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Title: Anecdotes of Animals
Author: Unknown
Language: English
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  ANECDOTES OF ANIMALS

  ILLUSTRATED

  [Illustration: An Animal Concert.--Page 5]

  [Illustration]

   ANECDOTES
   OF
   ANIMALS

   WITH·PICTVRES·BY
   PERCY J. BILLINGHVRST.

   McLOUGHLIN
   BROS.

   NEW YORK



CONTENTS


   A

   Amusing Mimic, An                                                  24

   Animal Concerts                                                     5

   Are Beasts mere Machines?                                         182

   Asking Assistance                                                 166

   Ass Castaway, An                                                  184


   B

   Bear and Child, The                                                18

   Bear Cubs, The                                                    162

   Broken Heart, The                                                  60


   C

   Carrier's Dog, A                                                  160

   Cat and the Crows, The                                             30

   Catcher Caught, The                                               154

   Charitable Canary, A                                              148

   Child Saved, A                                                    190

   Choosing the Least of Two Evils                                   150

   Clever Crow, A                                                     20

   Comedy of Elephants, A                                             64

   Crab Fishing                                                       86

   Cunning as a Fox                                                   66


   D

   Death of Antiochus Revenged, The                                   78

   Deceiving the Fowler                                              164

   Dinner Bell, The                                                  118

   Division of Labor                                                 144

   Dog and the Goose, The                                             76

   Dog of Montargis, The                                              84

   Dog Sheep-stealer, A                                               40

   Dog Smugglers                                                     168

   Dolphin, The                                                       50

   Drawing Water                                                      58


   E

   Elephant's Revenge, An                                            104

   Elephant Rope Dancing                                              72

   Escape of Jengis Khan                                             178


   F

   Faithful Companion, A                                              70

   Faithful, Though Unloved                                           68

   Faithful unto Death                                               112

   False Alarm, A                                                    188

   Filial Duty                                                        38

   Foraging                                                          120

   Fox Chasing                                                        94


   G

   Goat, The                                                          92

   Going to Market                                                   152

   Good Finder, A                                                     52

   Grateful Lioness, A                                                10

   Grateful Return, A                                                138


   H

   Heroism of an Irish Hen                                            32

   Honors to the Living and the Dead                                 108

   Horse and Greyhound, The                                           88

   Humane Society, A                                                 172


   J

   Just Retaliation                                                   48


   L

   Lion and his Keeper                                               126

   Long Lost Found Again                                              82


   M

   Making Sure                                                        16

   Mice as Sailors                                                    56

   Monkey versus Snake                                               110

   Mother's Affection, A                                              42

   Mother Watching her Young, A                                      174

   Musical Mice                                                      158

   Musical Seals                                                     113


   N

   Newfoundland Dog, The                                               6

   Noble Perseverance                                                 28

   Noble Revenge, A                                                   80


   O

   Odd Family, An                                                     49

   Old Habits                                                         27

   Ostrich Riding                                                    100


   P

   Pig Pointer, The                                                  134

   Porus Saved by his Elephant                                       170

   Power of Music, The                                                22

   Providential Safe Conduct, A                                       74


   Q

   Quarrelsome Apes                                                  186


   R

   Rare Honesty                                                      142

   Refugee Squirrel, A                                               176

   Remarkable Newsman, A                                              12

   Remorse                                                            62

   Retribution                                                       102

   Revenge                                                            54

   Rights of Hospitality, The                                         96


   S

   Sabinus and his Dog                                                46

   Sharp-witted Bruin                                                 14

   Shepherd's Dog, The                                                34

   Shrewd Guesser, A                                                 180

   Sly Couple, A                                                      98

   Snake Destroyers                                                  156

   Sonnini and his Cat                                               116

   Strange Foster Mother, A                                          114

   Strange Mouser, A                                                  44

   Strange Playmates                                                 106

   Strange Protector, A                                              124

   Strange Rooks                                                     130

   Studying                                                            8


   T

   Talking Parrot, A                                                 146

   Tame Colony, A                                                    161

   Tame Hares                                                        132

   Tame Seagull, The                                                 122

   Travellers                                                         36


   U

   Usurper Punished, A                                               128


   W

   Watch Dog, The                                                     90

   Wise Ourang-Outang                                                136

   Wrens Learning to Sing                                            140



I

ANIMAL CONCERTS


An abbot, a man of wit, and skilled in the making of new musical
instruments, was ordered by Louis XI., king of France, more in jest than
earnest, to procure him a concert of swines' voices. The abbot said that
the thing could doubtless be done, but it would cost a good deal of
money. The king ordered that he should have as much as he required for
the purpose. The abbot then contrived as strange a thing as ever was
seen. Out of a great number of hogs of various ages, which he got
together under a tent, or pavilion, covered with velvet, and before
which he had a table of wood painted with a certain number of keys, he
made an organical instrument, and as he played upon the keys with little
spikes which pricked the hogs, he made them cry in such order and
consonance that he highly delighted the king and all his company.



II

A NEWFOUNDLAND DOG


One of the magistrates in Harbor Grace, in Newfoundland, had an old dog
of the regular web-footed species peculiar to that island, who was in
the habit of carrying a lantern before his master at night, as steadily
as the most attentive servant could do, stopping short when his master
made a stop, and going ahead when he was ready to follow.

If his master was away from home, and the command was given "Go fetch
thy master," he would at once pick up the lantern, hold it fast between
his teeth, and start for the town, which was more than a mile away from
the home of his master. He would stop at the door of every house which
he knew his master was in the habit of visiting, and laying down his
lantern, growl and strike the door making all the noise in his power,
until it was opened. If his master was not in the house, he would go on
farther in the same way, till he found him. If he had gone with him only
once to a house, this was enough to make him take in that house in his
rounds.

[Illustration]



III

STUDYING


A magpie belonging to a barber in Rome, could imitate very perfectly
almost everything it heard. Some trumpets happened one day to be sounded
before the shop, and for a day or two afterward the magpie was quite
mute, and seemed sad and melancholy. All who knew it supposed that the
sound of the trumpets had so stunned it as to rob it at once of both
voice and hearing.

But this was not the case, as very soon appeared. The bird had all this
time been studying how to imitate the sound of the trumpets; and when at
last master of it, the magpie, to the astonishment of all its friends,
suddenly broke its long silence by a perfect imitation of the flourish
of trumpets it had heard; repeating with the greatest exactness all the
repetitions, stops, and changes. The learning of this lesson, however,
so exhausted the magpie's brain that it forgot everything it had known
before.

[Illustration]



IV

A GRATEFUL LIONESS


A dreadful famine raged at Buenos Ayres, yet the governor, afraid of
giving the Indians a habit of spilling Spanish blood, forbade the
people, on pain of death, to go into the fields in search of food, and
he placed soldiers at all outlets to the country, with orders to fire
upon those who should try to disobey him.

However, a woman, called Maldonata, was artful enough to get past the
watchful guards, and made her escape. After wandering about the country
for a long time, she came upon a cave into which she went. As soon as
she was inside, she saw therein a lioness, the sight of which frightened
her greatly. She was, however, soon quieted by the caresses of the
animal, who in return for a service done for her by the woman, showed
every sign of affection and friendliness. She never returned from
searching after her own daily food without laying a part of it at the
feet of Maldonata, until her cubs were large and strong enough to walk
abroad, then she took them out one day and never came back.

Some time after this Maldonata fell into the hands of the Spaniards, and
was brought back to Buenos Ayres on the charge of having left the city
contrary to orders. The governor, a man of cruelty, condemned the poor
woman to a death which none but the most-cruel tyrant could have thought
of. He ordered some soldiers to take her out into the country, and
leave her tied to a tree, either to die of hunger, or be torn to pieces
by the wild beasts. Two days later, he sent the same soldiers to see
what had happened to her. To their great surprise, they found her alive
and unhurt, though surrounded by lions and tigers, which a lioness at
her feet kept at some distance. As soon as the lioness saw the soldiers,
she fell back a little, so they were able to unbind Maldonata, who told
them the story of this lioness, whom she knew to be the same one she had
formerly helped in the cavern. When the soldiers were taking Maldonata
away, the lioness fawned upon her, as though unwilling to part from her.
The soldiers repeated the story to their commander, who could do no less
than pardon the woman who had been so wonderfully protected, or he would
have proven himself less humane than the lions themselves.

[Illustration]



V

A REMARKABLE NEWSMAN


One of the carriers of a large newspaper being ill, his son took his
place; but, not knowing the subscribers he was to supply, he took for
his guide a dog which had usually gone over the route with his father.
The animal trotted on ahead of the boy and stopped at every door where
the paper was to be left, without making a single mistake, or forgetting
anybody.

[Illustration]



VI

SHARP-WITTED BRUIN


The captain of a Greenland whaler being anxious to secure a bear,
without wounding the skin, made trial of the trick of laying a noose of
rope in the snow, and placing a piece of meat within it. A bear, roaming
over the ice nearby was soon attracted to the spot by the smell of the
dainty morsel. He saw the bait, crept up cautiously, and seized it in
his mouth; but his foot at the same time, by a jerk of the rope, became
entangled in the noose. He quietly pushed it off with his paw, and
walked slowly away. Having eaten the piece he had carried away with him,
he returned. The noose, with another piece of meat, having been
replaced, he pushed the rope aside, and again walked off with his
capture. A third time the noose was laid, but having seen how clever the
bear was, the sailors buried the rope beneath the snow, and laid the
bait in a deep hole dug in the centre. The bear once more came back, and
the sailors thought they were now sure of success. But bruin, much wiser
than they expected, after snuffing about the place for a few moments,
scraped the snow away with his paws, threw the rope aside once more, and
again escaped unhurt with his prize.

[Illustration]



VII

MAKING SURE


During the war between Augustus Cæsar and Mark Antony, when all the
world stood wondering and uncertain as to which one Fortune would favor,
a poor man at Rome, in order to be prepared for making, in either event,
a bold move for his own advancement, hit upon the following clever plan.
He set himself to the training of two crows with such great care, that
at length he had taught them to pronounce with great distinctness, the
one a salutation to Cæsar, and the other a salutation to Antony.

When Augustus returned the conqueror, the man went out to meet him with
the proper crow perched on his fist, and every now and then it kept
calling out, "_Salve_, _Cæsar_, _Victor Imperator!_" "Hail, Cæsar,
Conqueror and Imperator!" Augustus, greatly amused and delighted with so
novel a greeting, bought the gifted bird of the man for a sum which was
so large that it made him rich.

[Illustration]



VIII

THE BEAR AND THE CHILD


Leopold, Duke of Lorraine, had a bear called Marco, of whose sagacity we
have this remarkable story. One cold winter day, a boy, almost frozen
with the cold, entered Marco's hut, without thinking of the danger which
he ran in thus exposing himself to the mercy of the animal which was in
there. Marco, however, instead of doing the child any injury, took him
between his paws, and warmed him by pressing him to his breast until the
next morning, when he let him go. The boy came back to the hut in the
evening, and was received with the same affection. For several days he
had no other home, and it added not a little to his joy to see that the
bear always saved part of his food for him. A number of days passed in
this way without the servants knowing anything of what was going on. At
length, when one of them came one day, rather later than usual, to bring
the bear his supper, he was greatly surprised to see the huge animal
roll his eyes in a furious manner, and act as if he wished him to make
as little noise as possible, for fear of awaking the child whom he held
clasped to his breast. The animal, though very hungry, did not seem to
be the least moved by the sight of the food which was placed before him.
The story of this strange incident was soon spread at court, and reached
the ears of Leopold; who, with part of his courtiers, was anxious to
learn if the tale of Marco's generosity were true. Several of them spent
the night near his hut, and saw with astonishment that the bear never
stirred as long as his guest showed a desire to sleep. At dawn the child
awoke, was very much ashamed to find that he was discovered, and,
fearing that he would be punished, begged pardon. The bear, however,
caressed him, and tried to get him to eat what had been brought to him
the evening before. He did this at the request of the courtiers, who
conducted him to the prince. Having learned the whole story, Leopold
ordered the little boy to be taken care of, and he would, no doubt, have
soon made his fortune, had he not died a short time afterward.

[Illustration]



IX

A CLEVER CROW


A carrion crow, seeing on a lawn, a brood of fourteen chickens under the
care of a mother-hen, picked up one; but when a young lady opened a
window and gave the alarm, the robber dropped his prey. In the course of
the day, however, the thief returned, together with thirteen other
crows. Then each one seized a chick, and thus the whole brood was
carried off at once.

[Illustration]



X

THE POWER OF MUSIC


One Sunday evening, five singers were walking on the banks of a river.
After some time, being tired with walking, they sat down on the grass,
and began to sing. The field on which they sat was bounded on one side
by a wood, out of which, as they were singing, they noticed a hare pass
with great swiftness toward the place where they were sitting, and at
about twenty yards' distance from them, it stopped. It then seemed
greatly delighted with the music, often turning up the side of its head
so as to hear more easily. As soon as the singing was over, the hare
returned slowly toward the wood. When she had nearly reached the end of
the field, the singers began to sing the same piece again. The hare
stopped, turned round, and came swiftly back to about the same distance
as before, where she seemed to listen with great delight, till they had
finished, when she returned again by a slow pace up the field, and
entered the wood.

[Illustration]



XI

AN AMUSING MIMIC


A priest once brought up an ourang-outang, which became so fond of him
that, wherever he went, it always wanted to go with him. Whenever,
therefore, he had to perform the service of his church, he was obliged
to shut him up in his room. Once, however, the animal got out, and
followed the father to the church. Silently mounting the sounding board
above the pulpit, he lay perfectly still till the sermon commenced. He
then crept to the edge, and looking at the preacher, imitated all his
gestures in so amusing a manner that the congregation could not help
laughing. The father, surprised and confused by this ill-timed mirth,
severely rebuked his audience for their inattention. The reproof failed
in its effect; the congregation still laughed, and the preacher in the
warmth of his zeal, spoke with still more force and action. The ape
mimicked him so exactly that the congregation could no longer restrain
itself, but burst out into long and continued laughter. A friend of the
preacher at length stepped up to him, and pointed out the cause of this
improper conduct; and such was the roguish air of the animal that it was
with the utmost difficulty that the preacher himself kept from laughing,
while he ordered the servants of the church to take the mischievous ape
away.

[Illustration]



XII

OLD HABITS


A famous Scotch lawyer, having cause to visit London, decided to make
the journey on horseback rather than by post; for this was before the
days of railways. He, therefore, purchased a horse, and on his arrival
in London, sold his nag, planning to buy another for the return journey.
When he had finished his business, and was ready to set out for home, he
went to Smithfield to buy another horse. About dusk, a handsome horse
was offered to him at so cheap a rate, that he suspected the animal
might not be sound; but as he could not find anything the matter with
the horse, he bought it. Next morning he set out on his journey; his
horse had excellent paces, and the first few miles, while the road was
well frequented, our traveller spent in congratulating himself on his
good fortune. On Finchley Common the traveller met a clergyman driving a
one-horse chaise. There was nobody within sight, and the horse by his
actions plainly showed what had been the business of his former master.
Instead of passing the chaise, he laid his breast close up to it, and
stopped it, having no doubt that his rider would take advantage of so
fair a chance of following his trade. The clergyman, under the same
mistake, took out his purse without being asked, and assured the
innocent and surprised horseman that it was not necessary to draw his
pistol. The traveler drew back his horse with apologies to the
gentleman, whom he had unwillingly frightened, and pursued his journey.
The horse next made the same suspicious approach to a coach, from the
windows of which a blunderbuss was leveled, with threats of death to the
rider, who was innocent of all offense in deed or word. In short, after
his life had been once or twice endangered by the suspicions to which
his horse's conduct gave rise, and his liberty as often threatened by
peace officers, who were disposed to seize him as a notorious
highwayman, he found himself obliged to part with the animal for a mere
trifle, and had to purchase at a dearer rate, a horse of less fine
figure and action but of better morals.

[Illustration]



XIII

NOBLE PERSEVERENCE


Elephants were, of old, employed in India in the launching of ships. It
is told of one, that, being directed to force a very large ship into the
water, the work proved to much for its strength. Its master, in
sarcastic tones bade the keeper take away the lazy beast, and bring
another. The poor animal instantly put forth still greater efforts,
fractured his skull, and died on the spot.

[Illustration]



XIV

THE CAT AND THE CROWS


A pair of crows once made their nest in one of the trees that were
planted round the garden of a gentleman, who, in his morning walks, was
often amused by watching furious combats between the crows and a cat.
One morning the battle raged more fiercely than usual, till at last the
cat gave way, and took shelter under a hedge, as if to wait a better
chance of escaping to the house. The crows continued for a short time to
make a threatening noise; but seeing that on the ground they could do
nothing more than threaten, one of them lifted a stone from the middle
of the garden, and perched with it on a tree planted in the hedge, where
she sat, watching the movements of the cat, who, she feared, was after
her little ones. As the cat crept along under the hedge, the crow
followed her, flying from branch to branch, and from tree to tree; and
when at last puss dared to leave her hiding place, the crow, leaving the
tree, and hovering over her in the air, let the stone drop from on high
on her back.

[Illustration]



XV

HEROISM OF AN IRISH HEN


A contest of rather an unusual nature took place in the house of an
innkeeper in Ireland. The parties engaged were a hen of the game species
and a rat of middle size. The hen, in a walk round a spacious room,
accompanied by an only chicken, the last one left of a large brood, was
roused to madness by an attack made by a fierce rat on her helpless
little one. The frightened cries of her beloved little chick, while it
was being dragged away by the rat, awoke all the mother-love in the
bosom of the hen. She flew at the corner whence he had taken her child,
seized him by the neck, dragged him about the room, put out one of his
eyes, and so tired him by repeated attacks of spur and bill, that in the
space of twelve minutes, during which time the conflict lasted, she
killed the rat, nimbly turned round in triumph to her frightened
nestling, and lovingly sheltered it beneath her protecting wings.

[Illustration]



XVI

THE SHEPHERD'S DOG


James Hogg, the shepherd poet, had a dog named Sirrah, who was for many
years his sole companion. He was, the shepherd says, the best dog he
ever saw, in spite of his surly manners and unattractive appearance. The
first time he saw the dog, a drover was leading him by a rope, and,
although hungry and lean, "I thought," Hogg tells us, "I saw a sort of
sullen intelligence in his face, so I gave the drover a guinea for him.
I believe there was never a guinea so well spent. He was scarcely a year
old then, and knew nothing of herding; but as soon as he found out that
it was his duty to do so, I can never forget with what eagerness he
learned. He would try every way till he found out what I wanted him to
do; and when once I made him understand a direction, he never forgot or
mistook it again."

About seven hundred lambs, which were at once under Mr. Hogg's care,
broke up at midnight, and scampered off in three divisions across the
hills, in spite of all that the shepherd and an assistant lad could do
to keep them together. "Sirrah," cried the shepherd, in great alarm, "my
man, they're awa." The night was so dark that he did not see Sirrah, but
the faithful dog had heard his master's words, and without more ado he
set off in quest of the flock. The shepherd and his companion spent
the whole of the night in scouring the hills, but of neither lambs nor
Sirrah could they obtain the slightest trace. "We had nothing for it,"
says the shepherd, "but to return to our master and tell him that we had
lost his whole flock of lambs. On our way home, however, we came
suddenly upon a body of lambs at the bottom of a deep ravine, and in
front of them was sitting Sirrah, who was looking around for help. We
decided that here was at least one of the divisions which Sirrah had
managed to collect; but what was our astonishment when we discovered
that not one of the whole flock was missing. How he had got all the
divisions together in the dark is beyond my comprehension. I never felt
so grateful to any creature under the sun as I did to my honest Sirrah
that morning."

[Illustration]



XVII

TRAVELLERS


An innkeeper once sent, as a present to a friend, a dog and cat that had
been companions for more than ten months. The carrier took them, tied up
in a bag. A short time after the dog and cat set out together, and
returned to their old home, a distance of thirteen miles. They jogged
along the road side by side, and on one occasion the dog gallantly
defended his fellow-traveller from the attack of another dog they met.

[Illustration]



XVIII

FILIAL DUTY


A surgeon's mate on board a ship relates that while he was lying awake
one evening, he saw a rat come into his berth, and after looking
carefully about the place, go away with the greatest care and silence.
Soon after it returned, leading by the ear another rat, which it left at
a small distance from the hole by which they had entered. A third rat
joined this kind conductor; they then foraged about, and picked up all
the small scraps of biscuit; these they carried to the second rat, which
seemed blind, and staid right on the spot where they had left it,
nibbling such food as its faithful friends, whom the story-teller thinks
were its children, brought to it from the more remote parts of the
room.

[Illustration]



XIX

A DOG SHEEP-STEALER


A shepherd, who was hung for sheep-stealing, used to commit the
robberies by means of his dog. Whenever he wished to steal any sheep, he
sent the dog to do the business. He would visit a flock of sheep,
looking them over, as if he intended buying some. The dog was always by
his side, and to him he gave a signal secretly, whenever he saw any
particular sheep he wanted. Sometimes he would pick out ten or twelve
from a flock of some hundreds. Dog and man then went away, and from a
distance of several miles, the dog would be sent back by himself in the
night time. The wise creature picked out the very sheep the man had
selected, separated them from the rest of the flock, and drove them
before him, often a distance of ten or twelve miles, till he came up
with his master, to whom he delivered them up.

[Illustration]



XX

A MOTHER'S AFFECTION


While a ship on a voyage of discovery to the North Pole was locked in
the ice, one morning the man at the masthead reported that three bears
were making their way toward the vessel. They had, no doubt, been
attracted by the scent of some blubber of a sea-horse which the crew was
burning on the ice at the time. They proved to be a mother bear and her
two cubs; but the cubs were nearly as large as their mother. They ran
eagerly to the fire, drew out the part of the flesh that remained
unburned, and ate it greedily. The crew threw great lumps of the flesh
upon the ice, and the old bear carried them away, one by one, laying a
lump before each of her cubs, as she brought it, and thus dividing it,
keeping only a small share for herself. As she was carrying off the last
piece, the sailors shot both the cubs dead and wounded the mother, but
not fatally. It would have touched the heart of all but the most
unfeeling had they seen the affectionate concern of this poor animal in
the dying moments of her young. Though terribly wounded herself, she
crawled to the place where they lay, carrying a lump of flesh with her.
She tore the lump in pieces, and laid it before them. When she saw that
they refused to eat, she laid her paws first upon one, then upon the
other, and tried to raise them up, moaning meanwhile most pitifully.
Finding she could not stir them, she went off, and when she had gone
some distance, looked back and moaned, and called them. As that did not
seem to entice them away, she crawled back, and smelling round them,
began to lick their wounds. She went off a second time a few paces,
looked behind her again, and for some time stood moaning and calling. As
the cubs did not rise to follow her, she returned once more, and with
signs of inexpressible fondness went round them, caressing them with her
paws. Finding at last that they were cold and lifeless, she raised her
head toward the ship, and growled a curse upon their murderers, which
they returned with a volley of musket balls. She fell between her cubs,
and died licking their wounds.

[Illustration]



XXI

A STRANGE MOUSER


A gentleman once owned a hen that was a fine mouser. She was seen
constantly watching close to a corn rick, and the moment a mouse
appeared, she seized it in her beak, and carried it to a meadow near by,
where she would play with it like a young cat for some time, and then
kill it. She has been known to catch four or five mice a day in this
manner.

[Illustration]



XXII

SABINUS AND HIS DOG


After the execution of Sabinus, the Roman general, who was put to death
because of his attachment to the family of Germanicus, his body was left
lying unburied upon the precipice of the Gemoniæ, as a warning to all
who should dare to befriend the house of Germanicus. No friend had the
courage to go near the body; one only remained true--his faithful dog.
For three days the animal continued to watch the body, his mournful
howling awakening the sympathy of every heart. Food was brought to him,
and he was kindly coaxed to eat it; but on taking the bread, instead of
eating it himself, he fondly laid it on his master's mouth and renewed
his howling. Days thus passed, but not for a single moment did he leave
the body.

The body was at length thrown into the Tiber, and the loving creature,
still unwilling that it should perish, leaped into the water after it,
and clasping the corpse between its paws, vainly tried to keep it from
sinking.

[Illustration]



XXIII

A JUST RETALIATION


A tame elephant kept by a merchant was allowed to go at large. The
animal used to walk about the streets in as quiet and familiar a manner
as any of the people, and took great pleasure in visiting the shops,
especially those which sold herbs and fruit, where he was well received,
except by a couple of brutal cobblers, who, without any cause, took
offense at the generous creature, and once or twice tried to wound his
trunk with their awls. The noble animal, who knew it was beneath him to
crush them, did not hesitate to punish them by other means. He filled
his large trunk with water, not of the cleanest quality, and advancing
to them, as usual, covered them all at once with the very dirty flood.
The fools were laughed at, and the punishment applauded.

[Illustration: A Just Retaliation.--Page 48]

[Illustration]



XXIV

AN ODD FAMILY


A gentleman travelling through Mecklenburg relates the following curious
incident which happened at an inn at which he was staying. After dinner,
the landlord placed on the floor a large dish of soup, and then gave a
loud whistle. At once there came into the room a mastiff, a fine Angora
cat, an old raven, and a remarkably large rat, with a bell about its
neck. These four animals went to the dish, and without disturbing one
another, fed together. After they had eaten, the dog, cat, and rat lay
before the fire, and the raven hopped about the room.



XXV

THE DOLPHIN


In the reign of Augustus Cæsar there was, in the Lucrine lake, a dolphin
which formed a most romantic attachment to the son of a poor man. The
boy had to go every day from Baiæ to Puteoli to school, and such were
the friendly terms on which he had got with the dolphin, that he had
only to wait by the banks of the lake and cry, "Simo, Simo"--the name he
had given to the animal, when, lo! Simo came scudding to the shore, let
fall the sharp prickles of his skin, and gently offered his back for the
boy to mount upon. The boy, nothing afraid, used to mount at once, and
the dolphin, without either rein or spur, would speed across the sea to
Puteoli, and after landing the young scholar, wait about the shore till
it was time for the boy to go home, when it would again perform the same
sort of friendly service. The boy was not ungrateful for such great
kindness, and used every day to bring a good store of food for Simo,
which the animal would take from his hand in the most tame and kindly
manner imaginable. For several years this friendly intercourse was kept
up. It was, in fact, only ended by the death of the boy. As the story
goes, the dolphin felt so badly when the lad failed to come as usual,
that it threw itself on the shore, and died, as was thought, of very
grief and sorrow at the loss of its friend.

[Illustration]



XXVI

A GOOD FINDER


One day a tradesman, walking with a friend, offered to wager that if he
were to hide a five-shilling piece in the dust, his dog would find it
and bring it to him. The wager was accepted, and the piece of money
marked and hidden. When the two had gone on some distance, the tradesman
called to his dog that he had lost something, and told him to seek it.
The dog turned back at once, and his master and his friend went on their
way. Meanwhile a traveller, driving a small chaise, saw the piece of
money which his horse had kicked from its hiding-place, alighted, took
it up and drove to his inn. The dog had just reached the spot in search
of the lost piece, when the stranger picked it up. He followed the
chaise, went into the inn, and, having scented the coin in the pocket of
the traveller, he kept leaping up at him. Supposing him to be some dog
that had lost his master, the traveller took these actions as marks of
affection, and as the animal was handsome, decided to keep him. He gave
him a good supper, and on retiring, took him with him to his room. But
no sooner had he pulled off his trousers than they were seized by the
dog. The owner, thinking that the dog only wanted to play with them,
took them away. The animal began to bark at the door, which the
traveller opened, thinking the animal wanted to go out. The dog
snatched up the trousers, and away he went, the traveller, with his
nightcap on, posting after him. The dog ran full speed to his master's
house, followed by the stranger, who accused the dog of robbing him.
"Sir," said the master, "my dog is a very faithful creature; and if he
ran away with your trousers, it is because you have in them money which
does not belong to you." The traveller became still more angry. "Keep
calm, sir," answered the other, smiling; "no doubt there is in your
purse a five-shilling piece which you picked up in the road, and which I
hid, knowing my dog would bring it back. This was the reason for the
robbery which he committed upon you." The stranger said he had found
such a coin, gave it up to the man, and went on his way. But the clever
dog had thus proven himself to be a good finder.

[Illustration]



XXVIII

REVENGE


A wild stork was brought by a farmer into his poultry yard, to be the
companion of a tame one, which he had long kept there; but the tame
stork, disliking a rival, fell upon the poor, wild stranger, and beat
him so terribly that he took wing and flew off.

About four months afterwards, however, his injuries having all healed,
he returned to the poultry yard, with three other storks, who no sooner
alighted than they all together fell upon the tame stork, and killed
it.

[Illustration]



XXVIII

MICE AS SAILORS


Although there are few who would dispute the cleverness and sagacity of
the larger animals, it is doubtful if there are many who credit the
mouse with even average intelligence. The following instance may go far
to raise our humble friend in the popular estimation; more especially as
the story is told by one who really saw the whole performance. In a
country where berries are scarce, these little animals were obliged to
cross a river to make their forages. In returning with their booty to
their homes, they had to recross the stream; in doing which they showed
an ingenuity little short of marvelous. The party, which consisted of
five, selected a water-lily leaf, on which they placed their berries in
a heap in the middle; then, by their united force, they brought it to
the water's edge, and after launching it, jumped on it, and placed
themselves round the heap, with their heads joined over it, and their
backs to the water. In this manner they drifted down the stream until
they reached the opposite shore, when they unloaded their cargo, and
stored it away for the coming rainy day.

[Illustration]



XXIX

DRAWING WATER


Some years ago, a donkey was employed at Carisbrook Castle, in the Isle
of Wight, in drawing water by means of a large wheel from a very deep
well, thought to have been sunk by the Romans. When the keeper wanted
water, he would say to the donkey, "Tom, my boy, I want water; get into
the wheel, my lad." Thomas, thereupon, got in, with a speed and wisdom
that would have done credit to a nobler animal. No doubt he knew the
exact number of times the wheel had to turn upon its axis to bring up
the bucket, because every time he brought it to the surface of the well,
he stopped and turned round his honest head to note the moment when his
master laid hold of the bucket to draw it toward him, because he had
then a nice turn to make either to draw back, or to go ahead a little.
It was pleasing to see with what steadiness and regularity the poor
animal did his work.

[Illustration]



XXX

THE BROKEN HEART


During the French Revolution M. des R----, an ancient magistrate and
most estimable man, was condemned to die on the charge of conspiracy,
and was thrown into prison. M. des R---- had a water spaniel, which had
been brought up by him, and was always with him. Shut out of the prison,
he returned to his master's house, and found it closed. He then took
refuge with a neighbor. Every day at the same hour, the dog left the
house, and went straight to the door of the prison, where he whined
mournfully. He was refused admittance, but each day he spent an hour
before the door, and then went away. His fidelity at last won over the
porter, and one day he was allowed to enter. The dog saw his master and
clung to him. The jailer could hardly drive him away. He came back the
next morning, and every day; once each day he was admitted. He licked
the hand of his friend, looked him in the face, again licked his hand,
and went away of his own accord.

After the execution, at which the dog was present, he walked by the side
of the corpse to its burial place, and after the ceremony laid himself
upon the grave. There he passed the first night, the next day, and the
next night. The neighbor, in the meantime, unhappy at not seeing him,
went in search of his friend, and found him by his master's grave. He
caressed him and made him eat a little food. He even coaxed the
faithful creature away for a few moments, but he soon returned to his
master's grave. Three months passed. The dog came each morning to get
his food, and then returned to the grave. Each day he was more sad, more
lean, more feeble. He was chained up, but broke his fetters; escaped;
returned to the grave, and never left it more. It was in vain that they
tried to get him back. They carried him food, but he ate no longer. For
hours he was seen digging up with his weakened limbs the earth that
separated him from his beloved master. Passion gave him strength, and at
last he was near to the body. Then his faithful heart gave way, and he
breathed out a last gasp, as if he knew he had found his master.

[Illustration]



XXXI

REMORSE


An elephant, from some motive of revenge, killed his mahout, or driver.
The man's wife, who beheld the dreadful scene, took her two children,
and threw them at the feet of the angry animal, saying, "Since you have
slain my husband, take my life also, and that of my children." The
elephant instantly became calm looked at them a moment, and then, as if
stung with remorse, took up the eldest boy with his trunk, placed him on
his neck, adopted him for his driver, and would never afterwards allow
any other person to mount him.

[Illustration]



XXXII

A COMEDY OF ELEPHANTS


In a play exhibited at Rome, in the reign of Tiberius, there were twelve
elephant performers, six male and six female, all fixed up in fancy
costumes. After they had, at the command of their keeper, danced and
performed a thousand curious antics, a most sumptuous feast was served
up for their refreshment. The table was covered with all sorts of
dainties and golden goblets filled with the most precious wines. Couches
covered with purple carpets were placed around for the animals to lie
upon, after the manner of the Romans when feasting, and on these couches
the elephants laid themselves down. At a given signal they reached out
their trunks to the table, and fell to eating and drinking with as much
propriety as if they had been so many men and women.

[Illustration]



XXXIII

CUNNING AS A FOX


An American gentleman was hunting foxes, accompanied by two bloodhounds.
The dogs were soon in scent, and followed a fox nearly two hours, when
suddenly they appeared at fault. The gentleman came up with them near a
large log lying upon the ground, and was much surprised to find them
taking a circuit of a few rods without an object, every trace of the
game seeming to have been lost, while they still kept yelping. On
looking round about himself, he saw sly Reynard stretched upon the log,
as still as if he were dead. The master made several efforts to direct
the attention of his dogs toward the fox, but failed. At last he went so
near the artful creature that he could see it breathe. Even then no
alarm was shown; and the gentleman, seizing a club, aimed a blow at him,
which Reynard evaded by a leap from his strange hiding-place, having
thus for a time effectually eluded his greedy pursuers.

[Illustration]



XXXIV

FAITHFUL THOUGH UNLOVED


A gentleman once owned a mastiff which guarded the house and yard, but
had never any particular attention from his master. One night, as his
master was retiring to his room, attended by his valet, an Italian, the
mastiff silently followed him upstairs, something which he had never
been before known to do, and to his master's astonishment, came into his
bedroom. He was at once turned out; but the poor animal began scratching
violently at the door, and howled loudly for admission. The servant was
sent to drive him away; but again he returned, and seemed more anxious
than before to be let in. Getting tired of his barking, the gentleman
bade the servant open the door, that they might see what it was the
animal wanted to do. As soon as he was let in the dog walked to the bed,
and crawling under it, laid himself down as if intending to spend the
night there. To save farther trouble, this was allowed. About midnight
the chamber door opened, and some one was heard stepping carefully
across the floor. The gentleman started from his sleep; the dog sprang
from his covert, and seizing the unwelcome intruder, fixed him to the
spot. All was dark, and the gentleman rang his bell in great fear in
order to procure a light. The person who was pinned to the floor by the
courageous mastiff was roaring for assistance. It was found to be the
valet, who little expected such a reception. He tried to apologize for
his intrusion, and to make the reasons which led him to take this step
appear plausible; but the importunity of the dog, the time, the place,
the manner of the valet, all raised the suspicions of his master, and he
determined to refer the investigation of the business to a magistrate.
The Italian at length confessed that it was his intention to murder his
master and then rob the house. This he would surely have done, had it
not been for the great wisdom of the dog and his wonderful friendship
for a master who had never treated him with the kindness that he should
have done.

[Illustration]



XXXV

A FAITHFUL COMPANION


A gardener, in removing some rubbish one day, found two ground toads of
uncommon size, weighing no less than seven pounds. While he was watching
them, he was surprised to see that one of them got upon the back of the
other, and then both moved slowly over the ground toward a place of
retreat. Upon further examination he found that the one on the back of
the other had been badly wounded by a blow from his spade, and was thus
unable to get back to its home without the help of its friend.

[Illustration]



XXXVI

ELEPHANT ROPE DANCING


The ease with which the elephant is taught to perform the most difficult
feats forms a remarkable contrast to its huge size and clumsiness.
Aristotle tells us that in ancient times elephants were taught by their
keepers to throw stones at a mark, to cast up arms in the air, and catch
them again on their fall; and to dance, not merely on the earth, but on
the rope. The first, according to the historian Suetonius, who exhibited
elephant rope dancers, was Galba at Rome. The manner of teaching them to
dance on the ground was simple enough (simply music and a very hot
floor); but we are not told how they were taught to skip the rope, or
whether it was the tight or the slack rope, or how high the rope was.
The silence of history on these points is fortunate for the dancers of
the present day; since, but for this, their fame might have been utterly
eclipsed. Elephants may, in the days of old Rome, have been taught to
dance on a rope, but when was an elephant ever known to skip on a rope
over the heads of an audience, or to caper amidst a blaze of fire fifty
feet aloft in the air? What would Aristotle have thought of his dancing
elephants if he had seen some of the elephants who perform to-day?

[Illustration]



XXXVII

A PROVIDENTIAL SAFE CONDUCT


A traveller tells a singular anecdote of a lion, which he says was told
to him by a very credible person. About the year 1614 or 1615, two
Christian slaves at Morocco made their escape, travelling by night, and
hiding themselves in the tops of trees during the day, their Arab
pursuers often passing them by. One night, while travelling along, they
were much astonished and alarmed to see a great lion close by them,
walking when they walked and standing still when they did. Thinking this
a safe conduct sent to them by Providence, they took courage and
travelled in the daytime in company with the lion. The horsemen who had
been sent in pursuit came up, and would have seized upon them, but the
lion interposed, and they were allowed to pass on. Every day these poor
slaves met with some one or other person who wanted to seize them, but
the lion was their protector until they reached the sea coast in safety,
when he left them.

[Illustration]



XXXVIII

THE DOG AND THE GOOSE


A goose was once observed to attach itself in the strongest and most
affectionate manner to the house dog, but never offered to go into the
kennel except in rainy weather. Whenever the dog barked, the goose would
cackle, and run at the person she supposed the dog barked at, and try to
bite him by the heels. She would sometimes try to feed with the dog, but
this the dog, who treated his faithful companion with indifference,
would not allow. This bird would not go to roost with the others at
night, unless she was driven by main force; and when in the morning they
were all turned into the field, she would never stir from the yard gate,
but sit there the whole day in sight of the dog. At length orders were
given that she should not longer be molested. Being thus left to
herself, she ran about the yard with him all night and what is most
strange, whenever the dog went out of the yard and ran into the village,
the goose always went with him, managing to keep up with him by the help
of her wings, and thus running and flying, followed him all over the
town. This strange affection of the goose for the dog, which continued
till his death, two years after it was first noticed, is supposed to
have been due to the fact, that once, in her very young days, he had
saved her from a fox.

[Illustration]

While the dog was ill, the goose never left him, day or night, not even
to feed, and she would surely have starved to death had not a pan of
corn been set every day close to the kennel. At this time the goose
generally sat in the kennel, and would not allow any one to come near
it, except the person who brought the dog's or her own food. The end of
this faithful bird was very sad; for when the dog died, she would still
keep possession of the kennel. A new house dog was bought, which in size
and color so resembled the one lately lost that the poor goose was
unhappily deceived, and going into the kennel as usual, the new dog
seized her by the throat and killed her.



XXXIX

THE DEATH OF ANTIOCHUS REVENGED


When Antiochus was killed in battle by Centaretrius the Galatian, the
victor exultingly leaped on the back of the fallen king's horse; but he
had no sooner done so, than the animal, as if sensible that it was
bestridden by the slayer of its master, at once showed signs of the
greatest fury, and bounding forward to the top of a lofty rock, with a
speed which defied every attempt of Centaretrius to disengage himself,
leaped with him over the precipice, at the foot of which both were found
dashed to pieces. Thus did the noble horse revenge his master's death.

[Illustration]



XL

A NOBLE REVENGE


A young man, anxious to get rid of his dog, took it along with him to
the river. He hired a boat, and rowing out into the stream, threw the
animal in. The poor creature tried to climb up the sides of the boat,
but his master, whose wish was to drown him, kept on pushing him back
into the water with the oar. In doing this, he fell into the water
himself, and would certainly have been drowned, had not the dog, as soon
as he saw his master struggling helplessly in the stream, allowed the
boat to float away, seized his master's coat, and held him above water
till help came, and his life was saved.

[Illustration]



XLI

LONG LOST FOUND AGAIN


A female elephant belonging to a gentleman in Calcutta broke loose from
her keeper, and was lost in the woods. The excuses which the keeper made
were not admitted. It was supposed that he had sold the elephant; his
wife and family therefore were sold for slaves, and he himself was
condemned to work upon the roads.

About twelve years after, this man was ordered into the country to
assist in catching wild elephants. The keeper fancied he saw his
long-lost elephant in a group that was before them. He was determined to
go up to it; nor could the strongest arguments as to the danger of such
a risk keep him from his purpose. When he came near the creature, she
knew him, and giving him three salutes by waving her trunk in the air,
knelt down and received him on her back. She afterwards helped in
securing the other elephants, and likewise brought her three young ones.
The keeper recovered his reputation; and, as a recompense for his
sufferings and bravery, had a certain sum of money settled on him for
life.

[Illustration]



XLII

THE DOG OF MONTARGIS


A Frenchman of family and fortune, travelling alone through a forest,
was murdered and buried under a tree. His dog, an English bloodhound,
would not leave his master's grave till at length, compelled by hunger,
he went to the house of a friend of his master's, and by his mournful
howling seemed trying to make him know that something had happened. He
repeated his cries, ran to the door, looked back to see if any one
followed him, went back to his master's friend, pulled him by the
sleeve, and with a great deal of earnestness seemed begging him to
follow.

Struck by these actions, the company decided to follow the dog, who led
them to a tree where he began scratching the earth and howling. On
digging, the body of the unhappy man was found.

Some time after, the dog accidentaly met the murderer, instantly seized
him by the throat, and was with the greatest difficulty compelled to
loose his hold. As the dog continued to follow and attack the man,
though kind and gentle to all others, his actions began to attract
notice and comment.

At last the affair reached the king's ear. He sent for the dog, who
seemed very gentle till he saw the murderer, when he ran at him
fiercely, growling and snapping at him as usual.

[Illustration]

The king, struck with the strange behavior of the noble animal, decided
to refer the decision to the chance of battle. In other words, he gave
orders for a combat between the assassin and the dog. The lists were
appointed, and the man was allowed for his weapon a great cudgel.

An empty cask was given to the dog as a place of retreat, to give him a
chance to recover his breath. The dog, finding himself at liberty ran
round his adversary, avoiding his blows, and threatening him on every
side, till his strength was exhausted; then springing forward, he
gripped him by the throat, threw him on the ground, and made him confess
before the king and the whole court. The assassin was afterward
convicted and beheaded.



XLIII

CRAB FISHING


The following is an instance of the wonderful cunning shown by the
Raccoon. It is very fond of crabs, and when in quest of them, will stand
by the side of a swamp, and hang its tail over into the water. The
crabs, mistaking the tail for food, are sure to lay hold of it; and as
soon as the sly beast feels them pinch, he pulls them out with a sudden
jerk. He then takes them to a little distance from the water's edge, and
in eating them, is careful to get them crossways in his mouth, lest he
should suffer from their nippers.

[Illustration]



XLIV

THE HORSE AND GREYHOUND


Various have been the opinions upon the difference of speed between a
well-bred greyhound and a racehorse, if opposed to each other. Wishes
had been often expressed by the sporting world that some standard could
be adopted by which the superiority of speed could be fairly
ascertained, when the following incident happened, and afforded some
information upon what had before been considered a matter of great
uncertainty. In the month of December, 1800 a match was to have been run
over Doncaster racecourse for one hundred guineas, but one of the horses
being withdrawn, a mare started alone, that by running the ground she
might ensure the wager. After having run about a mile in the four, she
was joined by a greyhound, which leaped into the course from one side,
and entering into the competition, continued to race with the mare for
the other three miles, keeping nearly head and head, and affording an
excellent treat to the field by the energetic exertions of each. At
passing the distance post five to four was bet in favor of the
greyhound; when parallel with the stand it was even betting, and any
person might have taken his choice from five to ten. The mare, however,
had the advantage by a head at the end of the race.

[Illustration]



XLV

THE WATCH DOG


A thief who had broken into the shop of Cellini, the artist, and was
breaking open the caskets in order to get at some jewels, was arrested
in his progress by a dog, against whom he found it a difficult matter to
defend himself with a sword. The faithful animal ran to the room where
the journeymen slept, but as they did not seem to hear him barking, he
drew away the bed-clothes, and pulling them alternately by the arms,
forcibly woke them; then barking very loud, he showed the way to the
thief, and went on before; but the men would not follow him, and at last
they locked their door. The dog, having lost all hopes of the assistance
of these men, undertook the task alone, and ran downstairs. He could not
find the villain in the shop, but instantly rushing into the street came
up with him, and tearing off his cloak, would have treated him according
to his deserts if the fellow had not called to some tailors in the
neighborhood, and begged them to help him. They came to his aid, and
drove the poor animal away.

[Illustration]



XLVI

THE GOAT


A gentleman who had taken an active part in the rebellion of 1715, after
the battle of Preston escaped into the West Highlands, where a lady, a
near relative, gave him a hiding-place. A faithful servant conducted him
to the mouth of a cave and gave him an abundant store of food. The
fugitive crept in at a low opening, dragging his stores along. When he
reached a wider and higher place, he found some obstacle before him. He
drew his dirk, but unwilling to strike, lest he might take the life of a
companion in hiding, he stooped down, and found a goat with her kid
stretched on the ground. He soon saw that the animal was in great pain,
and feeling her body and limbs, found that her leg was broken. He bound
it up with his garter, and offered her a share of the bread beside him;
but she put out her tongue, as if to tell him that her mouth was parched
with thirst. He gave her water, which she drank readily, and then ate
some bread. After midnight he ventured out of the cave. All was still.
He plucked an armful of grass and cut some tender twigs, which the goat
accepted with signs of great joy and thankfulness. The prisoner took a
great deal of comfort in having a living creature in his dungeon, and he
caressed and fed her tenderly. The man who was trusted to bring him
supplies fell sick; and when another tried to enter the cavern, the goat
furiously opposed him, presenting her horns in all directions, till the
fugitive, hearing a disturbance, came forward. The new attendant gave
the watchword, and so the prisoner knew he was all right. He spoke to
the goat, and she obeyed him, and allowed the servant to enter. The
gentleman was sure that had a band of soldiers attacked the cavern, his
grateful patient would have died in his defense.

[Illustration]



XLVII

FOX CHASING


During a fox hunt, Reynard, being hard pressed, had to take refuge up
the chimney of a hot house. He was followed by one of the hounds, who,
passing through a flue nearly fifty feet in length, came out at the top
of the chimney, but in some way missed Reynard in its dark recesses. By
this time a number of people were collected at the top of the chimney.
They let down a terrier, who, holding fast by his brush, soon drove him
out.

[Illustration]



XLVIII

THE RIGHTS OF HOSPITALITY


A native Moor who went to hunt the lion, having gone far into the
forest, happened to meet with two lion's cubs that came to caress him.
The hunter stopped with the little animals, and waiting for the coming
of the father or mother, took out his breakfast and gave them a part.
The lioness arrived unseen by the huntsman, so that he had not time, or
perhaps wanted the courage to take his gun. After having for some time
looked at the man that was thus feasting her young, the lioness went
away, and soon afterward returned, bearing with her a sheep, which she
laid at the huntsman's feet.

The Moor, thus become one of the family, took this occasion of making a
good meal, skinned the sheep, made a fire, and then roasted a part,
giving the entrails to the young. The lion in his turn came also; and,
as if respecting the rights of hospitality, he showed no tokens whatever
of ferocity. Their guest the next day, having finished his provisions,
returned, and resolved never more to kill any of those animals, the
noble generosity of which he had so fully proven. He stroked and
caressed the cubs at taking leave of them, and the mother and father
went with him till he was safely out of the forest.

[Illustration]



XLIX

A SLY COUPLE


A gentleman in the county of Stirling kept a greyhound and a pointer,
and being fond of coursing, the pointer was accustomed to find the
hares, and the greyhound to catch them. When the season was over, it was
found that the dogs were in the habit of going out by themselves, and
killing hares for their own amusement. To prevent this, a large iron
ring was fastened to the pointer's neck by a leather collar, and allowed
to hang down so as to prevent the dog from running or jumping over
ditches and dykes. The animals, however, continued to stroll out into
the fields together; and one day the gentleman, suspecting that they
were up to some sort of mischief, decided to watch them. To his
surprise, he found that the moment when they thought no one was looking
at them, the greyhound took up the iron ring in his mouth, and carrying
it, they set off to the hills, and began to search for hares as usual.
They were followed, and it was discovered that whenever the pointer
scented the hare, the ring was dropped, and the greyhound stood ready to
pounce upon the poor little creature the moment the other drove her from
her form, but that he always came back to help his friend after he had
caught his prey.

[Illustration]



L

OSTRICH RIDING


A gentleman tells how, during the time he was living at Podor, a French
factory on the banks of the river Niger, there were two ostriches,
though young, of gigantic size, which afforded him a very remarkable
sight. "They were," he says, "so tame that two little blacks mounted
both together on the back of the largest. No sooner did he feel their
weight, than he began to run as fast as possible, and carried them
several times round the village, as it was impossible to stop him
otherwise than by putting something in the path. This sight pleased me
so much, that I was anxious to have it repeated, and to try their
strength, directed a full-grown negro to mount the smaller and the two
boys the larger. This burden did not seem at all too much for their
strength. At first they went at a fairly sharp trot, but when they
became heated a little, they expanded their wings as though to catch the
wind, and moved with such fleetness that they scarcely seemed to touch
the ground. Most people have, at one time or another, seen a partridge
run; and therefore know that there is no man whatever able to keep up
with it; and it is easy to imagine, that if this bird had a longer step,
its speed would be much greater. The ostrich moves much like the
partridge, with this advantage; and I am satisfied that those I am
speaking of, would have distanced the fleetest racehorses that were ever
bred in England. It is true they would not hold out as long as a horse;
but they would undoubtedly go over a given space in less time. I have
often seen this performance, and it gives one an idea of the wonderful
strength of an ostrich, and shows of what use it might be, did we but
know how to break and manage it as we do a horse."

[Illustration]



LI

RETRIBUTION


A fawn that was drinking in a park, was suddenly pounced upon by one of
the swans, that pulled the animal into the water, and held it under till
it was drowned. This cruel deed was noticed by the other deer in the
park, and did not go long unrevenged; for shortly after this the very
swan, which had never till this time been molested by the deer, was
singled out when on land one day, and furiously attacked by the herd,
which closed around the cruel swan, and soon killed it.

[Illustration]



LII

AN ELEPHANT'S REVENGE


Persons who have the care of elephants have often noticed that they know
very well when any one is making fun of them, and that they very often
revenge themselves when they have an opportunity. A painter wished to
draw an elephant in the menagerie at Paris, and wanted to get the animal
in a ridiculous attitude, which was with his trunk lifted up and his
mouth open.

To make the elephant keep this position, an attendant threw fruit and
nuts into the open mouth, but sometimes he only pretended to throw them.
This made the animal very angry, and as if knowing that the painter
rather than his servant was the one to blame, he finally turned to him
and dashed a quantity of water from his trunk over the paper on which
the painter was sketching his portrait.

[Illustration]



LIII

STRANGE PLAYMATES


A little girl about three years of age was noticed for a number of days
going a considerable distance from the house with a piece of bread her
mother had given her. This attracted the attention of the mother, who
asked the father to follow the child, and find out what she did with the
bread. On coming to the child, he found her busy at work feeding several
snakes of the species of rattlesnakes called yellow heads. He quickly
took her away, went to the house for his gun, and returning, killed two
of them at one shot, and another a few days afterward. The child called
these snakes as you would call chickens, and when her father told her if
she let them come so near her, they would bite her, she replied, "No,
they won't bite. They only eat the bread I give them."

[Illustration]



LIV

HONORS TO THE LIVING AND THE DEAD


The people of Athens, when they had finished the temple, called
_Hecatompedon_, set at liberty the beasts of burden that had been
chiefly engaged in that work, allowing them to pasture at large, free
from all further service. It is said that one of these animals afterward
came of its own accord to work, and putting itself at the head of the
laboring cattle, marched before them to the citadel. The people were
pleased with this action, and said that the animal should be kept at
public expense as long as it lived. Many people have shown particular
marks of regard in burying animals which they have cherished and been
fond of. The graves of Cimon's mares, with which he thrice conquered at
the Olympic games, are still to be seen near his own tomb. Xanthippus,
whose dog swam by the side of his galley to Salamis, when the Athenians
were forced to abandon their city, afterward buried it with great pomp
upon a promontory, which to this day is called the _Dog's Grave_. In
Pliny, we have an amusing account of a superb funeral ceremony, which
took place during the reign of Claudius; in which the illustrious
departed was no other than a crow, so celebrated for its talents and
address, that it was looked upon as a sort of public property. Its death
was felt as a national loss; the man who killed it was condemned to
expiate the crime with his own life; and nothing less than a public
funeral could, as it was thought, do justice to its memory. The remains
of the bird were laid on a bier, which was borne by two slaves;
musicians went before it, playing mournful airs; and a great crowd of
people of all ages and conditions, brought up the rear of the melancholy
procession.

[Illustration]



LV

MONKEY VERSUS SNAKE


The monkeys in India, knowing by instinct how dangerous snakes are, are
most vigilant in their destruction. They seize them by the neck, when
asleep, and running to the nearest flat stone, grind down their heads by
a strong friction on the surface, often looking at them, and grinning at
their progress. When sure that the poisonous fangs are destroyed, they
toss the reptiles to their young ones to play with, and seem to be
greatly pleased at the death of their enemies.

[Illustration]



LVI

FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH


A dog, between the breed of a mastiff and a bulldog, belonging to a
chimney sweeper, lay, according to his master's orders, on a soot bag,
which he had placed, carelessly, almost in the middle of a narrow back
street, in a town in the south of England. A loaded cart passing by, the
driver told the dog to move out of the way. When he refused to move, he
was scolded, then beaten, first gently, and afterward pretty hard with
the cart whip. But it was all to no purpose; the dog still lay quietly
on the bag. The driver, with an oath, threatened to drive over the
dog--he did so, and the faithful animal, in trying to stop the wheel by
biting it, was crushed to pieces.

[Illustration: Faithful unto Death.--Page 112]

[Illustration]



LVII

MUSICAL SEALS


Seals have a very delicate sense of hearing, and are much delighted with
music. A gentleman, in his account of a voyage to Spitzenbergen, tells
us that the son of the ship's captain who was very fond of playing on
the violin, never failed to have a large audience when in the seas
frequented by these animals; and he has seen them follow the ship for
miles when any person was playing on deck.



LVIII

A STRANGE FOSTER MOTHER


On an estate in Scotland a terrier had a litter of pups, which were at
once taken away from her and drowned. The unfortunate mother was very
unhappy, until, a few weeks later, she saw a brood of ducklings, which
she seized and carried to her house, where she kept them, following them
in and out with the greatest care, and nursing them after her own
fashion, with the most affectionate anxiety. When the ducklings,
following their natural instinct, went into the water, their
foster-mother was terribly alarmed; and as soon as they came back to
land, she quickly snatched them up in her mouth, and ran home with them.
What is still more strange is, that the same animal, when her litter of
pups were taken away the year before, seized two chicks, which she
brought up with the same care she now bestowed upon the ducks. When the
young cocks began to try their voices, their foster-mother was as much
annoyed as she now was by the swimming of the duckings--and never failed
to repress their attempts at crowing.

[Illustration]



LIX

SONNINI AND HIS CAT


M. Sonnini, when in Egypt, had an Angora cat, of which he was extremely
fond. It was entirely covered with long white silken hairs, and its tail
formed a magnificent plume, which the animal elevated at pleasure over
its body. Not one spot, not a single dark shade marred the dazzling
whiteness of its coat. Its nose and lips were of a delicate rose color.
Two large eyes sparkled in its round head; one was of yellow and the
other of fine blue.

This beautiful animal had even more beauty of manners than grace in
attitude and movements. However ill any one used her, she never tried to
put out her claws from their sheaths. Sensible to kindness, she licked
the hand which caressed, and even the one which tormented her. In
Sonnini's solitary moments, she kept the most of the time close by his
side. She interrupted him often in the midst of his labors or
meditations, by little caresses that were very touching, and she usually
followed him in his walks. During his absence she sought and called for
him all the time. She knew his voice at a distance, and seemed on each
fresh meeting with him to feel increased delight.

"This animal," says Sonnini, "was my principal amusement for several
years. How plainly was her love for me shown in her face! How many
times have her caresses made me forget my troubles and comforted me in
the midst of my misfortunes! My beautiful and interesting companion,
however, at last died. After several days of suffering, during which I
never left her, the light of her eyes, which were constantly fixed on
me, went out, and her death rent my heart with sorrow."

[Illustration]



LX

THE DINNER BELL


It is customary in large boarding-houses to announce the dinner-hour by
sounding a bell. A cat belonging to one of these houses always hastened
to the hall on hearing the bell, to get its usual meal; but it happened
one day that she was shut up at dinner time in a chamber, and it was in
vain for her that the bell had rung. Some hours afterward, having been
released from her confinement, she hastened to the hall, but found
nothing left for her. The clever cat then went to the bell, and ringing
it, tried to call the family to a second dinner, in which she hoped to
get her usual share.

[Illustration]



LXI

FORAGING


A constable once made a complaint before a bench of London magistrates
against a horse for stealing hay. The complainant stated that the horse
came regularly every night of its own accord, and without any attendant,
to the coach stands in St. George's, ate all he wanted, and then
galloped away. He defied the whole of the parish officers to catch him;
for if they tried to go near him while he was eating, he would throw up
his heels and kick at them, or run at them, and if they did not get out
of the way, he would bite them. The constable, therefore, thought it
best to bring the case to the attention of the magistrates.

"Well, Mr. Constable," said one of the magistrates, "if you should be
annoyed again by this animal in the execution of your duty, you may
arrest him if you can, and bring him before us to answer your
complaints."

[Illustration]



LXII

THE TAME SEA GULL


Many years ago a gentleman accidentally caught a sea-gull. He cut its
wings and put it in his garden. The bird remained there for several
years, and being kindly treated, became so tame as to come at call to be
fed at the kitchen door. It was known by the name of Willie. This bird
became at last so tame that no pains were taken to keep it, and, its
wings having grown to full length, it flew away, joined the other gulls
on the beach, and came back from time to time, to pay a visit to the
house. When its companions left the country at the usual season, Willie
went with them, much to the regret of the family. To their great joy,
however, it returned next season; and with its usual familiarity came to
its old haunt, where it was welcomed and fed liberally. In this way it
went and returned for forty years, without missing a year, and kept up
its acquaintance in the most cordial manner; for while in the country,
it visited them almost daily, answered to its name like any domestic
animal, and almost ate out of the hand. One year, however, Willie did
not pay his respects to the family for eight or ten days after the
general flock of gulls were upon the coast, and great was the concern
and sorrow over his loss, as it was thought he must surely be dead; but
to the surprise and joy of the family, a servant one morning came
running into the breakfast-room in great joy, saying that Willie had
returned. Food was soon supplied in abundance, and Willie with his usual
frankness ate of it heartily and was as tame as any barn-yard fowl about
the house. After a year or two more, however, this grateful bird never
came again.

[Illustration]



LXIII

A STRANGE PROTECTOR


A lady had a tame bird which she was in the habit of letting out of its
cage every day. One morning as it was picking crumbs of bread off the
carpet, her cat, who had always showed before great kindness toward the
bird, suddenly seized it, and jumped with it in her mouth upon a table.
The lady was alarmed for the fate of her favorite, but on turning about,
instantly saw the cause. The door had been left open, and a strange cat
had just come into the room! After she had put it out, her own cat came
down from her place of safety, and dropped the bird without having done
it the least injury.

[Illustration]



LXIV

THE LION AND HIS KEEPER


In a large menagerie there was a lion called Danco, whose cage needed
some repairs. His keeper hired a carpenter to do the work, but when the
workman came and saw the lion, he started back in terror. The keeper
entered the animal's cage, and led him to the upper part of it, while
the lower was being fixed. He there amused himself for some time playing
with the lion, and being wearied, at last fell asleep. The carpenter,
relying fully upon the vigilance of the keeper, went on rapidly with his
work, and when he had finished it, he called him to see what was done.
The keeper made no answer. Having repeatedly called him in vain, he
began to feel alarmed at his situation, and he determined to go to the
upper part of the cage, where, looking through the railing, he saw the
lion and the keeper sleeping side by side. He immediately uttered a loud
cry; the lion, awakened by the noise, started up and stared at the
carpenter with an eye of fury, and then, placing his paw on the breast
of his keeper, lay down to sleep again. At length the keeper was
awakened by some of the attendants, and he did not appear in the least
worried by the situation in which he found himself, but shook the lion
by the paw, and then gently conducted him to his old cage.

[Illustration]



LXV

A USURPER PUNISHED


Some years ago a sparrow had early in the spring taken possession of a
swallow's old nest, and had laid some eggs in it, when the original
builder and owner made her appearance and claimed possession. The
sparrow, firmly seated, refused to leave the nest. A smart battle
followed, in which the swallow was joined by its mate, and, during the
conflict, by several of their comrades. All the efforts of the swallows
to drive out the usurper were, however, unsuccessful. Finding themselves
completely foiled in this object, they held a council of war to consult
as to what they should do, and the plan they agreed upon shows that it
was with no ordinary degree of ingenuity that they had solved the
question as to what was right and just. Since the sparrow could not be
driven out of the nest, the next question with them appears to have
been, how she could be otherwise punished for her unlawful occupation of
a property belonging to another. The council were of one mind in
thinking that nothing short of the death of the intruder could atone for
so heinous an offense; and having so decided, they went to work to put
their sentence into execution in the following very wonderful manner.
Leaving the scene of the contest for a time, they returned with many
more friends, each bearing a beak full of building materials; and
without any further attempt to beat out the sparrow, they at once set to
work to build up the entrance into the nest, and soon had enclosed the
sparrow within the clay tenement, thus leaving the poor bird to perish
in the stronghold she had so bravely defended.

[Illustration]



LXVI

STRANGE ROOKS


In a large north of England town a pair of strange rooks, after trying
in vain to find a home in a rookery at a little distance from the
Exchange, gave up the attempt, and took refuge on the spire of a
building; and although constantly bothered by other rooks, they built
their nest on the top of the vane, and there reared a brood of young
ones, undisturbed by the noise of the people below them. The nest and
its inmates were, of course, turned about by every change of the wind.
For ten years they continued to build their nest in the same place, soon
after which the spire was taken down.

[Illustration]



LXVII

TAME HARES


The hare is scarcely a domestic animal; yet we have an account of one
that was so tame as to feed from the hand, lie under a chair in the
sitting-room, and appear in every way as easy and comfortable as a
lapdog. It now and then went out into the garden, but, after hopping
about in the fresh air for a while, it always returned to the house. Its
usual companions were a greyhound and a spaniel, with whom it spent its
evenings, the whole three playing and sleeping together on the same
hearth. What makes the circumstance more remarkable is, that the
greyhound and spaniel were both so fond of hare-hunting, that they used
often to go out coursing together, without anybody with them. They were
like the "Sly Couple," of whose devotion to the chase an amusing story
is told.

A traveller once brought a young hare to such a degree of frolicsome
familiarity, that it would run and jump about his sofa and bed; leap
upon and pat him with its fore feet; or while he was reading, it would
sometimes knock the book out of his hands, as if to claim, like a
fondled child, his exclusive attention.

[Illustration]



LXVIII

THE PIG POINTER


A sow, which was a thin, long-legged animal, when young took such a
fancy to some pointer puppies that a gamekeeper on a neighboring estate
was breaking, that it played, and often came to feed with them. This led
the gamekeeper, who had broken many a dog as obstinate as a pig, to
think he might also manage to break a pig.

The little animal would often go out with the puppies to some distance
from home; and he coaxed it farther by a sort of pudding made of barley
meal, which he carried in one of his pockets. The other pocket he filled
with stones, which he threw at the pig whenever she misbehaved.

He found the animal tractable, and soon taught her what he wished by
this mode of reward and punishment. They were frequently seen out
together, when the sow quartered her ground as regularly as any pointer,
stood when she came on game (having an excellent nose), and backed other
dogs as well as ever a pointer did. When she came on the cold scent of
game, she slackened her trot, and gradually dropped her ears and tail;
till she was certain, and then fell down on her knees. So staunch was
she, that she would frequently remain for five minutes and upwards on
her point. As soon as the game rose, she always returned to her master,
grunting very loud, for her reward of pudding, if it was not at once
given to her.

[Illustration]



LXIX

A WISE OURANG-OUTANG


A well-known traveller tells a story about the ourang-outang in its wild
state, which shows that it has both a good memory and some ingenuity.

When the fruits on the mountains are gone, these animals often go down
to the seacoast, where they feed upon various kinds of shell-fish, but
in particular on a large sort of oyster, which commonly lies open on the
shore. "Fearful," he says, "of putting in their paws, lest the oyster
should close and crush them, they insert a stone as a wedge within the
shell. This prevents it from closing, and they then drag out their prey,
and devour it at leisure."

[Illustration]



LXX

A GRACEFUL RETURN


A favorite house-dog, left to the care of its master's servants, while
he was himself away, would have been starved by them if it had not found
a friend in the kitchen of a friend of its master's, which in better
days it had occasionally visited. On the return of the master it had
plenty at home, and had no further need of food; but still it did not
forget the place where it had found a friend in need. A few days after,
the dog fell in with a duck, which, as he found in no private pond, he
no doubt decided was no private property. He snatched up the duck in his
teeth, carried it to the kitchen where he had been so generously fed,
laid it at the cook's feet, with many polite movements of his tail, and
then scampered off with much seeming joy at having given this real proof
of his gratitude.

[Illustration]



LXXI

WRENS LEARNING TO SING


A wren built her nest in a box, so placed that a family had a chance to
watch the mother bird teaching her young ones the art of singing
peculiar to wrens. She fixed herself on one side of the opening in the
box, directly before the young birds, and began singing over her whole
song very distinctly. One of the little birds then tried to imitate her.
After singing through a few notes, its voice broke and it lost the tune.
The mother at once began again where the young one had failed, and went
very distinctly through the rest of the song. The young bird made a
second attempt, beginning where it had stopped before, and kept up the
song as long as it was able. If the note was lost again, the mother
began anew where it stopped, and finished it. Then the little one
resumed the song and finished it.

This done, the mother sang over the whole series of notes a second time
with great care, and a second of the young ones tried to follow her. The
wren followed the same course with this one as with the first; and so on
with the third and all the rest. It sometimes happened that the young
bird would lose the tune three or four or more times in the same
attempt, and the mother would always begin where they stopped and sing
the rest of the song; and when each little bird had sung the whole song
through, she repeated the whole strain. Sometimes two of the young
birds began together. The mother did just the same as when one sang
alone. This practise was repeated day after day, and several times a
day.

[Illustration]



LXXII

RARE HONESTY


A mastiff dog, who owed more to the kindness of a neighbor than to his
master, was once locked by mistake in the well-stored pantry of his
benefactor for a whole day, where there were, within his reach, milk,
butter, bread and meat, in abundance. On the return of the servant to
the pantry, seeing the dog come out, and knowing the time it had been
shut in there, she trembled for fear of the waste which she was sure her
carelessness must have brought about; but on close examination, it was
found that the honest creature had not tasted of anything, although, on
coming out, he fell on a bone that was given him, with all the
greediness of hunger.

[Illustration]



LXXIII

DIVISION OF LABOR


The Alpine marmots are said to work together in the collection of
materials for the building of their homes. Some of them, we are told,
cut the herbage, others collect it into heaps; a third set serve as
wagons to carry it to their holes; while still others perform all the
work of draught horses. The manner of the latter part of the curious
process is this. The animal that is to be the wagon, lies down on its
back, and stretching out its four legs as wide as it can, allows itself
to be loaded with hay; and those that are to be the horses, drag it,
thus loaded, by the tail, taking care not to upset the creature. The
task of thus serving as a wagon being, evidently, the least desirable
part of the business, is taken by every one of the party in turn.

[Illustration]



LXXIV

A TALKING PARROT


During the time that Prince Maurice was ruling in Brazil, he heard of an
old parrot that was much celebrated for answering like a human being,
many of the common questions put to it. It was at a great distance; but
so much had been said about it that the prince's curiosity was roused,
and he directed it to be sent for.

When the parrot was brought into the room where the prince was sitting,
in company with several Dutchmen, it at once cried out in the Brazilian
language, "What a company of white men are here!" They asked it, "Who is
that man?" (pointing to the prince). The parrot answered, "Some general
or other." When the attendants carried it up to him, he asked it,
through the aid of an interpreter (for he did not understand its
language), "Whence do you come?" The parrot answered, "From Marignan."

The prince asked, "To whom do you belong?" It answered, "To a
Portuguese." He asked again, "What do you there?" The parrot answered,
"I look after chickens." The prince laughing, exclaimed, "You look after
chickens!" The parrot in reply said, "Yes, I do; and I know well how to
do it;" clucking at the same time in imitation of the noise made by the
hen to call her little chicks together.

[Illustration]

The prince afterward said that although the parrot spoke in a language
he did not understand, yet he could not be deceived, for he had in the
room at the time both a Dutchman who spoke Brazilian, and a Brazilian
who spoke Dutch; that he asked them separately and privately, and both
agreed exactly in their account of the parrot's conversation.



LXXV

A CHARITABLE CANARY


A pair of goldfinches who had had the misfortune to be captured with
their nest and six young ones, were placed in a double cage, with a pair
of canaries, which had a brood of little ones also; there being a
partition of wire netting between the cages.

At first the goldfinches seemed careless about their young ones. The
father canary, attracted by the cries of the baby goldfinches, forced
himself through a flaw in the wire, and began to feed them. This it did
regularly, until the goldfinches undertook the work themselves, and
rendered the kindness of the canary no longer necessary.

[Illustration]



LXXVI

CHOOSING THE LEAST OF TWO EVILS


A french dog was taught by his master to run many different errands,
among others to bring him his meals from a restaurant. The dog carried
the food in a basket, and one evening, when the dog was returning to his
master with his dinner, two other dogs, attracted by the savory smell
coming from the basket, made up their minds to attack him. The dog put
his basket on the ground and set himself courageously against the first
one that advanced against him; but while he was fighting with one, the
other ran to the basket, and began to help himself. At length, seeing
that there was no chance of beating both dogs, and saving his master's
dinner, he threw himself between his two opponents, and without further
ceremony, quickly ate up the rest of the food himself, and then returned
to his master with the empty basket.

[Illustration]



LXXVII

GOING TO MARKET


A butcher and cattle dealer had a dog which he usually took with him
when he drove cattle to market at a town some nine miles distant from
his home, to be sold. The dog was very clever at managing the cattle.

At last, so sure was the master of the wisdom and faithfulness of his
dog, that he made a wager that he would trust him with a certain number
of sheep and oxen, and let him drive them to the market all by himself.
It was agreed that no person should be within sight or hearing--at least
no one who had any control over the dog; nor was anybody to interfere or
be within a quarter of a mile.

On the day of the trial, the dog went about his business in the most
skilful and knowing manner; and although he had often to drive his
charge through the herds that were grazing, yet he never lost one, but
conducting them into the very yard to which he was wont to drive them
when with his master, he delivered them up to the person appointed to
receive them.

What more particularly marked the dog's sagacity was, that, when the
path the herd travelled lay through a spot where others were grazing, he
would run forward, stop his own drove, and then driving the others
from each side of the path, collect his scattered charge and then go on
again. He was several times afterward sent thus alone for the amusement
of the curious or the convenience of his master, and always did his work
in the same adroit and intelligent manner.

[Illustration]



LXXVIII

THE CATCHER CAUGHT


During a sudden flood in the Rhine, a hare, unable to find a way of
escape through the water to higher land, climbed up a tree. One of the
boatmen rowing about to assist the unfortunate people, seeing her, rowed
up to the tree, and, eager for the game, climbed it, without properly
fastening his boat.

The frightened hare, as its pursuer came near, sprang from the tree into
the boat, which thus set in motion, floated away, leaving its owner in
the tree in dread of being washed away by the current. After several
hours' anxiety, he was seen, and taken off by some of his companions.

[Illustration]



LXXIX

SNAKE DESTROYERS


The Indian ichneumon, a small creature, looking like both the weasel and
the mongoose, is of great use to the natives because of its great hatred
of snakes, which would otherwise make every footstep of the traveller
most dangerous. This little creature, on seeing a snake, no matter how
large, will instantly dart on it, and seize it by the throat, if he
finds himself in an open place, where he has a chance of running to a
certain herb, which he some way knows to be an antidote against the
poison of the bite, if he should happen to receive one. A gentleman
visiting the island of Ceylon saw the experiment tried in a closed room,
where the ichneumon, instead of attacking his enemy, did all in his
power to avoid him. On being carried out of the house, however, and put
near his antagonist in the field, he at once darted at the snake, and
soon killed it. It then suddenly disappeared for a few minutes, and
again returned as soon as it had found and eaten the herb it knew was an
antidote.

[Illustration]



LXXX

MUSICAL MICE


"One rainy winter evening, as I was alone in my room," says an American
gentleman, "I took up my flute and began to play. In a few minutes my
attention was directed to a mouse that I saw creeping from a hole, and
coming toward the chair in which I was sitting. I stopped playing, and
it ran quickly back to its hole. I began again shortly afterward, and
was much surprised to see it reappear, and take its old position. The
actions of the little animal were truly amusing. It lay down on the
floor, shut its eyes, and seemed delighted, but the minute I stopped my
playing, it instantly disappeared again. This experiment I often
repeated with the same result. I also noted that the mouse was
differently affected, as the music varied from the slow and sad to the
brisk or lively. It finally went away, and all my art could not coax it
to return."

[Illustration]



LXXXI

A CARRIER'S DOG


A carrier on his way to a market town had to stop at some houses by the
roadside, in the way of his business, leaving his cart and horse upon
the public road, under the protection of a passenger and a trusty dog.
Upon his return he missed one of the women passengers, and likewise a
led horse which was owned by a gentleman of the neighborhood. The horse
he was taking along, tied to the end of the cart. On inquiry he found
out that during his absence, the woman, who had been anxious to try the
mettle of the pony, had mounted it, and the animal had set off at full
speed. The carrier expressed much anxiety for the safety of the young
woman, casting at the same time an expressive look at his dog. Oscar
observed his master's eye, and aware of its meaning, instantly set off
in pursuit of the pony. Coming up with it soon after, he made a sudden
spring, seized the bridle, and held the animal fast. Several people,
having seen his actions, and the dangerous situation of the girl,
hastened to her aid. Oscar, however, notwithstanding their repeated
endeavors, would not let go his hold, and the pony was actually led into
the stable with the dog still clinging to it. When the carrier entered
the stable, Oscar wagged his tail in token of his satisfaction, and at
once gave up the bridle to his master.

[Illustration: A Carrier's Dog.--Page 160]

[Illustration]



LXXXII

A TAME COLONY


A well-known traveller, in describing the Island of Tristan d'Acunha,
states that the animals found on this lonely spot were so tame, that it
was necessary to clear a path right through the mass of birds which were
sitting on the rocks, and this was done by simply kicking them aside.
One kind of seal did not move at all when struck or pelted, and at last
some of the company amused themselves by mounting them, and riding them
into the sea.



LXXXIII

THE BEAR CUBS


A mother bear, with two cubs, came too near a whaler, and was shot. The
cubs not trying to escape, were taken alive. The little creatures,
though at first seeming quite unhappy, at length became in some measure
reconciled to their fate, and being quite tame, were allowed sometimes
to go at large about the deck.

While the ship was moored to a floe a few days after they were taken,
one of them having a rope fastened round his neck, was thrown overboard.
It at once swam to the ice, got upon it, and tried to escape. Finding
itself, however, held by the rope, it tried to free itself in the
following clever way.

Near the edge of the floe was a crack in the ice. It was of considerable
length, but only eighteen inches or two feet wide, and three or four
feet deep. To this spot the bear turned; and when, on crossing the
chasm, the bight of the rope fell into it, he placed himself across the
opening; then suspending himself by his hind feet, with a leg on each
side, he dropped his head and most all of his body into the chasm; and
with a foot applied to each side of the neck, tried for some minutes to
push the rope over his head.

Finding that this scheme did not work, he moved to the main ice, and
running with great force from the ship, gave a strong put on the rope;
then going backward a few steps, he repeated the jerk. At length, after
repeated attempts to make his escape in this way, every failure of which
he announced with an angry growl, he gave himself up to his hard fate,
and lay down on the ice in angry and sullen silence.

[Illustration]



LXXXIV

DECEIVING THE FOWLER


A young pointer, out with his master hunting, ran on a brood of very
small partridges. The old bird cried, fluttered, and ran trembling along
just before the dog's nose, till she had drawn him to a considerable
distance; when she took wing and flew farther off, but not out of the
field. At this the dog went back nearly to the place where the young
ones lay concealed in the grass. The old bird no sooner saw this than
she flew back again, settled first before the dog's nose, and a second
time acted the same part, rolling and tumbling about till she drew off
his attention from the brood, and thus succeeded in saving them.

[Illustration]



LXXXV

ASKING ASSISTANCE


A party of a ship's crew was sent ashore on a part of the coast of
India, for the purpose of cutting wood for the ship. One of the men,
having strayed from the rest, was greatly frightened by the appearance
of a large lioness, who came toward him. But when she had come up to
him, she lay down at his feet, and looked very earnestly, first at him,
and then at a tree a short distance off. After doing this several times,
she arose and started toward the tree, looking back at the man several
times, as if trying to make him follow her. At length he went, and when
he reached the tree, he saw a huge baboon with two young cubs in her
arms. He supposed they must belong to the lioness, as she lay down like
a cat, and seemed to be watching them very anxiously. The man being
afraid to climb the tree, decided to cut it down, and having his axe
with him, he at once set to work, the lioness, meantime, watching to see
what he was doing. When the tree fell, she sprang upon the baboon, and
after tearing her in pieces, she turned round and fawned round the man,
rubbing her head against him in great fondness, and in token of her
gratitude for the service he had done her. After this she took the cubs
away, one at a time, and the man went back to the ship.

[Illustration]



LXXXVI

DOG SMUGGLERS


In the Netherlands, they use dogs of a very large and strong breed as
they would horses. They are harnessed like horses, and chiefly employed
in drawing little carts filled with fish, vegetables, and other produce.
Before the year 1795, such dogs were also employed in smuggling; which
was the easier, as they are exceedingly docile.

The dogs were trained to go back and forth between two places on the
frontiers, without any person to attend them. Being well loaded with
little parcels of goods, lace, and the like, they set out at midnight,
and went only when it was perfectly dark. An excellent, quick-scented
dog always went some paces before the others, stretched out his nose
toward all quarters, and when he scented custom house officers, turned
back, which was the signal for immediate flight.

Concealed behind bushes, or in ditches, the dogs waited till all was
safe, then continued their journey, and at last reached, beyond the
frontier, the dwelling-house of the receiver of the goods, who was in
the secret. But here, also, the leading dog only at first showed
himself. On a certain whistle, which was a signal that all was right,
they all hastened up. They were then unloaded, taken to a nearby
stable, where there was a good layer of hay and plenty of good food.
There they rested until midnight, and they then returned in the same
manner as they had come, back over the frontiers.

[Illustration]



LXXXVII

PORUS SAVED BY HIS ELEPHANT


King Porus, in a battle with Alexander the Great, being severely
wounded, fell from the back of his elephant. The Macedonian soldiers,
supposing him dead, pushed forward, in order to rob him of his rich
clothing and accoutrements; but the faithful elephant, standing over the
body of its master, boldly drove back every one who dared to come near,
and while the enemy stood at bay, took the bleeding Porus up with his
trunk, and placed him again on his back.

The troops of Porus came by this time to his relief, and the king was
saved; but the elephant died of the wounds which it had so bravely
received in the heroic defense of its master.

[Illustration]



LXXXVIII

A HUMANE SOCIETY


A large colony of rooks had lived for many years in a grove on the banks
of a river. One quiet evening the idle birds amused themselves with
chasing one another through endless mazes, and in their flight they made
the air sound with many discordant noises. In the midst of this play, it
unfortunately happened that one of the rooks, by a sudden turn, struck
his head against the wing of another. The wounded bird instantly fell
into the river. A general cry of distress followed. The birds hovered
with every expression of anxiety over their distressed companion.

Encouraged by their sympathy, and perhaps by the language of counsel
known to themselves, he sprang into the air, and by one strong effort
reached the point of a rock that projected into the river. The joy
became loud and universal; but, alas! it was soon changed into notes of
sorrow, for the poor, wounded bird, in trying to fly toward his nest,
dropped again into the river, and was drowned.

[Illustration]



LXXXIX

A MOTHER WATCHING HER YOUNG


The following singular instance of the far-sighted watchfulness of the
mother turkey over her young is told by a French priest. "I have heard,"
he says, "a mother turkey, when at the head of her brood, send forth the
most hideous scream, without being able to see any cause for it. Her
young ones, however, the moment the warning was given, hid under the
bushes, the grass, or whatever else seemed to offer shelter or
protection. They even stretched themselves at full length on the ground,
and lay as motionless as if dead.

In the meantime, the mother, with her eyes directed upward, kept up her
cries and screaming as before. On looking up in the direction in which
she seemed to gaze, I discovered a black spot just under the clouds, but
was unable at first to decide what it was. However, it soon appeared to
be a bird of prey, though at first at too great a distance to be
distinguished. I have seen one of those mother turkeys continue in this
agitated state for four hours at a stretch, and her whole brood pinned
down to the ground, as it were, the whole of that time, while their foe
has taken its circuits, has mounted and hovered directly over their
heads. When he, at last, disappeared, the mother changed her note and
sent forth a different sort of cry, which in an instant gave life to
the whole trembling brood, and they all flocked round her with
expressions of pleasure, as if conscious of their happy escape from
danger."

[Illustration]



XC

A REFUGEE SQUIRREL


A squirrel, whose bad luck it was to be captured, was lodged for safe
keeping in a trap used for taking rats alive. Here he remained for
several weeks, till at length, panting for liberty, he managed to make
his escape through a window, and went back once more to his native
fields.

The family in which he had been pet, were not a little vexed at the loss
of their little favorite, and the servant was ordered in the evening of
the same day to remove the trap, that they might no longer be reminded
of their loss. When he went to do this, he found to his surprise that
the squirrel, all wet and ruffled by the storm, had come back, and again
taken up his lodgings in the corner of the trap.

[Illustration]



XCI

ESCAPE OF JENGIS KAHN


The Mogul and Kalmuc Tartars give to the white owl credit for preserving
Jengis Khan, the founder of their empire; and they pay it, on that
account, almost divine honors. The prince, with a small army, happened
to be surprised and put to flight by his enemies. Forced to seek
concealment in a coppice, a white owl settled on the bush under which he
was hidden. At the sight of this bird, the prince's pursuers never
thought of searching the spot, thinking it impossible that such a bird
would perch where any human being was concealed. Jengis escaped, and
ever after his countrymen held the white owl sacred, and every one wore
a plume of its feathers on his head. The Kalmucs continue the custom to
this day, at all their great festivals; and some tribes have an idol in
the form of an owl, to which they fasten the real legs of this bird.

[Illustration]



XCII

A SHREWD GUESSER


A French officer, more remarkable for his birth and spirit than his
wealth, had served the Venetian republic for some years with great valor
and fidelity, but had not met with that preferment which he deserved.
One day he waited on a nobleman whom he had often solicited in vain, but
on whose friendship he had still some reliance. The reception he met
with was cool and mortifying; the nobleman turned his back upon the
veteran, and left him to find his way to the street through a suite of
apartments magnificently furnished.

He passed them lost in thought, till, casting his eyes on a most
beautiful sideboard, where a valuable collection of Venetian glass,
polished and formed in the highest degree of perfection, stood on a
damask cloth as a preparation for a splendid entertainment, he took hold
of a corner of the linen, and turning to a faithful mastiff which always
went with him, said to the animal, "Here, my poor old friend, you see
how these haughty tyrants indulge themselves, and yet how we are
treated!" The poor dog looked his master in the face, and gave tokens
that he understood him. The master walked on, but the mastiff slackened
his pace, and laying hold of the damask cloth with his teeth, gave one
hearty pull, and thus brought all the glass on the sideboard in
shivers to the ground, thus robbing the unkind nobleman of his favorite
exhibition of splendor.

[Illustration]



XCIII

ARE BEASTS MERE MACHINES?


A gentleman one day talking with a friend said that beasts were mere
machines, and had no sort of reason to direct them; and that when they
cried or made a noise, it was only one of the wheels of the clock or
machine that made it.

The friend, who was of a different opinion replied, "I have now in my
kitchen two dogs who take turns regularly every other morning to get
into the wheel. One of them, not liking his employment, hid himself on
the day that he should work, so that his companion was forced to mount
the wheel in his stead, but crying and wagging his tail, he made sign
for those about him to follow him. He at once led them to a garret,
where he found the idle dog, drove him out and killed him at once."

[Illustration]



XCIV

AN ASS CAST AWAY


An ass, belonging to a captain in the Royal Navy, then at Malta, was
shipped on board a frigate, bound from Gibraltar for that island. The
vessel struck on some sands off the Point de Gat, and the ass was thrown
overboard, in the hope that it might possibly be able to swim to the
land. Of this, however, there did not seem to be much chance, for the
sea was running so high, that a boat which left the ship was lost. A few
days later, when the gates of Gibraltar were opened one morning the
guard were surprised by Valiant, as the ass was called, presenting
himself there for admittance. On entering, he went at once to the stable
of a merchant, where he had formerly lived. The poor animal had not only
swum safely to shore, but without guide, compass, or travelling map, had
found his way from Point de Gat to Gibraltar, a distance of more than
two hundred miles, through a mountainous and intricate country, crossed
by streams, which he had never travelled over before, and in so short a
period, that he could not have made one false turn.

[Illustration]



XCV

QUARRELSOME APES


The town of Bindrabund in India is in high regard with the pious
Hindoos, who resort to it from the most remote parts of the empire. The
town is surrounded by groves of trees, which are the homes of numberless
apes, whose fondness for mischief is increased by the religious respect
paid to them in honor of a divinity of the Hindoo mythology, who is
represented as having the body of an ape. Because of this superstition,
such numbers of these animals are supported by the free-will offerings
of pilgrims, that no one dares to resist or ill-treat them. Hence,
access to the town is often difficult; for should one of the apes take a
dislike to any unlucky traveller, he is sure to be assailed by the whole
community, who follow him with all the missile weapons they can collect,
such as pieces of bamboo, stones, and dirt, making at the same time a
most hideous howling. Of the danger attending a meeting with enemies of
this description, the following is a melancholy instance. Two young
cavalry officers, belonging to the Bengal army, having occasion to pass
through the town, were attacked by a body of apes, at whom one of the
gentlemen had foolishly fired. The alarm instantly drew the whole body,
with the fakeers, out of the place, with so much fury that the officers,
though they were mounted upon elephants, were compelled to seek safety
in flight; and in trying to pass the Jumna, they both of them were
drowned.

[Illustration]



XCVI

A FALSE ALARM


Some years ago, a soldier, who was doing duty at the castle of Cape
Town, kept a tame baboon for his amusement. One evening it broke its
chains unknown to him, and in the night it climbed up into the belfry,
and began to play with and ring the bell.

Instantly the whole place was in an uproar; some great danger was
feared. Many thought that the castle was on fire; others, that an enemy
had entered the bay, and the soldiers actually began to turn out, when
it was discovered that the mischievous baboon had caused the
disturbance.

On the following morning a court-martial was held, when Cape justice
decided that whereas the baboon had unnecessarily put the castle into
alarm, its master should receive fifty lashes. The soldier, however,
found someway to evade the punishment.

[Illustration]



XCVII

A CHILD SAVED


A shepherd, in one of his trips to look after his flock, took with him
one of his children, a boy three years old. After crossing his pastures
for some time, followed by his dog, he found it necessary to ascend a
hill at some distance, to obtain a better view of his range. As the
climb was too much for the little child, he left him on a small plain at
the bottom, telling him not to stir from it until his return. Scarcely
had he gained the top of the hill, however, when the sky was darkened by
a thick mist. The anxious father at once hurried back to find his child;
but owing to the unusual darkness, he missed his way. After a fruitless
search of many hours, he discovered that he had reached the bottom of
the valley, and was near his own cottage. To renew the search that night
was both vain and most dangerous; he was, therefore, compelled to go
home, although he had lost both his child and his dog, that had attended
him faithfully for many years. Next morning, by break of day, the
shepherd, with many of his neighbors, set out to look for the child; but
after a day of searching, he returned to his home, disappointed. He
found that the dog which he had lost the day before had been to the
cottage, and after getting a piece of cake, had at once gone away again.
For several days the shepherd kept up the search, and on his return
each evening, he found that the dog had been home, had received his
usual allowance of cake, and then had instantly disappeared. Struck with
this strange behavior on the part of the dog, he remained at home one
day; and when the dog, as usual, left with his piece of cake, he decided
to follow him, and find out the cause of this queer procedure. The dog
led the way to a cataract at some distance from the spot where the
shepherd had left the child. Down a rugged and almost perpendicular
descent the dog began, without hesitation, to make his way, and at last
disappeared by entering into a cave, the mouth of which was almost level
with the torrent. The shepherd with difficulty followed; but on entering
the cave, what was his joy, when he saw his lost baby boy eating with
much satisfaction the cake which the faithful dog had just brought to
him, while the noble creature stood by, looking at his young charge most
lovingly. The child had probably wandered to the brink of the precipice,
and then had either fallen or scrambled down till he reached the cave.
The dog had tracked him to the spot; and afterward kept him from
starving by giving up to him his own daily portion of food. He never
left the child by day or night, except when he went for the food; and
then he was always seen running at full speed to and from the cottage.

[Illustration]





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