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Part Five Hugh Lofting

VI General Polynesia

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With howls pitiful to hear, the Bag-jagderags fell over one another in their haste to get out of that accursed village. It was no use their trying to pull the parrots off their heads; because for each head there were always four more parrots waiting impatiently to get on.

Some of the enemy were lucky; and with only a snip or two managed to get outside the fence--where the parrots immediately left them alone. But with most, before the black birds had done with them, the ears presented a very singular appearance--like the edge of a postage-stamp. This treatment, very painful at the time, did not however do them any permanent harm beyond the change in looks. And it later got to be the tribal mark of the Bag-jagderags. No really smart young lady of this tribe would be seen walking with a man who did not have scalloped ears--for such was a proof that he had been in the Great War. And that (though it is not generally known to scientists) is how this people came to be called by the other Indian nations, the Ragged-Eared Bag-jagderags.

As soon as the village was cleared of the enemy the Doctor turned his attention to the wounded.

In spite of the length and fierceness of the struggle, there were surprisingly few serious injuries. Poor Long Arrow was the worst off. However, after the Doctor had washed his wound and got him to bed, he opened his eyes and said he already felt better. Bumpo was only badly stunned.

With this part of the business over, the Doctor called to Polynesia to have the Black Parrots drive the enemy right back into their own country and to wait there, guarding them all night.

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Polynesia gave the short word of command; and like one bird those millions of parrots opened their red beaks and let out once more their terrifying battle-scream.

The Bag-jagderags didn't wait to be bitten a second time, but fled helter-skelter over the mountains from which they had come; whilst Polynesia and her victorious army followed watchfully behind like a great, threatening, black cloud.

The Doctor picked up his high hat which had been knocked off in the fight, dusted it carefully and put it on.

"To-morrow," he said, shaking his fist towards the hills, "we will arrange the terms of peace--and we will arrange them-- in the City of Bag-jagderag.

His words were greeted with cheers of triumph from the admiring Popsipetels. The war was over.

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The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle
Hugh Lofting

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