Page:Sawdust & Spangles.djvu/209

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177
TRAINING

was met with the quick, sidewise thrusts of the prod, which sent him back spitting and hissing into the corner.

THE LEOPARDS AT KINDERGARTEN

In less than half an hour the leopard and the jaguar seemed to realize that they, and not the man, were on the defensive. Their savage dashes were less frequent, and they were more inclined to crouch close to the floor and lash their tails in sullen defiance. Then it was that Frenchy began his first attempt at teaching them. Hooking the movable bracket upon one of the lower rounds about three feet from the floor of the cage, he made a forward movement toward the animals, veering a little to the side opposite the bracket. The creatures had long been attempting to get past him, and now their opportunity had apparently come.

Together they made a rush to run under the projecting bracket. Quick as a flash, however, the trainer was back again in his old place, and the head of the foremost animal struck the rounds of the chair. This checked the leopard's progress for a moment, but the creature was not given a jab of the rod as before. Instead, the chair was slightly withdrawn, with the result that the spotted cat