The Law of Meat

Thecub’sdevelopmentwasrapid. Herestedfortwodays,andthenventuredforthfromthecaveagain. Itwasonthisadventurethathefoundtheyoungweaselwhosemotherhehadhelpedeat, andhesawtoitthattheyoungweaselwentthewayofitsmother. Butonthistriphedidnotgetlost. Whenhegrewtired,hefoundhiswaybacktothecaveandslept. Andeverydaythereafterfoundhimoutandrangingawiderarea. 

Hebegantogetaccuratemeasurementofhisstrengthandhisweakness,andtoknowwhentobeboldandwhentobecautious. Hefounditexpedienttobecautiousallthetime,exceptfortheraremoments, when,assuredofhisownintrepidity,heabandonedhimselftopettyragesandlusts. 

Hewasalwaysalittledemonoffurywhenhechanceduponastrayptarmigan. Neverdidhefailtorespondsavagelytothechatterofthesquirrelhehadfirstmetontheblastedpine. Whilethesightofamoose-birdalmostinvariablyputhimintothewildestofrages;forheneverforgotthepeckonthenosehehadreceivedfromthefirstofthatilkheencountered. 

Butthereweretimeswhenevenamoose-birdfailedtoaffecthim, andthoseweretimeswhenhefelthimselftobeindangerfromsomeotherprowlingmeathunter. Heneverforgotthehawk,anditsmovingshadowalwayssenthimcrouchingintothenearestthicket. Henolongersprawledandstraddled,andalreadyhewasdevelopingthegaitofhismother,slinkingandfurtive, apparentlywithoutexertion,yetslidingalongwithaswiftnessthatwasasdeceptiveasitwasimperceptible. 

Inthematterofmeat,hisluckhadbeenallinthebeginning. Thesevenptarmiganchicksandthebabyweaselrepresentedthesumofhiskillings. 

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