The next morning, the man telephoned the Zoo. George watched him. He was fascinated. Then the man went away.
George was curious. He wanted to telephone, too. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven. What fun!
DING-A-LING-A-LING! GEORGE HAD TELEPHONED THE FIRE STATION!
The firemen rushed to the telephone.
"Hello! Hello!" they said. But there was no answer.
Then they looked for the signal on the big map that showed where the telephone call had come from.
They didn't know it was GEORGE.
They thought it was a real fire.
HURRY! HURRY! HURRY!
The firemen jumped on to the fire engines and on to the hook-and-ladders. Ding-dong-ding-dong. Everyone out of the way!
Hurry! Hurry! Hurry!
The firemen rushed into the house. They opened the door.
ONLY a naughty little monkey.
"Oh catch him, catch him," they cried. George tried to run away. He almost did, but he got caught in the telephone wire, and - a thin fireman caught one arm and a fat fireman caught the other.
"You fooled the fire department," they said. "We will have to shut you up where you can't do any more harm."
They took him away and shut him in a prison.
George wanted to get out. He climbed up to the window to try the bars.
Just then the watchman came in. He got up on the wooden bed to catch George. But he was too big and heavy. The bed tipped up, the watchman fell over, and, quick as lightning, George ran out through the open door.
He hurried through the building and out on to the roof. And then he was lucky to be a monkey: out he walked on to the telephone wires.
Quickly and quietly over the guard's head, George walked away.
He was free!
Down in the street outside the prison wall, stood a balloon man. A little girl bought a balloon for her brother. George watched.
He was curious again. He felt he MUST have a bright red balloon. He reached over and tried to help himself, but - instead of one balloon, the whole bunch broke loose.
In an instant the wind whisked them all away and, with them, went George, holding tight with both hands.
Up he sailed, higher and higher. The houses looked like toy houses and the people like dolls. George was frightened. He held on very tight.
At first the wind blew in great gusts. Then it quieted. Finally, it stopped blowing altogether. George was very tired. Down, down he went - bump, on to the top of a traffic light.
Everyone was surprised. The traffic got all mixed up.
George didn't know what to do, and then he heard someone call, "GEORGE!" He looked down, and saw his friend, the man with the big yellow hat!
George was very happy. The man was happy too.
George slid down the post and the man with the big yellow hat put him under his arm. Then he paid the balloon man for all the balloons. And then George and the man climbed into the car and at last, away they went to the ZOO!
What a nice place for George to live!
From CURIOUS GEORGE by H.A. Rey. Copyright (c) 1941 and (c) renewed 1969 by Margaret E. Rey. Copyright assigned to Houghton Mifflin Co. in 1993. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
If you liked this story
Other books about Curious George include:
"Curious George Gets a Medal," by H.A. Rey
"Curious George Goes to School," by Margaret Rey and Allan J. Shalleck
"Curious George Goes to the Dentist," by Margaret Rey and Allan J. Shalleck
"Curious George Goes to the Aquarium," by Margaret Rey and Allan J. Shalleck
Pub Date: 3/01/98