39 pages • 1 hour readRuth Stiles Gannett
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After eating some tangerines—and keeping the peels—Elmer puts on his rubber boots and follows the riverbank through the oppressive, dense jungle. The ground becomes so swampy he nearly gets mired in mud. He moves to a drier spot farther from the riverbank, using his compass to check his direction. Unfortunately, the river turns, while Elmer goes straight. Walking through the thick trees is difficult. Elmer soon hears voices following him and flanking him.
Elmer enters a clearing and is circled by seven, hungry-looking, green-eyed tigers. They each speak to him. The tigers tell him he is trespassing in their jungle, and no explorer has left Wild Island alive. They speculate whether little boys are especially tender and decide to eat Elmer immediately.
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Elmer pulls the chewing gum from his knapsack—the cat informed Elmer that gum is a rare treat for tigers. He gives it to the tigers, but they prefer Elmer. He tells them this is special gum: If they chew until it turns green, then plant it, it will grow more. The tigers excitedly begin chewing and forget about Elmer.