisherman to do. Then the leader, 
Ben Ali, got very angry and gnashed his teeth, 
and said they would throw my uncle into the 
sea if he didn't do as they said. They sent me 
downstairs; and I heard the noise of a fight go- 
ing on above. And when they let me come up 
again next day, my uncle was nowhere to be 
seen. I asked the pirates where he was; but 
they wouldn't tell me. I am very much afraid 
they threw him into the sea and drowned him." 

And the little boy began to cry again. 

"Well now wait a minute," said the Doctor. 
"Don't cry. Let's go and have tea in the din- 
ing-room, and we'll talk it over. Maybe your 
uncle is quite safe all the time. You don't know 
that he was drowned, do you? And that's some- 
thing. Perhaps we can find him for you. First 
we'll go and have tea with strawberry-jam; 
and then we will see what can be done." 

All the animals had been standing around 
listening with great curiosity. And when they 

144 The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

had gone into the ship's dining-room and were 
having tea, Dab-Dab came up behind the Doc- 
tor's chair and whispered. 

"Ask the porpoises if the boy's uncle was 
drowned- -they'll know." 

"All right," said the Doctor, taking a second 
piece of bread-and-jam. 

"What are those funny, clicking noises you 
are making with your tongue?" asked the boy. 

"Oh, I just said a couple of words in duck- 
language," the Doctor answered. "This is 
Dab-Dab, one of my pets." 

"I didn't even know that ducks had a lan- 
guage," said the boy. "Are all these other ani- 
mals your pets, too? What is that strange- 
looking thing with two heads?" 

"Sh!" the Doctor whispered. "That is the 
pushmi-pullyu. Don't let him see we're talk- 
ing about him he gets so dreadfully embar- 
rassed. . . . Tell me, how did you come to be 
locked up in that little room?" 

"The pirates shut me in there when they were 
going off to steal things from another ship. 
When I heard some one chopping on the door, 

The Ocean Gossips 145 

I didn't know who it could be. I was very 
glad to find it was you. Do you think you will 
be able to find my uncle for me?" 

"Well, we are going to try very hard," said 
the Doctor. "Now what was your uncle like to 
look at?" 

"He had red hair," the boy answered "very 
red hair, and the picture of an anchor tattooed 
on his arm. He was a strong man, a kind uncle 
and the best sailor in the South Atlantic. His 
fishing-boat was called The Saucy Sally a 
cutter-rigged sloop." 

"What's 'cutterigsloop'?" whispered Gub- 
Gub, turning to Jip. 

"Sh! That's the kind of a ship the man had," 
said Jip. "'Keep still, can't you?" 

"Oh," said the pig, "is that all? I thought 
it was something to drink." 

So the Doctor left the boy to play with the 
animals in the dining-room, and went upstairs 
to look for passing porpoises. 

And soon a whole school came dancing and 
jumping through the water, on their way to 

146 The Story of Doctor Dolitile 

When they saw the Doctor leaning on the 
rail of his ship, they came over to see how he 
was getting on. 

And the Doctor asked them if they had seen 
anything of a man with red hair and an anchor 
tattooed on his arm. 

"Do you mean the master of The Saucy 
Sally?" asked the porpoises. 

"Yes," said the Doctor. "That's the man. 
Has he been drowned?" 

"His fishing-sloop was sunk," said the por- 
poises "for we saw it lying on the bottom of 
the sea. But there was nobody inside it, be- 
cause we went and looked." 

"His little nephew is on the ship with me 
here," said the Doctor. "And he is terribly 
afraid that the pirates threw his uncle into the 
sea. Would you be so good as to find out for 
me, for sure, whether he has been drowned or 

"Oh, he isn't drowned," said the porpoises. 
"If he were, we would be sure to have heard of 
it from the deep-sea Decapods. We hear all the 
salt-water news. The shell-fish call us The 

The Ocean Gossips 147 

Ocean Gossips.' No tell the little boy we are 
sorry we do not know where his uncle is; but 
we are quite certain he hasn't been drowned in 
the sea." 

So the Doctor ran downstairs with the news 
and told the nephew, who clapped his hands with 
happiness. And the pushmi-pullyu took the lit- 
tle boy on his back and gave him a ride round 
the dining-room table; while all the other ani- 
mals followed behind, beating the dish-covers 
with spoons, pretending it was a parade. 



yOUR uncle must now be 

said the Doctor "that is the 
next thing now that we know 
he wasn't thrown into the sea." 
Then Dab-Dab came up to 
him again and whispered, 
"Ask the eagles to look for the man. No liv- 
ing creature can see better than an eagle. When 
they are miles high in the air they can count 
the ants crawling on the ground. Ask the 

So the Doctor sent one of the swallows off 
to get some eagles. 

And in about an hour the little bird came 
back with six different kinds of eagles: a Black 
Eagle, a Bald Eagle, a Fish Eagle, a Golden 
Eagle, an Eagle- Vulture, and a White-tailed 

Sea Eagle. Twice as high as the boy they were, 


150 The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

each one of them. And they stood on the rail 
of the ship, like round-shouldered soldiers all 
in a row, stern and still and stiff; while their 
great, gleaming, black eyes shot darting glances 
here and there and everywhere. 

Gub-Gub was scared of them and got be- 
hind a barrel. He said he felt as though those 
terrible eyes were looking right inside of him 
to see what he had stolen for lunch. 

And the Doctor said to the eagles, 

"A man has been lost a fisherman with red 
hair and an anchor marked on his arm. Would 
you be so kind as to see if you can find him for 
us? This boy is the man's nephew." 

Eagles do not talk very much. And all they 
answered in their husky voices was, 

"You may be sure that we will do our best 
for John Dolittle." 

Then they flew off and Gub-Gub came out 
from behind his barrel to see them go. Up and 
up and up they went higher and higher and 
higher still. Then, when the Doctor could only 
just see them, they parted company and started 
going off all different ways North, East, South 

Smells 151 

and West, looking like tiny grains of black sand 
creeping across the wide, blue sky. 

"My gracious!" said Gub-Gub in a hushed 
voice. "What a height! I wonder they don't 
scorch their feathers so near the sun!" 

They were gone a long time. And when they 
came back it was almost night. 

And the eagles said to the Doctor, 

"We have searched all the seas and all the 
countries and all the islands and all the cities 
and all the villages in this half of the world. 
But we have failed. In the main street of Gib- 
raltar we saw three red hairs lying on a wheel- 
barrow before a baker's door. But they were 
not the hairs of a man they were the hairs out 
of a fur-coat. Nowhere, on land or water, could 
we see any sign of this boy's uncle. And if <we 
could not see him, then he is not to be seen. . . . 
For John Dolittle we have done our best." 

Then the six great birds flapped their big 
wings and flew back to their homes in the moun- 
tains and the rocks. 

"Well," said Dab-Dab, after they had gone, 
"what are we going to do now? The boy's 

152 The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

uncle must be found there's no two ways about 
that. The lad isn't old enough to be knocking 
around the world by himself. Boys aren't like 
ducklings they have to be taken care of till 
they're quite old. ... I wish Chee-Chee were 
here. He would soon find the man. Good old 
Chee-Chee! I wonder how he's getting on!" 

"If we only had Polynesia with us," said the 
white mouse. "She would soon think of some 
way. Do you remember how she got us all 
out of prison the second time? My, but she 
was a clever one!" 

"I don't think so much of those eagle-fellows," 
said Jip. "They're just conceited. They may 
have very good eyesight and all that; but when 
you ask them to find a man for you, they can't 
do it and they have the cheek to come back 
and say that nobody else could do it. They're 
just conceited like that collie in Puddleby. 
And I don't think a whole lot of those gossipy 
old porpoises either. All they could tell us was 
that the man isn't in the sea. We don't want 
to know where he isn't we want to know where 
he is." 



"Oh, don't talk so much," said Gub-Gub. 
"It's easy to talk; but it isn't so easy to find a 
man when you have got the whole world to hunt 
him in. Maybe the fisherman's hair has turned 
white, worrying about the boy; and that was 
why the eagles didn't find him. You don't 




I jj _jij _J 

11 'You stupid piece of warm bacon !' 

know everything. You're just talking. You 
are not doing anything to help. You couldn't 
find the boy's uncle any more than the eagles 
could you couldn't do as well." 

"Couldn't I?" said the dog. "That's all you 
know, you stupid piece of warm bacon! I 

154 The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

haven't begun to try yet, have I? You wait and 

Then Jip went to the Doctor and said, 

"Ask the boy if he has anything in his pockets 
that belonged to his uncle, will you, please?" 

So the Doctor asked him. And the boy 
showed them a gold ring which he wore on a 
piece of string around his neck because it was 
too big for his finger. He said his uncle gave 
it to him when they saw the pirates coming. 

Jip smelt the ring and said, 

"That's no good. Ask him if he has any- 
thing else that belonged to his uncle." 

Then the boy took from his pocket a great, 
big red handkerchief and said, "This was my 
uncle's too." 

As soon as the boy pulled it out, Jip shouted, 

"Snuff, by Jingo! Black Rappee snuff. 
Don't you smell it? His uncle took snuff 
Ask him, Doctor." 

The Doctor questioned the boy again; 
and he said, "Yes. My uncle took a lot of 

"Fine!" said Jip. "The man's as good as 

Smells 155 

found. 'Twill be as easy as stealing milk from 
a kitten. Tell the boy I'll find his uncle for 
him in less than a week. Let us go upstairs 
and see which way the wind is blowing." 

"But it is dark now," said the Doctor. "You 
can't find him in the dark!" 

"I don't need any light to look for a man who 
smells of Black Rappee snuff," said Jip as he 
climbed the stairs. "If the man had a hard 
smell, like string, now or hot water, k would 
be different. But snuff! Tut, tut!" 

"Does hot water have a smell?" asked the 

"Certainly it has," said Jip. "Hot water 
smells quite different from cold water. It is 
warm water or ice that has the really diffi- 
cult smell. Why, I once followed a man for 
ten miles on a dark night by the smell of the 
hot water he had used to shave with for the 
poor fellow had no soap. . . . Now then, let 
us see which way the wind is blowing. Wind is 
very important in long-distant smelling. It 
mustn't be too fierce a wind and of course it 
must blow the right way. A nice, steady, damp 

156 The Story of Doctor Dollttle 

breeze is the best of all. . . . Ha! This wind 
is from the North." 

Then Jip went up to the front of the ship 
and smelt the wind; and he started muttering 
to himself, 

'Tar; Spanish onions; kerosene oil; wet rain- 
coats; crushed laurel-leaves; rubber burning; 
lace-curtains being washed No, my mistake, 
lace-curtains hanging out to dry; and foxes 
hundreds of 'em cubs; and " 

"Can you really smell all those different 
things in this one wind?" asked the Doctor. 

"Why, of course!" said Jip. "And those are 
only a few of the easy smells the strong ones. 
Any mongrel could smell those with a cold in 
the head. Wait now, and I'll tell you some of 
the harder scents that are coming on this wind 
a few of the dainty ones." 

Then the dog shut his eyes tight, poked his 
nose straight up in the air and sniffed hard with 
his mouth half-open. 

For a long time he said nothing. He kept as 
still as a stone. He hardly seemed to be breath- 
ing at all. When at last he began to speak, it 

Smells 157 

sounded almost as though he were singing, sadly, 
in a dream, 

"Bricks," he whispered, very low "old yel- 
low bricks, crumbling with age in a garden- 
wall; the sweet breath of young cows standing 
in a mountain-stream; the lead roof of a dove- 
cote or perhaps a granary with the mid-day 
sun on it; black kid gloves lying in a bureau- 
drawer of walnut-wood; a dusty road with a 
horses' drinking-trough beneath the sycamores; 
little mushrooms bursting through the rotting 
leaves; and and and " 

"Any parsnips?" asked Gub-Gub. 

"No," said Jip. "You always think of things 
to eat. No parsnips whatever. And no snuff 
plenty of pipes and cigarettes, and a few cigars. 
But no snuff. We must wait till the wind 
changes to the South." 

"Yes, it's a poor wind, that," said Gub-Gub. 
"I think you're a fake, Jip. Who ever heard of 
finding a man in the middle of the ocean just by 
smell! I told you you couldn't do it." 

"Look here," said Jip, getting really angry. 
"You're going to get a bite on the nose in a min- 

158 The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

ute! You needn't think that just because the 
Doctor won't let us give you what you deserve, 
that you can be as cheeky as you like!" 

"Stop quarreling!" said the Doctor "Stop it! 
Life's too short. Tell me, Jip, where do you 
think those smells are coming from?" 

"From Devon and Wales most of them," said 
Jip "The wind is coming that way." 

"Well, well!" said the Doctor. "You know 
that's really quite remarkable quite. I must 
make a note of that for my new book. I won- 
der if you could train me to smell as well as 
that. . . . But no perhaps I'm better off the 
way I am. 'Enough is as good as a feast,' they 
say. Let's go down to supper. I'm quite hun- 


"So am I," said Gub-Gub. 



they got, early next morning, 
out of the silken beds; and they 
saw that the sun was shining 
brightly and that the wind was 
blowing from the South. 

Jip smelt the South wind for 
half an hour. Then he came to the Doctor, 
shaking his head. 

"I smell no snuff as yet," he said. "We must 
wait till the wind changes to the East." 

But even when the East wind came, at three 
o'clock that afternoon, the dog could not catch 
the smell of snuff. 

The little boy was terribly disappointed and 
began to cry again, saying that no one seemed 
to be able to find his uncle for him. But all Jip 
said to the Doctor was, 

"Tell him that when the wind changes to 



The Story of Doctor Dollttle 

the West, I'll find his uncle even though he be 
in China so long as he is still taking Blaek 
Rappee snuff." 

Three days they had to wait before the West 
wind came. This was on a Friday morning, 
early just as it was getting light. A fine rainy 

" 'Doctor!' he cried. 'I've got it!' 

mist lay on the sea like a thin fog. And the 
wind was soft and warm and wet. 

As soon as Jip awoke he ran upstairs and 
poked his nose in the air. Then he got most 
frightfully excited and rushed down again to 
wake the Doctor up. 

"Doctor!" he cried. "I've got it! Doctor! 

The Rock 161 

Doctor! Wake up! Listen! IVe got it! 
The wind's from the West and it smells of noth- 
ing but snuff. Come upstairs and start the ship 

So the Doctor tumbled out of bed and went 
to the rudder to steer the ship. 

"Now I'll go up to the front," said Jip; "and 
you watch my nose whichever way I point it, 
you turn the ship the same way. The man can- 
not be far off with the smell as strong as this. 
And the wind's all lovely and wet. Now watch 

So all that morning Jip stood in the front 
part of the ship, sniffing the wind and pointing 
the way for the Doctor to steer; while all the 
animals and the little boy stood round with their 
eyes wide open, watching the dog in wonder. 

About lunch-time Jip asked Dab-Dab to tell 
the Doctor that he was getting worried and 
wanted to speak to him. So Dab-Dab went and 
fetched the Doctor from the other end of the 
ship and Jip said to him, 

"The boy's uncle is starving. We must make 
the ship go as fast as we can." 

162 The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

"How do you know he is starving?" asked the 

"Because there is no other smell in the West 
wind but snuff," said Jip. "If the man were 
cooking or eating food of any kind, I would 
be bound to smell it too. But he hasn't even 
fresh \vater to drink. All he is taking is snuff 
in large pinches. We are getting nearer to 
him all the time, because the smell grows 
stronger every minute. But make the ship go 
as fast as you can, for I am certain that the 
man is starving." 

"All right," said the Doctor; and he sent Dab- 
Dab to ask the swallows to pull the ship, the 
same as they had done when the pirates were 
chasing them. 

So the stout little birds came down and 
once more harnessed themselves to the ship. 

And now the boat went bounding through the 
waves at a terrible speed. It went so fast that 
the fishes in the sea had to jump for their lives 
to get out of the way and not be run over. 

And all the animals got tremendously excited; 
and they gave up looking at Jip and turned to 

The Rock 163 

watch the sea in front, to spy out any land or 
islands where the starving man might be. 

But hour after hour went by and still the ship 
went rushing on, over the same flat, flat sea; and 
no land anywhere came in sight. 

And now the animals gave up chattering and 
sat around silent, anxious and miserable. The 
little boy again grew sad. And on Jip's face 
there was a worried look. 

At last, late in the afternoon, just as the sun 
was going down, the owl, Too-Too, who 
was perched on the tip of the mast, suddenly 
startled them all by crying out at the top of his 

"Jip! Jip! I see a great, great rock in front 
of us look way out there where the sky and 
the water meet. See the sun shine on it like 
gold! Is the smell coming from there?" 

And Jip called back, 

"Yes. That's it. That is where the man is. 
At last, at last!" 

And when they got nearer they could see that 
the rock was very large as large as a big field. 
No trees grew on it, no grass nothing. The 

164 The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

great rock was as smooth and as bare as the back 
of a tortoise. 

Then the Doctor sailed the ship right round 
the rock. But nowhere on it could a man be 
seen. All the animals screwed up their eyes 
and looked as hard as they could; and John 
Dolittle got a telescope from downstairs. 

But not one living thing could they spy 
not even a gull, nor a star-fish, nor a shred of 

They all stood still and listened, straining 
their ears for any sound. But the only noise 
they heard was the gentle lapping of the little 
waves against the sides of their ship. 

Then they all started calling, "Hulloa, there! 
HULLOA!" till their voices were hoarse. 
But only the echo came back from the rock. 

And the little boy burst into tears and said, 

"I am afraid I shall never see my uncle any 
more! What shall I tell them when I get 

But Jip called to the Doctor, 

"He must be there he must he must! The 
smell goes on no further. He must be there, I 

The Rock 165 

tell you! Sail the ship close to the rock and 
let me jump out on it." 

So the Doctor brought the ship as close as 
he could and let down the anchor. Then he 
and Jip got out of the ship on to the rock. 

Jip at once put his nose down close to the 
ground and began to run all over the place. Up 
and down he went, back and forth zig-zag- 
ging, twisting, doubling and turning. And 
everywhere he went, the Doctor ran behind him, 
close at his heels till he was terribly out of 

At last Jip let out a great bark and sat down. 
And when the Doctor came running up to him, 
he found the dog staring into a big, deep hole in 
the middle of the rock. 

"The boy's uncle is down there," said Jip 
quietly. "No wonder those silly eagles couldn't 
see him! It takes a dog to find a man." 

So the Doctor got down into the hole, which 
seemed to be a kind of cave, or tunnel, running 
a long way under the ground. Then he struck 
a match and started to make his way along the 
dark passage with Jip following behind. 

166 The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

The Doctor's match soon went out; and he 
had to strike another and another and another. 

At last the passage came to an end; and the 
Doctor found himself in a kind of tiny room 
with walls of rock. 

And there, in the middle of the room, his head 
resting on his arms, lay a man with very red 
hair fast asleep! 

Jip went up and sniffed at something lying 
on the ground beside him. The Doctor stooped 
and picked it up. It was an enormous snuff- 
box. And it was full of Black Rappee 1 



ENTLY then very gently, the 
Doctor woke the man up. 

But just at that moment the 
match went out again. And 
the man thought it was Ben Ali 
coming back, and he began to 
punch the Doctor in the dark. 

But when John Dolittle told him who it was, 
and that he had his little nephew safe on his 
ship, the man was tremendously glad, and said 
he was sorry he had fought the Doctor. He had 
not hurt him much though because it was too 
dark to punch properly. Then he gave the 
Doctor a pinch of snuff. 

And the man told how the Barbary Dragon 
had pur him on to this rock and left him there, 
when he wouldn't promise to become a pirate; 

and how he used to sleep down in this hole be- 


168 The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

cause there was no house on the rock to keep 
him warm. 

And then he said, 

"For four days I have had nothing to eat or 
drink. I have lived on snuff." 

"There you are!" said Jip. "What did I tell 

So they struck some more matches and made 
their way out through the passage into the day- 
light; and the Doctor hurried the man down to 
the boat to get some soup. 

When the animals and the little boy saw the 
Doctor and Jip coming back to the ship with 
a red-headed man, they began to cheer and yell 
and dance about the boat. And the swallows 
up above started whistling at the top of their 
voices thousands and millions of them to 
show that they too were glad that the boy's brave 
uncle had been found. The noise they made 
was so great that sailors far out at sea thought 
that a terrible storm was coming. "Hark to 
that gale howling in the East!" they said. 

And Jip was awfully proud of himself 

The Fisherman's Town 169 

though he tried hard not to look conceited. 
When Dab-Dab came to him and said, "Jip, I 
had no idea you were so clever!" he just tossed 
his head and answered, 

"Oh, that's nothing special. But it takes a 
dog to find a man, you know. Birds are no good 
for a game like that." 

Then the Doctor asked the red-haired fisher- 
man where his home was. And when he had 
told him, the Doctor asked the swallows to guide 
the ship there first. 

And when they had come to the land which 
the man had spoken of, they saw a little fishing- 
town at the foot of a rocky mountain; and the 
man pointed out the house where he lived. 

And while they were letting down the anchor, 
the little boy's mother (who was also the man's 
sister) came running down to the shore to meet 
them, laughing and crying at the same time. 
She had been sitting on a hill for twenty days, 
watching the sea and waiting for them to re- 

And she kissed the Doctor many times, so that 


The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

he giggled and blushed like a school-girl. And 
she tried to kiss Jip too; but he ran away and 
hid inside the ship. 

"It's a silly business, this kissing," he said. 
"I don't hold by it. Let her go and kiss Gub- 
Gub if she must kiss something." 

"And she kissed the Doctor many times" 

The fisherman and his sister didn't want the 
Doctor to go away again in a hurry. They 
begged him to spend a few days with them. So 
John Dolittle and his animals had to stay at 
their house a whole Saturday and Sunday and 
half of Monday. 

And all the little boys of the fishing-village 
went down to the beach and pointed at the great 

The Fisherman's Town 171 

ship anchored there, and said to one another in 

"Look! That was a pirate-ship Ben Ali's 
the most terrible pirate that ever sailed the 
Seven Seas! That old gentleman with the high 
hat, who's staying up at Mrs. Trevelyan's, he 
took the ship away from The Barbary Dragon 
and made him into a farmer. Who'd have 
thought it of him him so gentle-like and all! 
. . . Look at the great red sails! Ain't she the 
wicked-looking ship and fast? My!" 

All those two days and a half that the Doctor 
stayed at the little fishing-town the people kept 
asking him out to teas and luncheons and din- 
ners and parties; all the ladies sent him boxes 
of flowers and candies; and the village-band 
played tunes under his window every night 

At last the Doctor said, 

"Good people, I must go home now. You 
have really been most kind. I shall always re- 
member it. But I must go home for I have 
things to do." 

Then, just as the Doctor was about to leave, 
the Mayor of the town came down the street 

172 The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

and a lot of other people in grand clothes with 
him. And the Mayor stopped before the house 
where the Doctor was living; and everybody in 
the village gathered round to see what was going 
to happen. 

After six page-boys had blown on shining 
trumpets to make the people stop talking, the 
Doctor came out on to the steps and the Mayor 

"Doctor John Dolittle," said he: "It is a 
great pleasure for me to present to the man who 
rid the seas of the Dragon of Barbary this little 
token from the grateful people of our worthy 

And the Mayor took from his pocket a little 
tissue-paper packet, and opening it, he handed 
to the Doctor a perfectly beautiful watch with 
real diamonds in the back. 

Then the Mayor pulled out of his pocket a 
still larger parcel and said, 

"Where is the dog?" 

Then everybody started to hunt for Jip. And 
at last Dab-Dab found him on the other side 
of the village in a stable-yard, where all the 

The Fisherman's Town 173 

dogs of the country-side were standing round 
him speechless with admiration and respect. 

When Jip was brought to the Doctor's side, 
the Mayor opened the larger parcel; and inside 
was a dog-collar made of solid gold! And a 
great murmur of wonder went up from the vil- 
lage-folk as the Mayor bent down and fastened 
it round the dog's neck with his own hands. 

For written on the collar in big letters were 
these words: "JIP The Cleverest Dog in the 

Then the whole crowd moved down to the 
beach to see them off. And after the red-haired 
fisherman and his sister and the little boy had 
thanked the Doctor and his dog over and over 
and over again, the great, swift ship with the 
red sails was turned once more towards Pud- 
dleby and they sailed out to sea, while the vil- 
lage-band played music on the shore. 



"ARCH winds had come and 
gone; April's showers were 
over; May's buds had opened 
into flower; and the June sun 
was shining on the pleasant 
fields, when John Dolittle at 
last got back to his own country. 

But he did not yet go home to Puddleby. 
First he went traveling through the land with 
the pushmi-pullyu in a gipsy-wagon, stopping at 
all the country-fairs. And there, with the acro- 
bats on one side of them and the Punch-and- 
Judy show on the other, they would hang out a 
big sign which read, "COME AND SEE THE 


And the pushmi-pullyu would stay inside the 

wagon, while the other animals would lie about 


Home Again 175 

underneath. The Doctor sat in a chair in front 
taking the sixpences and smiling on the people 
as they went in; and Dab-Dab was kept busy 
all the time scolding him because he would let 
the children in for nothing when she wasn't 

And menagerie-keepers and circus-men came 
and asked the Doctor to sell them the strange 
creature, saying they would pay a tremendous 
lot of money for him. But the Doctor always 
shook his head and said, 

"No. The pushmi-pullyu shall never be shut 
up in a cage. He shall be free always to come 
and go, like you and me." 

Many curious sights and happenings they saw 
in this wandering life; but they all seemed quite 
ordinary after the great things they had seen 
and done in foreign lands. It was very inter- 
esting at first, being sort of part of a circus; 
but after a few weeks they all got dreadfully 
tired of it and the Doctor and all of them were 
longing to go home. 

But so many people came flocking to the lit- 
tle wagon and paid the sixpence to go inside and 

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"The Doctor sat in a chair in front" 

Home Again 177 

see the pushmi-pullyu that very soon the Doctor 
was able to give up being a showman. 

And one fine day, when the hollyhocks were 
in full bloom, he came back to Puddleby a rich 
man, to live in the little house with the big 

And the old lame horse in the stable was glad 
to see him; and so were the swallows who had 
already built their nests under the eaves of his 
roof and had young ones. And Dab-Dab was 
glad, too, to get back to the house she knew so 
well although there was a terrible lot of dust- 
ing to be done, with cobwebs everywhere. 

And after Jip had gone and shown his golden 
collar to the conceited collie next-door, he came 
back and began running round the garden like 
a crazy thing, looking for the bones he had 
buried long ago, and chasing the rats out of the 
tool-shed; while Gub-Gub dug up the horse- 
radish which had grown three feet high in the 
corner by the garden-wall. 

And the Doctor went and saw the sailor who 
had lent him the boat, and he bought two new 
ships for him and a rubber-doll for his baby; 

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Home Again 179 

and he paid the grocer for the food he had lent 
him for the journey to Africa. And he bought 
another piano and put the white mice back in 
it because they said the bureau-drawer was 

Even when the Doctor had filled the old 
money-box on the dresser-shelf, he still had a 
lot of money left; and he had to get three more 
money-boxes, just as big, to put the rest in. 

"Money," he said, "is a terrible nuisance. 
But it's nice not to have to worry." 

"Yes," said Dab-Dab, who was toasting muf- 
fins for his tea, "it is indeed!" 

And when the Winter came again, and the 
snow flew against the kitchen-window, the Doc- 
tor and his animals would sit round the big, 
warm fire after supper; and he would read aloud 
to them out of his books. 

But far away in Africa, where the monkeys 
chattered in the palm-trees before they went to 
bed under the big yellow moon, they would say 
to one another, 

"I wonder what The Good Man's doing now 


The Story of Doctor Dolittle 

over there, in the Land of the White Men! 
Do you think he ever will come back?" 

And Polynesia would squeak out from the 

"I think he will I guess he will I hope he 

And then the crocodile would grunt up at 
them from the black mud of the river, 

"I'm SURE he will Go to sleep!"