An Exciting New Year’s Day in Jungletown

Beulah Mary Crocker

Reading Level: 2-3

Book Description

Baalroom presents the classic illustrated e-book, An Exciting New Year’s Day in Jungletown by Beulah Mary Crocker, with graphics restored. The book is free to read or download in PDF format. The full story text is as follows:

The first of January dawned bright and clear, much to the gratification of the inhabitants of Jungletown, for King Leo had decreed that various sporting contests should take place on Monkey Hill. There were to be foot races on skis and snow shoes, snow ball encounters and toboggan races. In fact, almost every kind of winter sport was to be indulged in, with the exception of skating, for the king was averse to that amusement, and never included it in his entertainments.

All the animals, from the very big bear down to the little squirrel, ever since the day for the sports had been set, had looked forward to it, with eager anticipation and joy, and had worked busily, getting things in readiness, for much was accomplished before the eventful day arrived.

First, there had to be a space cleared for the spectators, with a special tract set aside for the king and his friends; then the making of a fine slide for the tobogganers, and the marking of the bounds for the foot races. Moreover, each family provided a full lunch basket, so the mothers and daughters were also busy planning what they should cook.

Finally, when the day came, all was ready. Most families had even packed the food the day before. So it happened that quite early in the morning a large crowd had gathered on Monkey Hill. Not only all the citizens of Jungletown, itself, and their families were there, but also animals, whose homes were many miles away, had come to see the fun.

Thus, when one o’clock, the hour set for the races to commence, came, the hill was simply alive with elephants, giraffes, bears, wolves, foxes, monkeys, ’possums, coons, squirrels, and many other animals, besides the relatives of the king, lions, tigers and leopards.

Then the jolly, good time began, and what a glorious afternoon they all had. The ski race, between the bears and the squirrels, came first, and was very exciting, for, although the squirrels were much smaller than the bears, they were so much lighter on their feet, and could manage their skis better, that they won the race.

Next came the equally animated snow shoe race, between the elephants and giraffes, the latter winning in the end. After the foot races were finished, there were snow fights between different parties, and then the time came for the toboggan races to begin. They aroused even more excitement than any of the previous contests, but were also the cause of a serious accident.

All went well, until the last load of tobogganers, composed of monkeys, ’possums and squirrels, had started down the hill. Suddenly, as the toboggan was skimming along the slide, at a rapid rate of speed, a screech was heard from behind, and Jack ’Possum looked around to see a poor squirrel lying on the ground, several yards back, seemingly senseless. The little fellow had been at the end, and when the toboggan gave a slight lurch, as it passed over an uneven place in the slide, he lost his balance and fell backward.

As soon as the accident had been discovered the race was stopped, and a crowd gathered about him. For a time, some thought him dead. However, when Sir Thomas Lion, a cousin of the king, and a very prominent physician in Jungletown, reached his side, he found one leg broken, but said the squirrel was not otherwise injured, except temporarily stunned by the fall. Dr. Lion ordered him carried to the nearest house, which happened to be that of two nice, old maid bears. There the doctor set his leg, and soon afterward he regained consciousness.

Next a search was made for his father and mother, but none of the squirrels present at the races claimed any relationship to him. In the course of a few days he told the two old bears that he was an orphan, and had come many miles to see the sporting contests.

Now these bears were very kind hearted, and they felt very sorry for the little homeless creature, and soon became very fond of him, and he of them. So, when the day came that he was able to go, they, all three, went to the Jungletown Court, and the bears legally adopted him.

From that time on, Tommy Squirrel always had a very comfortable home and two, dear friends, in these old maid bears. While they never ceased to be grateful that the toboggan accident, the day of the sporting contests, had been the means of their finding a very obedient and loving little charge.

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