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THE STORY OF DOCTOR DO LITTLE
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WITH AN INTRODUCTION TO THE TENTH PRINTING
BY HUGH WALPOLE
Copyright, 1920, by
FREDERICK A. STOKES COMPANY
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
PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES or AMERICA
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I- Cm W NEW VOPtK K I ^ "1 3
CHILDREN IN YEARS AND CHILDREN IN HEART
I DEDICATE THIS STORY
INTRODUCTION TO THE TENTH
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
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
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."
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
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
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."
I PUDDLEBY I
II ANIMAL LANGUAGE 7
III MORE MONEY TROUBLES 19
IV A MESSAGE FROM AFRICA 29
V THE GREAT JOURNEY . . . . . -37
VI POLYNESIA AND THE KING 47
VII THE BRIDGE OF APES 55
VIII THE LEADER OF THE LIONS .... 67
IX THE MONKEYS' COUNCIL 75
X THE RAREST ANIMAL OF ALL . . . .81
XI THE BLACK PRINCE 91
XII MEDICINE AND MAGIC 99
XIII RED SAILS AND BLUE WINGS . . . . in
XIV THE RATS' WARNING . . , . . . 117
XV THE BARBARY DRAGON ,. 125
XVI Too-Too, THE LISTENER 133
XVII THE OCEAN GOSSIPS 141
XVIII SMELLS H9
XIX THE ROCK 159
XX THE FISHERMAN'S TOWN 167
XXI HOME AGAIN 174
"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
"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
"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
'They are surely the pirates of Barbary' . . .114
'And you have heard that rats always leave a sinking
" 'Look here, Ben Ali ' 127
"'Sh! Listen! I do believe there's someone in
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'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
THE STORY OF DOCTOR DOLITTLE
THE STORY OF
THE FIRST CHAPTER
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
"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.
THE SECOND CHAPTER
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
"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
"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
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
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
THE THIRD CHAPTER
MORE MONEY TROUBLES
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,
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
"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.
THE FOURTH CHAPTER
A MESSAGE FROM AFRICA
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
"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
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
"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-
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-
.1 1 r I
, , 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.
THE FIFTH CHAPTER
THE GREAT JOURNEY
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-
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
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
Then they all took shelter in a nice dry cave
they found, high up in the cliffs, till the storm
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-
"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
"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.
THE SIXTH CHAPTER
POLYNESIA AND THE KING
HEN they had
gone a little
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
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
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
Then she coughed just the way Doctor Do-
little used to cough. Polynesia could mimic
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"^^^^^^.^
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
"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.
THE SEVENTH CHAPTER
THE BRIDGE OF APES
UEEN ERMINTRUDE had
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
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
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
"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
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.
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THE EIGHTH CHAPTER
THE LEADER OF THE LIONS
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-
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
"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
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.
THE NINTH CHAPTER
THE MONKEYS' COUNCIL
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
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
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."
THE TENTH CHAPTER
THE RAREST ANIMAL OF ALL
USHMI-PULLYUS are now
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
But he shook both his heads hard and said,
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,
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
"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.
THE ELEVENTH CHAPTER
THE BLACK PRINCE
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
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-
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
The Story of Doctor Dolittle
and began reading the fairy-stories to himself.
Chee-Chee and Polynesia watched him,
keeping very quiet and still.
>< .->--,..-. --
[ 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
"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.
THE TWELFTH CHAPTER
MEDICINE AND MAGIC
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,
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
"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
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
"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
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.
THE THIRTEENTH CHAPTER
RED SAILS AND BLUE WINGS
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
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
"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.
'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
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
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.
THE FOURTEENTH CHAPTER
THE RATS' WARNING
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
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
"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.
THE FIFTEENTH CHAPTER
THE BARBARY DRAGON
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
"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
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
"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
"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
"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."
THE SIXTEENTH CHAPTER
TOO-TOO, THE LISTENER
"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
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
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-
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-
" 'Sh ! Listen ! I do believe there's some one in there !'
"You must be mistaken, Too-Too. I don't
"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
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."
THE SEVENTEENTH CHAPTER
THE OCEAN GOSSIPS
IGHT away an axe was found.
And the Doctor soon chopped a
hole in the door big enough to
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-
"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
"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
"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
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.
THE EIGHTEENTH CHAPTER
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
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
"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
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
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
'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
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.
THE NINETEENTH CHAPTER
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
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
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
THE TWENTIETH CHAPTER
THE FISHERMAN'S TOWN
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
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
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.
THE LAST CHAPTER
"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
MARVELOUS TWO-HEADED ANIMAL FROM THE
JUNGLES OF AFRICA. Admission SIXPENCE."
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!"