The Leopard's Looking Glass
An old leopard came out of his den, and wandered for miles through the
forest. As his lithe, spotted body glided amongst the tropical
undergrowth, other creatures slunk out of his path, and he found nothing
on which to prey. Hunger and restlessness drove the animal on, however,
till a new and strange object made him pause to see what it was that
stood in his way. The queer thing, made of wood, like the trees, had
something bright within it; something that was never seen on the trunk
of any tree.
The leopard drew nearer, and found himself, for the first time in his
life, face to face with a looking-glass. He looked in, and saw what
seemed to him the eyes of another leopard gazing into his own.
Curiosity, alarm, and anger, by turns, possessed him. What did the
strange beast mean by gazing at him so? He raised his heavy paw, and
gave a crushing blow upon the glass.
"What did the strange beast mean by gazing at him?"
Down fell the trap—for trap it was—and the sharp spikes, heavily
weighted, did their work. But though the trap was a terrible one, the
leopard had in his life done greater harm than he suffered, and the
forest was well rid of such a dangerous and cruel animal.