THE BATTLE


   Rakhim-aga, Arslan and Bubenchik headed towards the center of the island, to the same rose-willow patch where the hares had been saved from the flood the preceding spring.
   Suddenly Rakhim-aga grabbed Arsian's arm and whispered:
   "Get down!"
   Both lay quietly down on the ground. Grandfather peered into the binoculars and handed them to Arslan.
   "Look over at that knoll overgrown with weeds!" Grandfather whispered.
   Arslan stared intently into the binoculars and gave a little gasp:
   "A badger!"
   The next instant he saw that the badger was not alone -a jackal was all set to pounce on the tiny, plump creature.
   The jackal attempted to sink its teeth into the badger, but the tiny creature spun up like a ball and twisted itself away from the jackal's jaws. It not only evaded the jackal, but eveti attacked it. Rearing up on its hind legs it seized the jackal's snout with its clawed forelegs.
   "Grandfather, let's hurry and save the badger!" Arslan cried.
   "He'll manage without our help," Grandfater replied, watching the battle through his binoculars. "The jackal would love to gobble up that juicy badger, but it's not strong enough. It can barely stand on its feet."
   And sure enough, the jackal suddenly tumbled over on its side. The badger gave it one final box with its forelegs and went scampering off. Licking its wounds, the jackal slunk back into the weeds.
   "How many marvels we've seen!" Arslan said to his pet. "Are you keeping count? We've seen the jackal's battle with the badger. We saw the porcupine's burrow. We saw pheasants, and even heard the melons ripening!"