Jungle Tales of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 29

cocked his head upon one side, and stared. Then he
edged a bit nearer, craning his neck to have a better look at the thing
which Teeka cuddled.

Again Teeka drew back her upper lip in a warning snarl. Tarzan reached
forth a hand, cautiously, to touch the thing which Teeka held, and
Teeka, with a hideous growl, turned suddenly upon him. Her teeth sank
into the flesh of his forearm before the ape-man could snatch it away,
and she pursued him for a short distance as he retreated incontinently
through the trees; but Teeka, carrying her baby, could not overtake
him. At a safe distance Tarzan stopped and turned to regard his
erstwhile play-fellow in unconcealed astonishment. What had happened
to so alter the gentle Teeka? She had so covered the thing in her arms
that Tarzan had not yet been able to recognize it for what it was; but
now, as she turned from the pursuit of him, he saw it. Through his
pain and chagrin he smiled, for Tarzan had seen young ape mothers
before. In a few days she would be less suspicious. Still Tarzan was
hurt; it was not right that Teeka, of all others, should fear him.
Why, not for the world would he harm her, or her balu, which is the ape
word for baby.

And now, above the pain of his injured arm and the hurt to his pride,
rose a still stronger desire to come close and inspect the new-born son
of Taug. Possibly you will wonder that Tarzan of the Apes, mighty
fighter that he was, should have fled before the irritable attack of a
she, or that he should hesitate to return for the satisfaction of his
curiosity when with ease he might have vanquished the weakened mother
of the new-born cub; but you need not wonder. Were you an ape, you
would know that only a bull in the throes of madness will turn upon a
female other than to gently chastise her, with the occasional exception
of the individual whom we find exemplified among our own kind, and who
delights in beating up his better half because she happens to be
smaller and weaker than he.

Tarzan again came toward the young mother--warily and with his line of
retreat safely open. Again Teeka growled ferociously. Tarzan
expostulated.

"Tarzan of the Apes will not harm Teeka's balu," he said. "Let me see
it."

"Go away!" commanded Teeka. "Go away, or I will kill you."

"Let me see it," urged Tarzan.

"Go away,"

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The.
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