By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Natural History in Anecdote - Illustrating the nature, habits, manners and customs of - animals, birds, fishes, reptiles, etc., etc., etc.
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Natural History in Anecdote - Illustrating the nature, habits, manners and customs of - animals, birds, fishes, reptiles, etc., etc., etc." ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.





  "_1001 Anecdotes_", "_The New Standard Elocutionist_", "_The Poets
  and the Poetry of the Century_", "_The A1 Reciters_",
  "_The Aldine Reciters_", _etc., etc._



[Illustration: Tiger Hunting]


Illustrations are like windows to the house of knowledge. They let light
in upon the understanding, and they facilitate the outlook upon truth
and beauty. To illustrate is to help one sense by the use of another, to
reason by analogy, and to teach the unknown by the known. When
definition fails, illustration often carries conviction, and the most
successful teachers are those who make the best use of sound and telling
illustrations. How many lessons would have been wholly forgotten by us,
but for the illustrations which made their meanings clear, and left
their truths for ever in our minds?

The book of nature is full of illustrations which help the understanding
of the book of life, and no illustrations are more valuable and
fascinating, whether as revelations of the order and habits of Nature
herself, or as parallels and parables, full of suggestive application to
the social and moral life of humanity, than those afforded by the study
of Natural History.

To gather into a convenient volume Illustrative Anecdotes of Natural
History, which shall throw light upon the study of Animal Life, for
those pursuing it for its own sake, and help to the understanding of
Nature herself is the primary object of this work, while it is hoped
that it may serve a secondary purpose of no small utility, in
suggesting social and moral parallels.

With a view to its first purpose the illustrations are classified in
order as those of Mammals, Birds, Reptiles, Fishes, etc., etc., and as
much knowledge of Natural History as can be conveyed in anecdote form
has been attempted. The book will thus, it is hoped, be a valuable aid
to the teacher of Natural History, as a manual of illustrations for his
lessons, as well as full of interest to the general reader, who may not
wish to devote the time necessary to more exhaustive scientific study.

A. H. M.



  Science,                                        1
  The Kingdoms of Nature,                         1
  Zoology,                                        2
  Classification,                                 2


  =Sub-Kingdom Vertebrata=

  =Class I.--Mammalia=



  The Ape Family,                                 3
  The Gorilla,                                    4
  The Ancestors of the Gorilla,                   4
  A Gorilla Hunt,                                 5
  Du Chaillu's First Gorilla,                     7
  A Young Gorilla,                                9
  Gorilla Superstitions,                         10
  The Chimpanzee,                                11
  The Docility of the Chimpanzee,                11
  The Orang-Utan,                                12
  The Habits of the Orang-Utan,                  12
  The Walk of the Orang-Utan,                    13
  The Strength of the Orang-Utan,                14
  The Docility of the Orang-Utan,                14
  The Orang-Utan's Intelligence,                 15
  The Orang-Utan's Affection,                    15
  The Maternal Instinct,                         16
  Gibbons, or Long-Armed Apes,                   17
  Monkeys,                                       18
  The Sacred Monkeys,                            18
  The Long-nosed Monkey,                         19
  Cheek-pouched Monkeys,                         19
  The Baboon,                                    19
  The Arabian Baboon,                            20
  The Baboon's Imitative Faculty,                20
  The Chackma Baboon,                            21
  The Baboon's Utility,                          21
  The Tame Baboon,                               22
  The Baboon's Cunning,                          22
  The Baboon's Loyalty,                          24
  The Baboon's Intelligence,                     24
  The Bonnet Monkey,                             25
  Indian Monkeys,                                25
  The Monkey Outdone,                            27
  The Monkey Aroused,                            29
  The Monkey's Affection,                        30
  American Monkeys,                              30
  The Capuchin Monkey,                           30
  The Spider Monkeys,                            30
  The Howling Monkeys,                           31
  The Bearded Saki,                              31
  The Douroucouli,                               32
  The Marmosets,                                 32


  The Lemurs,                                    32

  The Tarsier,                                   33

  The Aye-Aye,                                   33


  Bats,                                          35
  The Common English Bat,                        36
  The Vampire Bat,                               36
  A Traveller's Experience,                      37
  Megaderma Lyra,                                38


  The Hedgehog,                                  39
  The Mole,                                      40
  An Enterprising Mole,                          41
  The Use of the Mole,                           41
  The Shrew,                                     42



  The Fissipedia,                                43
  Animals of the Cat Kind,                       43
  The Lion,                                      44
  The Lion's Character,                          44
  Attitude towards Man,                          45
  The Better Part of Valour,                     46
  The Lion's Strength,                           47
  The Lion's Affection,                          48
  The Lion's Docility,                           48
  The Story of Androcles,                        49
  A Lion Hunt,                                   50
  A Thrilling Experience,                        52
  Attacked by a Lion,                            53
  A Night Surprise,                              55
  A Lion Outwitted,                              56
  Old Instincts and New Opportunities,           56
  The Tiger,                                     57
  The Tiger's Ravages,                           58
  An Intrepid Hunter,                            60
  The Leopard,                                   61
  The Leopard's Tenacity of Life,                61
  Hunters Hunted,                                63
  The Jaguar,                                    64
  The Jaguar's Strength,                         65
  A Night of Horror,                             65
  The Puma,                                      67
  The Puma's Ferocity,                           67
  Animals and Men,                               68
  The Ocelot,                                    69
  The Clouded Tiger,                             70
  The Serval,                                    70
  The Common Wild Cat,                           70
  The Domestic Cat,                              71
  Cat Superstitions,                             71
  The Cat as a Hunter,                           72
  The Cat and Her Young,                         72
  The Cat as a Foster Mother,                    73
  The Cat as a Traveller,                        74
  The Cat as a Sportsman,                        75
  The Cat's Intelligence,                        75
  The Lynx,                                      76
  The Chetah as Huntsman,                        78
  The Civits,                                    79
  The Ichneumon,                                 79
  Dormant Instinct,                              80
  The Aard Wolf,                                 80
  The Hyæna,                                     80
  The Striped Hyæna,                             82
  Spotted Hyæna,                                 82
  A Narrow Escape,                               83
  Animals of the Dog Kind,                       84
  The Wolf,                                      84
  The Fox,                                       85
  The Jackal,                                    86
  The Wolf's Mode of Attack,                     86
  The Wolf's Cunning,                            87
  The Wolf's Cowardice,                          88
  Hunted by Wolves,                              88
  A Terrible Alternative,                        89
  A Marvellous Escape,                           89
  Tame Wolves,                                   90
  The Cunning of the Fox,                        90
  The Fox as a Hunter,                           91
  A Fox Hunt,                                    92
  The Arctic Fox,                                93
  Wild Dogs,                                     93
  The Dog,                                       94
  The Dog's Understanding,                       95
  The Dog's Sense of Locality,                   97
  Dog Friendships and Enmities,                  99
  The Dog Language,                             100
  The Dog's Intelligence,                       101
  Dogs' Mistakes,                               104
  Eskimo Dogs,                                  104
  A Hard Lot,                                   106
  The Newfoundland Dog,                         107
  The Newfoundland's Generosity,                108
  The Newfoundland's Perception of Danger,      109
  The Newfoundland's Sense of Right,            111
  The Newfoundland's Fidelity,                  112
  The Newfoundland under Training,              112
  The Sheep Dog,                                114
  The Sheep Dog's Sagacity,                     115
  The Sheep Dog's Fidelity,                     117
  The St. Bernard,                              119
  The St. Bernard at Work,                      121
  The Greyhound,                                122
  The Greyhound's Affection,                    123
  The Lurcher,                                  124
  The Bloodhound,                               125
  The Scent of the Bloodhound,                  126
  The Stag Hound,                               127
  A Stag Hunt,                                  127
  The Fox Hound,                                128
  The Fox Hound's Tenacity,                     128
  The Harrier,                                  129
  The Beagle,                                   129
  The Dalmatian Dog,                            130
  The Turnspit,                                 130
  The Turnspit's Sagacity,                      130
  The Pointer,                                  130
  The Pointer's Intelligence,                   131
  The Setter,                                   132
  Pointers and Setters,                         132
  The Sagacity of the Setter,                   133
  The Spaniel,                                  134
  The Sagacity of the Water Spaniel,            135
  The Terrier,                                  136
  The Mastiff,                                  136
  The Fidelity of the Mastiff,                  136
  The Intelligence of the Mastiff,              137
  The Mastiff as a Protector,                   137
  The Bull Dog,                                 138
  The Poodle,                                   139
  The Shoe-black's Poodle,                      139
  Weasels, Otters, and Badgers,                 140
  The Polecat,                                  140
  The Weasel,                                   140
  The Weasel and the Kite,                      141
  The Common Otter,                             141
  The Badger,                                   142
  The Ratel and the Skunk,                      143
  The Skunk,                                    144
  The Raccoon and the Coati,                    145
  The Bear,                                     145
  The Polar Bear,                               146
  The Black Bear,                               147
  The Docility of the Bear,                     148
  The Grizzly Bear,                             149
  The Brown Bear,                               151
  The Malayan Bear,                             151


  Sea Lions,                                    152
  Sea Bears,                                    153
  The Walrus,                                   154
  The Common Seal,                              155
  The Seal's Docility,                          156


  The Right Whale,                              158
  The Sperm Whale,                              159
  The Dolphin,                                  159
  The White Whale,                              160
  The Narwhal,                                  160
  The Porpoise,                                 161
  The Grampus,                                  161


  The Sea Cow,                                  162


  The Horse,                                    162
  The Arabian Horse,                            163
  The Horse's Affection,                        165
  The Domestic Horse,                           166
  The Structure of a Horse,                     167
  The Horse's Speed,                            169
  The Horse's Endurance,                        170
  The Horse's Memory,                           171
  The Force of Habit,                           172
  The Intelligence of the Horse,                174
  Horse-Play,                                   176
  Horses and Dogs,                              177
  The Ass,                                      178
  The Sagacity of the Ass,                      180
  The Instinct of the Ass,                      181
  The Trained Ass,                              182
  The Mule and the Hinny,                       183
  The Zebra,                                    183
  The Tapir,                                    183
  The Rhinoceros,                               184
  Rhinoceros Hunting,                           186
  The Tame Rhinoceros,                          187
  The Hippopotamus,                             188
  The Haunt of the Hippopotami,                 189
  The Pig Family,                               190
  The Boar,                                     190
  The Common Hog,                               191
  The Babiroussa,                               192
  The Peccary,                                  192
  The Camel and the Dromedary,                  192
  The Strength of the Camel,                    193
  The Camel and his Master,                     194
  Camel Riding,                                 195
  A Camel's Revenge,                            195
  The Terrors of the Desert,                    196
  The Llama,                                    198
  The Deer,                                     198
  The Red Deer,                                 199
  A Stag Hunt,                                  200
  The Tame Stag,                                201
  The Reindeer,                                 201
  The Moose or Elk,                             204
  The Fallow Deer and the Roebuck,              204
  The Giraffe,                                  205
  The History of the Giraffe,                   205
  Hollow-Horned Ruminants,                      206
  The Bull, the Bison, and the Buffalo,         207
  The Bull, The Ox, The Cow,                    207
  The Bull,                                     208
  The Brahmin Bull,                             209
  The Ox,                                       209
  The Cow,                                      210
  The Pride of a Cow,                           210
  The Bison,                                    211
  Hunting the Bison,                            212
  The Buffalo,                                  213
  Hunting the Indian Buffalo,                   213
  The Cape Buffalo,                             214
  Hunting the Cape Buffalo,                     215
  The Zebu,                                     216
  The Yak,                                      216
  The Antelope,                                 216
  The Gazelle,                                  217
  The Sheep and the Goat,                       217
  The Intelligence of the Sheep,                218
  Animals and Music,                            218


  The Elephant,                                 219
  The Wild Elephant,                            220
  Elephant Herds,                               221
  Elephant Friendships,                         223
  The Sagacity of the Elephant,                 224
  A Centenarian Elephant,                       224
  An Elephant Nurse,                            225
  The Intelligence of the Elephant,             225


  The Conies,                                   226


  Animals that Gnaw,                            226
  Rats and Mice,                                227
  The Rat Family,                               227
  The Hamster,                                  228
  Swarms of Rats,                               228
  Invaded by Rats,                              229
  Migrations of Rats,                           230
  The Intelligence of Rats,                     231
  Saved by a Rat,                               231
  The Mouse,                                    232
  The Harvest Mouse,                            233
  The Field Mouse,                              233
  The Dormouse,                                 233
  The Jerboa,                                   234
  The Beaver,                                   234
  The European Beaver,                          234
  The American Beaver,                          235
  The Squirrel,                                 237
  The Squirrel at Home,                         238
  Tame Squirrels,                               239
  The Marmot, the Bobak, the Prairie Dog,       240
  The Chinchilla,                               240
  The Porcupine,                                240
  The Guinea-Pig,                               241
  Hares and Rabbits,                            241
  The Common Hare,                              241
  The Intelligence of the Hare,                 242
  A Hunted Hare,                                243
  Tame Hares,                                   244
  The Common Rabbit,                            245


  The Sloth,                                    245
  The Pangolin,                                 246
  The Armadillo,                                246
  The Cape Ant-Bear,                            246
  The Ant-Eater,                                247


  The Opossum,                                  247
  The Kangaroo,                                 247
  Kangaroo Hunting,                             248


  The Duck-billed Platypus,                     249
  The Australian Hedgehog,                      249

  =Class II.--Aves=

  Classification,                               250


  Perching Birds,                               250
  The Thrushes,                                 251
  The Common Thrush,                            251
  The Missel Thrush,                            252
  The Blackbird,                                252
  The Mocking Bird,                             234
  The Tailor Bird,                              255
  The Golden Crested Wren,                      255
  The Migration of Birds,                       255
  The Willow Wren,                              256
  The Common Wren,                              256
  A Wren's Music Lesson,                        257
  The House Wren,                               257
  The Nightingale,                              258
  The Song of the Nightingale,                  258
  The Robin Redbreast,                          259
  The Intelligence of the Robin,                260
  The Titmouse,                                 260
  The Golden Oriole,                            261
  The Shrike,                                   262
  The Jay,                                      262
  The Blue Jay,                                 263
  The Magpie,                                   264
  The Habits of the Magpie,                     264
  The Raven,                                    266
  Unnatural Parents,                            267
  The Tame Raven,                               268
  The Raven and the Dog,                        269
  The Rook,                                     270
  The Carrion Crow,                             270
  The Jackdaw,                                  271
  The Chough,                                   271
  The Bird of Paradise,                         271
  Hunting the Bird of Paradise,                 272
  The Tanagers,                                 273
  The Tanager,                                  273
  The Swallow,                                  273
  Swallows in Council,                          274
  The House Martin,                             274
  The Sand Martin,                              275
  The Chaffinch. The Goldfinch. The Greenfinch, 275
  The Linnet,                                   276
  The Canary,                                   276
  The Tame Canary,                              277
  The Crossbill,                                277
  The Bunting,                                  277
  The Starling,                                 278
  The Common Starling,                          278
  The Weaver Bird,                              278
  The Lark,                                     279
  The Maternal Instinct of the Lark,            280
  The Lark and the Hawk,                        281
  The Wagtails and the Pipits,                  281
  The Ant-Eaters,                               282
  The King Bird,                                282
  The Chatterers,                               282
  The Lyre Bird,                                283

  Climbers and Gapers,                          283

  The Woodpecker,                               284
  The Wryneck,                                  284
  The Cuckoo,                                   284
  The Cuckoo and the Hedge-Sparrow,             285
  The Cuckoo and the Thrush,                    286
  The Trogons,                                  287
  The Kingfishers,                              287
  The Hornbill,                                 287
  The Goat-Suckers,                             288
  The Whip-poor-Will,                           288
  The Chuck-Will's-Widow,                       288
  The Swifts,                                   289
  The Humming Bird,                             289


  The Parrots,                                  290
  The Intelligence of the Parrot,               290
  Famous Parrots,                               291
  The Grey Parrot,                              292
  Parrot Talk,                                  293


  Pigeons,                                      294
  Carrier Pigeons,                              294
  Pigeons on the Wing,                          295


  Fowls,                                        297
  The Peacock,                                  297
  The Pheasant,                                 298
  The Partridge,                                299
  The Wild Turkey,                              300
  The Domestic Turkey,                          300
  The Sagacity of the Turkey,                   300
  Sitting Turkey Cocks,                         301
  Domestic Fowls,                               302
  The Common Hen,                               303


  The Hoazin,                                   304


  Birds of Prey,                                304
  The Eagle,                                    305
  Eagle Shooting,                               305
  The White-headed Eagle,                       306
  The Vultures,                                 307
  The Condor,                                   308
  The King of the Vultures,                     308
  A Feast of Vultures,                          309
  The Secretary Bird,                           310
  The Kite. The Osprey. The Buzzard,            311
  The Falcon,                                   311
  The Sparrow-Hawk,                             312
  The Owl,                                      313


  Wading Birds,                                 314
  The Cranes,                                   314
  The Heron,                                    314
  The Bittern,                                  315
  The Stork,                                    315
  The Jealousy of the Stork,                    315
  A Stork's Revenge,                            316


  The Goose,                                    316
  The Gratitude of the Goose,                   316
  A Wild Goose Chase,                           317
  Goose Friendships,                            317
  The Goose and the Dog,                        318
  The Maternal Instinct of the Goose,           318
  The Duck,                                     319
  The Swan,                                     319
  The Maternal Instinct of the Swan,            320
  The Intelligence of the Swan,                 320
  The Swan and the Fawn,                        321
  The Common Sea-Gull,                          321
  A Tame Sea-Gull,                              321
  Mother Carey's Chicken,                       322
  Catching the Stormy Petrel,                   322
  The Cormorant,                                323
  The Albatross,                                324
  The Pelican,                                  325
  A Tame Pelican,                               325
  The Penguin,                                  326
  The Puffin,                                   327


  The Ostrich,                                  328
  The Ostrich and its Young,                    328
  The Rhea. The Cassowary. The Emu,             329

  =Class III.--Reptilia=


  The Tortoise and the Turtle,                  331
  The Elephant Tortoise,                        332
  The Turtle,                                   333


  The Crocodile,                                334
  The Alligator,                                335
  A Tame Alligator,                             336


  Hatteria Punctata,                            337


  The Lizards,                                  337
  The Chameleon,                                337
  The Iguana,                                   338
  The Common Lizard,                            338
  The Monitor,                                  339


  Snakes,                                       339
  The Viper,                                    340
  The Viper and its Young,                      340
  The Rattlesnake,                              341
  The Sting of the Rattlesnake,                 341
  The Black Snake and the Rattlesnake,          342
  The Cobra,                                    342
  Snake Charming,                               343
  The Cobra as Companion of the Bath,           344
  A Night with a Cobra,                         345
  An Unpleasant Bedfellow,                      346
  The Boa Constrictor,                          346
  The Boa and its Prey,                         346
  The Boa's Appetite,                           347
  A Terrible Boa,                               348
  A Narrow Escape,                              349

  =Class IV.--Batrachia=

  The Batrachia,                                350
  The Common Toad,                              351
  Tame Toads,                                   351
  The Common Frog,                              352
  The Ingenuity of the Frog,                    352
  The Tree Frog,                                353

  =Class V.--Pisces=

  Fishes,                                       354
  The Stickleback,                              354
  The Stickleback and the Leech,                355
  The Mackerel,                                 356
  The Sword Fish,                               356
  The Cod,                                      357
  The Salmon,                                   358
  The Pike,                                     359
  The Herring,                                  360
  The Flying Fish,                              360
  The Eel,                                      361
  The Gymnotus,                                 362
  Catching the Gymnotus,                        362
  The Torpedo,                                  366
  The Shark,                                    366
  The White Shark,                              367
  Sharks in the South Seas,                     367
  The Rays,                                     368
  Ray Catching,                                 369



Science is classified truth. Men study the heavenly bodies, note their
characteristics, observe their movements, and define their
relationships; and having verified their deductions by repeated
experiments, arrange the truths they have discovered into systems, and
by classifying their knowledge reduce it to a science: this science they
call Astronomy. Astronomy is thus the classified arrangement of all
known truths concerning the heavenly bodies. Geology, similarly, is the
classified arrangement of all known truths concerning the material
structure of the Earth.

The Kingdoms of Nature.

The Natural World has been variously divided for the purposes of study.
Linnæus divided it into three kingdoms; (I) the Mineral kingdom (II) the
Vegetable kingdom and (III) the Animal kingdom, thus naming the three
kingdoms in the order of their natural geneses. The Mineral kingdom
comprises the _inorganic_ forms of nature,--those which have no organism
and which can only increase by external addition. The Vegetable and
Animal kingdoms comprise the organic life of nature,--those forms which
are provided with means for promoting their own development and
propagating species. The Vegetable kingdom, while easily distinguishable
from the Mineral kingdom is in some of its forms so similar to the lower
forms of animal life as to suggest relationship between the two; while
the Animal kingdom, beginning with the lower forms which approximate so
closely to vegetable forms, embraces the whole range of animal life and
reaches its highest order in man. The science which treats of organic
life as a whole is called Biology, while its two departments are
separately known as Botany and Zoology. Natural History is a general
term popularly applied to the study of Zoology.


Zoology is the science of animal life. It deals with the origin of
species, and the evolution of the varied forms of animated nature, and
treats of the structure, habits, and environment of all living
creatures. Scientifically speaking, Zoology is the classified
arrangement of all known truths concerning all animal organisms.


For convenience in study the Animal kingdom is divided into seven
Sub-kingdoms, each of which is further divided into classes. These
Sub-kingdoms are known as: I Vertebrata, II Arthropoda, III Mollusca, IV
Echinodermata, V Vermes, VI Cœlenterata, and VII Protozoa. Sub-kingdom
I, Vertebrata, includes all animals distinguished by the possession of
Vertebræ or back-bones, and its classes are I _Mammalia_:--animals that
suckle their young; II _Aves_:--Birds; III _Reptilia_:--Reptiles; IV
_Batrachia_:--Frogs, Toads, etc.; and V _Pisces_:--Fishes. Sub-kingdom
II, Arthropoda, includes the Insect families, etc., which it also
divides into classes. Sub-kingdom III, Mollusca, animals of the
cuttle-fish order, including limpets, oysters, and slugs. Sub-kingdom
IV, Echinodermata, a large number of marine animals, such as the
star-fish and the sea-urchin. Sub-kingdom V, Vermes, the various classes
of worms. Sub-kingdom VI, Cœlenterata, corals and sponges, etc., etc.,
and Sub-kingdom VII, Protozoa, protoplasms and the lowest forms of
animal life. This volume is devoted to the illustration of the first of
these sub-kingdoms, the Vertebrata, with its five classes, Mammalia,
Aves, Reptilia, Batrachia and Pisces.

[Illustration: The Gorilla]






The most perfect of all animals is man, for besides having a marvellous
animal organism he possesses reason, which so far transcends the highest
instincts of other animals, that it places him in a category by himself.


Man-shaped Animals.

Next to man it is convenient to deal with man-shaped animals,
(_anthropoidea_)--those animals which most resemble him in external
appearance and internal organism. This brings us to the order called
_Quadrumana_ or four-handed animals which include Lemurs and their
allied forms, and manlike monkeys. Monkeys are divided into five
families, one at least of which has to be further divided into
sub-families to accommodate its variety. These families are: I The Apes;
II The Sacred Monkeys; III The Cheek-pouched Monkeys; IV The Cebidae,
with its several sub-families, and V The Marmosets. The first three of
these families inhabit the old world, the last two belong to the new.

The Ape Family.

The family of the Apes includes the Gorilla, the Chimpanzee, the
Orang-utan or mias, the Gibbons or long-armed Apes, and the Siamang; of
these the Gorilla and the Chimpanzee belong to the West of Africa, the
Orang-utan to Borneo, the Gibbons to Assam, the Malay Peninsula, Java,
Sumatra, Borneo, Cambodia and Hainan, and the Siamang to Java and

The Gorilla.

The gorilla is the largest of the ape family, and sometimes attains to
the height of six feet. It is also the fiercest, if not the strongest,
of man-shaped animals. It belongs to the genus Troglodytes of which the
chimpanzee is the only other species, and it inhabits a somewhat limited
range of Equatorial Africa, where it makes for itself nests of sticks
and foliage, among the lower branches of trees, and lives upon berries,
nuts and fruits. Though apparently a vegetarian the gorilla has enormous
physical strength. His arms bear much the same proportion to the size of
his body as those of man do relatively, but his lower limbs are shorter,
and have no calves, the leg growing thicker from the knee downwards. The
hands are broad, thick, and of great length of palm, and are remarkable
for their strength; the feet, broader than those of man, and more like
hands, are very large and of great power. The gorilla uses his hands
when walking or running, but as his arms are longer than those of other
apes, and his legs shorter he stoops less than they do in moving from
place to place. The gorilla herds in small companies, or rather
families, one adult male being the husband and father of the band. The
females are much smaller than the males.

The Ancestors of the Gorilla.

The gorilla, though rediscovered in recent years, was apparently known
to the ancients. Hanno, a Carthaginian admiral who flourished some five
or six hundred years B.C., once sailed from Carthage with a fleet of
sixty vessels and a company of 30,000 persons, under instructions to
proceed past the Pillars of Hercules (the Straits of Gibraltar), with a
view to planting colonies on the western coast of Africa. In the course
of their travels they discovered several islands inhabited by wild
creatures with hairy bodies. "There were," says the ancient navigator,
"many more females than males, all equally covered with hair on all
parts of the body. The interpreters called them _gorillas_. On pursuing
them, we could not succeed in taking a single male, they all escaped
with astonishing swiftness, and threw stones at us; but we took three
females, who defended themselves with so much violence, that we were
obliged to kill them; but we brought their skins, stuffed with straw, to
Carthage." Professor Owen remarks upon this that "though such creatures
would suggest to Hanno and his crew no other idea of their nature than
that of a kind of human being, yet the climbing faculty, the hairy body,
and the skinning of the dead specimens strongly suggest that they were
great apes. The fact that apes somewhat resembling the negroes, of human
size and with hairy bodies, still exist on the west coast of Africa
renders it highly probable that such were the creatures which Hanno saw,
captured, and called 'gorullai'."

A Gorilla Hunt.

Paul du Chaillu, in his "Stories of the Gorilla Country," gives a
graphic description of his first sight of these "wild men of the woods."
He was inspecting the ruins of a native village with a party of
Africans, when they discovered footprints which the natives immediately
recognised as those of the gorilla. "It was," says he, "the first time I
had seen the footprints of these wild men of the woods, and I cannot
tell you how I felt. Here was I now, it seemed, on the point of meeting,
face to face, that monster, of whose ferocity, strength and cunning, the
natives had told me so much, and which no man before had hunted. By the
tracks it was easy to know that there must have been several gorillas in
company. We prepared at once to follow them. My men were remarkably
silent, for they were going on an expedition of more than usual risk;
for the male gorilla is literally the king of the forest--the king of
the equatorial regions. He and the crested lion of Mount Atlas are the
two fiercest and strongest beasts of that continent. The lion of South
Africa cannot be compared with either for strength or courage. As we
left the camp, the men and women left behind crowded together, with fear
written on their faces. Miengai, Ngolai, and Makinda set out for the
hunt in one party; myself and Yeava formed another. We determined to
keep near each other, so that in case of trouble we might be at hand to
help one another. For the rest silence and a sure aim were the only
cautions to be given. I confess that I was never more excited in my
life. For years I had heard of the terrible roar of the gorilla, of its
vast strength, of its fierce courage when only wounded. I knew that we
were about to pit ourselves against an animal which even the enormous
leopards of the mountains fear, which the elephants let alone and which
perhaps has driven away the lion out of his territory; for the king of
beasts, so numerous elsewhere in Africa, is not met with in the land of
the gorilla. We descended a hill, crossed a stream on a fallen log,
crept under the trees, and presently approached some huge boulders of
granite. In the stream we had crossed we could see plainly that the
animals had just crossed it, for the water was still disturbed. Along
side of the granite blocks lay an immense dead tree, and about this the
gorillas were likely to be. Our approach was very cautious. With guns
cocked and ready we advanced through the dense wood, which cast a gloom
even at mid-day over the whole scene. I looked at my men and saw that
they were even more excited than myself. Slowly we pressed on through
the dense bush, dreading almost to breathe for fear of alarming the
beasts. Makinda was to go to the right of the rock, while I took the
left. Unfortunately he and his party circled it at too great a distance.
The watchful animals saw him. Suddenly I was startled by a strange,
discordant, half human cry, and beheld four young and half-grown
gorillas running towards the deep forest. I was not ready. We fired but
hit nothing. Then we rushed on in pursuit; but they knew the woods
better than we. Once I caught a glimpse of one of the animals again;
but an intervening tree spoiled my mark, and I did not fire. We pursued
them till we were exhausted, but in vain. I protest I felt almost like a
murderer when I saw the gorilla this first time. As they ran on their
hind legs with their heads down, their bodies inclined forward, their
whole appearance was that of hairy men running for their lives. Add to
this their cry, so awful yet with something human in its discordance,
and you will cease to wonder that the natives have the wildest
superstitions about these 'wild men of the woods.'"

Du Chaillu's First Gorilla.

In his "Explorations and Adventures in Equatorial Africa" du Chaillu
gives an equally thrilling account of the capture of his first gorilla.
He says: "We started early, and pushed through the most dense and
impenetrable part of the forest; in hopes to find the very home of the
beast I so much wished to shoot. Hour after hour we travelled and yet no
signs of gorillas. Only the everlasting, little, chattering monkeys--and
not many of these--and occasionally birds. Suddenly Miengai uttered a
little cluck with his tongue which is the native way of showing that
something is stirring and that a sharp look-out is necessary. And
presently I noticed, ahead of us seemingly, a noise as of some one
breaking down branches or twigs of trees. This was a gorilla--I knew at
once by the eager satisfied looks of the men. We walked with the
greatest care making no noise at all. Suddenly, as we were yet creeping
along, in a silence which made a heavy breath seem loud and distinct,
the woods were at once filled with the tremendous barking roar of the
gorilla. Then the underbrush swayed rapidly just ahead, and presently
before us stood an immense male gorilla. He had gone through the jungle
on all fours; but when he saw our party he erected himself and looked us
boldly in the face. He stood about a dozen yards from us, and was a
sight I think I shall never forget. Nearly six feet high (he proved
four inches shorter), with immense body, huge chest, and great muscular
arms, with fiercely glaring, large, deep gray eyes, and a hellish
expression of face, which seemed to me like some nightmare vision: thus
stood before us this king of the African forest. He was not afraid of
us. He stood there and beat his breast with his huge fists till it
resounded like an immense bass-drum, which is the gorillas' mode of
offering defiance; meantime giving vent to roar after roar. The roar of
the gorilla is the most singular and awful noise heard in these African
woods. It begins with a sharp _bark_, like an angry dog, then glides
into a deep bass _roll_, which literally and closely resembles the roll
of distant thunder along the sky. So deep is it that it seems to proceed
less from the mouth and throat than from the deep chest and vast paunch.
His eyes began to flash fiercer fire as we stood motionless on the
defensive, and the crest of short hair which stands on his forehead
began to twitch rapidly up and down, while his powerful fangs were shown
as he again sent forth his thunderous roar. He advanced a few
steps--then stopped to utter that hideous roar again--advanced again,
and finally stopped when at a distance of about six yards from us. And
here, just as he began another of his roars, beating his breast with
rage, we fired, and killed him. With a groan which had something
terribly human in it, and yet was full of brutishness, he fell forward
on his face. The body shook convulsively for a few minutes, the limbs
moved about in a struggling way, and then all was quiet: death had done
its work, and I had leisure to examine the huge body. It proved to be
five feet eight inches high, and the muscular development of the arms
and breast showed what immense strength it had possessed." A smaller
gorilla, shot by M. du Chaillu on another occasion, measured five feet
six inches in height, fifty inches round the chest, and his arms had a
spread of seven feet two inches.

A Young Gorilla.

A young gorilla which some natives succeeded in capturing for M. du
Chaillu, and which he named "Fighting Joe," forms the subject of one of
his most interesting chapters. The young cub was caught by the adroit
use of a cloth which one of the natives managed to throw over his head,
but not until he had severely bitten one of his captors in the hand and
taken a mouthful out of the leg of another. He was about three years
old, three feet six inches in height and of great strength. A cage was
made for him, from which he twice escaped, on each occasion being
recaptured by the use of fishing nets. On his first escape he concealed
himself under the bed in M. du Chaillu's house. "Running in," says the
writer, "to get one of my guns, I was startled by an angry growl. It was
master Joe; there was no mistake about it; I knew his growl too well. I
cleared out faster than I came in. I instantly shut the windows and
called in my people to guard the door. When Joe saw the crowd of black
faces he became furious, and with his eyes glaring, and every sign of
rage in his face and body, he got out from beneath the bed. He was about
to make a rush at all of us. He was not afraid. A stampede of my men
took place, I shut the door quickly (from outside) and left Joe master
of the premises." While the men outside were devising means for his
recapture, the young gorilla carefully inspected the furniture and M. du
Chaillu became apprehensive for the safety of his clock, the ticking of
which was likely to attract unwelcome attention. However, by means of a
net dexterously thrown over him, he was secured once more and carried
back to his cage, which in the meantime had been repaired, the full
strength of four men being required for the purpose. On his second
escape he made for the woods and took refuge in a large clump of trees.
"This we surrounded," says M. du Chaillu. "He did not ascend a tree, but
stood defiantly at the border of the wood. About one hundred and fifty
of us surrounded him. As we moved up he began to yell, and made a dash
upon a poor fellow who was in advance. The fellow ran and tumbled down
in affright. By his fall he escaped the tender mercies of Joe's teeth;
but he also detained the little rascal long enough for the nets to be
thrown over him." But Joe was a child of nature and could not live with
the chain of civilisation around his neck, and he died somewhat suddenly
some ten days afterwards and finally found his way to the British

Gorilla Superstitions.

According to du Chaillu, the natives entertain many superstitions about
the gorilla, among the commonest of which is the belief that some
gorillas are inhabited by human spirits. In his "Stories of the Gorilla
Country" he gives an interesting illustration of this. "In the evening,"
he says, "the men told stories about gorillas. 'I remember,' said one,
'my father told me he once went out to the forest, when just in his path
he met a great gorilla. My father had his spear in his hand. When the
gorilla saw the spear he began to roar; then my father was terrified and
dropped the spear. When the gorilla saw that my father had dropped the
spear he was pleased. He looked at him, and then left him and went into
the thick forest. Then my father was glad and went on his way.' Here all
shouted: 'Yes! so we must do when we meet the gorilla. Drop the spear;
that appeases him.' Next Gambo spoke. 'Several dry seasons ago, a man
suddenly disappeared from my village after an angry quarrel. Some time
after an Ashira of that village was out in the forest. He met a very
large gorilla. That gorilla was the man who had disappeared; he had
turned into a gorilla. He jumped upon the poor Ashira and bit a piece
out of his arm; then he let him go. Then the man came back with the
bleeding arm. He told me this, I hope we shall not meet such gorillas.'
_Chorus_: 'No; we shall not meet such wicked gorillas.' "I myself," says
du Chaillu, "afterwards met that man in the Ashira country. I saw his
maimed arm and he repeated the same story." Then one of the men spoke
up: 'If we kill a gorilla to-morrow, I should like to have a part of the
brain for a fetich. Nothing makes a man so brave as to have a fetich of
gorilla's brain. That gives a man a strong heart.' _Chorus_ (of those
who remained awake) 'Yes; that gives a man a strong heart.'" A fetich of
the brain of the gorilla is said also to help its owner in love as well
as war.

The Chimpanzee.

The chimpanzee is a near neighbour of the gorilla in Equatorial Africa
though he appears to have a more extended range. He is found in Sierra
Leone and in the country lying to the north of the river Congo, and
according to native accounts is gregarious in his habits, travelling in
formidable companies, who carry sticks and make effective use of them.
They are said to reach maturity at nine or ten years of age and to
attain a height of from four to five feet. Like the gorillas they have
immensely powerful limbs, and have been known without apparent effort to
break off branches of trees which a man would have been powerless to

The Docility and Sagacity of the Chimpanzee.

The chimpanzee differs from the gorilla in his amenability to
civilisation. The gorilla, however young, seems incapable of being
tamed; while the chimpanzee in its infancy and youth at least has often
been domesticated, though like most other apes, as it approaches
maturity, it needs to be kept under strong control. Captain Brown in his
"Habits and Characteristics of Animals and Birds" gives the following
illustration of the docility and sagacity of the chimpanzee. He says:
"M. de Grandpré saw, on board of a vessel, a female chimpanzee, which
exhibited wonderful proofs of intelligence. She had learnt to heat the
oven; she took great care not to let any of the coals fall out, which
might have done mischief in the ship; and she was very accurate in
observing when the oven was heated to the proper degree, of which she
immediately apprized the baker, who, relying with perfect confidence
upon her information, carried his dough to the oven as soon as the
chimpanzee came to fetch him. This animal performed all the business of
a sailor, spliced ropes, handled the sails, and assisted at unfurling
them; and she was, in fact considered by the sailors as one of
themselves. The vessel was bound for America; but the poor animal did
not live to see that country, having fallen a victim to the brutality of
the first mate, who inflicted very cruel chastisement upon her, which
she had not deserved. She endured it with the greatest patience, only
holding out her hands in a suppliant attitude, in order to break the
force of the blows she received. But from that moment she steadily
refused to take any food, and died on the fifth day from grief and
hunger. She was lamented by every person on board, not insensible to the
feelings of humanity, who knew the circumstances of her fate."

The Orang-utan.

The orang-utan is one of the largest of the ape species and until the
discovery of the gorilla was supposed to be the largest. It is said
sometimes to attain to the height of six feet, and some travellers'
tales credit it with even greater height. The orang is possessed of
great strength but is of a docile disposition when brought under
civilisation, and even in a wild state is often quiet and peaceable
except when attacked. It inhabits country that is low, level, and
swampy, and that is at the same time covered with lofty virgin forests.
It belongs to the genus _Simia_ of which it is the single species.

The Habits of the Orang-utan.

The following account of the orang is given by Mr. Brooke of Sarawak.
"On the habits of the orangs, as far as I have been able to observe
them, I may remark that they are as dull and as slothful as can well be
conceived, and on no occasion, when pursuing them, did they move so fast
as to preclude my keeping pace with them easily through a moderately
clear forest; and even when obstructions below (such as wading up to
the neck) allowed them to get away some distance, they were sure to stop
and allow us to come up. I never observed the slightest attempt at
defence; and the wood, which sometimes rattled about our ears, was
broken by their weight, and not thrown, as some persons represent. If
pushed to extremity, however, the pappan could not be otherwise than
formidable; and one unfortunate man, who with a party was trying to
catch one alive, lost two of his fingers, besides being severely bitten
on the face, whilst the animal finally beat off his pursuers and
escaped. When hunters wish to catch an adult, they cut down a circle of
trees round the one on which he is seated, and then fell that also, and
close before he can recover himself, and endeavour to bind him. The rude
hut which they are stated to build in the trees would be more properly
called a seat, or nest, for it has no roof or cover of any sort. The
facility with which they form this seat is curious; and I had an
opportunity of seeing a wounded female weave the branches together, and
seat herself in a minute. She afterwards received our fire without
moving, and expired in her lofty abode, whence it cost us much trouble
to dislodge her. The adult male I killed was seated lazily on a tree;
and when approached only took the trouble to interpose the trunk between
us, peeping at me and dodging as I dodged. I hit him on the wrist, and
he was afterwards despatched."

The Walk of the Orang-utan.

In locomotion the orang disdains the earth and perambulates the vernal
terraces of the forest trees. "It is a singular sight," says Mr.
Wallace, "to watch a mias (orang-utan) making his way leisurely through
a forest. He walks deliberately along some of the larger branches in the
semi-erect attitude which the great length of his arms and the shortness
of his legs cause him naturally to assume, and seems always to choose
those branches which intermingle with an adjoining tree, on approaching
which he stretches out his long arms, and seizing the opposing boughs,
grasps them together with both hands, seems to try their strength, and
then deliberately swings himself across to the next branch on which he
walks along as before. He never jumps or springs, or even appears to
hurry himself, and yet manages to get along almost as quickly as a
person can run through the forest beneath."

The Strength of the Orang-utan.

"The Dyaks," says Mr. Wallace, "all declare that the mias is never
attacked by any animal in the forest, with two rare exceptions; and the
accounts received of these are so curious that I give them nearly in the
words of my informants, old Dyak Chiefs, who had lived all their lives
in the places where the animal is most abundant. The first of whom I
enquired said, 'No animal is strong enough to hurt the mias, and the
only creature he ever fights with is the crocodile. When there is no
fruit in the jungle he goes to seek food on the banks of the river where
there are plenty of young shoots that he likes, and fruits that grow
close to the water. Then the crocodile sometimes tries to seize him, but
the mias gets upon him and beats him with his hands and feet, and tears
and kills him.' He added that he had once seen such a fight and that he
believed that the mias is always the victor. My next informant was Orang
Kayo or chief of the Balow Dyaks on the Simunjou River. He said the mias
has no enemies, no animals dare attack it but the crocodile and the
python. He always kills the crocodile by main strength, standing upon
it, and pulling open its jaws and ripping up its throat. If a python
attacks a mias he seizes it with his hands and then bites it, and soon
kills it. The mias is very strong; there is no animal in the jungle so
strong as he."

The Docility of the Orang-utan.

Buffon thus describes an orang-utan that he saw: "His aspect was
melancholy, his deportment grave, his movements regular, and his
disposition gentle. Unlike the baboon or the monkey, who are fond of
mischief, and only obedient through fear, a look kept him in awe; while
the other animals could not be brought to obey without blows. He would
present his hand to conduct the people who came to visit him, and walk
as gravely along with them as if he had formed a part of the company. I
have seen him sit down at table, when he would unfold his towel, wipe
his lips, use a spoon or a fork to carry his victuals to his mouth, pour
his liquor into a glass, and make it touch that of a person who drank
along with him. When invited to take tea, he would bring a cup and
saucer, place them on the table, put in sugar, pour out the tea, and
allow it to cool before he drank it. All this I have seen him perform
without any other instigation than the signs or the command of his
master, and often even of his own accord."

The Orang-utan's Intelligence.

M. de la Bosse thus describes two young orang-utans, male and female.
"We had these animals with us on shipboard. They ate at the same table
with us. When they wanted anything, they, by certain signs, acquainted
the cabin boy with their wishes; and if he did not bring it, they
sometimes flew into a rage at him, bit him in the arm, and not
unfrequently threw him down. The male fell sick during the voyage, and
submitted to be treated like a human patient. The disease being of an
inflammatory nature, the surgeon bled him twice in the right arm; and
when he afterwards felt himself indisposed, he used to hold out his arm
to be bled, because he recollected that he found himself benefited by
that operation on a former occasion."

The Orang-utan's Affection.

Dr. Tyson in describing one of the earliest specimens of the orang
brought to London, says that it conceived a great affection for those
with whom travel had made it familiar, frequently embracing them with
the greatest tenderness. A female orang belonging to a Dutch menagerie
showed the greatest affection for her attendants, giving unmistakable
signs of her delight in their company and distress in their absence. She
would often take the hay from her bed and spread it at her side and with
anxious and obvious signs invite her keeper to sit beside her. M.
Palavicini credited a pair of orangs which he had in his possession in
1759 with the still more remarkable quality in animals of bashfulness.
It is said that the female would shrink from the too persistent gaze of
a spectator, and throw herself into the arms of the male, hiding her
face in his bosom.

The Maternal Instinct.

In his "Marvels and Mysteries of Instinct," Mr. Garrett gives the
following instance of maternal affection. "A gentleman was out with a
party of men in Sumatra, when in some trees removed from a dense forest
a female orang-utan, with a young one in its arms, was discovered, and
the pursuit commenced. In the ardour of the moment, and excited by the
hope of possessing an animal so rare, the gentleman forgot everything
but the prize before him, and urged on his men by the promise of a
reward, should their exertions be successful. Thus stimulated they
followed up the chase; the animal, encumbered by her young one, making
prodigious efforts to gain the dense and intricate recesses of the wood,
springing from tree to tree, and endeavouring by every means to elude
her pursuers. Several shots were fired, and at length one took fatal
effect, the ball penetrating the right side of the chest. Feeling
herself mortally wounded, and with the blood gushing from her mouth, she
from that moment took no care of herself, but with a mother's feelings
summoned up all her dying energies to save her young one. She threw it
onwards over the tops of the trees, and from one branch to another,
taking the most desperate leaps after it herself, and again facilitating
its progress until, the intricacy of the forest being nearly gained, its
chances of success were sure. All this time the blood was flowing: but
her efforts had been unabated, and it was only when her young one was
on the point of attaining to a place of safety that she rested on one of
the topmost branches of a gigantic tree. True to her ruling passion,
even in death, she turned for a moment to gaze after her young one,
reeled, and fell head foremost to the ground. The sight was so touching
that it called forth the sympathy of the whole party. The eagerness of
the chase subsided; and so deep an impression did the maternal
tenderness and unexpected self-devotion of the poor orang make on the
gentleman alluded to, whose heart was indeed formed in 'nature's
gentlest mould,' that he expressed the utmost remorse and pity,
declaring that he would not go through the same scene again for all the
world; nor did the tragical death of the animal cease to haunt his mind
for many weeks, and he never afterwards recurred to it but with feelings
of emotion. The preserved skin is now in the Museum of the Zoological

Gibbons or Long Armed Apes.

The gibbons belong to the genus Hylobates, of which there are several
species. They are characterised by the ability to walk almost erect,
hence the name Hylobates. They live in the tops of trees, in large
companies and possess marvellous powers of locomotion, swinging
themselves from tree to tree with such rapidity as to baffle all
pursuit. When on the ground they balance themselves in walking by
holding their hands above their heads. The adult gibbon is about three
feet in height and has a reach of arms of about six feet. The gibbon is
tractable and capable of strong affection towards those who show it
kindness. One of the Hoolock species petted by Dr. Burrough, became
companionable and would sit at his master's breakfast-table, eat eggs
and chicken, and drink tea and coffee with great propriety. Fruit was
his favourite food, but insects were especially palatable to him and he
was an expert in catching flies. The siamang differs from the other
species of long-armed apes in the formation of its feet and in several
other characteristics. It is, however, similar to the Hoolock in its
amenity to kindness and its affection for its master, when brought under
the influence of kindly treatment. The gibbons have great strength in
their lower limbs, whereby they are enabled to leap surprising
distances. M. Duvaneel said he once saw one of these animals clear a
space of forty feet, from the branch of a tree. Mr. George Bennet, in
his "Wanderings," describes the action of a siamang that belonged to
him, which having managed to free himself of his tether, proceeded to
embrace the legs of the Malays whom he came across, until he discovered
his former master, whereupon he climbed into the Malay's arms and hugged
him with the tenderest affection.


Monkeys differ from the apes we have dealt with in the important
characteristic, among others, of possessing tails. These vary in length
from inches to feet, in some cases being considerably longer than the
body and in others little more than stumps. They vary also in form, some
being completely covered with hair, and others only partially so; some
apparently useful only as ornaments, others being prehensile, that is
capable of grasp, and giving their owners almost the advantage of a
fifth limb.

The Sacred Monkeys.

The Sacred Monkeys (_Semnopithecidæ_) include two genera and a large
number of species. Among these are the species which bear the name of
Hanumán, a Hindoo divinity, and are worshipped in his honour. The
protection these monkeys receive on account of the superstitions
prevalent concerning them, leads to their large increase in numbers and
to many inconveniences arising therefrom. It is said that if a traveller
should be unfortunate enough to offend one of these animals he is likely
enough to be followed by the whole party howling in a most hideous and
discordant manner, and pelting him with any missiles upon which they can
lay their hands. There are eighteen species of the Semnopithecus, all of
which are found in the East. Of these the Entellus is one of the best
known species. It is very susceptible to cold, and cannot live long in

The Long-nosed Monkey.

The Long-nosed Monkey (_Semnopithecus Larvatus_) belongs to this family
and is distinguished, as its name implies, by the length of its
proboscis. This animal is described by Wallace as about the size of a
child of three years of age, while possessing a nose considerably longer
than that of any human adult. From the head to the tip of the tail the
proboscis monkey measures about four feet and a half. It is sometimes
called the Kahau from its cry which resembles the sound of that word. It
is said to hold its nose when leaping to protect it from being injured
by the branches of trees. The second genus of this family, of which
there are numerous species, belongs to Africa.

Cheek-pouched Monkeys.

The Cheek-pouched Monkeys form the third family of the quadrumana. They
include seven genera, and sixty or seventy species, of which five genera
belong to Africa and two to Asia and to the Malay Islands. Among the
better known of these species is the Talapoin of West Africa; the Diana
monkey and the Mona (Africa); the little White-nosed monkey (Guinea);
the Grivet (Nubia and Abyssinia); the Green monkey (Cape de Verds); the
Patas (Senegal); the Malbrouck monkey; and the Vervet monkey (South
Africa). The Green monkey and the Vervet monkey are those most commonly
seen in England. One of the best known members of this family is the

The Baboon.

The baboon is found in many parts of Africa, and one of its species in
Arabia. It is of the genus _cynocephalus_, and some of its species
attain to considerable size; the head and face of one species resembling
those of a dog, it is sometimes called the dog-faced baboon. The baboon
herds in large numbers, and is said to make apparently organized attacks
upon villages during the absence of the peasants in harvest time,
placing sentinels on the look out, to apprise them of danger, while they
visit the houses and take possession of all the food they can find. They
are cunning and powerful, and formidable in combat, but, greedy in
habit, they eat to excess, and when gorged to satiety fall an easy prey
to their enemies. In their wild state they feed on berries and bulbous
roots, but when proximity to civilisation gives them wider opportunity,
they show their appreciation of a more varied menu. Among the more
familiar species of the baboon are the _Chackma_, the _Drill_, the
_Mandrill_, the _Anubis_, the _Babouin_, and the _Sphinx_, all of which
belong to the West of Africa.

The Arabian Baboon.

The Arabian baboon is an animal with a history. It was worshipped by the
Egyptians, who embalmed its body after death and set apart portions of
their cemeteries for its use. Sacred to Thoth, the Egyptian Hermes, the
God of letters, the baboon sometimes represents that deity in Egyptian
sculptures, where it is usually figured in a sitting posture, the
attitude in which its body was generally embalmed. The baboon was also
held as emblematic of the Moon, and honoured symbolically in other
connections. It is commonly represented in judgment scenes of the dead
with a pair of scales in front of it, Thoth being supposed to exercise
important duties in the final judgment of men. The baboon was held
especially sacred at Hermopolis. According to Sir J. G. Wilkinson the
Egyptians trained baboons to useful offices, making them torch-bearers
at their feasts and festivals.

The Imitative Faculty of the Baboon.

Like others of the monkey tribes the baboon shows an extraordinary
faculty for imitation. Captain Browne in his "Characteristics of
Animals" says: "The following circumstance is truly characteristic of
the imitative powers of the baboon:--The army of Alexander the Great
marched in complete battle-array into a country inhabited by great
numbers of baboons, and encamped there for the night. The next morning,
when the army was about to proceed on its march, the soldiers saw, at
some distance, an enormous number of baboons, drawn up in rank and file,
like a small army, with such regularity, that the Macedonians, who could
have no idea of such a manœuvre, imagined at first that it was the
enemy drawn up to receive them."

The Chackma Baboon.

The chackma lives among the mountains of the Cape of Good Hope, where he
attains about the size of an English mastiff and even greater strength.
He descends to the plains on foraging expeditions, and, when not
attacked, will usually make off on the approach of danger, but if
aroused to anger can both show and use his teeth, and is far superior to
the average English boy in throwing stones.

The Baboon's Utility.

Le Vaillant gives an interesting account of a chackma baboon which
accompanied him through South Africa, and which bore the name of Kees.
He says: "I made him my taster. Whenever we found fruits or roots, with
which my Hottentots were unacquainted, we did not touch them till Kees
had tasted them. If he threw them away, we concluded that they were
either of a disagreeable flavour, or of a pernicious quality, and left
them untasted. The monkey possesses a peculiar property, wherein he
differs greatly from other animals, and resembles man,--namely, that he
is by nature equally gluttonous and inquisitive. Without necessity, and
without appetite, he tastes every thing that falls in his way, or that
is given to him. But Kees had a still more valuable quality,--he was an
excellent sentinel; for, whether by day or night, he immediately sprang
up on the slightest appearance of danger. By his cry, and the symptoms
of fear which he exhibited, we were always apprized of the approach of
an enemy, even though the dogs perceived nothing of it. The latter, at
length, learned to rely upon him with such confidence, that they slept
on in perfect tranquillity. I often took Kees with me when I went
hunting; and when he saw me preparing for sport, he exhibited the most
lively demonstrations of joy. On the way, he would climb into the trees
to look for gum, of which he was very fond. Sometimes he discovered to
me honey, deposited in the clefts of rocks, or hollow trees. But, if he
happened to have met with neither honey nor gum, and his appetite had
become sharp by his running about, I always witnessed a very ludicrous
scene. In those cases, he looked for roots, which he ate with great
greediness, especially a particular kind, which, to his cost, I also
found to be very well tasted and refreshing, and therefore insisted upon
sharing with him. In order to draw these roots out of the ground, he
employed a very ingenious method, which afforded me much amusement. He
laid hold of the herbage with his teeth, stemmed his fore feet against
the ground, and drew back his head, which gradually pulled out the root.
But if this expedient, for which he employed his whole strength, did not
succeed, he laid hold of the leaves as before, as close to the ground as
possible, and then threw himself heels over head, which gave such a
concussion to the root, that it never failed to come out.

The Tame Baboon.

"Serpents excepted, there were no animals of whom Kees stood in such
great dread as of his own species,--perhaps owing to a consciousness of
loss of natural capacity. Sometimes he heard the cry of other apes among
the mountains, and, terrified as he was, he yet answered them. But, if
they approached nearer, and he saw any of them, he fled, with a hideous
cry, crept between our legs, and trembled over his whole body. It was
very difficult to compose him, and it required some time before he
recovered from his fright.

The Cunning of the Baboon

"Like all other animals, Kees was addicted to stealing. He understood
admirably well how to loose the strings of a basket, in order to take
victuals out of it, especially milk, of which he was very fond. My
people chastised him for these thefts; but that did not make him amend
his conduct. I myself sometimes whipped him; but then he ran away, and
did not return again to the tent until it grew dark. Once, as I was
about to dine, and had put the beans, which I had boiled for myself,
upon a plate, I heard the voice of a bird with which I was not
acquainted. I left my dinner standing, seized my gun, and ran out of the
tent. After the space of about a quarter of an hour I returned, with the
bird in my hand, but, to my astonishment, found not a single bean upon
the plate. Kees had stolen them all, and taken himself out of the way.
When he had committed any trespass of this kind, he used always, about
the time when I drank tea, to return quietly, and seat himself in his
usual place, with every appearance of innocence, as if nothing had
happened; but this evening he did not let himself be seen. And, on the
following day, also, he was not seen by any of us; and, in consequence,
I began to grow seriously uneasy about him, and apprehensive that he
might be lost for ever. But, on the third day, one of my people, who had
been to fetch water, informed me that he had seen Kees in the
neighbourhood, but that, as soon as the animal espied him, he had
concealed himself again. I immediately went out and beat the whole
neighbourhood with my dogs. All at once, I heard a cry, like that which
Kees used to make, when I returned from my shooting, and had not taken
him with me. I looked about, and at length espied him, endeavouring to
hide himself behind the large branches of a tree. I now called to him in
a friendly tone of voice, and made motions to him to come down to me.
But he could not trust me, and I was obliged to climb up the tree to
fetch him. He did not attempt to fly, and we returned together to my
quarters; here he expected to receive his punishment; but I did nothing,
as it would have been of no use.

The Loyalty of the Baboon.

"An officer, wishing to put the fidelity of my baboon to the test,
pretended to strike me. At this he flew in a violent rage, and, from
that time, could never endure the sight of the officer. If he only saw
him at a distance he began to cry, and make all kinds of grimaces, which
evidently showed that he wished to revenge the insult that had been done
to me; he ground his teeth; and endeavoured, with all his might, to fly
at his face, but that was out of his power, as he was chained down. The
offender several times endeavoured, in vain, to conciliate him, by
offering him dainties, but he remained long implacable.

The Intelligence of the Baboon.

"When any eatables were pilfered, at my quarters, the fault was always
laid upon Kees; and rarely was the accusation unfounded. For a time the
eggs, which a hen laid me, were constantly stolen, and I wished to
ascertain whether I had to attribute this loss also to him. For this
purpose I went one morning to watch him, and waited till the hen
announced, by her cackling, that she had laid an egg. Kees was sitting
upon my vehicle; but, the moment he heard the hen's voice, he leapt
down, and was running to fetch the egg. When he saw me, he suddenly
stopped, and affected a careless posture, swaying himself backwards upon
his hind legs, and assuming a very innocent look; in short, he employed
all his art to deceive me with respect to his design. His hypocritical
manœuvres only confirmed my suspicions, and, in order, in my turn, to
deceive him, I pretended not to attend to him, and turned my back to the
bush where the hen was cackling, upon which he immediately sprang to the
place. I ran after him, and came up to him at the moment when he had
broken the egg and was swallowing it. Having caught the thief in the
fact, I gave him a good beating upon the spot, but this severe
chastisement did not prevent his soon stealing fresh-laid eggs again. As
I was convinced that I should never be able to break Kees off his
natural vices, and that, unless I chained him up every morning, I should
never get an egg, I endeavoured to accomplish my purpose in another
manner; I trained one of my dogs, as soon as the hen cackled, to run to
the nest, and bring me the egg, without breaking it. In a few days, the
dog had learned his lesson; but Kees, as soon as he heard the hen
cackle, ran with him to the nest. A contest now took place between them,
who should have the egg; often the dog was foiled, although he was the
stronger of the two. If he gained the victory, he ran joyfully to me
with the egg, and put it into my hand. Kees, nevertheless, followed him,
and did not cease to grumble and make threatening grimaces at him, till
he saw me take the egg,--as if he was comforted for the loss of his
booty by his adversary's not retaining it for himself. If Kees had got
hold of the egg, he endeavoured to run with it to a tree, where, having
devoured it, he threw down the shells upon his adversary, as if to make
game of him. Kees was always the first awake in the morning, and, when
it was the proper time, he awoke the dogs, who were accustomed to his
voice, and, in general, obeyed, without hesitation, the slightest
motions by which he communicated his orders to them, immediately taking
their posts about the tent and carriage, as he directed them."

The Bonnet Monkey.

The bonnet monkey is of the genus macacus, and is to be found in many
parts of India. It is characterized by a bonnet, or cap of hair, which
radiates from the centre of the crown. It is known as the _Macacus
Radiatus_. Other species of the genus macacus are the _Rhesus_ monkey,
the _Wanderoo_, the _Barbary Ape_ or _Magot_, and the _Macaque_.

Indian Monkeys.

Many stories are told of the audacity of the Indian monkeys in which
those of the genus macacus come in for more than honourable mention.
Whether in their native haunts, or in European menageries, they are an
endless source of amusement and not unfrequently one of annoyance. In
their free state, they tax the ingenuity of native and European alike by
their mischievous habits and thievish propensities. They climb upon the
tops of the Bazaars and the slightest relapse from vigilance on the part
of the shopkeepers is sure to be followed by the loss or spoliation of
their wares. A common defence against these unwelcome intruders is to
cover the roofs with a certain prickly shrub, the thorns of which
command respect even from monkeys. Mrs. Bowdich says: "In some places
they are even fed, encouraged, and allowed to live on the roofs of
houses;" but this would be where the goods of the householder were
beyond their reach. "If a man wishes to revenge himself for any injury
committed upon him," says Mrs. Bowdich, "he has only to sprinkle some
rice or corn upon the top of his enemy's house or granary just before
the rain sets in, and the monkeys will assemble upon it, eat all they
can find outside, and then pull off the tiles to get at that which has
fallen through the crevices. This, of course, gives access to the
torrents which fall in such countries, and house, furniture and stores
are all ruined." Quoting from another writer, Mrs. Bowdich gives an
amusing description of the way in which one of these monkeys watched his
opportunity for making his descent upon a sweet-stuff shop. Taking up a
position opposite the shop, "he pretended to be asleep, but every now
and then softly raised his head to look at the tempting piles and the
owner of them, who sat smoking his pipe without symptoms even of a doze.
In half an hour the monkey got up, as if he were just awake, yawned,
stretched himself, and took another position a few yards off, where he
pretended to play with his tail, occasionally looking over his shoulder
at the coveted delicacies. At length the shopman gave signs of activity,
and the monkey was on the alert; the man went to his back room, the
monkey cleared the street at one bound, and in an instant stuffed his
pouches full of the delicious morsels. He had, however, overlooked some
hornets, which were regaling themselves at the same time. They resented
his disturbance, and the tormented monkey, in his hurry to escape, came
upon a thorn-covered roof, where he lay stung, torn, and bleeding. He
spurted the stolen bonbons from his pouches and barked hoarsely looking
the picture of misery. The noise of the tiles which he had dislodged in
his retreat brought out the inhabitants, and among them the vendor of
the sweets, with his turban unwound, and streaming two yards behind him.
All joined in laughing at the wretched monkey; but their religious
reverence for him induced them to go to his assistance: they picked out
his thorns and he limped away to the woods quite crestfallen."

The Monkey Outdone.

The writer, from whom Mrs. Bowdich quoted the above story, gives a
graphic account of the success of a stratagem he employed to rid himself
of the unwelcome visits of his monkey friends. "Although," says he, "a
good deal shyer of me than they were of the natives, I found no
difficulty in getting within a few yards of them; and when I lay still
among the brushwood they gambolled round me with as much freedom as if I
had been one of themselves. This happy understanding, however, did not
last long, and we soon began to urge war upon each other. The _casus
belli_ was a field of sugar-cane which I had planted on the newly
cleared jungle.

"Every beast of the field seemed leagued against this devoted patch of
sugar-cane. The wild elephants came and browzed in it; the jungle hogs
rooted it up, and munched it at their leisure; the jackals gnawed the
stalks into squash; and the wild deer ate the tops of the young plants.
Against all these marauders there was an obvious remedy,--to build a
stout fence round the cane-field. This was done accordingly; and a deep
trench dug outside, that even the wild elephant did not deem it prudent
to cross. The wild hogs came and inspected the trench and the palisades
beyond. A bristly old tusker was observed taking a survey of the
defences; but, after mature deliberation, he gave two short grunts, the
porcine (language), I imagined, for 'No go,' and took himself off at a
round trot, to pay a visit to my neighbour Ram Chunder, and inquire how
his little plot of sweet yams was coming on. The jackals sniffed at
every crevice, and determined to wait a bit; but the monkeys laughed the
whole entrenchment to scorn. Day after day was I doomed to behold my
canes devoured as fast as they ripened, by troops of jubilant monkeys.
It was of no use attempting to drive them away. When disturbed, they
merely retreated to the nearest tree, dragging whole stalks of
sugar-cane along with them, and then spurted the chewed fragments in my
face, as I looked up at them. This was adding insult to injury; and I
positively began to grow bloodthirsty at the idea of being outwitted by
monkeys. The case between us might have been stated in this way. 'I
have, at much trouble and expense, cleared and cultivated this jungle
land,' said I. 'More fool you,' said the monkeys. 'I have planted and
watched over these sugar-canes.' 'Watched! Ah, ah! so have we, for the
matter of that.' 'But surely I have a right to reap what I sowed.'
'Don't see it,' said the monkeys; 'the jungle, by rights prescriptive
and indefeasible, is ours, and has been so ever since the days of Ram
Hanumán of the long tail. If you cultivate the jungle without our
consent, you must look to the consequences. If you don't like our
customs, you may get about your business. We don't want you.' I kept
brooding over this mortifying view of the matter, until one morning I
hatched revenge in a practicable shape. A tree, with about a score of
monkeys on it, was cut down, and half a dozen of the youngest were
caught as they attempted to escape. A large pot of _ghow_ (treacle) was
then mixed with as much tarter emetic as could be spared from the
medicine chest, and the young hopefuls, after being carefully painted
over with the compound, were allowed to return to their distressed
relatives, who, as soon as they arrived, gathered round them and
commenced licking them with the greatest assiduity. The results I had
anticipated were not long in making their appearance. A more melancholy
sight it was impossible to behold; but so efficacious was this
treatment, that for more than two years I hardly ever saw a monkey in
the neighbourhood."

The Monkey Aroused.

Tavernier was once travelling from Agra to Surat with the English
president, when passing within a few miles of Amenabad through a forest
of mangoes, they experienced the danger of provoking such companies. He
says, "We saw a vast number of very large apes, male and female, many of
the latter having their young in their arms. We were each of us in our
coaches; and the English president stopped his to tell me that he had a
very fine new gun; and knowing that I was a good marksman, desired me to
try it, by shooting one of the apes. One of my servants, who was a
native of the country, made a sign to me not to do it; and I did all
that was in my power to dissuade the gentleman from his design, but to
no purpose; for he immediately levelled his piece, and shot a she ape,
who fell through the branches of the tree on which she was sitting, her
young ones tumbling at the same time out of her arms on the ground. We
presently saw that happen which my servant apprehended; for all the
apes, to the number of sixty, came immediately down from the trees, and
attacked the president's coach with such fury that they must infallibly
have destroyed him if all who were present had not flown to his relief,
and by drawing up the windows, and posting all the servants about the
coach, protected him from their resentment." That diplomacy is better
than war in dealing with bands of monkeys is shown by comparing the
results of the foregoing experiences.

The Monkeys' Affection.

That monkeys are capable of very poignant feeling is shown by the
following pathetic story. Mr. Forbes, in his "Oriental Memoirs,"
says:--"On a shooting party one of my friends killed a female monkey,
and carried it to his tent, which was soon surrounded by forty or fifty
of the tribe, who made a great noise, and in a menacing posture advanced
towards it. On presenting his fowling-piece they retreated, but one
stood his ground, chattering and menacing in a furious manner. He at
length came close to the tent door, and finding that his threatenings
were of no avail, began a lamentable moaning, and by every expression of
grief and supplication seemed to beg the body of the deceased. On this
it was given to him. He took it up in his arms, eagerly pressed it to
his bosom, and carried it off in a sort of triumph to his expecting
companions. The artless behaviour of this poor animal wrought so
powerfully on the sportsmen that they resolved never more to level a gun
at one of the monkey tribe."

American Monkeys.

To visit the family of the Cebidæ we have to cross the Atlantic Ocean,
and here we find characteristics with which the monkeys of the East are
unfamiliar, while we miss others which are common to the monkeys of the
old world. In passing from East to West we lose the cheek-pouch
characteristic and we find that of the prehensile tail. There are more
than eighty species in the family of the Cebidæ, divided into ten genera
and grouped in four sub-families. The first of the sub-families includes
the monkeys with prehensile tails.

The Capuchin Monkey.

The capuchins belong to the genus _Cebus_ which includes the majority of
American monkeys. There are a number of species of which the Brown
Capuchin (Brazil), the Wheeper Capuchin (Brazil), and the White-throated
Capuchin (Central America) are the best known.

The Spider Monkeys.

The Spider Monkey is of the genus _Ateles_ and is one of the best known
of the Cebidæ family. In it the prehensile tail reaches its perfection.
It is a remarkably sensitive organ, answering the purpose, as the Rev.
J. G. Wood puts it, of "a fifth hand," being capable of use "for any
purpose to which the hand could be applied," and for hooking out objects
from places "where a hand could not be inserted." According to Mr. Wood
they wrap their tails about them to protect themselves from cold, to
which they are very sensitive, and hold on by them to the branches of
trees with such tenacity that they remain suspended after death. The
prehensile part of the tail is naked and of extreme sensibility. The
tail is also used to preserve balance when walking erect, for which
purpose it is thrown up and curled over. The appearance of these
monkeys, as they leap from branch to branch in their native woods,
swinging by their tails, and often hanging on to those of each other,
until a living bridge is formed from tree to tree, is exceedingly

The Howling Monkeys.

The Howling Monkeys form the single genus of the second sub-family of
the Cebidæ--the genus Mycetes. There are a number of species, popularly
known as the "Golden Howler," the "Black Howler," &c. &c. They are
chiefly characteristic for the attribute to which they owe their name.
The howl is a loud mournful cry which can be heard at a great distance,
and is said by Wallace to proceed from the leader of the band who howls
for the whole company. These animals are larger and more clumsy than the
spider monkeys and therefore less agile; they have powerful, prehensile
tails. The "Howler" is much prized by the Indians as an article of food.

The Bearded Saki.

The third sub-family of the Cebidæ includes some dozen species which
inhabit the forests of Equatorial America. They are of the genus
_Pithecia_, and some species have broad beards and bushy tails. The head
of the Bearded Saki (_Pithecia Satanas_) has a singularly human

The Douroucouli.

The fourth sub-family of the Cebidæ includes several genera and a number
of species, of these the Douroucouli (_Nyctipithecus felinus_) is one of
the most interesting. It is a small monkey, measuring only thirteen
inches, apart from its tail, which is eighteen inches long: It is
catlike in some of its habits, sleeping during the day, and prowling
about at night in search of food, which it finds in fruits, insects and
small birds. It has a catlike mew, though it often makes a louder cry
more resembling the noise of the jaguar.

The Marmosets.

The fifth family of the quadrumana comprises the marmosets, of which
there are two genera--the _Hapale_ and the _Midas_. These are very
small, measuring about eight inches without the tail, which is eleven
inches long. The marmoset is one of the prettiest of the monkeys, and,
though at first shy, soon becomes playful and affectionate. Marmosets
are one of the few species that breed in confinement. Sir William
Jardine describes a marmoset who gave birth to three offspring in Paris.
One of these, for some reason, displeased her, and she killed it, but
upon the others beginning to suck the maternal instinct awoke, and she
became as affectionate as she was before careless. "The male seemed more
affectionate and careful of them than the mother, and assisted in the
charge. The young generally keep upon the back or under the belly of the
female, and Cuvier observed, that when the female was tired of carrying
them, she would approach the male with a shrill cry, who immediately
relieved her with his hands, placing them upon his back, or under his
belly, where they held themselves and were carried about until they
became restless for milk, when they were given over to the mother who,
in her turn, would again endeavour to get rid of them."

SUB-ORDER II. The Lemurs.

The lemurs and their allied forms make up the remaining families of the
quadrumana. These are three. The _Lemuridæ_, of which there are many
species, most of which belong to Madagascar, others to Africa, Asia, and
the Indian Archipelago; the _Tarsidæ_, which hail from Sumatra and
Borneo; and the _Chiromyidæ_, of which the aye-aye is the
representative. The _Lemuridæ_ are divided into four sub-families by
Professor Mivart. I, the Indri; II, the true Lemurs; III, the slow
Lemurs and IV, the Galagos. The lemur is nocturnal in its habits and
noiseless in its movements. Some of its species much resemble the cat in
appearance though its four hands unmistakably demonstrate its order. Sir
William Jones describes a Slow Lemur (_Nycticebus tardigradus_), which
he had in his possession, as "gentle except in the cold season, when his
temper seemed wholly changed." This animal expressed great resentment
when disturbed unseasonably. From half an hour after sunrise to half an
hour before sunset he slept without any intermission, rolled up like a
hedgehog: and as soon as he awoke he began to prepare himself for the
occupations of his approaching day, licking and dressing himself like a
cat--an operation which the flexibility of his neck and limbs enabled
him to perform very completely. He was then ready for a slight
breakfast, after which he commonly took a short nap; but when the sun
was quite set he recovered all his vivacity. "Generally he was not
voracious, but of grasshoppers he never could have enough; and passed
the whole night during the hot season in prowling for them. He used all
his paws indifferently as hands." Mrs. Bowdich tells of one of these
animals, procured by Mr. Baird at Prince of Wales Island, who shared a
cage with a dog to whom he became greatly attached, while nothing could
reconcile him to a cat, which constantly jumped over his back, causing
him great annoyance.

The Tarsier.

The tarsier (_Tarsius spectrum_) is a small, kitten-faced animal with
long hind legs, which enable it to leap like a frog. It is nocturnal in
habit, and is found in Sumatra, Borneo, and elsewhere.

The Aye-Aye.

The aye-aye (_Chiromys madagascariensis_) is a remarkable little animal
resembling, as Professor Owen says, in size and shape the domestic cat,
its head and ears being larger, and its hind legs and tail longer than
those of the cat. Dr. Sandwich, writing of one he had in his possession,
says:--"The thick sticks I put into his cage were bored in all
directions by a large and destructive grub, called the _montouk_. Just
at sunset the aye-aye crept from under his blanket, yawned, stretched
and betook himself to his tree. Presently he came to one of the
worm-eaten branches, which he began to examine most attentively, and
bending forward his ears, and applying his nose close to the bark, he
rapidly tapped the surface with the curious second digit, as a
woodpecker taps a tree, though with much less noise, from time to time
inserting the end of the slender finger into the worm-holes as a surgeon
would a probe. At length he came to a part of the branch which evidently
gave out an interesting sound, for he began to tear it with his strong
teeth. He rapidly stripped off the bark, cut into the wood, and exposed
the nest of a grub which he daintily picked out of its bed, with the
slender, tapping finger, and conveyed the luscious morsel to his mouth.
But I was yet to learn another peculiarity. I gave him water to drink in
a saucer, on which he stretched out his hand, dipped a finger into it
and drew it obliquely through his open mouth. After a while he lapped
like a cat, but his first mode of drinking appeared to me to be his way
of reaching water in the deep clefts of trees."


Wing-Handed Animals.

The animals which most nearly resemble the four-handed animals or
quadrumana are the wing-handed animals,--the bats or _Cheiroptera_.
These are of singular appearance and interesting habit. "If," says the
Rev. J. G. Wood, "the fingers of a man were to be drawn out like wire to
about four feet in length, a thin membrane to extend from finger to
finger, and another membrane to fall from the little finger to the
ankles, he would make a very tolerable imitation of a bat."--Of course,
it should be added, making allowance for proportion, the full grown male
bat, of the largest species, rarely exceeding twelve inches in height
from head to foot. Bats' wings are highly nervous and sensitive, so much
so as to render their owners almost independent of sight. Besides being
"well adapted for flight," says Dr. Percival Wright, "they are still
capable in a small measure of seizing, differing thus from the anterior
limbs of Birds."


Dr. Dobson divides the order _Cheiroptera_ into two sub-orders: I, The
Great Bats and II, The Smaller Bats. Of these there are numerous genera
and a large number of species. THE GREAT BATS abound in the tropical and
sub-tropical regions of the East, where they live on fruit, and from
this circumstance are classified as "fruit-eating bats," though they are
sometimes called "flying-foxes." The largest of these inhabit Sumatra
and Java, living in large companies, sleeping by day and foraging by
night. A large tree serves them for a sleeping-chamber, where,
suspending themselves head downwards from the branches, they wrap their
wings about them in lieu of blankets and sleep out the sunshine. After
sunset they gradually awake and proceed to ravage any fruit preserves
which may be within reach, committing serious depredations while the
owners outsleep the moon. According to Mr. Francis Day, "they do very
great injury to cocoa-nut plantations and mangoe gardens." "Their
habits," says Mr. Day, "are very intemperate, and they often pass the
night drinking the toddy from the chatties in the cocoa-nut trees, which
results either in their returning home in the early morning in a state
of extreme and riotous intoxication, or in being found the next day at
the foot of the trees, sleeping off the effects of their midnight
debauch." THE SMALLER BATS include several families, numerous genera,
and a large number of species to be found in almost all parts of the
world. These bats are chiefly insect-eaters, though included among them
are the vampire bats and the Megaderma lyra which have the reputation
of being cannibalistic. The various families are "The Horseshoe Bats,"
"The Nycteridæ," "The Vespertilionidæ," "The Emballonuridæ," and "The

The Common English Bats.

The common English bats belong to the Vespertilionidæ. The Pipistrelle
feeds upon insects but will eat flesh if opportunity serves. In his
"Natural History of Selbourne," Mr. White describes a tame bat which he
saw, which would take flies out of a person's hand. "If you gave it
anything to eat," he says, "it brought its wings round before the mouth,
hovering and hiding its head in the manner of birds of prey when they
feed. The adroitness it showed in shearing off the wings of the flies,
which were always rejected, pleased me much. Insects seemed to be most
acceptable, though it did not refuse raw flesh when offered; so that the
notion that bats go down chimneys and gnaw men's bacon seems no
improbable story." The Long-eared Bat, _Plecotus auritus_, is also
common in England. "Its ears," says Mr. Wood, "are about an inch and a
half in length and have a fold in them reaching almost to the lips,"
hence its name. "It is very easily tamed."

The Vampire Bat.

The Vampire Bat which belongs to South America has been invested with a
halo of romance by the stories which have been told about its sanguinary
character. "It lives," says the Rev. J. G. Wood, "on the blood of
animals, and sucks usually while its victim sleeps. The extremities,
where the blood flows freely, as the toe of a man, the ears of a horse,
or the combs and wattles of fowls, are its favourite spots. When it has
selected a subject, on which it intends to feed, it watches until the
animal is fairly asleep. It then carefully fans its victim with its
wings while it bites a little hole in the ear or shoulder, and through
this small aperture, into which a pin's head would scarcely pass, it
contrives to abstract sufficient blood to make a very ample meal. The
wound is so small, and the bat manages so adroitly, that the victim
does not discover that anything has happened until the morning, when a
pool of blood betrays the visit of the vampire. "The Vampire Bat," says
Professor Darwin, "is often the cause of much trouble by biting the
horses on their withers. The injury is not so much owing to the loss of
blood, as to the inflammation which the pressure of the saddle
afterwards produces. The whole circumstance has lately been doubted in
England. I was therefore fortunate in being present when one was
actually caught on a horse's back. We were bivouacking late one evening,
near Coquimbo, in Chili, when my servant, noticing that one of the
horses was very restive, went to see what was the matter, and fancying
he could distinguish something, suddenly put his hand on the beast's
withers, and secured the vampire. In the morning the spot where the bite
had been inflicted was easily distinguished by its being slightly
swollen and bloody. The third day afterwards we rode the horse without
any ill effects."

A Traveller's Experience.

Captain Steadman, in his "Narrative of a Five Years' Expedition against
the Revolted Negroes of Surinam," relates, that on waking about four
o'clock one morning in his hammock, he was extremely alarmed at finding
himself weltering in congealed blood, and without feeling any pain
whatever. "The mystery was," continues Captain Steadman, "that I had
been bitten by the _Vampyre_ or _Spectre_ of Guiana, which is also
called the _Flying Dog_ of New Spain, and by the Spaniards,
_Perrovolador_. This is no other than a bat of monstrous size, that
sucks the blood from men and cattle while they are fast asleep, even
sometimes till they die; and as the manner in which they proceed is
truly wonderful, I shall endeavour to give a distinct account of it.
Knowing, by instinct, that the person they intend to attack is in a
sound slumber, they generally alight near the feet, where, while the
creature continues fanning with his enormous wings, which keeps one
cool, he bites a piece out of the tip of the great toe, so very small,
indeed, that the head of a pin could scarcely be received into the
wound, which is consequently not painful; yet through this orifice he
continues to suck the blood until he is obliged to disgorge. Cattle they
generally bite in the ear, but always in places where the blood flows

Megaderma Lyra.

The Vampire Bat of South America has long been credited with
sanguinivorous habits, and until recently was supposed to be the only
bat having such propensities. Mr. Edward Blyth has, however, shown that
the Megaderma Lyra of Asia will sometimes prey upon the smaller species
of bat with which it comes in contact. Mr. Blyth, one evening, observed
a rather large bat of this species enter an outhouse, whereupon he
procured a light, closed the door to prevent escape and then proceeded
to catch the intruder. In the chase the bat dropped what Mr. Blyth at
first took to be a young one, but which proved to be a small Vespertilio
Bat, "feeble from loss of blood, which it was evident the Megaderma had
been sucking from a large, and still bleeding, wound under and behind
the ear." As the Megaderma had not alighted while in the outhouse, Mr.
Blyth concluded "that it sucked the vital current from its victim as it
flew, having probably seized it on the wing, and that it was seeking a
quiet nook where it might devour the body at leisure." Having caught the
Megaderma Mr. Blyth kept both specimens until the next day, and having
examined each separately put them both into a cage, whereupon the
Megaderma attacked the smaller bat "with the ferocity of a tiger";
finding it impossible to escape the cage "it hung by the hind legs to
one side of its prison, and after sucking the victim till no more blood
was left commenced devouring it, and soon left nothing but the head and
some portions of the limbs." "The voidings observed shortly afterwards
in its cage," says Mr. Blyth, "resembled clotted blood, which will
explain the statement of Steadman and others concerning masses of
congealed blood being observed near a patient who has been attacked by a
South American vampire."


Insect-Eating Animals.

Insect-eating animals (_Insectivora_) include several families, of which
the hedgehogs, the moles and the shrews, are the best known genera. The
Colugo is perhaps the most singular member of the order. According to
some writers his proper place is among the lemurs, and except that his
feet are adorned with claws instead of nails, it is easy to understand
why he might be classed with the quadrumana. The Colugo is covered from
head to foot by a furry membrane, resembling an overcoat open in front
and ending in a three cornered flap at the tail.

The Hedgehog.

The family of the hedgehog contains two genera and a number of species.
Its length is from six to ten inches; the head, back, and sides being
covered with short spines, the under parts with soft hair. It lives in
thickets, and subsists on fruits, roots, and insects. During the winter,
it lies imbedded in moss, or dried leaves, in a state of torpidity. It
inhabits Europe, Asia and Africa. It is valuable in the garden for
destroying the insects, and in the kitchen for the extermination of
cockroaches, beetles and other household pests. For defence, it rolls
itself into a ball in such a manner as to present its prickly spines on
all sides. In this condition it can suffer considerable violence without
injury. Mr. Bell mentions a hedgehog that was in the habit of running to
the edge of an area wall twelve or fourteen feet high, and without a
moment's pause, leap over, contracting into a ball as he fell, and in
this form reaching the ground, where it quietly unfolded itself as if
nothing had happened and ran on its way. It is nocturnal in its habits
and in its natural state lives in pairs. It is easily tamed. A hedgehog
has been trained to serve as a turnspit "as well," says Captain Brown,
"in all respects as the dog of that denomination. In a wild state it
has been known to attack and kill a leveret. In attacking a snake it
will roll itself up between its bites and thus protect itself against

The Mole.

The family of the Talpidæ to which the mole belongs is a large and
interesting one. The common mole "when at rest," says the author of
"Tales of Animals," "bears more resemblance to a small stuffed sack than
to a living animal, its head being entirely destitute of external ears,
and elongated nearly to a point, and its eyes so extremely small and
completely hidden by the fur, that it would not be surprising should a
casual observer conclude it to be blind. This apparently shapeless mass
is endowed with great activity and a surprising degree of strength, and
is excellently suited for deriving enjoyment from the peculiar life it
is designed to lead. It is found abundantly in Europe and North America,
from Canada to Virginia; often living at no great distance from
water-courses, or in dykes thrown up to protect meadows from inundation.
The mole burrows with great quickness, and travels under ground with
much celerity; nothing can be better constructed for this purpose than
its broad and strong hands, or fore paws, armed with long and powerful
claws, which are very sharp at their extremities, and slightly curved on
the inside. Numerous galleries, communicating with each other, enable
the mole to travel in various directions, without coming to the surface,
which they appear to do very rarely, unless their progress is impeded by
a piece of ground so hard as to defy their strength and perseverance.
The depth of their burrows depends very materially on the character of
the soil, and the situation of the place; sometimes running for a great
distance, at a depth of from one to three inches, and sometimes much
deeper. Moles are most active early in the morning, at midday, and in
the evening; after rains they are particularly busy in repairing their
damaged galleries; and in long continued wet weather we find that they
seek the high grounds for security."

An Enterprising Mole.

Though as Captain Brown points out nothing is more fatal to the mole
than excessive rain, which fills their subterranean galleries with
water; the following statement made by Mr. A. Bruce in the Linnæan
Transactions, shows that the animal is not without enterprise on the
water:--"On visiting the Loch of Clunie, which I often did, I observed
in it a small island at the distance of one hundred and eighty yards
from the nearest land, measured to be so upon the ice. Upon the island,
the Earl of Airly, the proprietor, has a castle and small shrubbery. I
remarked frequently the appearance of fresh mole casts, or hills. I for
some time took them for those of the water mouse, and one day asked the
gardener if it was so. No, said he, it was the mole; and that he had
caught one or two lately. Five or six years ago, he caught two in traps;
and for two years after this he had observed none. But, about four years
ago, coming ashore one summer's evening in the dusk, with the Earl of
Airly's butler, they saw at a short distance, upon the smooth water,
some animal paddling towards the island. They soon closed with this
feeble passenger, and found it to be the common mole, led by a most
astonishing instinct from the castle hill, the nearest point of land, to
take possession of this desert island. It had been, at the time of my
visit, for the space of two years quite free from any subterraneous
inhabitant; but the mole has, for more than a year past, made its
appearance again, and its operations I have since been witness to."

The Use of the Mole.

The use of the mole is often said to be far outweighed by the mischief
he perpetrates, the truth appearing to be that like many other animals,
in his own place he is valuable, out of it he is a source of danger.
Both conditions are illustrated by the following, which I quote from
Mrs. Bowdich's "Anecdotes of Animals."

"A French naturalist of the name of Henri Lecourt devoted a great part
of his life to the study of the habits and structure of moles; and he
tells us that they will run as fast as a horse will gallop. By his
observations he rendered essential service to a large district in
France; for he discovered that numbers of moles had undermined the banks
of a canal, and that unless means were taken to prevent the catastrophe,
these banks would give way, and inundation would ensue. By his ingenious
contrivances and accurate knowledge of their habits, he contrived to
extirpate them before the occurrence of further mischief. Moles,
however, are said to be excellent drainers of land; and Mr. Hogg, the
Ettrick Shepherd, used to declare that if a hundred men and horses were
employed to dress a pasture farm of 1500 or 2000 acres, they would not
do it as effectually as moles would do, if left to themselves."

The Shrew.

The shrew family is a large one and widely distributed over the surface
of the earth. The common shrew (_Sorex vulgaris_) is that best known in
England. It resembles the mouse in general form and varies in size and
colour, its usual length, including the tail being about four and a half
inches. Its body is moderately full, its neck short, its head tapering
to a pointed snout, the fore-feet small, the hind-feet larger and the
tail shorter than the body. The shrew is generally found either in
burrows, or among heaps of stones, or in holes made by other animals;
near dung heaps or hayricks, they are more numerous than elsewhere.
Insects are their principal subsistence, but they seem no less fond of
grain, and show a pig's predilection for filth of various sorts. Its
principal enemies are the Kestrel and the Barn Owl. A superstition to
the effect that if the shrew should run over the legs of a cow or a
horse while reposing on the grass it causes lameness, is also
responsible for the destruction of many by ignorant country folk. One
species of the shrew enjoys the reputation of being the smallest living
mammal; it is but an inch and a half long with a tail of an inch in
length. The water shrew is somewhat larger than the common shrew
attaining to a length of five and a half inches including the tail. The
water shrew colonises on the banks of rivers.


Flesh-eating Animals.

The order of flesh-eating animals (_carnivora_) includes a large number
of species among which are the lion, the tiger and the leopard, as well
as the cat and the dog. The two sub-orders into which this order is
divided are: I, The Fissipedia, and II, The Pinnipedia. The Fissipedia
are again divided into ten families; lions, cats, dogs, hyenas, weasels,
and bears being the most important members. The Pinnipedia includes the
seal, the sea lion, the walrus and their allies.


The Fissipedia. Animals of the Cat Kind.

Animals of the cat kind are distinguished by their sharp and formidable
claws, which they can hide or extend at pleasure. They are remarkable
for their rapacity, subsisting entirely on the flesh and blood of other
animals. The dog, wolf, and bear, are sometimes known to live on
vegetables, or farinaceous food; but the lion, the tiger, the leopard,
and other animals of this class, devour nothing but flesh, and would
starve upon any other provision. They lead a solitary, ravenous life,
uniting neither for mutual defence, like vegetable feeders, nor for
mutual support, like those of the dog kind. The first of the class is
the lion, distinguished from all the rest by his strength, his
magnitude, and his mane. The second is the tiger, rather longer than the
lion, but not so tall, and known by the streaks and vivid beauty of its
skin; here we may also mention the puma, which is sometimes called a
panther, or colloquially a "painter", otherwise a couguar, or American
lion, which is of a tawny colour. The next is the leopard, sometimes
called a panther, and the next the jaguar, followed by the ounce, not so
large as any of the former, spotted like them, but distinguished by the
cream-coloured ground of its hair, and a tail so long as to exceed the
length of its body. The next is the catamountain, or tiger-cat, less
than the ounce, but differing particularly in having a shorter tail,
and being streaked down the back like a tiger. The next is the lynx, of
the size of a fox, with its body streaked, and the tips of its ears
tufted with black. Then comes the Persian lynx, not so large as the
lynx, nor mottled like it, but with longer ears, tipped also with black,
and the serval, shaped and streaked like the lynx, but not having the
tips of its ears tufted. Lastly, the cat, wild and tame, with all its
varieties; less than any of the former, but like them insidious,
rapacious, and cruel.

[Illustration: The Lion]

The Lion.

The lion is known as the King of Beasts; though modern travellers have
done much to rob him of the homage that he once received. Like a human
being who has been too much lionized, he suffers from the detractions
which are excited by his pre-eminence. He is found chiefly in India and
Africa, though he once had a more extended range. He was well known to
the Greeks, and appears in both their poetry and history. Homer
celebrates him, and according to Herodotus he exploited himself by
attacking the camels of the army of Xerxes. His noble appearance is said
to be responsible for the popular ideal of his character, which
travellers and naturalists declare to be minus the magnanimous and
generous qualities with which it was at one time credited.

The Lion's Character.

In judging of the lion's character it is important to remember that he
belongs to the cat family, and that his virtues and vices are naturally
of the cat kind. "The lion seldom runs," says the author of "Tales of
Animals." "He either walks or creeps, or, for a short distance, advances
rapidly by great bounds. It is evident, therefore, that he must seize
his prey by stealth; that he is not fitted for an open attack; and that
his character is necessarily that of great power, united to considerable
skill and cunning in its exercise." Again, the lion, as well as others
of the cat tribe, takes his prey at night; and it is necessary,
therefore, that he should have peculiar organs of vision. In all those
animals which seek their food in the dark, the eye is usually of a large
size, to admit a great number of rays. This peculiar kind of eye,
therefore, is necessary to the Lion to perceive his prey, and he creeps
towards it with a certainty which nothing but this distinct nocturnal
vision could give." Men who hunt the lion in the daytime, when he is
usually sleeping off the effects of a hearty meal, and who awaken him in
a surprised and dazed condition when his cat-like eyes cannot bear the
blaze of the sun, ought not to be surprised if he tries to postpone
fighting until a more convenient season. Nor can he be said to be less
noble because he only fights when it is necessary to procure food, to
protect his young, and to defend himself. A veritable Ulysses among the
beasts he is ready to fight if needs be, but unless urged by hunger, or
attacked by the hunter, he does not seem to bear any particular malice
against mankind.

The Lion's Attitude towards Man.

"It is singular," says Sparrman, "that the lion, which, according to
many, always kills his prey immediately if it belongs to the brute
creation, is reported, frequently, although provoked, to content himself
with merely wounding the human species; or, at least, to wait some time
before he gives the fatal blow to the unhappy victim he has got under
him. A farmer, who the year before had the misfortune to be a spectator
of a lion seizing two of his oxen, at the very instant he had taken them
out of the waggon, told me that they immediately fell down dead upon the
spot, close to each other; though, upon examining the carcasses
afterwards, it appeared that their backs only had been broken. In
several places through which I passed, they mentioned to me by name a
father and his two sons, who were said to be still living, and who,
being on foot near a river on their estate, in search of a lion, this
latter had rushed out upon them, and thrown one of them under his feet.
The two others, however, had time enough to shoot the lion dead upon the
spot, which had lain almost across the youth, so nearly and dearly
related to them, without having done him any particular hurt. I myself
saw, near the upper part of Duyvenhoek River, an elderly Hottentot who,
at that time (his wounds being still open), bore under one eye, and
underneath his cheek bone the ghastly marks of the bite of a lion, which
did not think it worth his while to give him any other chastisement for
having, together with his master (whom I also knew), and several other
Christians, hunted him with great intrepidity, though without success.
The conversation ran everywhere in this part of the country upon one
Bota, a farmer and captain in the militia, who had lain for sometime
under a lion, and had received several bruises from the beast, having
been at the same time a good deal bitten by him in one arm, as a token
to remember him by; but, upon the whole, had, in a manner, had his life
given him by this noble animal. The man was said then to be living in
the district of Artaquaskloof."

Discretion the better part of Valour.

The following seems to show a curious power of reasoning on the part of
the lion. "Diederik Muller, one of the most intrepid and successful of
modern lion-hunters in South Africa, had," says Sir William Jardine,
"been out alone hunting in the wilds, when he came suddenly upon a lion,
which, instead of giving way, seemed disposed, from the angry attitude
he assumed, to dispute with him the dominion of the desert. Diederik
instantly alighted, and confident of his unerring aim levelled his gun
at the forehead of the lion, who was couched in the act to spring,
within fifteen paces of him; but at the moment the hunter fired, his
horse, whose bridle was round his arm, started back and caused him to
miss. The lion, bounded forward, but stopped within a few paces,
confronting Diederik who stood defenceless, his gun discharged, and his
horse running off. The man and the beast stood looking at each other in
the face for a short space. At length the lion moved backward as if to
go away. Diederik began to load his gun, the lion looked over his
shoulder, growled, and returned. Diederik stood still. The lion again
moved cautiously off, and the Boer proceeded to load and ram down his
bullet. The lion again looked back and growled angrily; and this
occurred repeatedly, until the animal had got off to some distance when
he took fairly to his heels and bounded away."

The Strength of the Lion.

Whatever may be said of the lion's courage, there can be no doubt as to
his strength. Burchell thus describes an encounter with a lion. "The day
was exceedingly pleasant and not a cloud was to be seen. For a mile or
two we travelled along the banks of the river, which in this part
abounded in late mat-rushes. The dogs seemed much to enjoy prowling
about and examining every rushy place, and at last met with some object
among the rushes which caused them to set up a most vehement and
determined barking. We explored the spot with caution as we suspected,
from the peculiar tone of the bark, that it was what it proved to
be--lions. Having encouraged the dogs to drive them out, a task which
they performed with great willingness, we had a full view of an enormous
black-maned lion and lioness. The latter was seen only for a minute, as
she made her escape up the river under concealment of the rushes; but
the lion came steadily forward, and stood still and looked at us. At
this moment we felt our situation not free from danger, as the animal
seemed preparing to spring upon us, and we were standing on the bank, at
a distance of only a few yards from him, most of us being on foot, and
unarmed, without any visible possibility of escaping. At this instant
the dogs boldly flew in between us and the lion, and surrounding him,
kept him at bay by their violent and resolute barking. The lion,
conscious of his strength, remained unmoved at their noisy attempts and
kept his head turned towards us. At one moment, the dogs perceiving his
eye thus engaged, had advanced close to his feet, and seemed as if they
would actually seize hold of him; but they paid dearly for their
imprudence, for, without discomposing the majestic and steady attitude
in which he stood fixed, he merely moved his paw, and the next instant I
beheld two lying dead. In doing this he made so little exertion, that it
was scarcely perceptible by what means they had been killed. We fired
upon him, and one of the balls went through his side, just between the
short ribs, but the animal still remained standing in the same position.
We had now no doubt that he would spring upon us, but happily we were
mistaken and were not sorry to see him move slowly away."

The Lion's Affection.

Many instances are on record of strong attachments formed by the lion
for his keeper, and for dogs or other animals which have been associated
with him. A remarkable example of this kind is related, where a little
dog, which had been thrown into a lion's den that he might be devoured,
was not only spared by the noble animal, but became his companion and
favourite. In a moment of irritation caused by long hunger, the dog,
having snapped at the first morsels of food, received a blow from the
lion which proved fatal. From that time the lion pined away, refused his
food, and at length died, apparently of melancholy.

The Lion's Docility.

A carpenter was employed some years ago to do some repairs to the cage
of a lion at a menagerie at Brussels. When the workman saw the lion he
drew back in terror. The keeper, on this, entered the cage and led the
animal to the upper part of it, while the lower was refitting. He there
amused himself for some time playing with the lion, and being wearied he
fell asleep. The carpenter, having finished his work, called the keeper
to inspect what he had done, but the keeper made no answer. Having
repeatedly called in vain he became alarmed and proceeded to the upper
part of the cage, where, looking through the bars, he saw the lion and
the keeper lying side by side, and immediately uttered a loud cry. The
lion 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. The carpenter, terrified at what he saw, ran off to secure help,
whereupon some of the attendants succeeded in arousing the keeper who,
far from being disconcerted by the circumstances, took the paw of the
lion and shook it gently in token of regard and the animal quietly
returned with him to his former residence. M. Felix, the keeper of the
animals at Paris, had charge of a lion which refused food, and became
sullen and mopish during the temporary absence of M. Felix through
illness, but who regained his spirits and showed every demonstration of
joy upon the reappearance of M. Felix at his post of duty.

The story of Androcles.

With so many authentic instances which can be cited of the amenability
of the lion to kindly influences, the story of Androcles and the lion
does not seem so improbable as it has been sometimes thought. The
following is the story:--In the days of ancient Rome, a Roman governor
treated one of his slaves or subjects, called Androcles, so cruelly that
he ran away. To escape pursuit he fled to a desert and crept into a
cave. What was his horror to find that this cave was a lion's den, and
to see a large lion approach him! He expected instantly to be destroyed;
but the lion, approaching Androcles, held up his paw or foot with a
supplicating air. Androcles examined the lion's paw, and found a thorn
in it which he drew out, and the lion, apparently relieved, fawned upon
his benefactor as a dog does upon his master. After some time Androcles
ventured back to the place where he lived before. He was discovered,
taken up as a runaway slave, and condemned to be the prey of a wild
beast. He was accordingly thrown into a place where a large lion,
recently caught, was let in upon him. The lion came bounding toward
Androcles, and the spectators expected to see the man instantly torn in
pieces. What was their astonishment to see the lion approach him, and
fawn before him like a dog who had found his master! It was the lion
Androcles had met in the desert, and the grateful animal would not rend
his benefactor.

A Lion Hunt.

Livingstone came to very close quarters with a lion on one occasion, the
circumstances of which he thus narrates. "The Bakátla of the village
Mabotsa, were much troubled by lions, which leaped into the cattle-pens
by night and destroyed their cows. They even attacked the herds in open
day. This was so unusual an occurrence that the people believed that
they were bewitched, 'given' as they said, into the power of the lions
by a neighbouring tribe. They went once to attack the animals, but being
rather a cowardly people compared to Bechuanas in general on such
occasions, they returned without killing any. It is well known that if
one in a troop of lions is killed, the others take the hint and leave
that part of the country. So the next time the herds were attacked, I
went with the people in order to encourage them to rid themselves of the
annoyance by destroying one of the marauders. We found the lions on a
small hill, about a quarter of a mile in length and covered with trees.
A circle of men was formed round it, and they gradually closed up,
ascending pretty near to each other. Being down below on the plain with
a native schoolmaster, named Mebálwe, I saw one of the lions sitting
upon a piece of rock, within the now closed circle of men. Mebálwe fired
at him before I could, and the ball struck the rock upon which the
animal was sitting. He bit at the spot struck, as a dog does at a stick
or a stone thrown at him, then, leaping away, broke through the opening
circle and escaped unhurt. When the circle was reformed we saw two other
lions in it, but we were afraid to fire lest we should strike the men;
and they allowed the beasts to burst through also. If the Bakátla had
acted according to the custom of the country, they would have speared
the lions in their attempt to get out. Seeing that we could not get them
to kill one of the lions, we bent our footsteps towards the village; in
going round the end of the hill, however, I saw one of the beasts
sitting on a piece of rock, as before, but this time he had a little
bush in front. Being about thirty yards off, I took a good aim at his
body through the bush, and fired both barrels into in. The men then
called out: 'He is shot! He is shot!' Others cried: 'He has been shot by
another man, too; let us go to him.' I did not see anyone else shoot at
him, but I saw the lion's tail erected in anger behind the bush, and
turning to the people, said: 'Stop a little till I load again.' When in
the act of ramming down the bullets I heard a shout. Starting, and
looking half round, I saw the lion just in the act of springing upon me.
I was upon a little height. He caught my shoulder as he sprang and we
both came to the ground below together. Growling horribly, close to my
ear, he shook me as a terrier dog does a rat. The shock produced a
stupor, similar to that which seems to be felt by a mouse after the
first shake of a cat. It caused a sort of dreaminess, in which there was
no sense of pain or feeling of terror, though quite conscious of all
that was happening. It was like what patients partially under the
influence of chloroform describe, who see all the operation but feel not
the knife. This singular condition was not the result of any mental
process. The shake annihilated fear, and allowed no sense of horror in
looking round at the beast. This peculiar state is probably produced in
all animals killed by the carnivora; and, if so, is a merciful provision
by our benevolent Creator for lessening the pain of death. Turning round
to relieve myself of the weight, as he had one paw on the back of my
head, I saw his eyes directed to Mebálwe, who was trying to shoot him at
a distance of ten or fifteen yards. His gun, a flint one, missed fire in
both barrels. The lion immediately left me and attacking Mebálwe bit
his thigh. Another man, whose life I had saved before, after he had
been tossed by a buffalo, attempted to spear the lion while he was
biting Mebálwe. He left Mebálwe and caught this man by the shoulder; but
at that moment the bullets he had received took effect, and he fell down
dead. The whole was the work of a few moments, and must have been his
paroxysm of dying rage. In order to take out the charm from him, the
Bakátla, on the following day, made a huge bonfire over the carcass,
which was declared to be the largest lion they had ever seen. Besides
crunching the bone into splinters, he left eleven teeth wounds on the
upper part of my arm. A wound from this animal's tooth resembles a
gunshot wound. It is generally followed by a great deal of sloughing and
discharge, and pains are felt in the part periodically ever after. I had
on a tartan jacket on the occasion, and I believe that it wiped off all
the virus from the teeth that pierced the flesh; for my two companions
in this affray have both suffered from the peculiar pains, while I have
escaped with only the inconvenience of a false joint in my limb."

A Thrilling Experience.

Professor Lichtenstein, in his "Travels" gives a thrilling story of a
Boer's adventure with a lion, which he had from the lips of the Boer
himself. "It is now," said the colonist, "more than two years since, in
the very place where we stand, I ventured to take one of the most daring
shots that ever was hazarded. My wife was sitting within the house near
the door, the children were playing about her, and I was without, near
the house, busied in doing something to a waggon, when suddenly, though
it was mid-day, an enormous lion appeared, came up and laid himself
quietly down in the shade upon the very threshold of the door. My wife,
either frozen with fear, or aware of the danger of attempting to fly,
remained motionless in her place, while the children took refuge in her
arms. The cry they uttered attracted my attention, and I hastened
towards the door, but my astonishment may well be conceived when I
found the entrance to it barred in such a way. Although the animal had
not seen me, unarmed as I was escape seemed impossible, yet I glided
gently, scarcely knowing what I meant to do, to the side of the house,
up to the window of my chamber, where I knew my loaded gun was standing.
By a most happy chance, I had set it into the corner close by the
window, so that I could reach it with my hand; for, as you may perceive,
the opening is too small to admit of my having got in, and still more
fortunately, the door of the room was open, so that I could see the
whole danger of the scene. The lion was beginning to move. There was no
longer any time to think; I called softly to the mother not to be
alarmed, and invoking the name of the Lord, fired my piece. The ball
passed directly over the hair of my boy's head and lodged in the
forehead of the lion, immediately above his eyes and stretched him on
the ground, so that he never stirred more." "Indeed," says Professor
Lichtenstein, "we all shuddered as we listened to this relation. Never,
as he himself observed, was a more daring attempt hazarded. Had he
failed in his aim, mother and children were all inevitably lost; if the
boy had moved he had been struck; the least turn in the lion and the
shot had not been mortal to him; and to consummate the whole, the head
of the creature was in some sort protected by the door-post."

Attacked by a Lion.

In Phillips's "Researches in South Africa," the following account is
given of the adventures of a traveller which we quote from Jardine's
Naturalists' Library collated with other versions. "Our waggons, which
were obliged to take a circuitous route, arrived at last, and we pitched
our tent a musket-shot from the kraal, and, after having arranged
everything, went to rest, but were soon disturbed; for, about midnight
the cattle and horses, which were standing between the waggons, began to
start and run, and one of the drivers to shout, on which every one ran
out of the tent with his gun. About thirty paces from the tent stood a
lion, which, on seeing us, walked very deliberately about thirty paces
farther, behind a small thorn-bush, carrying something with him, which I
took to be a young ox. We fired more than sixty shots at that bush,
without perceiving any movement. The south-east wind blew strong, the
sky was clear, and the moon shone very bright, so that we could perceive
everything at that distance. After the cattle had been quieted again,
and I had looked over everything, I missed the sentry from before the
tent, Jan Smit, from Antwerp. We called as loudly as possible, but in
vain; nobody answered, from which I concluded that the lion had carried
him off. Three or four men then advanced very cautiously to the bush,
which stood right opposite the door of the tent, to see if they could
discover anything of the man, but returned helter-skelter; for the lion,
who was there still, rose up, and began to roar. They found there the
musket of the sentry, which was cocked, and also his cap and shoes. We
fired again about a hundred shots at the bush, without perceiving
anything of the lion, from which we concluded that he was killed, or had
run away. This induced the marksman of our company to go and see if he
was still there or not, taking with him a firebrand. As soon as he
approached the bush, the lion roared terribly, and leapt at him; on
which he threw the firebrand at him, and the other people having fired
about ten shots at him, he retired directly to his former place behind
that bush. The firebrand which he had thrown at the lion had fallen in
the midst of the bush, and, favoured by the strong south-east wind, it
began to burn with a great flame, so that we could see very clearly into
and through it. We continued our firing into it until the night passed
away, and the day began to break, when seven men were posted on the
farthest waggons to watch him, and to take aim at him if he should come
out. At last, before it became quite light, he walked up the hill, with
the man in his mouth, when about forty shots were fired without hitting
him, although some were very near. Every time this happened, he turned
round towards the tent, and came roaring towards us; and, I am of
opinion, that if he had been hit, he would have rushed on the people and
the tent. When it became broad daylight, we perceived, by the blood, and
a piece of the clothes of the man, that the lion had taken him away."
"For the satisfaction of the curious," says Sir William Jardine, "it may
be mentioned, that he was followed, and killed in the forenoon, over the
mangled remains of the unfortunate sentinel."

A Night Surprise.

Mr. Gordon Cumming gives an even more thrilling account of a similar
adventure of his experience. He says:--"About three hours after the sun
went down, I called to my men to come and take their coffee and supper
which was ready for them at my fire; and after supper, three of them
returned before their comrades to their own fireside and lay down.... In
a few minutes an ox came out by the gate of the kraal and walked round
the back of it. Hendrick got up and drove him again and then went back
to his fireside and lay down. Hendrick and Ruyter lay on one side of the
fire under one blanket and John Stofolus lay on the other.... Suddenly
the appalling and murderous voice of an angry bloodthirsty lion, within
a few yards of us, burst upon my ear, followed by the shrieking of the
Hottentots. Again and again the murderous roar of the attack was
repeated. We heard John and Ruyter shriek, 'the Lion! the Lion!...' Next
instant John Stofolus rushed into the midst of us almost speechless with
fear and terror, and eyes bursting from their sockets, and shrieked out,
'the lion! the lion! He has got Hendrick, he dragged him away from the
fire beside me. I struck him with the burning brands upon his head, but
he would not let go his hold. Hendrick is dead! O God! Hendrick is dead!
Let us take fire and seek him....' It appeared that when the unfortunate
Hendrick rose to drive in the ox, the lion had watched him to his
fireside, and he had scarcely lain down, when the brute sprang upon him
and Ruyter (for both lay under one blanket) with his appalling murderous
roar, and roaring as he lay, grappled him with his fearful claws and
kept biting him on the breast and shoulder, all the while feeling for
his neck; having got hold of which, he at once dragged him away
backwards round the bush into the dense shade.... The next morning, just
as the day began to dawn we heard the lion dragging something up the
river side under cover of the bank. We drove the cattle out of the kraal
and then proceeded to inspect the scene of the night's awful tragedy. In
the hollow where the lion had lain, consuming his prey, we found one leg
of the unfortunate Hendrick, bitten off below the knee, the shoe still
on the foot, the grass and bushes were all stained with his blood, and
fragments of his pea-coat lay around. Hendrick was by far the best man I
had about my waggons ... his loss to us all was very serious."

A Lion Outwitted.

In the southern part of Africa, where the Hottentots live, lions were
very common, and the adventures of the inhabitants with them very
frequent. One evening a Hottentot saw that he was pursued by a lion. He
was very much alarmed, and devised the following means of escape. He
went to the edge of a precipice, and placed himself a little below it.
He then put his cloak and hat on a stick, and elevated them over his
head, giving them a gentle motion. The lion came crouching along, and,
mistaking the cloak and hat for the man, as the Hottentot intended he
should do, he sprang upon them with a swift leap, and, passing over the
head of the Hottentot, was plunged headlong down the precipice.

Old Instincts and new Opportunities.

In the "Miscellany of Natural History," from which several of these
anecdotes are taken there is a story illustrating the way in which old
instincts will show themselves in the presence of new opportunities. On
the evening of the 20th October 1816, a lioness made her escape from a
travelling menagerie which was drawn up on the road-side, about seven
miles from the town of Salisbury. It was about eight o'clock, and quite
dark, and the Exeter mail was passing when the animal suddenly darted
forward, and springing at the throat of the off-leader, fastened the
talons of her fore-feet on each side of the neck, close to the horse's
head, while those of the hind-feet were forced into the chest. In this
situation she hung, while the blood streamed from the agonized creature,
as if a vein had been opened by a lancet. It may be easily supposed,
that the alarm excited by this encounter, was very great. Two inside
passengers instantly dashed out of the coach and fled to a house on the
road-side. The keeper of the caravan came, and immediately set a large
Newfoundland dog on the animal. The lioness, on finding herself seized
by the leg, quitted the horse, and turned upon the dog, which the
spectators expected would very soon become the victim of her fury; but
she was contented with giving him only a slight punishment, and on
hearing the voice of her keeper, retired under a neighbouring straw
rick, and gently allowed herself to be secured. "This anecdote," says
the writer, "is remarkably characteristic, the moment that the animal
found herself at liberty, and an object of prey presented itself, all
her original propensities, hitherto restrained, were instantly called
into action; but no sooner did the voice of her keeper reach her ears,
than the force of long habit prevailed, she became calm, and allowed
herself to be bound, and led again to her den."

The Tiger.

The tiger is one of the most beautiful, but at the same time one of the
most rapacious and destructive of the whole animal race. It is found in
the warm climates of the East, especially in India and Siam. It so much
resembles the cat, as almost to induce us to consider the latter a tiger
in miniature. It lurks generally near a fountain, or on the brink of a
river, to surprise such animals as come to quench their thirst; and like
the lion bounds upon its prey, easily making a spring of twenty feet and
upwards. When it has killed one animal it often attacks others,
swallowing their blood for which it has an insatiable thirst in large
draughts; for even when satisfied with food, it is not satiated with
slaughter. The tiger is said by some to prefer human flesh to that of
any other animal; and it is certain, that it does not, like many other
beasts of prey, shun the presence of man, but has been even known on
more than one occasion to spring upon a hunting party when seated at
their refreshment, and carry off one of the number, rushing through the
shrubs into the forest, and devouring the unfortunate victim at its
leisure. The strength as well as the agility of this animal is
remarkable; it carries off a deer with the greatest ease.

The tiger is ornamented with long streaks across its body. The ground
colour is yellow, very deep on the back, but growing lighter towards the
belly, where it softens to white, as it does also on the throat and the
inside of the legs. The bars which cross the body from the back to the
belly are of the most beautiful black, and the skin altogether is so
extremely fine and glossy, that it is much esteemed, and sold at a high
price in all the eastern countries, especially China. "The colouring of
the tiger," says the Rev. J. G. Wood, "is a good instance of the manner
in which animals are protected by the similarity of their external
appearance to the particular locality in which they reside. The stripes
on the tiger's skin so exactly assimilate with the long jungle grass
amongst which it lives, that it is impossible for unpractised eyes to
discern the animal at all, even when a considerable portion of its body
is exposed."

Ravages Committed by Tigers.

The ravages committed by tigers have often led to the organisation of
hunting parties formed with a view to exterminate the more aggressive of
the enemy. The following narrative of a tiger excursion at Doongal is
from the "East India Government Gazette."

"There were five tigers killed by the party, besides one bear killed,
and another wounded; a wolf, a hyæna, a panther, a leopard, and some
immense rock and cobra capella snakes. Among the occurrences during the
excursion, some were of a peculiar and pathetic nature. The first
happened to a poor Bunnia, or dealer, of the village of Doongal, who had
been to the city of Hydrabad, to collect some money, and who was
returning, after having gathered together a small sum, when on the way,
a little beyond the cantonment of Secunderabad, he saw an armed Pæon
seated, and apparently a traveller in the same direction. After mutual
inquiries, the Pæon told the Bunnia he was going to the same place; and,
as the Bunnia was glad to have somebody to accompany him, he gave him a
part of his victuals; and, on their way, they mutually related their
histories. The Bunnia innocently mentioned the object of his visit to
the city, and the fact of his returning with the money he had collected;
this immediately raised the avarice of the Pæon, who decided in his mind
to kill the poor Bunnia in a suitable place, and strip him of his money.
They proceeded together, with this design in the mind of the Pæon, until
they came to a place where the ravages of the tiger were notorious, and
he prepared to kill the Bunnia; and while he was struggling with him,
and in the act of drawing his sword to slay him, a tiger sprang upon the
Pæon, and carried him off, leaving his shield and sword, which the
Bunnia carried to Doongal, as trophies of retributive justice in his
favour. The next victim was the wife of a Bunjarra. They were resting
under a tree, when a tiger sprang up, and seized the woman by the head.
The husband, from mere impulse to save his wife, held her by the legs;
and a struggle ensued between the tiger pulling her by the head, and the
man by the legs, until the issue, which could not be doubted, when the
tiger carried off the woman. The man seemed to be rather partial to his
wife, and devoted himself to revenge her death,--forsook his cattle and
property,--resigned them to his brother, and offered his services to be
of the tiger-killing party, and strayed about the jungles, until he was
heard of no more."

"A camel driver, who had been just married, was bringing home his bride,
when a tiger followed, and kept them in view a great part of the road,
for an opportunity to seize one of them. The bride having occasion to
alight, was immediately pounced upon by the ferocious beast, and he
scampered away with her in his mouth. A shepherd was taken by a young
tiger, which was followed by the mother, a large tigress, and devoured
at a distance of two miles; and a Bunnia, or dealer, from Bolarum, was
seized returning from a fair. A woman, with an infant about a year old,
was captured by a tiger; and the infant was found by the Puttal, or head
of the village, who brought it to his house. Some of the Company's
elephants that were going for forage were chased by a tiger, which was
kept off by a spearman; and a comical chase of them was made up to
Doongal, the elephants running before the tiger, until they entered the
village. It is said the lives lost by these tigers amounted to about
three hundred persons in one year, within the range of seven villages;
and the destruction of cattle, sheep, and goats, was said to be

[Illustration: Lieutenant Collet and the Tiger]

An Intrepid Hunter.

Captain Brown in his "Natural History of Animals" tells a thrilling
story of an adventure of Lieutenant Collet, of the Bombay army, who
having heard that a very large tiger had destroyed seven inhabitants of
an adjacent village, resolved, with another officer, to attempt the
destruction of the monster. Having ordered seven elephants, they went in
quest of the animal, which they found sleeping beneath a bush. Roused by
the noise of the elephants, he made a furious charge upon them, and
Lieutenant Collet's elephant received him on her shoulder, the other six
having turned about, and run off, notwithstanding the exertions of
their riders. The elephant shook off the tiger, and Lieutenant Collet
having fired two balls at him, he fell; but, again recovering himself,
he made a spring at the lieutenant. Having missed his object, he seized
the elephant by the hind leg, and, having received a kick from her, and
another ball, he let go his hold, and fell a second time. Supposing that
he was now disabled, Collet very rashly dismounted, with the resolution
of killing him with his pistols; but the tiger, who had only been
crouching to take another spring, flew upon the lieutenant, and caught
him in his mouth. The strength and intrepidity of the lieutenant,
however, did not forsake him: he immediately fired his pistol into the
tiger's body, and, finding that this had no effect, disengaged his arms
with all his force, and, directing the other pistol to his heart, he at
last destroyed him, after receiving twenty-five severe wounds.

The Leopard.

The Leopard, who is also known as the panther, belongs to Asia and
Africa. He is distinguished by the beauty of his coat which is of a rich
fawn colour, graduating to white underneath his belly. It is covered
with spots or clusters of marks which resemble the form of a rose. He is
an agile climber and a terror to goats, sheep, monkeys and all lesser
animals, but shows no special hostility to man unless attacked or

The Leopard's Tenacity of Life.

Like other members of the cat family the Leopard shows remarkable
tenacity of life. Whether like the domestic cat he has nine lives or
not, he certainly takes a great deal of killing.

The following account is from the pen of an eye-witness quoted from
Captain Brown's "Natural History of Animals".--"I was at Jaffna, at the
northern extremity of the Island of Ceylon, in the beginning of the year
1819, when, one morning, my servant called me an hour or two before my
usual time, with 'Master, master! people sent for master's dogs--tiger
in the town!' There are no real tigers in Ceylon; but leopards or
panthers are always called so, and by ourselves as well as by the
natives. This turned out to be a panther. My gun chanced not to be put
together; and, while my servant was doing it, the collector and two
medical men, who had recently arrived, in consequence of the cholera
morbus having just then reached Ceylon from the Continent, came to my
door, the former armed with a fowling-piece, and the two latter with
remarkably blunt hog-spears. They insisted upon setting off, without
waiting for my gun,--a proceeding not much to my taste. The tiger (I
must continue to call him so) had taken refuge in a hut, the roof of
which, like those of Ceylon huts in general, spread to the ground like
an umbrella; the only aperture into it was a small door, about four feet
high. The collector wanted to get the tiger out at once. I begged to
wait for my gun; but no--the fowling-piece, (loaded with ball, of
course,) and the two hog-spears, were quite enough. I got a hedge-stake,
and awaited my fate, from very shame. At this moment, to my great
delight, there arrived from the fort an English officer, two
artillery-men, and a Malay captain; and a pretty figure we should have
cut without them, as the event will show. I was now quite ready to
attack, and my gun came a minute afterwards. The whole scene which
follows took place within an enclosure, about twenty feet square,
formed, on three sides, by a strong fence of palmyra leaves, and on the
fourth by the hut. At the door of this, the two artillery-men planted
themselves: and the Malay captain got at the top, to frighten the tiger
out, by worrying it--an easy operation, as the huts there are covered
with cocoa-nut leaves. One of the artillery-men wanted to go in to the
tiger, but we would not suffer it. At last the beast sprang. This man
received him on his bayonet, which he thrust apparently down his throat,
firing his piece at the same moment. The bayonet broke off short,
leaving less than three inches on the musket; the rest remained in the
animal, but was invisible to us. The shot probably went through his
cheek, for it certainly did not seriously injure him, as he instantly
rose upon his legs, with a loud roar, and placed his paws upon the
soldier's breast. At this moment, the animal appeared to me to about
reach the centre of the man's face; but I had scarcely time to observe
this, when the tiger, stooping his head, seized the soldier's arm in his
mouth, turned him half round staggering, threw him over on his back, and
fell upon him. Our dread now was, that, if we fired upon the tiger, we
might kill the man. For a moment, there was a pause, when his comrade
attacked the beast exactly in the same manner as the gallant fellow
himself had done. He struck his bayonet into his head; the tiger rose at
him--he fired; and this time the ball took effect, and in the head. The
animal staggered backwards, and we all poured in our fire. He still
kicked and writhed; when the gentlemen with the hog-spears advanced, and
fixed him, while he was finished by some natives beating him on the head
with hedge-stakes. The brave artilleryman was, after all, but slightly
hurt: He claimed the skin, which was very cheerfully given to him. There
was, however, a cry among the natives, that the head should be cut off:
it was; and, in so doing, the knife came directly across the bayonet.
The animal measured little less than four feet, from the root of the
tail to the muzzle. There was no tradition of a tiger having been in
Jaffna before. Indeed, this one must have either come a distance of
almost twenty miles, or have swam across an arm of the sea nearly two
miles in breadth; for Jaffna stands on a peninsula, on which there is no
jungle of any magnitude."

Hunters Hunted.

Captain Brown gives a thrilling story of an adventure which befell two
Boers in South Africa in 1822. They were returning from a hunting
excursion, when they unexpectedly fell in with a leopard in a mountain
ravine, and immediately gave chase to him. The animal at first
endeavoured to escape, by clambering up a precipice, but, being hotly
pressed, and slightly wounded by a musket-ball, he turned upon his
pursuers, with that frantic ferocity, which, on such emergencies, he
frequently displays, and, springing upon the man who had fired at him,
tore him from his horse to the ground, biting him at the same time very
severely on the shoulder, and tearing his face and arms with his claws.
The other hunter, seeing the danger of his comrade, sprang from his
horse, and attempted to shoot the leopard through the head; but, whether
owing to trepidation, or the fear of wounding his friend, or the sudden
motions of the animal, he unfortunately missed his aim. The leopard,
abandoning his prostrate enemy darted with redoubled fury upon this
second antagonist; and so fierce and sudden was his onset, that before
the Boer could stab him with his hunting-knife, he had struck him in the
face with his claws, and torn the scalp over his forehead. In this
frightful condition, the hunter grappled with the raging beast, and,
struggling for life, they rolled together down a steep declivity. All
this passed so rapidly that the other man had scarcely time to recover
from the confusion into which his feline foe had thrown him, to seize
his gun and rush forward to aid his comrade, when he beheld them rolling
together down the steep bank, in mortal conflict. In a few moments he
was at the bottom with them, but too late to save the life of his
friend, who had so gallantly defended him. The leopard had torn open the
jugular vein, and so dreadfully mangled the throat of the unfortunate
man, that his death was inevitable; and his comrade had only the
melancholy satisfaction of completing the destruction of the savage
beast, which was already much exhausted by several deep wounds it had
received in the breast, from the desperate knife of the expiring

The Jaguar.

The Jaguar, otherwise known as the American Leopard, belongs to the
forests of South America, and has many points of difference from as well
as some of similarity with the Leopard of Asia. Though ferocious in his
wild state, he is amenable to civilizing influences and becomes mild and
tame in captivity. He is an excellent swimmer and an expert climber,
ascending to the tops of high branchless trees by fixing his claws in
the trunks. It is said that he can hunt in the trees almost as well as
he can upon the ground, and that hence he becomes a formidable enemy to
the monkeys. He is also a clever fisherman, his method being that of
dropping saliva on to the surface of the water, and upon the approach of
a fish, by a dexterous stroke of his paw knocking it out of the water on
to the bank. D'Azara, says: "He is a very ferocious animal causing great
destruction among horses and asses. He is extremely fond of eggs, and
goes to the shores frequented by turtles, and digs their eggs out of the

The Strength of the Jaguar.

The strength of the Jaguar is very great, and as he can climb, swim, and
leap a great distance, he is almost equally formidable in three
elements. He is said to attack the alligator and to banquet with evident
relish off his victim. D'Azara says that on one occasion he found a
Jaguar feasting upon a horse which it had killed. The Jaguar fled at his
approach, whereupon he had the body of the horse dragged to within a
musket shot of a tree in which he purposed watching for the Jaguar's
return. While temporarily absent he left a man to keep watch, and while
he was away the jaguar reappeared from the opposite side of a river
which was both deep and broad. Having crossed the river the animal
approached, and seizing the body of the horse with his teeth dragged it
some sixty paces to the water side, plunged in with it, swam across the
river, pulled it out upon the other side, and carried it into a
neighbouring wood.

A Night of Horror.

Mrs. Bowdich tells a story of two early settlers in the Western States
of America, a man and his wife, who closed their wooden hut, and went to
pay a visit at a distance, leaving a freshly-killed piece of venison
hanging inside. "The gable end of this house was not boarded up as high
as the roof, but a large aperture was left for light and air. By taking
an enormous leap, a hungry jaguar, attracted by the smell of the
venison, had entered the hut and devoured part of it. He was disturbed
by the return of the owners, and took his departure. The venison was
removed. The husband went away the night after to a distance, and left
his wife alone in the hut. She had not been long in bed before she heard
the jaguar leap in at the open gable. There was no door between her room
and that in which he had entered, and she knew not how to protect
herself. She, however, screamed as loudly as she could, and made all the
violent noises she could think of, which served to frighten him away at
that time; but she knew he would come again, and she must be prepared
for him. She tried to make a large fire, but the wood was expended. She
thought of rolling herself up in the bedclothes, but these would be torn
off. The idea of getting under the low bedstead suggested itself, but
she felt sure a paw would be stretched forth which would drag her out.
Her husband had taken all their firearms. At last, as she heard the
jaguar scrambling up the end of the house, in despair she got into a
large store chest, the lid of which closed with a spring. Scarcely was
she within it, and had dragged the lid down, inserting her fingers
between it and the side of the chest, when the jaguar discovered where
she was. He smelt round the chest, tried to get his head in through the
crack, but fortunately he could not raise the lid. He found her fingers
and began to lick them; she felt them bleed, but did not dare to move
them for fear she should be suffocated. At length the jaguar leaped on
to the lid, and his weight pressing down the lid, fractured her fingers.
Still she could not move. He smelt round again, he pulled, he leaped on
and off, till at last getting tired of his vain efforts, he went away.
The poor woman lay there till daybreak, and then only feeling safe from
her enemy, she went as fast as her strength would let her to her nearest
neighbour's a distance of two miles, where she procured help for her
wounded fingers, which were long in getting well. On his return, her
husband found a male and female jaguar with their cubs, in the forest
close by, and all were destroyed."

The Puma.

The Puma, or American lion, is known by several names. It is sometimes
called a panther, or colloquially a "painter", and sometimes a cougar.
It resembles the lioness somewhat in appearance, especially about the
head, though it is smaller and less powerful. Its length varies from
four feet to four feet and a half, and its colour is that of the fox,
graduating in parts to white. Like the lion it inhabits plains rather
than forests;--in the marshy districts, and on the borders of rivers in
the south, and in the swamps and prairies of the northern districts. It
lives on such wild and domestic animals as come within its reach, lying
at full length upon the lower branches of trees, and dropping upon its
victims as they pass beneath. Deer and cattle of all kinds it attacks,
and, not content with killing enough for immediate purposes, destroys
large numbers, sucking small quantities of blood from each. According to
Sir William Jardine it is exceedingly destructive among sheep and has
been known to kill fifty in one night. The Puma is, however, easily
tamed and becomes very docile under kindly treatment. Edward Kean kept a
tame one which followed him about like a dog and was as playful as a

The Puma's Ferocity.

"Molina and D'Azara say," says Sir William Jardine, "that the puma will
flee from men, and that its timidity renders its pursuit generally free
from danger." The following incident given by Sir William Jardine and at
greater length by Captain Brown, shows that this is not always the case.
According to these accounts, two hunters visited the Katskills in
pursuit of game, each armed with a gun and accompanied by a dog. They
agreed to follow contrary directions round the base of a hill, and to
join each other immediately upon hearing the report of a gun. Shortly
after parting, one of the friends heard the gun of his comrade and
hastening to his assistance came first upon the body of his friend's
dog, torn and lacerated; proceeding further, his attention was attracted
by the growl of a wild animal, and looking up, he discovered a large
puma crouching over the body of his friend, upon the branch of a tree.
The animal glared at him, and he, knowing the rapidity of the Puma's
movements, immediately raised his gun and fired, whereupon the puma
rolled over on to the ground with his prey. The dog flew at the
infuriated beast, but one blow from the puma's paw silenced him for
ever. Seeing that his comrade was dead the hunter left the scene in
search of assistance, upon securing which, he returned to find the puma
dead, beside the two dogs and the hunter whom he had killed.

Animals and Men.

Captain Head, in his "Journey Across the Pampas" says:--"The fear which
all wild animals in America have of man is very singularly seen in the
Pampas. I often rode towards the ostriches and _zamas_, crouching under
the opposite side of my horse's neck; but I always found that, although
they would allow my loose horse to approach them, they, even when young,
ran from me, though little of my figure was visible; and when I saw them
all enjoying themselves in such full liberty, it was at first not
pleasing to observe that one's appearance was everywhere a signal to
them that they should fly from their enemy. Yet it is by this fear 'that
man hath dominion over the beasts of the field,' and there is no animal
in South America that does not acknowledge this instinctive feeling. As
a singular proof of the above, and of the difference between the wild
beasts of America and of the old world, I will venture to relate a
circumstance which a man sincerely assured me had happened to him in
South America:--He was trying to shoot some wild ducks, and, in order to
approach them unperceived, he put the corner of his poncho (which is a
sort of long narrow blanket) over his head, and crawling along the
ground upon his hands and knees, the poncho not only covered his body,
but trailed along the ground behind him. As he was thus creeping by a
large bush of reeds, he heard a loud, sudden noise, between a bark and a
roar: he felt something heavy strike his feet, and, instantly jumping
up, he saw, to his astonishment, a large puma actually standing on his
poncho; and, perhaps, the animal was equally astonished to find himself
in the immediate presence of so athletic a man. The man told me he was
unwilling to fire, as his gun was loaded with very small shot; and he
therefore remained motionless, the puma standing on his poncho for many
seconds; at last the creature turned his head, and walking very slowly
away about ten yards, he stopped, and turned again: the man still
maintained his ground, upon which the puma tacitly acknowledged his
supremacy, and walked off."

The Ocelot.

The Ocelot is a native of South America and one of the most beautiful of
the Cat family. It is smaller than the Leopard, attaining to about three
feet in length, and eighteen inches in height. Its colour is grey,
tinged with fawn and the body and legs are covered with longitudinal
chainlike stripes broken into patches of some inches. Its habits are
like those of its near relations, the Leopard and the Jaguar, though its
appetite for blood makes it perhaps even more destructive. It will suck
blood with the greatest avidity and frequently leave a carcase otherwise
untouched in order to pursue other animals for the sake of more blood.
When tame the Ocelot is remarkably playful, climbing up the legs and
nestling in the arms of its benefactors. It is apt to be dangerous in a
poultry yard but will keep good friends with a house dog, and play,
somewhat roughly, perhaps, but without malice, with children.

The Clouded Tiger.

This animal belongs to Sumatra where it lives upon the forest birds.
Like the Ocelot it is exceedingly playful when tame, seeking the notice
and returning the caresses of all who encourage it.

The Serval.

"The Serval," says Captain Brown, "is somewhat larger than the ordinary
wild cat. Its general colour is a pale fulvous yellow. It resides on
trees, where it makes a bed, and breeds its young. It seldom appears on
the ground, living principally on birds, squirrels, and small animals;
it is extremely agile, and leaps, with great rapidity, from one branch
to another. The serval never assaults man, but rather endeavours to
avoid him; if, however, it is compelled to attack, it darts furiously on
its antagonist, and bites and tears, like the rest of the cat kind."

The Common Wild Cat.

The common wild cat is one of the few wild animals still to be found in
the British Isles. Up till recent years these cats were observed among
the woody mountainous districts of Cumberland and Westmoreland and in
the wild parts of Scotland and Ireland, though as the land is brought
more and more under cultivation they decrease in numbers, failing
suitable asylum. They abound in the forests of Germany and Russia, where
they live in the hollows of trees and caves of rocks, and feed on birds,
squirrels, hares and rabbits, and will even attack young lambs and
fawns. The wild cat is not to be confused with the domestic cat which
has relapsed into a wild state. "In the form and shape of the tail,"
says Sir William Jardine, "this animal somewhat resembles the Lynx. The
fur is very thick, woolly and long. The general colour is a greyish
yellow, in some specimens inclining much to a shade of bluish
grey."--"They spring," says Mrs. Bowdich, "furiously upon whoever
approaches, and utter unearthly cries. Mr. St. John, when walking up to
his knees in heather over broken ground, came suddenly upon a wild cat.
She rushed out between his legs, every hair standing up. He cut a
good-sized stick; and three Skye terriers gave chase till she took
refuge in a corner, spitting and growling. On trying to dislodge her,
she flew at Mr. St. John's face, over the dogs' heads; but he struck her
while in the air, and she fell among the dogs, who soon despatched her,
even though it has been said that a wild cat has twelve instead of nine
lives. If one of these animals is taken, those in the neighbourhood are
sure to be also secured, as they will all, after the manner of foxes,
assemble round the body of their relative."

The Domestic Cat.

The origin of the domestic cat is difficult to determine. Cats were
numerous in Egypt from an early date, and are said to be native to
Syria. According to Professor Rolleston the cat was not domesticated
anywhere, except in Egypt, before the Christian Era. Few animals are
more familiar to the general reader, and few therefore, need less
description. The "Tabby" is perhaps the commonest, though black, white,
and tortoise-shell varieties abound. The Angora or Angola cat, the
Persian cat, and the Manx cat, which latter is deficient in the useful
and ornamental embellishment of a tail, are also well known.

Cat Superstitions.

There are many superstitions concerning the cat, the black variety
coming in for the larger share of popular suspicion. To steal one and
bury it alive was at one time regarded as a specific against cattle
disease in the Irish Highlands, while, according to Captain Brown, it
was the practice for families in Scotland to tie up their cats on
Hallowe'en to prevent their use for equestrian purposes by witches
during the night. "They have always been regarded as attendants upon
witches," says Mrs. Bowdich, "and witches themselves have been said to
borrow their shapes when on their mysterious expeditions. I was once
told that Lord Cochrane was accompanied by a favourite black cat in a
cruise through the northern seas. The weather had been most
unpropitious; no day had passed without some untoward circumstance; and
the sailors were not slow in attributing the whole to the influence of
the black cat on board. This came to Lord Cochrane's ears, and knowing
that any attempt to reason his men out of so absurd a notion was
perfectly useless, he offered to sacrifice this object of his regard,
and have her thrown overboard. This, however, far from creating any
satisfaction, only alarmed the men still more. They were sure that the
tempests she would then raise would be much worse than any they had yet
encountered; and they implored his lordship to let her remain
unmolested. 'There was no help, and they could only hope, if she were
not affronted, they might at the end of their time reach England in

The Cat as a Hunter.

"The cat," says the Rev. J. G. Wood, "is familiarly known to us as a
persevering mouse-hunter. So strong, indeed, is the passion for hunting
in the breast of the cat, that she sometimes disdains mice, 'and such
small deer,' and trespasses on warrens or preserves. A large tabby cat,
residing at no great distance from White Horse Vale, was accustomed to
go out poaching in the preserves of a neighbouring nobleman, and so
expert was she at this illegal sport that she constantly returned
bearing in her mouth a leveret or a partridge, which she insisted on
presenting to her mistress, who in vain endeavoured to check her
marauding propensities. These exploits, however, brought their own
punishment; for one day, when in the act of seizing a leveret, she found
herself caught in a vermin trap, which deprived her of one of her hind
legs. This misfortune did not damp her enthusiasm for hunting, as,
although the loss of a leg prevented her from chasing hares, and
suchlike animals, she would still bring in an occasional rat."

The Cat and her Young.

"A cat, which had a numerous litter of kittens," says Captain Brown,
"one sunny day encouraged her little ones to frolic in the vernal beams
of noon, about the stable door, where she was domiciled. While she was
joining them in a thousand tricks and gambols, a large hawk, who was
sailing above the barn-yard, in a moment darted upon one of the kittens,
and would have as quickly borne it off, but for the courageous mother,
who, seeing the danger of her offspring, sprang on the common enemy,
who, to defend itself, let fall the prize. The battle presently became
severe to both parties. The hawk, by the power of his wings, the
sharpness of his talons, and the strength of his beak, had for a while
the advantage, cruelly lacerating the poor cat, and had actually
deprived her of one eye in the conflict; but puss, no way daunted at the
accident, strove, with all her cunning and agility, for her kittens,
till she had broken the wing of her adversary. In this state, she got
him more within the power of her claws, and availing herself of this
advantage, by an instantaneous exertion, she laid the hawk motionless
beneath her feet; and, as if exulting in the victory, tore the head off
the vanquished tyrant. This accomplished, disregarding the loss of her
eye, she ran to the bleeding kitten, licked the wounds made by the
hawk's talons in its tender sides, and purred whilst she caressed her
liberated offspring."

The Cat as a Foster Mother.

The female cat seems to be in a special sense a born mother. She is
assiduous in the care of her own young and singularly ready to extend
the benefits of motherhood even to alien offspring. Instances are on
record in which cats have reared squirrels, dogs, leverets, rats, ducks,
chickens, and even small birds. These have usually occurred at times
when the cats have been deprived of their own young. Mr. T. Foggitt
says: "A cat belonging to the Albert Dock Warehouse, Liverpool, gave
birth to six kittens. It was deemed necessary to destroy four of them,
and they were accordingly drowned. The remaining two were placed, along
with their mother, in some loose cotton, collected for the purpose in a
box, in one of the warehouse rooms. On removing the box a few mornings
after, to give puss her usual breakfast, great curiosity was excited on
seeing a third added to the number; and the astonishment was still
greater when the third was discovered to be a young rat which the cat
had taken from its nest in the night-time, and brought home as a
companion to the kittens she was then nursing. The young rat was very
lively, and was treated by the cat with the same attention and care as
if it were one of her own offspring."

The Cat as a Traveller.

The distances that cats will travel, finding their way with unerring
instinct many miles across country of which there seems no reason to
suppose them to have had previous knowledge is very remarkable. Mrs.
Bowdich records the case of a cat who disliking her new home, returned
to her old one, in doing which, she had to cross two rivers, one of them
about eighty feet broad and two feet and a half deep, running strong;
the other wider and more rapid, but less deep. Cats are said to have
found their way from Edinburgh to Glasgow, and one to the writer's
knowledge returned from Dover to Canterbury after being carried from
thence by rail. Captain Brown gives the following remarkable instance.
In June, 1825, a farmer, residing in the neighbourhood of Ross, sent a
load of grain to Gloucester, a distance of about sixteen miles. The
waggoners loaded in the evening, and started early in the morning. On
unloading at Gloucester, a favourite cat, belonging to the farmer, was
found among the sacks, with two kittens of very recent birth. The
waggoner very humanely placed puss and her young in a hay-loft, where he
expected they would remain in safety, until he should be ready to depart
for home. On his return to the loft shortly afterwards, neither cat nor
kittens were to be found, and he reluctantly left town without them.
Next morning the cat entered the kitchen of her master's house with one
kitten in her mouth. It was dead; but she placed it before the fire, and
without seeking food, or indulging, for a moment, in the genial warmth
of her domestic hearth, disappeared again. In a short time she returned
with the other kitten, laid it down by the first, stretched herself
beside them, and instantly expired! The poor creature could have carried
but one at a time, and, consequently, must have travelled three times
over the whole line of her journey, and performed forty-eight miles in
less than twelve hours.

The Cat as Sportsman.

The favourite food of the cat is fish, which curiously enough inhabits
an element to which the cat has a great aversion. There are, however,
numerous instances on record of cats which have overcome their natural
antipathy to water in order to gratify their natural taste for fish. An
extraordinary case of this kind is recorded in the _Plymouth Journal_,
June, 1828:--"There is now at the battery on the Devil's Point, a cat,
which is an expert catcher of the finny tribe, being in the constant
habit of diving into the sea, and bringing up the fish alive in her
mouth, and depositing them in the guard-room, for the use of the
soldiers. She is now seven years old, and has long been a useful
caterer. It is supposed that her pursuit of the water-rats first taught
her to venture into the water, to which it is well known puss has a
natural aversion. She is as fond of the water as a Newfoundland dog, and
takes her regular peregrinations along the rocks at its edge, looking
out for her prey, ready to dive for them at a moment's notice."

Mr. Beverley R. Morris says: "When living in Worcester many years ago, I
remember frequently seeing the cat of a near neighbour of ours bring
fish, mostly eels, into the house, which it used to catch in a pond not
far off. This was an almost everyday occurrence."

The Cat's Intelligence.

Many remarkable illustrations might be given of the sagacity and
intelligence of the cat. A lady had for many years been the possessor of
a cat and a canary bird, who became the closest friends, never bearing
any lengthy separation from each other, and spending their whole time in
each other's society. One summer day the lady was sitting working in
her drawing-room, and the cat and bird were a short distance off.
Suddenly, without a moment's deliberation, the cat, to the great
astonishment of the lady, uttered a loud growl, and then, seizing her
little playmate in her mouth, darted off with it to a place of safety. A
strange cat had entered the room and the friendly one had adopted this
plan of saving the bird from the enemy. A still more remarkable
illustration of the intelligence of a cat is given by De la Croix as
follows: "I once saw," says he, "a lecturer upon experimental philosophy
place a cat under the glass receiver of an air-pump, for the purpose of
demonstrating that very certain fact, that life cannot be supported
without air and respiration. The lecturer had already made several
strokes with the piston, in order to exhaust the receiver of its air,
when the animal, who began to feel herself very uncomfortable in the
rarefied atmosphere, was fortunate enough to discover the source from
which her uneasiness proceeded. She placed her paw upon the hole through
which the air escaped, and thus prevented any more from passing out of
the receiver. All the exertions of the philosopher were now unavailing;
in vain he drew the piston; the cat's paw effectually prevented its
operation. Hoping to effect his purpose, he let air again into the
receiver, which, as soon as the cat perceived, she withdrew her paw from
the aperture; but whenever he attempted to exhaust the receiver, she
applied her paw as before. All the spectators clapped their hands in
admiration of the wonderful sagacity of the animal, and the lecturer
found himself under the necessity of liberating her, and substituting in
her place another, that possessed less penetration, and enabled him to
exhibit the cruel experiment."

The Lynx.

The several species of the Lynx belong to the genus Lyncus, the
principle varieties of which are the Canada Lynx, and the European Lynx.
The Lynx has short legs, and is generally about the size of a fox,
attaining often to three feet in length. It preys upon small quadrupeds
and birds, in the pursuit of which it is an expert climber. The Canada
Lynx preys largely upon the American hare, which it is well qualified to
hunt. The Lynx is distinguished by a peculiar gait, for unlike other
animals, it bounds with, and alights upon, all four feet at once. The
ears are erect, and tipped with a long pencil of black hair. The fur
which is long and thick is of a pale grey colour, with a reddish tinge,
marked with dusky spots on the upper part of the body. The under parts
are white. The European Lynx feeds upon small animals and birds. The fur
of the lynx is valuable, on account of its great softness and warmth,
and is in consequence an extensive article of commerce. It inhabits the
northern parts of Europe, Asia, and America; and prefers cold or
temperate climates, differing in this respect from most of the cat

The Chetah.

The Chetah or Hunting Leopard is the one species of the genus Cynœlurus.
It is a handsome animal and capable of considerable training. According
to Mr. Benet's description it is "intermediate in size between the
leopard and the hound, more slender in its body, more elevated in its
legs, and less flattened on the fore part of its head than the leopard,
while deficient in the peculiarly graceful and lengthened form, both of
head and body, which characterizes the hound." "The ground colour of the
Chetah is a bright yellowish fawn above, and nearly pure white beneath;
covered above, and on the sides, by innumerable closely approximating
spots, from half an inch to an inch in diameter, which are intensely
black, and do not, as in the leopard and other spotted cats, form roses
with a lighter centre, but are full and complete." The Chetah is found
in India and Africa but it is only in India that it is trained for
hunting purposes. Sir William Jardine says: "the employment of the
hunting leopard may be compared to the sport of falconry. The natural
instinct teaches them to pursue the game, the reward of a portion of it,
or of the blood, induces them to give it up, and again subject
themselves to their master."

The Chetah as a Huntsman.

The practice of employing animals to hunt animals is of very early
origin, and the docility of the Chetah early marked him out as a
suitable ally in the chase. Chetahs are so gentle that they can be led
about in a leash like greyhounds. The following description of a hunt is
from "The Naturalist's Library". "Just before we reached our ground, the
shuter suwars (camel courier), who always moved on our flanks in search
of game, reported a herd of antelopes, about a mile out of the line of
march, and the Chetahs being at hand, we went in pursuit of them. The
leopards are each accommodated with a flat-topped cart, without sides,
drawn by two bullocks, and each animal has two attendants. They are
loosely bound by a collar and rope to the back of the vehicle, and are
also held by the keeper by a strap round the loins. A leathern hood
covers the eyes. On entering from a cotton field, we came in sight of
four antelopes, and my driver managed to get within a hundred yards of
them before they took alarm. The Chetah was quickly unhooded and loosed
from his bonds; and, as soon as he viewed the deer, he dropped quietly
off the cart on the opposite side to that on which they stood, and
approached them at a slow crouching canter, masking himself by every
bush, and inequality, which lay in his way. As soon, however, as the
deer began to show alarm, he quickened his pace and was in the midst of
them in a few bounds. He singled out a doe, and ran it close for about
200 yards, when he reached it with a blow of his paw, rolled it over,
and in an instant was sucking the life blood from its throat." "As soon
as the deer is pulled," says the same account, "a keeper runs up, hoods
the Chetah, cuts the victim's throat, and securing some of the blood in
a wooden ladle, thrusts it under the leopard's nose. The antelope is
then dragged away and placed in a receptacle under the hatchery, while
the Chetah is rewarded with a leg for his pains."

The Civits.

The family Viverridæ includes a large number of species of small
carnivorous animals of which the Civits and the Ichneumons are the best
known. They belong chiefly to Africa and South Asia, but some are found
in the south of Europe. The African Civit hails from Gaboon and
Abyssinia and the Asiatic variety from Bengal, Nepaul, China and
Formosa. It is from these animals that we get the fatty substance, used
in perfumery and known as civit. Of this Mr. Piesse says: "In its pure
state, civit has to nearly all persons a most disgusting odour, but when
diluted to an infinitesimal portion its perfume is agreeable. The Genet,
and the Paradoxure are other genera of this family."

The Ichneumon.

The Ichneumon numbers some fifteen genera, and sixty species. The best
known of these is the grey Ichneumon which comes from India or adjacent
countries. Naturally savage it soon becomes tame under kindly treatment.
It seems to have a natural enmity towards serpents, which it attacks and
destroys. The Mahrattas say that it neutralizes the effects of snake
bites by eating the root of the monguswail. Captain Brown records an
experiment in which the ichneumon was placed in a room with a poisonous
serpent which it tried to avoid. On the two being removed to the open
air, the ichneumon is said to have immediately darted at the serpent and
destroyed it, afterwards retiring to the wood and eating a portion of
the plant said to be an antidote to the serpent's venom. The Ichneumon
is about the size of the domestic cat and of a dark silver grey colour.
The Egyptian Ichneumon much resembles the cat in its habits and manners
and is so deadly a foe to reptiles and vermin, that it is domesticated
with a view to their destruction. It is remarkably quick in its
movements, darting with unerring aim at the head of the reptile it
attacks. It displays also the cat's patience in watching for its prey.
It has a great liking for crocodile's eggs and with remarkable instinct
unearths them from the banks of rivers where they have been deposited.

Dormant Instinct.

Though perfectly tame in captivity, the natural instincts of the
ichneumon are only dormant, as the following illustration will show. M.
d'Obsonville says, in his "Essay on the Nature of Various Animals", "I
had an ichneumon very young, which I brought up. I fed it at first with
milk, and afterwards with baked meat, mixed with rice. It soon became
even tamer than a cat; for it came when called, and followed me, though
at liberty, into the country. One day I brought to him a small water
serpent alive, being desirous to know how far his instinct would carry
him, against a being with which he was hitherto totally unacquainted.
His first emotion seemed to be astonishment, mixed with anger: for his
hair became erect; but in an instant after, he slipped behind the
reptile, and, with remarkable swiftness and agility, leaped upon its
head, seized it, and crushed it between his teeth. This essay, and new
aliment, seemed to have awakened in him his innate and destructive
voracity, which, till then, had given way to the gentleness he had
acquired from his education. I had about my house several curious kinds
of fowls, among which he had been brought up, and which, till then, he
had suffered to go and come unmolested and unregarded; but, a few days
after, when he found himself alone, he strangled them every one, eat a
little, and, as it appeared, drank the blood of two."

The Aard Wolf.

The Aard Wolf of South Africa, is the sole genus and species of the
Protelidæ family. It much resembles the hyæna in appearance and habit,
and feeds on carrion and white ants.

The Hyæna.

The Hyæna, though long treated as a member of the dog family, is now
separately classified as the Hyænidæ, a family of one genus and three
species, all of which are found in Africa. The Hyæna is also found in
Egypt, Arabia, Persia and other parts of Asia. He has immensely
powerful teeth with which he can crush the bones of his victims,
apparently eating bones and flesh with impunity. He is nocturnal in his
habits, living in caves and hollows in the day time and prowling about
at night in search of prey. Speaking of the Barbary hyæna Bruce
says:--"He seems to be stupid or senseless in the day, or at the
appearance of strong light, unless when pursued by hunters. I have
locked up a goat, a kid, and a lamb, with him all day when he was
fasting, and found them in the evening alive and unhurt." The principle
varieties are the striped Hyæna, and the spotted Hyæna. Bruce speaking
of the former says, "he is brutish, indolent, slovenly and impudent and
seems to possess much the manners of the wolf. His courage appears to
proceed from an insatiable appetite, and has nothing of the brave or
generous in it, and he dies oftener flying than fighting." The cry of
the hyæna, sometimes called a laugh, begins with a moan and ends with a
demoniacal shriek which has been variously described by travellers but
which all agree in calling hideous and disgusting. In size he resembles
a large mastiff, but the formation of his neck and jaws give him a power
far beyond that of other animals of his size. Whatever fear he may have
of man, he has none of other animals and will even face the lion. Bruce
speaks of his special liking for the flesh of the dog and of the dog's
reluctance to face him. "My greyhounds, accustomed to fasten upon the
wild boar, would not venture to engage with him. On the contrary, there
was not a journey I made that he did not kill several of my greyhounds,
and once or twice robbed me of my whole stock: he would seek and seize
them in the servants' tents where they were tied, and endeavour to carry
them away before the very people that were guarding them." His coat is
covered with long coarse hairs of a dirty grey colour, which form a mane
the length of his back, his sides being striped or spotted, according to
the species. The hyæna for all his repulsiveness serves a useful
purpose, as a scavenger, devouring all the offal which comes in its way,
including the dead of his own species which no other animal will touch.
The hyæna can be tamed and taught to follow its master and to hunt other

The Striped Hyæna.

Bruce tells the following story of the impudence of the striped hyæna.
"One night in Maitsha, being very intent on observation, I heard
something pass behind me towards the bed, but upon looking round could
perceive nothing. Having finished what I was then about, I went out of
my tent, resolving directly to return, which I immediately did, when I
perceived large blue eyes glaring at me in the dark. I called upon my
servant with a light; and there was the hyæna standing nigh the head of
the bed, with two or three large bunches of candles in his mouth. To
have fired at him, I was in danger of breaking my quadrant or other
furniture; and he seemed, by keeping the candles steadily in his mouth,
to wish for no other prey at that time. As his mouth was full, and he
had no claws to tear with, I was not afraid of him, but with a pike
struck him as near the heart as I could judge. It was not till then he
showed any sign. of fierceness; but, upon feeling his wound, he let drop
the candles, and endeavoured to run up the shaft of the spear to arrive
at me; so that, in self-defence, I was obliged to draw out a pistol from
my girdle and shoot him, and nearly at the same time my servant cleft
his skull with a battle-axe. In a word, the hyæna was the plague of our
lives, the terror of our night-walks, the destruction of our mules and
asses, which above all others are his favourite food."

The Spotted Hyæna.

The spotted hyæna belongs to South Africa and seems to possess more
daring than his cousin of Abyssinia, and to show a greater preference
for human food. According to Mr. Stepstone, the Mambookies build their
houses in the form of a beehive from eighteen to twenty feet in
diameter, placing a raised platform at the back and leaving the
front-area for the accommodation of the calves at night. Thus the
animals are nearest to the door, notwithstanding which the hyæna will
"pass by the calves and take the children from under the mother's
kaross; and this in such a gentle and cautious manner, that the poor
parent is unconscious of her loss, until the cries of her little
innocent have reached her from without, when it has been a close
prisoner in the jaws of the monster." Many years ago, when animals were
kept at the Tower of London, the den of a spotted hyæna required some
repair. "The carpenter," says Mrs. Bowdich, "nailed a thick oaken plank
upon the floor, about seven feet long, putting at least a dozen nails
into it, each longer than his middle finger. At one end of this piece of
wood there was a small projection, and not having a proper chisel with
him by which he might remove it, the man returned to his shop to fetch
one. While he was absent some persons came to see the animals, and the
hyæna was let down by the keeper into the part of the den in which the
carpenter had been at work. Directly the beast saw the projecting piece
of wood he seized it with his teeth, tore the plank up, and drew out
every nail with the utmost ease; which action will give a good idea of
the muscular strength of this creature."

A Narrow Escape.

Sparrman tells an amusing story of the daring and the fright of a hyæna,
as follows: "One night, at a feast near the Cape, a trumpeter who had
made himself drunk with liquor was carried out of doors and laid on the
grass, in order that the air might both cool and sober him. The scent of
the man soon attracted a spotted hyæna, which threw him on his back, and
carried him away towards Table Mountain. The hyæna doubtless supposed
that the senseless drunkard was a _corpse_, and consequently a fair
prize. In the meantime the musician awoke, and was at once sufficiently
sensible to know the danger of his situation, and to sound the alarm
with his trumpet, which he fortunately carried at his side. The hyæna,
as it may be imagined, was greatly frightened in its turn, and
immediately ran away, leaving the trumpeter, it is to be hoped, 'a wiser
man' for his extraordinary ride. It is remarkable that the soldier was
not seriously injured by the hyæna, for the teeth of the animal were
fortunately fastened in the coat and not in the flesh of the man."

Animals of the Dog Kind.

Animals of the dog kind, are neither so numerous, nor, in general, so
ferocious as those of the panther or cat kind. The principal species are
the wolf, the jackal, the fox, and the dog. This class may be
principally distinguished by their claws, which have no sheath like
those of the cat kind, but are placed at the point of each toe, without
the capability of being stretched forward or drawn back. The nose, as
well as the jaw, of all the dog kind, is longer than in the cat; the
body in proportion more strongly made, and covered with hair instead of
fur. They also far exceed the other kind in the sense of smell, the
olfactory nerves being diffused upon a very extensive membrane within
the skull, which accounts for their surprising acuteness in this sense.

The Wolf.

The Wolf is about three feet and a half long, and about two feet and a
half high, larger than our great breed of mastiffs, which are seldom
more than three feet by two. He bears a great resemblance to the dog,
but is much stronger, and the length of his hair contributes still more
to his robust appearance. The feature which principally distinguishes
the visage of the wolf from that of the dog, is the eye, which opens
slantingly upwards in the same direction with the nose; whereas, in the
dog, it opens more at right angles with the nose, as in man. The colour
of the eyeballs in the wolf, is a fiery green, giving his visage a
fierce and formidable air. He generally hides by day in the thickest
coverts, and only ventures out at night; when, sallying forth over the
country, he keeps peering round the villages, and carries off such
animals as are not under protection--attacks the sheep-fold, scratches
up and undermines the thresholds of doors where the sheep are housed,
enters furiously, and destroys all before he begins to fix upon and
carry off his prey. The wolf has great strength, particularly in his
foreparts, and the muscles of his neck and jaws. He carries off a sheep
in his mouth without letting it touch the ground, and runs with it much
faster than the shepherds who pursue him; so that nothing but the dogs
can overtake and oblige him to quit his prey. Notwithstanding his great
strength, cunning, and agility, the wolf being the declared enemy of
man, is often hard pressed for subsistence; he has always a gaunt and
starved appearance, and, indeed, often dies of hunger. He has been
hunted down, and is now rarely to be found in civilized countries.

The Fox.

The Fox is of a much more slender make than the wolf, and not nearly so
large, being little more than two feet long. The tail is longer and more
bushy, the nose smaller, approaching nearer to that of the greyhound,
and its hair softer. Its eyes, however, are obliquely set, like those of
the wolf. The fox has long been famous for cunning; he is patient and
prudent, and gains by address what is denied to his courage or strength.
He is most destructive to poultry. When he gets into a farm-yard, he
begins by levelling all the poultry without remorse, and carrying off a
part of the spoil, he hides it at some convenient distance. Returning,
he carries off another fowl, which he hides in like manner, but not in
the same place; and this he repeats several times, until the approach of
day, or the noise of the domestics, warns him to retire to his hole. He
often destroys a large quantity of game, seizing the partridge and quail
while sitting on their nests. He even eats rats, mice, serpents, toads,
and lizards. In vain does the hedge-hog roll itself up into a ball to
oppose him; he teases it until it is obliged to appear uncovered, and
then devours it. Besides the common Fox (_Vulpes Vulgaris_), there are
numerous varieties, of which the Tahaleb or Egyptian Fox and the Fennec
(_Feneca Zaarensis_) of North Africa, the Kit Fox, the Red, the Grey
and the Silver Fox of North America, and the Arctic Fox (_Leucocyon
lagopus_) are the best known.

The Jackal.

The Jackal, one of the most common of wild animals in the East, is about
the size of the fox, but in shape it more nearly resembles the wolf. Its
colour is a bright yellow, or sorrel. Its cry is a howl, mixed with
barking, and a lamentation resembling that of human distress. The jackal
may be considered as the vulture of the quadruped kind; the most putrid
substances that once had life, are greedily devoured. Like the hyæna,
the jackals scratch up with their feet the new-made grave, and devour
the contents, however decomposed. While at this dreary work, they make a
mournful cry, like that of children under chastisement, and having thus
dug up the body, they amicably share it. In countries, therefore, where
they abound, the people are obliged to beat the earth over the grave,
and mix it with thorns, to prevent the jackals from scraping it away.
The jackal never goes alone, but always in packs of forty or fifty
together. They watch the burying-grounds, follow armies, and keep in the
rear of caravans. The jackal, after having tired down its prey, is often
deprived of the spoil by the lion, the panther, or the tiger, whose
appetites are superior to their swiftness; these attend its call, and
devour the prey which it has run down by its unceasing perseverance; and
this circumstance has given rise to the erroneous opinion, that the
jackal is the lion's provider. The jackal is found in some parts of
Europe and abounds in most parts of Asia. Those of the warmest climates
are the largest, and their colour is rather of a reddish brown than of
that beautiful yellow by which the smaller jackals are distinguished.
Like the Fox it forms burrows in the earth and emits an offensive odour.

The Wolf's Mode of Attack.

"The Wolf," says Professor Duncan in "Cassell's Natural History",
"usually lives in solitary places in mountains; but in Spain he is said
sometimes to make his lair in corn-fields, in close proximity to
inhabited dwellings. Here he lives with his wife and family, usually
_caché_ during the day, and issuing forth at night to take his prey.
During the warmer periods of the year wolves, as a rule, hunt each one
for himself, but in winter they often unite into great packs, and pursue
their prey over the snow at a rapid pace and with indomitable
perseverance. Swift and untiring must be the animal which, on an open
plain, can escape from them; even the horse, perfectly constructed as he
is for rapid running, is almost certain to succumb, unless he can reach
a village before his pace begins to flag. They never spring upon an
animal from an ambush--the nearest approach ever made to such a mode of
attack being their practice of attacking sheepfolds by leaping into the
midst of the flock and killing right and left; when they reach their
prey, too, the first onslaught is made with their teeth, and never by a
blow of the paw. Thus, a wolfs attack--like that of all members of the
genus Canis--is entirely different from a cat's. The cat lies in ambush
all alone, springs upon the passing prey, which if he misses he scarcely
ever pursues, and kills by a blow of the paw. The dog and wolf attack
openly, sometimes alone, but oftener in company, pursue their prey with
unflagging energy until it falls a victim, and give the death-wound at
once with their teeth."

The Wolf's Cunning.

That the wolf sometimes employs cunning as well as savagery in seeking
his prey is shown by the following story from "Broke's Travels in the
North of Sweden": "I observed, on setting out from Sormjole, the last
post, that the peasant who drove my sledge was armed with a cutlass;
and, on inquiring the reason, was told that, the day preceding, while he
was passing in his sledge the part of the forest we were then in, he had
encountered a wolf, which was so daring, that it actually sprang over
the hinder part of the sledge he was driving, and attempted to carry
off a small dog which was sitting behind him. During my journey from
Tornea to Stockholm, I heard everywhere of the ravages committed by
wolves, not upon the human species or the cattle, but chiefly upon the
peasants' dogs, considerable numbers of which had been devoured. I was
told that these were the favourite prey of this animal; and that, in
order to seize upon them with the greater ease, it puts itself into a
crouching posture, and begins to play several antic tricks, to attract
the attention of the poor dog, which, caught by these seeming
demonstrations of friendship, and fancying it to be one of his own
species, from the similarity, advances towards it to join in the
gambols, and is carried off by its treacherous enemy. Several peasants
that I conversed with mentioned their having been eye-witnesses of this

The Wolf's Cowardice.

Mr. Lloyd in his "Field Sports in the North of Europe" gives a
remarkable illustration of the cowardice of the wolf when caught in a
trap. "A peasant near St. Petersburg," says Mr. Lloyd, "when one day in
his sledge, was pursued by eleven of these ferocious animals. At this
time he was only about two miles from home, towards which he urged his
horse at the very top of his speed. At the entrance to his residence was
a gate, which happened to be closed at the time; but the horse dashed
this open, and thus himself and his master found refuge within the
court-yard. They were followed, however, by nine out of the eleven
wolves; but, very fortunately, at the instant these had entered the
enclosure, the gate swung back on its hinges, and thus they were caught
as in a trap. From being the most voracious of animals, the nature of
these beasts--now that they found escape impossible--became completely
changed: so far, indeed, from offering molestation to any one, they
slunk into holes and corners, and allowed themselves to be slaughtered
almost without making resistance."

[Illustration: Hunted by Wolves]

Hunted by Wolves.

Many terrible stories are told of the depredations caused by packs of
wolves, especially in Russia, and of the desperate adventures
travellers have met with when attacked by them. The story of the Russian
peasant, who, to save his master's family, leaped out of the sledge and
faced the pack alone, thus delaying the wolves by his own
self-sacrifice, while the sledge proceeded on its journey, is one of
these. In contrast to this is the story of the Russian woman, given by
Mr. Lloyd in the work already quoted.

A Terrible Alternative.

A woman, accompanied by three of her children, was one day in a sledge,
when they were pursued by a number of wolves. She put the horse into a
gallop, and drove towards her home with the utmost speed. She was not
far from it; but the ferocious animals gained upon her, and were on the
point of rushing on to the sledge. For the preservation of her own life
and that of the remaining children, the poor, frantic creature cast one
of them to her bloodthirsty pursuers. This stopped their career for a
moment; but, after devouring the poor child, they renewed the pursuit,
and a second time came up with the vehicle. The mother, driven to
desperation, resorted to the same horrible expedient, and threw another
of her offspring to her ferocious assailants. The third child was also
sacrificed in the same way, and soon after the wretched being reached
her home in safety. Here she related what had happened, and endeavoured
to palliate her own conduct by describing the dreadful alternative to
which she had been, reduced. A peasant, however, who was among the
bystanders, and heard the recital, took up an axe, and with one blow
cleft her skull in two, saying at the same time, "that a mother who
could thus sacrifice her children for the preservation of her own life,
was no longer fit to live." The man was committed to prison, but the
Emperor subsequently granted him a pardon.

A Marvellous Escape.

Equally terrible and more marvellous is the story of the adventure of a
Russian family which took place as recently as the winter of 1894-5. A
peasant was riding in a sleigh in company with his wife and child, when
he became aware that they were being pursued by wolves. He urged the
horses to their utmost speed but it soon became evident that the wolves
would overtake them before they could reach a place of safety. Urged to
desperation, the peasant ordered his wife to throw the child to the
wolves, hoping thereby to gain time and thus escape. The wife refused to
part with her little one, whereupon an altercation ensued, during which
the peasant tried to drag the child from her arms with a view to
throwing it to the wolves himself. In the struggle both mother and child
fell from the vehicle, and with a lightened load the horses dashed
forward at an even greater speed. For some apparently unaccountable
reason, however, the wolves took no notice of the mother and child and
continued to pursue the sleigh, possibly anticipating the larger meal
that the horses would supply. In this they were not disappointed, for
they succeeded in overtaking the sleigh, and the peasant and the horses
fell victims to their ravage. In the meantime the mother and child found
their way to a farm house where they were sheltered until danger was

Tame Wolves.

Notwithstanding his natural fierceness, the wolf becomes tame under
kindly treatment, and shows much affection for those who cherish him.
Instances are common in which wolves have remembered their benefactors,
after years of absence, and have shown every demonstration of joy on
recognition. They have even been harnessed and taught to draw carriages
and to fulfil other useful offices. With wolves, as with many other
animals, hunger and thirst are apparently the principal causes of
savagery and the struggle for existence the main cause of rapacity and

The Cunning of the Fox.

The cunning of the fox is proverbial and if only one half of the stories
told about him are true, there are quite sufficient to invest him with a
degree of artfulness which is apparently unique. The extraordinary way
in which he will feign himself dead, whether when hunting or being
hunted, is a proof of this, as are also the various tricks he will
resort to, to throw his pursuers off the scent. Captain Brown tells a
story of a fox who leapt a high wall and crouched under it on the
further side until the hounds had passed over, and then quietly
returned, giving them the slip. Another fox who suddenly baffled two
blood hounds who were in hot pursuit, was discovered lying full length
upon a log of wood from which at first it was difficult to distinguish
him. When feigning death he is said sometimes to hold his breath and
hang out his tongue. He will sometimes baffle his pursuers by hanging on
to a branch of a tree.

The Fox as a Hunter.

Mr. St. John tells the following story of the fox as a hunter:--"Just
after it was daylight I saw a large fox come very quietly along the edge
of the plantation. He looked with great care over the turf wall into the
field, and seemed to long very much to get hold of some of the hares
that were feeding in it, but apparently knew that he had no chance of
catching one by dint of running. After considering a short time, he
seemed to have formed his plans, examined the different gaps in the
wall, fixed upon one which appeared to be most frequented, and laid
himself down close to it in an attitude like that of a cat at a mouse
hole. In the meantime I watched all his plans. He then with great care
and silence scraped a small hollow in the ground, throwing up the sand
as a kind of screen. Every now and then, however, he stopped to listen,
and sometimes to take a most cautious peep into the field. When he had
done this, he laid himself down in a convenient posture for springing on
his prey, and remained perfectly motionless, with the exception of an
occasional reconnoitre of the feeding hares. When the sun began to rise,
they came, one by one, from the field to the plantation: three had
already come without passing by his ambush, one within twenty yards of
him; but he made no movement beyond crouching still more flatly to the
ground. Presently two came directly towards him, and though he did not
venture to look up, I saw, by an involuntary motion of his ear, that
those quick organs had already warned him of their approach. The two
hares came through the gap together and the fox, springing with the
quickness of lightning, caught one and killed her immediately; he then
lifted up his booty and was carrying it off, when my rifle-ball stopped
his course."

A Fox Hunt.

Captain Brown tells an amusing story of the resource shown by a fox who
was hard pressed near Tamary, Ireland, which is as follows. "After a
short chase, Reynard disappeared, having cunningly mounted a turf stack,
on the top of which he lay down flat. Finding himself, at last,
perceived by one of the hounds, he left his retreat, closely pursued by
the pack, ran up a stone wall, from which he sprang on the roof of an
adjoining cabin, and mounted to the chimney-top. From that elevated
situation he looked all around him, as if carefully reconnoitring the
coming enemy. A cunning old hound approached, and, having gained the
summit of the roof, had already seized the fox in imagination, when, lo!
Reynard dropped down the chimney, like a fallen star into a draw-well.
The dog looked wistfully down the dark opening, but dared not pursue the
fugitive. Meantime, whilst the hound was eagerly inspecting the smoky
orifice of the chimney, Reynard, half enrobed in soot, had fallen into
the lap of an old woman, who, surrounded by a number of children, was
gravely smoking her pipe, not at all expecting the entrance of this
abrupt visitor. 'Emiladh deouil!' said the affrighted female, as she
threw from her the black and red quadruped: Reynard grinned, growled,
and showed his fangs; and when the sportsmen, who had secured the door,
entered, they found him in possession of the kitchen, the old woman and
the children having retired, in terror of the invader, to a corner of
the room. The fox was taken alive."

The Arctic Fox.

The Arctic Fox, which is of a beautiful white colour, is found,
according to Captain James Ross, in the highest northern latitudes, even
in the winter. In the late autumn the younger generation make their way
south and congregate in the neighbourhood of Hudson's Bay, returning
north in the early spring of the following year. They are gregarious,
living in companies in burrows in sandy places.

Wild Dogs.

Wild dogs abound in various parts of the world, of which the Dingos of
Australia, the Dholes of India and the Aguaras of South America are
examples. The wild dogs of the East are familiar to all readers of
Eastern travels. A writer in the Times newspaper describes the dogs of
Constantinople, as "omnipresent, lawless, yet perfectly harmless dogs,"
which perform valuable but ill requited service as scavengers of the
city. He says:--"In shape, in countenance, in language, in their bandy
legs, pointed noses, pricked up ears, dirty yellow coats, and bushy
tails, they could be hunted as foxes in Gloucestershire. They are," he
continues, "up and doing from sunset to sunrise, and enjoy the
refreshment of well-earned, profound sleep almost throughout the day.
They are not only homeless and masterless but have also a sovereign
contempt for bed or shelter. There is a time it would seem, when sleep
comes upon them--all of them--like sudden death; when all squat down,
coil themselves up, nose to tail, wherever they chance to be--on the
footpath, in the carriage way, in the gutter--and there lie in the
sunshine, in the pelting rain, yellow bundles, hardly distinguishable
from the mud. The Constantinople dog never learns to wag his tail; he
never makes up, never looks up to a human being, never encourages or
even notices men's advances. He is not exactly sullen, or cowed, or
mistrustful; he is simply cold and distant as an Englishman is said to
be when not introduced."

"The Dingo, the wild dog of Australia," says Mrs. Bowdich "roams in
packs through that vast country; has a broad head; fierce oblique eyes;
acute muzzle; short, pointed, erect ears; tail bushy, and never raised
to more than a horizontal position. He does not bark, but howls
fearfully; is extremely sagacious, and has a remarkable power of bearing
pain. When beaten so severely as to be left for dead, he has been seen
to get up and run away. A man proceeded to skin one, not doubting that
life was extinct, and after proceeding a little way with the operation,
he left the hut to sharpen his knife. When he returned, the poor animal
was sitting up, with the loose skin hanging over one side of his face."
The Dhole of India, similarly hunts in packs, attacking and destroying
even the tiger. Their sense of smell is very acute, their bark similar
to that of a hound, their colour red or sandy. They have long heads,
oblique eyes, long erect ears; and very powerful limbs. The Aguaras of
South America, says Mrs. Bowdich, resemble foxes. "They are silent if
not dumb, and appear to congregate in families rather than packs. They
have a peculiar propensity to steal and secrete without any apparent
object in so doing."

The Dog.

The dog divides with the horse the honour of being the most intimate and
devoted of the servants of mankind. "His origin," says Mr. Jesse "is
lost in antiquity. We find him occupying a place in the earliest pagan
worship; his name has been given to one of the first-mentioned stars of
the heavens, and his effigy may be seen in some of the most ancient
works of art. Pliny was of opinion that there was no domestic animal
without its unsubdued counterpart, and dogs are known to exist
absolutely wild in various parts of the old and new world." Whether the
dog of civilization is a descendant of these wild dogs, or whether the
wild dog is the progeny of domestic varieties relapsed into a condition
of savagery, and whether both are descended from the wolf and the jackal
has often been discussed. Certain it is that many of the species which
now obtain are in certain characteristics at least the result of
artificial breeding. In its domestic state, the dog is remarkable for
its usefulness, obedience, and attachment to its master; and the great
variety of breeds that are trained and educated for our benefit or
amusement, are almost too numerous to be mentioned. The principal are,
the _greyhound_, noted for his speed; the _Newfoundland dog_, remarkable
for his size, sagacity, and benevolence; the _shepherd's dog_, perhaps
the most useful of all; the _spaniel_, the _barbel_, and the _setter_,
useful in hunting; the _pointer_, the staunchest of all dogs; the
_Dalmatian_ or _coach-dog_, with a skin beautifully spotted; the
_terrier_, useful for destroying vermin; the _blood-hound_, formerly
used for tracing criminals; the _harrier_, _beagle_, and _foxhound_,
distinguished for their quick sense of smell; and the _bull-dog_, and
_mastiff_, which are our watch-dogs.

The Dog's Understanding.

Many marvellous instances are on record of the dog's capacity for
understanding not only the direct commands of his master, to which of
course he may be easily trained, but also, sometimes, the drift of
conversations in which his master may engage.

The Rev. James Simpson of Edinburgh had a fine Newfoundland dog of which
some good stories are told. On one occasion, however, Mr. Simpson
happening to remark to a friend in the dog's hearing that, as he was
about to change his residence, he would have to part with his dog, the
dog took the hint, left the house and was never heard of again. Sheep
dogs have been known to take very apparent interest in conversations
upon the subject of their profession, and to anticipate the word of
command by their perception of the drift of the remarks. Mr. St. John,
in his "Highland Sports", gives a remarkable illustration of the way in
which a shepherd's dog understood the conversation of his master:--"A
shepherd once, to prove the quickness of his dog, who was lying before
the fire in the house where we were talking, said to me, in the middle
of a sentence concerning something else, 'I'm thinking, sir, the cow is
in the potatoes.' Though he purposely laid no stress on these words, and
said them in a quiet, unconcerned tone of voice, the dog, who appeared
to be asleep, immediately jumped up, and leaping through the open
window, scrambled up the turf roof of the house, from which he could see
the potato field. He then (not seeing the cow there) ran and looked into
the byre, where she was, and finding that all was right, came back to
the house. After a short time the shepherd said the same words again,
and the dog repeated his look-out; but on the false alarm being a third
time given, the dog got up, and wagging his tail, looked his master in
the face with so comical an expression of interrogation, that we could
not help laughing aloud at him, on which, with a slight growl, he laid
himself down in his warm corner, with an offended air, as if determined
not to be made a fool of again."

The well known story of Sir Walter Scott's dog, supplied by him to
Captain Brown, is another illustration. "The wisest dog I ever had,"
said Sir Walter, "was what is called the bull-dog terrier. I taught him
to understand a great many words, insomuch that I am positive that the
communication betwixt the canine species and ourselves might be greatly
enlarged. Camp once bit the baker, who was bringing bread to the family.
I beat him, and explained the enormity of his offence; after which, to
the last moment of his life, he never heard the least allusion to the
story, in whatever voice or tone it was mentioned, without getting up
and retiring into the darkest corner of the room, with great appearance
of distress. Then if you said, 'the baker was well paid,' or, 'the baker
was not hurt after all,' Camp came forth from his hiding-place, capered,
and barked, and rejoiced. When he was unable, towards the end of his
life, to attend me when on horseback, he used to watch for my return,
and the servant would tell him 'his master was coming down the hill, or
through the moor,' and although he did not use any gesture to explain
his meaning, Camp was never known to mistake him, but either went out at
the front to go up the hill, or at the back to get down to the
moor-side. He certainly had a singular knowledge of spoken language."

One of the most remarkable illustrations of the dog's capacity for
understanding is probably that given by Mrs. Bowdich, as follows:

"Professor Owen was walking with a friend, by the side of a river, near
its mouth, on the coast of Cornwall, and picked up a small piece of
sea-weed. It was covered with minute animals; and Mr. Owen observed to
his companion, throwing the weed into the water, 'If this small piece
affords so many treasures, how microscopically rich the whole plant must
be! I should much like to have one.' The gentlemen walked on, but
hearing a splashing in the water, turned round, and saw it violently
agitated. 'It is Lion!' both exclaimed; 'what can he be about? He was
walking quietly enough by our side a minute ago.' At one moment they saw
his tail above the water, then his head raised for a breath of air, then
the surrounding element shook again, and at last he came ashore, panting
from his exertions, and laid a whole plant of the identical weed at Mr.
Owen's feet. After this proof of intelligence, it will not be wondered
at, that when Lion was joyfully expecting to accompany his master and
his guest on an excursion, and was told to go and take care of and
comfort Mrs. Owen, who was ill, he should immediately return to the
drawing-room and lay himself by her side, which he never left during the
absence of his owner, his countenance alone betraying his
disappointment, and that only for a few minutes."

The Dog's Sense of Locality.

Dogs have a remarkable sense of locality, and will find their way to a
spot they have once visited with an unerring instinct under
circumstances which make it impossible for them to rely entirely upon
their sense of scent. Some of the stories told of the extraordinary
journeys made by dogs, apparently without anything to guide them but
their natural instinct, seem almost incredible.

Captain Brown tells a story of a gentleman of Glasgow, who was
unfortunately drowned in the river Oder while bathing during a
continental tour. A Newfoundland dog, who was his travelling companion,
made every effort to save him, but failing to do so, found his way
either to Frankfort, or Hamburgh, where he went on board a vessel bound
for England, from which he landed somewhere on the coast, finding his
way ultimately to the person from whom he had been originally purchased,
and who lived near Holyrood palace.

Another dog who, on arriving in England from Newfoundland, was given to
a gentleman in London, was sent by him to a friend in Scotland, by
water. The dog, however, made his escape and found his way back to his
old master at Fish Street Hill, London, though as Mr. Jesse puts it "in
so exhausted a state that he could only express his joy at seeing his
master and then die."

This instinct seems to be common to many varieties of dogs. Captain
Brown tells of a Dalmatian or coach-dog which Lord Maynard lost in
France, and which he found at his house on his return to England, though
how it had got there he never could trace. It is not necessary, says
Captain Brown, that the dog shall have previously travelled the ground
by which it returns. A person who went by sea from Aberdeen to Leith,
lost his dog at the latter place, and found it on his return at
Aberdeen. It must have travelled over a country unknown to it, and have
crossed the firths of Forth and Tay.

Illustrations might easily be multiplied. Mr. Jesse tells of a dog which
was presented to the Captain of a collier by a gentleman residing at
Wivenhoe in Essex and which on being landed at Sunderland found its way
back to its old master, and also of a spaniel belonging to Colonel Hardy
which after accompanying him from Essex to Bath in a post chaise, found
its way back through London, a distance of 140 miles in three days.

Perhaps a more remarkable instance is that recorded of his dog by M.
d'Obsonville. This animal accompanied his master and a friend from
Pondicherry to Bengalore, a distance of more than nine hundred miles. M.
D'Obsonville says, "Our journey occupied nearly three weeks; and we had
to traverse plains and mountains, and to ford rivers, and go along
bypaths. The animal, which had certainly never been in that country
before, lost us at Bengalore, and immediately returned to Pondicherry.
He went directly to the house of my friend, M. Beglier, then commandant
of artillery, and with whom I had generally lived. Now, the difficulty
is not so much to know how the dog subsisted on the road (for he was
very strong, and able to procure himself food), but how he should so
well have found his way after an interval of more than a month! This was
an effort of memory greatly superior to that which the human race is
capable of exerting."

Dog Friendships and Enmities.

That dogs make very strong friendships among themselves is attested by
many an affecting story. A Radnorshire lady, who married and went to
reside in Yorkshire, afterwards paid a visit to her old home where her
father, before her marriage, had kept two or three sheep-dogs of whom
she was very fond. Having retired from business, her father had disposed
of all but one dog, and upon her arrival this one met the lady with
every demonstration of delight and, that same night, went a distance of
seven miles to a farmhouse where one of the other dogs who had become
blind, then lived. In the morning when the lady went to the door she saw
not only the dog which had given her such a glad reception on the
previous day, but also the old blind one, which had evidently been
brought by the other dog to welcome her. When the second night came the
old blind dog was taken back to its home by the same dog, which
afterwards returned, having travelled a distance of twenty-eight miles
to give pleasure to his old blind friend.

Instances might easily be multiplied but we must content ourselves with
one of a very different character from Colonel Hamilton Smith's
"Cyclopædia of Natural History." "In the neighbourhood of Cupar, in the
county of Fife, there lived two dogs, mortal enemies to each other, and
who always fought desperately whenever they met. Capt. R---- was the
master of one of them, and the other belonged to a neighbouring farmer.
Capt. R----'s dog was in the practice of going messages, and even of
bringing butchers' meat and other articles from Cupar. One day, while
returning, charged with a basket containing some pieces of mutton, he
was attacked by some of the curs of the town, who, no doubt, thought the
prize worth contending for. The assault was fierce, and of some
duration; but the messenger, after doing his utmost, was at last
overpowered and compelled to yield up the basket, though not before he
had secured a part of its contents. The piece saved from the wreck he
ran off with, at full speed, to the quarters of his old enemy, at whose
feet he laid it down, stretching himself beside it till he had eaten it
up. A few snuffs, a few whispers in the ear, and other dog-like
courtesies, were then exchanged; after which they both set off together
for Cupar, where they worried almost every dog in the town; and, what is
more remarkable, they never afterwards quarrelled, but were always on
friendly terms." This story also illustrates another characteristic of
the dog family. Dogs combine for purposes of offence and defence. Cats
stand or fall alone.

Dog Language.

The foregoing is also a proof of the faculty by which animals can
communicate their ideas to each other which in dogs is particularly
remarkable. There are many curious anecdotes recorded, illustrative of
this faculty. "At Horton, England, about the year 1818, a gentleman
from London took possession of a house, the former tenant of which had
moved to a farm about half a mile off. The new inmate brought with him a
large French poodle dog, to take the duty of watchman, in the place of a
fine Newfoundland dog, which went away with his master; but a puppy of
the same breed was left behind, and he was instantly persecuted by the
poodle. As the puppy grew up, the persecution still continued. At
length, he was one day missing for some hours; but he did not come back
alone; he returned with his old friend, the large house-dog, to whom he
had made a communication; and in an instant the two fell upon the
unhappy poodle, and killed him before he could be rescued from their
fury. In this case, the injuries of the young dog must have been made
known to his friend; a plan of revenge concerted; and the determination
to carry that plan into effect formed and executed with equal
promptitude. The following story, which illustrates, even in a more
singular manner, the communication of ideas between dogs, was told by a
clergyman, as an authentic anecdote. A surgeon of Leeds found a little
spaniel who had been lamed. He carried the poor animal home, bandaged up
his leg, and, after two or three days, turned him out. The dog returned
to the surgeon's house every morning, till his leg was perfectly well.
At the end of several months, the spaniel again presented himself, in
company with another dog, who had also been lamed; and he intimated, as
well as piteous and intelligent looks could intimate, that he desired
the same kind assistance to be rendered to his friend, as had been
bestowed upon himself. A similar circumstance is stated to have occurred
to Moraut, a celebrated French surgeon."

The Dog's Intelligence.

Many instances have been chronicled of the actions of dogs, which seem
clearly the result of a process of reasoning. Mr. Jesse tells of a dog
who was sent to fetch two hats which had been left lying upon the
grass. After several unsuccessful attempts to carry the two together in
his mouth, he laid them on the ground, placed the smaller within the
larger, pressed it down with his foot, and then easily carried them to
his master. Instances are recorded of dogs who while always ready to
perform a useful service, absolutely refused to act for the amusement of
on-lookers or to discharge unnecessary duties. Thus a dog who would go
into the water to retrieve a wild duck would refuse to fetch anything
that had been thrown in for the purpose of displaying his agility, and
another who was accustomed to ring the servants' bell at the bidding of
his mistress refused to do so when told while the servant was in the
room, and if repeatedly commanded to do so, would lay hold of the
servant's coat and attempt to drag him to his mistress. These
illustrations seem to show a power of discrimination not usually
credited to animals. Of the intelligence shown by dogs which have been
trained, the following story from the "Percy Anecdotes" is at once a
remarkable and an amusing illustration. "One day, when Dumont, a
tradesman of the Rue St. Denis, was walking in the Boulevard St. Antoine
with a friend, he offered to lay a wager with the latter, that if he
were to hide a six-livre piece in the dust, his dog would discover and
bring it to him. The wager was accepted, and the piece of money
secreted, after being carefully marked. When the two had proceeded some
distance from the spot, M. Dumont called to his dog that he had lost
something, and ordered him to seek it. Caniche immediately turned back,
and his master and his companion pursued their walk to the Rue St.
Denis. Meanwhile a traveller, who happened to be just then returning in
a small chaise from Vincennes, perceived the piece of money, which his
horse had kicked from its hiding-place; he alighted, took it up, and
drove to his inn, in the Rue Pont-aux-Choux. Caniche 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 stuck close to the
traveller. Having scented out the coin which he had been ordered to
bring back in the pocket of the latter, he leaped up incessantly at and
about him. The traveller, supposing him to be some dog that had been
lost or left behind by his master, regarded his different movements as
marks of fondness; and as the animal was handsome, he determined to keep
him. He gave him a good supper, and on retiring to bed took him with him
to his chamber. No sooner had he pulled off his breeches, than they were
seized by the dog; the owner conceiving that he wanted to play with
them, took them away again. The animal began to bark at the door, which
the traveller opened, under the idea that the dog wanted to go out.
Caniche snatched up the breeches, and away he flew. The traveller posted
after him with his night-cap on, and literally _sans culottes_. Anxiety
for the fate of a purse full of gold Napoleons, of forty francs each,
which was in one of the pockets, gave redoubled velocity to his steps.
Caniche ran full speed to his master's house, where the stranger arrived
a moment afterwards breathless and enraged. He accused the dog of
robbing him. 'Sir,' said the master, 'my dog is a very faithful
creature; and if he has run away with your breeches, it is because you
have in them money which does not belong to you.' The traveller became
still more exasperated. 'Compose yourself, sir,' rejoined the other,
smiling; 'without doubt there is in your purse a six-livre piece, with
such and such marks, which you have picked up in the Boulevard St.
Antoine, and which I threw down there with the firm conviction that my
dog would bring it back again. This is the cause of the robbery which he
has committed upon you.' The stranger's rage now yielded to
astonishment; he delivered the six-livre piece to the owner, and could
not forbear caressing the dog which had given him so much uneasiness,
and such an unpleasant chase."

Dogs' Mistakes.

That dogs sometimes make mistakes in the exercise of their intelligence,
with somewhat ludicrous results, is of course true. A dog once
accompanied a gentleman's servant to a tailor's with a coat of his
master's which needed repair. Having his suspicions with regard to the
transaction, the dog watched his opportunity, seized the coat from the
counter and carried it back with evident satisfaction to his master.
Another dog caused great amusement at a swimming match by insisting upon
the rescue of one of the competitors. Dogs have also been known to cause
both amusement and consternation by leaping upon the stage to rescue the
defenceless characters of the melodrama from the hands of the heavy
villain of the play. The story of the dog who failed to recognise his
master who had been bathing, and who therefore refused to allow him to
have his clothes, is probably apochryphal, but if true is another
illustration of the awkwardness of dogs' mistakes.

The Eskimo Dog.

Colonel Hamilton Smith in his classification of dogs begins with those
which belong nearest to the arctic circle, and it will be convenient to
follow his order in so far as space will allow. Speaking of the Eskimo
dog Captain Lyon says:--"Having myself possessed during our hard winter
a team of eleven fine dogs, I was enabled to become better acquainted
with their good qualities than could possibly have been the case by the
casual visits of the Esquimaux to the ships. The form of the Esquimaux
dog is very similar to that of our shepherd's dog in England, but it is
more muscular and broad-chested, owing to the constant and severe work
to which he is brought up. His ears are pointed, and the aspect of the
head is somewhat savage. In size a fine dog about the height of the
Newfoundland breed, but broad like a mastiff in every part except the
nose. The hair of the coat is in summer, as well as in winter, very
long, but during the cold season a soft, downy under-covering is found,
which does not appear in warm weather. Young dogs are put into harness
as soon as they can walk, and being tied up, soon acquire a habit of
pulling, in their attempts to recover their liberty, or to roam in quest
of their mother. When about two months old, they are put into the sledge
with the grown dogs, and sometimes eight or ten little ones are under
the charge of some steady old animal, where, with frequent and sometimes
severe beatings, they soon receive a competent education. Every dog is
distinguished by a particular name, and the angry repetition of it has
an effect as instantaneous as an application of the whip, which
instrument is of an immense length, having a lash from eighteen to
twenty-four feet, while the handle is one foot only; with this, by
throwing it on one side or the other of the leader, and repeating
certain words, the animals are guided or stopped. When the sledge is
stopped they are all taught to lie down, by throwing the whip gently
over their backs, and they will remain in this position even for hours,
until their master returns to them. A walrus is frequently drawn along
by three or four of these dogs, and seals are sometimes carried home in
the same manner, though I have in some instances seen a dog bring home
the greater part of a seal in panniers placed across his back. Cold has
very little effect on them; for although the dogs at the huts slept
within the snow passages, mine at the ships had no shelter, but lay
alongside, with the thermometer at 42° and 44°, and with as little
concern as if the weather had been mild. I found, by several
experiments, that three of my dogs could draw me on a sledge, weighing
one hundred pounds, at the rate of one mile in six minutes; and as a
proof of the strength of a well-grown dog, my leader drew one hundred
and ninety-six pounds singly, and to the same distance, in eight
minutes. At another time seven of my dogs ran a mile in four minutes,
drawing a heavy sledge full of men. Afterwards, in carrying stores to
the Fury, one mile distant, nine dogs drew one thousand six hundred and
eleven pounds in the space of nine minutes. When the dogs slackened
their pace, the sight of a seal or bird was sufficient to put them
instantly to their full speed; and even though none of these might be
seen on the ice, the cry of 'a seal!'--'a bear!'--or 'a bird!' &c., was
enough to give play to the legs and voices of the whole pack. The voice
and long whip answer all the purposes of reins, and the dogs can be made
to turn a corner as dexterously as horses, though not in such an orderly
manner, since they are constantly fighting; and I do not recollect to
have seen one receive a flogging without instantly wreaking his passion
on the ears of his neighbours. The cries of the men are not more
melodious than those of the animals; and their wild looks and gestures
when animated, give them an appearance of devils driving wolves before
them. Our dogs had eaten nothing for forty-eight hours, and could not
have gone over less than seventy miles of ground; yet they returned, to
all appearance, as fresh and active as when they first set out."

A Hard Lot.

The unhappy condition of the Eskimo dogs under native treatment is
pathetically referred to in "Cassell's Natural History," edited by
Professor Duncan. The writer says "the horrible savagery of those poor
wretches can hardly be wondered at; they live in a country where there
is hardly a chance for them in any independent foraging expedition; they
are half-starved by their masters, being fed chiefly on frozen walrus
hides in the winter, and allowed to shift for themselves in the summer
when their services are not required, and are in so perennial and acute
a state of hunger that they are ready at any time to eat their own
harness if allowed to do so. It is generally stated that they are
perfectly insensible to kindness, and only to be kept in order by a
liberal application of the lash, or even of a more formidable weapon;
for the Eskimo, if their dogs are refractory, do not scruple to beat
them about the head with a hammer, or anything else of sufficient
hardness which happens to be at hand. They will even beat the poor
brutes in this horrible manner until they are actually stunned.
Notwithstanding the absolute dependence of the Eskimo on their dogs,
little or no care is taken of them; they receive nothing in any degree
approaching petting, and spend all their time in the open air. The chief
use of the Eskimo dog is to draw the sledges, which are the only
possible conveyances in that frozen land. In all the Arctic expeditions
which have been sent out at various times, a good supply of sledge dogs
has been one of the greatest _desiderata_, as without them it would be
absolutely impossible to proceed far. No other animal would answer the
purpose, both horses and cattle being quite useless in journeys over ice
and snow, amongst which the pack of light, active dogs make their way
with wonderful ease and safety." The Siberian dogs render equally
valuable services to their masters with about an equal measure of

The Newfoundland Dog.

The dog known as the Newfoundland dog is one of the handsomest and best
beloved of the dog family. He is distinct from the Labrador dog, which
is more slender in make, has a sharper muzzle and is generally "black in
colour with a tawny nose and a rusty spot over each eye". The Labrador
dog and the Eskimo have been credited with the parentage of the
Newfoundland species. At home the Newfoundland is made useful for the
purpose of drawing loads, being harnessed to small carts and sleighs for
carrying wood and other commodities. Abroad like the prophet who "is not
without honour save in his own country", he has been found capable and
worthy of much more honourable service, and his fidelity and sagacity
have won for him universal esteem. He is an expert swimmer, his feet
being webbed and so peculiarly adapted for the exercise. He takes to the
water as though it were his natural element, and has so often carried
the line to sinking ships, and rescued persons about to drown that such
incidents have become quite common. The tribute paid to him by Sir
Edwin Landseer, when he named his famous picture of him "a distinguished
member of the humane society", was no more poetical than just. Volumes
might be filled with stories of his intelligence and prowess, and it is
difficult within present limits to select a due variety of
characteristic anecdotes.

The Newfoundland's Generosity.

One of the most marked characteristics of the Newfoundland dog is his
generosity to a fallen foe. His temper is said to be uncertain, though
this has been questioned by some who have had large experience of him
under varying circumstances. Be this as it may, there are many stories
told to his honour of his generosity to his enemies in the moment of
victory. A Newfoundland dog, who had for some time treated with becoming
dignity the impudence of some mongrels who were amusing themselves by
snapping and snarling at his heels, suddenly turned and sent the crowd
of persecutors flying in all directions, except the ringleader, who fell
sprawling in the middle of the street, where he was about to receive the
punishment he deserved when a cable car came dashing down the hill,
right upon the dogs. The big dog saw the danger at once and sprang
aside, but his enemy remained upon his back, too terrified to notice
anything. The Newfoundland took in the situation, in a moment sprang
back in front of the car, seized the cur in his teeth, and snatched him,
still whining and begging for mercy, out of the very jaws of death.
Laying him in the gutter, he gave a good-natured wag or two of his tail
and went his way. Another Newfoundland much bothered by a small cur who
was for ever barking at his heels, but who treated his assailant with
sublime indifference, was on one occasion aroused to adopt drastic
measures by receiving a bite on his leg. Seizing the cur by the loose
skin of his back he carried him down to the quay of Cork and after
letting him dangle over the water for a little while, dropped him into
it. After watching the animal struggle with the water until nearly
exhausted, the Newfoundland plunged in and rescued him. Mr. Jesse gives
a fine illustration of this canine chivalry, witnessed at Donaghadee.
"The one dog in this case was also a Newfoundland, and the other was a
mastiff. They were both powerful dogs; and though each was good-natured
when alone, they were very much in the habit of fighting when they met.
One day they had a fierce and prolonged battle on the pier, from the
point of which they both fell into the sea; and as the pier was long and
steep, they had no means of escape but by swimming a considerable
distance. Throwing water upon fighting dogs is an approved means of
putting an end to their hostilities; and it is natural to suppose that
two combatants of the same species tumbling themselves into the sea
would have the same effect. It had; and each began to make for the land
as best he could. The Newfoundland being an excellent swimmer, very
speedily gained the pier, on which he stood shaking himself; but at the
same time watching the motions of his late antagonist, which, being no
swimmer, was struggling exhausted in the water, and just about to sink.
In dashed the Newfoundland dog, took the other gently by the collar,
kept his head above water, and brought him safely on shore. There was a
peculiar kind of recognition between the two animals; they never fought
again; they were always together: and when the Newfoundland dog had been
accidentally killed by the passage of a stone waggon on the railway over
him, the other languished and evidently lamented for a long time."

The Newfoundland's Perception of Danger.

The quickness with which the Newfoundland will realise the danger of a
situation and the promptitude with which he will devise a remedy, make
him in some cases a more valuable friend in need than a man could be.
Human aid would have probably been too slow in the following case
related by Mr. Jesse. "In the city of Worchester, one of the principal
streets leads by a gentle declivity to the river Severn. One day a
child, in crossing the street, fell down in the middle of it and a horse
and cart, which was descending the hill, would have passed over it, had
not a Newfoundland dog rushed to the rescue of the child, caught it up
in his mouth, and conveyed it in safety to the foot pavement."

The promptitude with which he will leap into the water to save the
drowning, without waiting for any word of command, is another
illustration of this faculty. Another case related by Mr. Jesse may be
quoted. "In the year 1841, as a labourer, named Rake, in the parish of
Botley, near Southampton, was at work in a gravel-pit, the top stratum
gave way, and he was buried up to his neck by the great quantity of
gravel which fell upon him. He was at the same time so much hurt, two of
his ribs being broken, that he found it impossible to make any attempt
to extricate himself from his perilous situation. Indeed, nothing could
be more fearful than the prospect before him. No one was within hearing
of his cries, nor was any one likely to come near the spot. He must
almost inevitably have perished, had it not been for a Newfoundland dog
belonging to his employer. This animal had been watching the man at his
work for some days, as if he had been aware that his assistance would be
required; for no particular attachment to each other had been exhibited
on either side. As soon, however, as the accident occurred, the dog
jumped into the pit, and commenced removing the gravel with his paws;
and this he did in so vigorous and expeditious a manner, that the poor
man was at length able to liberate himself, though with extreme
difficulty. What an example of kindness, sensibility, and I may add
reason, does this instance afford us!"

Mr. Youatt gives a remarkable illustration, also quoted by Mr. Jesse, of
a Newfoundland's apparent perception of danger of quite another sort.
Finding it inconvenient to keep this animal Mr. Youatt had given it to a
friend, and four years passed before the dog saw his late owner again,
when they met quite by chance, the two masters and the dog, on a lonely
road between Wandsworth and Kingston. The dog showed every sign of
pleasure at meeting his old master, but when they parted faithfully
followed the new. Mr. Youatt had not proceeded far, however, when he
discovered that the dog had rejoined him and was walking at his side,
growling and showing every sign of anger. Looking ahead he discovered
two men approaching him stealthily from behind the bushes that skirted
the road. "I can scarcely say," says Mr. Youatt, "what I felt; for
presently one of the scoundrels emerged from the bushes, not twenty
yards from me; but he no sooner saw my companion, and heard his
growling, the loudness and depth of which were fearfully increasing,
than he retreated, and I saw no more of him or of his associate. My
gallant defender accompanied me to the direction-post at the bottom of
the hill, and there, with many a mutual and honest greeting, we parted,
and he bounded away to overtake his rightful owner. We never met again;
but I need not say that I often thought of him with admiration and

The Newfoundland's Sense of Right and Wrong.

A number of well authenticated stories, seem to indicate a certain sense
of right and wrong as characteristic of the more intelligent dogs; of
course the idea of right and wrong being in the case of animals as in
the case of men, largely a matter of education. The Newfoundland dog
belonging to the Rev. J. Simpson of Potterow Church, Edinburgh, already
referred to, on one occasion detained a party of friends which had been
entertained by the servants during their master's absence at church, by
stationing himself in front of the hall door and preventing their egress
until the rev. gentleman's return. Another Newfoundland dog who belonged
to a grocer, and who had seen a porter hide money behind a heap of
rubbish in a stable,--money which he had surreptitiously abstracted from
the till,--followed an apprentice into the stable on the first
opportunity, and scratching away the rubbish exposed the money to view,
thus leading to the detection of the thief. It is of course easy to
claim too much for actions apparently so intelligent and in estimating
them coincidence has to be allowed for; but they are far too numerous to
be ignored in estimating canine character. An instance is recorded of a
quiet docile dog who refused to allow a visitor to leave a stable, when
it was discovered that the man had secreted a bridle in his pocket.

The Newfoundland's Fidelity.

Many illustrations might be given of the fidelity which the Newfoundland
shows in common with other dogs, but one or two must suffice. A story is
told of a dog who picked up a coin which his master had dropped from his
purse, and which he kept in his mouth all day, refusing food until his
master's return in the evening, when he laid it at his feet, and then
attacked his dinner voraciously; another of a dog who on being sent home
by his master with a key which he had inadvertently taken with him, was
attacked by a dog belonging to a butcher, but who declined the combat
until he had delivered the key, but immediately returned and attacking
the butcher's dog killed him. In the first case the dog suffered the
natural pangs of hunger rather than hazard his master's property, and in
the second he postponed the gratification of his natural feeling of
revenge until after the execution of his duty.

The Newfoundland under Training.

The tricks to which dogs can be trained, though often amusing enough,
have not the interest which attaches to the natural display of their
faculties, and yet of course there is plenty of scope for the trained
dog to supplement his culture by the exercise of his natural gifts, and
this he often does. Perhaps one of the most remarkable of trained
Newfoundland dogs, was the one possessed by Mr. McIntyre of Regent
Bridge, Edinburgh. This dog was trained to perform all kinds of tricks.
He would pick his master's hat out from a number of others of the same
kind, or indeed almost any article of his master's from a group of
similar articles. He would ring the bell to summon the servants, and if
there was no bell rope in the room, find and use the hand bell with
equal facility. A comb was hidden on the top of a mantel-piece in the
room, and the dog required to bring it, which he almost immediately did,
although in the search he found a number of articles also belonging to
his master, purposely strewed around, all of which he passed over, and
brought the identical comb which he was required to find, fully proving
that he was not guided by the sense of smell, but that he perfectly
understood what was spoken to him. One evening some gentlemen being in
company, one of them accidentally dropped a shilling on the floor,
which, after the most careful search, could not be found. Mr. M. seeing
his dog sitting in a corner, and looking as if quite unconscious of what
was passing, said to him, "Dandie, find us the shilling and you shall
have a biscuit." The dog immediately jumped upon the table and laid down
the shilling, which he had previously picked up without having been
perceived. Mr. M. having one evening supped with a friend, on his return
home could not find his boot-jack in the place where it usually lay. He
then said to his dog, "Dandie, I cannot find my boot-jack,--search for
it." The faithful animal, quite sensible of what had been said to him,
scratched at the room-door, which his master opened. Dandie proceeded to
a very distant part of the house, and returned carrying in his mouth the
boot-jack, which Mr. M. then recollected to have left that morning under
a sofa. A number of gentlemen, well acquainted with Dandie, were daily
in the habit of giving him a penny which he took to a baker's shop and
purchased bread for himself. One of these gentlemen, who lived in James'
Square, when passing was accosted by Dandie, in expectation of his usual
present. Mr. T. said to him, "I have not a penny with me to-day, but I
have one at home." Having returned to his house some time after, he
heard a noise at the door, which was opened by the servant, when in
sprang Dandie to receive his penny. In a frolic Mr. T. gave him a bad
one, which he, as usual, carried to the baker, who refused to take the
bad coin. He immediately returned to Mr. T.'s, scratched at the door,
and when the servant opened it, laid the penny down at her feet, and
walked off, seemingly with the greatest contempt. Although Dandie, in
general, made an immediate purchase of bread with the money which he
received, the following circumstance clearly demonstrates that he
possessed more prudent foresight than many who are reckoned rational
beings. One Sunday, when it was very unlikely that he could have
received a present of money, Dandie was observed to bring home a loaf.
Mr. M. being somewhat surprised at this, desired the servant to search
the room to see if any money could be found. While she was engaged in
this task, the dog seemed quite unconcerned till she approached the bed,
when he ran to her, and gently drew her back from it. Mr. M. then
secured the dog, which kept struggling and growling while the servant
went under the bed, where she found seven pence halfpenny under a bit of
cloth. From that time he never could endure the girl, and was frequently
observed to hide his money in a corner of a saw-pit, under the dust.
When Mr. M. had company, if he desired the dog to see any one of the
gentlemen home, he would walk with him till he reached his home, and
then return to his master, how great soever the distance might be. Many
other stories are told about Dandie but these must suffice. Of their
authenticity there seems little doubt; they were recorded by Captain
Brown during the lifetime of Dandie and his master.

The Sheep Dog.

The shepherd dog (_Canis domesticus_) rivals if not surpasses most other
dogs in intelligence, though his intelligence is less general and more
particular than that of other dogs, _i.e._, more special to his own
profession and probably more due to training and culture. The principle
of heredity operates conspicuously in the case of dogs, and shepherding
being one of the oldest occupations of man, the shepherd's dog has
probably been under culture for a longer period than any other,--hence
his proficiency in his work. Buffon credited him with being "the parent
stock of the whole species", and Colonel Smith with civilisation at a
very early period. "The sheep dog," says Colonel Smith, "is seldom two
feet high, but his make is muscular; the nose rather pointed; the ears
erect; and the colour of the hair black and fulvous; the fur is rather
long and rough. In great Britain, and more particularly in Scotland, the
colours are more mixed with shades of brown, and the ears are often
drooping at the tips. The sheep dog is not to be confused with the
drover or cattle dog, which is larger and still more rugged in coat, as
well as manners.

The Sheep Dog's Sagacity.

The sheep dog is credited with so many stories of skill and sagacity,
that those unacquainted with his habits and achievements can scarcely
believe the record. He has been known to rival the St. Bernard in
tracking both men and sheep who have become buried in the snow, the
mastiff in defending his master's property and the Newfoundland in
procuring assistance he was unable to render himself. But it is in the
pursuit of his special duties that he displays the most remarkable
powers; and many illustrations might be given of his extraordinary skill
and fidelity. Happily for him he found in the Ettrick Shepherd an
historian as well acquainted with his prowess as he was able to record
its exercise; from whose writings we are able to quote several
remarkable illustrations.

"My dog Sirrah," says he, "was, beyond all comparison, the best dog I
ever saw: he was of a surly and unsocial temper,--disdaining all
flattery, he refused to be caressed; but his attention to my commands
and interests will never again, perhaps, be equalled by any of the
canine race. Well as I knew him, he often astonished me; for, when hard
pressed in accomplishing the task that he was put to, he had expedients
of the moment that bespoke a great share of the reasoning faculty.

"About seven hundred lambs, which were once under my care at weaning
time, broke up at midnight, and scampered off in three divisions across
the hills, in spite of all that I and an assistant lad could do to keep
them together. 'Sirrah, my man!' said I, in great affliction, 'they are
awa'.' The night was so dark that I could not see Sirrah, but the
faithful animal heard my words--words such as of all others were sure to
set him most on the alert; and without much ado he silently set off in
search of the recreant flock. Meanwhile I and my companion did not fail
to do all in our power to recover our lost charge. We spent the whole
night in scouring the hills for miles around, but of neither the lambs
nor Sirrah could we obtain the slightest trace. It was the most
extraordinary circumstance that had occurred in my pastoral life. We had
nothing for it (day having dawned), but to return to our master, and
inform him that we had lost his whole flock of lambs, and knew not what
had become of them. On our way home, however, we discovered a body of
lambs at the bottom of a deep ravine, called the Flesh Cleuch, and the
indefatigable Sirrah standing in front of them, looking all around for
some relief, but still standing true to his charge. The sun was then up;
and when we first came in view of them, we concluded that it was one of
the divisions which Sirrah had been unable to manage until he came to
that commanding situation. But what was our astonishment, when we
discovered by degrees that not one lamb of the whole flock was wanting!
How he had got all the divisions collected in the dark, is beyond my
comprehension. The charge was left entirely to himself, from midnight
until the rising of the sun; and if all the shepherds in the forest had
been there to have assisted him, they could not have effected it with
greater propriety. All that I can farther say is, that I never felt so
grateful to any creature below the sun, as I did to my honest Sirrah
that morning."

The Sheep-dog's Fidelity.

"The late Mr. Steel, flesher in Peebles," says James Hogg, "had a bitch
whose feats in taking sheep from the neighbouring farms into the
Flesh-market at Peebles, form innumerable anecdotes in that vicinity,
all similar to one another. But there is one instance related of her,
that combines so much sagacity with natural affection, that I do not
think the history of the animal creation furnishes such another. Mr.
Steel had such an implicit dependence on the attention of this animal to
his orders, that, whenever he put a lot of sheep before her, he took a
pride in leaving them to herself, and either remained to take a glass
with the farmer of whom he had made the purchase, or took another road
to look after bargains or other business. But one time he chanced to
commit a drove to her charge at a place called Willenslee, without
attending to her condition as he ought to have done. This farm is five
miles from Peebles, over wild hills, and there is no regularly defined
path to it. Whether Mr. Steel remained behind, or chose another road, I
know not; but, on coming home late in the evening, he was astonished at
hearing that his faithful animal had not made her appearance with the
flock. He and his son, or servant, instantly prepared to set out by
different paths in search of her; but, on their going out to the street,
there was she coming with the drove, not one missing; and marvellous to
relate, she was carrying a young pup in her mouth! She had been taken in
travail on those hills; and how the poor beast had contrived to manage
the drove in her state of suffering is beyond human calculation, for her
road lay through sheep the whole way. Her master's heart smote him when
he saw what she had suffered and effected: but she was nothing daunted;
and having deposited her young one in a place of safety, she again set
out full speed to the hills, and brought another and another, till she
removed her whole litter one by one; but the last one was dead. The
stories related of the dogs of sheep-stealers, he continues, are fairly
beyond all credibility. I cannot attach credit to some of them without
believing the animals to have been devils incarnate, come to the earth
for the destruction both of the souls and bodies of men. I cannot
mention names, for the sake of families that still remain in the
country; but there have been sundry men executed, who belonged to this
district of the kingdom, for that heinous crime, in my own days; and
others have absconded, just in time to save their necks. There was not
one of these to whom I allude who did not acknowledge his dog to be the
greatest aggressor. One young man in particular, who was, I believe,
overtaken by justice for his first offence, stated, that after he had
folded the sheep by moonlight, and selected his number from the flock of
a former master, he took them out, and set away with them towards
Edinburgh. But before he had got them quite off the farm, his conscience
smote him, as he said (but more likely a dread of that which soon
followed), and he quitted the sheep, letting them go again to the hill.
He called his dog off them; and mounting his pony, he rode away. At that
time he said his dog was capering and playing around him, as if glad of
having got free of a troublesome business; and he regarded him no more,
till, after having rode about three miles, he thought again and again
that he heard something coming up behind him. Halting, at length, to
ascertain what it was, in a few minutes up came his dog with the stolen
animals, driving them at a furious rate to keep up with his master. The
sheep were all smoking, and hanging out their tongues, and their guide
was fully as warm as they. The young man was now exceedingly troubled,
for the sheep having been brought so far from home, he dreaded there
would be a pursuit, and he could not get them home again before day.
Resolving, at all events, to keep his hands clear of them, he corrected
his dog in great wrath, left the sheep once more, and taking colley with
him, rode off a second time. He had not ridden above a mile, till he
perceived that his assistant had again given him the slip; and
suspecting for what purpose, he was terribly alarmed as well as
chagrined; for daylight now approached, and he durst not make a noise
calling on his dog, for fear of alarming the neighbourhood, in a place
where they were both well known. He resolved therefore to abandon the
animal to himself, and take a road across the country which he was sure
the other did not know, and could not follow. He took that road; but
being on horseback, he could not get across the enclosed fields. He at
length came to a gate, which he shut behind him, and went about half a
mile farther, by a zigzag course, to a farm-house where both his sister
and sweetheart lived; and at that place he remained until after
breakfast time. The people of this house were all examined on the trial,
and no one had either seen the sheep or heard them mentioned, save one
man, who came up to the aggressor as he was standing at the stable-door,
and told him that his dog had the sheep safe enough down at the Crooked
Yett, and he needed not hurry himself. He answered, that the sheep were
not his--they were young Mr. Thomson's, who had left them to his charge,
and he was in search of a man to drive them, which made him come off his
road." The fidelity of this animal cost his master his life.

The St. Bernard Dog.

The St. Bernard Dog always honoured for his work's sake, resembles the
Newfoundland in form, hair, colour, and size. "There is another race,"
says Colonel Smith, "trained to the same service, with close short hair,
and more or less marked with grey, liver colour and black clouds." Bass,
a famous St. Bernard, the property of Sir Thomas Dick Lauder, is thus
described by him in a letter to Mr. W. H. Lizars printed in Vol. XIX of
"The Naturalist's Library":--"My St. Bernard was brought home direct
from the Great St. Bernard, when he was a puppy of about four or five
months. His bark is tremendous; so loud, indeed, that I have often
distinguished it nearly a mile off. He had been missing for some time,
when, to my great joy, one of the letter-carriers brought him back; and
the man's account was, that in going along a certain street, he heard
his bark from the inside of a yard, and knew it immediately. He knocked
at the gate, and said to the owner of the premises, 'You have got Sir
Thomas Lauder's big dog.' The man denied it. 'But I know you have,'
continued the letter-carrier; 'I can swear that I heard the bark of Sir
Thomas's big dog; for there is no dog in or about all Edinburgh that has
such a bark.' At last, with great reluctance, the man gave up the dog to
the letter-carrier, who brought him home here. But though Bass's bark is
so terrific, he is the best-natured and most playful dog I ever saw; so
much so, indeed, that the small King Charles's spaniel, Raith, used to
tyrannize over him for many months after he came here from abroad. I
have seen the little creature run furiously at the great animal when
gnawing a bone, who instantly turned himself submissively over on his
back, with all his legs in the air, whilst Raith, seizing the bone,
would make the most absurd and unavailing attempts to bestride the
enormous head of his subdued companion, with the most ludicrous
affectation of the terrible growling, that might bespeak the loftiest
description of dog-indignation. When a dog attacks Bass in the street or
road, he runs away rather than quarrel; but when compelled to fight by
any perseverance in the attacking party, he throws his enemy down in a
moment, and then, without biting him, he lays his whole immense bulk
down upon him, till he nearly smothers him. He took a particular fancy
for one of the postmen who deliver letters here, whose duty it was,
besides delivering letters, to carry a letter bag from one
receiving-house to another, and this bag he used to give Bass to carry.
Bass always followed that man through all the villas in this
neighbourhood where he had deliveries to make, and he invariably parted
with him opposite to the gate of the Convent of St. Margaret's, and
returned home. When our gate was shut here to prevent his following the
postman, the dog always leaped a high wall to get after him. One day
when the postman was ill, or detained by some accidental circumstance,
he sent a man in his place. Bass went up to the man, curiously scanning
his face, whilst the man rather retired from the dog, by no means liking
his appearance. But as the man left the place, Bass followed him,
showing strong symptoms that he was determined to have the post-bag. The
man did all he could to keep possession of it. But at length Bass seeing
that he had no chance of getting possession of the bag by civil
entreaty, raised himself up on his hind-legs, and putting a great
forepaw on each of the man's shoulders, he laid him flat on his back in
the road, and quietly picking up the bag, he proceeded peaceably on his
wonted way. The man, much dismayed, arose and followed the dog, making
every now and then an ineffectual attempt to coax him to give up the
bag. At the first house he came to, he told his fears, and the dilemma
he was in; but the people comforted him, by telling him that the dog
always carried the bag. Bass walked with the man to all the houses at
which he delivered letters, and along the road till he came to the gate
of St. Margaret's, where he dropped the bag and returned home."

The St. Bernard at Work.

"The convent of the Great St. Bernard is situated near the top of the
mountain known by that name, near one of the most dangerous passages of
the Alps, between Switzerland and Savoy. In these regions the traveller
is often overtaken by the most severe weather, even after days of
cloudless beauty, when the glaciers glitter in the sunshine, and the
pink flowers of the rhododendron appear as if they were never to be
sullied by the tempest. But a storm suddenly comes on; the roads are
rendered impassable by drifts of snow; the avalanches, which are huge
loosened masses of snow or ice, are swept into the valleys, carrying
trees and crags of rock before them. Benumbed with cold, weary in the
search for a lost track, his senses yielding to the stupifying influence
of frost which betrays the exhausted sufferer into a deep sleep, the
unhappy man sinks upon the ground, and the snow-drift covers him from
human sight. It is then that the keen scent and the exquisite docility
of these admirable dogs are called into action. Though the perishing man
lie ten or even twelve feet beneath the snow, the delicacy of smell with
which they can trace him offers a chance of escape. They scratch away
the snow with their feet; they set up a continued hoarse and solemn
bark, which brings the monks and labourers of the convent to their
assistance. To provide for the chance that the dogs, without human help,
may succeed in discovering the unfortunate traveller, one of them has a
flask of spirits round his neck, to which the fainting man may apply for
support; and another has a cloak to cover him. These wonderful exertions
are often successful; and even where they fail of restoring him who has
perished, the dogs discover the body, so that it may be secured for the
recognition of friends; and such is the effect of the temperature, that
the dead features generally preserve their firmness for the space of two
years." One of these dogs is said to have saved as many as forty lives
and finally to have fallen a victim to an avalanche.

The Greyhound.

The Greyhound is characterised by elegance of form and grace of
movement; he has also great powers of speed and endurance, is mild and
affectionate in disposition and sagacious in matters other than those
connected with the chase. "The narrow, sharp head, the light half
hanging ears, the long neck, the arched back, the slender yet sinewy
limbs, the deep chest, showing the high development of the breathing
organs, and the elevated hind quarters, says Mrs. Bowdich, all shadow
forth the peculiar qualities of these dogs. Their coat has been adapted
to the climate in which they originally lived: here it is smooth; but
becomes more shaggy as they are from colder regions." "The Scotch
Greyhound (_Canis Scoticus_)," she continues, "generally white, with
black clouds, is said to be the most intellectual of all, and formerly
to have had so good a scent as to be employed as a bloodhound. Maida,
whose name is immortalized as the favourite of Sir Walter Scott, was a
Scottish greyhound. The Irish is the largest of all the western breeds,
and is supposed to owe this distinction to mingling with the great
Danish dog. To it Ireland owes the extirpation of wolves, though it now
scarcely exists itself but in name."

The greyhound is now principally bred for sporting purposes, coursing
being the favourite amusement. The great speed and endurance of the dog
is shown in this pastime. Mr. Jesse records several instances of dogs
who have died from exhaustion rather than give up the chase, in one of
which it is stated that two dogs and a hare were found dead within a few
yards of each other after a run of several miles. Mr. Daniel in his
rural sports gives an instance in which a brace of greyhounds chased a
hare a distance of four miles in twelve minutes.

The Greyhound's Affection.

Washington Irving tells the following story of a greyhound's affection
for his master. "An officer named St. Leger, who was imprisoned in
Vincennes (near Paris) during the wars of St. Bartholomew, wished to
keep with him a greyhound that he had brought up, and which was much
attached to him; but they harshly refused him this innocent pleasure,
and sent away the greyhound to his house in the Rue des Lions Saint
Paul. The next day the greyhound returned alone to Vincennes, and began
to bark under the windows of the tower, where the officer was confined.
St. Leger approached, looked through the bars, and was delighted again
to see his faithful hound, who began to jump and play a thousand gambols
to show her joy. He threw a piece of bread to the animal, who ate it
with great good will; and, in spite of the immense wall which separated
them, they breakfasted together like two friends. This friendly visit
was not the last. Abandoned by his relations, who believed him dead, the
unfortunate prisoner received the visits of his greyhound only, during
four years' confinement. Whatever weather it might be, in spite of rain
or snow, the faithful animal did not fail a single day to pay her
accustomed visit. Six months after his release from prison St. Leger
died. The faithful greyhound would no longer remain in the house; but on
the day after the funeral returned to the castle of Vincennes, and it is
supposed she was actuated by a motive of gratitude. A jailor of the
outer court had always shown great kindness to this dog, which was as
handsome as affectionate. Contrary to the custom of people of that
class, this man had been touched by her attachment and beauty, so that
he facilitated her approach to see her master, and also insured her a
safe retreat. Penetrated with gratitude for this service, the greyhound
remained the rest of her life near the benevolent jailor. It was
remarked, that even while testifying her zeal and gratitude for her
second master, one could easily see that her heart was with the first.
Like those who, having lost a parent, a brother, or a friend, come from
afar to seek consolation by viewing the place which they inhabited, this
affectionate animal repaired frequently to the tower where St. Leger had
been imprisoned, and would contemplate for hours together the gloomy
window from which her dear master had so often smiled to her, and where
they had so frequently breakfasted together."

The Lurcher.

"The rough, large-boned, ill-looking Lurcher," says Mrs. Bowdich, "is
said to have descended from the rough greyhound and the shepherd's dog.
It is now rare; but there are some of its sinister-looking mongrel
progeny still to be seen. They always bear the reputation of being
poachers' dogs, and are deeply attached to their owners. They have a
fine scent; and a man confessed to Mr. Bewick, that he could, with a
pair of lurchers, procure as many rabbits as he pleased. They never give
tongue, but set about their work silently and cautiously, and hunt hares
and partridges, driving the latter into the nets of the unlawful
sportsmen." He is a dog to whom a bad name has been given, and who has
found a bad name but one step from hanging.

The Bloodhound.

The Bloodhound (_Canis Sanguinarius_) whether because less needed now
than formerly or not, is less cultivated and is therefore more rare. Mr.
Bell's description of the breed is as follows:--"They stand twenty-eight
inches high at the shoulder; the muzzle broad and full; the upper lip
large and pendulous; the vertex of the head protuberant; the expression
stern, thoughtful, and noble; the breast broad; the limbs strong and
muscular; and the original colour a deep tan, with large black clouds.
They are silent when following their scent; and in this respect differ
from other hounds, who are generally gifted with fine deep voices.
Numbers, under the name of sleuth-hounds, used to be kept on the
Borders; and kings and troopers, perhaps equally marauders, have in
olden times found it difficult to evade them. The noble Bruce had
several narrow escapes from them; and the only sure way to destroy their
scent was to spill blood upon the track. In all the common routine of
life they are good-natured and intelligent, and make excellent
watch-dogs. A story is related of a nobleman, who, to make a trial
whether a young hound was well instructed, desired one of his servants
to walk to a town four miles off, and then to a market town three miles
from thence. The dog, without seeing the man he was to pursue, followed
him by the scent to the above-mentioned places, notwithstanding the
multitude of market-people that went along the same road, and of
travellers that had occasion to come; and when the bloodhound came to
the market town, he passed through the streets without taking notice of
any of the people there, and ceased not till he had gone to the house
where the man he sought rested himself, and where he found him in an
upper room, to the wonder of those who had accompanied him in this

The Scent of the Bloodhound.

A strong characteristic of the Bloodhound is of course his remarkable
scent for blood.

"Bloodhounds," says Bingley, "were formerly used in certain districts
lying between England and Scotland, that were much infested by robbers
and murderers; and a tax was laid on the inhabitants for keeping and
maintaining a certain number of these animals. Some few are yet kept in
the northern parts of the kingdom, and in the lodges of the royal
forests, where they are used in pursuit of deer that have been
previously wounded. They are also sometimes employed in discovering
deer-stealers, whom they infallibly trace by the blood that issues from
the wounds of their victims. A very extraordinary instance of this
occurred in the New Forest, in the year 1810, and was related to me by
the Right Hon. G. H. Rose. A person, in getting over a stile into a
field near the Forest, remarked that there was blood upon it.
Immediately afterwards he recollected that some deer had been killed,
and several sheep stolen in the neighbourhood; and that this might
possibly be the blood of one that had been killed in the preceding
night. The man went to the nearest lodge to give information; but the
keeper being from home, he was under the necessity of going to
Rhinefield Lodge, which was at a considerable distance. Toomer, the
under-keeper, went with him to the place, accompanied by a bloodhound.
The dog, when brought to the spot, was laid on the scent; and after
following for about a mile the track which the depredator had taken, he
came at last to a heap of furze fagots belonging to the family of a
cottager. The woman of the house attempted to drive the dog away, but
was prevented; and on the fagots being removed a hole was discovered in
the ground, which contained the body of a sheep that had recently been
killed, and also a considerable quantity of salted meat. The
circumstance which renders this account the more remarkable is, that the
dog was not brought to the scent until more than sixteen hours had
elapsed after the man had carried away the sheep."

The Stag-Hound.

"The stag hound," says Colonel Smith, "was a large stately animal, equal
or little less than the blood hound, and originally, like that race,
slow, sure, cautious and steady." "The modern hound is perhaps still
handsomer, though somewhat smaller; and the breed having been crossed
with the fox hound is now much faster." The stag hunt having declined in
public favour they have ceased to be bred in packs for hunting purposes.

A Stag-Hunt.

"Many years since," says Captain Brown, "a very large stag was turned
out of Whinfield Park in the county of Westmoreland, and was pursued by
the hounds till, by accident or fatigue, the whole pack was thrown out
with the exception of two dogs which continued the chase. Its length is
uncertain, but the chase was seen at Red Kirk near Annan in Scotland,
distant by the post road about forty-six miles. The stag returned to the
park from which he had set out, so that considering the circuitous route
which it pursued, it is supposed to have run over not less than one
hundred and twenty miles. It was its greatest and last achievement, for
it leapt the wall of the park and immediately expired; the hounds were
also found dead at no great distance from the wall which they had been
unable to leap. An inscription was placed on a tree in the park, in
memory of the animals, and the horns of the stag, the largest ever seen
in that part of the country, were placed over it."

The Fox-Hound.

"In giving a description of the various breeds of dogs," says Mr. Jesse,
"everyone must be aware, that by crossing and recrossing them many of
those we now see have but little claim to originality. The fox-hound,
the old Irish wolf-dog, and the Colley or shepherd's dog, may perhaps be
considered as possessing the greatest purity of blood." Mr. Jesse then
refers to a picture of a pack of hounds in Wilkinson's "Manners and
Customs of the Egyptians," a picture which was copied from a painting
found in one of the tombs of the Pharaohs, in which "every individual
hound is characteristic of the present breed." If this be so, as Mr.
Jesse says, "this breed must be considered of a much more ancient date
than is generally supposed." The Fox-hound is described by Colonel Smith
as "somewhat lower at the shoulders and more slenderly built" than the
stag-hound. His colour is "white, but commonly marked with larger clouds
of black and tan, one on each side the head, covering the ears, the same
on each flank and one at the root of the tail." The Fox-hound has great
strength and endurance, and will run ten hours in pursuit of the fox.

The Fox-hound's Tenacity.

Many extraordinary stories are told of the Fox-hound's ardour for sport.
According to Mr. Jesse, a bitch was on one occasion taken in labour
while in the hunting field, and after giving birth to a pup took it in
its mouth and pursued the chase. Another bitch, whose eye had been
struck from the socket accidentally by the lash of the whipper-in who
did not believe her challenge, pursued the fox alone for a great
distance with her eye pendant, until the rest of the pack came up and
the fox was killed. Perhaps one of the most remarkable instances of
tenacity of purpose in an animal is that quoted by Mr. Jesse from the
supplement to Mr. Daniel's "Rural Sports." "The circumstance took place
in the year 1808, in the counties of Inverness and Perth, and perhaps
surpasses any length of pursuit known in the annals of hunting. On the
8th of June in that year, a fox and hound were seen near Dunkeld in
Perthshire, on the high road, proceeding at a slow trotting pace. The
dog was about fifty yards behind the fox, and each was so fatigued as
not to gain on the other. A countryman very easily caught the fox, and
both it and the dog were taken to a gentleman's house in the
neighbourhood, where the fox died. It was afterwards ascertained that
the hound belonged to the Duke of Gordon, and that the fox was started
on the morning of the 4th of June, on the top of those hills called
Monaliadh, which separate Badenoch from Fort Augustus. From this it
appeared that the chase lasted four days, and that the distance
traversed from the place where the fox was unkennelled to the spot where
it was caught, without making any allowances for doubles, crosses, etc.,
and as the crow flies, exceeded seventy miles."

The Harrier.

"The Harrier," says Colonel Smith, "so called from being usually applied
to hare hunting is smaller than the fox-hound, not exceeding eighteen
inches at the shoulder. It is entirely an artificial breed and is often
confounded with the beagle."

The Beagle.

The Beagle is called by Mr. Jesse, "a Fox-hound in miniature," and he
adds nothing can well be more perfect than the shape of these small
dogs. "In Queen Elizabeth's reign," says Colonel Smith, "the fanciers
bred a race so small, that a complete cry of them could be carried out
to the field in a pair of panniers. That princess had little singing
beagles which could be placed in a man's glove! At present they are
about twelve or fourteen inches at the shoulders, stout and compact in
make, with long ears, and either marked with a bright streak or spot of
white about the neck on a dark brown coat, or white with spots like a
harrier, of black and red. They are slow but persevering, and are
sufficiently sure of killing their game."

The Dalmatian Dog.

Colonel Smith places the Dalmatian dog with the hounds on the ground of
similarity of general structure. Elegant in form and beautiful in making
it is said to be less keen in scent and less sagacious than other dogs.
Sagacious or not, it was one of these dogs that Lord Maynard found
awaiting him at his house in England after having lost him in France.

The Turnspit.

"The Turnspit," says Captain Brown, "derived its name from the service
in which it was engaged before the invention of machinery to do the same
work, and, what is remarkable, now that the office is extinct, so also
has nearly become the species which used to perform it." "I have now in
my kitchen," said the Duke de Laincourt, to M. Descartes, "two turnspits
which take their turns regularly every other day in the wheel: one of
them, not liking his employment, hid himself on the day he should have
wrought, when his companion was forced to mount the wheel in his stead;
but crying and wagging his tail, he intimated that those in attendance
should first follow him. He immediately conducted them to a garret,
where he dislodged the idle dog, and killed him immediately." Another
instance is recorded by Captain Brown as follows: "When the cook had
prepared the meat for roasting, he found that the dog which should have
wrought the spit had disappeared. He attempted to employ another, but it
bit his leg and fled. Soon after, however, the refractory dog entered
the kitchen driving before him the truant turnspit, which immediately of
its own accord went into the wheel." It is easy to see from these
stories that the occupation was not a popular one and it is well that it
is no longer a necessary one.

The Pointer.

The pointer (_Canis avicularis_) as resembling the race of hounds, more
than any other of the shooting or gun dogs is placed next to them in the
classification of Colonel Smith, who says: "In their present qualities
of standing fixed and pointing to game, we see the result of a long
course of severe training; and it is a curious fact, that by a
succession of generations having been constantly educated to this
purpose, it has become almost innate, and young dogs of the true breed
point with scarcely any instruction: this habit is so firm in some that
the late Mr. Gilpin is reported to have painted a brace of pointers
while in the act, and that they stood an hour and a quarter without
moving." A smooth dog, resembling the fox-hound in his markings, though
sometimes entirely black, the pointer is used by sportsmen to point them
to the spot where the game is to be found. "It ranges the fields," says
Mr. Wood, "until it scents the hare or partridge lying close on the
ground. It then remains still as if carved in stone, every limb fixed,
and the tail pointing straight behind it. In this attitude it remains
until the gun is discharged, reloaded, and the sportsman has reached the
place where the bird sprang."

The Pointer as a Sportsman.

The pointer is a keen sportsman and will "point" without tiring while
worthily supported by the gun, but many stories are told of his disgust
at a bad shot and his refusal to "point" for unskilful sportsmen. The
following amusing story is told by Captain Brown and is quoted as
follows by Mr. Jesse: "A gentleman, on his requesting the loan of a
pointer-dog from a friend, was informed by him that the dog would behave
very well so long as he could kill his birds; but if he frequently
missed them, it would run home and leave him. The dog was sent, and the
following day was fixed for trial; but, unfortunately, his new master
was a remarkably bad shot. Bird after bird rose and was fired at, but
still pursued its flight untouched, till, at last, the pointer became
careless, and often missed his game. As if seemingly willing, however,
to give one chance more, he made a dead stop at a fern-bush, with his
nose pointed downward, the fore-foot bent, and his tail straight and
steady. In this position he remained firm till the sportsman was close
to him, with both barrels cocked, then moving steadily forward for a
few paces, he at last stood still near a bunch of heather, the tail
expressing the anxiety of the mind by moving regularly backwards and
forwards. At last out sprang a fine old blackcock. Bang, bang, went both
barrels, but the bird escaped unhurt. The patience of the dog was now
quite exhausted; and, instead of dropping to charge, he turned boldly
round, placed his tail between his legs, gave one howl, long and loud,
and set off as fast as he could to his own home." The pointer has been
known to lie down without bidding beside game which has been dropped
from a bag, after a long day's shooting, and watch it faithfully until
relieved on the following day, when the missing birds were searched for
and found.

The Setter.

The Setter (_Canis Index_) divides with the pointer the duty of
attending the sportsman on his shooting expeditions. According to
Captain Brown he was "originally derived from a cross between the
Spanish pointer and the large water spaniel and was justly celebrated
for his fine scent." Many crossings have considerably varied the breed,
of which the Irish is now considered purer than the English and Scotch
breeds. "In figure," says Colonel Smith, "they participate of the
pointer and the Spaniel, though larger than the latter. In England they
are white, or white with black or brown marks." They are intelligent,
affectionate and docile, and often show great sagacity outside the
domain of sport.

The Scent of the Setter.

Col. Hutchinson says, "I was partridge-shooting the season before last
with an intimate friend. The air was soft, and there was a good breeze.
We came upon a large turnip-field, deeply trenched on account of its
damp situation. A white setter, that habitually carried a lofty head,
drew for awhile, and then came to a point. We got up to her. She led us
across some ridges, when her companion, a jealous dog (a pointer), which
had at first backed correctly, most improperly pushed on in front, but,
not being able to acknowledge the scent, went off, clearly imagining the
bitch was in error. She, however, held on, and in beautiful style
brought us up direct to a covey. My friend and I agreed that she must
have been but little, if at all, less than one hundred yards off when
she first winded the birds; and it was clear to us that they could not
have been running, for the breeze came directly across the furrows, and
she had led us in the wind's eye. We thought the point the more
remarkable, as it is generally supposed that the strong smell of turnips
diminishes a dog's power of scenting birds."

The Setter's Sagacity.

Mr. Huet tells the following story of the sagacity of the setter. "The
gamekeeper had, on one of the short days of December, shot at and
wounded a deer. Hoping to run him down before night, he instantly put
the dog upon the track, which followed it at full speed, and soon was
out of sight. At length it grew dark, and the gamekeeper returned home,
thinking he should find the setter arrived there before him; but he was
disappointed, and became apprehensive that his dog might have lost
himself, or fallen a prey to some ravenous animal. The next morning,
however, we were all greatly rejoiced to see him come running into the
yard, whence he directly hastened to the door of my apartment, and, on
being admitted, ran, with gestures expressive of solicitude and
eagerness, to a corner of the room where guns were placed. We understood
the hint, and, taking the guns, followed him. He led us not by the road
which he himself had taken out of the wood, but by beaten paths half
round it, and then by several wood-cutters' tracks in different
directions, to a thicket, where, following him a few paces, we found the
deer which he had killed. The dog seems to have rightly judged that we
should have been obliged to make our way with much difficulty through
almost the whole length of the wood, in order to come to the deer in a
straight direction, and he therefore led us a circuitous but open and
convenient road. Between the legs of the deer, which he had guarded
during the night against the beasts of prey that might otherwise have
seized upon it, he had scratched a hole in the snow, and filled it with
dry leaves for his bed. The extraordinary sagacity which he had
displayed upon this occasion rendered him doubly valuable to us, and it
therefore caused us very serious regret when, in the ensuing summer, the
poor animal went mad, possibly in consequence of his exposure to the
severe frost of that night, and it became necessary for the gamekeeper
to shoot him, which he could not do without shedding tears. He said he
would willingly have given his best cow to save him; and I confess
myself that I would not have hesitated to part with my best horse upon
the same terms."

The Spaniel.

There are many varieties of the Spaniel of which the Water Spaniel, the
King Charles Spaniel, the Blenheim and the Maltese Spaniels are the best
known. The Water Spaniels figure on some of the later monuments of Rome
and so prove their antiquity. Colonel Smith describes the Spaniel as a
small setter, with silky hair and fine long villous ears; black, brown
pied, liver coloured, white and black-and-white, the water spaniel
differing from the other species chiefly in his readiness to hunt and
swim in the water and the hair being somewhat harder to the touch. The
spaniel has a great affection for his master and is never tired of
testifying his appreciation of his kindness. Colonel Smith mentions a
dog allied to the spaniel race, who at the time of his writing (April
1840) had been lying on the grave of his mistress for three days,
refusing all food, and was on that day being forcibly removed. Spaniels
are often very intelligent, displaying the same sagacity as other and
larger dogs and in the same way. Mr. Jesse mentions a King Charles
spaniel who was locked by his master in a room in Vere St. Clare Market,
one afternoon about half past five, while he went with his family to
Drury Lane theatre. About eight o'clock in the evening the dog escaped
his confinement and found his way to the theatre where he discovered his
master in the midst of the pit, though it was crowded at the time. The
Blenheim spaniel is similar to the King Charles breed, though somewhat
different in its markings, fuller about the muzzle and shorter in the
back. Blenheims have been known to show great intelligence and
affection. A story is told of one who upon being attacked by two cats,
obtained the assistance of a third cat, waylaid his enemies one at a
time and, with the assistance of his friend, taught them better manners.
The Maltese dog is another favourite species, much admired and petted by

The Sagacity of the Water Spaniel.

Captain Brown gives the following from a letter written by a gentleman
at Dijon in France, to his friend in London, dated August 15, 1764:

"Since my arrival here a man has been broken on the wheel, with no other
proof to condemn him than that of a water-spaniel. The circumstances
attending it being so very singular and striking, I beg leave to
communicate them to you. A farmer, who had been to receive a sum of
money, was waylaid, robbed, and murdered, by two villains. The farmer's
dog returned with all speed to the house of the person who had paid the
money, and expressed such amazing anxiety that he would follow him,
pulling him several times by the sleeve and skirt of the coat, that, at
length, the gentleman yielded to his importunity. The dog led him to the
field, a little from the roadside, where the body lay. From thence the
gentleman went to a public-house, in order to alarm the country. The
moment he entered, (as the two villains were there drinking), the dog
seized the murderer by the throat, and the other made his escape. This
man lay in prison three months, during which time they visited him once
a-week with the spaniel, and though they made him change his clothes
with other prisoners, and always stand in the midst of a crowd, yet did
the animal always find him out, and fly at him. On the day of trial,
when the prisoner was at the bar, the dog was let loose in the
court-house, and in the midst of some hundreds he found him out (though
dressed entirely in new clothes), and would have torn him to pieces had
he been allowed; in consequence of which he was condemned, and at the
place of execution he confessed the fact."

The Terrier.

There are many varieties of terrier including numerous celebrated
breeds. The English, Scotch, Skye, Bull and Fox terriers being the best
known. Innumerable stories of the intelligence and sagacity of the
various breeds might be told if space permitted, but it must suffice to
say that for sportsmanlike qualities, for general intelligence and
sagacity, and for affection for his master, the terrier of whatever
breed will hold his own against any other dog. Dogs are said to have
natural antipathies, and that of the Bull-dog for the bull is an obvious
illustration. An equal antipathy is shown by the English terrier for the
rat and by the Fox-terrier for the cat, though the latter is perhaps as
much a matter of education as of nature. Terriers are, however, among
the best known of dogs and therefore need the less description.

The Mastiff.

The Mastiff is said to be of an original breed indigenous to England,
whence some were exported to Italy in the days of the Roman emperors.
The breed has since been crossed by stag and blood hounds and the
present is a magnificent animal of great power and noble character. The
ancient breed was brindled yellow and black, the present is usually
deeper or lighter buff with-dark muzzle and ears. The mastiff is
sometimes twenty-nine or thirty inches in height at the shoulder.

The Mastiff's Fidelity.

The Mastiff is the best of watch dogs, for he brings an intelligence to
bear upon his duty which is in the highest degree surprising. He has
been known to walk by the side of an intending thief "forbidding his
laying hands upon any article, yet abstaining from doing him any bodily
harm, and suffering his escape over the walls," but leaving his master's
property intact. A mastiff who had been left by his master, who was a
sweep, in charge of his bag of soot in a narrow street in Southampton,
refused to leave it either for coaxings or threats, and rather than
desert his duty allowed himself to be run over and killed.

The Mastiff's Discrimination.

The mastiff has a powerful scent, and remarkable skill in discovering
the lost property of his master. Captain Brown gives the following
extract from a letter from St. Germains: "An English gentleman some time
ago came to our Vauxhall with a large mastiff, which was refused
admittance, and the gentleman left him in the care of the body-guards,
who are placed there. The Englishman, some time after he had entered,
returned to the gate and informed the guards that he had lost his watch,
telling the sergeant, that if he would permit him to take in the dog, he
would soon discover the thief. His request being granted, the gentleman
made motions to the dog of what he had lost, which immediately ran about
amongst the company, and traversed the gardens, till at last he laid
hold of a man. The gentleman insisted that this person had got his
watch; and on being searched, not only his watch, but six others, were
discovered in his pockets. What is more remarkable, the dog possessed
such a perfection of instinct as to take his master's watch from the
other six, and carry it to him."

The Mastiff as Protector.

Mr. Jesse gives the following story which he reprinted from a
contemporary newspaper:

"A most extraordinary circumstance has just occurred at the Hawick
toll-bar, which is kept by two old women. It appears that they had a sum
of money in the house, and were extremely alarmed lest they should be
robbed of it. Their fears prevailed to such an extent, that, when a
carrier whom they knew was passing by, they urgently requested him to
remain with them all night, which, however, his duties would not permit
him to do; but, in consideration of the alarm of the women, he consented
to leave with them a large mastiff dog. In the night the women were
disturbed by the uneasiness of the dog, and heard a noise apparently
like an attempt to force an entrance into the premises, upon which they
escaped by the back-door, and ran to a neighbouring house, which
happened to be a blacksmith's shop. They knocked at the door, and were
answered from within by the smith's wife. She said her husband was
absent, but that she was willing to accompany the terrified women to
their home. On reaching the house, they heard a savage but half-stifled
growling from the dog. On entering they saw the body of a man hanging
half in and half out of their little window, whom the dog had seized by
the throat, and was still worrying. On examination, the man proved to be
their neighbour the blacksmith, dreadfully torn about the throat, and
quite dead."

The Bull-Dog.

The Bull-dog (_Canis Anglicus_), is said to be an original English
breed, and Colonel Smith suggests that this dog rather than the mastiff
was the one which flourished in England in Roman times. Not indeed the
breed as it at present exists, but "one little inferior to the mastiff,"
"but with the peculiar features of the bull form more strongly marked."
"The bull-dog," says Colonel Smith, "differs from all others, even from
the mastiff, in giving no warning of his attack by his barking, he
grapples his opponents without in the least estimating their comparative
weight and powers. We have seen one pinning an American Bison and
holding his nose down till the animal gradually brought forward its hind
feet and crushing the dog to death tore his muzzle out of the fangs,
most dreadfully mangled. We have known another hallooed on to attack a
disabled eagle; the bird unable to escape, threw himself on the back,
and as the dog sprang at his throat, struck him with his claws, one of
which penetrating the skull, killed him instantly, and caused his
master the loss of a valued animal and one hundred dollars in the
wager." "The bull-dog is possessed of less sagacity and less attachment
than any of the hound tribe; he is therefore less favoured, and more
rarely bred with care, excepting by professed amateurs of sports and
feelings little creditable to humanity. He is of moderate size, but
entirely moulded for strength and elasticity." He never leaves his hold,
when once he has got it, while life lasts, hence he has become the type
of obstinate pertinacity; and unflinching courage.

The Poodle Dog.

The Poodle dog while possessing many natural qualities which endear it
to its owner, is capable of great cultivation and is for this reason
much affected by those who train dogs for public performances. Of the
clever tricks the poodle has been trained to perform many stories are
told, among which the following from M. Blaze's "History of the Dog," as
quoted in Mr. Jesse's "Anecdotes of Dogs," is one of the most amusing.

"A shoe-black on the Pont Neuf at Paris had a poodle dog, whose sagacity
brought no small profit to his master. If the dog saw a person with
well-polished boots go across the bridge, he contrived to dirty them, by
having first rolled himself in the mud of the Seine. His master was then
employed to clean them. An English gentleman, who had suffered more than
once from the annoyance of having his boots dirtied by a dog, was at
last induced to watch his proceedings, and thus detected the tricks he
was playing for his master's benefit. He was so much pleased with the
animal's sagacity, that he purchased him at a high price and conveyed
him to London. On arriving there, he was confined to the house till he
appeared perfectly satisfied with his new master and his new situation.
He at last, however, contrived to escape, and made his way back to
Paris, where he rejoined his old master, and resumed his former

Weasels, Otters and Badgers.

We come next to the family of the Mustelidæ which includes Weasels,
Otters and Badgers, which we take as the heads of the three sub-families
into which it is divided. The first of these includes the Pine Marten,
occasionally found in Ireland and Scotland but more commonly in
different parts of Europe; the Sable, which belongs to northern Europe
and Asia; the American Sable, which supplies the English market with
hundreds of thousands of skins annually; the Ermine or Stoat, still to
be found in Great-Britain and familiar in the northern parts of Europe,
Africa and America; the Weasel which has much the same _locale_ as the
Ermine; the Ferret which hails from Africa and which is cultivated in
England for its use in the destruction of vermin; and the Glutton (_Gulo
luscus_) which is found principally in North America. The Polecat is
also a member of this family. It is about seventeen inches long and in
form resembles the weasel. Its colour is deep chocolate. It generally
lives in the neighbourhood of houses on hares, rabbits, and birds. When
pinched for food it will also catch and eat fish. It is remarkable for
an insufferably fetid odour.

The Weasel.

The weasel though thought by some to be incapable of domestication has,
like most other animals who have had the chance, shown itself amenable
to kindly treatment. Mdlle. de Laistre possessed one which she kept in
her chamber, dispelling its strong odours by perfumes. This weasel
displayed towards her extravagant evidence of affection. "If the servant
sets it at liberty before I am up in the morning," she writes, "after a
thousand gambols, it comes into my bed, and reposes in my hand or on my
bosom. If I am up before it is let out, it will fly to me in rapture,
and spend half an hour in caressing me. The curiosity of this little pet
is unbounded, for it is impossible to open a drawer or box, without its
roving through every part of it; if even a piece of paper or a book is
looked at, it will also examine it with attention." This weasel lived
on friendly terms with both a cat and a dog who shared his mistress'
favours. That the weasel can defend himself when attacked is shown by
the following incident told by Mr. Bell: "As a gentleman was riding over
his grounds, he saw, at a short distance from him, a kite pounce on some
object on the ground, and rise with it in his talons. In a few moments,
however, the kite began to show signs of great uneasiness, rising
rapidly in the air, or as quickly falling, and wheeling irregularly
round, whilst evidently endeavouring to free himself from some obnoxious
thing with his feet. After a short but sharp contest, the kite fell
suddenly to the earth. The gentleman instantly rode up to the spot, when
a weasel ran away from the kite, apparently unhurt, leaving the bird
dead, with a hole eaten through the skin under the wing, and the large
blood-vessels of the part torn through." The length of the common weasel
is about eight inches.

The Common Otter.

There are several genera of Otters. The common otter (_Lutra vulgaris_)
is known throughout Europe and is not uncommon in Great Britain. The
otter lives on fish, for the hunting of which he is admirably fitted. He
is web-footed and has a body of great flexibility and short but
remarkably muscular legs. The Otter was looked upon as a friend by the
peasants living near salmon preserves years ago, for after landing his
prey he was content with but a small portion for himself, and left the
rest which the peasants readily appropriated.

"Otters," says Mr. St. John, "are very affectionate animals; the young
anxiously seek their mother if she should be killed; and if the young
are injured, the parent hovers near them till she is herself destroyed.
If one of a pair be killed, the one that is left will hunt for its mate
with untiring perseverance; and if one be caught in a trap, its
companion will run round and round, endeavouring to set it free, on
which occasions, though so quiet at other times, they make a snorting
and blowing like a horse."

"A labourer going to his work, soon after five o'clock in the morning,
saw a number of animals coming towards him, and stood quietly by the
hedge till they came alongside of him. He then perceived four old
otters, probably dams, and about twenty young ones. He took a stick out
of the hedge and killed one. Directly it began to squeak, all the four
old ones turned back, and stood till the other young ones had escaped
through the hedge, and then went quietly themselves. Several families
were thus journeying together, and probably they had left their former
abode from not finding a sufficiency of food." Otters have often been
tamed and taught to catch fish for their masters. Captain Brown tells of
an otter which was caught when young and trained by James Campbell near
Inverness. "It was frequently employed in catching fish, and would,
sometimes, take eight or ten salmon in a day. If not prevented, it
always made an attempt to break the fish behind the anal fin, which is
next the tail; and, as soon as one was taken away, it always dived in
pursuit of more. It was equally dexterous at sea fishing, and took great
numbers of young cod, and other fish, there. When tired, it would refuse
to fish any longer, and was then rewarded with as much as it could
devour. Having satisfied its appetite, it always coiled itself round,
and fell asleep: in which state it was generally carried home."
Professor Steller says that on killing and skinning a female otter,
which he found at a place at which he had deprived her of her young
eight days previously, he found her quite wasted away from grief at the
loss of her progeny.

The Badger.

There are several varieties of Badger, the Indian and the American being
the most important, respectively of the eastern and western worlds. The
common badger (_Meles taxus_), which is found in different parts of
England, feeds upon roots, bulbs, fruits, and all kinds of vegetables,
as well as small animals, snails and worms. He has also a great fancy
for eggs. He lives in burrows, which form passages having a central
chamber and various anti-chambers, which he makes in sandy and gravelly
soil. He is nocturnal in his habits. "When pursued," says Mrs. Bowdich,
"he constantly impedes the progress of his enemies by throwing the soil
behind him, so as to fill up the passages, while he escapes to the
surface." He is a formidable opponent to his enemies, as his skin is so
tough and his bite so severe, and he displays much sagacity in avoiding
traps and escaping confinement. Mr. St. John placed one in a paved court
for security, but before the next morning he had displaced a stone and
burrowed his way out under the wall. Captain Brown tells an affecting
story of the feeling of a badger for its mate. "Two persons in France
killed a badger and proceeded to drag it towards a neighbouring village.
They had not proceeded far when they heard the cry of an animal in
seeming distress, and stopped to listen, when another badger approached
them slowly. They at first threw stones at it; notwithstanding which, it
drew near, came up to the dead animal, began to lick it, and continued
its mournful cry. The men, surprised at this, desisted from offering any
further injury to it, and again drew the dead one along as before; when
the living badger, determined not to quit its companion, lay down on it,
taking it gently by one ear, and in that manner was drawn into the midst
of the village; nor could dogs, boys, or men induce it to quit its
situation: and to their shame be it said, they had the inhumanity to
kill the poor animal, and afterwards to burn it, declaring it could be
no other than a witch."

The Ratel and the Skunk.

The Ratel (_Mellivora capensis_) of South and East Africa and the Skunk
of Canada belong to this family. The Ratel is a small animal standing
from ten to twelve inches high, with a very tough skin, which is so
loose that, to quote Sparrman, "If anybody catches hold of the Ratel by
the hind part of his neck, he is able to turn round, as it were, in his
skin, and bite the arm of the person that seizes him." Dog-like in
shape, the back and head are covered with a coat of lighter colour than
that of the sides and under part of the body, giving it the appearance
of a garment. The Ratel is the natural enemy of the Bees, his thick skin
rendering him impervious to their attack, and he is said to show great
sagacity in tracing their nests, watching at sundown, with his eyes
shaded by his paws, the homeward flight of the honey makers and then
following them to plunder and destroy. The Skunk is famous for its
offensive smell, which according to Sir John Richardson is emitted by a
deep yellow fluid which it discharges, and which is so strong that it
retains its disgusting odour for many days. It is about eighteen inches
in length, has short legs and a body that is broad and flat. It lives
upon poultry and eggs, small quadrupeds, young birds, and wild fruits.
Godman says: "Pedestrians, called by business or pleasure to ramble
through the country during the morning or evening twilight, occasionally
see a small and pretty animal a short distance before them in the path,
scampering forward without appearing much alarmed, and advancing in a
zigzag or somewhat serpentine direction. Experienced persons generally
delay long enough to allow this unwelcome traveller to withdraw from the
path; but it often happens that a view of the animal arouses the ardour
of the observer, who, in his fondness for sport, thinks not of any
result but that of securing a prize. It would be more prudent to rest
content with pelting this quadruped from a safe distance, or to drive it
away by shouting loudly; but almost all inexperienced persons, the first
time such an opportunity occurs, rush forward with intent to run the
animal down. This appears to be an easy task; in a few moments it is
almost overtaken; a few more strides and the victim may be grasped by
its long and waving tail--but the tail is now suddenly curled over the
back, its pace is slackened, and in one instant the condition of things
is entirely reversed;--the lately triumphant pursuer is eagerly flying
from his intended prize, involved in an atmosphere of stench, gasping
for breath, or blinded and smarting with pain, if his approach were
sufficiently close to allow of his being struck in the eyes by the
pestilent fluid of the Skunk."

The Raccoon and the Coati.

Our next concern is with the family of the procyonidæ which includes
several bear-like animals, the Raccoon and the Coati being the best
known. The raccoon belongs to North America, the coati to Central and
Southern America. The raccoon is an expert swimmer, about the size of a
fox, and of nocturnal habits. "His food," says the Rev. J. G. Wood, "is
principally small animals and insects. "Oysters are also a very
favourite article of its diet. It bites off the hinge of the oyster, and
scrapes out the animal with its paws. Like a squirrel, when eating a
nut, the raccoon usually holds its food between its fore-paws pressed
together and sits upon its hind quarters while it eats. It is said to be
as destructive in a farm-yard as any fox, for it only devours the heads
of the murdered fowl. When taken young it is easily tamed but very
frequently becomes blind soon after its capture. The coati (_Nasua
nasica_) is distinguished from the raccoon by a pointed nose. In size it
resembles the cat, its tail being as long as its body. Like the cat it
is a good climber, and preys upon birds. When domesticated, as it is in
Paraguay, the coati is kept in tether, as its climbing habits render it
dangerous to ornaments and furniture. The Kinkajou (_Cercoleptes
caudivolvulus_) of Demerara belongs to this family. The Panda (_Ælurus
fulgens_) constitutes another family. It is cat-like in the face, but
otherwise resembles the bear. It lives in the dense forests which clothe
the declivities of the Himalayas.

The Bear.

After the lion and the tiger the bear is probably the most popular
animal in legend and story. Dr. Gray divides the bears into three
classes: the sea bear, the land bear, and the honey bear. The polar
bear is the sea bear; the brown bear, the black bear, and the grizzly
are land bears, and the Malayan bear is the honey bear. Mr. Wood says,
"Bears and their allies are mostly heavy, and walk with the whole foot
placed flat on the ground, unlike cats and dogs who walk with merely
their paws or toes. They are omnivorous, that is, they can eat either
animal or vegetable food, so that a leg of mutton, a pot of honey, a
potatoe, or an apple are equally acceptable." The bears of Kamtchatka
live principally on fish, which they are adepts in catching. The bear is
found in the polar regions, in Siberia, the Caucasus, the Pyrenees, the
Himalayas, in various parts of Western Asia, in Canada, and the United

[Illustration: Hunting the Polar Bear]

The Polar Bear.

The Polar Bear is eight or nine feet long, and a little more than four
feet in height. He has a long nose, short ears, large legs, and a short
tail. His body and neck are long, and he has five sharp claws on each
foot. His colour is a yellowish white; his hair long and shaggy. He
inhabits Greenland and Lapland, as far north as eighty degrees. He lives
on fish and seals and the bodies of whales, which are thrown ashore or
which he finds in the sea. Dr. R. Brown deprecates the stories of the
polar bear's ferocity which he regards as greatly exaggerated, though he
admits, that when enraged, or suffering from hunger, they are formidable
foes. That they are wary animals the following story quoted from Captain
Brown will show. "The captain of a Greenland whaler, being anxious to
procure a bear without injuring the skin, made trial of a stratagem of
laying the noose of a rope in the snow, and placing a piece of kreng
within it. A bear, ranging the neighbouring ice, was soon enticed to the
spot by the smell of burning meat. He perceived the bait, approached,
and seized it in his mouth; but his foot, at the same time, by a jerk of
the rope, being entangled in the noose, he pushed it off with his paw,
and deliberately retired. After having eaten the piece he had carried
away with him, he returned. The noose, with another piece of kreng,
having been replaced, he pushed the rope aside, and again walked
triumphantly off with the bait. A third time the noose was laid; but,
excited to caution by the evident observations of the bear, the sailors
buried the rope beneath the snow, and laid the bait in a deep hole dug
in the centre. The animal once more approached, and the sailors were
assured of their success. But Bruin, more sagacious than they expected,
after snuffing about the place for a few moments, scraped the snow away
with his paw, threw the rope aside, and again escaped unhurt with his

The polar bear displays a great love for its young and many pathetic
stories are told of its rage and grief at the loss of them. The
following is from Captain Brown's "Anecdotes of Animals." "A Greenland
bear, with two cubs under her protection, was pursued across a field of
ice by a party of armed sailors. At first, she seemed to urge the young
ones to increase their speed, by running before them, turning round, and
manifesting, by a peculiar action and voice, her anxiety for their
progress; but, finding her pursuers gaining upon them, she carried, or
pushed, or pitched them alternately forward, until she effected their
escape. In throwing them before her, the little creatures are said to
have placed themselves across her path to receive the impulse, and, when
projected some yards in advance, they ran onwards, until she overtook
them, when they alternately adjusted themselves for another throw."

The Black Bear.

The Black Bear (_Ursus Americanus_) is about four and a half feet long
and three feet high. He has long feet terminating in five claws each.
His body is short with longish legs, and he has a large head, with small
eyes, and a sharp nose. He has long, soft and woolly hair. His food is
chiefly fruit, such as acorns, chestnuts, grapes, and corn; but when
hungry he will feed on flesh, and attack other animals with courage and
fierceness. He climbs trees, and uses his paws like hands. In winter he
retires to his den, which is usually a hollow in some decayed tree,
where he hybernates until spring. Though of a wild disposition, he can
be tamed, and taught various tricks, in which he displays a good deal of
sagacity and docility. The following story is quoted by Captain Brown
from Captains Lewis' and Clarke's travels to the source of the Missouri,
as a striking instance of the astonishing physical powers of the bear.
"One evening, the men in the hindmost of the canoes, discovered a large
bear lying in the open grounds, about three hundred paces from the
river. Six of them, all good hunters, set out to attack him; and,
concealing themselves by a small eminence, came unperceived within forty
paces of him. Four of them now fired, and each lodged a ball in his
body, two of them directly through the lungs. The enraged animal sprang
up, and ran open-mouthed at them. As he came near, the two hunters who
had reserved their fire, gave him two wounds, one of which, breaking his
shoulder, retarded his motion for a moment; but, before they could
reload, he was so near, that they were obliged to run to the river, and,
when they reached it, he had almost overtaken them. Two jumped into the
canoe; the other four separated, and, concealing themselves in the
willows, fired as fast as each could load. They struck him several
times, which only exasperated him; and he at last pursued two of them so
closely, that they leaped down a perpendicular bank of twenty feet into
the river. The bear sprang after them, and was within a few feet of the
hindmost, when one of the hunters from the shore shot him in the head,
and killed him. They dragged him to the banks of the river, and found
that eight balls had passed through his body."

Of his docility Mrs. Bowdich gives the following amusing, if, at the
time, alarming illustration. "A young English officer, who was
stationed at a lone fortress in Canada, amused himself by taming a bear
of this species. He taught him to fetch and carry, to follow him like a
dog, and to wait patiently at meal times for his share. The bear
accompanied him when he returned to England, and became a great
favourite with the passengers and the ship's company. Bruin, however,
especially attached himself to a little girl about four years old, the
daughter of one of the ladies on board, who romped with him as she would
with a dog. In one of these games of play, he seized her with one
fore-paw, and with the other clambered and clung to the rigging, till he
lodged her and himself in the main-top, where, regardless of her cries
and the agony of her mother, he tried to continue his romp. It would not
do to pursue the pair, for fear the bear should drop the child; and his
master, knowing how fond he was of sugar, had some mattresses placed
round the mast in case the child should fall, and then strewed a
quantity of sugar on the deck; he called Bruin, and pointed to it, who,
after a moment's hesitation, came down as he went up, bringing the child
in safety. He was, of course, deprived of his liberty during the rest of
his voyage." The black bear is hunted for the sake of his skin, many
thousands of skins being sent to Europe every year.

The Grizzly Bear.

The Grizzly Bear is an enormous animal, according to the measurement of
Captains Lewis and Clarke of one they killed, nine feet from nose to
tail, though they claim to have seen one of even larger size. It is said
to attain to a weight of 800 pounds. The fore-foot of the animal already
referred to exceeded nine inches in length, the hind foot being eleven
inches and three quarters, exclusive of the talons, the breadth of the
hind foot being seven inches. The Grizzly does not climb trees, like the
brown and the black bear. He is ferocious when hungry, and when
attacked, and the female will die hard in the defence of her young. Such
is his strength that he can master a bison, and drag him to his
retreat. He is by far the most dangerous brute of North America. He
unhesitatingly pursues both men and animals; but, though he feeds on
flesh, he is capable of subsisting upon roots and fruits. He is very
tenacious of life, and will pursue his enemy after having received
repeated mortal wounds. He is found in the eastern vicinity of the Rocky
Mountains. Though the Grizzly will sometimes move off on the approach of
the traveller, without showing fight, he will at other times attack him
with great ferocity. A man named Nathan Rogers who lived on a ranch in
the mountains about a mile above West Point, near the North Fork of the
Mokelumne, once had a terrific encounter with a grizzly bear. He was out
shooting small game when he was suddenly confronted by an enormous
animal. He fired his only shot into the breast of the bear and then
awaited his attack. The fight was fast and furious, and though in the
end the grizzly was killed, the man only survived in a terrible
condition. Conscious that he must soon have help or perish, he summoned
all his resolution and staggered along, and managed to reach a spring in
sight of a house, when his endurance gave way, and he fell in a dead
faint by the water's edge. Fortunately he was soon discovered by his
son, a lad of some twelve years, who immediately gave the alarm. In
addition to his horrible wounds, the shock to his system was a terrible
one. His left arm, literally mangled and torn to shreds, had to be
amputated at the shoulder. His left clavicle and scapula were fractured,
and the three lower ribs on the right side broken. The flesh and muscles
on his back were so broken and abraded that the vertebræ were actually
visible in places; while, his lower limbs were literally seamed and
furrowed by the crooked claws of the bear's hind feet. The left side of
the bear was literally torn to pieces, there being no less than
twenty-two knife-wounds, nearly every one of which reached to a vital
point. Some idea of his size can be obtained when we state that one of
his fore-paws just covered an ordinary dinner plate.

The Brown Bear.

The Brown Bear (_Ursus arctos_) was the bear of the British Isles, so
long as the British Isles boasted of a bear. This was the baited bear of
the Royal sports, and of the common Bear garden. His last appearance in
Great-Britain in a wild state, however, dates back more than 800 years.
In size, shape, and habits he much resembles the black bear of America.
Like the Malayan bear he is very fond of honey as the following amusing
story as told by Mrs Bowdich will show:

"A countryman in Russia, when seeking honey, climbed a very high tree,
the trunk of which was hollow; and finding there was a large quantity of
comb in it, he descended, and stuck fast in the tenacious substance
there deposited. He was so far distant from home, that his voice could
not be heard, and he remained two days in this situation, relieving his
hunger with the honey. He began to despair of ever being extricated,
when a bear, who, like himself, came for the sake of the honey, slid
down the hollow, hind-part foremost. The man, in spite of his alarm,
seized hold of him; and the bear, also in a great fright, clambered out
as fast as he could, dragging the man up with him, and when clear of his
tail-bearer, made off as fast as possible."

The Malayan Bear.

The Malayan Bear is about four feet long and two feet high. It has a
long tongue which serves it well in extracting honey from the honey
combs in the hollow trunks of trees. Other bears are the Syrian Bear of
Western Asia, the Spectacled Bear of South America and Peru and the
Sloth Bear of India and the Mahratta country.


The Pinnipedia.

We come now to the second sub-order of the Carnivora or flesh-eating
animals, the sub-order which includes the Seal and the Walrus. These in
the form of their skulls and in other ways show evident relationship to
the bear, and so appropriately follow him in classification. The family
of the Otaridæ, includes the Eared Seals, the Northern Sea Lion and the
Northern Sea Bear. The Eared Seal is distinguished from the true seal,
as his name implies by the possession of external ears.

Sea Lions.

Mr. Theodore Lyman, who had excellent opportunities of observing the
habits of the Sea Lions on the Seal Rocks of San Francisco, furnished
Mr. Allen with a graphic account of their movements, from which we quote
the following: "As they approach to effect a landing, the head only
appears decidedly above water. This is their familiar element and they
swim with great speed and ease, quite unmindful of the heavy surf, and
of the breakers on the ledges. In landing they are apt to take advantage
of a heavy wave which helps them to get the forward flippers on _terra
firma_. As the wave retreats they begin to struggle up the steep rocks,
twisting the body from side to side, with a clumsy worm-like motion, and
thus alternately work their flippers into positions, where they may
force the body a little onward. At such times they have a general
appearance of sprawling over the ground. It is quite astonishing to see
how they will go up surfaces having even a greater inclination than 45°
and where a man would have to creep with much exertion. In their onward
path they are accompanied by the loud barking of all the seals they
pass; and these cries may be heard a great distance. They play among
themselves continually by rolling on each other and feigning to bite;
often too, they will amuse themselves by pushing off those that are
trying to land. All this is done in a very cumbrous manner, and is
accompanied by incessant barking. As they issue from the water their fur
is dark and shining; but as it dries, it becomes of a yellowish brown.
Then they appear to feel either too dry or too hot, for they move to the
nearest point from which they may tumble into the sea. I saw many roll
off a ledge at least twenty feet high, and fall like so many huge brown
sacks into the water, dashing up showers of spray."

Sea Bears.

The Northern Sea Bear is otherwise known as the Northern Fur Seal.
Captain Charles Bryant gives a very interesting account of these
singular animals, in which he describes them as approaching and taking
possession of the shores of St. Paul's Island near the coast of Alaska,
about the middle, or towards the end of April, when the snow has melted
and the drift ice from the north has all passed. A few old male seals
first make their appearance and reconnoitre for two or three days,
afterwards climbing the slopes and taking possession of the rookeries,
each male reserving about a square rod for himself and his wives. The
scouts then return and younger male seals soon begin to arrive in small
detachments, but are prevented from landing by their elders and are so
forced to remain in the water or go to the upland above. By the middle
of June all the males have arrived, and having adjusted their
differences and divided the rookeries between them, await the arrival of
the females. "These appear in small numbers at first but increase as the
season advances, till the middle of July; when the rookeries are all
full, the females often overlapping each other. The bachelor seals swim
all day along the shore, escorting and driving the females on to the
rocks as fast as they arrive. As soon as a female reaches the shore, the
nearest male goes down to meet her, making meanwhile a noise like the
clucking of a hen to her chickens. He bows to her, and coaxes her until
he gets between her and the water so that she cannot escape him. Then
his manner changes, and with a harsh growl he drives her to a place in
his harem. This continues until the lower row of harems is nearly full.
Then the males higher up select the time when their more fortunate
neighbours are off their guard to steal their wives. This they do by
taking them in their mouths and lifting them over the heads of the other
females, and carefully placing them in their own harem carrying them as
carefully as cats do their kittens. Those still higher up pursue the
same method until the whole space is occupied. Frequently a struggle
ensues between two males for the possession of the same female, and both
seizing her at once, pull her in two, or terribly lacerate her with
their teeth. When the space is all filled, the old male walks around
complacently reviewing his family, scolding those who crowd or disturb
the others, and fiercely driving off all intruders. This surveillance
always keeps him actively occupied." After the birth of their young
which takes place towards the end of July, the old males who have been
four months without food, go to some distance from the shore to feed,
teaching the young to swim on their return. "By the last of October the
seals begin to leave the islands in small companies. The males going
last and by themselves."

The Walrus.

The Walrus. (_Trichechus rosmarus_) is a large and unwieldy creature. It
bears a stronger resemblance to the seal than to any other quadruped,
but it is distinguished by the proportions of its body and its
elephant-like tusks. Vast herds formerly frequented the shores of the
islands scattered between America and Asia, the coasts of Davis's
Straits and those of Hudson's Bay. They have been found as far south as
the Magdalen Islands in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Now they are not met
with in great numbers, except on the shores of Spitzbergen and the
remotest northern borders of America. They attain to a very large size.
The head is oval, short, small, and flat in front, having the eyes set
in deep sockets so as to be moved forwards, or retracted at pleasure. On
land the Walrus is a slow and clumsy animal, but in the water its
motions are sufficiently quick and easy. When attacked, the Walrus is
both fierce and formidable, and if in company with its young, becomes
very furious, attempting to destroy its enemies by rising and hooking
its tusks over the sides of the boat, in order to sink it.

Captain Cook thus describes a herd of walruses he met with off the north
coast of America. He says: "They lie in herds of many hundreds upon the
ice, huddling over one another, like swine; and roar or bray so very
loud, that in the night, or in foggy weather, they gave us notice of the
ice, before we could see it. We never found the whole herd asleep, some
being always upon the watch. These, on the approach of the boat, would
awake those next to them; and the alarm being thus gradually
communicated, the whole herd would be awake presently. But they were
seldom in a hurry to get away, till after they had been once fired at.
They then would tumble over one another into the sea, in the utmost
confusion; and, if we did not, at the first discharge, kill those we
fired at, we generally lost them, though mortally wounded. They did not
appear to us to be that dangerous animal which some authors have
described, not even when attacked. They are more so in appearance than
reality. Vast numbers of them would follow, and come close up to the
oars; but the flash of the musket in the pan, or even the bare pointing
of one at them, would send them down in an instant. The female will
defend her young to the very last, at the expense of her own life,
whether in the water or upon the ice. Nor will the young one quit the
dam, though she be dead; so that, if one is killed, the other is certain
prey. The dam, when in the water, holds the young one between her fore

The Common Seal.

The True Seals are divided by Dr. Gray into thirteen genera with
eighteen species, of which the Common Seal, the Ringed Seal, the Harp
Seal, the Grey Seal, the Sea Leopard, the Sea Elephant, and the
Bladder-nose Hooded Seal are the best known. The common seal has a round
head which in front bears some resemblance to that of the otter. Its
average length is about five feet and its general colour of a yellowish
gray, varied or spotted with brown or blackish in different degrees,
according to the age of the animal. The Common Seal frequents the
sea-coasts perhaps throughout the world, but is most numerous in high
northern latitudes, and furnishes the inhabitants of those frigid
regions with nearly all their necessaries and luxuries. Enormous numbers
are caught annually for the sake of their skins and oil. The Harp Seal
frequents the coast of Newfoundland and is so named from the harp-shaped
band which marks the backs of the males. The Sea Elephant is the largest
of the seals. It is said to attain to the length of twenty-five to
thirty feet, and a circumference of fifteen to eighteen feet. It belongs
to the Antarctic sea.

"Seals when taken young," says Captain Brown, "are capable of being
completely domesticated, will answer to their name, and follow their
master from place to place. In January, 1819, a gentleman, in the
neighbourhood of Burnt-island, county of Fife, in Scotland, completely
succeeded in taming a seal. Its singularities attracted the curiosity of
strangers daily. It appeared to possess all the sagacity of a dog, lived
in its master's house, and ate from his hand. In his fishing excursions,
this gentleman generally took it with him, when it afforded no small
entertainment. If thrown into the water, it would follow for miles the
track of the boat; and although thrust back by the oars, it never
relinquished its purpose. Indeed, it struggled so hard to regain its
seat, that one would imagine its fondness for its master had entirely
overcome the natural predilection for its native element."

The Seal's Docility.

Notwithstanding the absence of external ears the common seal has a
remarkable sense of hearing and a keen taste for sweet sounds. Seals
have been known to follow a vessel, for miles, upon the deck of which a
violin or a flute has been played. To quote Sir Walter Scott:

     "Rude Heiskar's seals, through surges dark,
     Will long pursue the minstrel's bark."

They are also easily tamed, when they are found to be exceedingly
affectionate to those who treat them kindly. Some years ago a farmer,
residing on the east coast of Scotland, close to the sea-shore,
obtained a young seal for the amusement of his children, who soon became
exceedingly fond of it. Some time after, the farmer, having had a bad
year for his crops, was told by an old woman in the village that he
would never prosper as long as he kept that seal on his ground. The
foolish man giving heed to the superstition sent away the seal in a boat
some distance from land. Towards evening, as the children were sitting
on the sea-shore, what was their joy on beholding their seal rising out
of the water, and making its way straight back to them again. For some
months they were allowed to retain their pet; but as the farmer's
prospects did not brighten, he again determined to get rid of it, and
for that purpose, hearing of a ship that was soon to sail for the
Baltic, took the little seal, and gave it in charge to some sailors,
begging them to keep it in the hold of the ship till they arrived at
their destination, and then to throw it into the sea. This was
accordingly done, but the faithful seal was not to be daunted; ere long,
it reappeared, to the great delight of the children, who begged their
father never to send it away again. The farmer gave a doubtful assent,
for a suspicion still lurked in his mind, owing to the superstitious
words of the old woman, that the presence of the seal had an evil effect
upon his crops; and with these ideas preying upon his mind, the farmer
conceived the cruel thought of putting out the seal's eyes with a view
of preventing it from finding its way back, and again sending it away to
sea. Unknown to his children, he carried this barbarous plan into
execution; and they only discovered the loss of their favourite too late
to aid in its recall, as the ship in which it had been placed had
already sailed for Norway. Some days after the departure of the vessel,
a fearful storm arose. The farmer and his family were glad enough to
close up their shutters, and shut out as much as possible the wailings
of the wind, as it swept in furious gusts round the house. They had
scarcely retired to rest, when a faint and plaintive cry struck upon
their ears--and repeated again it seemed to be--during the momentary
lulls of the storm. The farmer continued to listen, but hearing nothing
more, he descended to the front door and opened it; a dark object lay
before him, on the very threshold, and stooping down to touch it, what
was his astonishment to behold the poor blind, devoted little seal,
apparently dead. The farmer was greatly touched; he took up the little
body gently and carried it into the kitchen, and used every effort to
restore it to life but in vain.


Whales and Dolphins.

This order is divided into two sub-orders, the one characterised by the
possession of teeth, and the other being toothless.

The Right Whale.

The Right Whale when fully grown, attains to from fifty to sixty-five
feet in length, and to from thirty to forty feet in circumference. It is
thickest behind the fins. When the mouth is open, it presents a cavity
as large as a room, and capable of containing a boat full of men. Its
tongue is said to be as large as a stout feather-bed. The tail is a
powerful instrument of motion and defence: it is only five or six feet
long, but its motions are rapid, and its strength immense. The eyes are
situated in the sides of the head; they are very small, being little
larger than those of an ox. The whale has no external ear, but there is
a small orifice under the skin for the admission of sound. On the most
elevated part of the head are two blow holes six or eight inches in
length. The mouth, instead of teeth, has two rows of whalebone, each of
which contains more than three hundred laminae, the longest of which are
about ten or eleven feet. A large whale sometimes contains a ton and a
half of whalebone. The colour of the old whale is gray and white, that
of the young ones a sort of bluish black. Immediately beneath the skin
lies the blubber, or fat; its thickness round the body is eight or ten
or twenty inches, varying in different parts: the lips are composed
almost entirely of blubber. A large whale yields about twenty tons of
oil, which is expressed from the blubber. It is for this and the
whalebone that this animal is deemed so valuable, and for which it is so
much sought by whalefishers. The sense of seeing in the whale is very
acute. Under the surface of the water they discover one another at an
amazing distance. They have no voice, but in breathing or blowing they
make a loud noise.

The usual rate at which whales swim seldom exceeds four miles an hour,
but for a few minutes at a time they are capable of darting through the
water with amazing velocity, and of ascending with such rapidity as to
leap above the surface. This feat they perform as an amusement,
apparently to the high admiration of distant spectators. Sometimes they
throw themselves in a perpendicular posture, with the head downwards,
and rearing their tails on high, beat the water with awful violence.
Sometimes they shake their tails in the air, which, cracking like a
whip, resound to the distance of two or three miles. The flesh of the
whale, though it would be rejected by the dainty palates of refined
nations, is eaten with much relish by the Eskimo, and the inhabitants
along the coasts of Hudson's Bay and Davis's Straits, who esteem it a
staple article of subsistence.

Other whales of this sub-order are the common Fin Whale, which is said
to reach eighty feet in length, the lesser Fin Whale and the Humpback
Whale. In these, the yield of whalebone and oil is so small that they
are not thought worth the trouble of catching.

The Sperm Whale.

The Sperm Whale rarely exceeds sixty feet in length and lives in warm
regions, such as the Indian Ocean; rarely, if ever, visiting Arctic or
European seas. Its yield of oil is said to be less than that of the
Greenland whale but it is of a finer quality. Ambergris is also produced
from the body of the sperm whale.

The Dolphin.

This is a large creature, so like the porpoise that he has been often
confounded with it. He is, however, much larger, sometimes measuring
from twenty to twenty-five feet in length. The body is roundish, growing
gradually less towards the tail; the nose is long and pointed, the skin
smooth, the back black or dusky blue, becoming white towards the belly.
He is entirely destitute of gills, or any similar aperture, but respires
and also spouts water through a pipe of semi-circular form placed on the
upper part of the head. There are several varieties of dolphins,
including the Long-nosed Dolphins of the rivers of Asia and South
America and the Classical Dolphin of the Mediterranean (_Delphinus
delphis_) The former are separately classified, and the family of the
latter includes the White Whale, the Narwhal, the Common Porpoise and
the Grampus. The dolphin is gregarious in its habits, herding and
travelling in large shoals. It may sometimes be seen sporting in the
bays and rivers of New York and is always a pretty sight.

The White Whale.

The White Whale (_Beluga catodon_) is the whale which Dr. R. Brown calls
_the_ whale of Greenland. It is the whale which the Greenlander and the
Eskimo find so valuable for its oil and flesh, the latter of which they
dry for winter use. They are sometimes called sea pigs, from a fancied
resemblance they bear to the pig when floundering in the sea, and
sometimes sea canaries, on account of their peculiar whistle, which
resembles that of a bird.

The Narwhal.

The narwhal (_Monodon monoceros_) is found frequently in company with
the white whale, and inhabits much the same geographical area. It is
distinguished by the possession of a tusk, the aim and purpose of which
has been much debated. "It has been supposed to use it," says Dr. Brown,
"to stir up its food from the bottom, but in such a case the female
would be sadly at a loss. Fabricius thought that it was to keep the
holes open in the ice during the winter; and the following occurrence
seems to support this view. In April, 1860, a Greenlander was travelling
along the ice in the vicinity of Christianshaab, and discovered one of
those open spaces in the ice, which, even in the most severe winters,
remain open. In this hole hundreds of narwhals and white whales were
protruding their heads to breathe, no other place presenting itself for
miles around. It was described to me as an Arctic 'Black Hole of
Calcutta' in the eagerness of the animals to keep at the place."
"Neither the narwhal nor the white whale," he continues, are timid
animals, but will approach close to, and gambol for hours in the
immediate vicinity of the ship." The oil is highly esteemed, and the
flesh is very palatable. The skin of the narwhal boiled to a jelly is
looked upon, and justly so, as one of the prime dainties of a

The Common Porpoise.

The Porpoise resembles the dolphin in general appearance. Its length,
from the tip of the snout to the end of the tail, is from five to eight
feet; and the width about two feet and a half. The figure of the whole
body is conical; the colour of the back is deep blue, inclining to
shining black; the sides are gray, and the belly white. When the flesh
is cut up, it looks very much like pork; but, although it was once
considered a sumptuous article of food, and is said to have been
occasionally introduced at the tables of the old English nobility, it
certainly has a disagreeable flavour. Their motion in the water is a
kind of circular leap; they dive deep, but soon again rise up in order
to breathe. They are seen in nearly all seas, where they sport with
great activity, chiefly on the approach of a squall.

The Grampus.

The Grampus (_Orca Gladiator_) is the natural enemy of the whale and the
seal, who hold him in mortal terror. His swallow is so great that he can
take a porpoise or a seal whole, and has been known to swallow several
in succession. The whale escapes him by getting among the ice, whither
it is said the grampus will not follow him.


The Sea Cow.

The Sea Cow is an aquatic vegetarian who lives on the coast. Of the
three genera which constitute the family _Manatidæ_ one is now said to
be extinct. The genus Manatus contains two species, one belonging to
South America and the other to the West Coast of Africa. The Dugong
(_Halicore Dugong_) which attains to a length of nine or ten feet at
maturity produces oil having similar medicinal properties to that
obtained from the Cod's liver. It inhabits the Indian Ocean, the Red
Sea, the neighbourhood of the Malay Islands and the North and East
coasts of Australia.


Hoofed Animals.

The order of hoofed animals includes a number of well known species, of
which the Horse, the Ass, the Ox and the Sheep among the tame, and the
Rhinoceros, the Hippopotamus, the Boar and the Bison among the wild are
familiar examples. The order is divided into two sub-orders and these
into numerous families. The sub-orders are, I, The Perissodactyla, which
includes three families of animals characterised by an odd number of
toes in their hind feet, the horse having one, and the Rhinoceros three.
II, The Artiodactyla which includes seven families of animals all having
an even number of toes.

The Horse.

The horse stands first among the hoofed animals, as the friend and
servant of man. He has a history which is full of interest but which it
is quite impossible to give within the limits of our present
opportunity. He is mentioned in both classical and Biblical history at
an early period, but there is reason to believe that he flourished in
prehistoric times. He was used by the Greeks in their public games, the
chariot race being one of their most popular forms of entertainment; he
was also employed by them for the purposes of war, of which the writings
of Homer and other classical authors give abundant proof. First used
apparently to draw the chariot only, the adaptation of the means to the
end soon suggested to man the propriety of mounting his back, and from
the throne he thus acquired man has since conquered the whole world.
Man's first appearance on horseback doubtless suggested the fable of the
Centaur; those unaccustomed to the sight imagining that they beheld a
monster, half man and half horse, as it is said the aborigines of
America did when they first saw Spanish equestrians. The Egyptians are
said to have been the first to cultivate the horse, and the Persians the
first to use him in battle.

Arabian Horses.

The beauty, strength and speed of the Arabian horse are well known, and
the affection which subsists between him and his master is the basis of
many a pathetic story. These horses are generally of a brown colour; the
mane and tail being short, and the hair black and tufted. The Arabs for
the most part use the mares in their ordinary excursions, as they are
less vicious than the males, and are more capable of sustaining
abstinence and fatigue.

The Arab often shares his tent with his mare, the husband, the wife, the
child, the mare, and the foal, lying together indiscriminately; and the
youngest branches of the family embracing the neck, or reposing on the
body, of the mare, without any idea of fear or danger.

St. Pierre in his "Studies of Nature" tells a pretty story of the Arab's
affection for his horse: "The whole stock of a poor Arabian of the
desert consisted of a beautiful mare; this the French consul at Said
offered to purchase, with an intention to send her to Louis XIV. The
Arab, pressed by want, hesitated a long time, but at length consented,
on condition of receiving a very considerable sum of money, which he
named. The consul wrote to France for permission to close the bargain;
and, having obtained it, sent the information to the Arab. The man, so
indigent as to possess only a miserable covering for his body, arrived
with his magnificent courser; he dismounted, and first looking at the
gold, then steadfastly at his mare, heaved a sigh. 'To whom is it,'
exclaimed he, 'that I am going to yield thee up? To Europeans! who will
tie thee close, who will beat thee, who will render thee miserable!
Return with me, my beauty, my jewel! and rejoice the hearts of my
children.' As he pronounced the last words, he sprang upon her back, and
was out of sight almost in a moment." This story forms the subject of
the well known ballad by the Hon. Mrs. Norton, entitled "The Arab's
farewell to his steed."

Clarke thus describes the way in which the Arab will address a
horse:--"Ibrahim went frequently to Rama to inquire news of the mare
whom he dearly loved; he would embrace her, wipe her eyes with his
handkerchief, would rub her with his shirt sleeves, would give her a
thousand benedictions during whole hours that he would remain talking to
her. 'My eyes! my soul! my heart!' he would say, 'must I be so
unfortunate as to have thee sold to so many masters, and not keep thee
myself? I am poor, my antelope! I brought thee up in my dwelling as a
child; I did never beat nor chide thee----" Arabs have been known to
refuse enormous sums for horses, though actually themselves in a
condition of extreme want. That the horse can reciprocate the kindness
shown to him is proved by many a story of his fidelity. Chateaubriand
says, "When I was at Jerusalem the feats of one of these steeds made a
great noise. The Bedouin to whom the animal, a mare, belonged, being
pursued by the governor's guards, rushed with her from the top of the
hills that overlooked Jericho. The mare scoured at full gallop down an
almost perpendicular declivity without stumbling, and left the soldiers
lost in admiration and astonishment. The poor creature, however, dropped
down dead on entering Jericho, and the Bedouin, who would not quit her,
was taken, weeping over the body of his faithful companion."

More romantic is the story told by M. de Lamartine, thus quoted by Mrs.
Bowdich. "An Arab chief and the tribe to which he belonged attacked a
caravan in the night, and were returning with their plunder, when some
horsemen belonging to the Pasha of Acre surrounded them, killed several,
and bound the rest with cords. Among the latter was the chief Abou el
Marek, who was carried to Acre, and, bound hand and foot, laid at the
entrance of their tent during the night. Kept awake by the pain of his
wounds he heard his horse, who was picketed at a distance from him,
neigh. Wishing to caress him, perhaps for the last time, he dragged
himself up to him, and said, 'Poor friend! what will you do among the
Turks? You will be shut up under the roof of a khan, with the horses of
a Pasha or an Aga. No longer will the women and children of the tent
bring you barley, camel's milk, or dhourra, in the hollow of their
hands; no longer will you gallop free as the wind in the desert; no
longer will you cleave the waters with your breast, and lave your sides,
as pure as the foam from your lips. If I am to be a slave, at least you
may go free. Return to our tent, tell my wife that Abou el Marek will
return no more; but put your head still into the folds of the tent, and
lick the hands of my beloved children.' With these words, as his hands
were tied, the chief with his teeth undid the fetters which held the
courser bound, and set him at liberty; but the noble animal, on
recovering his freedom, instead of galloping away to the desert, bent
his head over his master, and seeing him in fetters and on the ground,
took his clothes gently between his teeth, lifted him up, and set off at
full speed towards home. Without resting he made straight for the
distant but well-known tent in the mountains of Arabia. He arrived there
in safety, laid his master down at the feet of his wife and children,
and immediately dropped down dead with fatigue. The whole tribe mourned
him, the poets celebrated his fidelity, and his name is still constantly
in the mouths of the Arabs of Jericho."

For the sake of the beautiful moral it contains the following story is
well worth adding. In the tribe of Negde there was a mare of great
reputation for beauty and swiftness, which a member of another tribe
named Daber desired to possess. Having failed to obtain her by offering
all he was worth, he sought to effect his object by stratagem. Disguised
as a lame beggar he waited by a roadside, knowing that Nabee, the owner
of the horse, would shortly pass that way. As soon as Nabee appeared,
Daber cried out to him, begging assistance and pretending to be too weak
to rise. Nabee thereupon dismounted from the mare, and helped the beggar
to mount her. The moment he was mounted Daber declared himself and made
off. Nabee called to him to stop, and on his turning round said to him,
"Thou hast my mare, since it pleased God I wish you success but I
conjure thee tell no one how thou hast come by her." "Why not?" said
Daber. "Lest others should refrain from charity because I have been
duped," said Nabee, whereupon Daber dismounted and returned the mare.

The Domestic Horse.

The Horse has only to be known to be loved, and has only to be loved to
become the most tractable, patient, and useful of animals. "In the
domestic horse," says Colonel Smith, "we behold an animal equally strong
and beautiful, endowed with great docility and no less fire; with size
and endurance joined to sobriety, speed, and patience; clean,
companionable, emulous, even generous; forbearing, yet impetuous; with
faculties susceptible of very considerable education, and perceptions
which catch the spirit of man's intentions, lending his powers with the
utmost readiness, and restraining them with as ready a compliance:
saddled or in harness, labouring willingly, enjoying the sports of the
field and exulting in the tumult of the battle; used by mankind in the
most laudable and necessary operations, and often the unconscious
instrument of the most sanguinary passions; applauded, cherished, then
neglected, and ultimately abandoned to the authority of bipeds who often
show little superiority of reason and much less of temper." "One who,
like ourselves," continues Colonel Smith, "has repeatedly owed life to
the exertions of his horse, in meeting a hostile shock, in swimming
across streams, and in passing on the edge of elevated precipices, will
feel with us, when contemplating the qualities of this most valuable
animal, emotions of gratitude and affection which others may not so
readily appreciate."

The Structure of a Horse.

"The beauty of the form of the horse has often been commented upon, his
structure is thus admirably described by a writer in "Cassell's Magazine
of Art": "His nature is eminently courageous, without ferocity,
generous, docile, intelligent, and, if allowed to be so, almost as
affectionate as the dog. In his structure, the ruling characteristic may
be said in one word to consist in obliquity--all the leading bones in
his frame are set obliquely, or nearly so, and not at right angles. His
head is set on with a subtle curve of the last few vertebræ of the neck,
which at the shoulders, take another subtle curve before they become the
dorsal vertebræ, or backbone; which end, in their turn, with another
curve, forming the tail. His shoulders slope back more than those of
other quadrupeds, the scapula, or shoulder-blade, being oblique to the
humerus, which, in its turn, is oblique to the radius, or upper part of
the fore-leg. So, again, in the hind-quarters, the haunch is set
obliquely to the true thigh, the thigh, at the stifle joint, to the
upper bone of the hind-leg, which at the hock makes another angle. The
fore and hind quarters form so large a portion of the entire length that
a horse, though a lengthy animal from the front of the chest to the back
of the haunch, is, comparatively, very short in the actual back or
'saddle-place.' Then his hocks are much bent, and his pastern joints are
rather long, and again are set at an angle, succeeded by a slightly
different angle in the firm but expanding hoof, thus completing the
beautiful mechanism, which preserves the limbs from jar, and ensures
elasticity in every part of an animal destined to carry weight and to
undergo rapid and continued exertion--a combination not existing in any
other quadruped to anything like the same degree, and fitting him
precisely for the purposes for which he was given to man. At present we
have said nothing about his head, every part of which is equally
characteristic. His well-shaped, delicate ears are capable of being
moved separately in every direction, and every movement is full of
meaning and in sympathy with the eye. The eye is prominent, full, and
large, and placed laterally, so that he can see behind him without
turning his head, his heels being his principal weapon of defence; his
nostrils are large, open and flexible, and his lips fleshy, though thin,
and exquisitely mobile and sensitive. The large, open nostril is
essential to him, as a horse breathes solely and entirely through it,
being physically incapable of breathing through his mouth, as a valve in
the throat actually precludes him from so doing; hence the mouth of a
horse, without a bridle in it, is opened only for purposes of eating or
biting, but never from excitement or from exhaustion, like that of most
other quadrupeds, except the deer species. The lips are, perhaps, even
more characteristic; they are his hands as well as part of his mouth,
and the horse and others of his family alone use them in this way. The
ox, the sheep, the goat, the deer, the giraffe above all, and, in fact,
we believe all graminivorous animals except the horse, either bite their
food directly with the teeth, or grasp and gather it with the tongue,
which is prehensile, and gifted with more or less power of prolongation;
but the horse's tongue has no such function, and, therefore, no such
powers, as these services are all performed in his case by the lips: and
no horseman, who has let a favourite horse pick up small articles of
food from the palm of his hand, can have failed to be struck with the
extreme mobility, and also the sensibility and delicacy of touch, with
which the lips are endowed."

The Horse's Speed.

The quality of speed for which the horse is so justly esteemed has been
the subject of extensive culture in which the Arabian horse has
contributed no mean share. "Some of the horses first brought from Arabia
having been by no means celebrated," says Captain Brown, "the breed had
fallen into disrepute, till the descendants of one procured by Mr.
Darley from the deserts, and on that account called the Darley Arabian,
having borne away the palm for fleetness from all others, turned the
tide of fashion in favour of that breed. Yet it is only the progeny of
the Arabian horses that excels. The English race-horses are equal, if
not superior, to all other coursers. As the extraordinary swiftness of
the horse has been most signally displayed in the English race-course,
and can also be there most precisely measured, we cannot omit the notice
of some of the most remarkable of our racers. The most celebrated of
these--and indeed the fleetest horse that ever was bred in the
world--was Flying Childers, got by the Darley Arabian. What Achilles was
among warriors, and Cæsar among conquerors, such was Childers among
horses, without an equal and without a rival. He ran against the most
famous horses of his age, and was always victorious. He has been known
to move at the rate of nearly a mile in the minute. Next to Childers, in
fame and fleetness, is Eclipse, so called from having been foaled during
the great eclipse of 1764. This horse likewise was never beaten: one
contemporary rival alone was supposed to exist, Mr. Shaftoe's horse
Goldfinder, but Goldfinder broke down the October before the proposed
competition. Eclipse's rate of going was 47 feet in the second. Childers
had a rate of 49. One hundred to one were offered on Eclipse against the
most famous racers of his day. Mr. O'Kelly purchased him for sixteen
hundred and fifty guineas, and cleared by him twenty-five thousand
pounds. He had a vast stride,--never horse threw his haunches below him
with more vigour or effect; and his hind legs were so spread in his
gallop, that a wheelbarrow might have been driven between them. King
Herod, another famous horse, which was generally, though not like
Eclipse uniformly, successful, is chiefly celebrated for his progeny;
his immediate descendants having gained to their owners above two
hundred thousand pounds."

The Horse's Endurance.

Many marvellous stories are told of the endurance of the horse. Sir John
Malcolm says, "Small parties of Toorkomans, who ventured several hundred
miles into Persia, used both to advance and retreat at the average of
nearly one hundred miles a day. They train their horses for these
expeditions as we should do for a race, and describe him when in a
condition for a foray by saying that his flesh is marble. When I was in
Persia, a horseman mounted upon a Toorkoman horse, brought a packet of
letters from Shiraz to Teherary, which is a distance of five hundred
miles, within six days." Almost equally remarkable records are held by
English horses, but the invention of the locomotive has done away with
the necessity for such trying expeditions in civilized countries, and
the horse is trained more for speed and strength than for such long
distance efforts. M. de Pages in his travels round the world, tells a
remarkable story of the endurance of the horse when out of his natural
element; he says, "I should have found it difficult to give it credit
had it not happened at this place (the Cape of Good Hope) the evening
before my arrival; and if, besides the public notoriety of the fact, I
had not been an eyewitness of those vehement emotions of sympathy,
blended with admiration, which it had justly excited in the mind of
every individual at the Cape. A violent gale of wind setting in from
north and north west, a vessel in the road dragged her anchors, was
forced on the rocks and bulged; and, while the greater part of the crew
fell an immediate sacrifice to the waves, the remainder were seen from
the shore struggling for their lives, by clinging to the different
pieces of the wreck. The sea ran dreadfully high, and broke over the
sailors with such amazing fury, that no boat whatever could venture off
to their assistance. Meanwhile a planter, considerably advanced in life,
had come from his farm to be a spectator of the shipwreck; his heart was
melted at the sight of the unhappy seamen, and knowing the bold and
enterprising spirit of his horse, and his particular excellence as a
swimmer, he instantly determined to make a desperate effort for their
deliverance. He alighted and blew a little brandy into his horse's
nostrils, and again seating himself in the saddle, he instantly pushed
into the midst of the breakers. At first both disappeared, but it was
not long before they floated on the surface, and swam up to the wreck;
when taking with him two men, each of whom held by one of his boots, he
brought them safe to shore. This perilous expedition he repeated no
seldomer than seven times, and saved fourteen lives; but, on his return
the eighth time, his horse being much fatigued, and meeting a most
formidable wave, he lost his balance and was overwhelmed in a moment.
The horse swam safely to land, but his gallant rider was no more!"

The Horse's Memory.

Many remarkable instances are recorded of the exercise of the faculty of
memory by horses. Colonel Smith mentions an instance of a horse which he
had used for two years while in the army abroad, and which some years
later made himself known to his old master with every demonstration of
pleasure, though harnessed to a mail coach. "That the horse remembers
the scenes and transactions of past times," says Captain Brown, "is
proved from every day's experience. It enters familiarly into its usual
abode; inclines to stop at its ordinary halting-place; prefers a journey
which it has formerly taken, and falls readily into an occupation to
which it has been accustomed. It seeks the fields in which it has
formerly pastured, and has been known long afterwards to repair to the
scenes of its earlier days. A horse belonging to a gentleman of Taunton
strayed from a field at Corfe, three miles distant from thence. After a
long and troublesome search, he was discovered on a farm at Branscombe,
in Devon, a distance of twenty-three miles, being the place where he was
foaled, although it is certain that the animal had not been there for
ten years, during the whole of which time he had been in the possession
of the gentleman who then owned him." Horses seem to have a similar
sense of locality to that for which dogs are so famous. A horse will
find its way home when its master cannot see a yard before him,
instances being recorded of parties lost in the snow which covered all
tracks, who only saved their lives by letting a horse loose and
following him. Captain Brown gives two instances of horses who on
becoming ill, found their way to the veterinary surgeon, who had
previously treated them, entirely of their own accord. Instances are
recorded also of Cavalry horses, who, on hearing thunder while out
grazing, have mistaken it for the sound of cannon and who with great
excitement have formed themselves into line and "presented the front of
a field of war". Old Hunters who have become coach horses have been
known upon hearing the hounds, at the moment of "changing" to dash after
them with their harness on their backs and riderless and guideless
follow the hunt for hours. These are instances of the ruling passion
strong in after life, or perhaps more correctly speaking of the force of
habit, of which there are countless illustrations. Kosciusko had a horse
which he once lent to a young man whom he employed upon a commission,
but who on his return declared that he would never use the horse again
unless also supplied with his master's purse; for said he, "as soon as a
poor man on the road takes off his hat and asks charity the animal
immediately stands still, and will not stir until something is bestowed
upon the petitioner; and as I had no money about me I had to feign
giving, in order to satisfy the horse and induce him to proceed." Such
loyalty to habit, however interesting, is not always convenient, as the
following, which I quote from "Anecdotes in Natural History" by the Rev.
F. O. Morris will show.

"Towards the close of last century, when volunteers were first embodied
in the different towns, an extensive line of turnpike road was in
progress of construction in a part of the north. The clerk to the
trustees upon this line used to send one of his assistants to ride along
occasionally, to see that the contractors, who were at work in a great
many places, were doing their work properly. The assistant, on these
journeys, rode a horse which had for a long time carried a field
officer, and, though aged, still possessed a great deal of spirit. One
day, as he was passing near a town of considerable size which lay on the
line of road, the volunteers were at drill on the common; and the
instant the horse heard the drum he leaped the fence, and was speedily
at that post in front of the volunteers which would have been occupied
by the commanding officer of a regiment on parade or at drill; nor could
the rider by any means get him off the ground until the volunteers
retired to the town. As long as they kept the field the horse took the
proper place of a commanding officer in all their manœuvres, and he
marched at the head of the corps into the town, prancing in military
style as cleverly as his stiffened legs would allow him, to the great
amusement of the volunteers and spectators, and to the no small
annoyance of the clerk."

Perhaps no more amusing illustration of this force of habit could be
found than that cited by Captain Brown of a Scotch lawyer who purchased
a horse at Smithfield upon which to make a journey north. The horse was
a handsome one and started well, but on reaching Finchley common, at a
place where the road ran down a slight eminence, and up another, the
lawyer met a clergyman driving a one horse chaise. "There was nobody
within sight, and the horse by his manœuvre instantly discovered the
profession of his former owner. Instead of pursuing his journey he laid
his counter close up to the chaise and stopped it, having no doubt but
his rider would embrace so fair an opportunity of exercising his
profession. The clergyman seemed of the same opinion, produced his purse
unasked, and assured the astonished lawyer, that it was quite
unnecessary to draw his pistol as he did not intend to offer any
resistance. The traveller rallied his horse, and with many apologies to
the gentleman he had so innocently and unwillingly affrighted, pursued
his journey. The horse next made the same suspicious approach to a
coach, from the windows of which a blunderbuss was levelled with
denunciations of death and destruction to the hapless and perplexed
rider. In short, after his life had been once or twice endangered by the
suspicions to which the conduct of his horse gave rise, and his liberty
as often threatened by the peace-officers, who were disposed to
apprehend him as a notorious highwayman, the former owner of the horse,
he was obliged to part with the inauspicious animal for a trifle, and to
purchase at a large price one less beautiful, but not accustomed to such
dangerous habits."

The Horse's Intelligence.

Of the larger quadrupeds the horse is said to be only second in
intelligence to the Elephant, and many proofs could be given of the high
standard of intelligence to which he sometimes attains. The Rev. F. O.
Morris says,--"We knew a blind coach-horse that ran one of the stages on
the great north road for several years, and so perfectly was he
acquainted with all the stables, halting-places, and other matters, that
he was never found to commit a blunder. He could never be driven past
his own stable; and at the sound of the coming coach he would turn out,
of his own accord, into the stable-yard. So accurate was his knowledge
of time, that though half-a-dozen coaches halted at the same inn daily,
he was never known to stir till the sound of his own coach, the "ten
o'clock" was heard in the distance." The intelligence of this horse was
somewhat circumscribed but it was perfect within its limits. Colonel
Smith, as already quoted, says, "Bipeds who exercise authority over
horses, often show little superiority of reason, and much less of
temper." The way in which horses have preserved masters who have
rendered themselves incapable of taking care of themselves is proof of
this. A horse has been known to poke his nose in at a tavern door and
shake his master by the shoulder, when he has been lingering too long
over his potations. Another horse whose master from a similar cause was
unable to keep his seat watched by his side in the road all night, and
on being discovered by some labourers in the early morning vigorously
resented their attempts to awaken him. Professor Kruger of Halle says,
"A friend of mine was one dark night riding home through a wood, and had
the misfortune to strike his head against the branch of a tree, and fell
from his horse, stunned by the blow. The horse immediately returned to
the house which they had left, about a mile distant. He found the door
closed, and the family gone to bed. He pawed at the door till one of
them, hearing the noise, arose and opened it, and to his surprise saw
the horse of his friend. No sooner was the door opened than the horse
turned round, and the man, suspecting there was something wrong,
followed the animal, which led him directly to the spot where his master
lay on the ground in a faint." A pony has been known to leap into a
canal and save the life of a child in danger of drowning, and a cart
horse to lift a child out of the road and place it carefully on the side
walk before proceeding with his load. A remarkable illustration of the
intelligence of the horse under circumstances in which most human beings
would have lost all presence of mind, is quoted by Captain Brown. "In
the month of April, 1794, owing to a strong wind blowing contrary to the
current of the river, the island Kroutsand, surrounded by the two
branches of the Elbe, became entirely covered with water, to the great
alarm of the horses, which, with some foals, had been grazing on it.
They set up a loud neighing, and collected themselves together within a
small space. To save the foals that were now standing up to their
bellies in water seemed to be the object of their consultation. They
adopted a method at once ingenious and effective. Each foal was arranged
between horses, who pressed their sides together so as to keep them
wedged up, and entirely free from injury from the water. They retained
this position for six hours, nor did they relinquish their burden till
the tide having ebbed and the water subsided, the foals were placed out
of danger."

Horse Play.

Horse-play is a term which conveys the idea of rough if not brutal
romping, and yet the horse can be gentle in its friendships and
considerate in its dealings with weaker animals, and with children to a
remarkable degree. White in his "Natural History of Selborne", tells of
a curious friendship between a horse and a hen. "These two incongruous
animals spent much of their time together in a lonely orchard, where
they saw no creature but each other. By degrees an apparent regard began
to take place between the two sequestered individuals; the fowl would
approach the horse with notes of complacency, rubbing herself quietly
against his legs, while the horse would look down with satisfaction, and
move with the greatest caution and circumspection, lest he should
trample on his diminutive companion." A similar friendship is recorded
as between a horse and a sheep, whom circumstances threw much in
company. Both gregarious animals and both failing of companionships of
their own kind, they found solace in their loneliness in a beautiful if
curious friendship. The gentleness of horses in dealing with children
has often been remarked, even when within the confined limits of a
stable they will use the utmost circumspection as to movements lest they
should inadvertently tread upon their playfellows. Mr. Morris tells of a
plough horse who was too tall for his little master to mount and who
used to put his head down to the ground and allow the boy to bestride
his neck and then by gently elevating his head help him to slide on to
his back. Horses have been known to allow liberties to children that
they would not allow to their elders, a remarkable illustration of which
is given by Captain Brown. A hunter who always violently resented any
attempt on the part of his grooms to trim his fetlocks, was once the
subject of conversation in his master's house, when the master defied
any man "to perform the operation singly." On the following day when
passing through the stable-yard he was astonished and alarmed at seeing
his youngest child, who had been an unnoticed listener to the
conversation the night before, with a pair of scissors, clipping the
fetlocks of the horse's hind legs, the horse watching the operation with
evident satisfaction. It is, however, as between horses and dogs that
the truest affinity appears to exist of animals of different families,
and numerous anecdotes are told in illustration of these friendships.
Captain Brown gives the following: "Doctor Smith, a practising physician
in Dublin, had no other servant to take charge of his horse while at a
patient's door, than a large Newfoundland dog; and between the two
animals, a very good understanding subsisted. When he wished to pass to
another patient without remounting, he needed but to give a signal to
the pair, who followed him in the most perfect good order. The dog also
led the horse to the water, and would give him a signal to leap over a
stream. While performing this on one occasion, the dog lost hold of the
reins, when the horse, having cleared the leap, trotted back to the dog,
who resumed the reins."

"A gentleman in Bristol had a greyhound which slept in the same stable,
and contracted a very great intimacy with a fine hunter. When the dog
was taken out the horse neighed wistfully after him; he welcomed him
home with a neigh; the greyhound ran up to the horse and licked him;
the horse, in return, scratched the greyhound's back with his teeth. On
one occasion, when the groom had the pair out for exercise, a large dog
attacked the greyhound, bore him to the ground, and seemed likely to
worry him, when the horse threw back his ears, rushed forward, seized
the strange dog by the back and flung him to a distance which the animal
did not deem it prudent to make less."

The horse's sympathy with his own kind must, however, not pass without
mention. Horses have been known to masticate food for their toothless
companions, an instance being recorded by M. de Boussanelle, a cavalry
officer, of a horse belonging to his company who was fed for two months
in this way by the horses stationed on either side of him. Whether the
horses in the following case were actuated by sympathy or fear, the
story deserves to be retold for its extreme pathos. When Sir John
Moore's soldiers embarked after the battle of Corunna, orders were given
that the troop horses should be shot, rather than that they should fall
into the hands of the enemy. "These horses," says Colonel Smith,
"witnessing their companions fall one after another, stood trembling
with fear, and by their piteous looks seemed to implore mercy from the
men who had been their riders, until the duty imposed upon the dragoons
who had been intrusted with the execution of the order became
unbearable, and the men turned away from the task with scalding tears:
hence the French obtained a considerable number unhurt, and among them
several belonging to officers who, rather than destroy them, had left
their faithful chargers with billets attached recommending them to the
kindness of the enemy."

The Ass.

The ass is an animal which seems to be more than ordinarily affected by
its surrounding and treatment. In eastern countries where it is well
cared for, and employed in the service of the rich, it rises to the
occasion and becomes both graceful and spirited in action and elegant
and refined in appearance: in the west where it is discarded for the
sake of the horse, and used almost solely as a beast of heavy burden,
often suffering great cruelty and hardship, it seems to lose spirit and
become dull and obstinate, as people do who, crushed by hard
circumstances, lose hope. The ass has an ancient and honourable history
which dates back apparently as far as that of the horse. He is mentioned
alike by sacred and profane writers, Job and Homer making flattering
reference to him. In Syria and Persia, where he is cultivated, he
attains to a much larger size than in the west, where he may be
described as about two-thirds the size of the horse. In ancient times
these animals fetched very large sums, sums which in our day would be
considered very large for a horse, a stallion mentioned by Pliny
realising a sum exceeding £3000. "No domestic animal," says Colonel
Smith, "in proportion to its bulk, can carry a greater weight, or
continue to labour longer without sustenance. The ass is emphatically
the poor man's horse in every country; and if care were taken of the
breed, and well selected animals imported from Arabia, a very useful and
handsome race might be reared." Though the ordinary ass is slow and
obstinate, his eastern cousin is both fleet and obedient, and remarkable
feats have been performed by half breeds. A half-bred, Spanish and
English, of twelve and a half hands high, belonging to Mr. Wilson of
Ipswich, drew a light gig from Ipswich to London and back again, a
distance of 140 miles, in two days. He is said to have maintained a pace
little short of that of a good gig horse and to have performed the whole
journey with ease, finishing it without whip, at the rate of seven miles
an hour. Though patient above most animals, the ass will sometimes turn
like the proverbial worm, and instances are known in which he has
adopted the offensive with effect. Some years ago, a bull dog which had
been set on to an ass, was caught by the latter in his teeth, carried to
the river Derwent and held under water until he was drowned. Donkeys
have often been known after enduring great provocation from boys to
turn on their assailants and put them to speedy and anxious flight.

The Sagacity of the Ass.

Dull though he appears to be, the ass show himself on occasion to be
possessed of no little invention in matters that concern his liberty and
comfort. His aptitude for lifting latches and drawing bolts has often
been observed. Mr. Fuller describes the actions of an ass he saw, who
put his head sideways between the bars of a gate and turning it into its
normal position lifted the gate over the latch and pushed it forward,
withdrawing his head after he had opened the gate and proceeding to
enjoy the dainties of the field into which he had thus effected an
entrance. A still more remarkable instance is given by Mr. East who
says: "While living on the Sussex coast, I had myself a very fine
donkey, which was a remarkably docile and knowing animal. He was the
constant companion of my children in their rambles on the downs, and on
those occasions seemed to think he had a right to share in all the
eatables and drinkables, and would do so most readily, whether cakes,
apples, oranges, sweetmeats, milk, or even tea; ginger-beer being the
only exception. With this he was thoroughly disgusted, in consequence of
the cork, which had been expelled from the bottle with the usual loud
report, having struck him on the nose. This he never forgot; but would
quickly march off whenever a ginger-beer bottle was produced. But his
cleverness and cunning were more especially shown in the following
incident:--His lodging-place at night was a small, open shed, whence he
had free access to a yard; but not, of course, to the kitchen-garden
which adjoined it. The latter was separated from the yard by a wall and
door, fastened securely, as we imagined, by two bolts and an ordinary
latch. We were, however, surprised to find that the door had been
unfastened during the night, while the footprints of the donkey on the
garden walks and beds too plainly told who had been the trespasser.
Still we could hardly suppose he could have drawn the bolts and let
himself in, especially as the upper bolt was fixed at a considerable
height. This, however, proved to have been the case; for my bedroom
overlooking the yard and garden, I one night watched at the window, and
distinctly saw master donkey, reared on his hind legs, unfastening the
upper bolt with his nose or mouth. He then withdrew the lower one,
lifted the latch, and walked quietly into the garden. In a few minutes I
further observed him returning to his shed with a large bunch of
carrots, which he deposited in his shed, and then went back--not,
certainly, to bolt, but to latch the door; after which he leisurely set
about munching his slily acquired booty. Before putting a final stop to
these proceedings, I gave several of my neighbours, who were incredulous
upon the subject, an opportunity of witnessing them. And at these times
his sagacity was further evinced by the fact that he would never
commence his operations until after the light had been extinguished at
the bedroom window."

The Instinct of the Ass.

The sense of locality so conspicuous in the dog, the cat and the horse
is also possessed in a remarkable degree by the ass, as the following
story told by Captain Brown will show. "In 1816, an ass belonging to
Captain Dundas was shipped on board the Ister, bound from Gibraltar to
Malta. The vessel struck on a sand-bank off the Point de Gat, and the
ass was thrown overboard into a sea which was so stormy that a boat that
soon after left the ship was lost. In the course of a few days, when the
gates of Gibraltar were opened in the morning, the guard was surprised
by the same ass which had so recently been removed, presenting itself
for admittance. On entering, it proceeded immediately to the stable
which it had formerly occupied. The ass had not only swum to the shore,
but found its own way from Point de Gat to Gibraltar, a distance of more
than two hundred miles, through a mountainous and intricate country
intersected by streams, which it had never passed before--but which it
had now crossed so expeditiously that it must have gone by a route
leading the most directly to Gibraltar."

The Trained Ass.

The ass like many other animals is capable of being trained to perform
many tricks, advantage of which seems to have been taken long before our
time, as the following quoted by Captain Brown will show. John Leo, in a
book printed as early as 1556, says, "when the Mahometan worship was
over, the common people of Cairo resorted to the foot of the suburbs
called Bed-Elloch to see the exhibition of stage-players and
mountebanks, who teach camels, asses, and dogs to dance. The dancing of
the ass is diverting enough; for after he has frisked and capered about,
his master tells him, that the Soldan, meaning to build a great palace,
intends to employ all the asses in carrying mortar, stones, and other
materials; upon which the ass falls down with his heels upwards, closing
his eyes, and extending his chest, as if he were dead. This done, the
master begs some assistance of the company, to make up the loss of the
dead ass; and having got all he can, he gives them to know that truly
his ass is not dead, but only being sensible of his master's necessity,
played that trick to procure some provender. He then commands the ass to
rise, who still lies in the same posture, notwithstanding all the blows
he can give him, till at last he proclaims, by virtue of an edict of the
Soldan, all are bound to ride out next day upon the comeliest asses they
can find, in order to see a triumphal show, and to entertain their asses
with oats and Nile water. These words are no sooner pronounced, than the
ass state up, prances, and leaps for joy. The master then declares, that
his ass has been pitched upon by the warden of his street, to carry his
deformed and ugly wife; upon which the ass lowers his ears, and limps
with one of his legs, as if he were lame. The master, alleging that his
ass admires handsome women, commands him to single out the prettiest
lady in the company; and accordingly, he makes his choice by going
round, and touching one of the prettiest with his head, to the great
amusement of the company."

The Mule and the Hinny.

The Mule and the Hinny, are the off-spring of the ass and the horse and
combine to some extent the qualities of both. The mule has the
sure-footedness of the ass, and the size and appearance of the horse.
His history dates back to classical and Biblical times, and mention is
made of him both in the Iliad and in the Bible. In the East he is still
trained to useful service, and in England he is used in tramways and
road cars. The Spanish mules are trained to understand the calls of
their driver who directs their course by shouting from the box.

The Zebra.

The Zebra resembles the horse in shape, and in size stands half way
between the horse and the ass. He belongs to Central Africa, and
hitherto has resisted all attempts to tame him for practical use. He is
a beautiful animal, handsomely marked with black and white stripes all
over the body, and black and white rings round the legs. Burchell's
Zebra which belongs to the Cape of Good Hope, is similar, but has white
legs. The Quagga of Southern Africa has a brown coat striped with black,
a white waistcoat, and white stockings. Zebras have been half tamed,
when kept in menageries, but lack the instinctive docility of the horse.

The Tapir.

The next family we have to deal with is the family of the _Tapiridæ_, in
which there are two genera and six species. The Tapir is a large and
powerful animal standing from five to six feet in height and inhabiting
the warmer regions of South America. It is nocturnal in its habits and
feeds on water-melons, gourds, and other fruits and vegetables. It
frequents the water and can remain below the surface for a long time.
Its hide is very thick and its senses of sight, hearing, and smell very
acute. Its most characteristic feature is a short mobile proboscis which
enables it to seize hold of boughs and fruits when in search of food.
The Rev. J. G. Wood says, "Its disposition is gentle, but when annoyed,
it sometimes rushes at its antagonist, and defends itself vigorously
with its powerful teeth. The jaguar frequently springs on it, but it is
often dislodged by the activity of the Tapir, who rushes through the
bushes immediately that it feels the claws of its enemy, and endeavours
to brush him off against the thick branches." The Tapir is easily tamed
and even domesticated, though it must be admitted it makes a somewhat
huge pet. It is intelligent and in its own way shows appreciation of
kindness and attachment to its owner. This family has sometimes been
regarded as a link between the Elephant and the Rhinoceros, but in the
classification here followed the Elephant forms a separate order; the
Tapir and the Rhinoceros complete the sub-order of Perissodactyla or
odd-toed, hoofed animals. The Indian Tapir is somewhat larger than his
American cousin and is distinguished by the greyish-white colour of his
hind quarters, which gives him the appearance of bearing a white horse
cloth on his loins.

The Rhinoceros.

The Rhinoceros is found in both Asia and Africa, and is classified by
Dr. Gray in four genera. Of these the Indian Rhinoceros, the Rhinoceros
of Sumatra, and the Mahoohoo of South and Central Africa are
representatives. Mr. Gordon Cumming says, "There are four varieties in
South Africa, distinguished by the Bechuanas by the names of the Borèlé
or black rhinoceros, the Keitloa or two-horned black rhinoceros, the
Muchocho or common white rhinoceros and the Kobaoba or long-horned white
rhinoceros. Both varieties of the black rhinoceros are extremely fierce
and dangerous, and rush headlong and unprovoked upon any object which
attracts their attention. Their horns are much shorter than those of the
other varieties, seldom exceeding eighteen inches in length. They are
finely polished with constant rubbing against trees. The skull is
remarkably formed, its most striking feature being the tremendous thick
ossification in which it ends above the nostrils. It is on this mass
that the horn is supported. The horns are not connected with the skull,
being attached merely by the skin, and they may thus be separated from
the head by a sharp knife. They are hard and perfectly solid throughout.
The eyes of the rhinoceros are small and sparkling and do not readily
observe the hunter, provided he keep to leeward of them. The skin is
extremely thick, and only to be penetrated by bullets hardened with
solder." "During the day the rhinoceros will be found lying asleep or
standing indolently in some retired part of the forest, or under the
base of the mountains, sheltered from the power of the sun by some
friendly grove of umbrella-topped mimosas. In the evening they commence
their nightly ramble, and wander over a great extent of country." "The
black rhinoceros is subject to paroxysms of unprovoked fury, often
ploughing up the ground for several yards with its horns, and assaulting
large bushes in the most violent manner." "The rhinoceros is supposed by
many, and by myself among the rest, to be the animal alluded to by Job,
Chap. XXXIX, verses 10 and 11, where it is written: 'Canst thou bind the
unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after
thee? Wilt thou trust him because his strength is great? or wilt thou
leave thy labour to him?'" "All the four varieties delight to roll and
wallow in mud, with which their rugged hides are generally encrusted.
Both varieties of the black rhinoceros are much smaller and more active
than the white, and are so swift that a horse with a rider on his back
can rarely overtake them. The two varieties of the white rhinoceros are
so similar in habits, that the description of one will serve for both;
the principal difference consisting in the length and set of the
anterior horn; that of the muchocho averaging from two to three feet in
length, and pointing backwards; while the horn of the Kobaoba often
exceeds four feet in length, and inclines forward from the nose at an
angle of 45°. The posterior horn of either species seldom exceeds six or
seven inches in length. Both these varieties attain an enormous size,
being the animals next in magnitude to the elephant. They feed solely on
grass, carry much fat, and their flesh is excellent, being preferable to

Rhinoceros Hunting.

Mr. Gordon Cumming gives several graphic descriptions of his experiences
with the rhinoceros, in his "Hunting Adventures in South Africa", from
which work the foregoing description of the several species is taken. On
one occasion after following a huge white rhinoceros, which, however,
escaped him, he says, "I found myself on the banks of the stream beside
which my waggons were out-spanned. Following along its margin, I
presently beheld a bull of the borèlé, or black rhinoceros, standing
within a hundred yards of me. Dismounting from my horse, I secured him
to a tree, and then stalked within twenty yards of the huge beast, under
cover of a large strong bush. Borèlé, hearing me advance, came on to see
what it was, and suddenly protruded his horny nose within twenty yards
of me. Knowing well that a front shot would not prove deadly, I sprang
to my feet and ran behind the bush. Upon this the villain charged,
blowing loudly, and chased me round the bush. Had his activity been
equal to his ugliness my wanderings would have terminated here, but by
my superiority I had the advantage in the turn. After standing a short
time eyeing me through the bush ... he wheeled about, leaving me master
of the field." This was not the only nor even the narrowest escape
experienced by Mr. Gordon Cumming when hunting this enormous beast. On
another occasion he says:--"Having proceeded about two miles with large
herds of game on every side, I observed a crusty looking old bull borèlé
or black rhinoceros, cocking his ears one hundred yards in advance. He
had not observed us; and soon after he walked slowly towards us, and
stood broadside, eating some wait-a-bit thorns within fifty yards of
me. I fired from my saddle, and sent a bullet in behind his shoulder,
upon which he rushed forward about one hundred yards in tremendous
consternation, blowing like a grampus, and then stood looking about him.
Presently he made off. I followed, but found it hard to come up with
him. The chase led through a large herd of wildebeests, zebras, and
springboks, which gazed at us in utter amazement. At length I fired my
second barrel, but my horse was fidgety, and I missed. I continued
riding alongside of him, expecting in my ignorance, that at length he
would come to bay, which rhinoceroses never do; when suddenly he fell
flat on his broadside on the ground, but, recovering his feet resumed
his course as if nothing had happened. Becoming at last annoyed at the
length of the chase, as I wished to keep my horse fresh for the
elephants, and being indifferent whether I got the rhinoceros or not, I
determined to bring matters to a crisis, so spurring my horse, I dashed
ahead, and rode right in his path. Upon this the hideous monster
instantly charged me in the most resolute manner, blowing loudly through
his nostrils; and although I quickly wheeled about to my left, he
followed me at such a furious pace for several hundred yards, with his
horrid horny snout within a few yards of my horse's tail, that my little
bushman, who was looking on in great alarm, thought his master's
destruction inevitable. It was certainly a very near thing; my horse was
extremely afraid and exerted his utmost energies on the occasion. The
rhinoceros, however, wheeled about and continued his former course, and
I, being perfectly satisfied with the interview which I had already
enjoyed with him, had no desire to cultivate his acquaintance any
further, and accordingly made for the camp."

The Tame Rhinoceros.

Some species of the rhinoceros, if not all, seem to be tamable. The
Indian variety distinguished by the thick folds of heavy garment-like
skin, which hang from his shoulders, haunches and thighs, has been
trained to exercise the same quiet patience which distinguishes the
elephant. The paroxysms of rage which Mr. Gordon Cumming describes the
African variety as venting upon a harmless bush, or employing in tearing
up the earth, have been known to seize those specimens which have been
imported into England, as the following account of the rhinoceros,
exhibited at Exeter Change, published in the "Philosophical Transactions
for 1822," will show. "This animal about a month after it came,
endeavoured to kill the keeper, and nearly succeeded. It ran at him with
the greatest impetuosity, but, fortunately, the horn passed between his
thighs, and threw the keeper on its head; the horn came against a wooden
partition, into which the animal forced it to such a depth as to be
unable for a minute to withdraw it, and, during this interval, the man
escaped. Frequently, (more especially in the middle of the night), fits
of frenzy came on; and, while these lasted, nothing could control its
rage, the rhinoceros running with great swiftness round the den, playing
all kinds of antics, making hideous noises, knocking everything to
pieces, disturbing the whole neighbourhood, and then, all at once,
becoming quiet. While the fit was on, even the keeper durst not make his
approach. The animal fell upon its knee to enable the horn to be borne
upon any object. It was quick in all its motions, ate voraciously all
kinds of vegetables, appearing to have no selection. They fed it on
branches of willow. Three years' confinement made no alteration in its
habits." The rhinoceros is said to live for a hundred years.

The Hippopotamus.

The Hippopotamus introduces the second sub-order of the hoofed animals,
the _Artiodactyla_, animals having an even number of toes. There is but
one genus of the Hippopotamus and two species, the Hippopotamus of the
great rivers of Southern Africa, and the Liberian Hippopotamus of the
West. The Hippopotamus is gregarious, congregating in the deep shady
pools and on the sandy banks of the shallow rivers of its native land.
It attains to ten or eleven feet in length, and to five feet, or more,
in height, being the next largest animal to the rhinoceros and the
elephant. He is a powerful beast and has been known to attack and
capsize boats, though when hunted he usually sinks to the bottom of the
river where he is able to remain five or six minutes without rising to
the surface for breath. The form of his head enables him to lift his
eyes and his nostrils above the water at the same time without exposing
more than a slight portion of his head. Thus, while taking in breath to
sustain him while out of the reach of his enemies, he can watch their
movements and determine his course below. His hide is very thick and
strong and is, therefore, very useful for a variety of purposes, while
his tusks furnish the dentist with the material to supply human

The Haunt of the Hippopotami.

Mr. Gordon Cumming gives the following vivid description of the haunt of
the Hippopotami. "The next day I rode down the river to seek sea-cows,
taking as usual my double-barrelled rifles. We had proceeded about two
miles when we came upon some most thoroughly beaten, old established
hippopotamus paths, and presently, in a broad, long, deep, and shaded
pool of the river, we heard the sea-cows bellowing. There I beheld one
of the most wondrous and interesting sights that a sportsman can be
blessed with. I at once knew that there must be an immense herd of them,
for the voices came from the different parts of the pool; so creeping in
through the bushes to obtain an inspection, a large sandy Island
appeared at the neck of the pool, on which stood several large shady
trees. The neck of the pool was very wide and shallow, with rocks and
large stones; below, it was deep and still. On a sandy promontory of
this Island stood about thirty cows and calves, whilst in the pool
opposite, and a little below them, stood about twenty more sea-cows,
with their heads and backs above water. About fifty yards further down
the river again, showing out their heads, were eight or ten immense
fellows, which I think were all bulls; and about one hundred yards below
these in the middle of the stream stood another herd of about eight or
ten cows with calves and two huge bulls. The sea-cows lay close together
like pigs; a favourite position was to rest their heads on their
comrade's sterns and sides. The herds were attended by an immense number
of the invariable rhinoceros birds, which on observing me did their best
to spread alarm throughout the hippopotami. I was resolved to select, if
possible, a first-rate old bull out of this vast herd, and I accordingly
delayed firing for nearly two hours, continually running up and down
behind the thick thorny cover, attentively studying the heads. At length
I determined to go close in and select the best head out of the eight or
ten bulls which lay below the cows. I accordingly left the cover, and
walked slowly forward in full view of the whole herd to the water's
edge, where I lay down on my belly and studied the heads of these bulls.
The cows on seeing me splashed into the water and kept up a continual
snorting and blowing till night set in. After selecting for a few
minutes I fired my first shot at a splendid bull and sent the ball in a
little behind the eye. He was at once incapacitated, and kept plunging
and swimming round and round, wearing away down the pool, until I
finished him with two more shots."

The Pig Family.

Pigs, hogs and peccaries form the next family with which we have to
deal. The Wild Boar which we may take first, is famous in classic
history and European legends, and is celebrated both by ancient and
modern poets. He is, or was common to Europe, Asia and Africa, and
whether in the hunt or the banquet has always been highly esteemed. The
boar hunt is an exciting chase, having all the elements of danger
necessary to give it zest. Boars have been known to kill not only dogs,
but horses and men with their powerful tusks, turning and rending them
with great strength and ferocity. When in a wild state the boar is a
dangerous and inconvenient neighbour, for he commits serious
depredations upon the property of the peasant and the farmer. Bruce in
his travels gives an illustration of this. He says: "We pitched our tent
in a small plain by the banks of a quick clear running stream; the spot
is called Mai-Shum. A peasant had made a very neat little garden, on
both sides of the rivulet, in which he had sown abundance of onions and
garlic, and he had a species of pumpkin which I thought was little
inferior to a melon. This man guessed by our arms and our horses that we
were hunters, and he brought us a present of the fruits of his garden,
and begged our assistance against a number of wild boars, which carried
havoc and desolation through all his labours, marks of which were,
indeed, too visible everywhere.--Amongst us all we killed five boars,
all large ones, in the space of about two hours; one of which measured
six feet nine inches; and though he ran at an amazing speed near two
miles, so as to be with difficulty overtaken by the horse, and was
struck through and through with two heavy lances loaded at the end with
iron, no person dared to come near him on foot, and he defended himself
above half an hour, till having no other arms left, I shot him with a
horse-pistol." The tusks of the wild boar are often a foot in length and
his hide is so tough that small bullets have been found between the skin
and the flesh of captured specimens.

The Common Hog.

Authorities differ as to whether the domestic pig is derived from the
wild species or not, but certain it is that the domestic hog under
suitable circumstances, betrays wild instincts. Hogs have been known to
hunt rabbits and poultry and attack lambs when temporarily free from
restraint, and instances have been recorded in which the hog has
attacked and killed its keeper. The hog grows to a great size, the
measurements of one belonging to Mr. Lunton of Bodmain some years ago
being nine feet in length and seven feet five inches in girth. Its
weight was eight hundred and fifteen pounds. These limits have, however,
often been exceeded, a hog bred in Cheshire measuring nine feet eight
inches including tail, and standing four feet six inches in height. This
animal weighed 1,215 pounds when killed. Hampshire, Wiltshire,
Berkshire, and Yorkshire have all fine breeds which supply the larders
of the United Kingdom with prime bacon. The sucking pig has been deemed
a dainty dish even from Roman times. The babiroussa belongs to Bouru and
Celebes, and is gregarious. Its habits are similar to those of the wild
hog, which the male rivals and even surpasses in size. It has tusks
attached to both the upper and the lower jaw, which bend backwards with
a graceful curve.

The Peccary.

The Peccary belongs to South America where it is indigenous. There are
two species, the Collared Peccary and the White-lipped Peccary. The
collared peccary is a timid, inoffensive animal about three feet long,
and distinguished by white bands which traverse the shoulders and meet
at the neck. They associate in pairs or small families and live in holes
and hollows. The white-lipped peccary herds in large numbers, migrating
apparently in regular order in companies sometimes a thousand strong.
These animals are very fierce when attacked, and the hunter has little
chance of escaping them unless he can find shelter in a friendly tree.
Many stories are told of hunters who have sought such asylum, and who
have been kept treed many hours by peccaries who, regardless of the
mortality of their comrades, have lingered round the trunk.

The Camel and the Dromedary.

The history of the Camel carries us back to the age of the great
patriarchs, and gives him some claim to be regarded as a patriarch
himself. He belongs to Egypt and Arabia, where he is indispensable to
the desert ranger, and where no longer found in a wild state, he takes
rank as a domestic animal. His uses are several. As a beast of burden he
is invaluable, while the milk of the female serves as an article of
food, the surplus wool of his body as a material for rough woven cloth
and his dung as excellent fuel. He is said by some to be docile and
affectionate and by others to be dull and stupid, though harbouring the
spirit of revenge. Probably like many other animals he will be found to
reciprocate the treatment he receives in kindness as well as in cruelty.
Some confusion exists in the popular mind as to distinctions between the
Camel and the Dromedary, the number of the humps being said to
differentiate the two. With regard to this Mr. Palgrave in his "Travels
in Central and Eastern Arabia", says:--"The camel and the dromedary in
Arabia are the same identical genus and creature, excepting that the
dromedary is a high-bred camel, and the camel a low-bred dromedary;
exactly the distinction which exists between a race-horse and a hack;
both are horses, but the one of blood and the other not. The dromedary
is the race horse of this species, thin, elegant, (or comparatively so)
fine haired, light of step, easy of pace, and much more enduring of
thirst than the woolly, thick-built, heavy-footed, ungainly and jolting
camel. But both and each of them have only one hump, placed immediately
behind their shoulders, where it serves as a fixing point for the saddle
or burden. For the two humped beast--it exists, indeed, but it is
neither an Arab dromedary nor camel; it belongs to the Persian breed
called by the Arabs 'Bakhtee' or Bactrian."

The Strength and Endurance of the Camel.

Like all animals in their native lands the camel shows remarkable
adaptation to his environment. Water is scarce in the desert, so the
ship of the desert, as he has been poetically called, is provided with a
capacity for the storage of the precious fluid and is able to take in a
several days' supply at one time. The camel is said to drink "fifty,
sixty, or even a hundred pounds' weight" of water at one time, and then
to go for three or four days without a fresh supply. Again food is
scarce in the desert, and the herbage of a very coarse kind, but the
camel is able to do with remarkably little food, if his size and the
weight of his burden are taken into consideration, and he will browse
contentedly upon such food as he finds by the wayside, supplemented by
"a cake of barley, a few dates, or beans" from the hands of his master.
"They are particularly fond," says a writer in "Tales of Animals", "of
those vegetable productions, which other animals would never touch, such
as plants which are like spears and daggers, in comparison with the
needles of the thistle, and which often pierce the incautious
traveller's boot." A camel can be purchased in Egypt for from thirty to
fifty dollars, though the high bred dromedary will fetch a very much
larger sum. The camel will carry from five hundred to eight hundred
pounds' weight, but will not stir if loaded beyond his strength. He
travels at a uniform rate of three miles an hour, but will keep on at
that rate for ten or twelve hours. The dromedary attains to a speed
which the Arab compares to the speed of the wind.

The Camel and his Master.

Mr. Macfarlane says, "I have been told that the Arabs will kiss their
Camels in gratitude and affection, after a journey across the desert. I
never saw the Turks either of Asia-Minor or Roumelia, carry their
kindness so far as this; but I have frequently seen them pat their
Camels when the day's work was done, and talk to them on their journey,
as if to cheer them. The Camels appeared to me quite as sensible to
favour and gentle treatment as a good bred horse is. I have seen them
curve and twist their long lithe necks as their driver approached, and
often put down their tranquil heads towards his shoulder. Near Smyrna,
and at Magnesia and Sardes, I have occasionally seen a Camel follow his
master like a pet dog, and go down on his knees before him, as if
inviting him to mount. I never saw a Turk ill use the useful, gentle,
amiable quadruped. But I have frequently seen him give it a portion of
his own dinner, when, in unfavourable places, it had nothing but
chopped straw to eat. I have sometimes seen the drivers on a hot day, or
in passing a dry district, spirt a little water in the Camel's nostrils;
they pretend it refreshes them."

Camel Riding.

Camel riding is evidently an exercise which needs getting used to. Mrs.
Bowdich says: "High saddles are placed on their backs; and it requires
either to be used to them, or to be particularly careful, not to be
half-killed at starting. The rider places himself in the saddle while
the animals are kneeling; and when they raise their hind-legs, which
they do first of all, they send the unprepared traveller forwards, and
his breath is almost taken out of him by the blow which he receives upon
his chest; then as they get upon their fore-legs they throw him back, so
as to endanger his spine. Their pace is at first very disagreeable,
being so long and slouching."

Captain Riley describes his experiences as follows: "They placed me on
the largest Camel I had yet seen, which was nine or ten feet in height.
The Camels were now all kneeling or lying down, and mine among the rest.
I thought I had taken a good hold, to steady myself while he was rising;
yet his motion was so heavy, and my strength so far exhausted, that I
could not possibly hold on, and tumbled off over his tail. Turning
entirely over, I came down upon my feet, which prevented my receiving
any material injury, though the shock to my frame was very severe."

A Camel's Revenge.

Mr. Palgrave who combats the idea of the camel's docility, unless
stupidity may be taken as its synonym, gives a painful illustration of
the savagery to which the camel may be provoked by cruel treatment,
though we doubt if the elephant who is proverbial for his docility would
stand the brutality to which the camel is sometimes treated. "A lad of
about fourteen, had conducted a large camel laden with wood from one
village to another, half an hour's distance or so. As the animal
loitered or turned out of the way, its conductor struck it repeatedly,
and harder than it seems to have thought he had any right to do, but
not finding the occasion favourable for taking immediate quits, it 'bode
its time', nor was that time long in coming. A few days later the same
lad had to re-conduct the beast, but unladen, to his own village. When
they were about half way on the road, and at some distance from any
habitation, the camel suddenly stopped, looked deliberately round in
every direction, to assure itself that no one was in sight, made a step
forward, seized the unlucky boy's head in his monstrous mouth, and
lifting him up in the air, flung him down again upon the earth with the
upper part of his skull completely torn off, and his brains scattered on
the ground. Having thus satisfied his revenge, the brute quietly resumed
his pace towards the village as though nothing were the matter, till
some men, who had observed the whole, though unfortunately at too great
a distance to be able to afford timely help, came up and killed it."

The Terrors of the Desert.

Terrible stories are told of the sufferings sometimes experienced by
camels and Arabs alike on desert journeys. Burckhardt gives the
following narrative which is quoted by Captain Brown. "In the month of
August, a small caravan prepared to set out from Berber to Daraou. They
consisted of five merchants and about thirty slaves, with a
proportionate number of camels. Afraid of the robber Naym, who at that
time was in the habit of waylaying travellers about the wells of
Nedjeym, and who had constant intelligence of the departure of every
caravan from Berber, they determined to take a more easterly road, by
the well of Owareyk. They had hired an Ababde guide, who conducted them
in safety to that place, but who lost his way from thence northward, the
route being little frequented. After five days' march in the mountains,
their stock of water was exhausted, nor did they know where they were.
They resolved, therefore, to direct their course towards the setting
sun, hoping thus to reach the Nile. After experiencing two days'
thirst, fifteen slaves and one of the merchants died; another of them,
an Ababde, who had ten camels with him, thinking that the animals might
know better than their masters where water was to be found, desired his
comrades to tie him fast upon the saddle of his strongest camel, that he
might not fall down from weakness, and thus he parted from them,
permitting his camels to take their own way; but neither the man nor his
camels were ever heard of afterwards. On the eighth day after leaving
Owareyk, the survivors came in sight of the mountains of Shigre, which
they immediately recognized; but their strength was quite exhausted, and
neither men nor beasts were able to move any farther. Lying down under a
rock, they sent two of their servants, with the two strongest remaining
camels, in search of water. Before these two men could reach the
mountain, one of them dropped off his camel, deprived of speech, and
able only to move his hands to his comrade as a sign that he desired to
be left to his fate. The survivor then continued his route; but such was
the effect of thirst upon him, that his eyes grew dim, and he lost the
road, though he had often travelled over it before, and had been
perfectly acquainted with it. Having wandered about for a long time, he
alighted under the shade of a tree, and tied the camel to one of its
branches: the beast, however, smelt the water, (as the Arabs express it)
and, wearied as it was, broke its halter, and set off galloping in the
direction of the spring, which, as afterwards appeared, was at half an
hour's distance. The man, well understanding the camel's action,
endeavoured to follow its footsteps, but could only move a few yards; he
fell exhausted on the ground, and was about to breathe his last, when
Providence led that way from a neighbouring encampment, a Bisharye
Bedouin, who, by throwing water upon the man's face, restored him to his
senses. They then went hastily together to the water, filled the skins,
and, returning to the caravan, had the good fortune to find the
sufferers still alive. The Bisharye received a slave for his trouble."

The Llama.

The Llamas are classified as members of the Camel Family of which they
are the second genus. The Vicuna (_Llama vicugna_) of the Peruvian Andes
is one of these. It is a very beautiful animal, combining, as Professor
Cunningham points out, to some extent the characteristics of the camel,
the deer and the goat. Its neck is long and slender and carried with a
graceful curve, and its legs are slight and elegant, its wool fine and
silky. It is a timid animal and very wary of the approach of danger,
seeking safety in flight, though often falling a victim to the rapacity
of the puma, or the necessities of the Patagonian Indians, who eat its
flesh and clothe themselves in its skin. The Llama, (_Llama peruana_)
and the Alpaca (_Llama pacos_) are other species of this family. The
former is used by the Peruvians as a beast of burden, as it will carry
from a hundred-weight to a hundred weight and a half for fifteen or
twenty miles a day. According to Mrs. Bowdich, at one time 300,000 of
these animals were employed in carrying metal over the rugged mountain
passes for the Potosi mines alone. Like the camel, it refuses to stir
when overloaded, and continues to move at a slow uniform pace throughout
the day. Like camels also, they are apt to fight among themselves, when
the wool flies in an absurd way, and if not separated, they do each
other serious injury. When offended with their driver they spit in his
face, their saliva being particularly unpleasant. The Alpaca which is
also domesticated is useful for its fleece.

The Deer.

There are two families of Deer; that of the Mouse deer with its
mouse-shaped head, and without horns, and that of the deer proper of
which there are more than fifty species. There are five species of the
mouse deer, genus _Tragulus_, all of which belong to Asia. They are
found in Java, Penang, Sumatra, Borneo, Cambodia and Siam. The Indian
Chevrotain (_Tragulus meminna_) is spotted. It belongs to Ceylon,
though it is said to be common to the forests of all parts of southern
India. Mrs. Bowdich says: "The smallest of the deer species lives in
Ceylon; a lovely delicate creature, with lustrous eyes and of exquisite
form. When full grown it is only ten inches high, fourteen long, and
weighs about five pounds. Its throat, head and neck are all white; its
body is grey, striped with black, and spotted at equal distances with
yellow. Although very timid it is to be tamed; but if angry it kicks out
its little hind legs and slender pointed hoofs with great violence. One
which was domesticated, was placed on a dinner table, where it ran about
and nibbled fruit from the dishes, answered to its name and returned the
caresses which were bestowed upon it." The deer proper, genus _cervus_,
is found all over Europe, Asia and America, one or two species belonging
to the Mediterranean coasts of Africa. Of these the Red Deer, the
Reindeer, the Moose or Elk, the Fallow Deer and the Roe buck are the
better known species, all of which chew the cud, have a divided hoof,
and shed their horns annually.

The Red Deer.

The Red Deer (_Cervus elaphus_) is still found in Scotland as well as in
the forests of Europe and Asia and is commonly hunted for sport. The
stag is a timid and apparently highly sensitive animal, but when brought
to bay has often shown a strength and courage which has cost its hunters
dear. It is one of the most beautiful animals in nature, and combines
with its beauty powers of speed and endurance which are little short of
the marvellous. Full grown it measures four feet six inches in height at
the shoulders, and about five feet six inches in length. The hunting of
the stag in England has been a royal sport for centuries, though owing
to altered conditions it has fallen into disrepute of late years. The
overcrowded state of the country near London, and the half tame
character of the royal stags have rendered the performances of the
Windsor stag hounds an exhibition more honoured in the breach than in
the observance. It would be difficult indeed to find anything noble or
enobling in the following account of a stag hunt quoted by Captain Brown
with deprecation, from the pages of "The Sporting Magazine."

A Stag Hunt.

"On Monday Nov. 20, 1820, the royal hounds met at Stoke Common, Bucks,
where a remarkably fine deer was turned out. The field was extremely
numerous. The deer, at starting, showed great sport, taking, at full
speed, through the enclosures, making towards Slough, and afterwards for
Datchet, where he crossed the Thames, and then took to the right, and
again crossed the river. The deer proceeded up a lane at the back of
Eton College, running with great swiftness into the yard of Mr. Castles,
pork butcher. He boldly proceeded through the house into the street,
with a cur-dog at his heels; and crossing Windsor Bridge, to the bottom
of Thames-street, actually ran up the Hundred Steps, a steep and winding
ascent to the Castle. On his reaching the top, he made a pause, and then
returned into Thames-street, many of the sportsmen having rode round
into the Castle, with the object of heading him as he came up the steps.
The stag crossed Windsor Bridge again with great swiftness, and passed
down Eton, entered the shop of Mr. Levy, an orange merchant, making his
way in different parts of the house, till he got into the kitchen, where
he remained some time: a great crowd was collected round the house. On
his leaving the kitchen, he passed through the back way into gardens. At
this time, many hundreds of persons joined in the chase. This excellent
deer, after having performed these extraordinary feats, and afforded a
charming day's sport, was at last taken in attempting to leap over the
high wall between Eton College and the Fifteen-arch Bridge." In the open
country and in the olden time a stag hunt was, of course, a very
different thing, though the hunting of so sensitive and so timid an
animal as the stag could never be other than a cruel pastime. Of the
speed and endurance of the stag a remarkable illustration will be found
on page 127. Many years ago the Duke of Cumberland thought to make trial
of a stag's courage by placing him in an enclosure with an ounce, or
hunting tiger, on Newmarket Heath. The enclosure was made by a net-work
of about fifteen feet high, and the contest took place in the presence
of some thousands of spectators. On seeing the stag, the ounce crouched
down and prepared to spring, but the stag kept such a steady front that
the ounce, turn as he would, was out-manœuvred by the stag and could not
get a chance of turning his flank. After a long time the ounce was
goaded to the attack by the order of the Duke, whereupon it leapt, not
upon the stag but over the enclosure and among the people, immediately
crossing the road and entering the wood opposite, where it fastened upon
the haunches of a fallow deer.

The Tame Stag.

Stags have been tamed and brought largely under control but they are
said to be uncertain in their temper, probably from their timidity. Many
years ago Lord Oxford trained four red deer stags to draw a phaeton, and
Captain Brown tells an amusing story of an adventure which befell him
while driving his unique team in the neighbourhood of Newmarket. It
happened that as they were proceeding on the road to Newmarket they
heard the cry of a pack of hounds and immediately the four stags made
off at the top of their speed, followed by the hounds who had sighted
them or scented them from a distance. The animals were quite beyond
control, but on reaching Newmarket, they ran into the yard of the Ram
Inn where Lord Oxford had been accustomed to take them, and they were
safely housed in a barn when the pack of hounds came up. Stags have also
been trained to play tricks of various kinds. A tame stag at one time
marched with a Newfoundland dog, with the band of the 42nd Highlanders.

The Reindeer.

The Reindeer belongs to the north of Europe Asia and America, where he
is the chief source of comfort and wealth of the natives. In Lapland,
as the author of "Tales of Animals" puts it, he supplies the place of
the horse, the cow, the sheep, and the goat. "Alive and dead, the
reindeer is equally subservient to their wants. When he ceases to exist,
spoons are made of his bones, glue of his horns, bowstrings and thread
of his tendons, clothing of his skin, and his flesh becomes a savoury
food. During his life, his milk is converted into cheese, and he is
employed to convey his owner over the snowy wastes of his native
country. Such is the swiftness of the reindeer that two of them, yoked
in a sledge, will travel a hundred and twelve English miles in a day."
The reindeer will draw about 300 lbs. weight, though 250 lbs. is a
sufficient average load. His ordinary pace is said to be about ten miles
an hour and his powers of endurance are very great. His pace for a short
distance is thus given by Pictet, who took the measurements and tested
the speed of three animals yoked to light sledges. "The first deer
performed 3089 feet, 9 inches, in two minutes, being at the rate of
nearly 19 English miles in an hour, and thus accomplishing 25 feet, 9
inches, in every second. The second did the same in three minutes; and
the third and last deer, in three minutes and twenty-six seconds. The
ground in this race was nearly level." The reindeer is gregarious in its
wild state, and retains its social instinct when in a state of
domestication. When travelling, the hindmost animals follow their leader
with dogged persistency, even though the leader may make a circuit which
the followers might avoid by taking a direct cut. Nor will they accept
the guidance of their drivers in such cases and if dragged out of their
course by main force will return to it as soon as the force is removed.
In his own way, however, the reindeer will follow unerringly though his
leader may be out of sight, moving along with his nose close to the
ground and tracing the way by his scent, which is very keen. The
reindeer is much troubled in the summer time by the attacks of small
flies. De Broke says "The poor animal is thus tormented to such a
degree, that the Laplander, if he were to remain in the forests during
the months of June, July, and August, would run the risk of losing the
greater part of his herd, either by actual sickness, or from the deer
fleeing of their own accord to mountainous situations to escape the
gad-fly. From these causes, the Laplander is driven from the forests to
the mountains that overhang the Norway and Lapland coasts, the elevated
situations of which, and the cool breezes from the Ocean, are
unfavourable to the existence of these troublesome insects, which,
though found on the coast, are in far less considerable numbers there,
and do not quit the valleys; so that the deer, by ascending the
highlands, can avoid them." Reindeer are extremely timid when hunted,
but if the hunter can get sufficiently near to strike panic into a herd
they seem to lose all sense but that of fear, and are easily captured in
numbers. Writing of the North American Reindeer, Sir John Richardson
says:--"The Chippewayans, the Copper Indians, the Dog-ribs, and Hare
Indians of the Great Bear Lake, would be totally unable to inhabit their
barren grounds, were it not for the immense herds of this deer that
exist there. Of the caribou horns they form their fish spears and hooks;
the hide, dressed with the fur on, is excellent for winter clothing, and
supplies the place both of blanket and feather bed to the inhabitants of
these arctic wilds." Captain Franklin gives the following description of
the manner in which the Dog-rib Indians kill the reindeer. "The hunters
go in pairs, the foremost man carrying in one hand the horns and part of
the skin of the head of a deer, and in the other a small bundle of
twigs, against which he, from time to time, rubs the horns, imitating
the gestures peculiar to the animal. His comrade follows, treading
exactly in his footsteps, and holding the guns of both in a horizontal
position, so that the muzzles project under the arms of him who carries
the head. Both hunters have a fillet of white skin round their
foreheads, and the foremost has a strip of the same round his wrists.
They approach the herd by degrees, raising their legs very slowly, but
setting them down somewhat suddenly, after the manner of a deer, and
always taking care to lift their right or left feet simultaneously. If
any of the herd leave off feeding to gaze upon this extraordinary
phenomenon, it instantly stops, and the head begins to play its part by
licking its shoulders, and performing other necessary movements. In this
way the hunters attain the very centre of the herd without exciting
suspicion, and have leisure to single out the fattest. The hindmost man
then pushes forward his comrade's gun, the head is dropped, and they
both fire nearly at the same instant."

The Moose or Elk.

The Moose or Elk is the largest of the Deer kind, and often attains to
and even exceeds the size and bulk of the largest horses. He is less
graceful than other members of his family, having a short thick neck,
necessary perhaps to sustain his huge antlers, which sometimes reach
five feet in length and weigh as much as sixty pounds. He escapes the
torment of insects by taking to the water, in which he is an expert
swimmer. Like the other animals of the Deer kind he sheds his horns
annually. Year by year these huge growths increase in breadth and in the
number of branches they bear, until there are sometimes as many as
twenty on each horn. He is docile and easily tamed, and has been broken
to run in harness. The Elk occupies much the same geographical area as
the reindeer, though not travelling so far north.

The Fallow Deer and the Roebuck.

The Fallow Deer (_Dama vulgaris_) is smaller than the stag, but similar
to it in colour, form, and habit. It is this species which is
domesticated and kept in the parks of the wealthy in England. Fallow
Deer often quarrel among themselves over rights of pasturage, the herd
dividing into two and engaging in a pitched battle for the possession of
the disputed land. The Roebuck is smaller than the Fallow Deer, his
height being about two feet six inches and his length three feet. He is
less sociable than other species of his kind, living alone with his
family and not in herds like the Fallow Deer. He is found in Scotland
and in the northern parts of Europe.

The Giraffe.

The Giraffe (_Camelopardalis giraffa_) belongs to Abyssinia, Nubia and
South-Africa. It is the tallest of living animals, attaining to the
height of eighteen feet. Its body has some similarity to that of the
camel in form, and its head, which surmounts a neck seven feet long and
bears two horns six inches long, resembles generally that of a horse.
Its tongue, which can be extended seventeen inches, is very mobile and
can be so tapered as to enter a small ring. It is used in tearing off
the foliage of the trees upon which the animal feeds. Its neck, but for
its length, is like that of the stag, and its legs are slender. The hide
is spotted like that of the leopard and when young is of a light red
colour, which becomes deeper with age, that of the female becoming a
yellow brown and that of the male a dark brown approaching to black. In
repose it lies on its side, resting its head on its hind quarters.
Though only living in a wild state, the Giraffe is a mild and docile
animal, only fighting in self-defence, and then making powerful use of
its heels. The lion is its great enemy and if it succeeds in leaping
upon its back there is not much chance for the giraffe, which usually
runs until it drops from exhaustion. A blow from the heel of the Giraffe
in the right place would probably kill any of its enemies, and even the
lion has been known to pay dearly for coming within its reach.

The History of the Giraffe.

The Giraffe was known to the ancients, though, like the gorilla, it has
been re-discovered in recent years. Le Vaillant saw and described the
giraffe, but he was credited with having invented it, and it was not
until a live specimen of it was brought to Paris that his credibility
was established, Mrs. Bowdich, who happened to be in Paris at the time
this animal arrived, gives an amusing description of its triumphal
march from Bordeaux to the Capital. "A deputation from each large town
through which she passed," says Mrs. Bowdich, "formed of the municipal
authorities, met her; and one of the most learned savants went all the
way from the Jardin des Plantes, to accompany her on her march. 'La
giraffe,' however, did not appreciate these honours, and was often
impatient under the etiquette imposed on her. On one occasion she broke
loose from her cavalcade, keeper and all, and dashing among the
horsemen, scattered them right and left, some on and some off their
steeds. A dignified mayor lay in the dust, and by his side rolled the
painstaking savant who had performed so long a journey in her service.
The enthusiasm did not abate when she reached her destination. Thirteen
thousand more than the usual weekly number passed over the Pont
d'Austerlitz alone; and as the public curiosity did not but increase for
six weeks, steps were obliged to be taken to prevent the multitude from
pressing upon her. Her love for roses was very great; and she eagerly
snatched them from those who carried or wore them, to their great
astonishment; for few could calculate on the distance which she could
reach." Mr. Gordon Cumming describes a herd of ten giraffes which he saw
moving together along an African valley, forming an imposing spectacle.

Hollow-Horned Ruminants.

We come now to a family of great importance to the human race, the
family which includes among its members the Ox and the Sheep. These are
grouped as hollow-horned ruminants, this one touch of nature making the
whole family kin. The hollow-horned ruminants are divided into numerous
sub-families, of which the Ox, the Antelope, the Sheep, and the Goat are
the best known representatives. The horn by which the family is
characterised, comprises a hollow horny sheath which covers a bony core,
and which, except in one case, unlike the horns of the stag, which are
shed annually, is permanent. Sir Victor Brooke divides the family of the
Bovidæ into thirteen sub-families. I Bovinæ, II Tragelaphinæ, III
Oryginæ, IV Hippotraginæ, V Gazellinæ, VI Antilocaprinæ, VII
Cervicaprinæ, VIII Cephalophinæ, IX Alcephalinæ, X Budorcinæ, XI
Rupicaprinæ, XII Nemorhedinæ, XIII Caprinæ.

The Bull, The Bison, and The Buffalo.

The sub-family Bovinæ includes the Bull, the Bison, and the Buffalo. The
antiquity of the ruminants shrouds their origin in obscurity. They are
of frequent mention in the sacred writings as belonging to the earliest
historic period, and as living in a state of domestication in all times.
The Bull has a very wide geographical area, and is found in most parts
of the world. In England, as the Rev. J. G. Wood puts it, there are
almost as many breeds as counties, and they are generally distinguished
by the length or shape of their horns. The "long-horned" breed belong to
Lancashire, the "short-horned" to Durham, the "middle-horned" to
Devonshire, besides which there is the "polled", a hornless breed. Of
the Bison there are two species, one belonging to Poland and the
Caucasus, and the other to North America. The Buffalo belongs to the
south of Europe, to India, and to North Africa, the Cape Buffalo
inhabiting the south of "the dark continent."

The Bull. The Ox. The Cow.

Few animals show as much difference of disposition in the male and
female as the Bull and the Cow. The Bull is often excited to
ungovernable fury, is generally unsafe and often dangerous. These
characteristics have doubtless marked him out as the object of sport in
the Roman Amphitheatre and the Spanish Bull fight. The Cow, on the other
hand, displays a gentle and docile disposition, is placid, mild, and
obedient to the will of those who govern it. The Bull is kept mainly for
the purposes of breeding, being too uncertain for use as a beast of
burden or for other employment. The Ox which is the subdued offspring of
the Bull and the Cow, is much more amenable to control and therefore a
much more useful servant to man. The Cow is invaluable for the milk it
supplies, upon which mankind is dependent for butter and for cheese.

The Bull.

The Bull is a handsome animal and of great strength, especially about
the head and neck. Its fierceness has often been turned to account by
the farmer, for it is an excellent animal to dispute a right of way, the
force of its arguments usually bearing down all opposition. It has been
known also to use its strength for the protection of other animals. "Two
robbers," says the author of "Domestic Animals and their Treatment,"
"took a pig, weighing fourteen stone, out of its sty, and drove it along
a lane leading towards Rotherham. On coming to a lonely path across the
fields they thought it would be better to kill the pig at once in this
quiet place, where no one would be likely to hear the cries of the
animal. One of the robbers accordingly took a knife out of his pocket,
and commenced cutting the pig's throat. The poor pig struggled
violently, and managed to escape from his hands, running squealing into
the next field, with a fearful gash in his throat. The men ran after the
pig, but found in the field a bull grazing, who seemed at once to
understand the state of the case, and took upon himself the championship
of the wounded animal. The bull ran furiously at the robbers, who fled
for their lives, and only just managed to escape a toss from his horns.
They lingered outside the fence, however, hoping that an opportunity
would still offer of their catching the pig; but the pig wisely kept
close to his new friend, and the men at last were under the mortifying
necessity of going home without their booty. These men were afterwards
convicted of stealing sheep and corn, when one of them confessed this
affair of the pig, and thus explained what had been a great mystery to
the owner, namely, how it was that his pig came to be in a field at some
distance from the sty, with his throat partly cut, and keeping close
company with the bull." Mr. Byam's "Central America" affords another
illustration: "A bull had gored so many cattle that he was lassoed, and
his horns blunted at the tips to prevent further mischief. A few weeks
after, a panther (jaguar) killed a cow; and from the torn condition of
the bull's head and neck, and the trampled state of the ground, he had
evidently done battle for the cow. He was secured, his wounds plastered
up, his horns made sharp again, and turned out into the savannah. The
wild dogs and vultures having been kept from the body of the cow during
the day, the panther returned to his feast at night, and a furious
engagement took place between him and the bull; for the former was found
dead close by the cow the next morning, pierced through and through. The
bull returned again and again to him with fury, and was himself again
wounded; but his gashes were sown up, and he remained so fierce that his
horns were obliged to be re-blunted."

The Brahmin Bull.

The Brahmin Bull of India, is a sleek, tame animal of a different
species to the ordinary working ox. He is protected as sacred and
allowed more liberty than is sometimes either convenient or pleasant, as
he is apt to become obtrusive and his devotees fear to check or thwart
him. Sacred as he is he does not believe in the eighth commandment and
so helps himself without scruple to the wares of the fruiterer and the
gardener's preserves.

The Ox.

The Ox is one of the most useful creatures of the animal world. It is
used as a beast of burden and employed to draw waggons and to drag the
plough in England, and in a variety of useful labours abroad. "Every
part of the Ox is of value," says the Rev. J. G. Wood. "We eat his
flesh, we wear shoes soled with his skin, our candles are made from his
fat, our tables are joined with glue made from his hoofs, his hair is
mixed with the mortar of our walls, his horns are made into combs,
knife-handles, drinking-cups, etc., etc., his bones are used as a cheap
substitute for Ivory, and the fragments ground and scattered over the
fields as manure, and soup is made from his tail." The value of the Ox
in drawing waggons abroad may be gathered from the following quotation
from Mr. Gordon Cumming's "Hunting Adventures in South Africa." "They
(the oxen) are expected, unguided by reins, to hold the rare-trodden
roads, which occur throughout the remoter parts of the Colony, either by
day or night; and so well trained are these sagacious animals, that it
is not uncommon to meet with a pair of fore-oxen which will, of their
own accord, hold the "spoor" or track of a single waggon, which has
perhaps crossed a plain six months previously."

The Cow.

The Cow after supplying enormous quantities of milk during life is
almost as valuable as the Ox when dead. It is from the Cow moreover that
we get the lymph used in vaccination, which has proved such a wonderful
safeguard against small-pox. In its quiet way the Cow sometimes shows
sagacity. Mr. Bell gives us the following illustration:--"A cow which
was feeding tranquilly in a pasture, the gate of which was open to the
road, was much annoyed by a mischievous boy who amused himself by
throwing stones at the peaceful animal, which, after bearing with his
impertinence for some time, at length went up to him, hooked the end of
her horn into his clothes, and lifting him from the ground, carried him
out of the field and laid him down in the road. She then calmly returned
to her pasture, leaving him quit with a severe fright and a torn
garment." Cows have been taught to graze close to forbidden crops
without yielding to the temptation to eat them.

The Pride of a Cow.

A writer in Frank Leslie's popular monthly gives an amusing instance of
vanity as shown by a cow. This cow, he was told, claimed precedence in
all cases; she always went ahead of the herd and claimed the best piece
of pasture as her exclusive domain. So far did she carry her
pretensions, that if any of the other cows entered the stable before
her, she would refuse to follow. Anxious to see this with his own eyes,
he desired to be taken to her stable at evening. The man, instructed how
to act, drove in some of the other cows. The white cow drew up; not only
did she refuse to advance, in spite of all encouraging words, but her
whole frame swelled with anger and offended dignity. She kept lowing
continually. At last the cows within, as though conscious that they had
forgotten their place, began to come out, and as they were driven out,
the proud white cow, with an evident air of gratified pride, strode in
in silence. It is almost impossible to convey the impression produced by
this exhibition of downright pride, Hidalgo pride, in what many would
call a dumb brute.

The Bison.

The American Bison is a formidable animal when engaged alone, and when
charging in a pack simply irresistible. He is about the size of an ox,
one measured by Sir J. Richardson being eight feet six inches in length,
without his tail, and more than six feet in height at his forequarters.
He has an enormous head, surmounted by a huge hump on his shoulder which
is covered in winter with shaggy mane-like hair. His hinder quarters are
comparatively thin and small, and his colour is a dark brown approaching
to black. Sharp piercing eyes and short powerful horns give him a fierce
appearance and dangerous powers. He has enormous strength in his head
and neck. The Bison is gregarious, associating in herds many hundreds
strong. These herds have been greatly reduced during late years, but a
herd seen by Captains Lewis and Clerk was numbered by them at not less
than twenty thousand. "Such was the multitude of these animals, that,
although the river, including an island over which they passed, was a
mile in breadth, the herd stretched as thick as they could swim
completely from one side to the other." When they join in a stampede,
they are said to rush over the plains like a cataract, with a noise
resembling that of thunder. Captain Brown says, "Bison generally prefer
the open plains, and do not resort to woods, except when attacked; they
seldom attempt to defend themselves, but almost invariably take to
flight. They are extremely fleet, and their sense of smell is so acute,
that they discover an enemy at a great distance, so that it is difficult
to get near them. They are frequently hunted by the natives, who live
principally on their flesh. When the hunters kill an old dam, they pay
no attention to the calf, as it is sure to remain by its dead mother.
Instances have been known of a mother entering the town of Cincinnati,
followed by its calves. Many of them fall victims to wolves and grizzly
bears. Their beef is of an excellent quality, and of a very superior

Hunting the Bison.

Hunting the Bison is both a popular sport and a lucrative commercial
enterprise. The Indians hunt them for their skins, which they sell as
"Buffalo robes," the Bison being commonly called a Buffalo by them, as
well as for food. The Rev. J. G. Wood says, "The hunters take advantage
of the gregarious instincts of this animal, and hunt them when they are
collected together in their vast herds, which blacken the face of the
prairie for miles. Sometimes they form in line, and drive the herd to
the edge of some tall cliff, over which they fall in hundreds, those
behind pushing on those in the van; or sometimes they form a large
circle, driving the animals into a helpless and leaderless mass, into
which the hunters spring, leaving their horses, and treading with the
skill of rope-dancers on the backs of the bewildered bisons, whom they
slaughter as they pass, stepping from one to the other, and driving the
sharp blade of their spear through the spine of the animal whose back
they have just quitted. When only wounded the Bison is a most dangerous
antagonist, and rushes on its enemy with the most determined ferocity."

The Eastern Bison lives in the forests of Bialowesha in Lithuania under
the protection of the Czar of Russia. The numbers are much smaller than
those of North-America but they are said to be more fierce.

The Buffalo.

The Buffalo, which must not be confused with the Bison, is similar in
appearance to an ox, which it often exceeds in size. It has no hump on
its shoulder as the Bison has, but it has much longer horns, horns that
often measure three feet in length, and is much fiercer in their use.
The Indian Buffalo will attack the hunter when it is brought to bay, and
unless the hunter can despatch him as he approaches, there is no chance
for him at close quarters. These Buffaloes, however, may be tamed and
are often trained to and employed in useful service.

Hunting the Indian Buffalo.

Captain Brown gives the following account of a Buffalo hunt which took
place at Keshennagar, in Hindostan, when four gentlemen on horseback
chased a herd of seven buffaloes and a calf for a long distance. "After
having followed them three miles, the young one separated from the herd,
and joined some tame cattle belonging to a neighbouring village. It was
killed by the party, who afterwards continued the pursuit of the old
ones, when they were overtaken in a high grass jungle four miles farther
off. They were quickly driven from this place, and closely followed for
more than six miles over a plain: at length the party succeeded in
separating one buffalo from the herd. Here the encounter began. After
receiving several wounds, he still continued his flight; he suddenly
halted, and kept his pursuers at bay; after a short interval he again
fled, and was pursued and wounded as before, carrying the spears
sticking in his back and sides for several hundred yards. Lieutenant
White, of the 15th Native Infantry, rode up very close to him, threw his
spear, and wounded the animal in the loins. His horse being much
exhausted, was unable to wheel round before the buffalo turned about and
charged with such vigour, that both horse and rider were overthrown, and
lay many yards distant. Fortunately, the lieutenant received no material
injury; and when the animal approached he had the presence of mind to
lie flat on his back. The beast approached, but stood at his feet,
without offering any violence. The other sportsmen called repeatedly to
their companion to arise and escape. For some time, however, he
disregarded the advice, fearful of the consequences; at length, in
compliance with their entreaty, he arose; the buffalo instantly rushed
forward, but Mr. White escaped by throwing himself down; while the
enraged beast, missing his aim, fell on the ground, his horns grazing
Mr. White's back, as he passed over him. After this lucky escape, he
seized the favourable opportunity, and regained his horse. The buffalo
then took refuge in a tank; and when his former opponent joined his
companions, who were standing upon the bank, the animal issued forth,
and selecting Lieutenant White for the object of its vengeance, pursued
him to a considerable distance. The animal was now rendered quite
furious, and attacked everything within his reach, such as cows and
dogs. Unfortunately, an old woman returning from market passed, and
became the victim of his rage; she was taken up without any appearance
of life, having her arms broken, and many wounds. The cavalry being,
from fatigue, _hors de combat_, could not renew the attack; and the
buffaloes, whose system was retreat, having gained a victory, now
continued their course without molestation."

The Cape Buffalo.

The Cape Buffalo is the fiercest of the Bull family. He will charge a
lion or a tiger and often come off victor in the strife. According to
Mr. Pringle he is considerably larger than the domestic ox; the bony pad
on his forehead making a complete helmet, and it is impossible to pierce
him with bullets which have not been hardened by tin. He is said to be
fierce, treacherous, and savage; and even when not provoked, to attack
any man who strays near his haunts, skulking in the jungle when he sees
him approach, and then suddenly rushing out upon him. Having tossed his
enemy to his heart's content or thrown him down, he will trample and
gore him, tearing off his skin with his tongue, until he is shockingly
mutilated. He is one of the few animals which seem to cherish the spirit
of revenge.

Hunting the Cape Buffalo.

Mr. Pringle gives the following description of a Cape Buffalo hunt. "A
party of boers had gone out to hunt a herd of buffaloes which were
grazing on a piece of marshy ground. As they could not get within shot
of the game without crossing part of the marsh, which was not safe for
the horses, they agreed to leave them in charge of the Hottentots, and
advance on foot, thinking that if any of the buffaloes should turn upon
them, it would be easy to escape by retreating across the quagmire,
which, though passable for man, would not support the weight of a heavy
quadruped. They advanced accordingly, and, under a covert of the bushes,
approached the game with such advantage that the first volley brought
down three of the fattest of the herd, and so severely wounded the great
bull leader that he dropped on his knees, bellowing furiously. Thinking
him mortally wounded, the foremost of the huntsmen issued from the
covert, and began reloading his musket as he advanced to give him a
finishing shot. But no sooner did the infuriated animal see his foe in
front of him, than he sprang up and rushed headlong upon him. The man,
throwing down his heavy gun, fled towards the quagmire; but the beast
was so close upon him that he despaired of escaping in that direction,
and turning suddenly round a clump of copsewood, began to climb an old
mimosa tree which stood at one side of it. The raging beast, however,
was too quick for him. Bounding forward with a roar which my informant
described as being one of the most frightful sounds he ever heard, he
caught the unfortunate man with his terrible horns just as he had nearly
escaped his reach, and tossed him into the air with such force that the
body fell, dreadfully mangled, into a cleft of the tree. The buffalo ran
round the tree once or twice, apparently looking for the man, until,
weakened with loss of blood, he again sank on his knees. The rest of
the party, recovering from their confusion, then came up and despatched
him, though too late to save their comrade, whose body was hanging in
the tree quite dead."

The Zebu.

The Zebu is found in India, China, Arabia, Persia and Africa. It is of
about the same size as a cow, but is distinguished by the possession of
a hump upon its shoulders, giving it some resemblance to the Bison. It
is used both for riding and driving in India, where it admirably serves
the purposes of a horse, travelling at the rate of six miles an hour for
many hours at a stretch and leaping obstacles with the facility of a
practised hunter. It is also used for ploughing land and threshing corn.

The Yak.

The Yak belongs to Western Thibet. It is of singular appearance, having
the head of a bull and the hump of a Bison, and being covered with long
hair reaching almost to the ground. In a wild state it is savage and
dangerous, but it is brought under cultivation by the Tartars, who use
it as a beast of burden and make ropes and garments from its hair. The
female yields rich milk from which excellent butter is made; butter
which is stored in bladders from which the air is excluded. It is then
carried to market by the faithful animal which has produced it.

The Antelopes.

The Antelopes are numerous in kind and various in form, too numerous and
various to be separately described. The Eland, the largest and heaviest
of the species, belongs to South Africa; the Bosch-bok, to South and
Central Africa, the Harnessed Antelope to West Africa; and the Nylghau
to India. The Leucoryx and the Addax are found in North Africa, the
Equine Antelopes in tropical Africa and the Cape. The Pallah herds in
South Africa. The Prong-horned Antelope belongs to North America,
inhabiting the Rocky Mountains and the districts both north and south.
The Bay Antelope is found on the Gold Coast, the Four-horned Antelope in
India. The Gnu or Wildebeest belongs to South Africa and the Chamois and
the Izard to the Pyrenees.

The Gazelle.

The Gazelle, of which there are numerous species, belongs to Syria,
Egypt and Algeria. It is a beautiful animal, resembling a roebuck, but
more delicately and finely limbed, with hair equally short, but finer
and more glossy. It has a small tuft of hair on each of its fore limbs.
Of all animals in the world, gazelles are said to have the most
beautiful eyes--extremely brilliant, and yet meek and expressive. Their
swiftness is equal to that of the roe; they do not, however, bound
forward like the roe, but run along in an even, uninterrupted course.
Most of them are brown upon the back, white under the belly with a black
stripe separating these colours. Their horns are annulated or ringed

The Sheep and the Goat.

The sheep, so useful to man, furnishing him with both food and clothing,
is one of the most defenceless and inoffensive of all animals. The goat
is more hardy, more playful, lively, and vagrant than the sheep. It
delights in climbing precipices, for which nature has fitted it, by
giving it hoofs hollow underneath, with sharp edges, so that it walks
securely on narrow ridges. Both animals have been known from the
earliest times, and are frequently mentioned in the Sacred Writings. Of
the different kinds of sheep, the common sheep, the long-tailed sheep
and the Wallachian sheep are typical varieties. The common sheep
provides us with our chief supplies of wool. The wool of the Spanish
sheep (the merino) is finer in quality, but much less in quantity. The
long-tailed sheep belongs to Syria and Egypt, and the Wallachian sheep
to Crete, Wallachia, Hungary, and Western Asia. This last has long
horns, and its wool is mixed with hair. The musk sheep of Arctic America
resembles the yak somewhat in appearance, though minus the hump and with
horns more resembling those of the buffalo. It is sometimes called the
musk ox. The goat is not much used in England, but it is practically the
cow of Syria and Switzerland. The Cashmir goat produces the fine wool so
much valued for shawl material; the kid, the materials so largely used
by the glove makers. The ibex belongs to the Carpathians, the Pyrenees,
and the Savoy Alps, though it is now but rarely found in places where it
was once abundant.

The Intelligence of the Sheep.

Mr. W. H. G. Kingston tells an interesting story of a ewe, bred in the
neighbourhood of Sheep. Edinburgh who was driven into Perthshire, a
distance of upwards of a hundred miles, to a place where she became the
mother of a lamb. Not liking her new quarters, she evidently determined
to revisit the old, and set off with that purpose, taking her lamb with
her. Arrived at Stirling she found the place alive with the excitement
of an annual fair. Not deeming it prudent to increase the excitement she
rested on the north side of the town throughout the day, where she was
noticed by many people, but molested by none. Early the following
morning she crossed the town and proceeded on her journey. Arrived at
the toll bar of St. Ninians, she was stopped by the toll keeper who
supposed her to be a stray sheep. Unable to get through the gate, she
turned back, made a circuitous detour and reached her old home after a
journey of nine days. Her former owner rewarded her by repurchasing her
and allowing her to remain on his farm until her death, which occurred
at the mature age of seventeen years. The sense of locality noticed in
the cat, the dog, the horse, and other animals is here seen to be
characteristic of the sheep. Mr. Kingston tells another story of a ewe
who, unable to extricate a lamb which had become entangled in a hedge,
made her way through several hedges into a neighbouring field and
fetched a ram to its assistance, thus effecting its liberation. Sheep
have also been known to seek and secure the assistance of cattle when in

Sheep and Music.

Haydn the composer tells a pretty story of the power of music over the
mountain sheep in the neighbourhood of Lago Maggiore in Lombardy.
"Having reached the middle of the ascent by daybreak," he says, "we
stopped to contemplate the Borromean Isles, which were displayed under
our feet, when we were surrounded by a flock of sheep, which were
leaving their fold to go to pasture. One of our party, who was no bad
performer on the flute, and who always carried the instrument with him,
took it out of his pocket. 'I am going,' said he, 'to turn Corydon; let
us see whether Virgil's sheep will recognise their pastor.' He began to
play. The sheep and goats, which were following one another towards the
mountain with their heads hanging down, raised them at the first sound
of the flute, and all, with a general and hasty movement, turned to the
side from whence the agreeable noise proceeded. They gradually flocked
round the musician, and listened with motionless attention. He ceased
playing, and the sheep did not stir. The shepherd with his staff now
obliged them to move on; but no sooner did the fluter begin again than
his innocent auditors again returned to him. The shepherd, out of
patience, pelted them with clods of earth; but not one of them would
move. The fluter played with additional skill; the shepherd fell into a
passion, whistled, scolded, and pelted the poor creatures with stones.
Such as were hit by them began to march, but the others still refused to
stir. At last the shepherd was forced to entreat our Orpheus to stop his
magic sounds; the sheep then moved off, but continued to stop at a
distance as often as our friend resumed the agreeable instrument. As
music was our continual employment, we were delighted with our
adventure; we reasoned upon it the whole day, and concluded that
physical pleasure is the basis of all interest in music."


The Elephant.

Of the elephant there is now but one genus and two species; respectively
the Indian and the African varieties. At least fourteen species are
known to be extinct.

The elephant is the largest of the quadrupeds; his height is from eight
to fourteen feet; his length is ten to fifteen feet. His form resembles
that of a hog; his eyes are small and lively; his ears are broad, long,
and pendulous. He has two large tusks, and a trunk or proboscis at the
extremity of the nose, which he uses to take his food with, and, in case
of necessity, for attack or defence. His legs are thick and long, and
his feet are divided into five rounded toes. His colour is a dark ash
brown. There are elephants, however, of a white or cream colour. The
African is distinguished from the Indian variety by the size of its
ears, which in the African species are very large. Dr. Livingstone gave
the measurement of the ears of a female he killed, as four feet five
inches in depth and four feet in horizontal breadth, and said he had
seen a native creep under one so as to be completely covered from the
rain. The ear of the Indian variety is not more than a third of this
size. Generally the elephants of Africa and especially those of the
south are larger than those of India. The most striking characteristic
of the elephant is his trunk. "In this," says the Rev. J. G. Wood,
"there are about forty thousand muscles, enabling the elephant to
shorten, lengthen, coil up, or move in any direction this most
extraordinary organ. The trunk is pierced throughout its length by two
canals, through which liquids can be drawn by suction. If the elephant
wishes to drink, after drawing the liquid into its trunk, it inserts the
end of its proboscis into its mouth, and discharges the contents down
its throat; but if it merely wishes to wash itself or play, it blows the
contained liquid from the trunk with great violence. Through the trunk
the curious trumpet-like voice of the elephant is produced. At the
extremity is a finger-like appendage, with which it can pick up small
objects." The elephant is thirty years old before he attains maturity.
He lives on foliage, herbs, and fruits, having a special taste for those
which are sweet.

The Wild Elephant.

The elephant is naturally a quiet and inoffensive animal, and being
gifted with an unusually keen scent and sense of hearing, will usually
decamp on the approach of danger. If wounded, however, he will
sometimes turn upon his aggressor with terrible vengeance. Mr. Burchell,
the South African traveller, gives a painful illustration of this. He
says:--"Carl Krieger was a fearless hunter, and being an excellent
marksman, often ventured into the most dangerous situations. One day
having, with his party, pursued an elephant which he had wounded, the
irritated animal suddenly turned round, and singling out from the rest
the person by whom he had been injured, seized him with his trunk, and
lifting his wretched victim high in the air, dashed him with dreadful
force to the ground. His companions, struck with horror, fled
precipitately from the fatal scene, unable to look back upon the rest of
the dreadful tragedy; but on the following day they repaired to the
spot, where they collected the few bones that could be found, and buried
them. The enraged animal had not only literally trampled Krieger's body
to pieces, but did not feel its vengeance satisfied till it had pounded
the very flesh and bones into the dust, so that nothing of the
unfortunate man remained excepting a few of the latter, which made most
resistance from their size." Another elephant seized a soldier of the
Royal African Corps, threw him down, brought his four feet together and
stamped upon him until he was dead; then seizing the body with his
trunk, threw it into the jungle.

Elephant Herds.

Major Skinner in a communication made to Sir E. Tennant gives the
following graphic description of the actions of a herd of elephants he
watched on one occasion in the north of Ceylon. Knowing that from the
scarcety of water at that time and place a large herd of elephants which
he knew to be in the neighbourhood must visit a certain pool during the
night he made his preparations accordingly. He says:--"Having ordered
the fires of my camp to be extinguished at an early hour, and all my
followers to retire to rest, I took up my post of observation on an
overhanging bough; but I had to remain for upwards of two hours before
anything was to be seen or heard of the elephants, although I knew they
were within 500 yards of me. At length, about the distance of 300 yards
from the water, an unusually large elephant issued from the dense cover,
and advanced cautiously across the open ground to within 100 yards of
the tank, where he stood perfectly motionless. So quiet had the
elephants become (although they had been roaring and breaking the jungle
throughout the day and evening) that not a movement was now to be heard.
The huge vidette remained in his position, still as a rock, for a few
minutes, and then made three successive stealthy advances of several
yards (halting for some minutes between each, with ears bent forward to
catch the slightest sound), and in this way he moved slowly up to the
water's edge. Still he did not venture to quench his thirst; for though
his forefeet were partially in the tank, and his vast body was reflected
clear in the water, he remained for some minutes listening in perfect
stillness. Not a motion could be perceived in himself or his shadow. He
returned cautiously and slowly to the position he had at first taken up
on emerging from the forest. Here in a little while he was joined by
five others, with which he again proceeded as cautiously but less slowly
than before, to within a few yards of the tank, and then posted his
patrols. He then re-entered the forest and collected around him the
whole herd, which must have amounted to between eighty and a hundred
individuals, led them across the open ground with the most extraordinary
composure and quietness till he joined the advance guard, when he left
them for a moment and repeated his former reconnaissance at the edge of
the tank. After which and having apparently satisfied himself that all
was safe, he returned and obviously gave the order to advance, for in a
moment the whole herd rushed into the water with a degree of unreserved
confidence, so opposite to the caution and timidity which had marked
their previous movements, that nothing will ever persuade me that there
was not rational and preconcerted co-operation throughout the whole
party, and a degree of responsible authority exercised by the patriarch

"When the poor animals had gained possession of the tank (the leader
being the last to enter), they seemed to abandon themselves to enjoyment
without restraint or apprehension of danger. Such a mass of animal life
I had never before seen huddled together in so narrow a space. It seemed
to me as if they would have nearly drunk the tank dry. I watched them
with great interest until they had satisfied themselves as well in
bathing as in drinking, when I tried how small a noise would apprise
them of the proximity of unwelcome neighbours. I had but to break a
little twig, and the solid mass instantly took flight like a herd of
frightened deer, each of the smaller calves being apparently shouldered
and carried along between two of the older ones. In drinking, the
elephant, like the camel, although preferring water pure, shows no
decided aversion to it when discoloured with mud; and the eagerness with
which he precipitates himself into the tanks and streams attests his
exquisite enjoyment of the fresh coolness, which to him is the chief
attraction. In crossing deep rivers, although his rotundity and buoyancy
enable him to swim with a less immersion than other quadrupeds, he
generally prefers to sink till no part of his huge body is visible
except the lip of his trunk through which he breathes, moving beneath
the surface, and only now and then raising his head to look that he is
keeping the proper direction."

Elephant Friendships.

The affection shown by elephants for each other has often had pathetic
illustration. Two elephants, male and female, which had been brought
separately to Paris, were placed in adjoining apartments divided by a
portcullis. The male soon discovered that this was fastened by a bolt
well within his reach, and hastily withdrawing it rushed into the other
apartment. The meeting is described as indescribable. Their cries of
joy, says Mrs. Bowdich, shook the whole building, and they blew air from
their trunks resembling the blasts from smiths' bellows. The female
moved her ears with great rapidity, and entwined her trunk round the
body of the male. The male encircled her with his trunk and shed tears.

The Elephant's Sagacity.

The sagacity of the elephant has been said sometimes to equal that of
the dog. A striking illustration of it is related in Pettit's work on
the Tinnevelly Missions. "While the large chapel at Nagercoil was
building the missionaries obtained the loan of a trained elephant for
drawing the larger timber used in its erection. The late Mrs. Mault
kindly saw the animal regularly fed, lest the food should be stolen by
the attendant. One day the allowance of rice seemed very deficient in
quantity, and the good lady expostulated on the subject with the keeper.
Raising his hands to heaven, the man loudly, and with great apparent
earnestness and sincerity, repudiated the idea of his having taken any
of the rice. 'Do you think, madam, that I would rob my child? No, never!
no more than I would deprive my own children of their daily food.' While
he was speaking and gesticulating, the intelligent creature, slyly
extending his trunk, unfastened the man's waist-cloth, spilling the
missing rice, which had been concealed in a corner of the cloth, and
exposing the dishonesty of the attendant."

A Centenarian Elephant.

Some years ago there was an elephant who was known to be a hundred years
old, named Soupramany, or Old Soup as he was called, who lived upon the
banks of the Ganges near the city of Cawnpore. On one occasion Old Soup
was engaged with a number of other elephants and a party of soldiers,
under the direction of Major Daly, in loading a ship with bags of rice.
While the work was proceeding one of the elephants began to throw the
bags into the river, and it was found that the animal had gone mad.
Having killed his keeper the elephant started in pursuit of the major's
children who with their nurses had been watching the elephants at work.
Old Soup seemed to realize the situation at once. He dashed in between
the mad elephant and the children and engaged the infuriated beast in
mortal combat. The fight lasted for an hour and a half and when the mad
elephant lay dying on the ground it was found that Old Soup had many
wounds to remind him of the fray, his ears were badly torn, his head was
bruised, and one of his tusks was broken off short.

An Elephant Nurse.

Elephants are most affectionate animals and can be trusted even to take
care of children. Old Soup whose gallant fight recorded above gained him
great fame, became the daily guardian of Major Daly's children, whom he
had so heroically rescued. He would accompany them down to the riverside
when they went fishing, and could himself hold a rod and line, which the
children baited for him, watching the float and landing the fish as
skilfully as an accomplished angler.

The Elephant's Intelligence.

As we have seen in the case of a dog and that of a monkey, animals
sometimes rise to the intelligence of willingly submitting to painful
surgical treatment in view of cure. Mr. Kingston tells of an elephant,
which had been severely wounded, and which used to go alone to the
hospital and extend itself so that the surgeon could easily reach the
injured part. Mr. Kingston says: "Though the pain the animal suffered,
was so severe that he often uttered the most plaintive groans, he never
interrupted the operation, but exhibited every token of submission to
the surgeon till his cure was effected." Another instance given by Mr.
Kingston is even more remarkable if only for its analogy to human
conduct. A young elephant had a severe wound in its head, which it had
gained on the battle-field. "Nothing could induce it to allow the injury
to be attended to. At length by certain signs and words, the keeper
explained to the mother what was wanted. The sagacious animal
immediately seized the young one with her trunk, and though it groaned
with agony, held it to the ground, while the surgeon was thus enabled to
dress the wound. Day after day she continued to act in the same way till
the wound was perfectly healed." There is surely no stronger proof of
intelligence than that afforded when present suffering is willingly
endured for the sake of future good.


The Coney.

The Coney is a small animal, but it is an animal of distinction. It has
been classed with the Rodents and with the Pachyderms but its
characteristics are so unique that it is thought better to give it a
separate order, and this is placed between the Elephants and the
Rodents. The coney resembles the rabbit in size and general form,
perhaps more than any other animal. There are a number of species
belonging to one genus, the genus Hyrax: In Psalm CIV, 18, the writer
says the rocks are a refuge for the conies, and Agur puts the coney with
three other animals which are both little and wise. "The conies are but
a feeble folk, yet they make their houses in the rocks (Proverbs XXX,
26). This description applies to the Syrian Hyrax of our day as truly as
it did to that of the Psalmists time. The coney is found all over
Africa. According to Dr. Kirk it lives in colonies at Mozambique, where
it is often trapped and eaten.


The Rodents: Animals that Gnaw.

The Rodents are more numerous and various than other class of mammals:
There are said to be 800 or more varieties. These are divided into two
sub-orders: I, The Simplicidentati and, II, the Duplicidentati. Those of
the first sub-order have two incisor teeth in the upper jaw; those of
the second have four. The Simplicidentati include mice, rats, jerboas,
beavers, squirrels, chinchillas, porcupines, guinea pigs, &c.; the
Duplicidentati includes the numerous varieties of hares and rabbits.

Rats and Mice.

There are more than 300 varieties of rats and mice, and they are found
almost everywhere. The rat is an irrepressible stowaway, and following
toothsome cargoes on board ship has made his way nearly all over the
world. This may be said, in a less degree, of the mouse. The better
known varieties of rats are the Brown Rat, the Black Rat, the Water Rat,
the Beaver Rat, the Musk Rat, the Lemming, the Pouched Rat, &c., &c. The
principal varieties of the mouse are, the House Mouse, the Fieldmouse,
the Harvest Mouse, the African Mouse and the Dormouse.

The Rat Family.

The brown rat is the species common in England, and best known
throughout the world. It is said to have travelled from Persia to
England less than two hundred years ago and to have spread from thence
to other countries visited by English ships. It measures about nine
inches, and is of a light brown colour. It multiplies very fast and once
colonised is very difficult of extermination. It is larger and stronger
than the black rat which it found in England when it came and which it
has almost entirely destroyed and replaced. The brown rat is often
mistaken for the water rat as it will take to the water on occasion and
is often found in ditches and watery places. The water rat is common to
central and northern Europe and is well known in England and Scotland.
It differs little from the brown rat in appearance, and inhabits the
banks of rivers and ponds. The black rat is of a deep iron grey, or
nearly black. It is about seven inches long and in other respects bears
a close resemblance to the brown rat. The beaver rat is a native of
America and measures about fourteen inches exclusive of tail. It
resembles the beaver in form, is fond of the water and swims well. At
the approach of winter it builds itself little dome-topped houses, in
which it hibernates in families. In the spring its flesh is good eating,
but later it acquires a musk-like flavour which is disagreeable. It is
easily tamed when young. The Muskovy musk rat is about the size of the
common rat; it has a long and slender nose; no external ears; and very
small eyes; the tail is compressed sideways, and its hind feet are
webbed; it is of a dusky colour; the belly is of a light ash. It is a
native of Lapland and Russia, in the former of which countries it is
called the Desman; it frequents the banks of rivers, and feeds on small
fish. The Hudson's Bay lemming is covered by very fine soft and long
hair of an ash colour. In winter it is white. The limbs are quite short
and the fore feet being formed for burrowing, are very strong. The
Lapland lemming resembles the preceding and is remarkable for its
extensive migrations. When a severe winter is approaching, the lemmings
migrate southward, and move in a straightforward direction with such
inflexible regularity, that, sooner than deviate from it, they will
perish in attempting to pass over any obstacle which they may find in
their way. The pouched rat belongs to America and is found in Florida,
Georgia, and Missouri. It is brown in colour and lives in burrows under
ground. The cheek pouches are external and are said to be used for the
purpose of carrying food and also of removing sand loosened in the
process of burrowing.

The Hamster.

The hamster is a curious little rat-like animal of the thrifty kind,
that lays up store in the summer for winter use. It lives in burrows
which it connects with various apartments, used as storehouses for food.
On the approach of the cold weather it closes the entrance to its
burrow, and makes a nest of straw in which it sleeps; becoming torpid in
extreme cold.

Swarms of Rats.

The rapidity with which rats multiply, makes them troublesome and
unpleasant neighbours. In the vicinity of the horse slaughter-houses at
Montfaucon, near Paris, some years ago, they had become so numerous that
the proposal to remove the slaughter houses was opposed on the ground of
the danger that would accrue to the inhabitants from the rats being
deprived of their means of subsistence. It was said that the carcases
of thirty-five horses, if left unprotected, would be eaten by these rats
in one night, the bones being picked clean. On one occasion, the
carcases of three horses were placed in a high walled enclosure, small
holes having been made in the walls for the admission of the rats, and
subsequently stopped up. Several men armed with torches and sticks, then
entered the yard, which was so full of rats that they could strike right
and left without aim and yet be sure of destroying them. Two thousand
six hundred and fifty rats fell victims to this experiment in one night.
At the end of a month, the experiment having been several times
repeated, sixteen thousand and fifty rats had been killed. The danger
accruing from the burrowing of such enormous quantities of rats is by no
means slight.

Invaded by Rats

The story of Bishop Hatto and the invasion of the "Mäusethurm" on the
Rhine by rats, is well known if not entirely authentic. Some idea of
what it would be to be invaded by rats, may be gathered from Mrs.
Bowdich's graphic account of her own painful experiences. "When living
in Cape Coast Castle, I used to see the rats come in troops past my
door, walking over my black boys as they lay there, and who only turned
themselves over to present the other sides of their faces and bodies
when the rats returned, and thought it a good joke. The fiercest
encounter which I ever had with them was during one of those terrific
storms which are more furious between the tropics than elsewhere. I was
then, however, under the Equator, in a native hut, and heard an
exceeding rustling and movement all around me. To my terror I perceived
that these proceeded from a number of rats running up and down the sides
of the room in which I was to pass the night, and who shortly began to
run over me, they being disturbed by the torrents of rain which were
then falling. The only weapon I could find was a shoe, and curling
myself into a large arm-chair taken out of a French vessel, and covered
with blue satin damask, I sat prepared for my enemies, whom I dreaded
much more than the lightning, which was flashing across the iron bars
laid upon the floor. I felt that the silk of my place of refuge was some
sort of protection against this; but my own arm could alone save me from
my four-footed foes. Presently my husband came in, and saluted me with a
shout of laughter, which, however, abated when he saw my antagonists.
The storm lulled for a while, and the rats retreated. We then crept
within the curtains of bamboo cloth which encircled a rude imitation of
a fourpost bedstead, but I kept possession of my shoe. Weary with
watching, I closed my eyes, but was awakened by a tremendous flash of
lightning, immediately followed by awful thunder and a tumultuous rush
of rats. Some of them scrambled up the outside of the curtains; but,
arms in hand, I sat up, and directed by the noise, I hurled the invaders
to the ground, till at length resistance and the passing away of the
storm allowed me to sleep in peace." This was the brown rat so familiar
all over the world.

Migrations of Rats.

The habit of rats to migrate in numbers, apparently well ordered, and
under leadership, has often been noticed, and the way in which they will
leave a burning house or a sinking ship has often been recorded. These
companies will as a rule pass on their own way, and mind their own
business if unmolested, but instances are recorded of their attacking
and severely biting those who have opposed their progress. The Rev. Mr.
Ferryman, who resided at Quorn in Leicestershire and who made somewhat
of a study of rats, was walking in a meadow one evening when he observed
a large number of rats in the act of migrating from one place to
another. He stood perfectly still, and the whole assemblage passed close
to him. His astonishment, however, was great when he saw amongst the
number an old, blind rat, which held one end of a piece of stick in its
mouth while another rat had hold of the other end of it, and thus
conducted its blind companion.

The Intelligence of Rats.

Some remarkable illustrations of the intelligence of rats have been
recorded from time to time. The following which occurred recently seems
to show both thought and reason. A Burley rat found a dead hen in a
field, one evening, and departed to inform his brethren of the
discovery, when a gentleman, who afterwards reported the incident to the
Leeds _Evening Post_--removed the prize, which the speedy return of
half-a-dozen rats was too late to secure. The first rat plainly evinced
his disappointment, but his friends suspected him of hoaxing them,
turned upon him suddenly, and in a few moments he was as dead as the
chicken which had disappeared, and was left lying on almost the same
spot which it had occupied. Captain Brown tells the following story of
the ingenuity of the rat in self-preservation. "During the great flood
of September, the 4th, 1829, when the river Tyne was at its height, a
number of people were assembled on its margin. A swan at last appeared,
having a black spot on its plumage, which the spectators were surprised
to find, on a nearer approach, was a live rat. It is probable it had
been borne from its domicile on some hay rick, and, observing the swan,
had made for it as an ark of safety. When the swan reached the land, the
rat leapt from its back, and scampered away."

Saved by a Rat.

Perhaps no better example of the intelligence of the rat could be given
than that afforded by the incident quoted by Jesse from Mr. Ferryman.
Mr. Ferryman records that he had an old friend, a clergyman, of retired
and studious habits. When sitting in his room one day, he saw an English
rat come out of a hole at the bottom of the wainscot; and threw it a
piece of bread. In process of time, he so familiarised the animal, that
it became perfectly tame, ran about him, was his constant companion, and
appeared much attached to him. He was in the habit of reading in bed at
night; and was on one occasion awoke by feeling a sharp bite on his
cheek, when he discovered the curtains of his bed to be on fire. He made
his escape, but his house was burnt down, and he saw no more of his rat.
He was, however, convinced, and remained so for the rest of his life,
that his old companion had saved him from being burnt to death, by
biting his cheek; and thus making him aware of his danger.

The Mouse.

The mouse is a much more popular animal than the rat, though taking its
size and numbers into account it is scarcely less destructive. No one
weeps when the rat suffers capital punishment, but many a tear has been
shed over a "dear little mouse". The house mouse is too well known to
need description. Like rats, mice appear to act in companies, either
under leadership or by common consent. Mrs. Bowdich describes a number
of mice which she observed during an illness frequently emerge from her
bed-room closet and gravely form themselves into a circle and apparently
hold a council. That they frequently combine to effect purposes which
they are unable to accomplish singly is well known. Mrs. Bowdich
describes an attempt made by a combined force of mice to get possession
of the dainties provided for her as she approached convalescence. These
were placed under tin covers upon a chest of drawers, and the mice were
evidently of opinion that if they could only climb to the top of these
covers they would find them open like a basin, and so effect an entry.
Unable to gain a footing on the smooth metal sides, "they mounted upon
each other's shoulders and so accomplished the feat", though like arctic
explorers they failed to find an open sea and were compelled to return
with disappointment. An organised attempt to remove a cover from the
bottom, when, on one occasion, it had not been firmly set down, resulted
in an accident similar to those incident to human engineering, for the
cover slipped and many tiny hands were severely pinched. After this
they abandoned their attempts though a single mouse would occasionally
reconnoitre the scene, apparently unsatisfied with the defeat. Mice,
like many other animals, are said to be much affected by music.

The Harvest Mouse.

The harvest mouse is a most interesting little creature; whose habits
are thus described by White of Selborne:--"They build their nest amidst
the straws of the corn above the ground, and sometimes in thistles. They
breed as many as eight at a litter, in a little round nest composed of
the blades of grass or wheat. One of these I procured this autumn, most
artificially plaited, and composed of the blades of wheat, perfectly
round, and about the size of a cricket ball, with the aperture so
ingeniously closed that there is no discovering to what part it
belonged. It was so compact and well filled that it would roll across
the table without being discomposed, though it contained eight little
mice that were naked and blind. As this nest was perfectly full, how
could the dam come at her litter respectively so as to administer a teat
to each? Perhaps she opens different places for that purpose, adjusting
them again when the business is over; but she could not possibly be
contained, herself, in the ball with her young, which moreover would be
daily increasing in bulk. This procreant cradle--an elegant instance of
the efforts of instinct--was found in a wheat field, suspended in the
head of a thistle."

The Field Mouse.

There are two kinds of field mice, the long-tailed and the short-tailed
varieties. The long-tailed field mouse is the mouse immortalised by
Burns, and is found throughout Europe. The short-tailed variety occupies
much the same geographical area, though it probably extends further. The
latter are very destructive, and have sometimes increased to such an
extent, that organised efforts have had to be made to exterminate it.

The Dormouse.

The common dormouse, and the greater dormouse are the principal
varieties of this interesting little animal. They resemble the squirrel
in appearance as well as in some of their habits. They live in trees,
where they construct nests, on nuts, acorns, fruits, insects, birds and
eggs, and squirrel-like rest upon their hindquarters when eating,
holding their food between their forepaws. They lay up store for the
winter and become torpid in the cold weather, rolling themselves into a
ball, in which condition they may be handled without disturbance or
injury. The common dormouse is found all over Europe, the greater
dormouse occupying a still more extended area.

The Jerboa.

The Jerboa is a curious, little animal with the body of a mouse and hind
legs which resemble those of the kangaroo in appearance. There are
several varieties, one belonging to Southern Russia, one to the deserts
of Egypt, Nubia, Arabia, Barbary and Tartary, and one to North America.
They live in burrows which they construct with great care and industry.
They are naturally timid and make for their holes on the slightest
disturbance, leaping kangaroo fashion sometimes as high as five feet,
and so swiftly as to be very difficult of capture. They have very long

The Beaver.

There are two species of the beaver, the European beaver, and the
American beaver. The former is most numerous in Siberia, Tartary, and
the Caucasus but is also occasionally found in Central Europe. The
American beaver is found throughout North America where it is eagerly
hunted for the sake of its fur.

The European Beaver.

The following anonymous paragraph cut from a newspaper, but likely
enough quoted from some standard Natural History, perhaps that of
Messrs. Cassell and Co., throws some light upon the present condition of
the European beaver.

"There are still some naturalists who assert that the beaver has ceased
to exist in France. This, however, is a mistake; an animal of that
species was caught a short time ago in the Hérault, and is now being
exhibited at Montpelier. Beavers do not live in Europe in large
companies or herds as they do in America, but only in solitude, and in
this state they haunt secondary rivers, such as the Gard and the Gardon.
There are a few on the banks and islands of the Rhone, but as these
creatures are averse to noise, the splashing of the steamers plying to
and fro has driven most of them away. They give a decided preference to
such streams as are overshadowed by the willow, of the bark of which
they are exceedingly fond. The beaver is also to be found as far north
as the Saone, in those valleys where there is peat-ground. It lives in
Spain, in Italy, and in Greece, but always solitary and fugitive. This
curious animal is not only called _Castor Americanus_, but also _Castor
Gallicus_, and not without reason, since the fossil remains of the genus
are sufficient to attest their having been very numerous in France at
some remote period. The little stream of the Bièvre derives its name
from its having been the habitat of these creatures; its resemblance to
the English name beaver need hardly be alluded to. In Europe this
amphibious animal does not build those substantial and commodious
dwellings which have rendered it so celebrated, because the rapacity and
spirit of destruction so common in man have made it suspicious and

The American Beaver.

Writing of the American Beaver Dr. Godman says:--"Beavers are not
particular in the site they select for the establishment of their
dwellings, but if in a lake or pond, where a dam is not required, they
are careful to build where the water is sufficiently deep. In standing
waters, however, they have not the advantage afforded by a current for
the transportation of their supplies of wood, which, when they build on
a running stream, is always cut higher up than the place of their
residence, and floated down. The materials used for the construction of
their dams are the trunks and branches of small birch, mulberry, willow,
and poplar trees. They begin to cut down their timber for building
early in the summer, but their edifices are not commenced until about
the middle or latter part of August, and are not completed until the
beginning of the cold season. The strength of their teeth, and their
perseverance in this work, may be fairly estimated by the size of the
trees they cut down. Dr. Best informs us, that he has seen a mulberry
tree, eight inches in diameter, which had been gnawed down by the
beaver. The figure of the dam varies according to circumstances. Should
the current be very gentle, the dam is carried nearly straight across;
but when the stream is swiftly flowing, it is uniformly made with a
considerable curve, having the convex part opposed to the current. Along
with the trunks and branches of trees they intermingle mud and stones,
to give greater security; and when dams have been long undisturbed and
frequently repaired, they acquire great solidity, and their power of
resisting the pressure of water and ice is greatly increased by the
trees occasionally taking root, and eventually growing up into something
of a regular hedge.

"The dwellings of the beaver are formed of the same materials as their
dams, and are very rude, though strong, and adapted in size to the
number of their inhabitants. These are seldom more than four old and six
or eight young ones. Double that number have been occasionally found in
one of the lodges, though this is by no means a very common
circumstance. When building their houses, they place most of the wood
crosswise, and nearly horizontally, observing no other order than that
of leaving a cavity in the middle. Branches which project inward are cut
off with their teeth, and thrown among the rest. The houses are by no
means built of sticks first and then plastered, but all the materials,
sticks, mud, and stones, if the latter can be procured, are mixed up
together, and this composition is employed from the foundation to the
summit. The mud is obtained from the adjacent banks or bottom of the
stream or pond near the door of the hut. Mud and stones the beaver
always carries by holding them between his fore paws and throat.

"Their work is all performed at night, and with much expedition. As soon
as any part of the material is placed where it is intended to remain,
they turn round and give it a smart blow with the tail. The same sort of
blow is struck by them upon the surface of the water when they are in
the act of diving. The outside of the hut is covered or plastered with
mud late in the autumn, and after frost has begun to appear. By freezing
it soon becomes almost as hard as stone, and effectually excludes their
great enemy, the wolverine, during the winter."

The Squirrel.

The family of the Squirrel is a very large one and with it are included
the marmots, the prairie dogs, and the anomalures, the latter of which
form a sub-family. The common squirrel, the variety familiar in England,
is a pretty little creature with its bright piercing eyes, and knowing
look, and its graceful bushy tail. It is one of the most agile of
animals, ascending and descending trees with the rapidity of a flash and
so sensitive, that it is said that if the tree upon which its nests is
only touched at the bottom it takes alarm and seeks safety on another
tree. It builds its nests in the forks of branches of trees,--of moss,
twigs, and dried leaves,--and leaps great distances from tree to tree.
The ground squirrel is characterised by fine longitudinal black bands on
its back, which form a very pretty marking. It belongs chiefly to North
America. "It lives in villages under ground," says an American writer,
"and plunders the farmers worse than the gopher. Every two months the
ground squirrel breeds and neither State premiums nor strychnine
diminishes its numbers. It levies an assessment of thirty per cent. on
the profits of a wheat crop in many sections."

The flying squirrel, also common in the United States, has a membranous
skin which extends from the fore limbs along the body to the hind limbs
by which its body is buoyed up as it descends obliquely through the air
from the tree to the ground, the tail operating as a rudder. One species
of the flying squirrel is found in Europe and several in India.

The Squirrel at Home.

Mr. Head gives a graphic description of his experiences with a squirrel
in the Canadian woods. He says:--"I was waiting the approach of a large
flock of wild fowl, but a little villain of a squirrel on the bough of a
tree close to me, seemed to have determined that even now I should not
rest in quiet, for he sputtered and chattered with so much vehemence,
that he attracted the attention of my dog, whom I could scarcely
control. The vagrant inattention of my dog was truly mortifying; he kept
his eyes fixed upon the squirrel, now so noisy as to be quite
intolerable. With my hand, I made a motion to threaten him, but the
little beast actually set up his back, and defied me, becoming even more
passionate and noisy than before, till all of a sudden, as if absolutely
on purpose to alarm the game, down he let himself drop, plump at once
within a couple of yards of Rover's nose. This was too much for any
four-footed animal to bear, so he gave a bounce and sprang at the
impertinent squirrel, who, in one second, was safe out of his reach,
cocking his tail, and showing his teeth on the identical bough where he
had sat before. Away flew all the wild fowl, and my sport was completely
marred. My gun went involuntarily to my shoulder to shoot the squirrel.
At the same moment, I felt I was about to commit an act of sheer
revenge, on a little courageous animal which deserved a better fate. As
if aware of my hesitation, he nodded his head with rage, and stamped his
fore paws on the tree: while in his chirruping, there was an intonation
of sound, which seemed addressed to an enemy for whom he had an utter
contempt. What business, I could fancy he said, had I there, trespassing
on his domain, and frightening his wife and little family, for whom he
was ready to lay down his life? There he would sit in spite of me, and
make my ears ring with the sound of his war whoop, till the spring of
life should cease to bubble in his little heart."

Tame Squirrels.

Captain Brown tells of a gentleman who had a tame squirrel, who used to
run up his legs and enter his pocket when he saw him preparing to go
out. From this safe retreat the squirrel often poked his head and peeped
at the people as they passed, but never ventured to emerge until the
crowded thoroughfares were passed. When they reached the outskirts of
the city, however, the squirrel leaped to the ground, ran along the
road, ascended trees and hedges, with the quickness of lightning, and
nibbled at the leaves and bark. If the gentleman walked on, it would
descend, scamper after him, and again enter his pocket. On hearing a
carriage or cart, it became much alarmed, and always hid itself till it
had passed by. This gentleman had a dog, between which and the squirrel
a certain enmity existed. Whenever the dog lay asleep, the squirrel
would show its teasing disposition, by rapidly descending from its box,
scampering over the dog's body, and quickly mounting to its box again.
Another squirrel who frequented his master's pocket, on one occasion
rendered important service. One evening, as was his practice, when his
master's coat was taken off and hung behind a door, the squirrel ran up
the door and took up his quarters in the familiar pocket, carrying with
him a supply of tow with which to make himself comfortable for the
night. After all the family had retired to rest, a burglar made his
appearance, effected an entrance, and proceeded to examine the pockets
of the coat hanging to the door. Putting his hand rather unceremoniously
into the squirrel's bedroom the robber received such a sharp and
unexpected bite that he could not forbear to cry out and the master of
the house, aroused by the unusual sound, entered the room, armed with a
poker, just in time to secure the thief as he was escaping through the

The Marmot. The Bobak. The Prairie Dog.

Marmots are found in the northern parts of both the old and the new
worlds. The Bobak belongs to southern Russia, the Prairie Dog to North
America and the Woodchuck to Canada.

The marmot is easily tamed and is familiar to many from being made the
companion of itinerant Savoyards who exhibit them when asking alms. The
Bobak is also readily amenable to kindness. All these animals live in
burrows and are exceedingly interesting in their habits. The anomalure
is a squirrel with a membranous skin resembling to some extent that of
the flying squirrels and used by it for the same purpose. It belongs to
Fernando Po.

The Chinchilla.

The Chinchilla is about nine inches long, its tail being about five
inches. Its eyes are full, like those of the rabbit, its hind legs are
long, its fore ones short. It sits upon its haunches, and takes its food
in its fore paws. It is found in Chili and Peru, and inhabits the open
country, living in burrows, and subsisting on the roots of bulbous
plants, which are abundant in those regions. Great numbers of them are
killed for their skins, which furnish the most delicate and beautiful of
furs. The Alpine Viscacha and the Viscacha of the Pampas, are included
in the same family.

The Porcupine.

The Porcupine is found throughout Africa and southern Asia and also in
the south of Europe. "Less completely covered with weapons of defence
than the hedgehog," says Captain Brown, "the porcupine possesses them in
greater strength, for its formidable quills are capable of inflicting
severe wounds. When irritated or in danger it raises its quills on its
back; but it is though fretful, not fierce in disposition but easily
tamed." When cornered the porcupine turns its back to its assailant, who
usually wounds himself by coming in contact with the quills. The
porcupine lives in burrows by itself; it is a lonely animal. The Cavies
and the Agouti of America are classified with this family. Among the
former is the Capybara, the largest of the rodents, an animal which
attains to from three to four feet in length. It belongs to Brazil,
Guinea, and Paraguay. The Canadian porcupine, and the Brazilian
porcupine, are tree porcupines and are only found in America.

The Guinea Pig.

The Guinea Pig (_Cavia Cobaya_) is said to be the domestic form of the
_Cavia Aperea_ of Brazil and Peru. It derives its name from its supposed
place of origin, as it was said to have been first introduced into
England from Guinea. It is tailless, but clean and neat in appearance,
being marked with black, white, and orange colours. It is said to lack
intelligence and to be destitute of attachment, suffering its young to
be destroyed without resistance. Perhaps this is due to the fact that it
has so many; it breeds at intervals of two months and produces from
three to twelve young ones at a birth.

Hares and Rabbits.

We come now to the second sub-order of the Rodents or animals that gnaw,
the _Duplicidentati_, the rodents having four incisor teeth in the upper
jaw. This brings us to the Hares and Rabbits, of which there are
numerous species, the Common Hare, the Irish or Mountain Hare and the
Common Rabbit being the best known. The Irish or Mountain Hare is
somewhat larger than the common hare and changes from brown to white in
the winter. The Sardinian, the Egyptian, the Polar, and the Sage hares
are other varieties.

The Common Hare.

The Common Hare is a familiar animal and needs no description. It is
found throughout Europe and is well known in England. The hare hides
during the day under cover of low foliage, ferns, and the undergrowth of
preserves, in spots known as 'forms'. Its habit of making a definite
track from its form to its feeding grounds and of always following its
own track makes it an easy sacrifice to those who know its ways. It is
exceedingly swift in its movements, and it is well that it is so, for
its only safety is in flight and in the sagacity and cunning it shows
in eluding its pursuers. Many illustrations of the latter have been
recorded. Fouilloux mentions a hare which he saw start from its form at
the sound of a hunter's horn, run towards a pool of water at a
considerable distance, plunge in and swim to some rushes in the middle,
and there lay down and conceal itself from the pursuit of the dogs.
Another hare, when closely pressed passed under a gate, the dogs leaping
over it. The hare quickly perceived the advantage it had gained by this,
and so doubled, returning under the gate, the dogs following over it as
before. This was repeated several times until taking advantage of the
exhaustion of the dogs the hare escaped. The hare will often run
perfectly straight while in view of the hounds, but immediately on
gaining the slightest cover will double, and redouble with astonishing
rapidity, apparently to confuse the scent.

[Illustration: A Hare's-breadth Escape]

The Intelligence of the Hare.

The following anecdote seems to show remarkable intelligence on the part
of a hare. It is from a statement made by Mr. Yarrell in the "Magazine
of Natural History":--"A harbour of great extent on our southern coast
has an island near the middle, of considerable size, the nearest point
of which is a mile distant from the mainland at high water, and with
which point there is frequent communication by a ferry. Early one
morning in spring two hares were observed to come down from the hills of
the mainland towards the seaside, one of which from time to time left
its companion, and proceeding to the very edge of the water, stopped
there a minute or two, and then returned to its mate. The tide was
rising, and after waiting some time, one of them, exactly at high water,
took to the sea, and swam rapidly over, in a straight line, to the
opposite projecting point of land. The observer on this occasion, who
was near the spot, but remained unperceived by the hares, had no doubt
that they were of different sexes, and that it was the male--like
another Leander--which swam across the water, as he had probably done
many times before. It was remarkable that the hares had remained on the
shore nearly half an hour, one of them occasionally examining, as it
would seem, the state of the current, and ultimately taking to the sea
at that precise period of the tide called slack water, when the passage
across could be effected without being carried by the force of the
stream either above or below the desired point of landing. The other
hare then cantered back to the hills."

A Hunted Hare.

The following story of a hunted hare is from "The Annals of Sporting,"
for May 1822:--"Two years ago, a doe hare produced two young ones in a
field adjoining my cottage; and the three were occasionally seen, during
the summer, near the same spot. But the leverets were, I have reason to
believe, killed at the latter end of September of the same year; the old
doe hare was also coursed, and making directly for my cottage, entered
the garden, and there blinked the dogs. I repeatedly afterwards saw her
sitting, sometimes in the garden, (which is one hundred and ten yards by
forty-three,) but more frequently in the garden-hedge. She was
repeatedly seen by greyhounds when she sat at some distance, but
uniformly made for the garden, and never failed to find security. About
the end of the following January, puss was no longer to be seen about
the garden, as she had probably retired to some distance with a male
companion. One day, in February, I heard the hounds, and shortly
afterwards observed a hare making towards the garden, which it entered
at a place well known, and left not the least doubt on my mind, that it
was my old acquaintance, which, in my family, was distinguished by the
name of Kitty. The harriers shortly afterwards came in sight, followed
Kitty, and drove her from the garden. I became alarmed for the safety of
my poor hare, and heartily wished the dogs might come to an
irrecoverable fault. The hare burst away with the fleetness of the wind,
and was followed breast high, by her fierce and eager pursuers. In
about twenty minutes I observed Kitty return towards the garden,
apparently much exhausted, and very dirty. She took shelter beneath a
small heap of sticks, which lay at no great distance from the kitchen
door. No time was to be lost, as, by the cry of the hounds, I was
persuaded they were nearly in sight. I took a fishing-net, and, with the
assistance of the servant, covered poor Kitty, caught her, and conveyed
the little, panting, trembling creature into the house. The harriers
were soon at the spot, but no hare was to be found. I am not aware that
I ever felt greater pleasure than in thus saving poor Kitty from her
merciless pursuers. Towards evening I gave Kitty her liberty; I turned
her out in the garden, and saw her not again for some time. In the
course of the following summer, however, I saw a hare several times,
which I took to be my old friend; and, in the latter end of October,
Kitty was again observed in the garden. Henceforward she was
occasionally seen as on the preceding winter. One morning, in January,
when I was absent, a gun was fired near my cottage; Kitty was heard to
scream, but, nevertheless, entered the garden vigorously. The matter was
related to me on my return home; and I was willing to hope that Kitty
would survive. However, I had some doubt on the subject; and, the next
morning, as soon as light permitted, I explored the garden, and found
that my poor unfortunate favourite had expired; she was stretched
beneath a large gooseberry tree; and I could not help very much
regretting her death."

Tame Hares.

Though exceedingly timid creatures hares are readily tamed, and have
often become as domesticated as cats and dogs. Cowper's experiments with
hares will naturally occur to the reader, besides which there are cases
recorded where tame hares have been associated in domesticity with cats
and even sporting dogs. One possessed by Mr. A. S. Moffat was thus
domiciled and would feed from the same plate with a cat and a dog. This
hare would knock a book out of its master's hand to secure his

The Common Rabbit.

The Common Rabbit is found all over the British Isles, as well as in
France and Spain; and in the north of Africa where it is indigenous. It
is smaller than the hare and lives in burrows, in large numbers,
completely honey-combing sand hills which are covered with grass and
vegetation. Before producing her young, the female forms a separate
burrow where she conceals them after birth. This is done to protect them
from the male who destroys, if he discovers them. The young are born
blind and gain their sight after ten days. They are a month old before
they are allowed to leave the burrow.


Toothless Animals.

Curiously enough this order, though denominated toothless, includes
several animals which have well developed dental arrangements. In these,
however, the teeth are not found in the front of the jaw, and those
which are found are elementary and simple. Several families are
classified with this order, of which the Sloth, the Pangolin, the
Armadillo, the Cape Ant-Bear, and the Ant-Eater are the best known

The Sloth.

The Sloth belongs to South America. "In its wild state," says Waterton,
"the Sloth spends its whole life in the trees, and never leaves them but
through force or accident, and, what is more extraordinary, not _upon_
the branches, like the squirrel and monkey, but _under_ them. He _moves_
suspended from the branch, he _rests_ suspended from the branch, and he
_sleeps_ suspended from the branch." "In fact," says the Rev. J. G.
Wood, "as Sydney Smith observes, he passes a life of suspense, like a
curate distantly related to a Bishop. To render it fit for this singular
mode of life, its long and powerful arms are furnished with strong
curved claws, which hook round the branches, and keep the animal
suspended without any effort. When on the ground, these claws are very
inconvenient, and it can barely shuffle along; but when it is in its
native element, it moves with exceeding rapidity, particularly in a gale
of wind, when it passes from branch to branch, and from tree to tree,
with an activity which its movements on the ground by no means portend."

The Pangolin.

There are two species of the Pangolin, or Manis, the long-tailed and the
short-tailed, the former being a native of Africa and the latter of the
East Indies. The long-tailed manis measures about five feet inclusive of
the tail which is about three feet long, the short-tailed manis about
four feet in all. All the upper parts of its body are closely covered
with scales of different sizes, which, as they are attached to the skin
only by the lower extremity, it can erect at pleasure, opposing to its
adversary a formidable row of offensive weapons. They are sharp at the
point, and so hard as, on collision, to strike fire like a flint. The
moment it perceives the approach of an enemy, it rolls itself up like a
hedgehog, by which means it covers all the weaker parts of its body. The
Pangolins live on ants, which they catch by thrusting their long slender
tongues into the midst of their prey, their tongues being covered by a
gummy saliva to which the ants adhere.

The Armadillo.

The Armadillo is a native of South America, in which country there are
several varieties. They are all covered with a strong crust or shell,
resembling, as the Rev. J. G. Wood puts it, "the modified plate armour"
worn by men in the 16th century. They eat vegetables and insects, and do
good work as scavengers. They burrow with great rapidity and when rolled
up, after the manner of the hedgehog, are invulnerable to their ordinary

The Cape Ant-Bear.

The Cape Ant-Bear belongs to the Cape of Good Hope. It differs from the
ant-eaters of the western world in many ways, being a hairy animal
without scales, its head resembling that of the deer kind, having long
ears but no horns. The length of its body which is covered with
bristles is about four feet, and its feet which are short, are furnished
with strong claws which enable it to excavate the cavities in which it

The Ant-Eater.

The true Ant-Eater is found in the South American tropics. The Great
Ant-Eater belongs to La Plata, the Little Ant-Eater to the Brazils. The
Great Ant-Eater is four feet in length, without its tail, which is two
feet six inches long. The true ant-eater like the Pangolin already
described inserts its long tongue into the nest of the ant, catching its
little victims in large numbers by the sticky mucus which covers its


Pouched Animals.

Of the several families classed in this order the opossums and the
kangaroos are the most familiar. The Dasyures of Tasmania and the
Bandicoots of Australia and New Guinea also belong to this order, as do
the many varieties of the Phalanger of Australasia and those of the
Wombat of Tasmania. The pouch is one of the most remarkable provisions
of Nature, the young of the pouched animals being small and of imperfect
form at birth and requiring the protection of the pouch for their
sustenance and development.

The Opossum.

The common Opossum, which is a native of Virginia, is about the size of
a badger. It is provided with a pouch, in which it carries its young,
and into which they leap on the approach of danger. Its covering is a
coat of long fur, of a dingy white colour. It feeds upon fish, birds,
insects, and reptiles. Its tail is very muscular, and by this it hangs
from the branches of trees and, watching its prey, lets itself fall upon
its victims with great precision. Its hind feet are formed something
like hands, by which it is enabled to climb with wonderful facility. The
opossum when caught often simulates death so admirably that he deceives
his captors and ultimately escapes them.

The Kangaroo.

The Kangaroo belongs to Australia and New Guinea. The length of its body
is from four to five feet six inches; its fore legs are very short; its
hind ones very long. Its tail is from three to four feet in length, and
its strength is such, that a stroke of it will break a man's leg. The
Kangaroo moves by great leaps or bounds of from twelve to twenty feet.
It is covered with a short soft fur, of a reddish ash-colour. It feeds
on vegetables, and has a pouch for its young, like the opossum. Mr.
Cunningham says: "The Kangaroos make no use of the short fore legs,
except in grazing. When chased, they hop upon their hind legs, bounding
onward at a most amazing rate, the tail wagging up and down as they
leap, and serving them for a balance. They will bound over gulleys and
deep declivities, and fly right over the tops of low brush wood." There
are several varieties of this animal; one of which, called the Rat
Kangaroo, is only the size of a rabbit; another, called the Tree
Kangaroo, can hop about on trees in an extraordinary manner and is
furnished with curved claws, on its fore paws, similar to those of the
sloth, by which he can lay hold of the branches.

Kangaroo Hunting.

Kangaroo hunting is a favourite Australian sport. It is not unattended
with danger either to dogs or men, the sharp claws and powerful hind
legs of the animal making it a formidable enemy at close quarters.
Dawson in his "Present State of Australia" says: "A full-sized 'wool
man' at bay always sits on his haunches, and when he rises to move
forward, he stands four, or four and a half feet high. In this manner,
he will, when pressed, meet a man, and hug and scratch him, if not to
death, in such a way that he does not soon forget it. When hard pressed,
and near to water, the kangaroo always takes it; if it be deep water,
and the dogs follow him, one or the other is almost sure to be drowned.
If a single dog, the kangaroo is nearly certain to come off victorious,
by taking his assailant in his fore arms, and holding him under water
till he is dead; but, if he has two dogs opposed to him, he is not left
at liberty to hold either of his opponents long enough under water to
drown him, and he generally himself falls a sacrifice, after a long and
hard struggle. Notwithstanding the courage and ferocity of the kangaroo,
when pressed, he is otherwise extremely timid, and more easily
domesticated than any wild animal with which I am acquainted, The
smaller ones are frequently quite as swift as a hare; and I have
sometimes seen them outstrip the fleetest dogs." Young and inexperienced
dogs are almost sure to fall victims to the sharp claw and powerful hind
leg of the kangaroo, with one stroke of which he will rip the dog open
and let his entrails out.



The order Monotremata includes two families, the _Ornithorhynchidæ_ and
the _Echidnidæ_, both of which belong to Australia. The Duck-billed
Platypus belongs to the former, the Australian Hedgehog to the latter

The Duck-billed Platypus.

The Duck-billed Platypus is one of the most singular of animals. "When
it was first introduced into Europe," says Mr. Wood, "it was fully
believed to be the manufacture of some impostor, who with much ingenuity
had fixed the beak of a duck into the head of some unknown animal. It
will, however, be seen by examining the skull of the animal, that this
duck-like beak is caused by a prolongation of some of the bones of the
head." The Platypus lives on the banks of rivers in burrows which it
forms, and feeds on water insects and small shell fish. It is web-footed
but its feet are so constructed that it can fold back the web when it
wants to burrow, and unfold it when it wants to swim. The hind feet of
the male are armed with a sharp spur.

The Australian Hedgehog.

The Australian Hedgehog is about a foot long. It lives in burrows and
feeds on insects, has a long tongue but no teeth. It has spines from
which circumstance it is called a hedgehog after its English namesake,
though its spines are almost hidden by its hair. It is said to be a
dull, unintelligent animal.



The Birds are distinguished from the Mammals by many obvious
characteristics, chief among which are their bodily form, their feathery
covering and their manner of producing their young by means of eggs. The
Birds form the second class of the sub-kingdom Vertebrate and according
to the classification followed in this work are divided into ten orders.
These orders are, I Passeres: birds characterised by the habit of
perching; II Picariæ: birds that climb, etc. Ill Psittacini: the
Parrots; IV Columbæ: the Doves; V Gallinæ: the Fowls; VI Opisthocomi:
the Hoazin of Brazil and Guinea; VII Accipitres: the Birds of Prey; VIII
Grallatores: the birds that wade; IX Anseres: the Birds that swim; X
Struthiones: the Ostrich, the Emu, etc., etc.


Perching Birds.

The species of this order are very numerous, and have been variously
divided by different authorities. Mr. Wallace forms them into five
groups, which classification we shall find it convenient to follow.
These five groups are: I The Thrushes and Thrush-like perching birds; II
The Tanagers and similar kinds; III The Starlings and allied species; IV
The Ant-eaters, etc., and V The Lyre Birds, and the Scrub Birds of
Australia. The first group includes many well known feathered
favourites: the Thrush; the Blackbird; the Mocking Bird; the Tailor
Bird; the Wren; the Robin; the Nightingale; the Titmouse; the Golden
Oriole; the Jay; the Magpie; the Raven; the Rook; the Carrion Crow; the
Jackdaw; the Chough; and the Bird of Paradise. The second group includes
the Swallow; the Martin; the Goldfinch; the Linnet; the Canary; the
Bullfinch; the Bunting and many others. The third group contains the
Starlings; the Weaver Bird; the Lark; the Wagtail, and the Pipits; the
fourth group, the King Bird of North America; the Manakins of Guinea;
the Chatterers of South America; the Bell Bird of Brazil, and the
Umbrella Bird of the Amazon. The fifth group contains the Lyre Birds and
the Scrub Birds of Australia.

The Thrush.

The order of Thrush-like perching birds is a very large one, including
nearly three thousand known varieties. Of these it will be impossible,
within present limits, to even mention a very large number, and we shall
content ourselves with dealing with a few of the better known species.

The Common Thrush.

The Thrush is one of the most popular of English native birds, as its
song is one of the most beautiful of those of the bird kind. It is a
herald of the English spring and summer, beginning to sing at the end of
January and continuing until July. It builds its nest in a hedge or
bush, and, as it breeds early in the year, lines it with a plaster of
mud to protect its young from the cold winds. It is a bold bird and will
vigorously defend its nest from the attacks of larger birds. It feeds on
insects, snails and worms.

"Watch an old thrush," says Dr. Stanley, "pounce down on a lawn,
moistened with dew and rain. At first he stands motionless, apparently
thinking of nothing at all, his eye vacant, or with an unmeaning gaze.
Suddenly he cocks his ear on one side, makes a glancing sort of dart
with his head and neck, gives perhaps one or two hops, and then stops,
again listening attentively, and his eye glistening with attention and
animation; his beak almost touches the ground,--he draws back his head
as if to make a determined peck. Again he pauses; listens again; hops,
perhaps once or twice, scarcely moving his position, and pecks smartly
on the sod; then is once more motionless as a stuffed bird. But he knows
well what he is about; for, after another moment's pause, having
ascertained that all is right, he pecks away with might and main, and
soon draws out a fine worm, which his fine sense of hearing had informed
him was not far off, and which his hops and previous peckings had
attracted to the surface, to escape the approach of what the poor worm
thought might be his underground enemy, the mole."

The Missel Thrush.

The Missel Thrush, so called from its fondness for the mistletoe, is
larger than the common or song thrush, less melodious and not so common
in England, but well known upon the continent of Europe. Like the song
thrush it finds a determined enemy in the magpie, against which it often
defends itself with success. It is, however, unable to withstand a
combined attack. Gilbert White says: "The Missel-thrush is, while
breeding, fierce and pugnacious, driving such birds as approach its nest
with great fury to a distance. The Welsh call it "pen y llwyn," the head
or master of the coppice. He suffers no magpie, jay, or blackbird, to
enter the garden where he haunts; and is, for the time, a good guard to
the new-sown legumens. In general, he is very successful in the defence
of his family; but once I observed in my garden, that several magpies
came determined to storm the nest of a missel-thrush: the dams defended
their mansion with great vigour, and fought resolutely _pro aris et
focis_; but numbers at last prevailed, they tore the nest to pieces, and
swallowed the young alive."

The Blackbird.

The Blackbird is another of the most cherished of English song birds. It
is one of the earliest to wake the morning with a song. Its habits are
similar to those of the Thrush; it builds its nest in bushes, in
shrubberies and gardens, safe from the sight, but close to the haunts of
man. It lines its nest with a plaster of mud which it covers over with
dry grass, and is exemplary in the care of its young. It has a black
coat as its name implies, and an orange tawny bill. The blackbird has to
some extent the power of the mocking bird, of imitating the sounds it
hears,--such as the chuckling of a hen, the song of the nightingale, the
caw of the crow. In the "Magazine of Natural History" of September 1831,
Mr. Bouchier of Wold Rectory, near Northampton, says: "Within half a
mile of my residence there is a blackbird which crows constantly, and as
accurately as the common cock, and nearly as loud; as it may, on a still
day, be heard at the distance of several hundred yards. When first told
of the circumstance, I conjectured that it must have been the work of a
cock pheasant, concealed in a neighbouring brake; but, on the assurance
that it was nothing more or less than a common blackbird, I determined
to ascertain the fact with my own eyes and ears; and this day I had the
gratification of getting close to it, seated on the top bough of an ash
tree, and pursuing with unceasing zeal its unusual note. The resemblance
to the crow of the domestic cock is so perfect, that more than one in
the distance were answering it. It occasionally indulged in its usual
song; but only for a second or two; resuming its more favourite note;
and once or twice it commenced with crowing, and broke off in the middle
into its natural whistle. In what way this bird has acquired its present
propensity I am unable to say, except that as its usual haunt is near a
mill where poultry are kept, it may have learned the note from the
common fowl."

The Blackbird of America resembles his English cousin in most
particulars. He is often seen following the plough, looking for worms in
the fresh furrows, and frequently, like the crow, stealing the planted
maize or Indian corn from the hill. In the autumn the American
Blackbirds gather in vast flocks, and sometimes produce a roar like the
rush of a waterfall by their flight.

The Mocking Bird.

The Mocking Bird is a native of America and many stories are told of its
wonderful powers of mimicry. The following description is furnished by
Wilson: "The plumage of the Mocking Bird, though none of the homeliest,
has nothing gaudy or brilliant in it, and, had he nothing else to
recommend him, would scarcely entitle him to notice; but his figure is
well proportioned, and even handsome. The ease, elegance, and rapidity
of his movements, the animation of his eye, and the intelligence he
displays in listening, and laying up lessons from almost every species
of the feathered creation within his hearing, are really surprising, and
mark the peculiarity of his genius. In his native groves, mounted upon
the top of a tall bush or half grown tree, in the dawn of a dewy
morning, while the woods are already vocal with a multitude of warblers,
his admirable song rises pre-eminent over every competitor. The ear can
listen to his music alone, to which that of all the others seems a mere
accompaniment. Neither is this strain altogether imitative. His own
native notes, which are easily distinguishable by such as are acquainted
with those of our various song birds, are bold and full, and varied
seemingly beyond all limits. They consist of short expressions of two,
three, or at the most five or six syllables, generally interspersed with
imitations, and all of them uttered with great emphasis and rapidity,
and continued with undiminished ardour for half an hour, or an hour, at
a time. His expanded wings and tail, glistening with white, and the
buoyant gaiety of his action, arresting the eye, as his song most
irresistibly does the ear, he sweeps round with enthusiastic ecstasy and
mounts and descends as his song swells or dies away. 'He bounds aloft
with the celerity of an arrow, as if to recover or recall his very soul,
which expired in the last elevated strain.' He often deceives the
sportsman, and sends him in search of birds that are not perhaps within
miles of him, but whose notes he exactly imitates: even birds themselves
are frequently imposed upon by this admirable mimic, and are decoyed by
the fancied calls of their mates, or dive with precipitation into the
depth of thickets at the scream of what they suppose to be the

The Tailor Bird.

The Tailor Bird is a small bird of no very remarkable appearance, but it
is singular from its habit of sewing leaves together in forming its
nest. This it does by using its beak as a needle, and certain vegetable
fibres as thread, and sewing the edges of leaves together in the form of
a pocket, in which it deposits its eggs and rears its young.

The Golden Crested Wren.

The Golden Crested Wren is the smallest of British Birds, and it is one
of the most beautiful, according to Mrs. Bowdich it only weighs eighty
grains. It is peculiar among British birds for suspending its nest to
the boughs of trees. Its nest is an elegant structure, sometimes open at
the top, sometimes covered with a dome, having an entrance at the side.
It is a tame bird, and often visits country gardens where it may be
distinguished by its green and yellow coat with white facings, and its
golden crest. Captain Brown says: "its song is weak and intermittent,
yet sweet as that which fancy attributes to the fairy on the moonlight

The Migration of Birds.

Captain Brown, quoting from "Selby's Ornithology", gives an interesting
account of the way in which our native birds are reinforced from other
countries.--"On the 24th and 25th of October, 1822," says Mr. Selby,
"after a very severe gale, with thick fog, from the North East, (but
veering, towards its conclusion, to the east and south of east,)
thousands of these birds were seen to arrive upon the sea-shore and
sand-banks of the Northumbrian coast; many of them so fatigued by the
length of their flight, or perhaps by the unfavourable shift of wind, as
to be unable to rise again from the ground, and great numbers were in
consequence caught or destroyed. This flight must have been immensely
numerous, as its extent was traced through the whole length of the
coasts of Northumberland and Durham. There appears little doubt of this
having been a migration from the more northern provinces of Europe
(probably furnished by the pine forests of Norway, Sweden, &c.), from
the circumstance of its arrival being simultaneous with that of large
flights of the woodcock, fieldfare, and redwing. Although I had never
before witnessed the actual arrival of the gold-crested regulus, I had
long felt convinced, from the great and sudden increase of the species,
during the autumnal and hyemal months that our indigenous birds must be
augmented by a body of strangers making these shores their winter's
resort.--A more extraordinary circumstance in the economy of this bird
took place during the same winter, _viz._, the total disappearance of
the whole, _natives_ as well as strangers, throughout Scotland and the
north of England. This happened towards the conclusion of the month of
January 1823, and a few days previous to the long-continued snow-storm
so severely felt throughout the northern counties of England, and along
the eastern parts of Scotland. The range and point of this migration are
unascertained, but it must probably have been a distant one, from the
fact of not a single pair having returned to breed, or pass the
succeeding summer, in the situations they had been known always to
frequent. Nor was one of the species to be seen till the following
October, or about the usual time, as I have above stated, for our
receiving an annual accession of strangers to our own indigenous birds."

The Willow Wren.

The Willow Wren is a summer visitor to the British Isles. He arrives
about the end of March and leaves in the month of September. He is an
active little bird, an expert fly-catcher and an agreeable singer. His
coat is of a greenish yellow-brown, his waistcoat is white tinged with

The Common Wren.

The Common Wren is indigenous to Great Britain. It builds its nest under
the shelter of thatched eaves, in out-of-the-way and unusual places. It
is a plain homely looking little bird of a pale chestnut brown colour.
Captain Brown gives the following interesting description of a wren's
music lesson.

A Wren's Music Lesson.

"A pair of wrens," says Captain Brown, "built their nest in a box, so
situated that the family on the grounds had an opportunity of observing
the mother's care in instructing her young ones to sing. She seated
herself on one side of the opening of the box, facing her young, and
commenced by singing over all her notes very slowly and distinctly. One
of the little ones then attempted to imitate her. After chirping rather
inharmoniously a few notes, its pipe failed, and it went off the tune.
The mother immediately took up the tune where the young one had failed,
and distinctly finished the remaining part. The young one made a second
attempt, commencing where it had left off, and continuing for a few
notes with tolerable distinctness, when it again lost the notes; the
mother began again where it ceased, and went through with the air. The
young one again resumed the tune and completed it. When this was done,
the mother again sung over the whole of her song with great precision;
and then another of the young attempted to follow it, who likewise was
incapable of going through with the tune, but the parent treated it as
she had done the first bird; and so on with the third and fourth. It
sometimes happened that the little one would lose the tune, even three
or four times in making the attempt; in which case the mother uniformly
commenced where it had ceased, and always sung to the end of the tune;
and when each had completed the trial, she always sung over the whole
song. Sometimes two of them commenced the strain together, in which case
she pursued the same conduct towards them, as she had done when one
sung. This was repeated at intervals every day, while they remained in
their nest."

The House Wren.

The American House Wren is described by Audubon as a cheery familiar
little bird, resembling the common wren in many of his habits, if not
indeed identical with it.

Wilson says, "in the month of June a mower hung up his coat, under a
shed, near the barn, and two or three days elapsed before he had
occasion to put it on again, when thrusting his arm up the sleeve, he
found it completely filled with some rubbish, as he called it, and on
extracting the whole mass, found it to be the nest of a wren completely
finished, and lined with a large quantity of feathers. In his retreat,
he was followed by the forlorn little proprietors, who scolded him with
great vehemence for thus ruining the whole economy of their household
affairs." Wilson also tells a very pretty story of a pair of wrens who
built their nest upon a window sill, one of whom, the female, venturing
to enter the room was devoured by a cat. The male bird showed much
uneasiness when he missed his mate, but after a time disappeared for two
days, returning with a new wife, and with her help removing the two eggs
left by her predecessor to a new nest in a more secure position.

The Nightingale.

The Nightingale and the Sky-Lark, may perhaps be said to divide honours
in the sphere of feathered song. Both have entranced innumerable
auditors and both have won noble tributes from poets' pens. Both,
moreover, are plain birds. The nightingale is of a tawny colour on the
head and back, and of a greyish white on the throat and under parts. It
has a full large eye of great brightness. It is one of the largest of
the song birds, measuring seven inches in length. The nightingale is
found in Yorkshire but not in Lancashire, also in Surrey, Sussex, Kent,
Dorsetshire, Somersetshire and East Devonshire, but not in Cornwall. It
belongs to France, Germany, Poland, Italy, and Palestine.

The Nightingale's Song.

"The Nightingale's song," says the author of "Tales of Animals," "unites
strength and sweetness, in a most wonderful degree, as its notes may be
heard on a calm evening at the distance of half a mile. The most
consummate musician might listen with delight to its song, whatever
might be his peculiar taste, as it can at one moment thrill the heart
with joy and at another melt it to sober sadness, by the laughing and
sighing modulations which follow each other in rapid succession through
the melody, which is seldom interrupted by a pause. As if conscious of
its unrivalled powers, it does not join the sometimes discordant concert
of the other songsters, but waits on some solitary twig till the
blackbird and thrush have uttered their evening call, till the stock and
ring doves have lulled each other to rest, and then it displays at full
its melodious fancies." The following is an attempt made by a well-known
naturalist to reduce the song to writing:

"Tiuu tiuu tiuu tiuu--Spe tiuu zqua--Tiō tiō tiō tio tio tio tio
tix--Qutio qutio qutio qutio--Zquo zquo zquo zquo--Tzü tzü tzü tzü tzü
tzü tzü tzü tzü tzi--Quorror tin zqua
pipiquisi--Zozozozozozozozozozozozo zirrhading!" &c. &c.

Quaint old Izaac Walton says: "But the nightingale, another of my airy
creatures, breathes such sweet, loud music out of her instrumental
throat, that it might make mankind to think that miracles are not
ceased. He that at midnight, when the very labourer sleeps securely,
should hear, as I have very often, the clear airs, the sweet descents,
the natural rising and falling, the doubling and redoubling of her
voice, might well be lifted above earth, and say, '_Lord, what music
hast thou provided for the saints in Heaven, when thou affordest bad men
such music on earth!_'"

The Robin Redbreast.

The Robin Redbreast is a prime favourite in English cottage homes. Its
appearance on the window sill at the approach of winter is an
irresistible appeal to human sympathy and seldom fails of a hearty
response. Captain Brown mentions a robin which, during a severe storm,
came to the window of the room where his father sat, upon which his
father opened the window, to give it some crumbs. "Instead of flying
away, the robin hopped into the room, and picked the crumbs from the
floor. His father, being very fond of animals, took great pleasure in
taming this bird, and so completely succeeded, that it would pick small
pieces of raw flesh and worms from his hand, sat on the table at which
he wrote, and, when the day was very cold, perched upon the fender. When
a stranger entered, it flew to the top of a door, where it perched every
night. The window was frequently opened to admit air, but the robin
never offered to go away. As the spring advanced, and the weather became
fine, it flew away every morning, and returned every evening, till the
time of incubation arrived, and it then flew away altogether. At the
next fall of the year it again asked for admittance, and behaved exactly
in the same manner as before. It did this a third time, but when it flew
away the ensuing spring, it was never seen again." Robins have been
known to build their nests in queer places. Mrs. Bowdich tells of one
which attached its nest to the Bible of the parish church of Hampton,
Warwickshire, and of others which built theirs on the reading desk of a
church in Wiltshire and deposited six eggs in it.

The Intelligence of the Robin.

The Robin is an intelligent little bird and some pretty stories are told
of its sagacity. Mrs. Bowdich mentions a gardener who was in the service
of a friend of hers, who having made a pet of a robin, was one day much
struck with the uneasiness of his little friend, and concluding that he
wanted assistance followed him to his nest, which occupied a flower pot,
when he discovered that a snake had coiled itself round the little home.
Happily the gardener was in time to save the birds though at the snake's
expense. In "The Gardener's Chronicle" there is a story, quoted by Mrs.
Bowdich, of a robin which having been caught young and kept with a
nightingale, learned the nightingale's song so perfectly as to be
indistinguishable in performance.

The Titmouse.

There are several varieties of the Titmouse; the Blue Titmouse, the
Great Titmouse, and the Long-tailed Titmouse are some of these. The Blue
Titmouse, sometimes called a Tomtit, is a plucky little bird and resists
capture with such vigour that according to the Rev. J. G. Wood it has
become known to rustic boys by the name of "Billybiter." "The angry hiss
of the female," says Mr. Wood, "has frequently caused an intruding hand
to be rapidly withdrawn, for the sound is so exceedingly like the hiss
of an irritated snake, and the little beak is so sharp, that few have
the courage to proceed with their investigations. A pair of these birds
built their nest in the coping of the Great Western Railway, at the
Shrivenham station, not two feet from the fiery and noisy engines, which
were constantly passing. The men respected the courage of the little
birds, and the whole brood was hatched, and suffered to fly at liberty."

The Great Titmouse is found in various parts of Europe. According to
Mrs. Bowdich it is sufficiently pliable to roll itself up in a ball, and
is strong enough to crack a hazel nut. She says, "It will plant itself
at the door of a hive, and tap loudly on the edge; which signal is
answered by a sentinel bee who is immediately snapped up, taken to the
bough of a tree where he is beaten to death, and then loses his head and
thorax; the rest of him being unworthy of the appetite of his captor."
The Long-tailed Titmouse is famous for the beauty, security and warmth
of its nest.

The Golden Oriole.

The Golden Oriole deserves mention if only for its beautiful name; it
has, however, other claims to attention. It is found in Europe and
Australia and visits England occasionally during the summer, but is not
found in America. The male is a very handsome bird of a golden yellow
colour, with wings and tail of black, the feathers of the latter ending
in yellow. It lives on fruit and berries, and, failing these, insects,
and inhabits thickets and wooded spots adjacent to orchards, upon which
it commits serious depredations.

The Shrike.

There are several species of Shrikes, the Thick-headed Shrike, the Great
Shrike, and the Red-backed Shrike being among these. The Great Shrike
belongs to both Europe and America. In appearance it resembles the
Mocking Bird for which it is sometimes mistaken. It preys upon mice,
frogs, birds, grasshoppers and large insects, killing and then impaling
them upon thorns until such time as it chooses to eat them. Its rapacity
has earned for it the name of "the Butcher Bird." According to Mr. Bell
these birds are kept tame in the houses in Russia. One in his possession
was furnished with a sharply pointed stick for a perch, on the end of
which it spitted any bird or animal it caught. The Shrike believes in a
well filled larder, and does not proceed to eat his game until he has a
good stock. He is also known as the "Nine-killer" in America, from his
supposed preference for spitting that number at a forage.

The Jay.

We now come to the family of the Corvidæ, the crow family, which
includes the Jays, the Magpies and the Choughs. The Common Jay is
indigenous in England where it secludes itself in woody fastnesses,
rarely exposing itself in open country. It is a handsome bird about
thirteen inches long, with beautiful blue markings on its wings, but is
so shy that it is difficult to get a sight of it when at liberty. Taken
young it may be easily tamed, when it becomes an amusing, if mischievous
pet. It has considerable powers of mimicry and can imitate the common
sounds it hears with wonderful exactness. The bleat of the lamb, the mew
of the cat, the neigh of the horse and the cries of other birds give
exercise to this faculty, and Bewick says: "We have heard one imitate
the sound made by the action of a saw, so exactly, that though it was on
a Sunday, we could hardly be persuaded that the person who kept it had
not a carpenter at work in the house." Like many other birds it becomes
bold in the care and protection of its young. Knapp in his "Journals of
a Naturalist" says:

"This bird is always extremely timid, when its own interest or safety is
solely concerned; but no sooner does its hungry brood clamour for
supply, than it loses all its wary character, and becomes a bold and
impudent thief. At this period it will visit our gardens, which it
rarely approaches at other times, plunder them of every raspberry,
cherry, or bean, that it can obtain, and will not cease from rapine as
long as any of the brood or the crop remains. We see all the nestlings
approach, and, settling near some meditated scene of plunder, quietly
await a summons to commence. A parent bird from some tree, surveys the
ground, then descends upon the cherry, or into the rows, immediately
announces a discovery, by a low but particular call, and all the family
flock into the banquet, which having finished by repeated visits, the
old birds return to the woods, with all their chattering children, and
become the same wild, cautious creatures they were before."

The Blue Jay.

Wilson gives the following description of the Blue Jay: "This elegant
bird, peculiar to North America, is distinguished as a kind of beau
among the feathered tenants of the woods, by the brilliancy of his
dress; and like most other coxcombs, makes himself still more
conspicuous by his loquacity, and the oddness of his tones and gestures.
Of all birds he is the most bitter enemy to the owl. No sooner has he
discovered the retreat of one of these, than he calls the whole
feathered fraternity to his assistance, who surround the glimmering
recluse, and attack him from all sides, raising such a shout as may be
heard on a still day more than half a mile off. The owl at length,
forced to betake himself to flight, is followed by his whole train of
persecutors, until driven beyond the boundaries of their jurisdiction.
But the blue jay himself is not guiltless of similar depredations as the
owl and becomes in his turn the very tyrant he detested, and he is
sometimes attacked with such spirit as to be under the necessity of
making a speedy retreat. The blue jay is not only bold and vociferous,
but possesses a considerable talent for mimicry, and seems to enjoy
great satisfaction in mocking and teasing other birds, particularly the
little hawk, imitating his cry whenever he sees him, and squeaking out
as if caught; this soon brings a number of his own tribe around him, who
all join in the frolic, darting about the hawk, and feigning the cries
of a bird sorely wounded, and already in the clutches of its devourer;
while others lie concealed in bushes, ready to second their associates
in the attack. But this ludicrous farce often terminates tragically. The
hawk, singling out one of the most insolent and provoking, swoops upon
him in an unguarded moment, and offers him up a sacrifice to his hunger
and resentment. In an instant the tune is changed, all their buffoonery
vanishes, and loud and incessant screams proclaim their disaster.
Whenever the jay has had the advantage of education from man, he has not
only shown himself an apt scholar, but his suavity of manners seems
equalled only by his art and contrivances, though it must be confessed
that his itch for thieving keeps pace with all his other acquirements."

The Magpie.

The Magpie is an ancient bird and is mentioned by Plutarch and other
early writers. It is indigenous in England and shows great industry and
ingenuity in the construction of its nest, which it lines with mud
plaster and covers with thorns, building upon high trees and in secluded
spots. It feeds upon both animal and vegetable food, attacking birds,
young ducks and chickens, as well as mice and even rats, and regaling
itself on both fruit and grain. It attains to a length of about eighteen
inches and is a handsome bird, though captivity does not improve its

The Magpie's Mischief.

The mischievous habits of the magpie have won for it the name of "the
Monkey of the Birds," the Raven as Mr. Wood puts it being "the
ornithological baboon." Its mischief is displayed in many ways; in the
wanton destruction of articles and in their crafty secretion, as well as
in the thievish appropriation of edible dainties. Mr. Wood tells of a
Wiltshire magpie which "found a malicious enjoyment in pecking the
unprotected ankles of little boys not yet arrived at manly habiliments,
and was such a terror to the female servants that they were forced to
pass his lurking-place armed with a broom. One of the servants having
neglected this precaution, was actually found sitting down on the stones
to protect her ankles, the magpie triumphantly pacing round her, until
aid was brought, and the bird driven away." Mrs. Bowdich quotes the
following from Mr. Ranson: "A magpie, kept by a branch of our family,
was noted for his powers of imitation. He could whistle tunes, imitate
hens and ducks, and speak very plainly. Seated upon a toll-bar gate, he
would shout 'Gate, ahoy!' so distinctly, as to draw out the keeper, who
was generally saluted by a loud laugh when he answered the call. When
the keeper's wife was making pastry, he would practise the same
manœuvre, and if the trick were not detected, and the woman rushed out
to open the gate, the magpie darted into the house, and speedily made
his exit with his bill full of paste; and he, in great glee, would
chatter about it for some time afterwards. He would perch upon the backs
of chairs, say he was hungry, or inform the juniors of the family it was
time to go to school. He was allowed to run about, but was never out of
mischief, and had a constant propensity to pilfer and hide small
articles." Of the serious consequences sometimes attending this habit of
secreting things, the following story from Lady Morgan's "Italy" is a
painful illustration.--"A noble lady of Florence, resided in a house
which stands still opposite the lofty Doric column which was raised to
commemorate the defeat of Pietro Strozzi, and the taking of Sienna, by
the tyrannic conqueror of both. Cosmo, the First, lost a valuable pearl
necklace, and one of her waiting-women, (a very young girl) was accused
of the theft. Having solemnly denied the fact, she was put to the
torture, which was then _a plaisir_ at Florence. Unable to support its
terrible infliction, she acknowledged that 'she was guilty,' and,
without further trial, was hung. Shortly after, Florence was visited by
a tremendous storm; a thunder-bolt fell on the figure of Justice, and
split the scales, one of which fell to the earth, and with it fell the
ruins of a magpie's nest, containing the pearl necklace. Those scales
are still the haunts of birds, and I never saw them hovering round them,
without thinking of those 'good old times,' when innocent women could be
first tortured, and then hung on suspicion."

The Raven.

The Raven is a large bird, indeed the largest of the British crows,
attaining to a length of two feet two inches, and having a stretch of
wing of four feet eight inches, in width. It is an historic bird, being
mentioned by Pliny who records that a tame one kept in the Temple of
Castor, was taught by a tailor whom it used to visit, to pronounce the
name of the Emperor Tiberius and of the other members of the Royal
family. The fame of the bird brought the tailor riches, but excited the
jealousy of his neighbours, one of whom killed the bird. The record
states that the offender was punished and the bird accorded a
magnificent funeral. The Raven builds its nest in high trees and among
inaccessible and precipitous rocks, especially in the Hebrides, and
lives on carrion, not disdaining fruit and grain. Like many other birds
who afterwards show little concern for their young the Raven is
assiduous in its attentions during the period of incubation. The
following is from White's "Natural History of Selborne":

"In the centre of a grove near Selborne, there stood an oak, which
though shapely and tall on the whole, bulged out into a large
excrescence near the middle of the stem. On the tree a pair of ravens
had fixed their residence for such a series of years, that the oak was
distinguished by the name of the 'raven tree,' Many were the attempts
of the neighbouring youths to get at this eyrie; the difficulty whetted
their inclinations, and each was ambitious of surmounting the arduous
task; but, when they arrived at the swelling, it jutted out so much in
their way, and was so far beyond their grasp, that the boldest lads were
deterred, and acknowledged the undertaking to be too hazardous. Thus the
ravens continued to build nest after nest, in perfect security, till the
fatal day arrived on which the wood was to be levelled. This was in the
month of February, when these birds usually sit. The saw was applied to
the trunk, the wedges were inserted in the opening, the woods echoed to
the heavy blows of the beetle or mallet, the tree nodded to its fall;
but the dam persisted to sit. At last, when it gave way, the bird was
flung from her nest; and though her maternal affection deserved a better
fate, was whipped down by the twigs, which brought her dead to the
ground." Ravens are said to pair for life and to live for a hundred

Unnatural Parents.

Though models of conjugal fidelity, Ravens are said to be very unnatural
parents, often showing not only indifference but cruelty to their young.
Mr. Morris in his "Anecdotes of Natural History" tells an interesting
story of a family of ravens whose mother came to an untimely death. "For
a time the surviving parent hovered about the nest, uttering loud and
menacing croakings whenever anybody approached. At length, however, he
disappeared, and absented himself for two or three days, and then
returned with another mate, when a strange scene occurred. The poor
half-starved nestlings were attacked without mercy by the step-mother,
who, after severely wounding, precipitated them from the nest; two,
however, were found at the foot of the tree with signs of life, and with
great care and attention reared at the rectory, about half a mile
distant, and after being slightly pinioned, were allowed their liberty;
but they seldom quitted the lawn or offices, roosting in a tree in the
shrubbery. Here, however, they were soon discovered by their unnatural
parents, who for a long time used to come at early dawn and pounce upon
them with fierce cries." In this case it was the step-mother and not the
mother that treated the young ravens so unkindly, and the father may be
charitably credited with acting under the influence of his second wife.
That the Raven drives its young out of its nest as soon as they are able
to provide for themselves is true, but why they should pursue them after
they have become independent is not clear. This habit of the ravens, as
Mr. Morris points out, may be referred to in the following quotations:
"He giveth to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry"
(Psalm CXLVII. 9). "Who provideth for the raven his food? when his young
ones cry unto God, they wander for lack of meat" (Job XXXVIII. 41).

The Tame Raven.

The Raven may be easily tamed, and in private life is always an
amusement, if sometimes an annoyance. Like all birds which are capable
of imitating sounds and which learn words and phrases it will often
"speak its lines," with startling appropriateness as to time and place.
Captain Brown tells a good story of a Raven which belonged to a
gentleman who resided on the borders of the New Forest in Hampshire. On
one occasion a traveller who was passing through the forest was startled
by the frequent repetition of the words: "Fair play, gentlemen! fair
play! for God's sake, gentlemen, fair play!" and upon tracing the source
of the sound discovered the tame raven defending himself from the
attacks of two of his own species. It is needless to say that the
traveller rescued the "gentleman" from the two "ruffians" who molested
him. Captain Brown also tells of a tame raven who was an expert
rat-catcher and whose method was to place a meat bone in front of a rat
hole and to stand on a ledge above the hole, pouncing on the rat as soon
as he emerged from his retreat. In this way he captured as many as six
in a fore-noon.

The Raven and the Dog.

Dr. Stanley tells the following story of a Raven and a Dog: "A strong
attachment was once formed between a raven and a large otter-dog. The
raven had been taken when young, and reared in a stable-yard, where the
dog was kept chained up. A friendship soon commenced, which, increasing
from little to more, in time ripened into a most extraordinary degree of
intimacy. At first the bird was satisfied with hopping about in the
vicinity of the kennel, and occasionally pecking a hasty morsel from the
dog's feeding-pan when the latter had finished his meal. Finding,
however, no interruption on the part of his friend, the raven soon
became a constant attendant at meal times, and, taking up his position
on the edge of the dish, acted the part of a regular guest and partaker
of the dog's dinner, which consisted usually of meal and milk, with
occasional scraps of offal meat, a piece of which the bird would often
snatch up, almost from the very mouth of the dog, and hasten beyond the
reach of his chain, as if to tantalise his four-footed friend; and then
hopping towards him, would play about, and hang it close to his nose;
and then as speedily, at the moment the dog was preparing to snap it up,
would dart off beyond the reach of the chain. At other times he would
hide the piece of meat under a stone, and then coming back, with a
cunning look, would perch upon the dog's head. It was observed, however,
that he always ended his pranks by either sharing or giving up the whole
piece to his friend the dog. By some accident the raven had fallen into
a tub of water, and, either weakened by struggling, or unable to get out
owing to its feathers being soaked with water, it was nearly drowned.
The dog (whether the same dog or another does not appear), chained at a
short distance, saw the poor bird's danger, and dragging his heavy
kennel towards it, reached his head over the side of the tub, and
taking the drowning raven up in his mouth, laid him gently on the
ground, when he soon recovered."

The Rook.

The Rook which is often confused with the Carrion Crow is found in many
parts of Europe and is abundant in England, where it is common to see
groups of trees near gentlemen's houses given up to their occupancy.
Here they build their nests, rear their young, keep up an incessant
cawing, quarrel and make peace as do all other large communities. If a
new-comer appears among them, he is generally received in a very rough
manner. At Newcastle, a pair of rooks attempted to introduce themselves
into a rookery, but were so rudely treated, that, in high dudgeon, they
ascended to the steeple of one of the public buildings, and built their
nest on the vane. Here they lived for several successive seasons,
turning about with every change of wind, and regardless of the busy
scene in the town beneath. The rook is gregarious, in which particular
it differs from the Carrion Crow which lives in pairs. Further
differences are found in the feathering of the head and neck of these
birds, that of the crow being much more completely covered than that of
the rook. The croak of the crow is, moreover, much harsher than the caw
of the rook. Like most, if not all other birds and animals, the rook
serves a useful purpose in nature, in checking the multiplication of the
worms and insects which prey upon the crops; and doubtless were he able
to argue the question he would contend that helping the farmer to
produce his harvest he has a right to a share in it. It is only when the
rook in his turn gets too numerous that he needs a similar check.

The Carrion Crow.

The Carrion Crow resembles the raven in appearance, but is about one
third smaller in size. It lives in pairs and is said to be a model of
conjugal fidelity and parental care. Omnivorous in habit it appropriates
all kinds of food: insects, grain, eggs, fruit, nuts, mice, ducklings
and chickens, as well as such dead meat as may offer opportunitty.
Captain Brown quoting from a Scotch newspaper tells of a crow which made
an attempt to carry off one of a brood of fourteen chickens, but which
on being disturbed, dropped its prey and made its escape, returning some
time after with thirteen other crows and carrying off the whole brood.

The Jackdaw.

The Jackdaw, measures about fourteen inches, and is thus the smallest of
the birds of its kind. It builds in old ruins, church towers, and rocky
eminences, in which particular it differs from the rooks and the crows,
who select the topmost branches of trees for this purpose. Like its near
relatives with whom we have been dealing, it is thievish and secretive
in its habits, showing a preference, in its appropriations, for bright
objects such as silver spoons and gold rings. These habits and their
terrible consequences have been immortalized by the history and fate of
the "Jackdaw of Rheims."

The Chough.

The Chough frequents the western sea coasts of England, the north,
south, and west of Ireland and the Isle of Man, and the borders of the
snow line or Alpine ranges on the continent of Europe. It nests in the
cavities of high cliffs and attains a length of seventeen inches; its
beak and legs are of a brilliant red. When tamed it shows the same
qualities of curiosity and secretiveness which characterise the other
birds of its kind.

The Bird of Paradise.

The Bird of Paradise is one of the most beautiful of living birds. Mr.
Wallace thus describes the _Paradisea apoda_ which is the largest
species known: "The body, wings, and tail are of a rich coffee brown,
which deepens on the breast to a blackish-violet or purple brown. The
whole top of the head and neck is of an exceedingly delicate
straw-yellow, the feathers being short and close set, so as to resemble
plush or velvet; the lower part of the throat up to the eye is clothed
with scaly feathers of an emerald green colour, and with a rich metallic
gloss, and velvety plumes of a still deeper green, extend in a band
across the forehead and chin as far as the eye, which is bright yellow.
The beak is pale lead blue, and the feet which are rather large and very
strong and well formed, are a pale ashy pink. The two middle feathers of
the tail have no webs, except a very small one at the base and at the
extreme tip, forming wire-like cirri, which spread out in an elegant
double curve, and vary from twenty-four to thirty-four inches long. From
each side of the body beneath the wings, springs a dense tuft of long
and delicate plumes, sometimes two feet in length, of the most intense
golden orange colour, and very glossy, but changing towards the tips
into a pale brown. This tuft of plumage can be elevated and spread out
at pleasure so as almost to conceal the body of the bird. These splendid
ornaments are entirely confined to the male sex; the female is a very
plain and ordinary looking bird. The male is generally seventeen or
eighteen inches from the beak to the tip of the tail."

Hunting the Bird of Paradise.

In catching the Bird of Paradise, the natives take advantage of the
apparent vanity of their victims. "In May when they are in full
plumage," says Mr. Wallace, "the males assemble early in the morning to
exhibit themselves in a most singular manner. This habit enables the
natives to obtain specimens with comparative ease. As soon as they find
that the birds have fixed upon a tree upon which to assemble, they build
a little shelter of palm leaves in a convenient place among the
branches, and the hunter ensconces himself in it before daylight, armed
with his bow and a number of arrows terminating in a round nob. A boy
waits at the foot of the tree, and when the birds come at sunrise, and a
sufficient number have assembled, and have begun to dance, the hunter
shoots with his blunt arrow so strongly as to stun the bird, which drops
down, and is secured and killed by the boy, without its plumage being
injured by a drop of blood. The rest take no notice, and fall one after
another till some of them take the alarm." The Bird of Paradise is
found in New Guinea and the Papuan Islands.

The Tanagers.

Following Mr. Wallace's order we come now to the second class of the
perching birds, the Tanagroid perchers, with the more important species
of which we will now proceed to deal.

The Tanager.

Tanagers are found in America and the West Indian Islands. Wilson, the
American ornithologist, describing the scarlet Tanager, says: "Among all
other birds that inhabit our woods, there is none that strikes the eye
of the stranger or even a native with so much brilliancy as this. Seen
among the green leaves, with the light falling strongly on his plumage,
he really appears beautiful. If he has little melody in his notes to
charm us, he has nothing in them to disgust. His manners are modest,
easy and inoffensive; he commits no depredations on the property of the
husbandman, but rather benefits him by the daily destruction in spring
of many noxious insects; and when winter approaches he is no plundering
dependant, but seeks in a distant country for that sustenance which the
severity of the season denies to his industry in this. He is a striking
ornament to our rural scenery and none of the meanest of our rural
songsters." Its body is scarlet and its wings and tail are black. One
species of the Tanager is known as the Organist Tanager from the
richness of its tones.

The Swallow.

Though only a summer friend the swallow is among the most popular of
birds in England. It arrives in April and is always sure of a hearty
welcome, and when it leaves in September for its long journey across the
sea no one would withhold from it a "God speed". The swallow builds
under the eaves of houses, always selecting dry and sheltered spots. Its
flight is very rapid, and is a pretty sight to watch as it skims over
the surface of the water, sometimes striking it with its wings as it
darts hither and thither, snapping at the flies and insects which come
within its reach. The marvellous flights of these birds when they
migrate are among the many wonderful things of nature. Humboldt states
that he saw a swallow alight on the rigging of his vessel when it was
one hundred and twenty miles from land. How such tiny creatures can
sustain such extended flights it is difficult to understand.

Swallows in Council.

Swallows seem to understand the principle of co-operation and what the
family is unable to do for itself the community seems always ready to
undertake for it. Captain Brown tells of a pair of swallows who
returning to their last year's nest found it occupied by a robust
English sparrow. The sparrow declined to give up the nest and the
swallows were not strong enough to eject it, whereupon a council was
called, as a result of which a large army of swallows proceeded to close
up the entrance to the nest with clay, "leaving the sparrow to perish in
the garrison it had so gallantly defended." This happened at
Strathendry, Bleachfield, in Fifeshire, on the banks of the Leven, and
was witnessed by Mr. Gavan Inglis. But not only do the swallows
co-operate for the purposes of war; Mr. Inglis was a witness of another
effort of combination. It happened that a pair of swallows had built a
nest in the corner of one of his windows, in which they had hatched five
offspring. The parent birds fell victims to a sportsman's gun and Mr.
Inglis contemplated an attempt to rear the family himself. This,
however, proved unnecessary. In a very short time a number of swallows
came and inspected the bereaved dwelling, apparently noting the
condition of the house as well as the brood. A supply of food was
immediately brought, and the next morning the kindly offices were
renewed and thenceforward continued until the young were able to provide
for themselves. Remarkable as these incidents are they are not singular,
for both have been known to occur more than once.

The House Martin.

The House Martin is characterized by a white spot above his tail which
adds to the prettiness of his appearance in flight. The summer
residence of this agreeable bird is universally among the habitations of
man, who, having no interest in its destruction, and deriving
considerable advantage as well as amusement from its company, is
generally its friend and protector.

The Martin inhabits America as well as Europe, and is a particular
favourite wherever it takes up his abode. "I never knew but one man,"
says Wilson, "who disliked the Martins, and would not permit them to
settle about his house: this was a penurious, close-fisted German, who
hated them, because, as he said, 'they eat his _peas_.' I told him he
certainly must be mistaken, as I never knew an instance of Martins
eating peas; but he replied with coolness, 'that he had many times seen
them himself _blaying_ near the hive, and going _schnip schnap_,' by
which I understood that it was his bees that were the sufferers; and the
charge could not be denied."

The Sand Martin.

The Sand Martin is the smallest of the British swallows and it is the
first to arrive. It bores horizontal holes two or three feet deep into
the sides of sand-pits, at the end of which it builds its nest of grass
and feathers.

The Chaffinch. The Goldfinch. The Greenfinch.

The Finches are beautiful and interesting birds. The Chaffinch is famous
for the vivacity of its song and the beauty of its nest. "The forks of a
thorn, or wild crab tree," says Mr. Wood, "are favourite places for the
nest, which is composed of mosses, hair, wool and feathers, covered on
the exterior with lichens and mosses so exactly resembling the bough on
which the nest is placed that the eye is often deceived by its
appearance." The Goldfinch is a favourite pet, and is capable of being
trained to perform tricks. It has been called the Thistlefinch from its
use of the down of the thistle in the construction of its nest. It is
bright of appearance, cheery of song, and affectionate of disposition.
The Greenfinch has a coat of rich olive green, and a waistcoat of

The Linnet.

The Linnet is a homely looking little brown bird with a sweet melodious
voice. It frequents commons and waste lands, where it builds its nest
under the cover of friendly furze bushes, or nearer the habitations of
man, in thick-set hedges. The Linnet is the natural laureate of the
English cottage home.

The Canary.

The Canary, as its name implies, comes from the Canary Islands, but it
has been so crossed in breeding that it differs very considerably from
its original ancestors. Buffon says:--"If the nightingale is the
chauntress of the woods, the canary is the musician of the chamber; the
first owes all to nature, the second something to art. With less
strength of organ, less compass of voice, and less variety of note, the
canary has a better ear, greater facility of imitation, and a more
retentive memory; and as the difference of genius, especially among the
lower animals, depends in a great measure on the perfection of their
senses, the canary, whose organ of hearing is more susceptible of
receiving foreign impressions, becomes more social, tame, and familiar;
is capable of gratitude and even attachment; its caresses are endearing,
its little humours innocent, and its anger neither hurts nor offends.
Its education is easy; we hear it with pleasure, because we are able to
instruct it. It leaves the melody of its own natural note, to listen to
the melody of our voices and instruments. It applauds, it accompanies
us, and repays the pleasure it receives with interest; while the
nightingale, more proud of its talent, seems desirous of preserving it
in all its purity, at least it appears to attach very little value to
ours and it is with great difficulty it can be taught any of our airs.
The canary can speak and whistle; the nightingale despises our words, as
well as our airs, and never fails to return to its own wild-wood notes.
Its pipe is a masterpiece of nature, which human art can neither alter
nor improve; while that of the canary is a model of more pliant
materials, which we can mould at pleasure; and therefore it contributes
in a much greater degree to the comforts of society. It sings at all
seasons, cheers us in the dullest weather, and adds to our happiness, by
amusing the young, and delighting the recluse, charming the tediousness
of the cloister, and gladdening the soul of the innocent and captive."

The Tame Canary.

The canary is easily tamed, and has been taught to perform many little
tricks, indeed groups of them have been trained to act little plays,
firing cannons and driving coaches. The canary shows a humane
disposition, has been known to foster the young of other birds, to make
friends with other pets, even cats; to show great affection for its
master and to die of grief on the loss of its mate. Dr. Darwin tells of
"a canary bird which always fainted away when its cage was cleaned.
Having desired to see the experiment," says Dr. Darwin, "the cage was
taken from the ceiling, and the bottom drawn out. The bird began to
tremble, and turned quite white about the root of the bill; he then
opened his mouth as if for breath, and respired quickly; stood up
straighter on his perch, hung his wing, spread his tail, closed his
eyes, and appeared quite stiff for half an hour, till at length, with
trembling and deep respirations, he came gradually to himself."

The Crossbill.

The Crossbill must be mentioned for the sake of the peculiarity
indicated by its name. The points of the beak instead of being straight
and meeting in a common point, "curve to the right and left and always
in opposite directions." They therefore cross each other and present a
unique appearance. It is found in the North of Europe, and in the great
pine forests of Germany.

The Bunting.

There are several kinds of Bunting; the English Bunting common to
wayside hedges, and familiar from its habit of flitting in front of the
traveller, and the Snow Bunting of the northern regions, which turns
white on the approach of snow.

The Starlings.

We come now to the third division of the _Passeres_ or perching birds,
to which Mr. Wallace attaches the name of the starlings. "The starlings
or _Sturnidæ_," says Dr. Percival Wright, "are a well marked old-world
group. No species of the family are found in Australia."

The Common Starling.

The Common Starling is a bird of passage, arriving in England about the
beginning of March and leaving some time in October. Knapp says:--"There
is something singularly curious and mysterious in the conduct of these
birds previously to their nightly retirement, by the variety and
intricacy of the evolutions they execute at that time. They will form
themselves, perhaps, into a triangle, then shoot into a long,
pear-shaped figure, expand like a sheet, wheel into a ball, as Pliny
observes, each individual striving to get into the centre, etc., with a
promptitude more like parade movements than the actions of birds. As the
breeding season advances, these prodigious flights divide, and finally
separate into pairs, and form their summer settlements." The Starling is
a handsome bird and usually nests in old buildings, though it has a
preference for a dove-cote if it can gain admission. It is a peaceable
bird and for all its military evolutions does not seem to war with other
species. Its domestic character is also good.

The Weaver Bird.

The Weaver birds which are included in this division, are a very
interesting species. They belong to Africa, where they hang their nests
upon trees, those of the sociable weaver birds giving the trees the
appearance of partially thatched wall-less structures. Le Vaillant thus
describes his experience of the sociable weaver bird: he says:--"I
observed, on the way, a tree with an enormous nest of these birds, to
which I have given the appellation of republicans; and as soon as I
arrived at my camp, I dispatched a few men with a wagon to bring it to
me, that I might open the hive and examine its structure in its minutest
parts. When it arrived, I cut it to pieces with a hatchet and saw that
the chief portion of the structure consisted of a mass of Buckmans
grass, without any mixture, but so compactly and firmly basketed
together, as to be impenetrable to the rain. This is the commencement of
the structure; and each bird builds its particular nest under this
canopy, the upper surface remaining void without, however, being
useless; for, as it has a projecting rim and is a little inclined, it
serves to let the rain water run off and preserve each little dwelling
from the rain. Figure to yourself a huge, irregular, sloping roof, all
the eaves of which are completely covered with nests crowded one against
another, and you will have a tolerably accurate idea of these singular
edifices. Each individual nest is three or four inches in diameter,
which is sufficient for the bird. But as they are all in contact with
one another around the eaves, they appear to the eye to form one
building and are distinguishable from each other only by a little
external aperture which serves as an entrance to the nest; and even this
is sometimes common to three different nests, one of which is situated
at the bottom and the other two at the sides." One of these structures
examined by Patterson contained three hundred and twenty inhabited

The Lark.

The skylark is common all over Europe and is an especial favourite in
the British Isles, It builds its nest on the ground among growing corn
or high grass, and shows especial care for its young. Its song is
perhaps the most joyous and inspiriting of those of English birds.
Captain Brown quotes the following interesting particulars of its song
from a communication made by Mr. J. Main to the "Magazine of Natural
History:" "His joyous matins and heavenward flight have been aptly
compared to hymns and acts of adoration and praise. No bird sings with
more method: there is an overture performed _vivace crescendo_, while
the singer ascends; when at the full height, the song becomes
_moderato_, and distinctly divided into short passages, each repeated
three or four times over, like a _fantasia_, in the same key and time.
If there be any wind, he rises perpendicularly by bounds, and afterwards
poises himself with breast opposed to it. If calm, he ascends in spiral
circles; in horizontal circles during the principal part of his song,
and zigzagly downwards during the performance of the _finale_.
Sometimes, after descending about half way, he ceases to sing, and drops
with the velocity of an arrow to the ground. Those acquainted with the
song of the skylark can tell without looking at them whether the birds
be ascending or stationary in the air, or on their descent; so different
is the style of the song in each case. In the first, there is an
expression of ardent impatience; in the second, an _andante_ composure,
in which rests of a bar at a time frequently occur; and in the last, a
graduated sinking of the strains."

The Maternal Instinct of the Lark.

Mrs. Bowdich quoting from "The Naturalist" gives the following pretty
story of the maternal instinct of the Lark:--"The other day, some mowers
shaved off the upper part of the nest of a skylark, without injuring the
female, who was sitting on her young: still she did not fly away; and
the mowers levelled the grass all round her, without her taking any
notice of their proceedings. The son of the owner of the crop witnessed
this, and, about an hour afterwards, went to see if she were safe; when,
to his great surprise, he found that she had actually constructed a dome
of dry grass over the nest during the interval, leaving an aperture on
one side for ingress and egress; thus endeavouring to secure a
continuance of the shelter previously supplied by the long grass."
Buffon tells a remarkable story of the self-sacrifice of a young lark
who took upon itself the duties of a foster mother. He says:--"A young
hen bird was brought to me in the month of May, which was not able to
feed without assistance. I caused her to be educated, and she was hardly
fledged when I received from another place a nest of three or four
unfledged skylarks. She took a strong liking to these new-comers, which
were scarcely younger than herself; she tended them night and day,
cherished them beneath her wings, and fed them with her bill. Nothing
could interrupt her tender offices. If the young ones were torn from
her, she flew to them as soon as she was liberated, and would not think
of effecting her own escape, which she might have done a hundred times.
Her affection grew upon her; she neglected food and drink; she now
required the same support as her adopted offspring, and expired at last
consumed with maternal anxiety. None of the young ones survived her.
They died one after another; so essential were her cares, which were
equally tender and judicious."

The Lark and the Hawk.

The Lark when pursued by the Hawk has been known to seek refuge under
the protection of man, as the following quoted by Captain Brown from
Bell's "Weekly Messenger" will show. "On Wednesday, the 6th of October,
1805, as a gentleman was sitting on the rocks at the end of Collercot's
sands, near Tynemouth, Northumberland, dressing himself after bathing,
he perceived a hawk in the air, in close pursuit of, and nearly within
reach of a lark. To save the little fugitive, he shouted and clapped his
hands, when immediately the lark descended, and alighted on his knee,
nor did it offer to leave him, when taken into the hand, but seemed
confident of that protection, which it found. The hawk sailed about for
some time. The gentleman, after taking the lark nearly to Tynemouth,
restored it to its former liberty."

The Wagtails and Pipits.

The Wagtails, of which family the Pied Wagtail is the most familiar,
derives its name from its habit of wagging its tail. As Mr. Wood says,
"it settles on the ground and wags its tail; it runs a few paces and
wags its tail again; pecks an insect, and again its tail vibrates." It
frequents sandbanks and the margins of rivers where it finds its food.
It is found in England throughout the year, migrating to the southern
counties in the early winter. The Pipits, of which "The Meadow Pipit"
and the Tree Pipit are the best known varieties, are found all over the
British Isles as well as in many parts of Europe.

The Ant-Eaters.

The fourth division of the perching birds designated by Mr. Wallace, the
Ant-Eaters, includes a large number of American varieties, which space
forbids us even to enumerate. One or two must suffice.

The King Bird.

The King Bird or Tyrant Fly-catcher of North America is small, but of a
fearless disposition, attacking hawks, crows, and other larger birds,
and generally having the best of the battle. The upper part of its body
is black and the lower of a delicate white. Its song is a shrill
twittering "resembling the jingling of a bunch of keys." It belongs to
the family of the Tyrant Shrikes or _Tyrannidæ_. It is during the time
of incubation that it shows so much ferocity. Wilson says, "I have seen
the red-headed woodpecker while clinging on a rail of the fence, amuse
himself with the violence of the king bird, and play 'bo-peep' with him
round the rail, while the latter, highly irritated, made every attempt,
as he swept from side to side, to strike him, but in vain. All his
turbulence subsides as soon as his young are able to shift for
themselves, and he is then as mild and peaceable as any other bird."

The Chatterers.

The Chatterers, or _Cotingidæ_ include among them, the Cock of the Rock,
one of the most beautiful of South-American birds. Resembling a pigeon
in size, its head is sufficiently like that of the farm-yard cock to
account for its name, which is also made to indicate the nature of its
haunts. Its coat is a warm saffron yellow and its crest resembles a fan.
Sir Robert Schomburgh says: "While traversing the Kikiritze mountains in
Guiana, we saw a number of that most beautiful bird, the
cock-of-the-rock, or Rock Manakin (_rupicola elegans_), and I had an
opportunity of witnessing an exhibition of some of its very singular
antics, of which I had heard stories from the Indians, but had hitherto
disbelieved them. Hearing the twittering noise so peculiar to the
_Rupicola_, I cautiously stole near, with two of my guides, towards a
spot secluded from the path from four to five feet in diameter, and
which appeared to have been cleared of every blade of grass, and
smoothed as by human hands. There we saw a cock-of-the-rock, capering to
the apparent delight of several others, now spreading its wings,
throwing up its head, or opening its tail like a fan; now strutting
about, and scratching the ground, all accompanied by a hopping gait,
until tired, when it gabbled some kind of note, and another relieved it.
Thus three of them successively took the field, and then with
self-approbation withdrew to rest on one of the low branches near the
scene of action. We had counted ten cocks and two hens of the party,
when the crackling of some wood, on which I had unfortunately placed my
foot, alarmed and dispersed this dancing party." The Bell Bird of
Brazil; the Umbrella Bird of the Amazons, the Broadbills, the Plant
cutters, the Oven bird, and the Ant-Thrushes are all included in this

The Lyre Bird.

The Lyre Bird, which according to the classification we are following,
with the scrub bird, forms the fifth group of the perching birds,
belongs to Australia. The Lyre Bird has been so often depicted in
illustrations that its form is familiar to most people. The tail of the
male bird which is composed of three different kinds of feathers so
beautifully resembles the Lyre that there could be no hesitation in
giving the bird its name. Since its discovery this bird has been so
hunted as to considerably reduce its numbers, and the tail feathers
which at one time could be purchased at a low price, have become rare
and costly.


Climbers and Gapers.

This order includes some widely different species and is made up of
_Scansores_, Climbers and _Fissirostres_, Gapers. A few of the better
known species are all that we can mention.

The Woodpecker.

The green Woodpecker is the variety best known in England, where it
inhabits the woods and feeds upon the insects it finds in the bark of
trees. Audubon writing of the "Ivory-billed" variety says:--"The birds
pay great regard to the particular situation of the tree, and the
inclination of its trunk; first, because they prefer retirement, and
again, because they are anxious to secure the aperture against the
access of water during beating rains. To prevent such a calamity the
hole is generally dug immediately under the junction of a large branch
with the trunk. It is first bored horizontally for a few inches, then
directly downwards, and not in a spiral manner as some people have
imagined. According to circumstances, this cavity is more or less deep,
being sometimes more than ten inches, whilst at other times it reaches
three feet downwards into the core of the tree. The average diameter of
the different nests which I have examined was about seven inches within,
although the entrance, which is perfectly round, is only just large
enough to admit the bird." Wilson declares that during the excavation of
its nest, which occupies several days, the woodpecker will often carry
the chips and strew them at a distance to divert suspicion. Audubon
describing the Red-headed Woodpecker says:--"With the exception of the
mocking bird, I know no species so gay and frolicsome. Their whole life
is one of pleasure."

The Wryneck.

This bird which was known to the Greeks, and described by Aristotle,
forms with its allied species a connecting link between the Woodpecker
and the Cuckoo. It feeds on caterpillars and insects which it catches
with its long sticky tongue, with such rapidity of movement that the eye
cannot follow it.

The Cuckoo.

The Cuckoo is always welcomed in England as the harbinger of Spring. Its
cry is one of the most easily distinguished of bird songs, and is the
nearest approach to a definite musical interval produced by any bird.
The habit of the cuckoo of laying its eggs in the nests of other birds,
has given rise to much speculation, ancient and modern, and now, though
the fact remains, a sufficiently satisfactory reason seems as remote as
ever. The nest of the Hedge-sparrow seems to be the one most often
selected, though that of the wagtail is sometimes chosen. The
consequences to the young of the native bird, are somewhat serious as
the following will show.

The Cuckoo and the Hedge-Sparrow.

Dr. Jenner, the discoverer of vaccination says:--"On the 18th of June,
1787, I examined the nest of a hedge-sparrow (_Accentor modularis_),
which then contained a cuckoo and three hedge-sparrows' eggs. On
inspecting it the day following, the bird had hatched; but the nest then
contained only a young cuckoo and one hedge-sparrow. The nest was placed
so near the extremity of a hedge, that I could distinctly see what was
going forward in it; and, to my great astonishment, I saw the young
cuckoo, though so lately hatched, in the act of turning out the young
hedge-sparrow. The mode of accomplishing this was very curious; the
little animal, with the assistance of its rump and wings, contrived to
get the bird upon its back, and making a lodgment for its burthen by
elevating its elbows, clambered backwards with it up the side of the
nest till it reached the top, where, resting for a moment, it threw off
its load with a jerk, and quite disengaged it from the nest. It remained
in this situation for a short time, feeling about with the extremities
of its wings, as if to be convinced whether the business was properly
executed, and then dropped into the nest again. I afterwards put in an
egg, and this, by a similar process, was conveyed to the edge of the
nest and thrown out. These experiments I have since repeated several
times, in different nests, and have always found the young cuckoo
disposed to act in the same manner. "It sometimes happens that two
cuckoos' eggs are deposited in the same nest, and then the young
produced from one of them must inevitably perish. Two cuckoos and one
hedge-sparrow were hatched in the same nest, and one hedge-sparrow's egg
remained unhatched. In a few hours afterwards a contest began between
the cuckoos for the possession of the nest, which continued undetermined
till the next afternoon, when one of them, which was somewhat superior
in size, turned out the other, together with the young hedge-sparrow and
the unhatched egg. The combatants alternately appeared to have the
advantage, as each carried the other several times to the top of the
nest, and then sunk down again, oppressed by the weight of the burthen;
till at length, after various efforts, the strongest prevailed, and was
afterwards brought up by the hedge-sparrow." Jenner's experiences have
been corroborated by repeated experiments since. Colonel Montague
carried a hedge-sparrow's nest, so inhabited, into his house where he
could watch it at leisure and where he saw the young cuckoo frequently
oust the baby hedge-sparrow in the manner described. The cuckoo feeds on
caterpillars, and insects. It may be tamed, but as a rule does not live
long in confinement. Its note is heard from April to June.

The Cuckoo and the Thrush.

That the cuckoo is scarcely an amiable bird would appear from the
following incident recorded by Dr. Stanley: "A young thrush, just able
to feed itself, was placed in a cage. A short time after, a young
cuckoo, which could not feed itself, was placed in the same cage, and
fed by the owner. At length it was observed that the thrush fed it; the
cuckoo opening its mouth, and sitting on the upper perch, and making the
thrush hop down to fetch its food. One day, while thus expecting its
supply, a worm was put into the cage, and the thrush could not resist
the temptation of eating it, upon which the cuckoo descended, attacked
the thrush with fury, and literally tore out one of its eyes, and then
hopped back. Although so lacerated, the poor thrush meekly took up some
food, and continued to do so till the cuckoo was full grown."

The Trogons.

The Trogons are among the most gorgeous of living birds; the brilliance
of their plumage defying verbal description. Their main colour is "a
metallic golden green, boldly contrasted with scarlet, black, and
brown." "The Resplendent Trogon," says Mr. Wood, "is the most gorgeous
of all this gorgeous family. Its long and gracefully curved tail is
nearly three feet long, and the whole of the upper surface, and the
throat, are a glowing green; the breast and under parts are bright
crimson; the middle feathers of the tail black, and the outer feathers
white." These birds are natives of Mexico.

The Kingfisher.

The Kingfishers are a wide-spread family, being found all over the
world. There are numerous varieties, of which the Common Kingfisher and
the Laughing Kingfisher are all that we can notice. The Common
Kingfisher is indigenous in England where it usually lives on the banks
of rivers and streams, feeding upon fish and insects. It makes burrows
or holes in the banks, where it lays its eggs and rears its young;
fishing from the low branches of trees which overspread the water. When
the fish is caught it is beaten to death against some hard substance and
then swallowed whole, head foremost. The Common Kingfisher is somewhat
larger than the lark, and has a beautiful metallic coat which shimmers
with a very pleasing effect as it darts among the greenery of the river
bank or flies along the surface of the water. The Laughing Kingfisher
belongs to Australia and is so named from its peculiar cry. It is one of
the largest species of its kind. Other species belong to the Moluccas
and New Guinea, and a few to America.

The Hornbill.

The Hornbill is famous for the size and shape of its bill, which is very
large. There are several varieties, African and Indian. They live mostly
on fruit, though some are said to eat reptiles. They have some very
curious habits. Mr. Wallace describes the habit of the male Hornbill of
shutting up the female during the period of incubation and feeding her
through a small hole left open for the purpose.

The Goat-Suckers.

The goat-sucker is so called from the belief long entertained that it
was in the habit of sucking the teat of the goat. There are several
varieties and they are remarkable for the strangeness of their cries.
The Goat-sucker has sometimes been called the Night-jar from its
discordant note, it is also known as the Fern Owl. Mr. Wood says:--"It
may be seen at the approach of evening silently wheeling round the
trees, capturing the nocturnal moths and beetles; then occasionally
settling and uttering its jarring cry. When flying the bird sometimes
makes its wings meet over its back, and brings them together with a
smart snap. It arrives in England in the beginning of May and leaves in
December. The Whip-poor-will and the Chuck-will's-widow both belong to
this family."

The Whip-poor-Will.

The Whip-poor-will, which is peculiar to America, is celebrated for its
singular melody, which is heard in spring to issue at night from the
woods and glens of all parts of the country. It is a rapid warbling
repetition of the name given to the bird, and is so distinctly
pronounced, as to seem like the voice of a human being. It is a solitary
bird, remaining silent and sequestered during the day, but at night it
often approaches a dwelling, and pours forth its song upon the
door-step, or a neighbouring tree.


This bird, also peculiar to America, is about a foot in length,
resembling in colour, form, and habits, the whip-poor-will. It is a
solitary bird, frequenting glens and hollows, and seldom making its
appearance during the day. Its song, which is uttered, like that of the
whip-poor-will, at night, is a constant repetition of the sound,
chuck-will's-widow, very distinctly articulated. It is common in
Georgia, and is regarded by the Creek Indians with superstitious awe. It
is very seldom seen in the Middle or Eastern States; "but I recollect
once," says an American writer, "to have known a whole village in New
England in terror and amazement at hearing one of them singing its
strange song on the edge of a swamp. The superstitious part of the
inhabitants considered it a prediction of some evil that was to befall a
widow of the parish; but there was a diversity of opinion as to who the
hapless Chuck-will's-widow might be."

The Swift.

The Swift, so called from the remarkable speed of his flight, is also
known as "Jack screamer" from the shrillness of his voice. He winters in
Africa and arrives in England about May, remaining until about the
middle of August. He builds his nest under the eaves of houses and
frequents steeples and other lofty edifices, forming his nest of grasses
and feathers. The esculent swift, so called from the fact that its nests
are edible, builds at the sides of almost inaccessible cliffs, a habit
which renders the collection of these singular dainties very dangerous.
The nests are formed of mucilaginous sea-weeds and have the appearance
of isinglass. They are considered great delicacies in China, where they
are found. They abound in Java. The swifts resemble the swallows in
several particulars and have often been classed with them, there are,
however, important differences which separate them.

The Humming Bird.

There are hundreds of kinds of Humming Birds, nearly all of them natives
of America, where they frequent the gardens, and sip the honey from the
honeysuckle and other plants, like the hive and humble bee. The humming
bird is several times larger than the latter, but flies so swiftly as
almost to elude the sight. Its wings, when it is balancing over the
flower, produce a humming sound, from which it takes its name. It is the
smallest of the feathered race, and is one of the most beautiful in the
elegance of its form, and the glossy brilliancy of its delicate plumage.
Small as it is, however, it is exceedingly courageous, and has violent
passions. The length of this bird is three inches; it lives partly on
honey obtained from flowers, but devours also great quantities of very
small insects. The general colour is a rich golden green on the upper
parts; the breast and neck are of a dusky white. Its nest is very small,
and is elegantly lined with the down of the mullein. It is covered on
the outside with moss, to imitate the colour of the limb on which it is


The Parrots.

The parrots never fail to interest, on account of their beauty of form
and colour, and their aptitude for imitating common sounds. There are
some hundreds of species, belonging to different parts of the world, the
Cockatoos to Australia, the Macaws to America, and many varieties to
Africa. The Macaws and some other kinds are among the most gorgeous of
living birds and whether seen in their native wilds or in the aviaries
of civilisation never fail to excite admiration. The Cockatoo is
distinguished from the true parrot by its crest; other species are
differentiated by habit, size, colour, and form. The better known of
these are, the Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, the Ground parrot, the Macaw,
the Grey parrot, the Green parrot, the Parrakeets and the Love-birds.

The Parrot's Intelligence.

Many stories are told of the remarkable powers of individual parrots and
the singular appropriateness of their remarks on particular occasions.
These are often so startling as to arouse suspicion of their
authenticity, and yet a moment's reflection will show that coincidence
plays a large part in these demonstrations, and that many of the most
astonishing examples of felicitous interjection, or repartee, are due to
this, and not to any special gift of intelligence on the part of the
bird. An ordinary parrot with half a dozen phrases which it is
constantly repeating, will in the nature of things, often use them in
singularly felicitous connection with current conversation. No notice is
taken of the many instances in which the phrase is inappropriate and yet
a few cases of remarkable fitness are held to demonstrate extraordinary
intelligence. Teach a parrot such a simple rejoinder as "not I!" and
the bird using it in answer to all sorts of questions, will often use it
with apparent intelligence, but a doll might be made to show equal wit.
That parrots are taught to give certain answers to certain questions is
of course true, but in these cases the questions suggest the answers and
all the intelligence is shown by the interrogator. Those birds which
have lived many years and acquired many phrases, will naturally, from
the extent of their repertoire, the more often surprise their hearers;
but that they show any greater intelligence may perhaps be doubted. That
some of the parrots, and especially the Love-birds, show great feeling
for each other and attachment to their owners is well known, but the
claim sometimes made that they show greater intelligence than any other
birds may be very safely disputed. The term "parrot-like," as applied to
the repetition of lessons by rote which are not understood by those
repeating them, involves no injustice to the parrot.

Famous Parrots.

There have been many famous parrots who have played their part in
history if they have not rivalled the geese that saved Rome. The Emperor
Basilius Macedo was induced by a Parrot, who cast a gloom over the
guests at a banquet by continually calling out, "Alas, alas! poor Prince
Leo", to liberate his son whom he had confined on suspicion of treason.
The Emperor observed the gloom of his guests and urged them to the
pleasures of the table, when one of them is said to have responded, "How
should we eat, Sire, when we are thus reproached by this bird of our
want of duty to your family? The brute animal is mindful of its Lord;
and we that have reason, have neglected to supplicate your Majesty in
behalf of the prince, whom we all believe to be innocent, and to suffer
under calumny." Whether the bird had been purposely taught this phrase,
or had merely acquired it by hearing its frequent repetition does not
appear. The following memorial which appeared in the London papers in
October 1822 is quoted from the "Percy Anecdotes." "A few days ago,
died, in Half Moon Street, Piccadilly, the celebrated parrot of Colonel
O'Kelly. This singular bird sang a number of songs in perfect time and
tune. She could express her wants articulately, and give her orders in a
manner nearly approaching to rationality. Her age was not known; it was,
however, more than thirty years, for previous to that period, Colonel
O'Kelly bought her at Bristol for one hundred guineas. The Colonel was
repeatedly offered five hundred guineas a year for the bird, by persons
who wished to make a public exhibition of her; but this, out of
tenderness to the favourite, he constantly refused. She could not only
repeat a great number of sentences, but answer questions put to her.
When singing, she beat time with all the appearance of science; and so
accurate was her judgment that if by chance she mistook a note, she
would revert to the bar where the mistake was made, correct herself, and
still beating regular time, go through the whole with wonderful
exactness." A Grey parrot is said to have been sold in 1500, for a
hundred guineas, to a Lord High Cardinal at Rome, on account of its
ability to repeat, without error, the Apostles' Creed.

The Grey Parrot.

The Grey Parrot though less attractive in colour than other species, is
perhaps the most popular of the parrot family on account of its superior
accomplishments as an imitator of familiar sounds. Mr. Jesse secured
from a lady friend a description of the performances of a grey parrot
which resided at Hampton Court, from which we quote the following: "Her
laugh is quite extraordinary, and it is impossible not to help joining
in it, more especially when in the midst of it she cries out, 'Don't
make me laugh so; I shall die, I shall die!' and then continues laughing
more violently than before. Her crying and sobbing are curious; and if
you say, 'Poor Poll, what is the matter?' she says, 'So bad, so bad; got
such a cold;' and after crying some time, will gradually cease, and
making a noise like drawing a long breath, say, 'Better now,' and
begins to laugh." "If any one happens to cough or sneeze, she says,
'what a bad cold.' She calls the cat very plainly, saying, 'puss, puss,'
and then answers 'mew'; but the most amusing part is, that whenever I
want to make her call it, and to that purpose say, 'puss, puss', myself
she always answers, 'mew', till I begin mewing; and then she begins
calling 'puss', as quickly as possible. She imitates every kind of
noise, and barks so naturally, that I have known her to set all the dogs
on the parade of Hampton Court barking, and the consternation I have
seen her cause in a party of cocks and hens, by her crowing and
chuckling, has been the most ludicrous thing possible. She sings just
like a child and I have more than once thought it was a human being; and
it is most ludicrous to hear her make what one would call a false note
and then say, 'oh la!' and burst out laughing at herself, beginning
again in quite another key. She is very fond of singing 'Buy a Broom',
which she says quite plainly, but if we say, with a view to make her
repeat it, 'Buy a Broom', she always says 'Buy a _Brush_', and then
laughs as a child might do when mischievous. She often performs a kind
of exercise which I do not know how to describe, except by saying that
it is like the lance exercise. She puts her claw behind her, first on
one side and then on the other, then in front, and round over her head;
and whilst doing so, keeps saying, 'Come on, come on!' and when finished
she says 'Bravo, beautiful,' and draws herself up."

Parrot Talk.

To deny the parrot the understanding of what it says, is to relieve it
of the responsibility of using bad language, and offering unsound
advice, and this it surely needs. A gentleman who was in the habit of
kissing his parrot and then kissing his wife, before leaving home in the
morning, taught the bird to say, on being kissed, "Now kiss the missus,"
with the result that most of the gentlemen visitors who took any notice
of the parrot were recommended to salute the lady of the house. Another
parrot whose cage occupied a window close to a fashionable church
continually accosted the passers-by, by calling out "That's right! Go to
church, keep up appearances." Such remarks must often be very
embarrassing, as must have been the words and actions of a parrot who
frequently called out "Who kissed the pretty girl?" and then gave a
perfect imitation of the sound of several kisses in succession. Perhaps
no more aggravating use was ever made of a parrot's powers than that
witnessed by Buffon, who says, "I have seen a parrot very ridiculously
employed, belonging to a distiller who had suffered pretty severely in
his circumstances from an informer who lived opposite him. This bird was
taught to pronounce the ninth commandment,--'Thou shalt not bear false
witness against thy neighbour,' with a very clear, loud, articulate
voice. The bird was generally placed in a cage over against the
informer's house, and delighted the whole neighbourhood with its
persevering exhortations."



There are many varieties of pigeons, some being peculiar to certain
districts, and others covering a much more extended geographical area.
Mr. Darwin divides the British varieties into four groups: I. The
English carrier; the Runt, and the Barb. II. The Fantail; the African
owl; the Short-faced Tumbler; the Indian Frill-back; and the Jacobin.
III. The English Pouter, and IV. The Dove-cote pigeon; the Swallow; the
Spot; the Nun; the English Frill-back; the Laugher, and the Trumpeter.
The Passenger pigeon of America, the Nicobar pigeon of the Philippine
Islands, the Great-crowned pigeon of New Guinea and the Hook-billed
ground pigeon of Samoa are other important species.

Carrier Pigeons.

In the "Percy Anecdotes" there is a brief history of the use of carrier
pigeons, which we quote as follows:--"The first mention we find made of
the employment of pigeons as letter carriers is by Ovid, in his
'Metamorphoses', who tells us that Taurosthenes, by a pigeon stained
with purple, gave notice of his having been victor at the Olympic games
on the very same day to his father at Ægina. Pliny informs us that
during the siege of Modena by Marc Antony, pigeons were employed by
Brutus to keep up a correspondence with the besieged. When the city of
Ptolemais, in Syria, was invested by the French and Venetians, and it
was ready to fall into their hands, they observed a pigeon flying over
them, and immediately conjectured that it was charged with letters to
the garrison. On this, the whole army raising a loud shout, so
confounded the poor aërial post that it fell to the ground, and on being
seized, a letter was found under its wings, from the sultan, in which he
assured the garrison that 'he would be with them in three days, with an
army sufficient to raise the siege.' For this letter the besiegers
substituted another to this purpose, 'that the garrison must see to
their own safety, for the sultan had such other affairs pressing him
that it was impossible for him to come to their succour;' and with this
false intelligence they let the pigeon free to pursue his course. The
garrison, deprived by this decree of all hope of relief, immediately
surrendered. The sultan appeared on the third day, as promised, with a
powerful army, and was not a little mortified to find the city already
in the hands of the Christians. Carrier pigeons were again employed, but
with better success, at the siege of Leyden, in 1675. The garrison were,
by means of the information thus conveyed to them, induced to stand out,
till the enemy, despairing of reducing the place, withdrew. On the siege
being raised, the Prince of Orange ordered that the pigeons who had
rendered such essential service should be maintained at the public
expense, and that at their death they should be embalmed and preserved
in the town house, as a perpetual token of gratitude."

Pigeons on the Wing.

Pigeons are said to travel as fast as 2,200 yards per minute and to
sustain flight for hundreds of miles at a stretch. The extraordinary
manner in which they will find their way almost incredible distances has
suggested all kinds of speculation as to the instinct or sense which
guides them. A well known pigeon fancier, interviewed by a writer who
published the results of the interview in "Chums" (Cassell & Co.) says,
"The popular notion that carrier pigeons are guided by some 'direction
sense,' or blind instinct, is quite as absurd as the French belief that
they follow certain electrical currents. I have had to do with pigeons
for over twenty years," he continued, "and I am open to demonstrate to
anyone that in flight they are guided by sight alone. Of course, some
pigeons are more sagacious, cleverer than others; but the fact remains,
and everything tends to prove it. For example, no carrier-pigeon can
find its way over a strange country: it often gets lost in a fog; and
again, until taught by experience, it is often led astray by colours and
objects which appear to be familiar. Quite recently, when I was trying
some young birds, I had an instance of how easily they may be led
astray. Close to my residence is a large red-brick building, which, to
an old bird, would prove a good landmark miles away. In this case,
however, the birds had not been tried before, although, of course, they
had been let loose and had circled round the loft for several weeks. I
took five birds with me some half-mile distant from home; and, letting
them loose separately from the box, was rather surprised to see four out
of the five, after circling round, fly off in an entirely opposite
direction to that in which they should have gone. I soon solved the
mystery, however, for, watching the birds, I saw they were making for
another red-brick building, which showed up clearly in the sunlight.
Arriving there, each one evidently discovered its mistake, and, after
flying back to the starting-point, found their whereabouts, and made for
home--not in a straight line, however, for young birds invariably take a
crooked, tortuous path, as though feeling their way. If pigeons are let
loose on water (from a boat in a lake or wide river), they always make
for the nearest land first; then, circling round, widening their circle
and rising higher at the same time, they keep the starting-point in view
until they sight some familiar object, in which direction they travel.
If a bird is dull, or 'stupid,' as we term it, and has been tried from
various points of the compass, it often happens that, when taken to a
distance (say thirty or forty miles), the time occupied in reaching the
loft is three of four times longer than was expected; but, take it there
next day, and the journey will be done quicker than a mile a minute. Why
is that? Well, the birds get confused; some object which it may have
seen on a former journey, may possibly stand out boldly; and, flying at
once toward this, the bird may find itself just as far from finding the
'lay of the land.' Thus it may go from one familiar point to another
before 'striking' for home. That is the reason why, in training a bird
for a match, we take it only in the direction from which it will have to
fly, increase the distance gradually, until the bird is familiar with
the path it must travel and recognises each landmark as soon as it comes
in sight."



In this order (_Gallinæ_) the Grouse, the Ptarmigan, the Quail, the
Peacock, the Pheasant, the Jungle Fowl, the Guinea Fowl, and the Wild
Turkey are included; as well as our Domestic Fowls to the forms of which
they more or less closely approximate. The Black Grouse, and the Red
Grouse are found throughout Great Britain; the Prairie Grouse in North
America. The Ptarmigan is found in Scotland and in the North of the
continent of Europe; it changes colour with the seasons, becoming
snow-white in winter. The Quail is found in many parts of Europe, Asia,
and Africa; it visits England in the early summer and leaves about
October for Africa, where it winters.

The Peacock.

The Peacock has been famous in the East from before the days of Solomon
and the Queen of Sheba, and has been much affected in England in more
recent years, on account of its beauty, as an adornment of English
lawns, and as a royal dainty upon the festive board. It may be said
still to keep its place as an ornament of the park, but it is no longer
the choice of the epicure and seldom appears at the feast. It is said to
have come originally from Persia and has doubtless reached the west from
India where it still abounds. Colonel Williamson says that he has seen,
in the passes of the Jungletery district, as many as twelve or fifteen
hundred pea-fowls of various sizes within sight of one spot. "The
gorgeous plumes that adorn the Peacock," says Mr. Wood, "do not compose
the tail, as many suppose, but are only the tail-coverts. The tail
feathers themselves are short and rigid, and serve to keep the train
spread, as may be seen when the bird walks about in all the majesty of
his expanded plumage. Although pea-fowl seek their food on the ground,
they invariably roost on some elevated situation, such as a high branch,
or the roof of a barn or haystack." The peacock is swift of foot, but
heavy on the wing, and remains ordinarily on the ground, where it finds
its food. It has a harsh voice. The peahen is a plain, homely looking
bird, lacking the gorgeous tail which adorns her lord and master.
Guillim, an old writer quoted by Captain Brown, says: "The Peacock is so
proud, that when he erecteth his fan of plumes, he admireth himself. He
displayeth his plumes against the rays of the sun, that they may glister
the more gloriously: and he loseth this beautiful train yearly with the
fall of the leaf; at which time he becometh bashful, and seeketh
corners, where he may be secret from the sight of men, until the spring
of the year, when his train beginneth to be renewed. And such is the
quality of many dames, who being painted and richly attired, cannot keep
within doors; but being undressed, and in their own hue, they are loath
any man should see them."

The Pheasant.

There are several varieties of the Pheasant, of which the Peacock
Pheasant of Burmah, the Argus Pheasant of Malacca, the Golden Pheasant
of China, and the Common Pheasant are the better known species. The
Common Pheasant is a native of the British Isles, where it is cultivated
and preserved. Under some circumstances the cock pheasant displays
considerable pugnacity and a story is told of a young lady who when
walking near Stirling was attacked by one which, "with spurs and beak
began a furious assault. Seeing no escape from the enraged bird, she
seized her adversary, and carried him home. He was, however, soon
released, and when the door was opened, he went out without any sign of
fear, and, with a deliberate step, paced backwards and forwards in front
of the house, and manifested an inclination to join the fowls in the
poultry yard. The only way to account for this assault is, that the lady
wore a scarlet mantle, to which the pheasant may have had such an
antipathy as the turkey cock manifests to that colour; an antipathy
evinced by many other birds, and various quadrupeds; and the cause of
which is to us a mystery."

The Partridge.

The partridge is an interesting bird and shows great intelligence in the
care of its young. Mr. Jesse mentions an instance quoted by Mr. Wood. "A
gentleman who was overlooking his ploughman, saw a partridge run from
her nest, almost crushed by the horses' hoofs. Being certain that the
next furrow must bury the eggs and nest, he watched for the return of
the plough, when to his great astonishment, the nest, previously
containing twenty-one eggs, was vacant. After a search, he found the
bird sitting upon the eggs under a hedge, nearly forty yards from the
nest, to which place she and her mate had removed the whole number in
less than twenty minutes." Mr. Markwick relates, that "as he was once
hunting with a young pointer, the dog 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. On this the dog returned nearly to the place where the young ones
lay concealed in the grass; which the old bird no sooner perceived, than
she flew back again, settled just 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 preserving them."

The Wild Turkey.

The Wild Turkey was at one time common in all parts of America, but it
is fast diminishing, and is now seldom found except in the western
territories. It is often larger than the domestic turkey; it is
gregarious and feeds on grain, seeds, and fruits. It is the original
stock of the domestic turkey. Mr. Lucien Bonaparte has given a long and
interesting account of this bird. He says they sometimes fly across
broad rivers, ascending the tallest trees on one side, and the whole
flock starting together. Some of the younger and weaker birds sometimes
fall into the water and either paddle to the shore or are drowned.

The Domestic Turkey.

The Wild Turkey was first carried to Europe and other parts of the
eastern continent and domesticated in the 16th century. It is now
extensively diffused over the world, and its flesh is ranked among the
most delicious poultry. The cock is a noisy fellow, strutting about, and
displaying his plumage with great ostentation; he is also very
quarrelsome. The hen seems to possess a more modest and retiring
disposition, wandering about the fields with a melancholy and dejected
air, occasionally uttering a short plaintive note. She is exceedingly
attached to her young, but leads them away from danger without ever
attempting to defend them by repelling an attack.

The Sagacity of the Turkey.

Of the sagacity of the Turkey Audubon says: "While at Henderson, on the
Ohio, I had a fine male turkey, which had been reared from its earliest
youth under my care. It became so tame that it would follow any person
who called it, and was the favourite of the little village. Yet it would
never roost with the tame turkeys; but regularly betook itself at night
to the roof of the house, where it remained till dawn. When two years
old it began to fly to the woods, where it remained for a considerable
part of the day, and returned to the enclosure as night approached. It
continued this practice until the following spring, when I saw it
several times fly from its roosting-place to the top of a high
cotton-tree on the bank of the Ohio, from which, after resting a little,
it would sail to the opposite shore, the river being there nearly half a
mile wide, and return towards night. One morning I saw it fly off, at a
very early hour, to the woods in another direction, and took no
particular notice of the circumstance. Several days elapsed, but the
bird did not return. I was going towards some lakes near Green River, to
shoot, when, having walked about five miles, I saw a fine large gobbler
cross the path before me, moving leisurely along. Turkeys being then in
prime condition for the table, I ordered my dog to chase it and put it
up. The animal went off with great rapidity, and as it approached the
turkey, I saw, with great surprise, that the latter paid little
attention. Juno was on the point of seizing it, when she suddenly
stopped, and turned her head towards me. I hastened to them; but you may
easily conceive my surprise when I saw my own favourite bird, and
discovered that it had recognised the dog, and would not fly from it,
although the sight of a strange dog would have caused it to run off at
once. A friend of mine, being in search of a wounded deer, took the bird
on his saddle before him, and carried it home for me. The following
spring it was accidentally shot, having been taken for a wild bird, and
brought to me, on being recognised by the red ribband which it had round
its neck."

Sitting Turkey Cocks.

The male Turkey is said to be but an indifferent father, but there are
some curious illustrations on record of his displaying maternal
instincts. Captain Brown tells of a cock Turkey near Abingdon who
manifested a desire to sit and was allowed to experiment with thirteen
eggs, from which in three weeks he hatched twelve fine chickens. A
precisely similar incident occurred many years ago in Sweden, according
to the same authority.

Domestic Fowls.

The Domestic Fowls are too well known to need description here. They are
said to have descended from the Java species and have long been the
subjects of systematic and careful culture. John Guillim who wrote in
1677 and whose quaint description of the peacock we have already quoted,
says: "As some account the eagle the queen, and the swallow or wagtail
the lady, so may I term this (the cock) the knight amongst birds, being
both of noble courage, and also prepared evermore to the battel, having
his comb for an helmet, his sharp and hooked bill for a faulchion or
court-lax, to slash and wound his enemy: and as a compleat soldier armed
cap-a-pe, he hath his legs armed with spurs, giving example to the
valiant soldier to expell danger by fight, and not by flight. The cock
croweth when he is victor and giveth a testimony of his conquest. If he
be vanquished, he shunneth the light, and society of men." The cock is a
courageous bird and in fighting with his own kind or in the defence of
his family will show great gallantry and endurance. Buffon thus
describes an encounter of which he was an observer. He says: "I have
just witnessed a curious scene. A sparrow hawk alighted in a populous
court-yard; when a young cock, of this year's hatching, instantly darted
at him, and threw him on his back. In this situation, the hawk defending
himself with his talons and his bill, intimidated the hens and turkeys,
which streamed tumultuously around him. After having a little recovered
himself, he rose and was taking wing; when the cock rushed upon him a
second time, upset him, and held him down so long, that he was easily
caught by a person who witnessed the conflict." The cock is said to show
many of the qualities which belong to knighthood. He is jealous, and
has been known to kill a hen which has hatched a foreign brood; and he
is chivalrous both in the treatment of his hens and in their defence
against their enemies. He has a sense of justice too, which he does not
hesitate to assert on occasion. Mrs. Bowdich says: "On one occasion I
saw a cock pursue a hen round the poultry-yard; and, as she had a worm
in her bill, I at first thought he was so acting from a greedy desire to
have the delicious morsel; but when he at last caught her, he gave her a
knock on the head with his beak, and, taking up the worm which she had
dropped, brought it to another hen, who stood witnessing the affray in
mute expectation. A further knowledge of the habits of these birds has
made me feel sure she had purloined the worm from the other, and the
cock had restored it to its rightful owner." Though natural fighters,
cocks sometimes form friendships for each other, and Captain Brown
records an instance of two game cocks, belonging to the same owner, who
obstinately declined combat though all means were tried to excite mutual
animosity. These same birds when placed in the ring with other cocks
fought furiously, and in both cases destroyed their antagonists.

The Common Hen.

The hen gathering her chickens under her wings is a favourite type of
motherhood, and it cannot be denied that in many ways the hen shows
herself a model parent. The care she will expend upon her brood, or upon
a brood of ducks which she may have hatched, is well known, and the
courage she will show in their defence is well attested. The following
from the "Percy Anecdotes" is an illustration of this: "In June, 1820, a
contest of rather an unusual nature took place in the house of Mr.
Collins, at Naul in Ireland. The parties concerned were, a hen of the
game species, and a rat of the middle size. The hen, in an accidental
perambulation round a spacious room, accompanied by an only chicken, the
sole surviving offspring of a numerous brood, was roused to madness by
an unprovoked attack made by a voracious rat, on her unsuspecting
companion. The shrieks of the beloved captive, while dragged away by the
enemy, excited every maternal feeling in the affectionate bosom of the
feathered dame: she flew at the corner whence the alarm arose, seized
the lurking enemy by the neck, writhed him about the room, put out one
of his eyes in the engagement, and so fatigued her opponent by repeated
attacks of spur and bill, that in the space of twelve minutes, during
which time the conflict lasted, she put a final period to the invader's
existence; nimbly turned round, in wild but triumphant distraction, to
her palpitating nestling, and hugged it in her victorious bosom." In
this same work there is a story of a hen, near Exeter, which devoted
itself with much assiduity and success to catching mice. Hens often take
to other animals and have been known to show great attachment to
kittens, and to dogs, instances being recorded of hens living in dogs'
kennels and laying their eggs there under canine protection. The concern
shown by hens, when the ducks they may have hatched take to the water,
is very amusing. Captain Brown gives an instance of a hen which had
become used to this phenomena, from having been employed in hatching
successive broods of ducks, and which showed equal concern when a brood
of her own chickens avoided the watery element.


The Hoazin.

The Hoazin is the only bird of this order. It belongs to Brazil and
Guiana and is nearly as large as the peacock. It has been variously
classified but, differing in important characteristics from any other
bird, it is deemed best to place it in an order by itself.


Birds of Prey.

This order includes the Vultures, Condors, Eagles, Kites, Falcons,
Goshawks, Sparrowhawks, Buzzards, Kestrals, Owls, &c., &c. Interesting
as many of these birds are the briefest possible mention is all that we
can give of some of them.

The Eagle.

Whatever may be said of the claims of other birds, the Eagle is
traditionally the king of the air, as the lion is king of the forest.
There are a large number of species of which the Golden Eagle, the
Spotted Eagle, the Imperial Eagle and the White-headed Sea Eagle are
among the best known varieties. The Golden Eagle belongs to Europe and
America, and is sometimes found in Scotland and Ireland. It lives upon
smaller birds and animals: hares, young lambs and deer, grouse, plovers,
&c., &c. Though the eagle has often attacked children the stories of its
carrying them away are generally discredited. Eagles often hunt in pairs
and show great ferocity and determination in attacking their prey.

Eagle Shooting.

Mr. St. John gives the following description of a shooting expedition in
which he bagged a pair of splendid birds. "On a very dark morning I
sallied out with Malcolm to take a shot at the eagles, and at last I was
ensconced in a hiding-place (near the dead body of a sheep) which gave
me hardly room to stand, sit, or lie. It was scarcely grey dawn when a
bird with a slow, flapping flight passed, and alighted out of sight, but
near, for I heard him strike the ground, and my heart beat faster. What
was my disappointment, when his low, crowing croak announced a raven; he
hopped and walked suspiciously round the sheep, till, supposing the
coast clear, he hopped upon the carcase, and began with his cut and
thrust beak to dig at the meat. Another raven soon joined him, and then
two more, who, after a kind of parley, were admitted to their share of
the banquet. They suddenly set up a croak of alarm, stopped feeding, and
all turned their knowing eyes in one direction. At that moment I heard a
sharp scream, but very distant. The black party heard it too, and
instantly darted off, alighting again at a little distance. Next came a
rushing noise, and the monarch of the clouds lighted at once on the
sheep. He quietly folded up his wings, and, throwing back his
magnificent head, looked round at the ravens, as if wondering at their
impudence in approaching his breakfast; they kept a respectful silence,
and hopped further away. The royal bird then turned his head in my
direction, his bright eye that instant catching mine, as it glanced
along the barrel of my gun. He rose, I drew the trigger, and he fell
quite dead six yards from the sheep. As one eagle is always followed by
a second, I remained quiet, in hopes that his mate was not within
hearing of my shot. I had not waited many minutes when I saw the other
eagle skimming low over the brow of the hill towards me. She did not
alight at once, but her eye catching the dead body of her mate, she
wheeled up into the air. I thought she was lost to me, when presently I
heard her wings brush close over my head, and she wheeled round and
round the dead bird, turning her head downwards to make out what had
happened. At times she stooped so low that I could see the sparkle of
her eye, and hear her low, complaining cry. I watched the time when she
turned up her wing towards me, and dropped her actually on the body of
the other. She rose to her feet, and stood gazing at me with a
reproachful look, and would have done battle, but death was busy with
her, and as I was loading in haste she reeled, and fell perfectly dead."

The White-Headed Eagle.

The white-headed or bald eagle, is a native of North America, and feeds
equally on the produce of the sea and of the land, but is particularly
fond of fish. "In procuring these," says Wilson, "he displays in a very
singular manner the genius and energy of his character, which is fierce,
contemplative, daring and tyrannical, attributes not exerted but on
particular occasions, but when put forth overwhelming all opposition."
"Elevated," says Wilson, in his "American Ornithology," "on the high
dead limb of some gigantic tree, that commands a high view of the
neighbouring shore and ocean, he seems calmly to contemplate the motions
of the various feathered tribes that pursue their busy avocations
below; the snow-white gulls, slowly winnowing the air; the busy tringæ,
coursing along the sands; trains of ducks streaming over the surface;
silent and watchful cranes, intent and wading; clamorous crows; and all
the winged multitude that subsist by the bounty of this vast liquid
magazine of nature. High over all these hovers one, whose action
instantly arrests all attention. By his wide curvature of wing, and
sudden suspension in the air, he knows him to be the fish-hawk, settling
over some devoted victim of the deep. His eye kindles at the sight, and
balancing himself with half-opened wings on the branch, he watches the
result. Down, rapid as an arrow from heaven, descends the distant object
of his attention, the roar of its wings reaching the ear as it
disappears in the deep, making the surges foam around! At this moment
the looks of the eagle are all ardour; and levelling his neck for
flight, he sees the fish-hawk once more emerge, struggling with his
prey, and mounting into the air with screams of exultation. This is the
signal for the eagle, who, launching in the air, instantly gives chase,
and soon gains on the fish-hawk; each exerts his utmost power to mount
above the other, displaying in these rencontres the most elegant and
sublime aërial evolutions. The unencumbered eagle rapidly advances, and
is just on the point of reaching his opponent, when with a sudden
scream, probably of despair and honest execration, the latter drops his
fish; the eagle poising himself for a moment, as if to take a more
certain aim, descends like a whirlwind, snatches it in his grasp ere it
reaches the water, and bears his ill-gotten booty silently away into the

The Vulture.

The Vultures have been sometimes called the Hyænas of the feathered
world, and judged by their habits, they certainly justify the term. As
scavengers they serve a useful purpose in Eastern lands and deserve the
protection they are said to receive from the natives. The Griffin
Vulture of Europe, Turkey, Persia and Africa, the Egyptian Vulture of
the Nile country, and the Condor, or American Vulture, are the best
known varieties.

The Condor.

The American Condor is the largest of the birds of prey, and is said to
partake of the ferocity of the Eagle and the filthiness of the Vulture.
"Two of these birds, acting in concert," says an American writer, "will
frequently attack a puma, a llama, a calf, or even a full-grown cow.
They will pursue the poor animal with unwearied pertinacity, lacerating
it incessantly with their beaks and talons, until it falls exhausted
with fatigue and loss of blood. Then, having first seized upon its
tongue, they proceed to tear out its eyes, and commence their feast with
these favourite morsels. The intestines form the second course of their
banquet, which is usually continued until the birds have gorged
themselves so fully as to render themselves incapable of using their
wings in flight." This bird is said to measure from three and a half to
four feet from head to tail.

The King of the Vultures.

This bird which is the handsomest of its tribe is called the King of the
vultures, because of the royal honours it receives from common vultures.
Mr. Byam says in his "Central America," "One day, having lost a mule by
death, he was dragged up to a small hill, not far off, where I knew, in
an hour or two, he would be safely buried in vulture-sepulture. I was
standing on a hillock, about a hundred yards off, with a gun in my hand,
watching the surprising distance that a vulture descries his prey from,
and the gathering of so many from all parts, up and down wind, where
none had been seen before, and that in a very short space of time.
Hearing a loud, whirring noise over my head, I looked up, and saw a fine
large bird, with outstretched and seemingly motionless wings, sailing
towards the carcase that had already been partially demolished. I would
not fire at the bird; for I had a presentiment that it was his majesty
of the vultures; but beckoned to an Indian to come up the hill--and,
showing him the bird that had just alighted, he said, 'the King of the
vultures; you will see how he is adored.' Directly the fine-looking bird
approached the carcase, the _oi polloi_ of the vultures retired to a
short distance; some flew off, and perched on some contiguous branch;
while by far the greatest number remained, acting the courtier, by
forming a most respectful and well-kept ring around him. His majesty,
without any signs of acknowledgment for such great civility, proceeded
to make a most gluttonous meal; but, during the whole time he was
employed, not a single envious bird attempted to intrude upon him at his
repast, until he had finished, and taken his departure with a heavier
wing and slower flight than on his arrival; but when he had taken his
perch on a high tree, not far off, his dirty, ravenous subjects,
increased in number during his repast, ventured to discuss the somewhat
diminished carcase; for the royal appetite was certainly very fine. I
have since beheld the above scene acted many times, but always with
great interest."

A Feast of Vultures.

Wilson gives the following account of the Black Vulture of America.
"February 21st, 1809. Went out to Hampstead this forenoon. A horse had
dropped down in the street, in convulsions; and dying, it was dragged
out to Hampstead, and skinned. I ventured cautiously within thirty yards
of the carcase, where three or four dogs, and twenty or thirty vultures,
were busily tearing and devouring. Seeing them take no notice, I
ventured nearer, till I was within ten yards, and sat down on the bank.
Still they paid little attention to me. The dogs being sometimes
accidentally flapped with the wings of the vultures, would growl and
snap at them, which would occasion them to spring up for a moment, but
they immediately gathered in again. I remarked the vultures frequently
attack each other, fighting with their claws or heels, striking like a
cock, with open wings, and fixing their claws in each other's heads. The
females, and I believe the males likewise, made a hissing sound with
open mouth, exactly resembling that produced by thrusting a red hot
poker into water; and frequently a snuffing like a dog clearing his
nostrils, as I suppose they were theirs. On observing that they did not
heed me, I stole so close that my feet were within one yard of the
horse's legs, and I again sat down. They all slid aloof a few feet; but
seeing me quiet, they soon returned as before. As they were often
disturbed by the dogs, I ordered the latter home: my voice gave no alarm
to the vultures. As soon as the dogs departed, the vultures crowded in
such numbers, that I counted at one time thirty-seven on and around the
carcase, with several within; so that scarcely an inch of it was
visible. Sometimes one would come out with a large piece of the
entrails, which in a moment was surrounded by several others, who tore
it in fragments, and it soon disappeared. They kept up the hissing
occasionally. Some of them having their whole legs and heads covered
with blood, presented a most savage aspect. Sometimes I observed them
stretching their neck along the ground, as if to press the food

The Secretary Bird.

The Secretary Bird, so called from the possession of feathers thought to
resemble pens behind the ear, feeds on snakes and other reptiles. Le
Vaillant, who in dissecting one of these birds, found in his crop eleven
large lizards, three serpents each a yard in length, eleven small
tortoises and a great quantity of locusts and other insects, once
witnessed a contest thus referred in the "Percy Anecdotes":

"When the secretary approaches a serpent, it always carries the point of
one of its wings forward, in order to parry off its venomous bites;
sometimes it finds an opportunity of spurning and treading upon its
antagonist; or else, of taking him upon its pinions, and throwing him
into the air. When by this system it has, at length, wearied out its
adversary, and rendered him almost senseless, it kills and swallows him
at leisure. On the occasion which Vaillant mentions, the battle was
obstinate, and conducted with equal address on both sides. The serpent,
feeling at last his inferiority, endeavoured to regain his hole; while
the bird apparently guessing his design, stopped him on a sudden, and
cut off his retreat by placing herself before him at a single leap. On
whatever side the reptile endeavoured to make his escape, the enemy
still appeared before him. Rendered desperate, the serpent resolved on a
last effort. He erected himself boldly to intimidate the bird, and
hissing dreadfully, displayed his menacing throat, inflamed eyes, and a
head swollen with rage and venom. The bird seemed intimidated for a
moment, but soon returned to the charge; and covering her body with one
of her wings as a buckler, struck her enemy with the bony protuberance
of the other. M. Vaillant saw the serpent at last stagger and fall; the
conqueror then fell upon him to despatch him, and with one stroke of her
beak laid open his skull."

The Kite. The Osprey. The Buzzard.

The Kite is common in Europe and is sometimes seen in Scotland. It is a
bird of the Hawk kind and may easily be distinguished from other birds
of prey by its forked tail and the slow and circular eddies it describes
in the air whenever it spies its prey. It measures about two feet in
length. The Osprey is common in Europe and America. It feeds principally
upon fish, in pursuit of which it frequents the sea coast and the
borders of lakes and rivers. It is about two feet in length. The common
Buzzard is rather smaller, measuring twenty or twenty-two inches. It
nests on high trees and watches on overhanging branches for any prey
that may pass beneath. The Marsh Harrier which measures twenty-one to
twenty-three inches is a formidable foe to moles and mice, rabbits and

The Falcon.

The Peregrine Falcon so famous in the days of Falconry is a fearless
bird and does not hesitate to attack those of much larger size. For this
reason it was often employed in hunting the Heron. "In this contest,"
says Mr. Wood, "the Falcon was almost always victorious, and after it
had attained a sufficient altitude, it swept, or 'stooped', as the
phrase was, upon the Heron. When the Falcon had closed with its prey,
they both came to the ground together. Sometimes, however, the wary
Heron contrived to receive its enemy on the point of its sharp beak, and
transfixed it by its own impetus." This bird is from fifteen to eighteen
inches in length. Mr. Selby in his "Ornithology" says, "In daring
disposition, this bird equals most of its congeners. I may be allowed to
add the following instance, as having happened under my own observation,
and as exemplifying not only its determined perseverance in pursuit of
its prey, when under the pressure of hunger, but as arguing also an
unexpected degree of foresight:--In exercising my dogs upon the moors,
previous to the commencement of the shooting-season, I observed a large
bird of the hawk genus, hovering at a distance, which, upon approaching,
I knew to be a Peregrine Falcon. Its attention was now drawn towards the
dogs, and it accompanied them, whilst they beat the surrounding ground.
Upon their having found, and sprung a brood of grouse, the falcon
immediately gave chase, and struck a young bird, before they had
proceeded far upon wing. My shouts and rapid advance, prevented it from
securing its prey. The issue of this attempt, however, did not deter the
falcon from watching our subsequent movements, and another opportunity
soon offering, it again gave chase, and struck down two birds, by two
rapidly repeated blows, one of which it secured, and bore off in

The Sparrow Hawk.

The Sparrow-hawk which measures from twelve to fifteen inches long is a
terror to smaller birds, showing great pertinacity in their pursuit. Mr.
St. John says that one pursued a pigeon through his "drawing-room
window, and out at the other end of the house through another window,
and never slackened its pursuit, notwithstanding the clattering of the
broken glass of the two windows as they passed through," and that on
another occasion he found "a sparrow hawk deliberately standing on a
very large pouter pigeon on the drawing-room floor, and plucking it,
having entered in pursuit of the unfortunate bird through an open
window, and killed him in the room." White says, in his "Natural History
of Selborne," "About the tenth of July, a pair of sparrow-hawks bred in
an old crow's nest on a low beech in Selborne-hanger; and as their
brood, which was numerous, began to grow up, they became so daring and
ravenous, that they were a terror to all the dames in the village that
had chickens or ducklings under their care. A boy climbed the tree, and
found the young so fledged that they all escaped from him; but
discovered that a good house had been kept; the larder was well stored
with provisions; for he brought down a young blackbird, jay, and house
martin, all clean picked, and some half devoured. The old birds had been
observed to make sad havoc for some days among the new flown swallows
and martins, which, being but lately out of their nests, had not
acquired those powers and command of wing that enable them when more
mature to set enemies at defiance."

The Owl.

Great interest attaches to the owl from the singularity of its
appearance and habits. There are many varieties, the Common Barn Owl;
the Long-eared Owl; the Great Eagle Owl; and the American Horned Owl
being some of these. The Barn Owl measures about twelve inches in
length. This bird does great service in the destruction of mice, rats,
and other vermin, and it is the nemesis of fate that it is destroyed by
those it serves. Its movements are noiseless, the peculiar form of the
feathers of its wings enabling it to fly without making any sound, and
so surprise its prey. "Its method of devouring a mouse," says Mr. Wood,
"is quite different from the mode in which it eats a bird. If a mouse is
given to an owl, the bird seizes it across the back, and gives it one or
two smart bites, much as a terrier handles a rat. The mouse is then
jerked upwards, and caught again head downwards. A second jerk sends the
mouse half down the owl's throat, while its tail remains sticking out of
the side of its bill, where it is rolled about as if the owl were
smoking. After some time has been spent in this amusement, another jerk
causes the mouse to disappear altogether, and the owl looks very happy
and contented. But if a small bird is presented to it, the owl tears it
up and devours it piecemeal." The great Eagle Owl which measures two
feet and upwards will attack hares, rabbits, and young fawns.


Wading Birds.

The order of wading birds includes many that we can do no more than
mention:--the Moor Hen; the Woodcock; the Snipe; the Water pheasant; the
Plover; the Lapwing; the Crane; the Heron; the Stork; and the Flamingo
are the more familiar birds of the order, which however includes the
Crakes; the Coots; the Curlews; the Bustards; the Sandpipers, and

The Cranes.

The Cranes belong to Africa and Southern Asia, but migrate from clime to
clime as the seasons change. The flight of the Cranes, like that of some
other birds, is a compact and well ordered progression. They fly high
and commonly at night, apparently under the direction of a leader whose
course they follow and whose calls they obey. There are several
varieties, the Common Crane, the Numidian Crane, and the Balearic Crane
being the better known of these.

The Heron.

The Heron is an expert fisherman and has all the necessary patience for
the pursuit of his sport. He will stand motionless for hours at the
water side, waiting his opportunity, and then dart with unerring aim at
the unsuspecting fish and secure his meal. The bill of the heron is a
powerful weapon, and as we remarked when dealing with the falcons,
formerly used in hunting the heron, it will sometimes transfix the
Falcon by throwing its head back and receiving its enemy on the point.
Captain Brown gives an illustration which shows that the Heron's bill
may be as effective in other cases. "A gentleman being on a shooting
excursion, accompanied by a small spaniel, observed a heron wading a
little above a waterfall. He fired--wounded it--and sent his dog into
the stream to bring it to land. As soon as the dog had come within its
reach, the heron drew back its head, and with all its force, struck him
in the ribs with its bill. The gentleman again fired, and killed the
heron; but it had well revenged itself: both dog and heron floated dead
together, down the foaming waterfall." The Heron nests on the tops of
high trees and lives in companies.

The Bittern.

The Bittern is remarkable for its loud booming cry which has some
resemblance to the bellowing of a bull, and for its spiral flight which
it pursues to a great altitude.

The Stork.

Storks are found in different parts of Europe, Asia and Africa. In
Holland, and in some other countries, they live in a state of
semi-domestication, encouraged by the people, and building nests upon
the roofs of their houses. They feed on rats, mice, frogs, and other
vermin, and render the Hollander good service by keeping down the
numbers of such pests. In the East they act as scavengers, and for this
reason are as much encouraged by the people. "A recent visitor to
Constantinople," says Mr. Wood, "remarks that the very Storks seemed to
have become Ottoman, for they sat on the tops of the houses, looking
staid and solemn, as becomes the Oriental character, and managed their
beaks just as if they were pipes. It is true that they wore no turbans,
but each of them appeared to have left a turban of preposterous
dimensions, _viz._, his nest, on the roof of a house close by." The
Stork is easily tamed and sometimes shows considerable intelligence.

The Jealousy of the Stork.

The following illustration which we take from the "Percy Anecdotes"
shows that the Stork shares with other birds the feeling of jealousy.
"In Smyrna there are a great number of storks, who build their nests and
hatch their young very regularly. The inhabitants, in order to divert
themselves at the expense of these birds, and gratify a cruel
disposition, sometimes convey hens' eggs into the stork's nest; and when
the young are hatched, the cock on seeing them of a different form from
his own species, makes a hideous noise, which brings a crowd of other
storks about the nest, who to revenge the disgrace which they imagine
the hen has brought upon her race, immediately peck her to death. The
cock in the meantime makes the heaviest lamentation, as if bewailing his
misfortune, which obliged him to have recourse to such extreme

A Stork's Revenge.

From the same work we quote the following, which shows that though
ordinarily placid and placable the stork can cherish the feeling of
revenge. "A wild stork was brought by a farmer in the neighbourhood of
Hamburgh, 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 stranger, and beat him so unmercifully that he was
compelled to take wing, and with some difficulty escaped. About four
months afterwards, however, he returned to the poultry yard, recovered
of his wounds, and attended by three other storks, who no sooner
alighted, than they all together fell upon the tame stork, and killed


The Geese.

This order includes the Goose, the Duck, the Swan, the Teal, the Gull,
the Petrel, the Albatross, the Cormorant, the Pelican, the Penguin, the
Grebe, the Great Auk, the Puffin and other birds. The first of these is
found in all parts of the world, geese being especially cultivated in
England for the sake of their quills and feathers, and for the purposes
of food. The goose, far from being the foolish bird it is popularly
esteemed, often shows considerable intelligence, as well as great
affection for those who show it kindness.

The Gratitude of the Goose.

Many instances are recorded of gratitude shown by geese towards those
who have befriended them. Buffon once rescued a young gander from an
older and stronger bird, after which his young _protégé_ would follow
him on all his daily walks, never tiring of his company. "On one
occasion," says Buffon, "he heard me talking in the rector's upper room,
and as he found the front door open, climbed upstairs, and, marching
into the room, gave a loud exclamation of joy, to the no small
astonishment of the family."

A Wild Goose Chase.

Bishop Stanley, in his "Familiar History of Birds," says:--"An officer
settled on a farm near the Missouri in North America, one day, when
walking near the banks of the river, observed a large eagle frequently
darting towards the water, and then rising again. On a near approach, he
perceived that its object was to take a wild goose, which had alighted
on the water, and which was diving to avoid so powerful an enemy. Its
efforts, however, appeared to be in vain; and, after diving again and
again, and as often rising to get breath, it became nearly exhausted,
when, suddenly turning, it made for the shore with all speed towards the
officer's house, where two men were at work, and as soon as it had
landed walked leisurely up to them, permitting itself to be taken
without attempting to escape. It was completely exhausted, but soon
recovered, and within three days seemed quite contented, and confident
of protection."

Goose Friendships.

There are some curious instances known of friendships formed by geese
for both men and animals, apparently without any special reason. A goose
in Cheshire once followed a farmer with so much persistency, at the
plough, to the market, and in the house, that the farmer who had shown
it no special kindness, superstitiously regarded it as a bird of ill
omen and had it killed. A singular friendship grew up some years ago
between a gander at York and an old man who lived near the farm to which
the bird belonged. In this case the gander waddled off in the morning
and spent the day with his human friend, returning at night to its home
at the farm. One of the prettiest of these stories is that of a gander
in Germany who used to lead a blind woman to church, taking the corner
of her apron in his beak, and wait quietly in the churchyard until the
service was over to conduct her home again. Another goose was known to
have a great affection for soldiers and to regularly perform sentry
duty, walking backwards and forwards for hours with his red-coated

The Goose and the Dog.

A more singular friendship than any perhaps, was that existing between a
goose and a dog, thus described in "The Philosophical Magazine":--

"A species of goose, a native of Africa, belonging to a person in
Scotland, was observed some time ago to pay particular attention to a
dog which was chained up; a dog which had previously manifested a great
dislike to poultry, never allowing them to come within reach of his
chain. The goose, finding she had nothing to fear from her canine
friend, would enter his kennel, in the centre of which, among the straw,
she made her nest and deposited her eggs, which was not known till one
of the family mentioned that the goose slept in the dog's bosom. The
singularity of the circumstance led to an examination of the box, but
not without the greatest reluctance on the part of the dog, who appeared
determined to protect what was left to his charge. On removing the
straw, five eggs were discovered in a fine bed of down and feathers. The
dog was in the habit of going into his box with the greatest care, for
fear of injuring the eggs."

The Maternal Instinct of the Goose.

The Rev. C. A. Bury gives a pathetic illustration of the maternal
instinct of the goose:--

"An old goose, that had been for a fortnight hatching in a farmer's
kitchen was perceived on a sudden to be taken violently ill. She soon
after left the nest, and repaired to an outhouse where there was a young
goose of the first year, which she brought with her into the kitchen.
The young one immediately scrambled into the old one's nest, sat,
hatched, and afterwards brought up the brood. The old goose, as soon as
the young one had taken her place, sat down by the side of the nest, and
shortly after died. As the young goose had never been in the habit of
entering the kitchen before, I know of no way of accounting for this
fact than by supposing that the old one had some way of communicating
her thoughts and anxieties, which the other was perfectly able to
understand. A sister of mine, who witnessed the transaction, gave me the
information in the evening of the very day it happened." The Rev. F. C.
Morris tells of a goose which had a number of ducks' eggs placed with
some of her own that she might hatch them, but which twice removed the
ducks' eggs from the group, declining to sit on any but her own.

The Duck.

The many varieties of Ducks might well occupy much more space than we
can spare for them. The better known of these are the Wild Duck, the
Common Duck, the Eider Duck, the Long-tailed Duck, the King Duck, the
Canvas-back Duck, the Mallard, the Teal, the Widgeon, the Mandarin, and
the Common Shelldrake.

An interesting illustration of the affection which ducks sometimes show
towards each other is given by Dr. Stanley. He says:--"A pair of Muscovy
Ducks were landed at Holyhead from a Liverpool vessel, returning from
the coast of Africa. The male was conveyed to a gentleman's house, and
put with other ducks, towards whom he evinced the utmost indifference:
he evidently pined for the loss of his mate; but she was brought after a
time, and let loose; he did not at first see her, but when, on turning
his head, he caught a glimpse of her, he rushed towards her with a joy
which was quite affecting. Nothing after that would induce him to quit
her; he laid his beak upon hers, nestled his head under her wing, and
often gazed at her with the greatest delight."

The Swan.

The Swan is one of the most graceful of the bird kind, the purity of its
colour and the beauty of its form as it glides along the river making
it one of the prettiest sights in nature. There are several varieties of
the swan, of which the Whooping Swan and the Common Swan of Europe, the
Black Swan of Australia, and the Black-necked Swan of South America are
the most familiar.

The Maternal Instinct of the Swan.

The swan is assiduous in the care of her young, and shows great
intelligence in providing for them as well as courage in their defence.
She makes her nest in the grass among reeds; and in February begins to
lay, depositing egg after egg, until there are six or eight. Dr. Latham
mentions two females that for three or four years successively, agreed
to associate, and had each a brood yearly, bringing up together about
eleven young ones: they sat by turns, and never quarrelled. Captain
Brown gives a remarkable illustration of the courage of a swan in
defending her nest. He says:--"A female swan, while in the act of
sitting, observed a fox swimming towards her from the opposite shore:
She instantly darted into the water, and having kept him at bay for a
considerable time with her wings, at last succeeded in drowning him;
after which, in the sight of several persons, she returned in triumph.
This circumstance took place at Pensy, in Buckinghamshire."

The Swan's Intelligence.

Mr. Yarrell, in his "British Birds," mentions a remarkable instance of
the sagacity and intelligence of the swan: "A female swan was sitting on
four or five eggs. One day she was observed to be very busy in
collecting weeds, grasses, and sticks, to raise her nest above its usual
level. A kind-hearted farming man threw her some handfuls of brushwood,
with which she most industriously raised her nest, and soon placed the
eggs about two feet and a half above the old level. That night there
came down a tremendous fall of rain, which flooded all the fields and
cellars, and did great damage in the village. Man made no
preparation--the bird did; and instinct prevailed over reason! Her eggs
were above, and only just above, the water."

The Swan and the Fawn.

Swans are said to be spiteful at times, and to show a savagery of temper
on occasion, for which, as in the following case, it is difficult to
account. "In the park of Lord Grantley at Wonersh, near Guildford, a
fawn, drinking, was suddenly pounced upon by one of the swans, which
pulled the animal into the water, and held it under until quite drowned.
This action was observed by the other deer in the park, and did not long
go unrevenged; for shortly after, this very swan, which had hitherto
never been molested by the deer, was singled out when on land, and
furiously attacked by a herd, which surrounded and killed it."

The Common Sea-Gull.

The Gulls are a numerous family, the Common Gull, the Herring Gull, the
Great Black-Backed Gull and the Ivory Gull being well known species. The
Common Gull is found everywhere. It frequents the coasts of continents
and islands and feeds principally upon fish, though its voracity is very
accommodating, and its taste not over fastidious.

A Tame Sea-Gull

Many years ago, Mr. Scot, of Benholm, near Montrose, caught a sea-gull,
and having cut its wings put it into his garden. The bird remained in
this situation for several years, and being kindly treated, became so
familiar, as to come at call to be fed at the kitchen door and to answer
to the name of Willie. It became so tame at last that no pains were
thought necessary to circumscribe its liberty, 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 accompanied
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 very liberally. In this way it went
and returned for _forty years_, without intermission, and kept up its
acquaintance with the family, for while in the country it visited them
almost daily, answered to its name like any domestic animal, and ate
almost out of the hand. One year, however, very near the period of its
final disappearance, 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 their lamentation for his loss, as it was feared he was
dead: but to the surprise and joy of the family, a servant one morning
came running into the breakfast-room with delight, announcing that
Willie was returned. The whole company rose from the table to welcome
the bird. Food was 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. In a year or two afterwards this grateful bird
disappeared for ever.

Mother Carey's Chicken.

The Stormy Petrel or Mother Carey's Chicken, is a small black bird well
known to mariners, and familiar to all at sea in stormy weather. It
follows in the wake of ships and is regarded as a prophet of evil, at
least in so far as stormy weather is concerned. It is seen in many parts
of the ocean busily engaged in searching for food, braving the fury of
the storm and skimming along the waves, sometimes above their tops, and
sometimes screening itself from the blast by sinking down into the
billows between them. It nests in all but inaccessible places, the
Island of St. Kilda being the chief British breeding place of the Fulmar
variety. These are of great importance to the natives who run great
risks in searching for their eggs and who catch the birds for the
purposes of food, and for the oil which they supply.

Catching the Stormy Petrel.

The danger attaching to the capture of the Petrel in its rocky haunts in
the Hebrides is thus vividly described by Mr. Drosier. "As the stormy
petrel, is scarcely ever to be seen near the land, except in very
boisterous weather, one of the natives for a trifling remuneration,
agreed to traverse the face of a rock, and take me some from out its
fissures. Accordingly, accoutred with a rope of hemp and hogs' bristles
coiled over his shoulders, he proceeded to the cliff. Having made one
end fast by means of a stake, he threw the coil over the face of the
rock, and gradually lowered himself down, but with the utmost caution
and circumspection, carefully pressing his foot hard upon the narrow
ridges before he at all loosened his firm grasp of the rope, which he
never altogether abandoned. I had previously thrown myself upon my
chest, to enable me to have a better view of him, by looking over the
cliff; and, certainly, to see the dexterity and bravery with which he
threw himself from one aperture to another, was truly grand. The
tumbling roar of the Atlantic was foaming many hundreds of feet beneath,
and dashing its curling cream-like surge against the dark base of the
cliff, in sheets of the most beautiful white; while the herring and
black-backed gulls, alternately sweeping past him so as to be almost in
reach of his arm, threw a wildness into the scene, by the discordant
scream of the former, and the laughing, oft-repeated bark of the latter.
This, however, he appeared entirely to disregard; and continuing his
search, returned in about half an hour, with seven or eight of the
stormy petrels, tied up in an old stocking, and a pair of the Manks
puffins, together with their eggs. The birds, he told me, he had no
difficulty in capturing. The eggs of the stormy petrel are surprisingly
large, considering the diminutive size of the bird, being as large as
those of the thrush. The female lays two eggs, of a dirty or dingy
white, encircled at the larger end by a ring of fine rust-coloured
freckles. The birds merely collect a few pieces of dried grass, with a
feather or two, barely sufficient to prevent the eggs from rolling or
moving on the rock."

The Cormorant.

The Common Cormorant is familiar all round the coast of England, and
will even sometimes venture inland or at any rate up the mouths of
rivers. Captain Brown mentions one that, many years ago, was seen
resting upon the vane of St. Martin's steeple, Ludgate Hill, London;
and was shot in the presence of a large number of people. It is a
voracious bird and shows great dexterity in the catching and swallowing
of fish, turning them round so as to swallow them head foremost, in
order to avoid the resistance of the fins and spines. Colonel Montague
had one, caught in a tributary of the Bristol Channel, by a Newfoundland
dog, which at first refused food but offered no resistance to being
crammed. "The Colonel having retired to the library after seeing the
bird fed," says Captain Brown, "was surprised in a few minutes to see it
walk boldly into the room, unceremoniously place itself by him at the
side of the fire, and begin to dress its feathers. This practice it
continued till removed to an aquatic menagerie. Whenever it saw the
water it became restless, and on being set at liberty, plunged into it,
and incessantly dived for a considerable time in search of fish. After
this, it seemed to be convinced that there were none to be found there,
as it was not noticed to dive again for three days."

The Albatross.

The great Albatross is a large and powerful bird, measuring three feet
in length and having a stretch of wing of from nine to twelve or
fourteen feet. It is a heavy bird, and needs great strength to sustain
its weight during its long and rapid flights. Mrs. Bowdich says, "One
was known to follow a ship, which made two hundred miles a day, for
forty-eight hours; and besides these miles, from its irregular flight,
it must have passed over a much longer distance. The Albatross darts
with unerring aim and great force on its prey, as it swims on the top of
the waves. A man who fell overboard near the island of St. Paul's was
killed by these birds; for, although the boat was lowered immediately,
nothing was found of him except his hat, pierced through and through by
the beaks of three albatrosses, who had marked him, pecked him on the
head, and caused him to sink." Their flight is easy and apparently
performed without effort and with an almost imperceptible movement of
wing. The Albatross is easily caught from the stern of a ship with a
hook. Mr. Wood says: "It seems rather remarkable that a bird that lives
in or over the sea during its whole life, should prove a landsman when
taken on board. Yet, when the Albatross is caught and placed on deck, it
begins to stagger about, and soon becomes as thoroughly sea sick as the
most inexperienced cockney." Mr. Earl thus describes the haunt of the
Albatross in the heights of the Island of Tristan d'Acunha: "A
death-like stillness prevailed in these high regions, and to my ear our
voices had a strange unnatural echo, and I fancied our forms appeared
gigantic, whilst the air was piercing cold. The prospect was altogether
sublime, and filled the mind with awe. The huge Albatross here appeared
to dread no interloper or enemy; for their young were on the ground
completely uncovered, and the old ones were stalking around them."

The Pelican.

The Pelican is one of the largest of swimming birds. It is distinguished
by the possession of a pouch which is capable of holding two gallons of
water, and which it uses for the purposes of catching fish, and feeding
its young. In this latter operation the bird presses its pouch which
hangs beneath its beak, against its breast, and so disgorges its
contents. This action is said to have given rise to the fable that
pelicans pluck nourishment from their own breasts to feed their young.
The Pelican belongs to the South and East of Europe and the North of

A Tame Pelican.

Mr. Hill, of St. Domingo, gives an interesting account of a tame pelican
which is quoted by Mrs. Bowdich. He says:--"The facility with which the
pelican resigns itself to fasting or feasting, was very interestingly
exhibited to me in a bird I saw the other day at Passage Fort. It was a
pelican of mature age; it flew backwards and forwards, visiting the wild
flocks, and feeding with them in the harbour during the day, and
withdrew from them to roost in its master's yard during the night. In
that period of restraint, when it was necessary to observe the caution
of drawing its quill feathers, to keep it within diminished capabilities
of flight, until it became familiar and domesticated, it was wholly
dependent on the fish provided for it by the fishermen of the beach.
Sunday was no fishing day with these men; and this was, therefore, a day
in which there were no supplies for the pelican. It became, in time, so
conscious of the recurrence of this fast-day, that although, at all
other times, it went daily down to the sea-side to wait the coming in of
the canoes, on the seventh day it never stirred from the incumbent trunk
of a tree, on which it roosted, within the yard. It had been found
necessary to pluck its wings within the last two or three months, to
restrain it within bounds, in consequence of its absence latterly with
the wild birds, for several days in succession, and in this state it was
reduced, as formerly, to depend on the fishermen for food. The old habit
of abstinence and drowsy repose on the Sundays again recurred, and when
I saw it, it was once more a tranquil observer of the rest, and with it
the fast, of the Sabbath-day."

The Penguin.

The Penguin belongs to South America, Australia, New Zealand and the
Cape of Good Hope. There are a number of species; the Jackass Penguin,
so called from the peculiarity of its cry, the King Penguin of the South
Pacific, and the Cape Penguin of Cape Horn, the largest of the penguins,
being the principal varieties. Mr. Darwin in describing the Jackass
penguin says:--"In diving, its little plumeless wings are used as fins,
but on the land _as front legs_. When crawling (it may be said on four
legs) through the tussocks, or on the side of a grassy cliff, it moved
so very quickly that it might readily have been mistaken for a
quadruped. When at sea and fishing, it comes to the surface, for the
purpose of breathing, with such a spring, and dives again so
instantaneously, that I defy any one at first sight to be sure that it
is not a fish leaping for sport." The penguin is a courageous bird, and
will not hesitate to attack a man. Mr. Darwin when on the Falkland
Islands, placed himself between one of the Patagonian penguins and the
water, and till it reached the sea, it regularly fought and drove him
backwards. It stood close before him, erect and determined, and every
inch gained it firmly kept. Nothing less than heavy blows would have
stopped it.

The Puffin.

The Puffin is a bird of singular appearance and interesting habits. It
is sometimes called the sea parrot from the resemblance of its head to
that of the Parrot kind. The bird measures thirteen inches in length,
and its bill is a formidable weapon. The Raven seems to be its natural
enemy, and when they come to close quarters a great deal depends upon
which succeeds in getting the first grip. Naturally each bird has the
best chance in its own element. It is a bird of passage, visiting its
customary breeding places in the summer and wintering in southern
Europe. Mr. Rennie says, "In the breeding season, numerous troops of
them visit several places on our coasts, particularly the small island
of Priestholm, near Anglesey, which might well be called puffin land, as
the whole surface appears literally covered with them. Soon after their
arrival in May, they prepare for breeding, and it is said, the male,
contrary to the usual economy of birds, undertakes the hardest part of
the labour. He begins by scraping up a hole in the sand not far from the
shore; and after having got some depth he throws himself on his back,
and with his powerful bill as a digger and his broad feet to remove the
rubbish, he excavates a burrow with several windings and turnings, from
eight to ten feet deep. He prefers, where he can find a stone, to dig
under it, in order that his retreat may be more securely fortified.
Whilst thus employed, the birds are so intent upon their work that they
are easily caught by the hand."


The Ostriches.

This order includes the Ostrich, the Rhea, the Cassowaries and the Emus.
The Ostrich belongs to Africa, Australasia, and South America. It is the
largest of the birds, attaining to a height of six feet, and a weight of
three hundred pounds. It is hunted for the sake of its feathers, but
being very swift of foot has to be circumvented by strategy. It is said
to run in large curves, which habit gives the hunter the opportunity of
riding straight and intercepting it. "A favourite method adopted by the
wild Bushman for approaching the Ostrich and other varieties of game,"
says Captain Gumming, "is to clothe himself in the skin of one of these
birds, in which, taking care of the wind, he stalks about the plain,
cunningly imitating the gait and motions of the Ostrich, until within
range, when, with a well-directed poisoned arrow from his tiny bow, he
can generally seal the fate of any of the ordinary varieties of game."
The eggs of the Ostrich are also much prized. "The nest," says Captain
Gumming, "is merely a hollow scooped in the sandy soil, generally
amongst heath or other low bushes; its diameter is about seven feet; it
is believed that two hens often lay in one nest. The hatching of the
eggs is not left, as is generally believed, to the heat of the sun, but,
on the contrary, the cock relieves the hen in the incubation. The eggs
form a considerable item in the Bushman's cuisine, and the shells are
converted into water flasks, cups, and dishes. I have often seen
Bush-girls and Bakalahari women, who belong to the wandering Bechuana
tribes of the Kalahari desert, come down to the fountains from their
remote habitations, sometimes situated at an amazing distance, each
carrying on her back a kaross, or a net-work containing from twelve to
fifteen ostrich egg-shells, which had. been emptied by a small aperture
at one end; these they fill with water."

The Ostrich and its Young.

The Ostrich shows the same affection for its mate, and the same devotion
to the care of its young that we have noticed in other birds, and in
animals. The female of a pair in Paris died through swallowing a
three-cornered piece of glass which a glazier had dropped into their
cage, after which the mate pined away and died in a few weeks. Of their
care of their young Captain Cumming says:

"I fell in with a troop of about twelve young ostriches, which were not
much larger than Guinea-fowls. I was amused to see the mother endeavour
to lead us away, exactly like a wild duck, spreading out and drooping
her wings, and throwing herself down on the ground before us as if
wounded, while the cock bird cunningly led the brood away in an opposite
direction." Professor Thunberg once rode past the place where a hen
Ostrich was sitting in her nest; when the bird sprang up, and pursued
him, evidently with a view to prevent his noticing her eggs or young.
Every time he turned his horse towards her she retreated ten or twelve
paces; but as soon as he rode again she pursued him, till he had got to
a considerable distance from the place where he had started her.

The Rhea. The Cassowary. The Emu.

The Rhea is a beautiful bird of the ostrich type belonging to South
America. There are several species, known as the Common Rhea, the
Great-billed Rhea, and Darwin's Rhea, the latter belonging to Patagonia.
A Common Rhea bred some time ago in the Zoological gardens, when the
male bird discharged the duties of incubation. The Cassowary and the Emu
belong to Australia. The Cassowary resembles the ostrich in form, but is
not so large. It stands about five feet. Like all these birds it is
unable to fly, but is very swift of foot. It can kick too, with great
violence, as dogs have sometimes found to their cost. The Emu is a very
large bird and is said sometimes to exceed six feet in height.

Mr. Bennett says:--"The length of its legs and the muscularity of its
thighs enable it to run with great swiftness; and as it is exceedingly
shy, it is not easily overtaken or brought within gun-shot. Captain
Currie states that it affords excellent coursing, equalling if not
surpassing the same sport with the hare in England; but Mr. Cunningham
says that dogs will seldom attack it, both on account of some peculiar
odour in its flesh which they dislike, and because the injuries
inflicted upon them by striking out with its feet are frequently very
severe. The settlers even assert that the Emu will break the small bone
of a man's leg by this sort of kick; to avoid which, well-trained dogs
run up abreast, and make a sudden spring at the neck, whereby the bird
is quickly dispatched. Its flesh has been compared to coarse beef, which
it resembles both in appearance and taste." Mr. Jesse says, "The only
instance I have met with in which the hen bird has not the chief care in
hatching and bringing up the young, is in the case of the Emus, at the
farm belonging to the Zoological Society, near Kingston. A pair of these
birds bred five young ones: the female, at different times, dropped nine
eggs in various places in the pen in which she was confined. These were
collected in one place by the male, who rolled them gently and carefully
along with his beak. He then sat upon them himself, and continued to do
so with the utmost assiduity, for nine weeks, during which time the
female never took his place, nor was he ever observed to leave the nest.
When the young were hatched, he alone took charge of them, the female
not appearing to notice them in any way. On reading this anecdote, many
persons may suppose that the female emu is not possessed of that natural
affection for its young which other birds have. In order to rescue it
from this supposition, I will mention that a female emu belonging to the
Duke of Devonshire at Chiswick, laid some eggs; and as there was no male
bird, she collected them together herself, and sat upon them." The
Apteryx, the wingless bird of New Zealand, belongs to this order.



The Tortoise and The Turtle.

This order introduces us to creatures differing very widely, in form and
character, from those which we have been considering. There are more
than two hundred species of the tortoise, and these are grouped into
four families. The Common European tortoise is found in the South of
France and Italy, as well as in Sicily and Greece. It feeds on
vegetables, and under favourable circumstances lives a great number of
years. It is slow in its movements but it burrows rapidly and is soon
out of sight in the sandy soil it affects. Tortoises are commonly kept
in a state of domestication in England, one known to the writer showing
a great preference for pansies, eating the flowers and leaving the other
parts of the plant. Mr. Wood describes the efforts made by a tortoise in
his possession to attain the summit of a footstool, which shows that the
reptile has some measure of intelligence. "Unfit as the form of the
creature may seem for such a purpose," says Mr. Wood, "it did contrive
to scramble upon a footstool which was placed by the fender. Its method
of attaining this elevation was as follows:--First it reared up against
the footstool in the angle formed by it and the fender, and after
several ineffectual attempts, succeeded in hitching the claws of one of
its hind feet into the open work of the fender. On this it raised
itself, and held on to the top of the stool by its fore feet, while it
gained another step on the fender, and so managed to raise itself to
such a height, that it only had to fall flat on the top of the
footstool. When once there, it could hardly be induced to leave the
elevation which it had gained with such difficulty."

The Elephant Tortoise.

The gigantic tortoises of the Galapagos Islands came under the
observation of Mr. Darwin, from whom we quote the following descriptive
passages: "These animals are found, I believe, in all the Islands of the
Galapagos Archipelago. They frequent in preference the high damp parts,
but likewise inhabit the lower and arid districts. Some individuals grow
to an immense size. Mr. Lawson told us that he had seen several so large
that it required six or eight men to lift them from the ground, and that
some had afforded as much as two hundred pounds of meat. This tortoise
is very fond of water, drinking large quantities and wallowing in the
mud. The larger islands alone possess springs, and these are always
situated towards the central parts and at a considerable elevation. The
tortoises, therefore, which frequent the lower districts, when thirsty
have to travel from a long distance. Hence broad and well beaten paths
radiate off in every direction from the wells, even down to the sea
coasts, and the Spaniards by following them up first discovered the
watering-places. Near the springs it was a curious spectacle to behold
many of these great monsters; one set eagerly travelling onwards with
outstretched necks, and another set returning, having drunk their fill.
The tortoises when moving towards any definite point, travel by night
and day, and arrive at their journey's end much sooner than would be
expected. One large tortoise, which I watched, I found walked at the
rate of sixty yards in ten minutes, that is three hundred and sixty in
the hour, or four miles a day, allowing also a little time to eat on the
road. During the breeding season, when the male and female are together,
the male utters a hoarse roar or bellowing, which, it is said, can be
heard at a distance of more than a hundred yards. The female never uses
her voice and the male only at such times. They were at this season (the
month of October) laying their eggs. The female, where the soil is
sandy, deposits them together and covers them up with sand; but where
the ground is rocky she drops them indiscriminately in any hollow. Mr.
Bynoe found seven placed in a line on a fissure. The egg is white and
spherical; one which I measured was seven inches and three-eighths in
circumference. The inhabitants believe that these animals are absolutely
deaf; certainly they do not overhear a person walking close behind them.
I was always amused when overtaking one of these great monsters as it
was quietly pacing along, to see how suddenly, the instant I paused, it
would draw in its head and legs, and uttering a deep hiss, fall to the
ground with a heavy sound as if struck dead. I frequently got on their
backs, and then, upon giving a few raps on the hinder parts of the
shell, they would rise up and walk away, but I found it very difficult
to keep my balance. The flesh of these animals is largely employed, both
fresh and salted; and a beautiful clear oil is prepared from the fat.
When a tortoise is caught, the man makes a slit in the skin, near its
tail, so as to see inside its body whether the fat under the dorsal
plate is thick. If it is not, the animal is liberated; and is said to
recover soon from this strange operation. In order to secure the
tortoises it is not sufficient to turn them, like turtles, for they are
often able to regain their upright position."

The Turtle.

The Green Turtle is the turtle of the famous soup. It is a large animal,
measuring five or six feet in length and weighing from five hundred to
six hundred pounds; it feeds on sea-weeds and is found in large numbers
in the seas of warm latitudes. The species from which we get the horny
substance known as tortoiseshell (_Chelonia Imbricata_) is sometimes
called the Hawk's-bill turtle. It is a smaller variety, measuring about
three feet and belonging to tropical seas. The Leathery Turtle is said
to reach eight feet in length and a weight of a thousand pounds. The
Loggerhead Turtle is even larger than this, and sometimes weighs as much
as fifteen hundred pounds.

[Illustration: Crocodile and Tiger Fight]


The Crocodile.

The Crocodile and the Alligator belong respectively to the Eastern and
the Western Worlds. The former infests the rivers of Africa and Asia,
one species at least belonging to Australia. Some of the best known
varieties are those of the river Nile, the Gavial of the Ganges being
also among the more familiar species. These formidable and unwieldy
monsters grow to an immense size, sometimes attaining to a length of
twenty-five feet. Their enormous jaws and innumerable sharp teeth (they
sometimes number a hundred) give them a terrible appearance, while their
hard scaly coats are invulnerable against ordinary attack. Their point
of weakness is their unwieldy character, taking advantage of which the
natives will dive beneath them and stab them with knives in vulnerable
parts. The huntsman aims at their eyes as being the nearest approach to
their brains. Mungo Park relates that one of his guides across the river
Gambia was suddenly seized by a Crocodile and pulled under the water;
upon which the negro thrust his fingers into the animal's eyes with such
violence that it quitted its hold, but seizing him again, he resorted to
the same expedient and with more success, as it again released him,
appeared stupified, and then swam down the river. This man reached the
bank bleeding very much, with long and deep wounds in his thighs, which
incapacitated him for travel for six days. The crocodile lays an
enormous number of eggs on the banks of its native rivers, but most of
these are prevented from maturing by the birds and animals which prey
upon them. Mrs. Bowdich tells an amusing story of a merchant who packed
some crocodiles' eggs in sand for shipment to England and placed the
barrel containing them with other goods in his warehouse. Strange and
unaccountable noises, attracted attention to the spot, when it was
discovered that the eggs had become hatched and the young crocodiles
were quite ready to assume the responsibilities of life. The natives
fled in terror, and the merchant had to take speedy measures for
destroying his unexpected brood. Some species of the crocodile have been
tamed or partially so, the sacred crocodiles being among these.
Accustomed to be fed regularly by the same hands they gradually become
familiar with their priestly attendants, and to some extent obedient to
their commands. Mungo Park says:--"The crocodiles of the Congo appear to
be of a smaller species, and not so numerous as those at Old Calabar,
where they continually float past the shipping like large grey pieces of
timber, and are so bold that they frequently seize people in the small
canoes. In Old Calabar river, I once observed a crocodile swimming with
a large cat-fish in its mouth to the opposite shore. It held the fish by
the head, whilst the body was thrown into a perpendicular position. I
watched it with the spy-glass until it had dragged the fish upon the mud
bank, and commenced its meal."

The Alligator.

The Alligator of which there are some ten or twelve species known, is
found exclusively in America. The Mississippi Alligator is one of the
most familiar of these. The Alligator is smaller than the crocodile,
which it much resembles in form and habit, though specimens have been
met with which measure twenty-two feet in length. The Alligator is
naturally most abundant in tropical regions. Captain Brown says: "In the
height of the dry season in torrid regions all animated nature pants
with consuming thirst. A party of wood cutters, English and Irish, went
on one occasion to hunt in the neighbourhood of a lake called Pies Pond
in Beef Island, one of the smaller islands of the Bay of Campeachy. To
this pond the wild cattle repaired in herds to drink, and here the
hunters lay in wait for them. The chase had been prosecuted with great
success for a week, when an Irishman of the party going into the water
during the day, stumbled upon an alligator, which seized him by the
knee. His cries alarmed his companions, who fearing he had been seized
by the Spaniards, to whom the island belonged, instead of affording
assistance, fled from the huts which they had erected. The Irishman
seeing no appearance of help, with happy presence of mind (a quality
which the natives of that country possess in an eminent degree) quietly
waited till the alligator loosened his teeth to take a new and surer
hold; and when it did so, snatched away his knee, interposing the
butt-end of his gun in its stead, which the animal seized so firmly that
it was jerked out of the man's hand and carried off. He then crawled up
a neighbouring tree, again shouting after his comrades, who now found
courage to return." Mr. Waterton in his "Wanderings" says, "One Sunday
evening, some years ago, as I was walking with Don Felipe de Ynciarte,
governor of Augustura, on the bank of the Oroönque, 'Stop here a minute
or two, Don Carlos,' said he to me, 'while I recount a sad accident. One
fine evening last year, as the people of Augustura were sauntering up
and down here, in the Alameda, I was within twenty yards of this place,
when I saw a large Cayman rush out of the river, seize a man, and carry
him down, before any one had power to assist him. The screams of the
poor fellow were terrible as the Cayman was running off with him; he
plunged in the river with his prey; we instantly lost sight of him, and
never saw or heard him more.'"

A Tame Alligator.

That the Alligator is amenable to kindness is shown by the following
account of a tame specimen, which we quote from Mr. Jesse. He says, "The
most singular instance of attachment between two animals, whose nature
and habits were most opposite, was related to me by a person on whose
veracity I can place the greatest reliance. Before he took up his abode
at Hampden-court, he had resided for nine years in the American States,
where he superintended the execution of some extensive works for the
American government. One of these works consisted in the erection of a
beacon in a swamp in one of the rivers, where he caught a young
alligator. This animal he made so perfectly tame, that it followed him
about the house like a dog, scrambling up the stairs after him, and
showing much affection and docility. Its great favourite, however, was a
cat, and the friendship was mutual. When the cat was reposing herself
before the fire, (this was at New York) the alligator would lay himself
down, place his head upon the cat, and in this attitude go to sleep. If
the cat was absent, the alligator was restless; but he always appeared
happy when the cat was near him. The only instance in which he showed
any ferocity was in attacking a fox, which was tied up in the yard.
Probably, however, the fox resented some playful advances, which the
other had made, and thus called forth the anger of the alligator. In
attacking the fox he did not make use of his mouth, but beat him with so
much severity with his tail, that had not the chain which confined the
fox, broken, he would probable have killed him. The alligator was fed on
raw flesh, and sometimes with milk, for which he showed great fondness.
In cold weather he was shut up in a box, with wool in it; but having
been forgotten one frosty night, he was found dead in the morning."


Hatteria Punctata.

Order III consists of a large reptile belonging to New Zealand which for
anatomical reasons cannot be classed either with the Crocodiles or the
Lizards. It is rare if not almost extinct, but a specimen may be seen in
the Natural History Museum.


The Lizards.

The lizards form an exceedingly numerous order. There are many hundreds
of different species, large and small, of which we can only refer to the
Chameleon, the Iguana, the Common Lizard, and the Monitor.

The Chameleon.

The Chameleon family belongs to Africa, the common variety being
otherwise found in central Asia and Ceylon. There are several genera,
and numerous species. They live on insects and possess tongues of
unusual length, furnished with a sticky mucus, which they protrude and
retract with such rapidity and certainty of aim that insects are caught,
and conveyed to the mouth with a speed the eye cannot follow. The
characteristic for which they are most famous is that of changing their
colour, a power which has doubtless been much exaggerated but which no
less surely exists. Mrs. Bowdich describes some she had in her
possession; she says, "Mine became green and yellow, assumed lighter and
brighter lines, but I could not see the bright blue or red substances on
which I put them reflected in their skins." According to M.
d'Obsonville, who is quoted by Mrs. Bowdich, the original colour is
green, the shades of which vary according to circumstances. When at
liberty, and in health, it assumes gradations of brown, red, or light
grey; when well-fed and in the open air, if provoked, it becomes a
blue-green; but when feeble, or deprived of free air, the prevailing
tint is yellow-green. If surrounded and teased or if one of its own
species comes near, it exhibits all three tints of green. If dying,
especially of hunger, yellow first predominates; and when dead, it is
the colour of dead leaves.

The Iguana.

The Common Iguana which sometimes attains to a length of five feet,
belongs to South America. It is a singular looking animal but is much
esteemed as an article of food, its flesh resembling that of chickens.
When taken young it may be tamed by kindness but otherwise it is fierce
when attacked and its bite is very severe. It is said that the natives
of the Bahama Islands who subsist largely on the Iguana, sew up their
mouths to prevent them biting when they wish to keep them alive for a

The Common Lizard.

The Common Lizard and the Sand Lizard are the varieties found in
England. The Common Lizard is the smaller of the two, measuring about
six inches, the Sand Lizard sometimes attaining to double that length.
The former frequents green and sunny banks and is so rapid in its
movements when disturbed that it is sometimes mistaken for a viper. The
latter, which frequents sandy heaths and lives in burrows, assimilates
to the colour of its surroundings.

The Monitor.

The Monitor is the largest of the Lizards, sometimes measuring as much
as six feet in length. The largest of these frequents the Nile and is
known as the Nile Monitor from the habit attributed to it of signalling
the presence of crocodiles by a peculiar whistling sound. Dr. Abel Smith
says, "It is usually met with in rocky precipices, or on low, stony
hills, and when surprised, seeks concealment in the chinks of the
former, or in the irregular cavities of the latter; and when any
projections exist upon the surface of the rocks or stones, it clasps
them so firmly with its toes, that it becomes a task of no small
difficulty to dislodge it, even though it can be easily reached. Under
such circumstances, the strength of no one man is able to withdraw a
full-grown individual; and I have seen two persons required to pull a
specimen out of a position it had attained, even with the assistance of
a rope fixed in front of its hinder legs. The moment it was dislodged,
it flew with fury at its enemies, who by flight only saved themselves
from being bitten. After it was killed, it was discovered that the
points of all the nails had been broken previously, or at the moment it
lost its hold. It feeds upon frogs, crabs, and small quadrupeds, and,
from its partiality to the two former, it is often found among rocks
near to springs or running streams, which fact having been observed by
the natives, has led them to regard it as sacred, and not to be injured
without danger of drought."



There are hundreds of species of snakes, distributed in different parts
of the world, of which we can only select a few, of the better known,
for present purposes. These are the Viper, the Rattlesnake, the Cobra,
and the Boa Constrictor.

The Viper.

The Viper is found throughout Europe and is the only venomous reptile
known in England. It feeds on frogs, lizards, mice, and other small
animals, but like many of the snake kind often gorges itself and falls a
victim to its own rapacity. A Viper mentioned in the "Magazine of
Natural History" swallowed a lizard almost as large as itself, with the
result that one of the lizard's legs protruded through its side. Another
Viper came into the possession of Professor Bell, which had lost its
life through attempting to swallow a mouse which was too big for it, the
skin of its neck being so distended as to burst in several places. The
sting of the Viper, though venomous, is not nearly so fatal as is
commonly supposed. The simplest remedy is suction, fomentation, and the
application of oil. Vipers are sometimes caught by the sudden seizure of
the hand, at the neck, whereupon the creature opens its mouth to bite
its captor who cuts off its fangs with a pair of scissors.

The Viper and its Young.

"On August 4th, 1776," says Gilbert White, "we surprised a large viper,
which seemed very heavy and bloated, as it lay in the grass basking in
the sun. When we came to cut it up, we found that the abdomen was
crowded with young, fifteen in number; the shortest of which measured
full seven inches, and were about the size of full-grown earth-worms.
This little fry issued into the world with the true viper-spirit about
them, showing great alertness as soon as disengaged from the belly of
the dam; they twisted and wriggled about, and set themselves up, and
gaped very wide when touched with a stick, showing manifest tokens of
menace and defiance, though as yet they had no manner of fangs that we
could find, even with the help of our glasses. To a thinking mind
nothing is more wonderful than that early instinct which impresses young
animals with a notion of the situation of their natural weapons, and of
using them properly in their own defence, even before those weapons
subsist or are formed. Thus a young cock will spar at his adversary
before his spurs are grown; and a calf or a lamb will push with their
heads before their horns are sprouted."

The Rattlesnake.

The Rattlesnake belongs to America, and many exaggerated stories are
current concerning it. At certain seasons it is very fierce and its bite
is at all times very dangerous, but in the ordinary way it will not
attack anything but the animals it feeds upon, unless molested. It has
been tamed and kept in cages, one in the possession of Mr. Pierce making
friends with a toad which was introduced to its cage for the purposes of
food, and allowing it to take many liberties.

The Sting of the Rattlesnake.

"After the death of this snake," says Mr. Pierce, "I examined his fangs;
they were sharp like a sickle; a duct led from the reservoir of poison
at the bottom of the tooth quite through its whole length, and
terminated just by the point, which was exceedingly sharp. Thus, when
the fang is darted out it makes the puncture, and simultaneously the
poison flows through the duct, and is deposited in the very bottom of
the wound. As this rarely fails to touch a blood-vessel, the venom is
thus instantly issued into the system, and without delay, commences the
march of death through every vein and artery." Mr. Smith in the
"Philosophical Transactions" says:--"If a venomous serpent be made
repeatedly to inflict wounds, without allowing sufficiently long
intervals for it to recover its powers, each successive bite becomes
less and less effective. A gentleman who had a rattlesnake in a cage,
put a rat in with it; it immediately struck the rat, which died in two
minutes. Another rat was then introduced, which ran as far as it could
from the snake, with cries of distress. In half an hour, during which
time the snake showed no hostility, on being irritated, it struck the
rat, which died in twenty minutes. A third, and remarkably large rat,
was then thrust into the cage, which showed no terror of the snake, and
the snake took no notice of the rat; the gentleman, after watching them
for the whole evening, went to bed, and when he inspected the cage the
next morning, the snake was dead, and the muscular part of its back
eaten by the rat."

The rattle consists of a number of horny joints which when shaken
produce the sound by which it is known, and which gives notice of the
proximity of the snake.

The Black Snake and the Rattlesnake.

"The black snake of Central America," says Mr. Byam, "is a deadly enemy
to the rattlesnake; it is next in size to the boa, but much more agile;
very vicious and ill-tempered, but not poisonous; it measures from nine
to ten feet, and whenever they meet a pitched battle ensues, which, if
tolerably equal in size, ends in favour of the black snake. It is not
known whether they bite each other, but, at all events, the poison of
the venomous serpent has no effect upon his adversary, although a
rattlesnake bit itself one day, and died of the wound. A black and a
rattlesnake were each descending opposite banks to drink at a stream a
yard broad; the black fellow sprang over the stream, and they instantly
joined in conflict. They twined together, and the black snake had
evidently most muscular power, so that in half an hour the rattlesnake
was dead, and the black snake swallowed him, gliding into the thicket,
double the size he was when he came out of it."

The Cobra.

The Cobra is one of the most venomous of the snakes of the East. It is
common all over India and Ceylon and the Islands of the Archipelago. It
attains to a length of five or six feet, and feeds on birds, small
animals, lizards, frogs, toads, and fishes, in the pursuit of which it
will ascend trees and swim the sea. Notwithstanding its dangerous
character, the Cobra is the chosen subject of the Indian snake charmer,
who keeps it in a basket, until the time for the performance and then
allows it to creep out to the sounds of a native fife, upon hearing
which the Cobra immediately expands its beautiful though threatening
hood, erects its neck, and commences a series of undulating movements,
which are continued until the sound of the fife ceases, when the snake
instantly drops, and is replaced in its basket by its master.

Snake Charming.

"One morning, as I sat at breakfast," says a writer in the Penny
Magazine, "I heard a loud noise and shouting among my palankeen bearers.
On enquiry, I learned that they had seen a large hooded snake, and were
trying to kill it. I immediately went out, and saw the snake creeping up
a very high green mound, whence it escaped into a hole, in an old wall
of an ancient fortification; the men were armed with their sticks, which
they always carry in their hands, and had attempted in vain to kill the
reptile, which had eluded their pursuit, and in his hole had coiled
himself up securely, whilst we could see his bright eyes shining. I had
often desired to ascertain the truth of the report, as to the effect of
music upon snakes. I therefore enquired for a snake-catcher. There was
one about three miles off, and I accordingly sent for him, keeping a
strict watch over the snake, which never attempted to escape, whilst we,
his enemies, were in sight. About an hour elapsed, when my messengers
returned, bringing a snake-catcher. This man wore no covering on his
head, nor any on his person, excepting a small piece of cloth round his
loins; he had in his hands two baskets, one containing tame snakes, the
other empty; these, and his musical pipe, were the only things he had
with him. I made the snake-catcher leave his two baskets on the ground,
at some distance, while he ascended the mound with his pipe alone. He
began to play: at the sound of music the snake came gradually and slowly
out of his hole. When he was entirely within reach, the snake-catcher
seized him dexterously by the tail, and held him thus at arm's length,
while the snake, enraged, darted his head in all directions, but in
vain; thus suspended, he has not the power to round himself, so as to
seize hold of his tormentor. He exhausted himself in vain exertions;
when the snake-catcher descended the bank, dropped him into the empty
basket, and closed the lid, he then began to play, and after a short
time raising the lid of the basket, the snake darted about wildly, and
attempted to escape; the lid was shut down again quickly, the music
always playing. This was repeated two or three times; and, in a very
short interval, the lid being again raised, the snake sat on his tail,
opened his hood, and danced quite as quietly as the tame snakes in the
other basket, nor did he again attempt to escape."

The Cobra as Companion of the Bath.

A gentleman in India once visited a neighbouring station for the purpose
of taking part in a cricket match, and was hospitably entertained. He
was put up in a large tent, accompanied by his wife. After the day's
play, at dusk, he went between the canvas walls of the tent where his
bath was ready. Touching the bath-tub, were placed two large earthenware
jars, full of cold water, and next to them was a brass basin, also
containing water, on a stand; the light was burning in the centre of the
tent so that between the canvas walls was darkness. He stepped into the
tub, and finding the water too hot, bent down to take up one of the cold
water jars, but something induced him instinctively to refrain. He
stayed his hand, at the same time calling out to his wife to bring a
light, which she did when, to his horror, he saw a large cobra coiled
round the mouth of the jar, within a foot of his naked legs. The
sensation can be imagined. To move was probably death, to stand still
required nerve. Experience and courage decided the point, and fixing his
eye on the reptile, he quietly told his wife to put down the light on
the ground and get him a stick. The wife, a sensible creature, obeyed,
leaving her lord in the agonies of suspense as to what the snake's next
move would be. This was soon settled by the reptile uncoiling itself and
gliding up the chillumchee stand on to the basin, from which it
commenced drinking. By this time the stick was gently put into the
bather's hand, who with a well-directed blow cut the snake in half
against the edge of the copper basin, thus putting a full stop to a
thrilling period.

A Night with a Cobra.

"I was on a visit during the rainy season, a few years ago," says a
recent writer, "when I slept upon an iron bedstead which had two lots of
bedding on it. The first night I awoke, as I thought with a horrible
nightmare, feeling the cold slimy body of a snake gliding over my
person, and imagining myself in the regions described in Milton's
_Paradise Lost_, and so wondrously drawn by Doré. I was bathed in
perspiration, and trembled all over till daylight brought relief, and I
convinced myself it must have been merely a nightmare. But the next
night I again awoke in terror, feeling the same awful sensation of a
cold, clammy body gliding gently along my side, and passing with a
wriggle over my body; terror preventing me moving. Whether I fainted or
again fell asleep I have never been able to decide, but at daylight I
fled from the room and sat cowering in the verandah, in a state of mind
bordering on insanity. My hostess was informed of my state, and got me
round with a glass of wine. Nothing would induce me to re-enter my
bedroom. The bearer and other domestics were sent for, and headed by the
mistress of the house, inspected the bed by removing the sheets. Nothing
was to be seen till one of the servants brushed his leg against
something soft and cold, and looked down at the junction of the two
beddings; he saw the end of a dark-coloured tail. A howl from him
scattered the servants and made me imagine the snake was about to attack
me. The valiant servants again assembled, and with sticks entered the
bedroom and poked off the upper bedding, revealing a large hooded cobra
coiled in the centre, which was eventually despatched by blows."

An Unpleasant Bedfellow.

A soldier in a regiment stationed at C---- was, for disorderly conduct,
condemned to pass the night in one of the cells. Just as he was going to
sleep he was startled by hearing a noise, which he knew could only be
occasioned by a snake. Instead of jumping up and calling to the sentinel
for help, and perhaps treading on the snake and being bitten by it, he
lay perfectly still, knowing that unless disturbed the snake would not
hurt him. Presently the snake drew its cold slimy body over his bare
feet. There are few persons who, in a similar condition, would not have
drawn up their legs with a start, but our hero did not even move. Soon
the snake began to crawl over his body and even passed over his face.
The poor soldier hardly dared to breathe. At last the reptile coiled
itself under his pillow, and when day broke our soldier, seizing the
stone with which he ought to have blocked up the hole by which the snake
entered, crushed it to death. On being examined, the reptile proved to
be of a kind whose bite is almost invariably fatal.

The Boa Constrictor.

The Boa Constrictor is one of the largest of the snake kind. It is not
venomous, but is possessed of enormous strength which it shows by
coiling itself round the object of its attack and crushing it into a
shapeless mass. It belongs to tropical America and feeds on birds, and
animals of all kinds, not hesitating to attack even the larger
quadrupeds. The following account from the pen of Mr. Byam will give an
idea of the way in which these monsters dispose of their prey.

The Boa and its Prey.

An Englishman and an Indian, travelling together through a thick forest,
heard a noise like the cry of a child in great pain. Pulling out their
pistols, and tying up their horses, they proceeded to the spot, and
there saw a boa crushing a young roebuck with short horns. It had wound
itself twice round its prey, just behind the shoulders, one coil lying
on the other to increase the weight, and its teeth were fastened on the
back of the deer's head. The tail was twisted twice round a young tree
close by. It was too busy to observe the strangers; and the Englishman
wished to attack it, and save the deer; but the Indian walked off very
gently, and made signs to him to follow. When they had regained their
horses, the Indian said it would have been madness to have fought with
the irritated animal, and they went their way. This was seven in the
morning, and they marked the spot by notching the trees. At four in the
afternoon they again passed that way, and found the boa lying straight
upon the ground; one of the horns of the roebuck sticking out of a
corner of the mouth, and the other looking as if it would perforate the
neck of the snake; the tail was still coiled round the tree, and the
middle of the body looked like a nine-gallon cask. A few blows of the
hunting sword about the tail finished the monster; but when attacked, it
tried to throw up the deer." The boa has been known to measure upwards
of twenty-five feet, though commonly not exceeding eighteen feet.

The Boa's Appetite.

Captain Heyland thus describes a boa which was in his possession for
some time:--"The animal was brought to me early in January, and did not
taste food from that time until the July following. During this period
he generally drank a quart of water daily. The man who brought him
stated, that he had been seen to eat a hog deer the day before he was
taken. He was allowed to be at liberty in the grounds about my house.
One evening early in July, hearing a noise, I went out, and discovered
that the snake had left his harbour, under the boards of a stable where
he generally lay; and having entered a small shed in which some fowls
were roosting, had swept eleven from the perch, and destroyed them by
pressing them between his folds. Then taking them one by one, head
foremost into his mouth, swallowed the whole down in twenty minutes. The
largest animal that he ate while in my possession was a calf, which he
killed and gorged in two hours and twenty minutes. He never attacked
dogs, cats, or pigs. Of these last, indeed, he seemed to be in dread,
for, whenever one was presented to him, he retired to a corner, and
coiled himself up, with his head undermost. If fed with animals not
larger than a duck, he ate readily every day; but after the meal of a
goat, refused food for a month."

A Terrible Boa.

Not many years ago, says a writer in "Chums," a boa escaped from a
menagerie at Grenoble, and disappeared without leaving a trace. A few
days afterwards a certain Monsieur Flisson went on a visit to Beauregard
along with a friend, who accompanied him on an excursion among the
romantic hills and rocks in that part of the country. At a particularly
interesting spot he tarried behind his friend, and, in order to enjoy
the glorious prospect, sat down on what appeared to be a stone covered
with soft moss. It was eight o'clock in the evening, and M. Flisson,
though shortsighted, was a man of prodigious strength. This was lucky
for him, for the stone now began to move under him, stretched itself out
with the elasticity of a spring, and lifted him several feet from the
ground. M. Flisson had sat down on the boa. Before he had time to
recover his presence of mind, he felt himself rolling downwards. The
serpent had curled his tail round a tree-trunk, and Flisson held its
head firmly grasped between his hands. A strange and terrible struggle
ensued. The boa, securely fastened to the tree, pulled upwards, and
Flisson, still clinging with herculean strength to the head of the
creature, found himself at last swinging over a precipice or about
seventy feet in depth, as though suspended by a rope. In this terrible
situation he remained ten minutes, until his friend, with the assistance
of a few countrymen, came to his relief.

A Narrow Escape.

Mr. Byam's book contains many interesting anecdotes of the experiences
of travellers, of which the following snake story is one.

"Two travellers passed a hillock in a marsh, and heard some groans
proceeding from a man on the top of it. Earnestly beckoned to approach,
they at first hesitated, thinking it might be a contrivance to entice
them into danger. They, however, went near, and the man told them that,
while asleep, a snake had crept up his loose drawers, and was then lying
on his stomach, and from what he had seen of it, he believed it to be a
Coral-snake, one of the deadliest of the western serpents. He had
nothing on but his drawers and a short cloak. The travellers saw the
form of the snake under the drawers; they dismounted, put on thick
gloves, took a pair of scissors, cut very carefully through the drawers
till they came to the head of the animal, still fast asleep, and then
one of them seized it by the neck, and so released the poor man. It was
nearly three feet long, as thick as a walking-stick, coral-red in
colour, with yellow rings. The poor man said he had passed two or three
hours in that dangerous situation, which appeared as long as weeks, and
had called to two or three passers-by, who had all avoided him, from the
supposition that it was the decoy of a marauding Indian. He was
completely unmanned, and his strength was prostrated by his


The Batrachia.

Class IV of the Vertebrata comprises the Batrachia. Batrachia, which are
divided into three orders: I Pseudophidia, II Urodela, III Anura. The
first order comprises the limbless worm-like reptiles of the genus
Cæcilia of Africa and South America; the second includes the Newts, the
Salamanders, etc., etc.; the third the Frogs and the Toads. Leaving the
first two orders, we devote a few lines to the third, dealing with the
Toad, the Common Frog and the Tree Frog. The members of this order are
singular for the extraordinary changes through which they pass between
birth and maturity. As Tadpoles, in which form they first reach life,
they have thick black legless bodies ending in tapering tails, and are
provided with the fishlike anatomy necessary to an aquatic existence. In
the process of development they completely change both in internal
arrangement and external appearance. The gills are exchanged for lungs,
the legs supersede the tail and the internal system undergoes
corresponding change. In the end the animal becomes semi-aquatic,
capable of living under water for some time, but compelled to come to
the surface for air at intervals; and also of living out of the water
altogether in such places as afford sufficient moisture, damp being as
necessary to their comfort as food and air. They hybernate in the winter
and propagate in the spring; and in times of drought burrow into the
earth and remain lethargic until rain falls. They feed on insects and
slugs for which they have a voracious appetite. Their tongues, which
like those of the chameleon and other insect eaters, are furnished with
a sticky mucus to which insects adhere,--when in repose, turn inwards
towards the throat, and the act of catching flies and other insects is
simply that of flapping the tongue out and in again, an act performed
with such rapidity as to almost escape observation.

The Common Toad.

The toad is found in all temperate and torrid climes. It hides in damp
secluded places during the day emerging in search of food at night, or
after the fall of rain. Though voracious in its appetite, it can
accommodate itself to circumstances, and can subsist with little food,
if its abode be damp. Failing food and damp, it has yet another
resource, namely that of sleep, or torpor, in which condition it can lay
by and wait for better times. Under such circumstances, the toad
naturally lives a long life, and survives conditions usually fatal. The
voracity of the toad is attested by the following incident, furnished by
Captain Brown. "A gentleman who resides at Keswick, Cumberland, one
evening in the latter end of July, observed a rustling among the
strawberries in his garden, and on examining what it was, found that a
toad had just seized a field-mouse, which had got on the toad's back,
scratching and biting to get released, but in vain. The toad kept his
hold, and as the strength of the mouse failed, he gradually drew the
unfortunate little animal into his mouth, and gorged him."

Tame Toads.

The toad may be easily tamed. Mr. Wood tells of one which lived with a
family for years and was in the habit of supping on a piece of sugar.
The story of the Duke of Wellington and the tame toad deserves telling
in this connection. The Duke of Wellington was one day taking his usual
country walk, when he heard a cry of distress. He walked to the spot,
and found a chubby, rosyfaced boy lying on the ground, and bending his
head over a tame toad, and crying as if his little heart would break.
Enquiry elicited the fact that the boy was about to be sent to boarding
school and that he was afraid the toad, lacking his attention, would die
in his absence. The duke promised to look after the toad, and apprise
the boy, from time to time, of its condition. During the time the boy
was at school he received five letters couched in the following
terms:--_Strathfieldsaye, July 27, 1837_. "Field Marshal the Duke of
Wellington is happy to inform William Harries that his toad is alive and
well." When the boy returned for his Christmas holidays, the toad was,
as the duke said, "Alive and well," but, in accordance with the usual
habits of these animals, he was in his winter's sleep, in which he
remained until spring and genial weather brought him from his
well-guarded hole in the ground.

The Common Frog.

The Common Frog (_Rana Temporaria_) is now found all over the British
Isles. Formerly unknown in Ireland it was introduced there about the
year 1700 and has since spread all over the country. The frog is more
sociable than the toad, and is often seen, and heard in large numbers;
his habits, however, are very similar, and his mode of seizing his prey
the same. The Edible Frog belongs to Europe, where it is used as an
article of food, and is not found in England. The Bull Frog is an Indian
Variety and attains to a great size. The American Bull Frog is also an
interesting species.

The Ingenuity of the Frog.

Mr. Jesse gives the following illustration of the ingenuity of the Frog:
"I may mention a curious observation made in regard to some frogs that
had fallen down a small area, which gave light to one of the windows of
my house. The top of the area being on a level with the ground, was
covered with some iron bars, through which the frogs fell. During dry
and warm weather, when they could not absorb much moisture, I observed
them to appear almost torpid; but when it rained they became impatient
of their confinement, and endeavoured to make their escape, which they
did in the following manner. The wall of the area was about five feet in
height, and plastered and whitewashed, as smooth as the ceiling of a
room. Upon this surface the frogs soon found that their claws would
render them little or no assistance; they therefore contracted their
large feet, so as to make a hollow in the centre, and by means of the
moisture which they had imbibed in consequence of the rain, they
contrived to produce a vacuum, so that by the pressure of the air on the
extended feet (in the same way that we see boys take up a stone by means
of a piece of wet leather fastened to a string), they ascended the wall
and made their escape. This happened constantly in the course of three

The Tree Frog.

The Tree Frog, of which there are numerous varieties, belongs to both
East and West occurring in China and Japan or well as in North and South
America. It is not found in England. Mr. Gosse says: "They are very
numerous in the damp woods of tropical America, and reside by day in the
tufts of those parasitical plants, which form reservoirs for rain-water.
The under-surface of their bodies is very different to that of the
terrestrial species; for the skin, instead of being smooth, is covered
with granular glands, pierced by numerous pores, through which the dew
or rain, spread on the surface of the leaves, is rapidly absorbed into
the system, and reserved to supply the moisture needful for cutaneous
respiration. The males make the woods resound throughout the night with
their various cries, and, mingled with the shrill chirping of insects,
quite banish sleep from the stranger's eyes."



We come now to the fifth and last class of the Vertebrata, a class so
large that it is impossible to deal adequately with it in a single
volume of ordinary size, much less in a single section of one treating
of the whole of the vertebrates. There are said to be 10,000 species, so
that a book which devoted one page to each would make an enormous
volume. All that can be done here is to deal with a few of the better
known species, as far as possible selecting types of orders-without
attempting to follow closely any classification. Günther divides the
Fishes into six sub-classes, which are further arranged in thirteen
orders. The first of these orders includes the Sticklebacks, the
Perches, the Mullets, the Gurnards, the Mackerel and the Sword-fish
besides others. Of these we can deal with but two or three.

The Stickleback.

The Stickleback associated with the earliest efforts of the youthful
angler, and most of us can remember capturing specimens of some fresh
water variety, in the days of childhood, and carrying them home in
triumph, in a bottle. There are a number of species of the stickleback,
some living in fresh water and some being marine. They are extremely
voracious and it is a good job for a large number of other living things
that they are no bigger than they are. They are also very pugnacious,
and fight among themselves with great determination. The Stickleback is
about an inch and a half in length and is furnished with spines, which
it uses with great effect when fighting with its enemies.

The Stickleback and the Leech.

Mr. John Stark who experimented with some sticklebacks and leeches some
years ago, gives the following description of his experiences.

"On putting the leeches into the water, the stickleback darted round the
tumbler with lively motions till it found a leech detached, and in a
proper situation for being seized. When the leech was very small, say
about half an inch in length, it was often swallowed at once before it
reached the bottom of the vessel, but when a larger one, about an inch,
or an inch and a half in length in its expanded state, was put in, and
had fastened itself by its mouth to the glass, the efforts of the
stickleback to seize and tear it from its hold, were incessant, and
never failed to succeed. It darted at the loose extremity, or, when both
ends were fastened, at the curve in its middle, seized it in its mouth,
rose to near the surface, and after a hearty shake (such as a dog would
give a rat) let it drop. The leech, who evidently wished to avoid its
enemy upon its release, again attached itself by its mouth to the glass;
but again and again the attack was repeated, till the poor leech became
exhausted, and ceased to attempt holding itself by its disc. The
stickleback then seized it by the head in a proper position for
swallowing, and after a few gulps the leech disappeared. The flattened
leech being of an oval form, and having a hard skin, was not attacked,
unless when very young, and small; and leeches of the other species when
pretty well grown, or larger than himself when expanded, were killed in
the manner above mentioned, but not swallowed. In one of his attempts to
seize a leech, the stickleback having got it by the tail, the animal
curled back and fixed its disc upon his snout. The efforts of the
stickleback to rid himself of this encumbrance were amusing. He let go
his hold of the leech, which then hung over his mouth, and darting at
the bottom and sides of the glass with all his strength, endeavoured to
rub off this tantalizing morsel. This lasted for nearly a minute, when
at last he got rid of the leech by rubbing his back upon the bottom of
the vessel. The leech, perfectly aware of the company he was in, no
sooner loosed his hold, than he attempted to wriggle away from his
devourer; but before he had reached mid-way up the tumbler, the
stickleback had turned and finished the contest by swallowing him up."

The Mackerel.

The Mackerel is one of the most useful as well as one of the most
beautiful of familiar fishes. It measures from twelve to twenty inches
and weighs from one and a half to two or three pounds. It is elegant of
form and brilliant of colour, as well as agreeable as an article of
food. Mackerel visit the coast of England in vast shoals at certain
seasons, but retire to deep seas for the winter. They are exceedingly
voracious, and prey upon the herrings; Captain Brown tells a story of a
number of mackerel fastening on to a sailor who had plunged into their
midst for a bath. The man was rescued by his comrades, but he died soon
after from loss of blood.

The Sword-fish.

The Sword-fish is a formidable member of this order. It is found in the
Mediterranean, and the Atlantic, and sometimes visits the English coast.
It has been known to measure ten feet or more without the sword, with
which it attains even to a length of fifteen feet. It attacks other
large fish and is a great enemy to the whale, which it charges with
great force and destructive effect. It is said sometimes to mistake the
hull of a ship for the body of a whale and to charge it accordingly,
with the result that it leaves its sword fixed in the ship's timbers as
the bee leaves its sting in human flesh. The sword of this fish is
formed by the elongation of its upper jaw, and some idea of the force
with which it can be used may be gained from the fact that one found in
the hull of a ship at Liverpool and described by Scoresby had
penetrated a sheet of copper, an oak plank two and a half inches in
thickness, a solid oak timber of seven and a half inches, and another
plank also of two inches. "The position of the bone was at the distance
of four feet horizontally from the stern, and two feet below the surface
of the water when the vessel was afloat. Hence, it appeared, that when
the ship had been in rapid progress through the water, she had been met
with and struck by a sword-fish advancing in an opposite direction, by
the shock of which, or by the action of the water forced past the body
of the animal by the vessel's progress, the snout had been broken off
and detached. The blow, though it must have been singularly forcible,
was not observed by any person in the ship. Had the bone been withdrawn,
the vessel would probably have foundered." Mr. Wood says in one
instance, a Sword-fish attacking a whaling-ship, drove its weapon
"through the copper sheathing, an inch board sheathing, a three-inch
plank of hard wood, the solid white oak timber of the ship twelve inches
thick, through another two-and-a-half inch hard oak ceiling plank, and
lastly, perforated the head of an oil-cask, where it still remained
immovably fixed, so that not a single drop of oil escaped."

The Cod.

The third order of Dr. Günther's classification includes many of the
more familiar fishes. Here we find the Cod, the Haddock, the Plaice, the
Flounder, the Halibut, the Turbot, the Brill, and the Sole. Of these we
will take the Cod as representative. The Cod is one of the most prolific
of fish. Enormous quantities are caught and consumed every year, and yet
the number seems to increase rather than decrease. This is accounted for
by the fact, that the spawn of one fish will sometimes contain nine
millions of eggs. The Cod frequents the deep seas of the temperate and
colder climes, not being found in any quantities north of Iceland, or
South of Gibraltar. They are found chiefly in the Northern Atlantic
where extensive fisheries are carried on, but they are also caught in
the Firth of Forth at the mouth of which some of the best are taken. The
Cod grows very rapidly and often to a great size. One is said to have
been caught off Scarborough many years ago which weighed seventy-eight
pounds and measured five feet eight inches in length. They feed on
herrings, sprats, mollusca, worms, and small shell-fish, are very
voracious, and have excellent digestions. Captain Brown killed one at
Killough, Co. Down, Ireland in which he found upwards of fifty small
crabs, and other testaceous and crustaceous animals. The Cod fisheries
find employment for a large number of people and are a great source of
profit. The flesh is highly valued as an article of diet, and the liver
for the properties of the oil which it produces, while other parts are
used for various purposes.

The Salmon.

In the Fourth order of Dr. Günther's classification we find the Salmon,
the Trout, the Pike, the Flying Fish, the Carp, the Roach, the Chub, the
Herring, the Sardine, the Anchovy, the Gymnotus and the Eel, besides
other fish. Of these the Salmon takes easy precedence. Izaak Walton
called it "the King of fresh water fish," and many have accorded it the
first place among its kind for the delicacy of its flavour. It is of
migratory habits, leaving the sea in the autumn and ascending rivers for
the purpose of depositing its spawn, and returning to the sea in the
spring. In seeking suitable places for its purpose the salmon brooks no
obstacle, leaping with great vigour the rapids and falls that impede its
course even though they may sometimes exceed eight or ten feet in
height. Curving the body until it forms a circular spring, it strikes
the water with great force throwing itself forward and thus lifting
itself over rocks and weirs. In the shallow gravelly pools which they
find towards the source of rivers, Salmon form hollows in which they
spawn, covering up their eggs with the loose sand they excavate in the
process. The eggs deposited in the later months of the autumn are
hatched in the earlier months of Spring and by the end of May the whole
of the young fish have followed their parents to the sea.

The Pike.

The Pike,--fierce, strong, and voracious,--holds his own in the rivers
of both the old and the new Worlds. It has been known to attack a man
when its retreat has been cut off; to bite the legs of bathers, and to
snap at the fingers of persons cooling their hands in the water; and
when pressed with hunger, to fight an otter for the possession of a
carp, which the latter had caught. Its strength and endurance have often
been demonstrated in the destruction of strong tackle and in its power
to survive, without apparent inconvenience, with hooks and wires
mingling with its anatomy. Captain Brown gives an instance of a pike
being caught, which had a strong piece of twisted wire projecting from
its side. It was in excellent condition, and on being opened, discovered
in its stomach a double eel hook, much corroded, and attached to the
protruding wire. Another pike when caught, in the river Ouse, was found
in possession of a watch with a black ribbon and seals attached;
property which it was afterwards discovered had belonged to a
gentleman's servant who had been drowned. The pike has often been caught
with portions of tackle broken from the line in former engagements
hanging from the mouth. Its rapacity is extraordinary. Eight-hundred
gudgeon are said to have been consumed in three weeks by eight pike of
not more than five pounds weight each. "The appetite of one of my pike,"
says Mr. Jesse, "was almost insatiable. One morning I threw to him one
after the other, five roach, each about four inches in length. He
swallowed four of them, and kept the fifth in his mouth for about a
quarter of an hour, when it also disappeared." The pike attains to large
proportions and to a great age. When less than two pounds weight, it is
called a jack, but it has been known to attain to sixty or seventy
pounds weight, and if all records be true, to more than a hundred years
of age. Gesner mentions a pike caught in standing water at Heilbroon,
in Suabia in 1497 which had a ring round its head with an inscription in
Greek which ran somewhat as follows; I am the first fish that was
launched into this pond, and was thrown in by Frederick the Second,
emperor of the Romans, on the fifth of October, 1230." If this be true,
the pike was two hundred and fifty-seven years old at the time of its
capture, when it is said to have weighed three hundred and fifty pounds.

The Herring.

Probably no living thing of its size is equal to the herring in its
value to man. It visits the northern coasts of England and Scotland in
vast shoals, of several miles in extent, in the autumn of the year,
heralded by seagulls and followed by dog-fish, both of whom take toll as
it proceeds. The annual produce of these little fish is beyond all
calculation. The Scotch fisheries are credited with the capture of over
four hundred millions a year, while those of Norway can scarcely be much
less successful. The Swedish fisheries are said to capture nearly double
that number, to which must be added those taken by the English, Irish,
Dutch, French, and German fisheries before the grand total can be
reached. The enormous number of hands employed in these various
fisheries, to say nothing of the capital invested in them, marks them
out as one of the most important of European enterprises.

The Flying Fish.

The Flying fish is about the size of a herring, and is furnished with
strong pectoral fins, almost the length of its body, by which it is able
to spring out of the water and sustain itself for a time in the air. It
has apparently no power of guiding itself, or of varying its altitude
while in the lighter element, both the height and the course of its
flight being determined by the direction and the force of its spring.
Its ordinary flight is about three feet above the surface of the water,
and of no very great distance or duration, but it has been known to fly
as high as fourteen or fifteen feet, and even higher, and a distance of
over two hundred yards. Flying fish often fall upon the decks of ships,
where they are welcomed as affording a pleasant variety to the sailors'
menu. They frequent warmer latitudes, but are sometimes seen off the
English coast. They leave the sea to escape the larger fish which prey
upon them, only too often to fall a prey to the fowls of the air.

The Eel.

The Eel from its general resemblance to the snake is not usually a
favourite when alive, however popular it may be with the palate, when
served up with suitable accessories at table. It is, however, full of
interest as a study, and shows many remarkable characteristics and
traits. It migrates from the river to the sea in the autumn to produce
its young, thus reversing the order of procedure of the salmon. Mr.
Jesse, writing of these migrations as observed by him in the Thames many
years ago, says, "An annual migration of young eels takes place in the
river Thames in the month of May, and they have generally made their
appearance at Kingston, in their way upwards, about the second week in
that month. These young eels are about two inches in length, and they
make their approach in one regular and undeviating column of about five
inches in breadth, and as thick together as it is possible for them to
be. As the procession generally lasts two or three days, and as they
appear to move at the rate of nearly two miles and a half an hour, some
idea may be formed of their enormous number. Sir Humphrey Davy says, in
his "Salmonia,"--"There are two migrations of eels, one _from_ and the
other _to_ the sea; the first in spring and summer, and the second in
autumn, or early in winter. The first of very small eels, which are
sometimes not more than two and a half inches long; the second of large
eels, which sometimes are three or four feet long, and weigh from
fifteen to twenty pounds. There is great reason to believe, that all
eels found in fresh water are the results of the first migration; they
appear in millions in April and May, and sometimes continue to rise as
late as July, and the beginning of August. They feed, grow, and fatten
in fresh water. In small rivers, they are seldom very large; but, in
large deep lakes, they become as thick as a man's arm, or even leg; and
all those of a considerable size attempt to return to the sea in October
or November, probably when they experience the cold of the first
autumnal rains." Mr. St. John thus describes some young Eels which he
saw ascending the river Findhorn "When they came to a fall, which they
could not possibly ascend, they wriggled out of the water, and gliding
along the rock, close to the edge, where the stone was constantly wet
from the splashing and spray of the fall, they made their way up till
they got above the difficulty, and then again slipping into the water,
continued their course." The eel is voracious, and will leave the water
in search of frogs, and other food. It will attack, and appropriate,
young ducks, and one is said to have been caught near Bootle with two
rats in its stomach. The Conger Eel grows to a great size and attains
great weight. It is said sometimes to measure eight or even ten feet,
and to weigh a hundred pounds or even more. It is plentiful in the
English Channel, and on the coast of Cornwall.

The Gymnotus.

The Gymnotus is the famous electric eel, and like the Torpedo of the
English Channel and the Mediterranean, has the power of communicating a
violent electric shock. It belongs to the Amazon and other South
American rivers and their tributaries, and is well known to American
Indians. Humbolt describes the shock produced by this creature, as
exceeding in strength that of a large Leyden jar. Having imprudently
placed his foot on one just taken from the water he received such a
shock that, he says, "I was affected the rest of the day with violent
pains in the knees, and in almost every joint."

Catching the Gymnotus.

The following vivid description of a Gymnotus hunt is given by Humbolt:
"We at first wished to make our experiments in the house we inhabited at
Calabozo; but the dread of the electrical shocks of the gymnoti is so
exaggerated among the vulgar, that during three days we could not obtain
one, thought they are easily caught, and though we had promised the
Indians two piastres for every strong and vigorous fish.

"Impatient of waiting, and having obtained very uncertain results from
an electrical eel that had been brought to us alive, but much enfeebled,
we repaired to the Cano de Bera, to make our experiments in the open
air, on the borders of the water itself. We set off on the 19th of March
for the village of Rastro de Abaxo, thence we were conducted to a
stream, which, in the time of drought, forms a basin of muddy water,
surrounded by fine trees. To catch the gymnoti with nets is very
difficult, on account of the extreme agility of the fish, which bury
themselves in the mud like serpents. We would not employ the _barbasco_,
that is to say, the roots of Piscidea erithryna and Jacquinia
armillaris, which, when thrown into the pool, intoxicate or benumb these
animals. These means would have enfeebled the gymnoti; the Indians
therefore told us, that they would 'fish with horses.' We found it
difficult to form an idea of this extraordinary manner of fishing; but
we soon saw our guides return from the Savannah, which they had been
scouring for wild horses and mules. They brought about thirty with them,
which they forced to enter the pool.

"The extraordinary noise caused by the horses' hoofs makes the fish
issue from the mud, and excites them to combat. These yellowish and
livid eels resemble large aquatic serpents, swim on the surface of the
water, and crowd under the bellies of the horses and mules. A contest
between animals of so different an organization furnishes a very
striking spectacle. The Indians, provided with harpoons and long slender
reeds, surround the pool closely; and some climb upon the trees, the
branches of which extend horizontally over the surface of the water. By
their wild cries, and the length of their reeds, they prevent the
horses from running away and reaching the bank of the pool. The eels,
stunned by the noise, defend themselves by the repeated discharge of
their electric batteries. During a long time they seem to prove
victorious. Several horses sink beneath the violence of the invisible
strokes which they receive from all sides, in organs the most essential
to life; and stunned by the force and frequency of the shocks, disappear
under the water. Others, panting, with their mane standing erect, and
wild looks, expressing anguish, raise themselves and endeavour to flee
from the storms by which they are overtaken. They are driven back by the
Indians into the middle of the water; but a small number succeeds in
eluding the active vigilance of the fishermen. These regain the shore,
stumbling at every step, and stretch themselves on the sand, exhausted
with fatigue, and their limbs benumbed by the electric shock of the

"In less than five minutes two horses were drowned. The eel, being five
feet long, and pressing itself against the belly of the horses, makes a
discharge along the whole extent of its electric organs. It attacks at
once the heart, the intestines, and the _plexus cæliacus_ of the
abdominal nerves. It is natural, that the effect felt by the horses
should be more powerful than that produced upon men by the touch of the
same fish at any one of his extremities. The horses are probably not
killed, but only stunned. They are drowned from the impossibility of
rising from amid the prolonged struggle between the other horses and the

"We had little doubt, that the fishing would terminate by killing
successively all the animals engaged; but by degrees the impetuosity of
this unequal combat diminished, and the wearied gymnoti dispersed. They
require a long rest, and abundant nourishment, to repair what they have
lost of galvanic force. The mules and horses appear less frightened;
their manes are no longer bristled, and their eyes express less dread.
The Indians assured us, that when the horses are made to run two days
successively into the same pool, none are killed the second day. The
gymnoti approach timidly the edge of the marsh, when they are taken by
means of small harpoons fastened to long cords. When the cords are very
dry, the Indians feel no shock in raising the fish into the air. In a
few minutes we observed five eels, the greater part of which were but
slightly wounded. Some were taken by the same means towards the evening.

"The temperature of the water in which the gymnoti habitually live is
about 86 degrees of Fahrenheit. Their electric force, it is said,
diminishes in colder waters. The gymnotus is the largest of electrical
fishes. I measured some that were from four feet to five feet three
inches long; and the Indians assert, that they have seen them still
larger. We found that a fish of three feet ten inches long weighed
twelve pounds. The transverse diameter of the body was three inches five
lines. The gymnoti of _Cano de Bera_ are of a fine olive-green colour.
The under part of the head is yellow, mingled with red. Two rows of
small yellow spots are placed symmetrically along the back, from the
head to the end of the tail. Every spot contains an excretory aperture.
In consequence the skin of the animal is constantly covered with a
mucous matter, which, as Volta has proved, conducts electricity twenty
or thirty times better than pure water. It is somewhat remarkable, that
no electrical fish yet discovered in the different parts of the world,
is covered with scales.

"It would be rashness to expose ourselves to the first shocks of a very
large and strongly irritated gymnotus. If by chance you receive a stroke
before the fish is wounded, or wearied by a long pursuit, the pain and
numbness are so violent, that it is impossible to describe the nature of
the feeling they excite. I do not remember having ever received from the
discharge of a large Leyden jar, a more dreadful shock than that which I
experienced by imprudently placing both my feet on a gymnotus just
taken out of the water."

The Torpedo.

It would be difficult to name two fish more dissimilar in outward
appearance than the Gymnotus and the Torpedo, and yet they enjoy in
common the unique power of communicating electric shocks. The Gymnotus
is a long eel-like fish, the Torpedo is round and flat. The Torpedo
belongs to the family of the Rays and sometimes reaches a large size. It
is common in the Mediterranean and is sometimes found on the southern
coasts of the British Isles.

"Although it has once or twice been caught on our coasts," says Mr.
Wood, "it is usually found in the Mediterranean, where its powers are
well known, and held in some awe. The shock that the Torpedo gives, of
course, varies according to the size of the fish and its state of
health, but a tolerably large fish in good health can, for the time,
disable a strong man. From the effects of its shock, it is in some parts
called the Cramp-fish. It has been known to weigh from seventy to a
hundred pounds.

The Shark.

The Shark, whose name instinctively suggests a shudder, is the largest
of the fishes and one of the largest of marine animals. There are many
varieties, and they are found in all seas; some measuring no more than a
few feet, others attaining to very large proportions. The Blue Shark of
the Mediterranean which measures about eleven feet sometimes approaches
the south coast of England and Ireland, as does the Hammer-headed Shark
of the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean a shark of twelve feet in length.
The Tope, a smaller variety, is often seen in the English channel, as
are also several others of the smaller Sharks. The Great Basking Shark
which often measures thirty feet in the length is the largest of those
which visit the English coast, but like the largest of all the sharks
(_Rhinodon Typicus_), which sometimes exceeds fifty feet in length, is
herbivorous, and therefore not bloodthirsty.

The White Shark.

The Shark known to sailors as the White Shark is a fierce and sanguinary
creature. It frequents the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea,
where it follows ships for days for the sake of the refuse, which is
thrown overboard. This creature has been known to swallow a man entire,
and commonly to devour one in two or three portions. Sailors get no
mercy from the shark, and consequently show him none. There is a story
told of a negro cook who seeing a shark follow in the wake of a ship
made a brick hot in the stove, and then threw it to the monster who
probably never had a warmer or more indigestible meal. This shark
suffered great agony if its contortions may be taken as evidence, and,
after exhausting itself with its fury, allowed itself to drift away with
the tide. Expert swimmers, armed with long sharp knives have sometimes
engaged the shark single-handed, diving underneath it, and stabbing it
before it discovered their whereabouts. The Negroes of the West Indies
are credited with this hardihood, and are said to be frequently

Sharks in the South Seas.

"The amphibious South Sea Islanders," says Mr. Wood, "stand in great
dread of the Shark, and with good reason, for not a year elapses without
several victims falling to the rapacity of this terrific animal. Nearly
thirty of the natives of the Society Islands were destroyed at one time
by the sharks. A storm had so injured the canoe in which they were
passing from one island to another, that they were forced to take refuge
on a raft hastily formed of the fragments of their canoe. Their weight
sunk the raft a foot or two below the surface of the water, and,
dreadful to say, the sharks surrounded them and dragged them off the
raft one by one, until the lightened raft rose above the water and
preserved the few survivors." Mrs. Bowdich who was an eye-witness of the
tragic circumstances she describes, says:--"Sharks abounded at Cape
Boast, and one day, as I stood at a window commanding a view of the
sea, I saw some of the inhabitants of the town bathing, and the sharks
hastening to seize upon them,--they being visible from always swimming
with part of their dorsal fin out of water. I sent to warn the men of
their danger, and all came ashore except one, who laughed at the caution
of his companions. A huge shark was rapidly approaching, and I sent my
servant again, and this time armed with half a bottle of rum, to bribe
the man to save himself. It was too late, the murderous creature had
seized him, and the water around was dyed with his blood. A canoe was
dispatched to bring him ashore, but a wave threw him on to the beach;
and it was found that the shark had taken the thigh bone completely out
of the socket. The man, of course, expired in a very few minutes.
Accidents were often happening, and always fatal, and yet the negroes,
who seldom think beyond the present moment, could not be dissuaded from
bathing. A man walking in the sea, up to knees, was dragged away by one,
almost before my eyes."

The Rays.

The Rays are large flat fish of which there are numerous species, the
Thornback and the Common Skate being the best known. They have large
pectoral fins, and some species grow to an enormous size. The Skate has
been known to measure six or seven feet. Other species are the Homelyn
Ray and the Sandy Ray which like the Thornback and the Skate are found
in British waters. The Sting Ray and the Eagle Ray cover wider areas and
grow to a gigantic size in tropic seas. It is a large species of the
Eagle Ray that is known as the Sea Devil of the tropics. These fish,
though very large, display no great antipathy to man, though from their
enormous size and strength they are a source of danger to small craft.
Mr. Swinburne Ward in a letter to Colonel Playfair, quoted in Dr.
Percival Wright's "Concise Natural History", thus describes the capture
of one of these monsters off the Seychelles.

"Coming home we passed close to an enormous 'diable-de-mer' floating
quietly about. We changed from the pirogue to the Whale-boat, which I
had scientifically fitted up for the _gros poissons_, and went alongside
of him, driving a regular whale harpoon right through his body. The way
he towed the water was beautiful, but we would not give him an inch of
line and he also had to succumb to a rather protracted lancing. His size
will give you an idea of his strength in the water--forty-two feet in
circumference! We got him awash on the beach, but the united strength of
ten men could not get him an inch further, so we were obliged to leave
him there. By this time the sharks will not have left much of him; they
have not had such a meal as that for a long time. The fishermen say that
when alive the sharks do not molest the 'diable-de-mer', whose offensive
weapons consist of those enormous flexible sides (one can hardly call
them fins) with which they can beat almost any shark to death. As a rule
when harpooned, they endeavour, like other rays, to bury themselves in
the sand, and if they succeed in doing this, no line can ever haul them
out of it--their flat bodies act on the principle of an enormous sucker.
Another curious fact about them is that when harpooned they swim
sideways, edge on, in order to avoid exposing too broad a surface to
their enemy. They never do this unless harpooned."

Ray Catching.

Lieutenant Lament gave the following graphic description of a Ray
fishing expedition in which he took part near Port Royal, Jamaica, in
1824, to Professor Jameson.

"The first appearance of an animal of this species, since I have been
here, (about eighteen months,) was about two months ago, when I was
called out to the beach by some of the inhabitants, whom I found, on
going there, to be assembled in great numbers, to see what they called
the _Sea Devil_. I confess my curiosity was not less excited than
theirs, when I saw floating close to the surface of the water, about
twenty yards from me, a large mass of living substance of a dark
colour, but of the shape and size of which I could not, at the time,
form any proper idea, it being so very different from what I had ever
before seen or heard of, farther than that I supposed it to have been
many times the size of what I now believe it was. No time was lost in
setting out in pursuit of him, with harpoons, &c.; and it was not long
before he was come up with, and struck with one of the harpoons, when he
made off with great velocity, towing the boat after him. As he seemed to
incline chiefly to the surface of the water, six or seven more harpoons
were (with the assistance of several canoes that had come up)
successively plunged into him, and all the boats made fast to each
other, which he was obliged to pull after him, with several people in
each. Such, however, was the great strength of the animal, that, after
being fast in the manner I have described, for upwards of four hours,
and taking the boats out to sea attached to him to a distance of about
ten miles from the harbour, and having been pierced with so many wounds,
he was still able to defy every effort to bring him in. It had now got
late, and was dark, and an attempt was made to force him up near enough
to get another large harpoon into him, this was no sooner done, than he
darted off; and by an almost unaccountable and seemingly convulsive
effort, in a moment broke loose from all fetters, carrying away with him
eight or ten harpoons and pikes, and leaving every one staring at his
neighbour in speechless astonishment, confounded at the power of the
animal which could thus snatch himself from them at a time when they
conceived him almost completely in their power.

"Since then some of these animals have occasionally been heard of at a
distance from the harbour; and a few days ago, in coming over from Port
Augusta with another gentleman, we fell in with one of them, which
allowed us to get so near him, that it was determined to set out the
next morning to look for him. We did so; and took with us several large
harpoons, muskets, pikes, &c., determined, if it were possible, to
bring him in. He was descried about eight o'clock near Greenwich,
towards the top of the harbour, as usual floating near the surface, and
moving slowly about. Having allowed the boat to get very close to him,
he was struck with a harpoon, which was thrown at him in a most
dexterous manner by Lieutenant St. John, of the royal artillery. He
immediately set out towards the mouth of the harbour, towing the boat
after him with such velocity, that it could not be overtaken by any of
the others. After going on this way for near an hour he turned back,
which enabled the other boats to lay hold; and four of them were tied,
one after the other, to the one in which he was harpooned, with four of
five people in each of them. By this means we hoped to tire him out the
sooner. In about an hour and a half after he was first struck, a
favourable opportunity offering, a large five-pointed harpoon, made fast
to a very heavy staff, was thrown at him with such an elevation, that it
should fall upon him with the whole weight of the weapon--this having
been as well directed as the first, was lodged nearly in the middle of
his back. The struggle he made at this time to get away was truly
tremendous,--plunging in the midst of the boats,--darting from the
bottom to the surface alternately,--dashing the water and foam on every
side of him,--and rolling round and round to extricate himself from the
pole. This might be considered as having given him the _coup de grace_,
although, at short intervals afterwards, he was struck with two more
harpoons, and several musket balls were fired into him. Still he was
able to set out again, taking the four boats after him, which he carried
along with the greatest ease. Having gone in this way for some time he
came to a stop, and laid himself to the bottom, when, with all the lines
that were attached to him, it was quite impossible to move him. All
expedients were nearly beginning to fail, when it was proposed to
slacken the lines, which being done had the desired effect, and he
again set out. Having thus got him from the ground, inch by inch was
gained upon him, till he was got near the surface, when he was struck
with two large pikes. He now got rather faint; and the boats closing on
him on every side, the combat became general with pikes, muskets, and
every weapon we had. In fact, to such a pitch were all excited on the
occasion, that, had a cool spectator seen the affray, he would
undoubtedly have imagined that it was his _sable majesty_ himself that
we had got amongst us. He was now towed ashore, being about five hours
since he was first struck. This it required all the boats to do, and
then but very slowly. His appearance now showed the extraordinary
tenacity of life of which this animal must be possessed, as his whole
body was literally a heap of wounds, many of which were through and
through, and he was not yet quite dead. This circumstance, with his
great strength, is the cause of the name which has been given him by the
fishermen here, as they have never been able to succeed in taking one of
them, and were firmly of opinion it was impossible to do so.

"On measurement, it was found to be in length and breadth much the same,
about fifteen feet, and in depth from three to four feet. It had the
appearance of having no head, as there was no prominence at its mouth;
on the contrary, its exterior margin formed, as it were, the segment of
a circle, with its arc towards the animal's body, and opening into a
large cavity of about two feet and a half in width, without teeth, into
which a man went with so much ease, that I do not exaggerate when I say,
that another might have done so at the same time. On each side of the
mouth projected a mass of cartilaginous substance like horns, about a
foot and a half long, and capable of meeting before the mouth. These
feelers moved about a great deal in swimming, and are probably of use in
feeding. On looking on this animal as it lay on the ground with its back
upwards, it might be said to be nearly equal in dimensions on every
side, with the exception of the two lateral extremities, extending to a
point about four feet from the body, and a tail about five feet long,
four and a half inches diameter at the root, and tapering to a point.
Above the root of the tail was the dorsal fin, and on each side of it a
flat and flabby substance close to the body, of the appearance of fins.
There were no other distinct fins, and its sole propelling power seemed
to be its two lateral extremities, which became very flat and thin
towards the point. As it shows these much in swimming, it gives a
spectator an extraordinary idea of its size, as, to him imperfectly
seen, the conclusion naturally is, if the breadth is so great, how much
greater must the length be. This animal was a female, and was
viviparous. On opening it, a young one, about twenty pounds weight, was
taken out, perfectly formed, and which had been preserved. Wishing to
know what it fed upon, I saw the stomach opened, which was round, about
eight inches in diameter, and quite empty. It was closely studded over
with circular spots of a muscular substance. Under the stomach was a
long bag, with transverse muscular layers from end to end, and which
contained nothing but some slime and gravel. This muscular appearance of
the digestive organs would lead one to suppose that it fed upon other
fish, as is the general opinion here, though its having no teeth does
not support that idea. Its weight was so great that it was impossible to
ascertain it at the time; but some idea may be formed of it when I
assure you that it was with difficulty that forty men, with two lines
attached to it, could drag it along the ground. Its bones were soft,
and, with the exception of the jaw-bones, could be cut with a knife. One
ridge of bone ran from the mouth to the middle of the back, where it was
met by another running transversely, from the extremities of which there
were two larger ones converging towards the tail."



Aardwolf, 80

_Accentor modidaris_, 285

_Accipitres_, 250

Addax, 216

_Ælurus fulgens_, 145

African mouse, 227

African owl [pigeon], 294

Agouti, 240

Aguara, 93, 94

Albatross, 316, 324

_Alcephalinæ_, 207

Alligator, 334, 335-337

Alpaca, 198

American blackbird, 253

American bull frog, 352

American horned owl, 313

American house wren, 257

American leopard, 64-67

American lion, 43, 67-69

American monkey, 30-32

American sable, 140

American vulture, 308

Anchovy, 358

Angola _or_ Angora cat, 71

Anomalure, 237, 240

_Anseres_, 250

Ant-eater, 245, 247

Ant-eater [bird], 250, 282

Ant-thrush, 283

Antelope, 206, 216

_Antilocaprinæ_, 207

Anubis, 20

_Anura_, 350

Ape, 3, 18, 29

Apteryx, 330

Arabian baboon, 2O

Arabian horse, 163-166

Arctic fox, 86, 93

Argus pheasant, 299

Armadillo, 245, 246

_Artiodactyla_, 162, 188

Ass, 162, 178-183

_Ateles_, 30

Australian hedgehog, 249

Aye-aye, 33, 34


Babiroussa, 192

Baboon, 15, 19-25

Babouin, 20

Bactrian camel, 193

Badger, 140, 142

Bald eagle, 306

Balearic crane, 314

Bandicoot, 247

Barb [pigeon], 294

Barbary ape, 25

Barbel [sporting dog], 95

Barn owl, 313

Bat, 34-39

Bay antelope, 216

Beagle, 95, 129

Bear, 43, 145-151

Bearded saki, 31

Beaver, 226, 234-237

Beaver rat, 227

Bell bird, 251, 283

_Beluga catodon_, 160

"Billybiter," 261

Bird of Paradise, 251, 271-273

Bison, 162, 207, 211, 212

Bittern, 315

Black bear, 146, 147-149

Black grouse, 297

Black howler, 31

Black rat, 227

Black snake, 342

Black swan, 320

Black vulture, 309

Black-necked swan, 320

Blackbird, 250, 252

Bladder-nose hooded seal, 155

Blenheim spaniel, 134, 135

Blood-hound, 95, 125-127

Blue jay, 263

Blue shark, 366

Blue titmouse, 261

Boa constrictor, 340, 346-348

Boar, 162, 190

Bobak, 240

Bonnet monkey, 25

Borèlé, 184, 186

Bosch-bok, 216

_Bovidæ_, 206

_Bovinæ_, 207

Brahmin bull, 209

Brazilian porcupine, 241

Brill, 357

Broadbill, 283

Brown bear, 146, 151

Brown capuchin, 30

Brown rat, 227

_Budorcinæ_, 207

Buffalo, 207, 213-216

Bull, 207, 208, 209

Bull frog, 352

Bull terrier, 136

Bull-dog, 95, 138

Bullfinch, 251

Bunting, 251, 277

Bustard, 314

"Butcher bird", 262

Buzzard, 304, 311


_Cæcilia_, 350

Camel, 192-197

_Camelopordalis giraffa_, 205

Canadian porcupine, 241

Canary, 251, 276, 277

_Canis anglicus_, 138

_Canis avicularis_, 130

_Canis domesticus_, 114

_Canis index_, 132

_Canis sanguinarius_, 125

_Canis scoticus_, 123

Canvas-back duck, 319

Cape ant-bear, 245, 246

Cape buffalo, 214, 215

Cape penguin, 326

_Caprinæ_, 207

Capuchin, 30

Capybara, 241

Caribou, 201-204

_Carnivora_, 43

Carp, 358

Carrier pigeon, 294, 295

Carrion crow, 251, 270

Cashmir goat, 217

Cassowary, 328, 329

_Castor americanus_, 235

_Castor gallicus_, 235

Cat, 43, 44, 71-76, 337

Catamountain, 43

_Cavia aperea_, 241

_Cavia cobaya_, 241

Cavy, 240

Cayman, 336

_Cebidæ_, 3, 30-32

_Cephalophinæ_, 207

_Cercoleptes caudivolvulus_, 145

_Cervicaprinæ_, 207

_Cervus_, 199

_Cervus elaphus_, 199

Chackma, 20, 21

Chaffinch, 275

Chameleon, 337

Chamois, 216

Chatterer, 251, 282

Cheek-pouched monkey, 19

_Cheiromyidæ_, 33

_Cheiromys madagascariensis_, 33

_Cheiroptera_, 34

_Chelonia imbricata_, 333

Chetah, 77, 78

Chevrotain, 198

Chimpanzee, 3, 4, 11, 12

Chinchilla, 226, 240

Chough, 251, 262

Chub, 358

Chuck-Will's-widow, 288

Civet, 79

Classical dolphin, 160

Clouded tiger, 70

Coach-dog, 95, 98

Coati, 145

Cobra, 340, 342-346

Cock of the rock, 282

Cockatoo, 290

Cod, 357

Colugo, 39

_Columbæ_, 250

Common barn owl, 313

Common crane, 314

Common duck, 319

Common fin whale, 159

Common frog, 350, 352, 353

Common gull, 321

Common hare, 241

Common iguana, 338

Common jay, 262

Common kingfisher, 287

Common lizard, 337, 338

Common pheasant, 299

Common porpoise, 160, 161

Common rabbit, 241, 245

Common rhea, 329

Common seal, 155

Common skate, 368

Common starling, 278

Common swan, 320

Common thrush, 251

Common toad, 351

Common wren, 256, 257

Condor, 304, 308

Coney, 226

Conger eel, 362

Coot, 314

Coral snake, 349

Cormorant, 316, 323

_Corvidae_, 262

_Cotingidae_, 282

Couguar, 43, 67

Cow, 207, 210

Crake, 314

Cramp-fish, 366

Crane, 314

Crocodile, 14, 334

Crossbill, 277

Crow, 262

Cuckoo, 284-286

Curlew, 314

_Cynælurus_, 77

_Cynocephalus_, 19


Dalmatian, 95, 98, 130

_Dama vulgaris_, 204

Darwin's rhea, 329

Dasyure, 247

Deer, 27, 198-205

_Delphinus delphis_, 160

Desman, 228

Dhole, 93, 94

_Diable-de-mer_, 369

Diana monkey, 19

Dingo, 93, 94

Dog, 43, 84, 94-139

Dolphin, 158, 159, 160

Domestic fowl, 297, 302-304

Domestic turkey, 300-302

Dormouse, 227, 233

Douroucouli, 32

Dove, 250

Dove-cot pigeon, 294

Drill, 20

Dromedary, 192, 193, 194

Duck, 316, 319

Duck-billed platypus, 249

Dugong, 162

_Duplicidentati_, 226, 241


Eagle, 304, 305-307

Eagle ray, 368

Eared seal, 152

Eastern bison, 212

_Echidnidæ_, 249

Edible frog, 352

Eel, 358, 361

Egyptian fox, 85

Egyptian hare, 241

Egyptian vulture, 308

Eider duck, 319

Eland, 216

Electric eel, 362-366

Elephant, 27, 219-226

Elephant tortoise, 332

Elk, 199, 204

_Emballonuridæ_, 36

Emu, 250, 328, 329, 330

English bunting, 277

English carrier, 294

English frill-back, 294

English pouter, 294

English terrier, 136

Entellus, 19

Equine antelope, 216

Ermine, 140

Esculent swift, 289

Eskimo dog, 104-107


Falcon, 304, 311

Fallow deer, 199, 204

Fantail, 294

Fawn, 321

_Feneca zaarensis_, 85

Fennec, 85

Fern owl, 288

Ferret, 140

Fieldmouse, 227, 233

Finch, 275

Fish-hawk, 307

_Fissipedia_, 43

_Fissirostres_, 283

Flamingo, 314

Flounder, 357

Flying dog, 37

Flying fish, 358, 360

Flying fox, 35

Flying squirrel, 237

Four-horned antelope, 216

Fowl, 250, 297

Fox, 84, 85, 90-93, 337

Fox terrier, 136

Foxhound, 95, 128, 129

Frog, 350.


Galago, 33

_Gallinæ_, 250, 297

Gavial, 334

Gazelle, 217

_Gazellinæ_, 207

Genet, 79

Gibbon, 3, 17, 18

Giraffe, 205, 206

Glutton, 140

Gnu, 216

Goat, 206, 217

Goatsucker, 288

Golden eagle, 305

Golden howler, 31

Golden oriole, 251, 261

Golden pheasant, 299

Golden-crested wren, 255, 256

Goldfinch, 251, 275

Goose, 316-319

Gorilla, 3-11

Goshawk, 304

_Grallatores_, 250

Grampus, 160, 161

Great albatross, 324

Great ant-eater, 247

Great auk, 316

Great basking shark, 366

Great black-backed gull, 321, 323

Great eagle owl, 313, 314

Great shrike, 262

Great titmouse, 261

Great-billed rhea, 329

Great-crowned pigeon, 294

Grebe, 316

Green monkey, 19

Green parrot, 290

Green turtle, 333

Green woodpecker, 284

Greenfinch, 275

Grey fox, 86

Grey parrot, 290, 292

Grey seal, 155

Greyhound, 95, 122-124, 177

Griffin vulture, 307

Grivet, 19

Grizzly bear, 146, 149-51

Ground parrot, 290

Grouse, 297

Guinea fowl, 297

Guinea-pig, 226, 241

Gull, 316, 321

_Gulo luscus_, 140

Gurnard, 354

Gymnotus, 358, 362-366


Haddock, 357

Halibut, 357

_Halicore dugong_, 162

Hammer-headed shark, 366

Hamster, 228

_Hapale_, 32

Hare, 226, 241-244

Harnessed antelope, 216

Harp seal, 155, 156

Harrier, 95, 129

Harvest mouse, 227, 233

_Hatteria punctata_, 337

Hawk, 73

Hawk's-bill turtle, 333

Hedge-sparrow, 285

Hedgehog, 39

Hen, 176

Heron, 312, 314, 315

Herring, 358, 360

Herring gull, 321, 323

Hinny, 183

Hippopotamus, 162, 188-190

_Hippotraginæ_, 207

Hoazin, 250, 304

Hog, 27, 28, 190, 191

Homelyn ray, 368

Honey bear, 146

Hook-billed ground pigeon, 294

Hoolock, 17, 18

Hornbill, 287

Horse, 162-178

Horseshoe bat, 36

House martin, 274

House mouse, 227, 232

Howling monkey, 31

Humming bird, 289

Humpback whale, 159

Hunting leopard, 77, 78

Hunting tiger, 201

Hyæna, 43, 80-84

_Hyænidæ_, 80

_Hylobates_, 17

_Hyrax_, 226


Ibex, 218

Ichneumon, 79, 80

Iguana, 337, 338

Imperial eagle, 305

Indian buffalo, 213

Indian frill-back, 294

Indian monkey, 25-29

Indian rhinoceros, 184

Indian tapir, 184

Indri, 33

_Insectivora_, 39

Irish hare, 241

Ivory gull, 321

Ivory-billed woodpecker, 284

Izard, 216


Jack, 359

Jack screamer, 289

Jackal, 27, 28, 84, 86

Jackass penguin, 326

Jackdaw, 251, 271

Jacobin, 294

Jaguar, 43, 64-67

Jay, 251, 262

Jerboa, 226, 234

Jungle fowl, 297


Kahau, 19

Kangaroo, 247, 248

Keitloa, 184

Kestrel, 304

King bird, 251, 282

King Charles spaniel, 120, 134, 135

King duck, 319

King of the vultures, 308

King penguin, 326

Kingfisher, 287

Kinkajou, 145

Kit fox, 86

Kite, 304, 311

Kobaoba, 184


Labrador dog, 107

Land bear, 146

Lapwing 314

Lark, 251, 258, 279-281

Laugher, 294

Laughing kingfisher, 287

Leathery turtle, 334

Leech, 355

Lemming, 227, 228

Lemur, 3, 32, 33

_Lemuridæ_, 32, 33

Leopard, 43, 61-64

Lesser fin whale, 159

_Leucocyon lagopus_, 86

Leucoryx, 216

Linnet, 251, 276

Lion, 43, 44-57

Little ant-eater, 247

Lizard, 337

Llama, 198

Llama _pacos_, 198

Llama _peruana_, 198

Llama _vicugna_, 198

Loggerhead turtle, 334

Long-eared owl, 313

Long-nosed dolphin, 160

Long-nosed monkey, 19

Long-tailed duck, 319

Long-tailed manis, 246

Long-tailed sheep, 217

Long-tailed titmouse, 261

Love bird, 290

Lurcher, 124

_Lutra vulgaris_, 141

Lynx, 44, 76, 77

Lyre bird, 250, 251, 283


_Macacus_, 25

Macaque, 25

Macaw, 290

Mackerel, 354, 356

Magot, 25

Magpie, 251, 262, 264-266

Mahoohoo, 184

Malayan bear, 146, 151

Malbrouck monkey, 19

Mallard, 319

Maltese spaniel, 134, 135

Manakin, 251

_Manatidæ_, 162

Mandarin, 319

Mandrill, 20

Manis, 246

Manx cat, 71

Marmoset, 3, 32

Marmot, 237, 240

Marsh harrier, 311

Martin, 251, 274, 275

Mastiff, 95, 109, 136-138

Meadow pipit, 282

_Megaderma lyra_, 36, 38

_Meles taxus_, 142

_Mellivora capensis_, 143

Merino, 217

Mias, 3, 13, 14

_Midas_, 32

Missel thrush, 252

Mississippi alligator, 335

Mocking bird, 250, 254

Mole, 39-42

Mona, 19

Monitor, 337, 339

Monkey, 3, 15, 18-32

_Monodon monoceros_, 160

_Monotremata_, 249

Moor hen, 314

Moose, 199, 204, 227

Mother Carey's chicken, 322

Mountain hare, 241

Mouse, 226, 227, 232, 233

Mouse deer, 198

Muchocho, 184

Mule, 183

Mullet, 354

Muscovy duck, 319

Musk rat, 227

Musk sheep, _or_ ox, 217

_Mustelidæ_, 140

_Mycetes_, 31


Narwhal, 160

_Nasua narica_, 145

_Nemorhedinæ_, 207

Newfoundland dog, 95, 97, 98, 101, 107-114, 177

Newt, 350

Nicobar pigeon, 294

Night-jar, 288

Nightingale, 250, 258, 259

Nile monitor, 339

Nine-killer, 262

Northern sea bear, 152, 154

Northern sea lion, 152

Numidian crane, 314

Nun, 294

_Nycteridæ_, 36

_Nycticebus tardigradus_, 33

_Nyctipithecus felinus_, 32

Nylghau, 216


Ocelot, 69

_Opisthocomi_, 250

Opossum, 247

Orang-utan, 3, 12-17

_Orca gladiator_, 161

Organist tanager, 273

_Ornithorhynchidæ_, 249

_Oryginæ_, 207

Osprey, 311

Ostrich, 250, 328, 329

_Otaridæ_, 152

Otter, 140, 141, 142

Ounce, 43, 201

Oven bird, 283

Owl, 304, 313

Ox, 162, 206, 207, 209


Pallah, 216

Panda, 145

Pangolin, 245, 246

Panther, 43, 61-64, 67

_Paradisea apoda_, 271-273

Paradoxure, 79

Parrakeet, 290

Parrot, 250, 290-294

Partridge, 299

Passenger pigeon, 294

_Passeres_, 250

Patas, 19

Pea-fowl, 298

Peacock, 297, 298

Peacock pheasant, 298

Peahen, 298

Peccary, 190, 192

Pelican, 316, 325

Penguin, 316, 326

Perch, 354

Peregrine falcon, 311

_Perissodactyla_, 162

Persian cat, 71

Persian lynx, 44

Petrel, 316

Pheasant, 297, 298

Philander, 247

_Phyllostomidæ_, 36

_Picariæ_, 250

Pied wagtail, 281

Pig, 190

Pigeon, 294-297

Pike, 358, 359

Pine marten, 140

_Pinnipedia_, 43, 151

Pipistrelle, 36

Pipit, 251, 281

_Pithecia_, 31

Plaice, 357

Plantcutter, 283

Platypus, 249

_Plecotus auritus_, 36

Plover, 314

Pointer, 95, 130-132

Polar bear, 146, 157

Polar hare, 241

Polecat, 140

Poodle, 101, 139

Porcupine, 226, 240, 241

Porpoise, 161

Pouched rat, 227, 228

Prairie dog, 237, 240

Prairie grouse, 297

_Procyonidæ_, 145

Prong-horned antelope, 216

_Protelidæ_, 80

_Pseudophidia_, 350

_Psittacini_, 250

Ptarmigan, 297

Puffin, 316, 323, 327

Puma, 43, 67-69

Python, 14


Quagga, 183

Quail, 297


Rabbit, 226, 241, 245

Raccoon, 145

_Rana temporaria_, 352

Rat, 226, 227-232, 303

Rat kangaroo, 246

Ratel, 143

Rattlesnake, 340, 341, 342

Raven, 251, 264, 266-269

Ray, 366, 368-373

Red deer, 199, 201

Red fox, 86

Red grouse, 297

Red-backed shrike, 262

Red-headed woodpecker, 284

Reindeer, 199, 201-204

Resplendent trogon, 287

Rhea, 328, 329

Rhesus monkey, 25

Rhinoceros, 162, 184-188

Rhinoceros bird, 190

_Rhin don typicus_, 366

Right whale, 158

Ringed seal, 155

Roach, 358

Robin, 250, 259, 260

Rock manakin, 282

Rodents, 226

Roebuck, 199, 204

Rook, 251, 270

Runt, 294

_Rupicaprinæ_, 207

_Rupicola elegans_, 282


Sable, 140

Sacred monkey, 18

Sage hare, 241

St. Bernard dog, 119-122

Salamander, 350

Salmon, 358

Sand lizard, 338

Sandmartin, 275

Sandpiper, 314

Sandy ray, 368

Sardine, 358

Sardinian hare, 241

_Scansores_, 283

Scarlet tanager, 273

Scotch greyhound, 123

Scxpotch terrier, 136

Scrub bird, 250, 251, 283

Sea bear, 145

Sea canary, 160

Sea cow, 162

Sea devil, 368-373

Sea elephant, 155, 156

Sea leopard, 155

Sea lion, 43, 152

Sea pig, 160

Sea-gull, 321

Seal, 43, 151-158

Secretary bird, 310

_Semnopithecus_, 18, 19

Serval, 44, 70

Setter, 95, 132-134

Shark, 366-368

Sheep, 162, 206, 217-219

Sheldrake, 319

Shepherd's dog, 95, 99, 114-119

Short-faced tumbler, 294

Short-tailed manis, 246

Shrew, 39, 42, 43

Shrike, 262, 282

Siamang, 3, 17, 18

Siberian dog, 107

Silver fox, 86

_Simia_, 12

_Simplicidentati_, 226

Skate, 368

Skunk, 143-145

Skye terrier, 136

Sky-lark, 258, 279-281

Sleuth-hound, 125

Sloth, 245

Sloth bear, 151

Slow lemur, 33

Snakes, 339-349

Snipe, 314

Snow bunting, 277

Sociable weaver-bird, 278

Sole, 357

_Sorex vulgaris_, 42

Spaniel, 95, 98, 101, 134-136

Sparrow-hawk, 302, 304, 312

Spectacled bear, 151

Sperm whale, 159

Sphinx, 20

Spider monkey, 30

Spot, 294

Spotted eagle, 305

Spotted hyæna, 82, 83

Squirrel, 226, 237-239

Stag, 199-201

Staghound, 127

Starling, 250, 251, 278

Stickleback, 354-356

Sting ray, 368

Stoat, 140

Stork, 314, 315, 316

Stormy petrel, 322, 323

Striped hyæna, 82

_Struthiones_, 250

_Sturmidæ_, 278

Sulphur-crested cockatoo, 290

Swallow, 251, 273, 274

Swallow [pigeon], 294

Swan, 316, 319-321

Swift, 289

Sword-fish, 354, 356

Syrian bear, 151


Tadpole, 350

Tahaleb, 85

Tailor bird, 250, 255

Tanager, 250, 273

Talapoin, 19

_Talpidæ_, 40

Tapir, 183

_Tapiridæ_, 183

_Tarsidæ_, 33

Tarsier, 33

_Tarsius spectrum_, 33

Teal, 316, 319

Terrier, 95, 96, 136

Thick-headed shrike, 262

Thistlefinch, 275

Thornback, 368

Thrush, 250, 251, 286

Tiger, 43, 57-61

Tiger-cat, 43

Titmouse, 250, 260

Toad, 350-352

Tomtit, 261

Tope, 365

Torpedo, 366

Tortoise, 331

_Tragelaphinæ_, 207

_Tragulus_, 198

_Tragulus meminna_, 198

Tree frog, 350, 353

Tree kangaroo, 248

Tree pipit, 282

Tree porcupine, 241

_Trichechus rosmarus_, 154

_Troglodytes_, 4

Trogon, 287

Trout, 358

Trumpeter, 294

Turbot, 357

Turkey, 300-302

Turnspit, 130

Turtle, 65, 331, 333

_Tyrannidæ_, 282

Tyrant fly-catcher, 282

Tyrant shrike, 282


Umbrella bird, 251, 283

Unicorn, 185

_Urodela_, 350

_Ursus americanus_, 147

_Ursus arctos_, 151


Vampire bat, 36-39

Vervet monkey, 19

_Vespertilionidæ_, 36, 38

Viper, 340

Viscacha, 240

_Viverridæ_, 79

_Vulpes vulgaris_, 85

Vulture, 304, 307-310


Wagtail, 253, 281

Wallachian sheep, 217

Walrus, 43, 151, 154

Wanderoo, 25

Water rat, 227

Water shrew, 42

Water spaniel, 134, 135

Water-pheasant, 314

Weasel, 43, 140

Weaver bird, 251, 278

Weeper capuchin, 30

Whale, 158, 159

Whip-poor-Will, 288

White shark, 367

White whale, 160

White-headed sea eagle, 305, 306

White-nosed monkey, 19

White-throated capuchin, 30

Whooping swan, 320

Widgeon, 319

Wild boar, 190

Wild cat, 70, 71

Wild dog, 93

Wild goose, 317

Wild turkey, 297, 300

Wild-duck, 319

Wildebeest, 216

Willow wren, 256

Wolf, 43, 84, 85, 86-90

Wombat, 247

Woodchuck, 240

Woodcock, 314

Woodpecker, 282, 284

"Wool man", 248

Wren, 250, 255-258

Wryneck, 284


Yak, 216


Zebra, 183

Zebu, 216



     "Such Volumes are invaluable for our young people, and all thanks
     are due to those who have brought them within easy reach of every
     child in the three kingdoms."--GUARDIAN.

The Fifty-two Series of Stories for Boys and Girls

Edited by ALFRED H. MILES.

_Each in large cr. 8vo, 400-500 pp., bound in cloth, richly gilt,
bevelled boards, gilt edges, with illustrations.
Price =5s.= each._

=Among the Contributors to the Series are:--=

G. A. Henty
R. M. Ballantyne
George Manville Fenn
W. Clark Russell
W. H. G. Kingston
Captain Mayne Reid
Gordon Stables
Ascott R. Hope
David Ker
W. M. Thackeray
Robert Chambers
Lord Macaulay
Sir Edward Creasey
L. T. Meade
Sarah Doudney
Harriet B. Stowe
Grace Stebbing
Mary E. Wilkins
Darley Dale
Susan Coolidge
F. R. Stockton
Mrs. Coulston Kernahan
Frances Gerard
Lucy Hardy
W. P. Frith, R.A.
Washington Irving
Alphonse Daudet


_For List of Volumes see over._

=London: HUTCHINSON & CO., Paternoster Row=

The Fifty-two Series of Stories for Boys and Girls

1. =Fifty-two Stories for Boys.=
2. =Fifty-two Stories for Girls.=
3. =Fifty-two More Stories for Boys.=
4. =Fifty-two More Stories for Girls.=
5. =Fifty-two Further Stories for Boys.=
6. =Fifty-two Further Stories for Girls.=
7. =Fifty-two Other Stories for Boys.=
8. =Fifty-two Other Stories for Girls.=
9. =Fifty-two Fairy Tales.=
10. =Fifty-two Stories for Boyhood and Youth.=
11. =Fifty-two Stories for Girlhood and Youth.=
12. =Fifty-two Stories for Children.=
13. =Fifty-two Stories of Boy Life at Home and Abroad.=
14. =Fifty-two Stories of Girl Life at Home and Abroad.=
15. =Fifty-two Stories of Life and Adventure for Boys.=
16. =Fifty-two Stories of Life and Adventure for Girls.=
17. =Fifty-two Stories of the Indian Mutiny and the Men who saved India.=
18. =Fifty-two Stories of Pluck and Peril for Boys.=
19. =Fifty-two Stories of Pluck, Peril and Romance for Girls.=
20. =Fifty-two Stories of the British Navy.=
21. =Fifty-two Stores of Duty and Daring for Boys.=
22. =Fifty-two Stories of Duty and Daring for Girls.=
23. =Fifty-two Stories of the British Army.=
24. =Fifty-two Holiday Stories for Boys.=
25. =Fifty-two Holiday Stories for Girls.=
26. =Fifty-two Sunday Stories for Boys and Girls.=
27. =Fifty-two Stories of Heroism in Life and Action for Boys.=
28. =Fifty-two Stories of Heroism in Life and Action for Girls.=
29. =Fifty-two Stories of the Wide, Wide World.=
30. =Fifty-two Stirring Stories for Boys.=
31. =Fifty-two Stirring Stories for Girls.=
32. =Fifty-two Stories of the British Empire.=
33. =Fifty-two Stories of Courage and Endeavour for Boys.=
34. =Fifty-two Stories of Courage and Endeavour for Girls.=
35. =Fifty-two Stories of Greater Britain.=
36. =Fifty-two Stories of the Brave and True for Boys.=
37. =Fifty-two Stories of the Brave and True for Girls.=
38. =Eifty-two Stories for the Little Ones.=
39. =Fifty-two Stories of School Life and After for Boys.=
40. =Fifty-two Stories of School Life and After for Girls.=
41. =Fifty-two Stories of Animal Life and Adventure.=

London: HUTCHINSON & CO., Paternoster Row

HUTCHINSON'S NEW 1s. 6d. Series




_Each Volume in large crown 8vo, handsome cloth gilt._

With Illustrations on Art Paper.

1. =GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES.= By the Brothers Grimm.

2. =ANDERSON'S FAIRY TALES.= By Hans Christian Anderson.

3. =UNCLE TOM'S CABIN.= Mrs. H. B. Stowe.

4. =THE WIDE, WIDE WORLD.= Elizabeth Wetherell.

5. =NATURAL HISTORY IN ANECDOTE.= Edited by Alfred H. Miles.

6. =LITTLE WOMEN.= Miss L. M. Alcott.

7. =GOOD WIVES.= Miss L. M. Alcott.

8. =LOG LEAVES AND SAILING ORDERS=--True stories of Naval Life and
   Adventure. Edited by Alfred H. Miles.

9. =WITH FIFE AND DRUM=--True Stories of Military Life and Adventure.
   Edited by Alfred H. Miles.

10. =MELBOURNE HOUSE.= Elizabeth Wetherell.

11. =FAIRY TALES FROM AFAR.= From the Danish, translated by Jane


13. =STEPPING HEAVENWARD.= Mrs. E. Prentiss.

14. =HELEN'S BABIES AND SEQUEL.= J. K. Habberton.

15. =ROBINSON CRUSOE.= Daniel Defoe.

16. =THE LAMPLIGHTER.= M. S. Cummins.




The "Victory" Series


_In large crown 8vo, handsome cloth gilt, and full gilt edges._

With Illustrations printed on plate paper, =5s.=

1. =From Middy to Admiral of the Fleet.= Being the Story of Commodore
   Anson. By DR. MACAULAY.

2. =From Poverty to the Presidency.= Being the Story of General Andrew
   Jackson. By OLIVER DYER.

3. =The Adventures of Leonard Vane.= An African Story. By E. J. BOWEN.

4. =The Emperor's Englishman.= By FRED WISHAW.

5. =King for a Summer.= By EDGAR PICKERING.

6. =Golden Gwendolyn.= By EVELYN EVERETT-GREEN.

7. =Through Pain to Peace.= By SARAH DOUDNEY.

8. =Namesakes.= By EVELYN EVERETT-GREEN.

9. =Where Two Ways Meet.= By SARAH DOUDNEY.

10. =Godiva Durleigh.= By SARAH DOUDNEY.

11. =Dare Lorimer's Heritage.= By EVELYN EVERETT-GREEN.

12. =The House of Elmore.= By F. W. ROBINSON.

13. =Hooks of Steel.= By HELEN PROTHEROE LEWIS.

14. =Miss Marjorie of Silvermead.= By EVELYN EVERETT-GREEN.

15. =Olivia's Experiment.= By EVELYN EVERETT-GREEN.

16. =Owen, a Waif.= By F. W. ROBINSON.


The Boys' Golden Library

_In crown 8vo, very handsomely bound in cloth, bevelled boards, richly
gilt, and full gilt edges._

With Illustrations printed on Plate Paper, =3s. 6d.=

1. =The Desert Ship.= By J. BLONNDELLE BURTON.

2. =The Little Marine; or the Land of the Rising Sun.= By FLORENCE

3. =The Warriors of the Crescent.= By W. H. DAVENPORT ADAMS.

4. =Pictures from Roman Life and Story.= By Professor A. J. CHURCH.

5. =Up North in a Whaler.= By EDWARD A. RAND.

6. =Pictures from Greek Life and Story.= By Professor A. J. CHURCH.

7. =Robinson Crusoe.= By DANIEL DEFOE.

8. =Our Clerk from Barkton.= By EDWARD A. RAND.

9. =After Sedgemoor.= By EDGAR PICKERING.

10. =The Cruise of the Crystal Boat.= By DR. GORDON STABLES, R.N.

11. =The Oracle of Baal.= By A. PROVAND WEBSTER.


The Girls' Golden Library

_In crown 8vo, very handsomely bound in cloth, bevelled boards, richly
gilt, and full gilt edges._

With Illustrations printed on Plate Paper, =3s. 6d.=

1. =A SINGER FROM THE SEA.= By Amelia E. Barr.
2. =THE FAMILY DIFFICULTY.= By Sarah Doudney.
3. =WINNIE TRAVERS.= By Anna E. Lisle.
4. =THE MAID OF ORLEANS.= By W. H. Davenport Adams.
5. =AMONG THE WELSH HILLS.= By M. C. Halifax.
7. =A CHILD OF THE PRECINCT.= By Sarah Doudney.
8. =THE WIDE, WIDE WORLD.= By E. Wetherell.
9. =THE CLEVER MISS JANCY.= By Margaret Haycraft.
10. =MISS PRINGLE'S PEARLS.= By Mrs. G. Linnæus Banks.
11. =THE LAMPLIGHTER.= By Maria S. Cummins.
12. =NO HUMDRUM LIFE FOR ME.= By Mrs. J. Kent Spender.
13. =A BUBBLE FORTUNE.= By Sarah Tytler.
15. =MY COUSIN FROM AUSTRALIA.= By Evelyn Everett-Green.
16. =A STEPMOTHER'S TRAGEDY.= By Evelyn Everett-Green.
17. =LITTLE CAMP ON EAGLE HILL, &c.= By E. Wetherell.
18. =THREE COMELY MAIDS.= By M. L. Pendered.
19. =A KNIGHT OF THE NETS.= By Amelia E. Barr.




With 72 Beautiful Illustrations by W. T. WHITEHEAD

The Dew Babies

_In cloth, richly gilt, and gilt edges, =6s.=_

     "One of the best modern fairy tales we have met for a long
     time."--_Church Times._

     "Not only has Miss Broadbent told the most enchanting of stories,
     but W. T. Whitehead has embellished them with a host of such
     pictures that merely seeing them compels one to read the
     tale."--_Liverpool Post._

With 78 Beautiful Illustrations by H. R. MILLAR

The Ruby Fairy Book

_A large handsome volume, richly cloth gilt and gilt edges, =6s.=_

The Fairy Tales included in this Volume comprise Stories by--


With 83 Original Illustrations by H. R. MILLAR

The Diamond Fairy Book

_In handsome cloth gilt and gilt edges, =6s.=_

     "'The Diamond Fairy Book' is the daintiest and most fascinating of
     its kind we have seen for a very long time."--_The Lady._

London: HUTCHINSON & CO., Paternoster Row


With 84 Original Illustrations by H. R. MILLAR

The Silver Fairy Book

_In handsome cloth binding, silver edges, =6s.=_

     "'The Silver Fairy Book' is, both from the interesting nature of
     the stories and the excellence of the illustrations, likely to be
     one of the most popular among young people, and indeed, among all
     who still retain a fondness for fairy stories. The greater portion
     of them will be entirely new to English readers, and may be said to
     depart altogether from beaten paths."--_Standard._

With 111 Original Illustrations by H. R. MILLAR

The Golden Fairy Book

_In handsome cloth gilt, gilt edges, =6s.=_

     "An excellent collection of charming tales by famous authors. The
     volume is prettily bound, and excellently printed with a profusion
     of illustrations."--_Times._

An Important and Unique Work


One Thousand Poems for Children


_In crown 8vo, cloth gilt, =6s.=_

_With Illustrations printed on Plate Paper_

London: HUTCHINSON & CO., Paternoster Row

  Transcriber's Notes

  Italicised text is surrounded by _underscores_.

  Bold text is surrounded by =equals= signs.

  Both M. d'Obsonville and M. D'Obsonville occur on page 99.

  A number of typographical errors were corrected in the text.

  |Page|  Original   |Corrected to|            Context             |
  |  34|appearence   |appearance  |of singular appearance          |
  |  42|mammel       |mammal      |the smallest living mammal      |
  |  46|suddently    |suddenly    |he came suddenly on a lion      |
  |  71|desease      |disease     |specific against cattle disease |
  |  74|stic her dome|her domestic|warmth of her domestic hearth   |
  |  79|is           |its         |In its pure state               |
  |  79|its          |is          |perfume is agreeable            |
  |  87|inhabitated  |inhabited   |proximity to inhabited dwellings|
  | 114|canis        |Canis       |Canis domesticus                |
  | 125|formally     |formerly    |less needed now than formerly   |
  | 188|Hippotamus   |Hippopotamus|The Hippopotamus is gregarious  |
  | 249|if           |of          |one of the most                 |
  | 255|acccording   |according   |according to Mrs. Bowdich       |
  | 354|vocacious    |voracious   |They are extremely voracious    |
  | 362|appropiate   |appropriate |It will attack, and appropriate |

  Some words occur with and without hyphenation in the text.

  |  Hyphenated  |Instances|Unhyphenated |Instances|
  |bed-room      |    1    |bedroom      |    5    |
  |blood-hound   |    1    |bloodhound   |    3    |
  |Blood-hound   |    1    |Bloodhound   |    6    |
  |cat-like      |    2    |catlike      |    2    |
  |eye-witness   |    2    |eyewitness   |    1    |
  |farm-house    |    1    |farmhouse    |    1    |
  |fore-feet     |    2    |forefeet     |    1    |
  |fore-noon     |    1    |forenoon     |    2    |
  |fore-paw      |    1    |forepaw      |    1    |
  |fore-paws     |    2    |forepaws     |    1    |
  |Fox-hound     |    3    |Foxhound     |    1    |
  |fox-hound     |    2    |foxhound     |    1    |
  |Goat-sucker   |    1    |Goatsucker   |    1    |
  |gun-shot      |    1    |gunshot      |    1    |
  |hedge-hog     |    1    |hedgehog     |    9    |
  |hind-quarters |    1    |hindquarters |    1    |
  |mid-day       |    2    |midday       |    1    |
  |off-spring    |    1    |offspring    |   10    |
  |re-discovered |    1    |rediscovered |    1    |
  |road-side     |    2    |roadside     |    2    |
  |sand-banks    |    1    |sandbanks    |    1    |
  |sea-side      |    1    |seaside      |    1    |
  |tortoise-shell|    1    |tortoiseshell|    1    |

  Some words occur with and without ligatures in the text.

  | Ligature |Instances|No Ligature|Instances|
  |Cebidae   |    1    |Cebidæ     |    7    |
  |Corvidae  |    1    |Corvidæ    |    1    |
  |Cotingidae|    1    |Cotingidæ  |    1    |

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Natural History in Anecdote - Illustrating the nature, habits, manners and customs of - animals, birds, fishes, reptiles, etc., etc., etc." ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.