Daisy's Aunt by E F Benson Page 1 of 188



Daisy Hanbury poked her parasol between the bars of the cage, with the amiable intention of scratching the tiger's back. The tiger could not be expected to know this all by himself, and so he savagely bit the end of it off, with diabolical snarlings. Daisy turned to her cousin with a glow of sympathetic pleasure.

"What a darling!" she said. "He didn't understand, you see, and was perfectly furious. And it cost pounds and pounds, and I've spent all my allowance, and so I can't buy another, and my complexion will go to the dogs. Let's go there, too; the dingoes are absolutely fascinating. We'll come back to see these angels fed."

Gladys laughed.

"Daisy, you have got the most admirable temper," she said. "I should have called that brute any names except 'darling' and 'angel.'"

"I know you would, because you don't understand either it or me. I understand both perfectly. You see, you don't love fierce wild things-things that are wicked and angry, and, above all, natural. I don't mind good, sweet, gentle things, like-oh, like almost everybody, if only they are sweet and good naturally. But generally they are not.

Their sweetness is the result of education or morality, or something tedious, not the result of their natures, of themselves. Oh, I know all about it! Gladys, this parasol is beyond hope. Let's conceal it in the bushes like a corpse."

Daisy looked round with a wild and suspicious eye.

"There's a policeman," she said. "I'm sure he'll think that I have murdered my own parasol. Oh, kind Mr. Policeman-there, that softened him, and he's looking the other way."

Gladys gave a little shriek of dismay as Daisy thrust her parasol into a laurustinus.

Go to Page: