A Passion in the Desert
Honoré de Balzac
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Upon leaving a "menagerie" show a woman remarks to her companion that she wonders by what means the beasts should have been so tamed that their affection was assured. Her companion says that he also felt that way the first time he saw the show until he happened to fall into conversation with an old trooper. This trooper told him the tale of a French soldier lost in the desert of Egypt. Fatigued by the heat and exhausted by his ordeal the soldier falls asleep under a palm tree. He is awakened by an extraordinary noise. In the darkness he sees a shadow and two faint yellow lights which he recognizes to be the eyes of a large beast. An odd, yet engrossing..
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