Another fact he learned--that there were comparatively few individual bugs; but these were repeated many times, occasionally alone, but more often in company with others.
There they were, the three little bugs which always accompanied the little ape.
He did not accomplish it in a day, or in a week, or in a month, or in a year; but slowly, very slowly, he learned after he had grasped the possibilities which lay in those little bugs, so that by the time he was fifteen he knew the various combinations of letters which stood for every pictured figure in the little primer and in one or two of the picture books.
"But you eat the chickens that eat the bugs
," retorted the yellow hen, with an odd cackle.
Of course he did not pronounce God as you or I would pronounce His name, for Tarzan knew naught of the spoken language of his English forbears; but he had a name of his own invention for each of the little bugs which constituted the alphabet.
Tarzan watched them lazily from above as they scratched in the rotting loam for bugs and beetles and grubworms, or sought among the branches of the trees for eggs and young birds, or luscious caterpillars.
- the bug. It is of a brilliant gold color - about the size of a large hickory-nut - with two jet black spots near one extremity of the back, and another, somewhat longer, at the other.
"Dey aint no tin in him, Massa Will, I keep a tellin on you," here interrupted Jupiter; "de bug is a goole bug, solid, ebery bit of him, inside and all, sep him wing - neber feel half so hebby a bug in my life."
I presume you will call the bug scarabæus caput hominis, or something of that kind - there are many similar titles in the Natural Histories.
Him they called the Bug, because he was small and ungainly of face and limb and excelled not in work or deed.
"And when we grumbled, ever the Bug sang new songs.
And Big-Fat said it was good, and the Bug sang another song about how good it was to observe the law, and what a fine land the Sea Valley was, and how every man who loved the Sea Valley should go forth and kill the bad Meat-Eaters.