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Title: Horse Stories - And Stories of Other Animals
Author: Knox, Thomas W.
Language: English
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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.

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And Stories Of Other Animals

Experience of Two Boys in Managing Horses, With Many Anecdotes of
Quadrupedal Intelligence

By Thomas W. Knox

Author Of “Dog Stories And Dog Lore,” “The Boy Travellers,” “The Young
Nimrods,” “Marco Polo For Boys And Girls,” “The Voyage Of The Vivian,”
 “Decisive Battles Since Waterloo,” Etc., Etc.

New York: Cassell Publishing Company


[Illustration: 0002]

[Illustration: 0008]



_Charley and George--What they Wanted--The Lesson of Kindness--Story
of Old Jane--The Horse that Went for Assistance--A Grateful
Patient--Engine-house and Training-school of the New York Fire
Department--Wonderful Intelligence of Fire-horses--Likes and
Dislikes--Memory in Horses--Anecdotes of Old Army Horses--A Good Story
of a Faithful Dog._

[Illustration: 0014]

I wish I had a horse of my own,” said Charley Graham, as he saw one of
his friends riding on a pony which had recently been presented to him by
his father.

“And I’d like one, too,” exclaimed his brother George.

“Well,” said Charley? “suppose we ask father about it. Perhaps he’d give
them to us, when he knows Henry Johnson has one.”

“That’s so,” was the reply, “as I’ve heard him say he believed in boys
knowing how to ride.”

There was an animated discussion as to the probabilities of the granting
of the request, and also as to the best form of presenting it. It was
agreed that the petition should be made that evening, shortly after
dinner. The youths were good students of human nature, and had observed
that Mr. Graham was in his best humor after partaking of a satisfactory
meal. In this respect he was not unlike the rest of the world.

Charley and George were two youths with whom the readers of “Dog Stories
and Dog Lore” are already acquainted. Their adventures in rearing and
training two dogs, a Newfoundland and a Black-and-tan Terrier, are
familiar to many young people. We are about to learn of their experience
with horses and other quadrupeds, and will join them in listening to
stories of animal intelligence in various parts of the world.

Mr. Graham received the request of his sons with a complacency that
greatly encouraged them, but, before giving an answer, he questioned
them as to their knowledge of horses. It was not very extensive, to be
sure, as it was limited to a knowledge of the horses then in the stable,
and none of these had been trained to the saddle. Next he asked them how
they would treat the animals in case they should become the possessors
of what they wanted.

“I would treat them kindly,” replied Charley, “and I am sure George
would do the same. We have got along so nicely with Rover and Dash, by
always treating them kindly, that we believe the same plan will do with
horses. Are we right?”

“Yes,” replied Mr. Graham; “the horse has a great deal of affection for
his master when the latter is his friend, though perhaps not as much as
the dog. Horses may be taught to do a great many things; they vary in
intelligence and disposition, like dogs, and men too, for that matter.
Where they are intelligent and of good disposition they are capable of
an amount of training that will surprise most people.”

“Here is a story which I found to-day in a newspaper,” continued
the gentleman, “which will illustrate what I was saying about the
intelligence of the horse. It is told by a writer for _Every Other
Sunday_, about a favorite animal that was called Jane. The author of the
story says:

“‘She was large and strong, a good carriage horse, obedient to the least
touch of rein or inflection of voice, and so gentle that she was the
best possible playfellow for our youngest, a child of ten years, who was
never happier than when in company with Jane.

“‘Little Emily was not long in learning to harness after she once made
Jane’s acquaintance; and the great horse would bend her head down meekly
while the child, mounting a chair, succeeded after great effort in
putting on the bridle. Again Jane would stand with quiet patience while
her little mistress tried to curry her, combed out her long mane and
tail, patted and hugged her, ran about and under her, or climbed up for
a ride on her broad back.

“‘One fair spring day we went for a long drive in the woods. It was so
mild and lovely under the oaks and pines, and we found such treasures of
flowers that we lingered and lingered, and were tempted to explore some
grassy unused wood roads that looked especially inviting. In so doing we
lost our way, and before we could again find the open country road
the sun had set. Jane started off for home at a good pace; but it was
distant several miles, and the darkness gathered fast. It was a cloudy,
starless evening. Soon we could not see distinctly even the horse’s
length in front of us; but we knew Jane could be trusted, so we gave
her a loose rein and let her take her own way. She was trotting
briskly along a quiet lane, when suddenly she stopped. We could see no
approaching team or any obstacle in the way, so bade Jane go on. To our
astonishment the horse, for the first time in all our experience of her,
refused to obey. She paid no attention to rein or voice, and only tossed
her head a little at the unwelcome touch of the whip. We could see that
she kept turning her head, and looking back at us in a gentle, wistful
way. Clearly something was wrong. The driver threw down the reins, and
springing from the carriage, walked up to the horse’s head. Then the
mystery wras explained.

“‘A few paces in front of Jane, seated right in the wheel-rut, was
a little child,--a curly-haired, blue-eyed baby of two years. He was
patting the earth with one little hand, and looking up in a sweet,
wondering way at the great horse, looming above him through the dusk. He
was not directly in the horse’s path; Jane could have passed him easily
enough. How could she know that the swift-turning wheels behind her,
which she herself could not? see, would reach and harm the child?

“‘Our good Jane! How glad we were of the disobedience that had troubled
us so much a moment before! How we stroked and petted and praised her,
even before we lifted the pretty baby from his perilous position, and
carried him to the nearest house, with injunctions to the young Irish
mother, who had many children about her, to take better care of the

“That’s a very nice story,” said Charley, as his father paused. “I’ve
read something like it in an English book; it was about a gentleman that
was riding one night along a road and happened to be hit on the head by
a projecting limb of a tree. He was stunned by the blow and fell to the
ground. The horse went at once to the house he had started from, which
was about a mile away; the family had gone to bed, but he made such a
noise at the door as to rouse them. When some one came out he turned
around and immediately led the way to where his master was lying
senseless in the road.”

“And I’ve read about a horse,” remarked George, as his brother paused,
“that showed its gratitude to a lady that had befriended it. It was in
an open piece of ground near her house and the poor animal’s shoulder
was raw and bleeding. She coaxed him to come to her by giving him pieces
of bread, and then she covered the wound with some adhesive plaster
which she spread on a piece of leather. Then the horse went to grazing
again, evidently feeling very much better. A little while afterward the
horse’s master came and led him away.

“The next day the horse came again to the lady’s gate, and after looking
around a while he put his head over it and whinnied. The lady went
out and found that the plaster was gone from the sore spot; she put on
another, and the next day the horse came again for the same attention,
which was given. After that the plaster remained and the horse
recovered. Ever after that when he saw the lady he showed his gratitude
by whinnying and then rubbing his nose very gently against her.
Sometimes he came to the gate and called her, and she used to go out and
pet him, which seemed to give him a great deal of pleasure.”

“After those two stories,” said Mr. Graham, “I think you ought to have
the horses you want. I’ll buy them for you in a few days, and in the
meantime we’ll go to the training school for the horses of the New York
Fire Department and see how they educate the animals there.”

Charley and George were delighted with the prospect of having horses
of their own, and waited with some impatience for the purchase of their
steeds. The day after the conversation just narrated they accompanied
their father to one of the engine-houses and afterward to the training
school. They were greatly interested in what they saw there, and Charley
afterward wrote an account of the visit. He was assisted by a reporter
for one of the newspapers whom he happened to meet in the engine-house,
and we are permitted to copy the following from their story:

“The engine house was a big square room, smelling horsey and strong, yet
was scrupulously clean and neat and resplendent with the polished steel
and brass and the painted woodwork of the engine and hose-cart and
chiefs wagon. In this particular engine-house the hose-cart happened
to be in the front of the room, before the street doors, with the horse
stalls on either side of it, against the sides of the room. The stalls
were parallel with the hose-cart. Back of the hose-cart was the engine,
big and shiny, with the ‘ready’ steam hissing into it through pipes from
the boiler below. The chiefs cart was at one side of the engine, and in
a corner of the room was the fuel wagon. In the side stalls stood two
magnificent white horses--silent, motionless, but with ears erect, and
wide open eyes watching the foreman and the strangers and apparently
very anxious to join in the conversation.

“Suddenly a jingle bell in the room beat a lively rattle, and the fire
gong began to ring out an alarm. The firemen slid down from upstairs on
the polished rods of brass which stretched from the ground floor through
scuttle-holes into the firemen’s sitting-room, and took their several
stations. The man on ‘house watch’ counted the gong strokes. As the
electric snap on the bits of the horses in their stalls were unfastened,
the horses jumped to their places at a bound, down came the hanging
harness upon them, and collar, headstall and reinbit were fastened by
ready hands in less than two seconds. Before the gong stopped sounding,
engine and men and horses were ready to rush into the street if the
alarm should turn out to be a call from their part of the city. The
alarm did not so turn out, and all went back to their places.”

On the way from the engine-house to the training school in Harlem,
Charley asked how the horses were obtained and where they came from. On
this point the newspaper man enlightened him.

“The horses are generally selected,” said he, “by Captain Joseph Shea,
who has charge of the training school, or by one of his assistants. They
only deal with dealers whom they know to be trustworthy, and who have,
in fact, furnished most of the horses to the department for years.
Strength, agility, intelligence, kindness--these are the traits the
buyers look at.

“When a horse has been picked out, he is sent to the training stables,
and Captain Shea takes him in hand. The horse is set to tugging big
loads, is punched, examined, trotted and exercised generally for fifteen
days. Captain Shea has an old fire-engine at his quarters, and the horse
is drilled with this, too, and is taught to notice and to mind the gong.
If Captain Shea doesn’t like the horse, the animal is sent back to the
dealer or his former master. No horses are bought except on probation.
If the horse seems to be a good one. Captain Shea sends him to some
engine-house for practical trial. There the horse is made to do the same
kind of work that other horses do, and if after fifteen days more the
officer in command of the company doesn’t like him, back he goes to the
stables. It he is a very bad or stupid horse, the department rejects
him finally. But the department has other uses for horses, of course,
besides that of tugging engines and trucks to fires. It needs horses for
supply wagons and in its repair shops, and in a great many other places,
and if the horse can be used at all he is put at these kinds of work.”

[Illustration: 0020]

When our friends reached the training school they were cordially
welcomed by Captain Shea, to whom Mr. Graham presented a letter of
introduction. Then they were shown through the establishment, and
during the visit the Captain talked in a very interesting way about the
intelligent animals which he had in charge.

“Some horses are kind o’ dead like,” said he. “We coax ‘em and show
‘em over and over again what to do, but it’s no use--they never know
anything. Then an intelligent horse is sometimes vicious, and though
very quick at getting to fires has some trick or other, so that we
always have to be on the lookout. But a horse, if he’s got the making of
a good fire-horse in him, generally gets to learn his business in about
three months. I have come to believe more and more that a horse is about
as intelligent as a man. We can let some of ‘em out in the street, and
when they hear the gong sound they’ll come back to the engine-house and
get by the pole in a jiffy. Now you take a good horse for a tender, he
don’t wait for his driver to get into the seat, but out he goes when the
engine goes, driver or no driver. A good tender horse’ll never be more
than 100 feet behind the engine as he goes down the street.

“A horse comes to know his feeding times, and he gets restless and
uneasy when those times come, though I suppose all horses do the same. A
fire-horse gets so accustomed to regularity, though, that he knows
when he ought to be fed just as if he could read the clock. The driver
generally feeds and takes care of the horses, though he consults with
the company officer about what he shall give ‘em. He puts the feed in
the forward corner of the stall, opposite the corner across which the
horse has to rush to his engine. Otherwise the latter corner would get
slippery, and the horse would stumble as he dashed across it.

“One of the hardest things we have to teach a horse is to leave his
food and get to the engine when the gong sounds. It’s a good test of the
stubbornness or docility of a horse, whichever way you’ve a mind to put
it, whether he’ll do this or not. There are a great many horses in
the department that wont do it. Most of those which will, are the old
horses. It annoys a real spirited horse to run out to the pole every
don’t get a chance to snap the collars, and at noontime it’s generally a
race between the men and the horses to see who gets to the pole first.”

[Illustration: 0022]

“Do the horses know the difference between false alarms and real ones?”
 Charley asked.

“Why, certainly,” was the reply, “a horse knows he’s going to a fire. I
know he does, and every man who knows anything about a fire horse knows
so too. With all their mad rush as they go down the street they are
cautious, and they don’t rely on the driver’s rein to tell time the gong
strikes and not start with the engine. He frets and worries and whinnies
and acts just as teased as a horse can. They get to know some signals
though, and they play us some cute tricks. Now, at noon every day every
engine company gets the time on the gong from headquarters, and the
horses come out as usual. But some of ‘em get to know that they never go
out of the house on that signal, and they whirl around after coming to
the pole and get back to the stalls again. The men who have to snap the
collars have to be mighty quick or they them when to turn out of the way
of an obstruction. They get to know the location of hydrants in their
district and they pull right up to them. They can tell when they’re
coming near a fire just as well as the driver can, and when they smell
the smoke or see the blaze they give a lively tug on the engine. I think
a horse can tell whether it is a big fire or not, too. The noise of
other engines they hear going to the fire excites them. When they get to
the fire, too, they’re alive, you bet. You know the place of a horse on
a tender at a fire is at the back of the engine. Well, when a horse has
pulled the tender right up to the burning building, so that the men can
use the hose, after the hose is unwound the horse will turn and trot
back to its engine, just as unconcernedly as can be, and will pick its
engine out from all the others.

“It’s a queer thing about the likes and dislikes horses will take. They
are just as queer about that as men and women are. Of course, horses are
of all kinds and some will let anybody pet ‘em and some wont let anybody
come near ‘em while they are in the stalls. But often a horse will take
a great notion or a great aversion to some one man in the company. I was
in a company once six years with a team of horses, and one of the horses
would always kick at the assistant foreman whenever he got a chance.
Sure as death, whenever Dick got behind that horse, the horse’d raise on
him. Dick was a kind, good enough feller, too. That same horse’d let any
other man in the company do what he wanted with him.

“A good many of these stories are true about horses that have been in
the service of the department and mustered out, minding the gong when
they happen to hear it, and getting excited and going to fires when an
engine passes them on the street. I remember once driving an engine down
Broadway on the run, and we passed an old, worn-out, miserable-looking
horse on one of the street-cleaning department’s carts. The man who
was loading the cart had just, put an ash can on the cart wheel as we
passed, and was getting ready to dump it. The old horse pricked up his
ears, gave a big snort, and started after us pell mell, scattering the
ashes right and left. He was an old fire-horse, sure enough. We turned
a corner, and I don’t know whether they ever stopped him or not. A good
many of our horses go into the streetcleaning department when we get
through with them. We keep horses till they get pretty old, though, if
they are good ones. Old horses know the ropes so well that they are good
to have around, but, of course, we can’t keep ‘em always, and they lose
their snap after a while.”

“That reminds me,” said Mr. Graham, “of the story of a horse that had
been in an English cavalry regiment and was sold in his old age and put
to the prosaic work of hauling a common cart. One day some cavalrymen
were exercising and were rather taken by surprise when a horse dragging
a cart laden with sand came among them and took his place in line as
though he belonged there. The carter who owned the horse came rushing
after him, and when the officer scolded him for what the animal had done
the poor man protested that he couldn’t tell why he did it. The horse
started at the sound of the trumpet and his owner was unable to control

“Inquiry into the history of the horse showed that he had been for a
long time in the cavalry service, and the officers were so well pleased
with his performance that they bought him for a good price and relieved
him from dragging a cart for the future.”

“There are many stories of the same sort,” continued Mr. Graham, “all
tending to show that the horse has an excellent memory. In one of the
books there is a funny anecdote of how a clergyman’s wife was once
dragged around in her carriage by a horse that had belonged to an
artillery company. She had gone in her carriage to witness an artillery
parade, and when the company began its evolutions the horse could not
be restrained but joined in the exercise. Round and round he dragged the
lady in spite of her screams and also in spite of all that the driver
could do in his efforts to check the steed. It was not a graceful
performance for a clergyman’s wife to be engaged in, and the animal was
sold and sent elsewhere very soon afterward.”

“Yes,” said Captain Shea, “and there’s the old chestnut of a story
about the war-horse that had been sold to a milkman and was used by his
daughter for carrying milk to customers. She had a can of milk hung at
each side of the saddle and used to go around in this way to serve out
the article where it was wanted.

“The same thing happened as in the other cases. There was a troop of
cavalry getting ready for the parade, and as the trumpeter gave a
signal the milk-horse went in and took his place in the ranks; the girl
couldn’t stop him and he didn’t seem to mind the fact that he wasn’t at
all equipped like the rest. The milk-cans were not exactly a part of a
cavalryman’s outfit, but that wasn’t any affair of the horse. He knew
the bugle-call and was obeying orders.”

On the way home from the training school of the fire department
several other stories of the same sort were given, but as they were all
illustrative of what we have mentioned it is hardly necessary to repeat
them. It is proper to say that the memory of the youths was a great
deal freshened by what they heard, and they did their part in recalling
stories of equine intelligence.

“While you are waiting for your horses, as I may not be able to find
suitable ones immediately,” said Mr. Graham, “you had better give your
attention to some of the books which tell about these animals.”

“What books shall we get, father?” said Charley, when the foregoing
suggestion was made.

“There are several excellent works about horses,” was the reply, “but I
will not give you a large number at the start. There is a large volume
called ‘The Book of The Horse,’ by Mr. Sidney, which I would advise you
to get, and there’s ‘Horse and Man,’ by Rev. J. G. Wood, the author of
Wood’s ‘Natural History’ and kindred works. ‘The Book of The Horse’ is a
companion to ‘The Book of The Dog,’ and tells a great deal you will wish
to know; it not only describes the different varieties of the horse but
gives directions for arranging their stalls, caring for them in health
and illness, training them for the saddle or to harness, and for nearly
everything belonging to the animal we are discussing. You’ll find enough
in it to keep you busy for some time.”

Mr. Graham wrote an order for his bookseller to deliver these books to
the boys, and as soon as they obtained the volumes they had no thought
of anything except to peruse the pages. What they learned in the course
of their reading we will ascertain in the next chapter.

On their way home the youths met Mr. Webb, the gentleman who had given
them so much advice relative to the training of Rover and Dash. They
told him about their father’s promise and he congratulated them on their
good fortune.

As they were separating Mr. Webb told them he had just received a letter
from an old friend, George M. Elwood, of Rochester, New York, who was
like himself a great lover of dogs. “He tells me an interesting story
about a dog,” said Mr. Webb, “and I know you will enjoy it. Dogs and
horses go together,” he continued, “and this dog story will equal any
horse story that you are likely to hear.”

So saying he drew a letter from his pocket and read the following

“About the year 1840 my father, James L. Elwood, then living in
Rochester, N. Y., owned a very fine dog that enjoyed a considerable
degree of local celebrity.

[Illustration: 8026]

He rejoiced in the ambitious name of Bonaparte, being familiarly called
‘Boney,’ which latter name described him very nearly, for he was a
monster, standing over thirty inches high at the shoulder. In
markings and make-up he is said to have closely resembled Landseer’s
‘Distinguished Member of the Humane Society.’ He was remarkable for
his intelligence as well as his unvarying good temper and was a prime
favorite with young and old in the then little city, especially among
children, toward whom he, in common with most members of his race,
exhibited great affection and devotion.

“Among those who bear this noble animal in affectionate remembrance,
many stories are still told illustrating his unusual sagacity and
reasoning powers. The possession of this latter faculty by dogs is, I
know, doubted by many, who ascribe all evidence of it to ‘instinct,’
whatever that may be besides reason, but that it does exist and
manifests itself by the same processes that it does in the human animal,
every true lover of a good dog religiously believes and mantains.

“The following incident will serve to illustrate ‘Boney’s’ thinking’
faculty, and I may say, parenthetically, that the facts herein given
are thoroughly vouched for by those who remember the circumstances
in detail. My father was, at that time, engaged in a banking office
located, on the Court-house Square. In those more honest times bank
robbery had not reached its present degree of refined skill, and it was
the habit of his associate and himself, on going to dinner at mid-day,
simply to turn the key in the safe, leaving the bank open, with no other
guard than ‘Boney,’ who remained on duty until their return.

“One day, during this noon hour, two well known business men and
customers of the bank chanced to meet on the side-walk in front of the
office. They had some business transaction, in which one wished to pay
the other a considerable sum of money. It was proposed to step into the
bank, where, outside of the counter, was a table with, chairs for the
convenience of customers, and there complete the transaction, which was
accordingly done. While one of the gentlemen was engaged in writing a
receipt, the other produced a large package of bank bills and proceeded
to count out the required sum. ‘Boney’ got up from where he was lying,
and, knowing both of the gentlemen, came over to where they were
sitting, wagging his huge brush in friendly recognition and stood
watching their proceedings. When the first gentleman had finished
counting the bills, he pushed them across the table to the second,
saying ‘There, I think you will find that right.’ At that moment the dog
lifted his huge paw and laid it squarely on the pile of bills. There was
no demonstration of unfriendliness on his part, but a quiet air of
such firm determination that neither gentleman felt inclined to meddle
further with the money. In vain they coaxed and ordered him to ‘Go lie
down, sir!’ and there the three sat for nearly an hour. At the end of
that time, to the infinite relief of at least two of the trio, my father
came in, and as soon as he reached the table, ‘Boney’ took down his paw
as quietly as he had placed it there and went back to his accustomed
rug. The money was paid and receipt passed without any farther attention
on his part, and the gentlemen departed, their annoyance at the awkward
delay in their affairs entirely cancelled by their admiration for the
dog’s sagacity.

“Now I do not presume to infer that ‘Boney’ really knew the value of the
money, as such, but he did understand that it was a commodity which was
not allowed to change hands in that office except in the presence of
some duly authorized representative of the bank. I think any one, who
accepts the fact, will be prepared to believe that the dog recognized
his duty, as he understood it, to firmly insist that no money should
be transferred until the return of some duly accredited and responsible

[Illustration: 0028]


_Pitting up the Stables--Loose Boxes and their Uses--Stable
Fittings--Light, Ventilation and Drainage--Cobweb and Major--How to
tell a Horse’s Age--Do Horses understand Language?--Starting a balky
Horse--The Horse that knew the Doxology--Horses telling Time by
the Clock--Famous Horse Trainers: Rarey, Gleason, and Sullivan the
Whisperer--How Cruiser was Tamed--Horse-breaking in Texas--“Creasing”
 Wild Horses._

Mr. Graham told his boys they might fit up the stable for their horses
in whatever way suited them best; he gave them this permission in the
confident belief that they would thereby be led to learn more about the
animals and their needs than if the stables were turned over to them
already fitted. The correctness of his judgment was shown by the
earnestness with which the youths proceeded to inform themselves on the

“There’s plenty of room in the stable,” said Charley, “and so we’ll have
a ‘loose box’ for our horses in addition to the ordinary stalls. Mr.
Sidney says it is desirable to have one box for every two stalls and
therefore one box will be enough for us.”

“How large shall the box be?” George asked.

“Not less than twelve feet by fourteen if we have the space for it,”
 was the reply, “but even a much smaller box is better than none at
all. Where space is limited one of the stalls may be made into a box by
putting a gate across the end of it. A space large enough for a horse to
turn around in, so Mr. Sidney says, is of great advantage sometimes to a
sick, or very tired horse, or to one that is obliged to be idle several
days at a time. When horses are in good health and steady use they
haven’t much need of boxes, and as we propose to keep our horses healthy
and use them, too, one box will be enough for both of us.”

Then came the question of ventilation, which did not require a long
debate. The youths were agreed at the start that horses as well as other
animals require plenty of light and air; Mr. Graham had been of the
same opinion before them, and had built his stable upon intelligent
principles. It was on a dry foundation, was well drained, no unsavory
gutters or sewers near it, and the windows were numerous and well
arranged. He had taken especial pains with the windows and his orders to
the grooms were very strict as to the proper ventilation of the stable.

“Unless you watch the grooms closely,” said Mr. Graham to Charley,
“you’ll very likely find them keeping the windows of the stable closed
when they should be open. Grooms like to heat their horses into a
condition of moisture in order to give their coats a silky appearance,
and their best way of doing this is to keep the windows closed and the
air foul. The colonel of an English regiment has said on this subject
that the horses of his command live in stables that are constantly open
to the air, and consequently are very rarely out of sorts; the same
gentleman has a pack of hunting horses at his country seat, and his
manager keeps them in stables that are close and hot. The hunters are
constantly sick and he attributes it to the bad air in which they are

“Some people use deodorisers about their stables,” the gentleman
continued, “but I have always found that when cleanliness and fresh
air are insisted upon no deodorisers are needed. With a stable properly
ventilated, well-paved, and kept at all times clean the horses will be
in good health and disinfectants may be thrown away.”

Charley was exercised in mind as to the best form of feeding and
drinking arrangements for his horse, and pondered some time on the

The result of his deliberation was that he chose a trough with a rack
at one side, the former for grain and the latter for hay. The tie, or
fastening, for the horse was a patent one so arranged that the slack of
the halter was taken up by a sliding weight inside. Mr. Graham had lost
a valuable horse some years before by the animal becoming entangled in
a long halter, and ever after that he had his stables provided with
fastenings that would render entanglement impossible.

At the suggestion of the groom the headstall was provided with several
inches of chain next to the animal’s head, so as to discourage any
possible inclination he might have to bite it. Some horses will use
their teeth on anything, and if they once succeed in gnawing off their
halters and getting loose it is not easy to break them of the habit.

Various articles for use in the stable were procured and made ready by
the time the horses were bought. When the animals were sent home the
two boys could hardly stay out of the stable long enough to take their
meals, so anxious were they to see that proper attention was given to
their prizes.

[Illustration: 0031]

Charley’s horse was a medium sized animal and was said to have come
from Kentucky. The first question of the youth was as to the age of the
creature, to which Mr. Graham replied that he must find out for himself.

This was a subject that had not been investigated; it demanded immediate
study and away went Charley to his books again. In a few days he
considered himself competent to tell a horse’s age, and his practice on
his own steed showed that he was not far out of the way.

[Illustration: 0032]

“But do you know, father that I’ll have to violate a very old
injunction,” said Charley, as he proceeded to the study of the subject.

“How so?”

“You gave me the horse, did you not?” queried the youth.

“Certainly,” replied Mr. Graham.

“Well, then,” quoth the boy with a smile, “Isn’t there an old adage that
says ‘never look a gift horse in the mouth’?”

“Yes,” the father answered, his face reflecting the smile of the son,
“but all rules have their exceptions, and we’ll make one in the present

We haven’t space for all that Charley learned about the way in which the
age of horses is shown by their teeth. The novice who is buying a
horse should not rely upon himself in this matter, and it is not at all
probable that Mr. Graham would have allowed the youth to make a purchase
on the strength of his limited study of the subject. A great deal
of observation and practice are necessary and even then one may be
deceived. The best judges of horses have been defrauded by the tricks of
dealers, who can reduce the apparent age of an animal by careful filing
of the teeth. The general appearance of the creature, the smoothness of
his skin, the shape of the limbs and head, and many other things must be
taken into consideration as well as the condition of his teeth.

Charley’s horse was pronounced about four years old, while that
of George was not far from five. Both the animals were of gentle
disposition and the boys made friends with them at once.

Charley decided that his horse should be called Cobweb, while George
thought that Major would be a good name for his steed. Accordingly
the animals were known as Cobweb and Major and very quickly knew their
names. In this respect a horse is very much like a dog and learns to
associate a word with himself when it is frequently repeated.

“Do you think horses understand language?” George asked his brother one
day while they were exercising Cobweb and Major.

“I’m quite sure they do,” was the reply. “I went to see some trained
horses that were being exhibited by a man named Bartholebeen a secret
sign given to the horse by the trainer, but we were positively assured
there was nothing of the kind.

[Illustration: 0034]

“That the horses all knew their names was very evident, for they stood
up in a row and each one walked out when his name was called, either by
the trainer or by persons in the audience. They were bright, intelligent
horses and perfectly docile; after the performance was over the audience
went among the horses and petted them and not one showed the least sign
of ill temper. On the contrary they seemed to appreciate the attention
they received and to be proud of it.”

“I have noticed,” said George, “that the horses on the street cars
understand the meaning of the conductor’s bell. When they are going mew.
The horses did a great many things just as he told them, and to make
sure there was no trickery about the matter he asked the audience to
give some of the orders.”

“How was that?”

“Why, when a horse was standing at the front of the stage the trainer
would ask the audience to tell the animal which way to make a circle,
whether to the right or left. The horse would hesitate a moment after
the order was given and then he turned in the when he was asked to. This
was done several times; perhaps there may have they stop at the sound of
the bell, and when they are standing they start up as soon as the bell

“I’ve observed that, too,” was the reply, “and the drivers say it only
takes a few days for a green horse to understand it. And a car horse
after a little experience learns just about how long a time should be
required for a passenger to enter or leave a car, and when the time is
exceeded he is apt to show impatience.”

“Henry Johnson was telling me an amusing story the other day,” said
George, “about how a man started a balky horse on the street in New

“How was that?” Charley asked.

“Henry was going along Broadway,” said George, “and saw a crowd around
a handsome horse that was attached to an equally handsome carriage. One
man had him by the bit, another by the tail, a couple of men put their
shoulders against his ribs and heaved as hard as they could but the
animal was as immovable as a house.

“When everybody was in despair, a stranger appeared, and stepping out of
the crowd said to the driver, “‘I’ll show you how to make that horse go.’

“The driver retired, and the stranger took the horse confidently by
the mouth, opened it and looked into it, examined his teeth for a few
minutes, then seized the beast by the bridle, and to the astonishment
of the crowd, the horse started off at a good gait, drawing the carriage
after him with perfect ease.

“The success of the stranger’s method of persuading a balky horse to go
was so surprising that Henry asked the man how he did it.

“‘It’s very simple,’ said he. ‘Of course you didn’t see me, but I took a
chip of wood which I picked up from the sidewalk and placed it under
the horse’s tongue. The presence of that bit of pine chip diverted the
horse’s attention. He forgot all about being balky, and when I took hold
of the bridle he started off like any other horse. A horse can think of
only one thing at a time and you want to keep that fact in mind when you
are training him.’”

“I heard a groom say the other day,” Charley remarked when George had
ended his story, “that you could often start a balky horse by pretending
to do something to the harness. Fasten and unfasten some of the straps,
be very busy about it for several minutes, then take the reins and give
the order to go on in an ordinary tone and quite likely the horse will
start off without hesitation. Gleason, the famous horse trainer, acts on
this principle when he is handling vicious horses; he puts a string in
the animal’s mouth that incommodes him though it does not hurt him.
The horse concentrates his thoughts upon how he will get rid of the
incumbrance and hasn’t any time to be ugly. And what’s more, he follows
the trainer all round the ring and keeps him constantly in sight for
fear he’ll go away without removing the string.”

“Did you ever hear of a horse that knew the doxology?” George asked.

“No!” replied his brother in a tone of surprise. “He must have belonged
to a clergyman.”

“So he did,” was the ready answer. “He belonged to a preacher in the
country and had been driven by him for eighteen years. The preacher said
he had so often driven the horse to church and left him standing near
by, that the horse learned the doxology, and whenever it is sung he
begins to neigh, knowing that he is going home soon.”

“I heard a gentleman say recently,” Charley responded, “that the school
horses in the riding academies in New York can tell the time by the

“Nonsense!” said George. “That’s too much to believe.”

“So I think,” was the reply, “and probably the gentleman didn’t mean it
literally. He explained that the horses are used for an hour at a time
and they seem to know almost exactly when they have been in the ring
for that period. They go around perfectly docile and obedient to their
riders till just about as the hour is up, when they turn toward the
mounting block and intimate very plainly that they think it is time for
them to be relieved of duty and sent back to the stable. In the same
way when they are taken into Central Park they know all the turns of
the bridle path, and are very ready to take those that lead back to the

“You mentioned Gleason, the horse trainer, just now,” said George; “I
wonder how these famous trainers have such control over horses?”

“I’ve been trying to find out,” was the reply, “but can’t tell. Some
of them say it is no secret, while others make a great deal of mystery
about the matter. They teach others how to control horses, but it is
rarely the case that their pupils are able to accomplish anywhere near
as much as the masters. One of the most remarkable men in this line
of business was Rarey, an American, who became famous in Europe about
thirty years ago for subduing horses that had been quite unmanageable;
I was reading about him this morning and was particularly impressed with
one thing that he said.”

“What was that?” queried his brother.

“That you must never show either fear or anger in dealing with a horse.
He says you should always treat him kindly, speak to him in gentle
tones, let him regard you as a friend, pat him and call him endearing
names, and be perfectly familiar with him. But probably there was
something more than this in his method, as some of the horses that he
subdued were not of a character to be soothed by kind words when he
started in with them.”

“Isn’t he the man that conquered the English horse Cruiser?” George

“Yes,” was the reply. “When Mr. Rarey went to England a good many people
thought he was playing a trick upon them, and somebody published a
suggestion that he should try his skill upon a famous horse called
Cruiser. Cruiser was so vicious that no one could approach him, and he
had not been touched with a curry-comb for months. He kicked the planks
of his stall to pieces and once he broke off an iron bar an inch in
diameter by pulling it with his teeth.”

“How long did it take Mr. Rarey to conquer this ferocious animal?”

“About three hours,” was the reply. “At the end of that time his owner,
Lord Dorchester, was able to mount Cruiser and ride him, a thing that
nobody had done for three years. The horse was perfectly gentle after
that and would follow his master like a dog. Mr. Rarey afterwards tamed
a zebra and rode him, and he did other things that a great many people
had believed impossible.”

“How carious!” exclaimed George.

[Illustration: 0038]

“Yes, it was indeed,” replied Charley, “but other men have done very
much the same sort of thing. I’ve been reading about an Irishman named
James Sullivan, who was called the ‘Whisperer’ by the people of his
neighborhood, as they believed he was able to make the horses understand
what he wanted by whispering to them.”

“What could he do?”

“No matter how unruly the horse or mule that was put into his hands, he
was able to make it perfectly docile in half an hour. Exactly what he
did nobody knew, and the secret died with him.

“He used to ask that the stable where they kept the horse on which he
was to operate should be shut, and he was to be left alone with the
animal until he gave the signal for opening the door. In about half an
hour he would give the signal and when the people entered they found
the horse lying down and the man and horse playing together in the
most friendly way imaginable. From that time on the horse was perfectly
docile, no matter how bad his temper had been before. Horses that had
refused to be shod and had resisted all the efforts of other trainers
became thoroughly obedient in the short time he was with them; they
obeyed others just as readily as they did the man who tamed them.”

In the evening following the foregoing conversation, one of the boys
asked Mr. Graham about the different ways of breaking horses to saddle
or harness.

“That is a branch of the horse business I don’t think it desirable for
you to engage in,” was the reply, “but it is well for you to know about

“Various methods are pursued by trainers,” he continued, “and a great
deal depends upon the character of the horse. Most of the horse-breakers
are coarse, rough fellows, and employ the harshest means for subduing
the animals they take into their charge. Some horses are readily tamed,
and if an animal is played with by children when a colt, and grows up
among them, it is generally the case that he can be ridden without the
least resistance. He should be accustomed to have a blanket folded over
his back when he is very young, then a saddle should be placed upon him,
and after a few days of this practice a very light person may mount the
saddle. Coaxing and caressing will do a great deal; it is said that the
Arabs do not have to ‘break’ their horses at all, for the simple reason
that the animals associate with the family and are accustomed to be
ridden by the children of their owners when they are the merest colts.”

[Illustration: 0040]

“Here’s an account of how they break horses in Texas,” said Mr. Graham,
as he took up a newspaper, from which he proceeded to read as follows:

“There are but a few men who make it a business to break horses, and who
possess sufficient skill and patience to conquer the fiery spirit of the
most vicious animal. These ‘wild horse riders,’ as they are called, in
addition to receiving the use of the horse while handling him, get fees
ranging from five dollars to twenty-five dollars. Fearless Frank, a
well-known Texas tamer, had been engaged to break a magnificent sorrel,
called Mad Ranger. Ranger was a spoiled horse. He had been caught
several times for the purpose of being saddled and bridled, but the
tamers had been unable to do anything with him.

“The horse-lot was inclosed by massive logs and stout timbers, capable
of successfully resisting the most determined effort on the part of
the beasts to escape. Connected with the large enclosure were several
smaller ones, and into one of these Ranger was driven. Frank then took
from his saddle a coil of three-quarter-inch rope, forty feet long,
and a second coil about half as long, but much heavier, and an oilcloth
slicker. Thus equipped, he slipped into the inclosure and faced the
horse. Making a noose in one of the coils, he quickly threw it over
Ranger’s head and fastened the other end to a post called the tug-post.
The animal commenced to rear and plunge, but at every plunge the slack
in the rope was taken up, and Ranger was soon alongside the post. Here
he was made secure with a Spanish knot, which his struggles only served
to tighten.

“Seizing the old slicker, the trainer next hit the horse over the head
and neck, causing the animal to rear and kick. The horse was soon tired
out, and the blows that fell upon him scarcely caused him to wince. The
trainer next took his long rope and fastened it around Ranger’s head in
such a manner that it served as a halter. The other end of the rope was
secured to the post. A rope was then placed around the animal’s body in
such a manner that it would not slip, and another rope was fastened to
his hind foot. The rope attached to the foot was drawn through the one
around his body and the end taken by the trainer.

“A couple of hard pulls brought the foot up to the stomach, and the
horse was compelled to stand on three legs, thus unable to kick or rear.
The trainer then patted the horse on the head and slipped the bridle on.
Then the saddle was put in the proper place, and the stirrups ‘hobbled,’
to prevent any injury to the animal, should he fall. The rider then
seated himself in the saddle, the ropes were taken from the horse’s feet
and body, the gate of the pen opened, and horse and rider dashed out on
the prairie. For fully an hour the infuriated animal reared, plunged
and jumped about, vainly endeavoring to throw his rider, but finally,
becoming exhausted, came to a standstill, and had to be urged even to
walk. It was then that the horse was broken.”

“And now,” said Mr. Graham, after pausing a moment, “did you ever hear
of how they used to capture wild horses in Texas by ‘creasing’ them?”

“I’ve read about it,” replied Charley, “but forget exactly how it was

“Well,” responded Mr. Graham, “here’s an account by a man who was once
in the business and knows all about it. Shall I read it?”

Both the youths were anxious to hear about this manner of taking horses,
whereupon their father gave them the following in the words of Mr. Hill,
an experienced cattle raiser of Texas:

“In the early days of the cattle business in Texas, from 1857 to 1860,
the ranges were overrun by bands of wild horses. These animals were a
great nuisance, as they would get mixed with our loose horses and
run them off when any one approached. As a rule, they were a rough,
ill-shaped set of beasts, and almost untamable, so that few attempts
were ever made to catch them, it being considered best to shoot them and
thus get rid of a disturbing influence in our horse herds.

“Sometimes, however, a really fine animal would be seen and the
ranchmen would try hard to secure it. But the ordinary mode of
capture--lassoing--could seldom be used against wild horses, as these
beasts were very shy, and even a poor horse, carrying no weight, could
outstrip a very fine animal with a man on his back.

[Illustration: 0043]

“In this extremity the Texans used to resort to a means of capturing the
horses which is, I believe, exclusively American. It was discovered, I
do not know how, that a blow upon a particular sinew in a horse’s neck,
located just above where the spine joins the skull, would paralyze the
animal temporarily without doing it any permanent injury. In those days
the Texans were nearly without exception fine shots, and at short range
could send a rifle ball with phenomenal accuracy.

“The horses could not be approached on foot, and it was impossible
to catch them on horseback. But, not to be overcome by any such
difficulties, the cowboys discovered a way to capture them. Taking his
rifle, a hunter would crawl through the thick chaparral until within
fifty or sixty yards of the horse he desired to secure. Then, taking
careful aim, he would endeavor to send a bullet through the top of the
neck so as to strike the sinew. When this was properly done the horse
would fall as if struck by lightning and remain insensible for ten or
fifteen minutes, recovering completely in an hour or two, with no worse
injury than a slight wound in the back of the neck that soon healed. Of
course many bullets went astray and hundreds of horses were killed, but
a good marksman would secure about one horse in three that he attempted
to ‘crease’ as this mode of capture was called.

“The weapon universally employed in creasing mustangs was the old
Hawkins rifle, which carried a bullet not much larger than a pea, had
a set trigger and required but a small charge of powder. Hundreds of
mustangs, always the best animals in the herd, used to be creased
every year, and this practice was kept up until the herds had entirely

“Some of the horses thus secured were very tough and fleet animals, but
few were of any practical use. Nearly all were irreclaimably vicious,
even when judged from the Texas standpoint. Even when broken to the
saddle, they could only be ridden by the very best horsemen, and were
always on the lookout to do their riders an injury. Strange to say, they
seldom tried to kick, but a man had to be continually on the lookout for
their fore feet and teeth. They only used their hind feet when a man
was about to mount, but nearly every one of them had a trick of kicking
forward as soon as the rider put his foot in the stirrup, and unless he
was wary he would receive a terrible blow on the leg. I used to own a
horse that, I believe, could scratch himself between the ears with
his hind foot, his hind leg being apparently made of India rubber. The
instant he felt a foot in the stirrup his hind hoof would come forward
with the speed of lightning, in the attempt to inflict a most vicious
kick. I gave up mounting him in the usual way and always used to vault
into the saddle without touching the stirrups, a feat easily enough
performed in my younger days, although I would have some difficulty in
doing it now. I used to like to ride wild horses, but after one or two
narrow escapes from their deadly fore feet, which they would use if a
man carelessly stood in front of them, I gave it up and stuck to the
tame stock.”

Other stories about horses consumed the evening, and at length the
boys said “Good-night” and went to bed, where they doubtless dreamed of
exciting experiences among the wild horses of Texas and other regions
where those animals abound.


_How Miss Lake’s Circus Horses were Restored--Music under
Disadvantages--A Lady’s Adventure with an Intelligent Horse--The
Horse who got his Mate out of Trouble--Friendship of a Bull and a
Donkey--Intelligence of the Donkey--His Affection--Glen. Dix’s Pet--How
Dr. Hammond’s Mule saved his Life--Old Jennie--Uncle Jake’s
dumb Critters--Cruelty of Blinders and Check-reins--Anecdote of
Macadam--Torture by Thoughtlessness--Cobweb and Major in Harness._

One of the stories told daring the evening was about the seizure of
some circus horses in Nashville, Tennessee, at the time of the American
civil war. Lake and North’s Circus was performing there during the
winter of 1864, while the town was held by the Northern army and
threatened by the Confederates.

“At 9 o’clock on the morning of the 6th of December the company was in
the practice ring, drilling for a new grand entry. They had nineteen
ring horses, including three black stallions, which Miss Lake, the
daughter of one of the proprietors, used to drive in a manège act, and
which she had trained herself on her father’s Kentucky farm, and loved
as a Kentucky girl will love her horses.

“The band had just finished the first bar when in stalked an officer of
the army, and called Lake aside.

“‘You have nineteen horses here, I see,’ he said; ‘one of them is lame;
we don’t want him, but the others are confiscated. Rather a fine
lot. Suppose we say a hundred apiece for them.’ Then he made out a
requisition on the Treasury for $1800--handed it to Lake, called in his
men, and in five minutes left the company with a show on its hands and
only one lame horse to do all the equestrian business.

“Miss Lake cried and some of the men used hard language, but all the
same, for four days they gave a show twice a day with that one lame
horse. Then Miss Lake got desperate. She was a mere girl, and with
a girl’s audacity she did a thing which an older person would have
considered the wildest folly.

“‘John,’ she said to the clown, ‘I’m going to General Wilson to get my
horses. I want them and they want me.’

[Illustration: 0047]

“Nothing that anybody could say would hold her back, and so away she
went to General Wilson’s headquarters. She marched in on General Wilson
and asked for her horses back. She had a sweet and winning way, and when
she cried and told him how heartsick she was for her horses, and how
much she knew they missed her, the General let his feelings get the
better of his sense of duty, and gave her an order for every horse taken
from the circus.

“One of Wilson’s orderlies afterwards gave a reason for giving the
horses back, which, while it is not so romantic, may be partly true. The
horses were all trained for ring service and most of them were trained
to dance to the music, and to fall upon their knees and sides upon being
touched upon the haunches with a spur or the whip. The whole bunch was
turned over to a military band as their mounts, and the orderly said
that during the four days that the band was mounted on those beasts
there was not an hour when one of them was not dancing around so that he
could not keep time, or else horse and man--sometimes three or four
of them--were rolling on the ground together, the musicians having
unwittingly given the horse his lying-down cue.”

The boys laughed heartily over this anecdote, and then Charley told a
story he had read somewhere about a horse which belonged to a lady who
used to ride him in the hunting field. She had had him for three or
four years and was constantly petting him and giving him sugar and
other dainties. There was a great friendship between them and the horse
manifested his affection for his mistress in many ways.

One day while jumping a hedge, horse and rider fell into a ditch; the
lady was quite under the horse, her head being between and slightly in
front of his fore legs, but there was only a little of his weight that
rested on her.

[Illustration: 0051]

Several men came to her assistance, and at first it was thought that
the only way of rescuing her would be by digging her out. It was finally
decided to move the horse forward and then lift him up, but there was
great fear that in his efforts to rise he would trample on the lady and
seriously, if not fatally, injure her. She was able to speak with the
men, and told them she was confident the horse would carefully avoid
harming her. Her confidence was justified by the result, as he managed
to get on his feet without giving her the least scratch, beyond a slight
mark on her face, which was made by the first movement of his knees and
could not be avoided.

Then George told about two horses belonging to Mr. Allen of Minnesota,
that were greatly attached to each other. One day Mr. Allen tied them
with strong ropes, about fifty yards apart, where they could eat the
grass close to the shore of the little lake. Then he went to a house a
little distance away and lay down to take a nap. He hadn’t been there
long before he heard the sound of a horse’s footsteps, and a moment
afterward one of his favorites put his head into the door.

The animal gave a slight neigh and then started back towards the lake.
Mr. Allen was greatly surprised to find that the horse had broken loose
from his fastenings, and also that he had left his mate; surmising that
something was wrong, he immediately followed to the edge of the
lake, where he found the other horse lying in the water with his feet
entangled in the rope, and devoting all his efforts to keep his head
above the surface. Mr. Allen at once proceeded to extricate him from his
trouble, and as he did so the other horse manifested his joy in every
way he could.

“Three things that mark the intelligence of the horse are shown by this
incident,” remarked Mr. Graham. “In the first place, he had the sense to
understand that his mate was in serious trouble; secondly, he knew his
master could relieve him; and thirdly, he realized that he must exert
all his strength to break his own rope, a thing he had never done before
and never tried to do afterwards.”

Next Charley read a little incident which he said was written by Charles
L. Edwards for the _American Naturalist_. It was in these words:

“While riding along a country road in the environs of Cincinnati, Ohio,
about the first of last October, I noticed a remarkable and very amusing
display of animal intelligence. In a field beneath some trees, at the
bottom of a very high hill, stood facing each other a donkey and a young
bull. The bull was standing very patiently, slightly nodding his head
up and down, while the donkey, with a rather heavy stick about two feet
long in his mouth, was scratching his companion’s forehead. Once the
donkey dropped his instrument, but, without hesitation, lowered his
head, picked up the club again with his teeth, and continued scratching
very gravely, to the evident satisfaction of the bull. We often see two
cows ‘rubbing horns,’ and whether this was a return for a similar favor
from the bull or not, the donkey very clearly realized his poverty in
the matter of horns and happily supplied the deficiency.”

“Folks call the donkey stupid,” said George, “but certainly that one
showed a great deal of intelligence. Is the donkey really as stupid as
he is said to be?”

[Illustration: 0051]

“He is not,” answered Mr. Graham, “and there are plenty of anecdotes
to show his intelligence. He has been known to open a gate by carefully
lifting the latch, and after returning to the yard, he would shut
the gate, so that any trespass of which he had been guilty during his
absence would not be laid to his charge.

[Illustration: 8052]

A donkey will follow a kind master or mistress just like a dog, and he
fully equals the horse in showing his appreciation of kind treatment.”

Gen. John A. Dix owned a donkey that lived to the age of forty-two
years, and endeared himself to his master and the members of the family
by his docility and almost human intelligence.

[Illustration: 9052]

The little creature was, after the death of the general, domiciled
at the family country seat, West Hampton, Long Island, where almost
luxurious accommodations were provided for his comfort; but old age, and
the absence of those who, in days gone by, patted his shaggy coat, and
the sound of whose voices he would recognize and greet, no doubt tended
to hasten physical ailments, which necessitated the request that an
officer of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals should
put an end to the suffering of an endeared and most affectionate animal
who, although he outlived his master and mistress, at last succumbed to
the inevitable. He was buried near where the waves of Long Island Sound
wash the sandy shore of West Hampton, and a mound of green sod marks the
spot where lies the body of the humble friend of the honored soldier,
who issued the famous patriotic mandate: “If any one attempts to haul
down the American flag, shoot him on the spot.”

“Does the mule equal the horse or donkey in intelligence?” George asked.

[Illustration: 0053]

“It is generally conceded that he does not,” was the reply, “but he is
far from being the stupid animal that many people suppose. He has a
keen nose, and can often scent danger of which his rider or driver is
ignorant. He has a great dread of an Indian, and it is a common saying
in the Far West that a mule will always give warning when Indians are
about. On this subject Dr. William A. Hammond tells a good story:

“One day, while the Doctor was stationed at Fort Webster, in what is now
Arizona, he started down the canyon on a very fine large mule. The beast
suddenly stopped abruptly and would not budge a step. Spurs were used
to no purpose. There he stood as firm as a rock. Dr. Hammond pulled
him around and galloped back to the fort. The next morning it was
ascertained that at a point scarcely a hundred yards in advance of where
the mule gained his victory some Apache Indians had ambushed the road;
and, but for the brute’s keen nose, and ears, and in resisting an
obstinate man, short work would have been made of mule and rider.

“Mules live to a great age when they are properly cared for,” continued
Mr. Graham. “Until quite recently there was a mule named Jennie on
Blackwell’s Island, that had been there forty years, and she was
supposed to be nearly twenty years old when she became a public charge.

“Jennie has an interesting history. About forty years ago her owner had
a mild attack of lunacy and was consigned to the insane asylum. He had
traveled across the continent from San Francisco with Jennie it was
said, and became so attached to the beast that he could not be persuaded
to part with her, and the two were carried to Ward’s Island together.
The mule and the lunatic were about the same age then, and were devoted
friends. In all kinds of weather they roamed about the asylum grounds
together. One day Jennie was taken across to Harlem to be shod. The boat
was moored and the animal tied to a tree by the bank, while the keeper
went off to find the blacksmith. When he came back for the mule she
was no longer in sight. The broken halter was lying on the ground, and
Jennie was found that afternoon, still wet from her swim, with her old
friend on the island. At length the lunatic died, and Jennie fell into
the hands of the Board of Governors, and was set to work on Randall’s
Island. She dragged brick carts and lawn rollers for awhile, her size
and age-unfitting her for heavier work, and was used for distributing
bread in the morning among the various buildings. She was saddled, too,
sometimes, and ridden by the children and their nurses.

“Twenty-five years ago the keeper of the stables asked permission to
kill her as an incumbrance. Isaac Bell was then one of the Charities
Commissioners, and through his influence and interest in the matter,
an order was issued declaring that Jennie should be retired from active
service and live in the comparative luxury of the island’s stables and
grass plots as long as she pleased. The mule was moved once more, this
time to Blackwell’s Island, and took her quarters in the stone stable
at the south end of the almshouse grounds. Keepers and inmates have been
changing ever since, but in all the twenty-five years the venerable mule
has seemed to grow scarcely a day older. She still draws light loads
when the keepers harness her for exercise, and the Irishman in a striped
jacket who is her involuntary groom stands in as great awe of her hind
legs as ever. With the rest, however, she is good humored and docile,
and has long been caressed as a pet.

[Illustration: 0055]

“And let me say,” continued Mr. Graham, “that if you ever own a mule,
don’t disfigure him and make him unhappy by clipping his mane and tail.
Nature has not made him as beautiful as the horse, but, in the language
of one of his friends, ‘she has endowed him with those gifts useful
to his race, and among those are a good mane and tail; if not as an
adornment, yet as a protection against his enemies, the tormenting,
biting flies. To shear these does not add to his good looks; on the
contrary it makes him appear more unsightly. He is not to blame
for large head and long ears; why then should these be made more
disproportionate by clipping the mane? and why should the tail be
reduced to a mere pendant tuft, when both are needed to protect the
poor, overworked creature from his winged enemies? It is to be hoped
that mule-owners will learn to consider this custom as senseless, as a
sin against the comfort and protection of this good servant, and treat
the despised mule with more humane consideration.’”

“I found some verses to-day,” said Charley, “that I liked very much.
They were in a paper called _Our Dumb Animals_, and illustrate the
advantages of kindness to the creatures that cannot speak to tell their
wants. Shall I read them?”

“Certainly,” said Mr. Graham: “Read them, and let your playmates read
them, too.”

Thereupon Charley slowly read the following:


          “I don’t know much of languages, such as the scholars tell.

          But the language of dumb critters I understand quite well.

          And I think, sir--yes, I think, sir--that their voices reach the sky.

          And that their Maker understands the pleading of their eye.

          And I shouldn’t be surprised, sir, if at the judgment day,

          Some cruel, heartless human folks should be as dumb as they.

          My house is not so elegant as many are, I know;

          But my cattle are all sheltered from the wintry winds and snow.

          And they are not kept on rations that leave nothing but the frame.

          Or in the spring returning to ‘the dust from whence they came.’

          Ah! God hath wisely ordered, sir, that in a money way,

          Starving, abusing, critters are the things that will not pay.

          If any of my flock are sick or hurt in any way,

          I see that they are cared for, sir, by night as well as day.

          My letter’s on their wool, sir--‘tis all the brand I know;

          My lambs--they are not tailless, for God didn’t make them so.

          Some say sheep don’t need water, but I tell you it’s a lie!

          They’re almost frantic for it, sir, the same as you or I.

          My horses--you have seen them, sir, they are just what they seem;

          And, if I do say it myself, they are a splendid team.

          They wear no foolish blinders, and from check reins they are free;

          And they never had a hurt, sir, that had been caused by me.

          The way they do my bidding now.’tis really a surprise!

          They know my very step, sir, and thank me with their eyes.

          My pig pen, over yonder, I’d like, sir, to Lave shown;

          My hogs--they never are the ‘breed’ that is but skin and bone;

          I know, sir, that to fatten them they need both food and drink,

          A shelter and a bed, sir, will help it on I think.

          I have a yard on purpose, they can root whene’er they choose--

          It seems to me like cruelty, so rings I never use.

          There’s one thing more I want to show, ’tis Hannah’s hen-house, here--

          Our poultry always pays us well, and just now eggs are dear--

          ‘Tis warm and clean and bright, you see, with gravel on the ground;

          There’s food and water standing here each day the whole year round.

          But maybe I have tired you, sir--forgive an old man’s pride;

          But somehow I love dumb critters, and I want their needs supplied.”

“There’s one thing in those verses I want to ask about,” said George,
when his brother paused. “Uncle Jake says his horses ‘wear no foolish
blinders, and from check-reins they are free.’ Now I want to ask why
horses are made to wear blinders in harness, when they don’t wear them
while under the saddle! I know that the carriage horses in our stables
don’t wear blinders, but I never thought to ask why.”

“It’s because I’ve given strict orders that none of my horses shall wear
them,” Mr. Graham answered. “And my reasons for so ordering I will give
in the words of Dr. Humphreys, who has studied the subject and long ago
converted me to his way of thinking. Dr. Humphreys says it is charitable
to suppose that intelligent people are not designedly cruel. In most
cases they are so, more from thoughtlessness than design! Nay, they are
often quite astonished to learn--when their attention is called to the
subject--that they have long been inflicting some cruelty unwittingly
upon some of their dumb servants. This is a busy world, and we live in a
very busy part of it, and we may, perhaps, be excused for not looking at
every step lest some luckless worm be trod upon.

“‘The custom of having wagon or carriage horses _wear blinders_,’ says
Dr. Humphrey, ‘originated at a period when horses were supposed to be
thoroughly vicious and ill-trained, ready to run upon the slightest
provocation; to take fright from seeing any passing object,--looking
back in anxious dread of the whip--all of which supposes a condition of
things now pretty well passed away. Horses are better bred and better
trained. The Arab proverb well says: ‘The pure blood horse has no vice.’
He only wants to know what is required of him and he will do it if
within his power. A driver who is_ fit_ to drive a horse _rarely or
never strikes with his whip_. A mere motion of the rein or whip is all
the horse requires, and all that most horses will submit to. The bad
temper and the bad tricks of horses, are made so, nineteen times in
twenty, by the causeless brutality of driver or trainer.

[Illustration: 0058]

“The use of the horse’s eye is important. He should see what is before
him, and on each side of him, and the ground on which he treads. Objects
on either side of him do not frighten him _if he sees them_. It is the
sudden appearance of unaccustomed objects that frighten nervous horses.
The blinders contribute to this, and so far from being a preventive are
a provocative of fright. Give the horse the use of his eye, and let him
see the object, and he is rarely or never frightened. A shying horse is
a horse who does not see clearly. If blinders were necessary to prevent
horses from being frightened, why not use them on saddle horses; and
the fact that they are never so used, disposes of the whole argument in
their favor.

“The horse needs his eyes to see the ground upon which he steps. We may
not think so, but all animals are even more careful than men where they
tread. A horse running over a human body will not step upon it if he has
his eyes. But with the eyes half covered with blinders, he may do so, a
consideration of no small importance in a crowded city.

“Has it ever occurred to ask ourselves what right we have to deprive
horses of the use of their eyes. They minister to our convenience and
pleasure, and we give them their food and care. Nay, we may even render
them serviceable. But we have no right to deprive them of the light of
day or the joy of beholding surrounding objects. To assume that they
do not prize or care for it argues but slight acquaintance with their

“Again, the non-use of an organ tends to destroy it. Fortunately the
mass of our horses are not born of those whose eyes are habitually
blinded, or we should, ere long, come to a race of no-eyed horses. But
even now the blinding has not been without its curse. The eye of the
horse is not so fine as that of the ox, the deer, or the gazelle, to say
nothing of the increasing frequency of weak eyes--defective vision and

“And all this comes of heedlessness. We do it because we are accustomed
to it. We don’t think of the pleasure of which we are depriving our mute
friends. We don’t think how much better the horses would look with
the use of their eyes, or of how much light the eye would add to the

“The harness maker doesn’t think of it. His business is to make as much
of the harness as possible. To him ‘there is nothing like leather.’
The coachman doesn’t think of it. So long as his position on the box is
secure, he is satisfied.

“Occasionally a sensible man--and very often he’s a poor man--is seen
driving his horse or team without taking from them the use of their
eyes--and how other horses or teams must envy those fortunate ones. But
the great mass with huge blinders drawn tight over their eyes, blunder
on in the dark, their drivers and owners utterly unconscious of the
wrong they are doing or the misery they are unconsciously inflicting.

[Illustration: 0060]

“And in the same spirit of thoughtlessness,” continued Mr. Graham,
“the check-rein, or bearing-rein, as the English call it, is used upon
horses. There ought to be a law making it an offence punishable by a
heavy penalty, to fasten a horse’s head high in the air, as we see the
heads of many carriage-horses fastened. Mr. Bergh, the founder of the
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, has done much toward
breaking up the abuse, but it still continues, in spite of his efforts.
Many articles on the subject have appeared in the Society’s paper _Our
Animal Friends._ Here is one of them, it is entitled: “the check-rein.”

“‘Under the mistaken idea that this device in some way adds to the
beauty of the horse, this poor, patient, helpless servant is submitted
to the most cruel and prolonged torture. The horse is one of the most
beautiful animals, because of his fine proportions and graceful curving
outlines. His beauty can be enhanced only by good feeding, care and
grooming. Clumsy, heavy, ill-fitting harness, trappings which conceal
his body from view, and all devices which cause him to assume unnatural
and constrained positions, always tend to mar his good appearance.
Notice how his beauty is spoiled at once by destroying the graceful
curves of his natural position, and introducing the straight lines and
angles incident to the use of the overcheck. The grandeur and nobility
of the animal’s appearance are sadly marred by putting him into this
foolish position, with his eyes gazing upward into the sky, his nose
sticking straight out before him, and his straining and craning so
ungracefully and uncomfortably. If any driver, or any one else, thinks
it is not cruel to fasten a horse’s head in such a position, let him try
it himself. Put a man into this terrible, unnatural position, with the
hot sun blazing into his eyes, unable to watch his steps, give him a
burden to draw or carry, whip him into a smart run over the rough roads
and streets, and he will soon understand why a horse with an overcheck
is continually restlessly tossing his head and turning it from side
to side in his vain effort to get relief from his excruciating misery.
Stand up, throw the head back, and look steadily at the ceiling for five
minutes, and without any bit to chafe the torn and bleeding mouth, you
will get a vivid and lasting impression of what torture is. A horse
allowed to hold his head in a natural position makes a beautiful and
pleasant picture, while one tortured and disfigured by a strap extending
over the head, is an exhibition causing discomfort to the beholder,
and awakening his kindest sympathies and arousing his indignation. The
overcheck contrivance was originated by a horse-jockey, whose horse,
when rapidly driven, made a whistling noise in breathing. How any
gentleman or lady of intelligence can consent to ride behind a horse
which is being tortured with such a silly contrivance of cruelty it is
difficult to imagine.’

[Illustration: 0062]

“In England,” continued Mr. Graham, “one of the most indefatigable
workers for the abolition of the bearing-rein, is Mr. Edward Ford-ham
Flower, who has published a book on the subject. In this book he says:

“‘It is a severe penance to any man who loves a horse to walk along the
fashionable streets or the park, and to witness the sufferings of horses
from this absurd and cruel practice. Little does the benevolent dowager
who sits absorbed in the pages of the last tract of the ‘Society for
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals,’ know of the sufferings of the two
noble animals by whom she is leisurely drawn along the ‘Lady’s Mile.’
She probably fancies that the high prancing step, and the toss of the
head which scatters flakes of foam at every step, are expressions of
pride and satisfaction at their task, when in fact they are occasioned
by pain, and a vain attempt to obtain a momentary relief from their
suffering. Let any one watch the horses in the park, or standing as
they do for hours at the theaters, shops, etc., with foaming mouths, and
tongues swollen and hanging out, trying to get a little ease to their
poor heads and necks, by tossing them up, putting them sideways, or in
any possible position, vainly appealing to their unheeding or ignorant
masters, or coachmen, to slacken, if only for a few minutes, the
torturing rein, and then say if we can call ourselves a humane people!

“‘It must be a source of grief to see the number of animals in carriages
to whom this bearing-rein is applied.. The first thing is, whatever may
be the form of the neck of the horse, to bring him, so to speak, into
the same line, and the bearing-rein is introduced in order to bring his
head into the required position. He is then attached to a carriage, and
what is the next step? Perhaps the carriage is ordered to the door a
couple of hours before it suits the convenience of the riders to enter
it, and they let the horse stand there exposed to the heat of the sun
and the biting of the flies; and there is the wretched animal with his
head stuck up in the air, unable to drive away a fly. The bewigged brute
and idiot of a coachman, of course, thinks it a very fine thing to sit
behind these poor animals with their stuck-up heads; but his master
ought to know better.’”

Mr. Graham said that any person who doubted the ability of a horse to
pull more with his head free, than when it is held by a check-rein,
could easily convince himself by making a trial with a team. He then
told a story about the Scotchman Macadam, who invented the road bearing
his name. On one occasion Macadam was on the outside of a coach,
traveling on one of his own roads, when the horses stopped, halfway up a
hill. Macadam was taunted with the failure of his system, for there were
those who disbelieved in his plan, or were jealous of the reward granted
to him by the Government. Macadam quietly got off the coach, went to the
horses’ heads, and loosed the four bearing-reins. The horses stretched
their necks, put their shoulders to the collar, and easily reached
the top of the hill. He thus vindicated the success of his system, and
taught his fellow passengers and the coachman a lesson of humanity and

Mr. Graham added that Barclay and Perkins, the great brewers of London,
who own hundreds of horses, have forbidden the use of blinders or
binding reins on any of their animals.

The following, under the title “A True Horse Story,” is taken from a
recent number of _Our Animal Friends_:

“On Madison Avenue one day I paused to pat the nose of a beautiful
horse which stood by the curb, and commiserate his misfortune, for this
beautiful animal, though sleek of coat and shapely in body and limb, was
apparently suffering most excruciating torture. His head had been
checked inhumanely high, and the cruel bit, drawing tightly in his
mouth, disfigured an animal face of unusual charm and intelligence. I
was just fancying that the horse had begun to understand and appreciate
my words of sympathy, when the lady who sat in the carriage holding the
reins fumbled in her pocket, produced a lump of white sugar, and asked
me to give it to the horse.

[Illustration: 0066]

“‘He is very fond of sugar,’ she explained, ‘and I have quite won his
heart by feeding it to him. I always carry sugar in my pocket while out
driving, and give him a lump at every opportunity. I never knew a horse
to be so fond of sugar. Will you please give him another lump?’

“‘Certainly,’ I replied; ‘I see that you are quite as fond of the horse
as he is of sweets.’

“‘Yes, I think everything of him.’

“‘Then why do you torture him?’

“‘Torture my Prince?’

“‘Yes, that is just what you are doing. Do you know that the poor animal
suffers agony because his head is checked so unnaturally high? His neck
is drawn out straight, producing a most ungraceful angle, he holds
his head awkwardly, the bit is hurting his mouth, and that graceful
curvature of neck and carriage of head which are in his nature are now
entirely lost. Why do you check him so high?’

“She didn’t know. She was not aware that high checking was a source
of pain to horses, nor that it destroyed their natural beauty. She was
amazed at the discovery.

“‘May I trouble you to unloosen his check?’ she asked.

“When the strap was unsnapped, the horse immediately lowered his head,
straightened the cramps out of his handsome neck, shook himself to make
sure that he had actually been released from bondage, and they looked
around with such a grateful, delighted expression in his intelligent
eyes that his mistress declared no more checking straps should be used
upon him.”

Cobweb and Major had both been broken to harness, as well as to the
saddle, and some days after the conversation recorded in this chapter,
Charley tried Cobweb in a dog-cart which his father had given him.
Check-reins and blinders formed no part of the pretty creature’s
harness, and he seemed to appreciate his freedom from those abominations
of modern custom. Major was tried in the afternoon of the same day,
and his performance fully justified the faith that the boys had in the
reformed system of driving. Not only did George and Charley declare that
they would never use blinders or check-reins on their horses, but they
chorussed the evils of the old practice to their young friends, several
of whom were induced to follow their example. And of all those who did
so, not one returned to the cruelties he had so unthinkingly practiced,
simply because it was the fashion.

[Illustration: 0069]

How horses can be cured of their maladies by kind and proper treatment,
is told in the following extract from the life of Sir Astley Cooper. His
coachman was instructed to attend every market-morning at Smithfield,
and purchase all the lame young horses which he thought might possibly
be convertible into carriage or saddle horses, should they recover from
their defects. He was never to give more than £7 ($35.00) for a horse,
but £5 ($25.00) was the average price. In this manner thirty or forty
horses were sometimes collected at Gaelis-bridge, his farm. Once a week
the blacksmith came up from the village, and the horses were brought to
him for inspection. Having discovered the cause of their lameness, he
proceeded to perform whatever seemed to him necessary for the cure.
The improvement produced in a short time by good feeding and medical
attendance, appeared truly wonderful. Horses which were at first with
difficulty driven to pasture, because of their lameness, were now with
as much difficulty restrained from running away. Even one fortnight at
Gaelisbridge would frequently produce such an alteration in some of them
that it required no unskillful eye in the former owner to recognize
the animal which he had sold. Fifty guineas were paid for one of these
animals, which turned out a very good bargain, and Sir Astley’s carriage
was for years drawn by a pair of horses which, together, cost him only
£12 10s.

[Illustration: 0070]


_Horses that need Check-Reins and Blinders--Proper Mode of applying
Them--Uses of Whips and Spurs--How to Train a Horse to Follow
You--A Horse in a Parlor--The Horse that Wouldn’t be Called a
Blackguard--Intelligence of London Bus Horses--How Horses express
their Gratitude--Henry Bergli and the Society for Preventing Cruelty
to Animals--A Summary of the Society’s Work--What it has
Accomplished--Friendships of Dogs and Horses--How the Horse lifted his
Friend the Cat--Locomotive and Colt Racing--Believers in a Future Life
for Animals--A Horse Saved his Master’s Life--Tatters and What he Did._

When our young friends reported to their father the result of their
experiments at driving their horses without check-reins he was
greatly pleased to know they had followed his advice and found it so

[Illustration: 9071]

They further told him that their neighbors had said it was not safe to
give up check-reins altogether on all kinds of horses, and asked if such
was the case.

“That is quite true,” Mr. Graham answered, “and I’m glad the subject
was mentioned. There are some horses that it would be dangerous to drive
without some kind of a check-rein; very fresh, unruly or vicious horses
require something to prevent their getting their heads down and running
away, but the rein should always be so loose that when a horse has his
head in proper position the snaffle-bit will hang down from the corners
of the mouth instead of being drawn up into the cheeks.

“Mr. Sidney says,” continued Mr. Graham, “that the object of a
check-rein should be to divide the weight with the driver’s hands so
that when the horse drops his head below a certain point the weight
of his mouth will come on the check-rein instead of upon the driver’s
hands. It also prevents horses, when standing still, from rubbing their
heads against each other or against the pole where the bit is liable to
be caught and cause an accident. Properly fitted, the check-rein does no
harm and may be the means of preventing runaways, but unless it is slack
when the horse has his head in a natural position it is not properly
fitted. If a horse naturally carries his head down, like a pig, he is
not suited for a carriage anyway, and should be employed solely as a
working horse.”

[Illustration: 0072]

“Thank you, sir,” said Charley, “and Mr. Webb also said that there are
horses which cannot be driven safely without blinders.”

“Undoubtedly he is right,” was the reply, “but of all the horses now
driven with blinders, nineteen out of twenty would be just as safe
without them. A great deal depends on the training and early treatment
of a horse; if he is broken without blinders he is very unlikely ever
to need them, as he will be accustomed to the noise and sight of the
carriage behind him and to what is going on around him. Some nervous
horses are always looking back, and whenever the driver makes the
least move they are apt to jump or become restive. Such horses may need
blinders, but they should be put on in such a way as to allow a good
range of vision in front. Several gentlemen have equipped their horses
with narrow blinders, or more properly screens, that stand straight out
from the side of the animal’s head; he thus has a view in front and on
both sides of him, but cannot seethe carriage and its occupant. Year by
year the disuse of blinders increases, and we may hope for the day when
they will be practically given up. Nobody thinks of putting them on
saddle horses, and they are very rarely, if ever, used on trotting
horses in harness. If not needed on race-trotters, why should they be
placed on any other horse in harness?”

The subject of check-reins and blinders having been disposed of,
Charley’s next question referred to the use of the whip in riding or
driving, and the spur in riding.

“For most purposes,” said Mr. Graham, “the whip should be more an
article of ornament than of use. It should never be applied in anger,
and in most applications it should be simply as a reminder. I have known
horses that were quite lazy, and refused to move above a very slow pace,
when their riders or drivers had no whips or spurs, but a single touch
of either, at starting, rendered further use unnecessary. A lady’s
saddle horse requires a slight touch of the whip as an indication to
take certain steps or to change from one pace to another. The best
horsemen do not ride without spurs, but they very rarely use them, and
then only for some real reason.

[Illustration: 8074]

There is no need for the spurs to be sharp; in fact they had better be
blunt, as the chances of injuring the horse are thus diminished.”

George asked how he could teach Major to follow him when he got off to
walk a short distance, as frequently happens.

“For instruction on that point,” said Mr. Graham, “I will refer you to
Mr. Rarey’s book, where very clear instructions are to be found. They
are copied on page 298 of ‘The Book of the Horse.’”

George hunted up the paragraph and read as follows:

“Provide yourself with a gig-whip and three or four carrots cut
in slices. Lead the horse out in either a halter or a common
watering-bridle. A closed barn or riding school is the best place for
all instruction, because there is then nothing to distract the horse’s
attention, but a quiet lane will do as well. Begin by fondling your
horse, talking to him in horse-language, and giving him one or two bits
of carrot, for which, if he has not been fed recently, he will be eager,
and begin to push his nose into your hand for more. Then commence by
leading him forward and backward with one hand, holding the gig-whip
trailing behind you with the other, calling to him by name, if he has
one, all the time, as thus:--Come--come along, come along, old
fellow, touching him up gently or sharply, as the case may be, on his
hindquarters, with the point of the gig-lash to drive him forward, and
fondling or rewarding him as he comes to your hand. He will soon learn
to press forward to avoid the flick of the whip behind, and to come to
your shoulder to be caressed and rewarded. Instead of flying from you,
he will learn to seek safety by your side, and follow you anywhere.”

“The whip has something to do with the instruction,” George remarked, as
he read the foregoing paragraph to Charley.

“Yes,” said the latter, “but you see there are more carrots and caresses
than whips. Here’s something about the use, or rather the misuse, of the
whip which I have just found in _Our Animal Friends._ The writer appears
to know what he wants to say.”

“The whip is the parent of stubbornness in a high-spirited animal, while
gentleness will win obedience, and at the same time attach the animal to
us. It is the easiest thing imaginable to win the affection of animals,
and especially horses. An apple, a potato, or a few lumps of sugar,
given from the hand now and then, will cause the horse to prick up his
ears at the sound of his owner’s footstep, not with fear, but with a
low whinnying note of pleasure. The confidence of the noblest beast thus
gained, will lead him to obey the slightest intelligent tone of voice or
indication of the bit. There is no such thing as balkiness to be found
in a horse thus treated; he shows a desire to obey, whereas a few lashes
of the whip, smartly applied, if he be a horse worth having, will arouse
in him a spirit of retaliation and stubbornness that may cost the owner
hours of trouble, and possibly danger, to life and limb. Horses are
made gentle by kindness. They believe in the ‘master’ they love, and
his voice will calm them in a moment of fear, or induce them to struggle
forward, even when overladen, and when a whip would be sure to bring
them to a stubborn standstill.

“No man knows the true value of his horse until he has won his regard
and confidence, as it were. The whip will never know this. A kind hand
and gentle voice will act like magic. Thus we have known women who could
handle and drive horses that would almost invariably show vicious traits
in the hands of a male driver.”

“And here’s a good story,” said George, “which is copied from the
_Cornhill Magazine_:

“‘All horses have their fancies, and know perfectly well whom they have
to deal with. I am just now exercised with Whitefeet. One day I found
her in the drawing-room. To reach it she had walked into the house by
the front entrance, and after traveling a corridor some forty feet long,
had passed through three door-ways. There she was, examining furniture,
smelling knick-knacks, and looking out of the window. I expected a
scene, since she was as good as wild, having never been made acquainted
with saddle, bridle or shoe. Yet she behaved like a young lady, not
only daintily walking about among chairs and tables without damage, but
exhibiting solitary self-consciousness, especially when she came to look
at herself in the mirror. This she did with much interest, getting
first one side of her face and then the other into the most appreciable
position. It seemed to me that she smiled. When she had gazed her fill I
said. ‘Now come out, my dear.’ Then she put her warm, velvety nose into
the hollow of my uplifted hand and followed me, as I walked backward
like a courtier into the paddock. And yet a professional breaker had
found her hard to manage. She was evidently too refined for him, and
resented his coarse manners. Horses show deliberate resentment. Years
ago we had two piebalds, Marquis and Tag. I have a portrait, but knew
them not, as they lived before I was born. You might--it was so related
to me when a boy by my elders--call Tag anything but a ‘blackguard.’
Tradition says that an incredulous guest, having been told this, one
evening after dinner, went up by himself to Tag, before breakfast the
next morning, and quietly said: ‘Tag, you are a blackguard.’ He was
thankful to get into the house with only half his coat torn off his
back. Tag flew at him, open-mouthed, at once.’”

“The intelligence of horses in England is not monopolized by the high
bred ones,” said Charley after listening to the account of White-feet
in the parlor. “Here’s what an Englishman says of the London omnibus

“‘I like riding on an omnibus; it is the best way to see London, and I
often sit by a ‘bus driver’s side to the end of his stage and back. So I
see a good deal of the ‘bus horse, and I find in him an animal who well
repays watching. Most people know that he understands the conductor’s
bell; but few know how well he understands it. The London ‘bus driver
is a very Jehu, but his cattle need very little driving. I see them stop
when the bell rings, and I see them start when it rings again, even when
it does so within two seconds. Yet, when the ‘bus is in full roll, and
the conductor rings twice, to show the driver that he is ‘full inside,’
the horses know the double ring and never pause in their stride. Again,
the ‘bus horse knows the policeman’s signal. I am driving down Oxford
Street. At the corner of Bond Street, an old lady wants to cross the
road. The policeman holds up his white-gloved hand and the horses
stop, automatically, not pulled up by Jehu. The lady safely across, the
policeman jerks his thumb forward, and the horses start again. A heavy
dray is in front. Without sign from Jehu, the horses swerve to right
and circumvent it. I sometimes think the conductor might drive by merely
pulling his bellcord, and so save the driver’s wages. Further, these
sagacious beasts know all their stoppings; they know the import of
the cue ‘higher up,’ and they know the clatter of the released brake.
Observe, too, how skilfully the ‘bus-horse picks out the dryer portion
of the wet and slippery wood pavings. And see him cleverly skate down
Waterloo Place, after a shower of rain or water-carts, with heavy ‘bus
behind him. What other animal could do the like?’”

[Illustration: 0077]

“From a loaded omnibus horse, to a New York street-car horse, is a
very natural step,” remarked George. “Listen to this account by Supt.
Hankinson of Mr. Bergh’s society, of the appreciation of kindness, which
was manifested by some car-horses that had been turned out to rest on a
farm near the city:

“‘Among the animals were three which appeared to have formed an
attachment for each other, for no matter where one went, the others
would follow. One of the officers had plucked several apples from a tree
on the grounds, and while eating the fruit the horses approached, and
stood in line before him. The first, a sorrel, had a most perfect face,
and evidently came from the best stock. The other two appeared to be of
ordinary breed; but all were completely run down physically, by reason
of the hard work they had done while engaged in dragging street cars.
The poor creatures looked longingly at the officer as he ate the fruit,
and when the sorrel was given a piece of an apple, the other two took
positions, one on the right, the other to the left, with the sorrel well
in front.

[Illustration: 0082]

“‘The sight of the group would have gladdened the heart of an artist.
Their wistful looks beaming from beautiful eyes, as the officer
preceeded to cut an apple into three parts and distribute it among them,
would have pleased a sympathetic mind. When the last piece of apple was
disposed of, and the officer moved to another part of the field, he was
followed at a respectful distance by his dumb acquaintances, and from
place to place, wherever duty required his presence, the three horses
would accompany him, as if to show their appreciation of the simple
kindness which had been shown them. A stone wall, about four feet
high, divided the field from the highway leading to the place where
the Society’s patrol wagon, had been left, and when the officers had
finished their work, they passed through a gate opening into the road.
Sorrel and his companions did not propose, however, to be left in any
such a summary manner, and followed along by the stone wall, until
further progress was stopped by a high wooden fence.

“‘When about half-way down the road, the officers heard sounds of
furious galloping, and, to their amazement, the sorrel came dashing up,
having leaped the stone wall, a feat which his companions either could
not or would not venture to do. He followed after the officials until
great results from his work. Superintendent Hankinson said recently, in
an interview with a newspaper reporter:

“‘We have not in these days the disgusting exhibitions of cruelty and
brutality that disgraced civilization a quarter of a century ago. You
rarely see lame horses dragging heavily loaded trucks or cars now. You
seldom hear of men brutally beating their horses. People are no longer
sickened by the spectacle of horses covered with bleeding, festering
sores. The cattle yards are better and cleaner and healthier than they
ever were. The swill-milk stables are gone. Dog fights and cock they had
reached the vehicle, when he was captured and led back to the paddock.’”

Charley agreed with his brother that it was an interesting story. Their
comments upon it naturally led to a discussion of the Society for
the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which has been mentioned in a
preceding chapter.

“You know it was founded by Mr. Bergh,” said Charley, “and before his
death that gentleman had the satisfaction of seeing very fights are not
as numerous as they were, and there is even an element of humanity in
the brutal sport of pigeon shooting.

“‘I have no hesitation in affirming that this changed condition of
affairs is wholly due to the labors of the Society for the Prevention
of Cruelty to Animals. The Society was organized to work just such a
reform, and I am sure the public will bear me out in the statement that
its efforts have been crowned with success.

“‘Just let me instance some phases of cruelty that were very common in
this city in the early days of the Society, but which are very rarely
heard of now:

“‘What an ordinary spectacle it once was to see a horse, dragging a
heavily laden cart or truck, fall from sheer exhaustion in the street!
And the brutal driver would take a rung from his cart and beat the
poor animal in the most horrible manner about the head and body. That
spectacle is very rare in these days. Drivers of horses are particular
now not to overload their trucks, and they think a good deal, if the
horse happens to fall, before using a cart rung on him.

“‘You remember, too, how certain dealers in poultry used to go through
the streets carrying fowls by the legs and letting their heads drag
along the sidewalk. Nowadays fowls are transported about the city in

“‘Bit burrs are not quite as numerous now as they were some years ago.
They were quite a ‘fad’ in society once. They were made of leather about
three inches in diameter, and one such was thickly studded with long,
sharp tacks. These burrs were fastened to the bit and placed on each
side of the horse’s mouth. They were a constant source of agony to the
horse, but they pleased society because they made the horses jump and
prance as though possessed of an exuberance of animal spirits. The
horse’s attitude and antics were magnificent, but it was magnificent
agony, for those tacks tore and lacerated the tender flesh about the
mouth in the most horrible manner. That burr was a most diabolical
instrument of torture.

“‘Another society ‘fad’ which the Society stopped, or rather
ameliorated, was the practice of clipping horses as cold weather
approached. The Society’s officers frequently saw teams that had just
been clipped standing in front of houses in Fifth Avenue or before the
big dry-goods establishments for hours, shivering with cold. Of course,
they looked very neat and glossy, but the deprivation of the animal’s
covering was a horrible cruelty.

[Illustration: 9081]

The Society’s protest had its effect, and those who clipped their horses
after that had the humanity to provide them with blankets.

“‘Glanders and farcy, those contagious diseases, incurable in man as
well as in beast, are not by any means as prevalent as they once were.
And this is owing to the work of the Society in compelling people to
keep their stables in good condition. Those diseases are the result of
neglect, bad food, and damp, ill-ventilated stables.

“‘Through the efforts of the Society an element of humanity has been
introduced into the treatment of the cattle sent to New York for
slaughter. The treatment these poor creatures got at one time was simply
barbarous. We have officers at all the stock yards and abattoirs, and
they make it their business to see that the animals are properly fed
and cared for, and that their quarters are kept in a cleanly, healthy
condition. A great reform has been consummated, too, by the Society, in
the method of transporting live stock.

“‘And speaking of live stock, reminds me of an incident that happened in
the early days of the Society. Mr. Bergh--and how we all will miss him
now that he is gone--was going through Chambers Street one day, when he
saw two men leading a cow and her calf. The calf was literally skin and
bones. There was a rope about the cow’s neck and another about the calf’s.
The cow’s udder was fearfully distended with the milk within it, and
the calf made continual efforts to get at it, but the man pulled the
poor little thing away. Well, Mr. Bergh stopped the man, took the rope
from the calf’s neck, and the moment he did so the famished thing made a
dash for that distended udder and drank its fill. The men protested, but
Mr. Bergh was inexorable, and he stood there during twenty minutes, the
center of a crowd of five hundred people, while the poor calf got the
first good square meal of its life.

[Illustration: 0082]

“‘Dog fights and cock fights--brutal, cruel, demoralizing
exhibitions--were quite a feature of metroplitan life at one time,
but are, happily, becoming more and more rare. People who like that
so-called ‘sport,’ to indulge their propensity are now found to sneak
off like so many thieves or felons to some stable or loft in the
country, and there have their ‘fun’ in the constant fear of interruption
by Mr. Bergh or of the police.

“‘The Society, at one time, had great trouble with the street railroad
companies, which persisted in driving lame, crippled, sick and disabled
animals; in salting their tracks and overloading their cars to a fearful
degree. But there has been a marked reform in all these particulars,
and I think I can say the car horses of the city to-day are in very good

“There can be no doubt that the twenty-two years of the Society’s
existence have been fraught with great good to the animals that minister
to the needs of man. Our Society has grown to enormous proportions, and
has branches in every State and city, and almost every town and village,
in the country. Since its organization the Society in New York has
prosecuted 13,850 cases in the courts, suspended 35,108 disabled animals
from work, humanely destroyed 24,099 horses disabled past recovery, and
removed 4444 disabled horses from the streets in its ambulances.
Last year the Society prosecuted 797 cases of cruelty in the courts,
suspended 3456 disabled animals from work, destroyed 2546 disabled
horses, destroyed 1102 small animals disabled past recovery, removed
522 disabled horses from the streets in ambulances, and received and
investigated 3773 complaints.

“It must not be supposed that the existence of so many cases of cruelty
indicates an increase in the cruel treatment of animals; the large
figure is rather due to the greater facilities the Society now possesses
for the detection of such offences.

“Our paid officers are of course limited in number, but every humane
person in New York can be said to be a detective of the Society. We
receive a great many complaints, investigate them thoroughly, and then
report to the complainants the result of such investigations. People
write to tell us a certain man is in the habit of beating his horse or
of feeding swill to his cows, or that a dog is dying in a vacant lot
up-town, or that boys are in the habit of stoning birds in a certain
locality. All these things we look into, and when we catch the guilty
parties practicing the cruelty complained of we arrest and prosecute
them. With all these aids it is clear the work of the Society has been
very much simplified and more thorough, but it can be much more so by a
further cooperation of the public. That we look for and hope to obtain.”

Our young friends agreed that Mr. Bergh had done a great work which
should be commemorated by a monument in his honor. “Magnificent
monuments have been erected to men far less deserving than he,” said
Charley. “If the animals whom he befriended could contribute, many
thousands of dollars would be subscribed at once. All the more noble
was his philanthropy, because the objects of it could never know their

Charley and George were not long in possession of their horses before
they discovered that quite an attachment had been formed between Cobweb
and Rover, which was followed by a similar friendship between Major
and Dash. Whenever the horses were taken out for exercise the dogs
accompanied them and seemed to enjoy the run very much. At night the
dogs slept in the stalls with the horses, coiling up under the manger
while the steeds were standing, but nestling down among their feet or
close to their bodies when they were lying down.

“That’s nothing remarkable,” said Mr. Graham, when the boys told him of
the equine and canine friendships.

“Dogs and horses are very often mutually attached and sometimes are able
to be of service to each other.”

“How is that?” Charley asked.

“There is a story told of an English gentleman who had a fine hunting
horse, which was so fond of a greyhound that he was always uneasy when
the latter was out of sight. The gentleman used to call at the stable to
have the dog take a walk with him, and when he did so the horse always
looked after him and neighed uneasily. When the dog returned to the
stable he always ran immediately to the horse and licked his nose, the
horse returning the greeting by rubbing the dog’s back.”

“One day when the groom had taken the horse out for exercise the dog
followed, and during the promenade he was attacked by a larger dog
which threw him down and was rapidly getting the best of the encounter.
Thereupon the horse threw back his ears, and in spite of the efforts of
the groom to restrain him, he rushed at the strange dog and seized him
with his teeth. He took a good grip of the dog’s back that made him quit
his hold on the greyhound, and then he shook him till the skin gave way.
Under these circumstances the strange canine was not disposed to renew
the attack on the greyhound, but ran off as fast as his wounds would
permit. As he did so the horse pranced about very proudly, and was
evidently quite happy at being of service to his smaller friend.”

“I’ve read,” said Charley, “about a horse and cat that were great
friends, the cat generally sleeping in the horse’s manger. When the
horse was going to have his oats, he used to take the cat very gently by
the skin on her back, just as cats pick up their kittens, and lift her
into the next stall, so that she wouldn’t be in his way while he was
eating his food. How he learned that cats should be lifted in that way
was a mystery, but he certainly did it so that he never hurt her in the
least. She seemed to understand it perfectly, and whenever he put her
out of the manger she stayed away till he had eaten his oats. He always
liked to have her about him, and she frequently climbed on his back and
seemed perfectly at home there.”

“Here’s a story,” said George, “about a race between a colt and a
locomotive, and according to the account, it was a lively race. It was
printed in the _Pittsburgh Despatch_, and here it is:

“‘Information comes of a remarkable and exciting race between an express
train, on the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad, and a three-year-old colt
one day last week. The colt belongs to Vince Carpenter, at Limestone
Station, in Carter County, Kentucky. When the express train arrived
at Limestone, on the day in question, the colt stepped on the track in
front of the engine, and when the train started the colt started also,
keeping some distance ahead of the engine until a large trestle was
reached at the next stopping-point, a distance of five and a quarter
miles from Limestone. The colt started over the trestle, but fell down,
and the race came to an end. The engine stopped, a rope was attached to
the colt and it was removed from the track.

“‘In the race of five and a quarter miles, which was reported to have
been made in the short time of thirteen minutes, the colt jumped several
cow gaps, crossed numerous small trestles, and ran around one or two

[Illustration: 0086]

Charley’s mention of the friendship between a horse and a cat naturally
turned the conversation in the direction of cats, and led to several
stories about those domestic favorites. We will give some of these
anecdotes in the next chapter. Before the conference broke up, George
asked a question which he had seen in a newspaper: “Is there any future
life for animals?”

Mr. Graham said he had never given the subject a thought, and had no
opinion to offer. He read the following, which was written for _Our Dumb
Animals_ by George T. Angell, in answer to the question, in the very
words in which George had asked it:--

“We answer, John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, thought there was. So
did those eminent Christian Bishops, Jeremy Taylor and Butler. Coleridge
advocated it in England, Lamartine in France, and Agassiz in America.
Agassiz, the greatest scientist we ever had on this continent, was a
firm believer in some future life for the lower animals. A professor of
Harvard University, has compiled a list of one hundred and eighty-five
European authors who have written on the subject. Among the leading
clergy in Boston, who have publicly expressed their belief in a future
life for animals, are Joseph Cook, Trinitarian, and James Freeman Clark,
Unitarian. Some years ago a man left by will for Mr. Bergh’s Society, a
hundred and fifty thousand dollars. Relatives contested the will on
the ground that he was insane because he believed in a future life for
animals. The judge, in sustaining the will, said that he found that more
than half of the human race believed the same thing.”

“Why do I love horses? Listen, and I will tell you,” said a gentleman,
whom the author of this volume has known for nearly twenty years. He is
a prominent man of business in New York, but modestly declines to have
his name in print, so we will call him Mr. A..

“When a boy, living at home on a Vermont farm, my father owned a pair of
spirited grays, one being a special pet, never seeming weary and never
refusing to go anywhere or to do any service asked of him. His mate was
of the other sort, sulky, ugly, and a thorough shirk. My pet had formed
a strong personal attachment for me, would always whinney when he heard
my step, in fact seemed to have the love of a dog for his master.

“Coming down the mountain with a heavy load, by a road plowed out for a
single track, and snow three feet and more deep on either side, we met
an old gentleman and lady in a single cutter, who could not or thought
they could not, turn from the road to allow us to pass.

“The off horse, the ugly one, refused to turn into the snow, and I
stepped forward of him, taking him by the head, standing in the snow
half my depth. Instead of accepting my invitation to follow my lead, he
reared and came down upon me, throwing me on my back, with my head just
out from under his chest, both of us lying at full length in the snow.

“Now my pet showed his love and that he saw where the trouble lay.
Taking his mate by the side of the lip in his teeth, he lifted him up
upon his fore feet, then supposing his duty done, let go his hold, when
at once the rascal came down again, this time with one knee upon my
chest, nearly crushing it in, and making breathing almost impossible.

“The old gentleman and lady screamed, and I feared fright of my horses
would be an added danger, but instead, no wise man’s head was ever
clearer as to duty in time of danger, than was that of my equine friend.
Taking his mate again by the side of his lip and with a strong grip of
his teeth, he lifted and held him sitting on his haunches as a dog
would have done, and with one fore foot bowed out on either side of me.
Getting hold of the harness I dragged myself from under my captor, when
Billy showed in no doubtful manner that he meant all he had done. His
whinney was like a cry of joy. He called to me, danced, rubbed his head
against me, and showed plainly as language could have done that instinct
and love had joined in saving my life. Was it reason or instinct or

“It seemed like a dog’s thoughtful, unselfish love, but in the story
of horses, I have never known such devotion. Now you know why I love
horses, and why cruelty to one of them is, to me, like a cruel injury to
a true friend.”

A lady, with whom the author of this volume is well acquainted, writes
as follows on this subject:

“I think that blinders ought to be abolished by law, but if we cannot
get rid of them that way, every friend of the horse should exert all
possible influence to induce people to abandon their use. When I first
obtained my horse ‘Tatters’ he had never been driven with an open
bridle, and had never been used under a saddle, but he had the
reputation of being exceedingly gentle and afraid of nothing except the
steam railways and the elevated cars. The statement was correct, as he
would stand up and strike toward them with his front feet, snorting and
trembling in great terror. I needed a horse both for riding and driving,
so I ventured to try him under the saddle before purchasing.

“I am not a very fearless person, as you know, so I went through all the
prescribed rules laid down for horse-breakers, such as giving him the
saddle to smell and examine before placing it on his back, putting the
skirt of my riding habit under his nose to rub with his upper lip and
feel of in his own way, which he did very thoroughly, taking about seven
minutes before he seemed entirely satisfied. After mounting and riding
round the ring once, I feared Mr. ‘Tatters’ was balky, for if I wanted
him to pass between other riders he would stop suddenly and refuse to
move on until a space of six or eight feet was made for his horseship
to pass, then he would trot along quietly until the same thing occurred,
and so on, until I bethought me that perhaps he was under the impression
that the carriage was behind him. I then wheeled him around two or three
times in as small a space as possible, at which he showed considerable
fear and he kept a sharp look out for splinters.

“After about two weeks of this performance daily a fine afternoon
tempted me to a ride in the park. Then the question of ‘blinders’
came up, and each of the ‘horsey’ people at the stable contributed his
quantum of caution to the effect that Tatters would shy at everything
and run away for nothing the first time he went out and saw much, but I
argued there was no help for it; one could not put blinders on a saddle
horse, and there was a heap of courage in remembering that Tatters had
not worn blinders when he went to the blacksmith’s to be shod.

“I shall never forget the delightful afternoon we--Tatters and I--had.
Tatters enjoyed the prospect of the fun--turning his head from side to
side, and every little while heaving a great sigh of satisfaction which
every lover and owner of a horse recognizes and understands.

“Our usual run now is around the reservoir and park, then up to Macomb’s
Dam bridge. Glad of company when it is congenial, good company for each
other when alone. One day, being with a friend who wished to ride over
to the Riverside Drive, I assented, forgetting for the moment that we
must pass under the elevated railway in order to get there from Seventh
Avenue and One Hundred and Twenty-fourth Street. Fearing ridicule, I
would not turn back after assenting to the proposition; so, taking an
extra firm grip of the saddle and with a good deal of thumping in the
region of my watch-pocket as we approached the dredded object, and
assuring Tatters in the sweetest tones possible that ‘Nothing will
harm the boy! Missis wouldn’t let anything hurt her Tatters,’ etc.
etc.--imagine my surprise when Tatters, after looking up at the passing
train and then turning his head first to the left and then to the
right, seeing where the train and the noise came from and where it went,
quietly walked along under it perfectly satisfied.

[Illustration: 0090]

“I at once made up my mind that if he could see the objects which
worried him we should get along better together, so I determined that I
would take the blinders off the next time he went in harness. The people
at the stable where I keep him tried, in every way, to discourage my
doing so. ‘He will be scared and run away when he sees the carriage
behind him, and will kick and smash it to pieces.’ ‘It will never be
safe for you to do it.’ ‘He will see everything at the side of the road,
and you can’t drive him at all that way,’ and so on, without end. But; I
had a woman’s obstinacy and determined to try him.

“When they found I would have my way they said I must have him handled
by a trainer and driven in a breaking cart until he was accustomed to
the open bridle.

“So it was arranged, and I made an appointment with the trainer. Tatters
was harnessed into the breaking cart, and with a good stout kicking
strap attached. Then the trainer--looking as though he dreaded the
job--took the reins and mounted the seat--carefully watched by about
twenty grooms, who had come out on the sidewalk to see the fun, and were
offering bets on the result. The trainer drove from Fifty-ninth Street
up the Boulevard about a dozen blocks and back again, passing under the
elevated trains each time. Tatters never behaved better in his life.
‘Now,’ I said, after walking him around the phaeton with the top first
up, and then down, ‘harness him into it and drive him up the Boulevard
and back again,’ and the trainer did so, with the same result. Then I
got into the phaeton alone and drove around Central Park and up over the
bridge at the end of Seventh Avenue, and Tatters never showed the least
alarm, and he did not worry and sweat when going fast, as before; but,
on the contrary, seemed to enjoy the novelty. He has never been driven
with a blind bridle since, and never will be as long as I have him. He
certainly goes better than ever before, he is no longer afraid of the
trains on the elevated railway, he used to be scared when bicycles came
up alongside of him, and now he pays no attention to them.

“It seems to me that when a horse can see anything properly he doesn’t
mind it half as much as when he hears a noise and can’t see what is
making it. Horses are slow in understanding, but once convinced they
never forget. When we are near a railway or anything else that is likely
to frighten him I talk to Tatters and let him take his own time to see
what it is, and then he concludes he isn’t to be harmed, and pays no
attention to it the next time he sees it. He is a great pet; he eats
out of my hand and is very careful not to let his teeth harm me, he
recognizes my voice, points his ears and whinnies whenever I go into
the stable and say, ‘Where’s my Tatters?’ He appreciates every little
kindness, and seems to try to do his best to please me. We are great
friends; I always try to understand what he is thinking about, and act
accordingly. No one can win the confidence of a horse without being kind
to it, and above all---patient.”--S. A. D.


_Cats Among the Ancient Egyptians--Feline Peculiarities--Prince
Krapotkine’s Cat--Sailor s Superstitions About Cats--How a Cat Asked
for a Surgical Operation--Steamboat Cats and their Travels--Display of
Feline Gratitude--The Cat that Gathered Apples for Its Master--Putting
Out a Fire--Cats as Foster-mothers for Rabbits, Foxes and Other Small
Animals--Fishing with Hook and Line--Superstitions of Cats--Fashionable
Cat Parties--How Dan saved the House from Burning--A wonderful Troupe of
Performing Cats--The Lesson of Kindness to Pussy._

As intimated in the last chapter, cats were the subject of conversation
between Mr. Graham and his sons, after the story of the horse that
lifted the cat out of his manger when he wanted to eat his oats.

[Illustration: 9094]

Several feline anecdotes were related, and then the further
consideration of the topic was postponed until the next evening, when
Mr. Webb formed one of the party. Henry Johnson happened in during the
course of the evening and contributed his share to the general fund of

“Cats are among the earliest animals domesticated by man,” said Mr.
Graham, “but possibly they are ante-dated by the horse and dog. We find
these three animals appearing on the sculptures and paintings of the
ancient Egyptians, by whom cats were held in the highest reverence.
Temples were erected in their honor, their bodies were mummified after
death, sacrifices and devotions were offered up to them, and it was
customary for a family to shave off its eyebrows whenever a cat died in
its house.”

“Superstitions concerning cats have descended to the present time,” Mr.
Webb remarked, when Mr. Graham paused. “In the Middle Ages, they were
supposed to be the familiars of witches, and a black cat was an object
of dread rather than of veneration, as it was supposed to be the
embodiment of Satan. Sailors formerly had a dread of cats on shipboard,
as a sign of ill-luck, and to a considerable extent this belief
continues among them to-day. Many people predict rain when they see a
cat washing its face, and a cat-call on a housetop is by some persons
held to be a sign of death. It was a current belief in the Middle Ages
that a cat had nine lives, and the saying is a common one how. The
prevalence of this belief has been the cause of a great many cruelties
inflicted on this graceful animal.

“Cats do not usually attach themselves to persons,” continued Mr.
Webb, “their preference being rather for places than individuals. This
preference gave rise to the belief, which was endorsed by Buffon and
other naturalists, that the cat is incapable of affection, and retains
in its domesticated state its savage ferocity, which is merely disguised
by cunning and restrained by selfishness. But there are many stories
told, on perfectly good authority, to illustrate the affection of cats
for their owners and friends, though it is proper to say that instances
of personal affection are far less numerous in the cat than in the dog.”

[Illustration: 0095]

“Dr. Johnson and Southey were fond of cats,” said Mr. Graham. “Southey
declared that no house was properly furnished without a child rising
three years and a kitten rising three weeks. Lord Chesterfield left a
sum of money for the support of his favorite cat, Prince Krapotkine,
like other famous captives, has a prison pet--a cat,--which has been a
jail bird almost from its birth, and has grown to be a great favorite
with the Prince. Like Sir Walter Scott’s cat, this cat can do everything
but talk.”

[Illustration: 0096]

Mr. Graham then read the following from Prince Krapotkine’s story of his
prison life:--

“When the cat wants my door opened, it does not mew, it stretches itself
to its full length and shakes the latch with its paw. If the door had
another kind of fastening, it would certainly open it by raising the
latch. It knows perfectly well the meaning of all the bells which ring
in the prison--that to bid the inmates to rise in the morning, that
which sounds before soup is served. Its dictionary is very limited, but
it understands perfectly the meaning of the words it knows. Thus, in the
evening when I walk in my room, it performs all sorts of gambols, and by
making certain special sounds, endeavors to make me play with it at hide
and seek--it plays this game exactly as children do, and insists that
each party should hide in his turn--or to draw a string along for it to
run after. If, in reply to its invitation to play, I say to it, ‘What do
you want? Food? Drink?’ it is displeased, and goes with a sulky air to
sit behind my little stove. But when I say, ‘the string?’ it replies
immediately by two sounds, concerning the affirmative tone of which
there can be no doubt. I could relate other instances of sagacity, but I
do not wish to impose upon the credulity of your readers.

[Illustration: 9098]

There is, however, an interesting point which it would be well to have
cleared up. Are cats susceptible to music? Without being able to affirm
positively, I believe they are. When my cat was little, it several times
seemed to us that it found a real pleasure in listening to some air of
a pleasing cadence. For example, the waltz from Faust, provided it was
sung by a very high and pure voice. We even thought that music caused
it to assume almost a sentimental air. It is unnecessary to say that my
cat, like all others, is very susceptible to caresses, and, for I must
confess its faults, to flattery. In general, cats are less intelligent
than dogs, but, by care and attention, their intelligence can be highly
developed. I am sorry that I have not sufficient time, or I should
undertake the education of my cat by a system of cards, as proposed by

“Speaking of sailors’ superstitions about cats,” said Mr. Webb, “a lady
told me not long ago that she bought a Persian cat in Calcutta and
brought it home on a sailing ship. Every time they were becalmed the
sailors would try to get her cat and throw it overboard, for they think
that doing so would raise a wind.

“This is an old superstition of the mariner. It would be hard to say how
it originated, but it is probable that it was originally intended as
a sacrifice to Neptune, the god of the sea; as on land the gods were
propitiated by the offerings of the devout, so Jack sought to calm
the sea god’s fury by offering him a cat. The old sailor, even in this
meaning of the word ‘cat’s-paw.’ It is simply a quaint idea of the
marine, who sees in the sudden and peculiar zephyr that ruffles the
water, a resemblance to the frolics of the cat. Does pussy jump around
good-humoredly there will be a good breeze and fair. But when she arches
her back and swells her tail, then look out, for her scowling look will
be as a calm to the storm it foreshadows, and the flashes from her
eyes but as sparks to the blue streaks of zig-zag lightning which will
certainly soon illuminate the sky.”

“I’ve a story about an intelligent cat that belonged to a doctor,”
 said Charley. “I found it in the _Tribune_; it is dated at Deposit, and
signed O. T. Bundy.”

All listened while Charley read the following:

“My cat, which we knew by the name of ‘Peter,’ was a sufferer from a
large abscess on the lower jaw, directly underneath. I attempted to
lance it, with what proved to be a broken pointed instrument. He cried
while the attempt was being made, but did not run away from me, advanced
age, regards the cat as a veritable weather gauge. The old landsman
is often puzzled to account for some of the strange sea terms, and
questions are often asked as to the although I did not hold him, or try
to. Of course I failed to introduce the instrument into the sore, and
showed what I held in my hand. I then took a sharp lance from the case
and showed it to him.

[Illustration: 8099]

He came up directly to me and raised his head in such a way that the
sore was exposed, and held it in this position until I had completely
opened the abscess and withdrawn the lance, not crying or offering to go
away from me. Now the blunt tool was torture, and it gave him no
relief, yet he must have thought from my talk and manner that relief was
intended, or he would never have held still for the second trial.”

“Here’s a story about a steamboat cat,” said George, “which was written
by somebody for the _New Orleans Pickayune_.”

“In July the steamer. _Golden Rule_ arrived here from Cincinnati. A
little common gray cat lived on the boat, that had been left at Bayou
Sara, by accident. She had stepped on the wharf boat and had not
returned in time. The officers on the _Golden Rule_ felt sorry to lose
her, for she had left three little kittens behind, who missed their
mother sadly. But, to the surprise of all, the next boat that arrived
down brought puss as a passenger or stowaway. She remained on board in
her new quarters till near midnight, then made her way to the _Golden

[Illustration: 0100]

The watchman saw her come on board and witnessed the happy meeting
between the kittens and their mother. I was a passenger on the boat as
she returned to Cincinnati that trip, and puss was quite a heroine. But,
alas, the temptations to visit wharf boats was so strong that she got
left behind again, somewhere on the Indiana side of the Ohio, I have
forgotten the town. Real grief was manifested by her friends when they
missed her; they thought she was lost to them forever. On their arrival
at Cincinnati, the steward left the boat, and the kittens disappeared
with him. Three or four days afterward the _Ariadne_ arrived from below,
and the gray pussy came up on her. No one knows how she found out that
boat was bound up the river instead of down, for other boats had stopped
at that place, but only this one going up to Cincinnati. Puss was soon
installed in her old home again, but the kittens were gone, and she was
lonesome; so she went out on the wharf-boat and found a poor, forlorn
kitten nearly as large as herself. This she carried in her mouth up into
the cabin of the _Golden Rule_ and placed it on a chair, and insisted
that it should be noticed and caressed, nor would she eat until it was
supplied, and she had it with her last winter.”

“That steamboat cat reminds me of one in New Haven,” said Henry, who
felt that it was his turn to tell a story. “I found the anecdote in the
_New Haven News_:

“‘A curious story is told of a cat which lives on the Starin steamboat
dock. The cat will occasionally take a notion to visit New York, and if
driven off the boat at one place, will be seen to jump on at another, in
time to avoid getting left. She will stay in New York two or three
days at a time, and when her visit is concluded, will return and remain
contented in New Haven for a season, until the fever for traveling comes
on again. The persistency and ingenuity of the cat in boarding the boat
for one of these journeys excites wonder, as the cat has a family of
kittens living in New Haven. These kittens appear to be resigned to the
temporary absence of their mother, but are always glad when she gets
back from New York.’”

“There are many instances of the display of gratitude by cats,” Mr. Webb
remarked. “One of the best I know of is told by a lady in California, as

“‘My cat, with regard to his meals, is a most grateful cat, and, however
hungry he may be, he never thinks of eating until he has purred his
thanks and rubbed his head against my hand. This trait of character was
once displayed in the most affecting manner. One day ‘Pret’ had been
shut up in the loft, on account of a lady visitor who had a strange
antipathy to cats. I was going to town that day, and did not return
until after midnight. As I was going upstairs I heard ‘Pret’s’ voice
calling me in a very anxious manner, and, on inquiry, I found that the
poor cat had been forgotten, and had been shut up all day without a
morsel of food or a drop of milk. Of course I immediately procured some
milk and meat and carried it up to him. The poor creature was half wild
with happiness when he heard my footsteps, and on seeing the plate of
meat and saucer of milk he flew at them like a mad thing. But scarcely
had he lapped a drop of milk when he left the saucer, came up to me with
loud purring, and caressed me, as if to express his thanks. Then he went
to the plate, but only just touched it with his nose, and again came to
thank me for having attended to his wants, both of food and drink. It
quite brought the moisture to my eyes to see the affectionate creature,
though nearly wild with hunger and thirst, refrain from enjoying his
food until he had returned thanks.’”

Mr. Graham said the Californian story reminded him of a Connecticut one,
that appeared a short time before, in a New Haven paper. The story was
that Mr. George Baldwin had several apple and pear trees, and last fall
his cat awoke to the fact that these trees bore fruit which his master’s
family liked to eat.

[Illustration: 9102]

One day in October, the cat’s owner was surprised by the action of his
pet. The animal was walking slowly about one of the trees, stopping
every minute or two to gaze up at the apples on the boughs. After
completing its tour of inspection, the cat climbed the tree, and slowly
made its way out on a limb toward what was probably the ripest and
largest apple of several bushels of fruit on the trees. When it reached
its goal, the animal made several attempts to break the stem with its
teeth, and finally succeeded. It had taken care to bite off a bit of the
stem long enough to be securely held, and with its prize in its mouth
the cat began its descent. Once on the ground, the apple was carried
to a porch and laid by the side of a door opening into the house. The
exploit was frequently repeated by Mr. Baldwin’s sagacious puss, and the
side of the porch was usually lined with apples.

“Did anybody ever hear,” said Charley, “of the cat that shared its
dinner with its master?”

Nobody had heard of this wonderful cat, thereupon Charley read the
following from the _Manchester Times_:

“A member of the Zoological Society says: I once had a cat who always
sat up to the dinner-table with me and had his napkin round his neck,
and his plate and some fish. He used his paw, of course, but he was very
particular, and behaved with extraordinary decorum. When he had finished
his fish I sometimes gave him a piece of mine. One day he was not to be
found when the dinner bell rang, so we began without him. Just as the
plates were put round for the entrée, puss came rushing upstairs and
sprang into his chair with two mice in his mouth. Before he could be
stopped he dropped a mouse on to his own plate, and then one on to mine.
He divided his dinner with me as I had divided mine with him.”

There was a laugh all around over this amusing incident, and when it
subsided, George asked what became of the mouse which the cat put on its
master’s plate. History seemed to be silent on that point, but whether
the youth supposed the dainty was or was not devoured by the gentleman,
we will not inquire. The subject was not discussed, as the attention
of the party was next turned to a cat that put out a fire. The incident
happened in Monongahela, Pa., and was as follows:

A family went out to a meeting, leaving Master Tom, a favorite cat, in
sole occupation of the house.

[Illustration: 8103]

On their return the cat’s actions led to an examination, when his feet
were found to be blistered. The sitting-room served to explain matters.
A live coal had been thrown out and set the carpet on fire. Puss had
evidently clawed out the fire for a considerable distance about the spot
burned, leaving nothing but a center of ends, charred and frizzled. All
the circumstances indicated that the cat had put out the fire.

“Cats are very fond of valerian,” said Mr. Graham, “and I have heard of
a woman in St. Thomas who turned this fact to practical use.”

“How was that?” queried Mr. Webb.

“She detected the odor of sewer gas in her parlor,” was the reply, “and
as the landlord from whom she leased the house would not believe in the
existence of the gas, she hit upon a device to convince him. She first
poured a quantity of valerian down the pipe of one of the basins in the
upper story. The odor of valerian presently filled the parlor below.
Procuring two cats she turned them loose in the parlor. They immediately
evinced delight at the odor, and ran to an adjoining closet where it was
strongest. They finally jumped upon a shelf in the closet, and there, by
their contentment, showed that they had traced the odor to its source.
The householder sent for a plumber, who, removing the lath and plaster,
discovered a leak in the pipe which communicated with the sewer.”

[Illustration: 0105]

Feline peculiarities were discussed at the conclusion of the foregoing
story. Some one told about a cat in Missouri, which had four kittens,
and one day she went into the woods and brought in two young rabbits,
which she added to her family. She licked and caressed the little
rabbits, just as she did her own kittens, and the new comers got along
with the others on perfectly friendly terms.

Then somebody else told about four young foxes in Indiana that have been
adopted by a cat. She seems to manifest as much maternal solicitude and
motherly fondness for them as though they were her own. The foxes
have accepted the situation in a spirit of meekness, and are seemingly
satisfied. This was followed by a story of a cat whose kittens had been
drowned; she found three young squirrels that she adopted and tenderly

“That is not so strange,” said Mr. Graham, “as the performance of a
French cat, which I read about in the _Revue Scientifique_. One day the
cat came into the house, having in its mouth a sparrow, caught in the
neighboring garden. Scarcely had puss entered the room when she let
the bird free, evidently for the purpose of playing with it, as is the
custom of cats with mice before devouring them. The sparrow, having one
of its wings injured, could not escape by flying, but boldly began to
attack its huge enemy by fierce blows on the nose with its beak. The cat
seemed astonished at the attack, and beat a retreat. From that moment
the two seemed to forget their natural instincts and came to a mutual
understanding. The truce continued and gradually grew to a fraternal
friendship. They ate, played and slept together. Often they ran about
the house, the sparrow perched on the cat’s back, and sometimes carried
gently in the cat’s mouth, from which it was released on the first wish
to be free. When feeding together, puss never touched a morsel till her
friend had first partaken.”

“I read not long ago,” said Charley, “a story about a friendship between
a cat and a rat. It was signed C. A. B., and appeared in Our Animal
Friends. Here it is:

“‘My cousin was much plagued by rats; they were so troublesome that
every method was used to exterminate them. One day the cook thought she
would try to scald them, and, watching her opportunity, threw a pail
of boiling water, which covered the back of one, taking the hair and a
portion of the skin off,--but he was enabled to reach his hiding place.
Some days afterward a rat was seen eating from the same dish with the
cat, having no hair on its back and appearing quite feeble. The cook
called the attention of her mistress to the fact, and told the story of
her throwing the scalding water some days before, and that the rats had
ceased to be troublesome since.

“‘Time rolled on, and it became quite an amusement to the family to
watch for the coming of the rat, and the eating of its regular meals
with the cat, and the little gambols indulged in together after eating.

“‘In the course of the summer the family went on a visit, and closed
their house for a few months, but made provision for the favorite cat,
that she should stay with a relative in the same town.

“‘Upon their return in the fall they called upon their relative for the
cat, as the house was much infested with rats, and learned from them,
that soon after they had left, an ugly-looking rat, without any hair on
its back, made its appearance and used to eat with the cat, till one day
one of the family killed it. Since that time they couldn’t get the cat
to eat anything, and she would not stop in the house, but had gone to a
neighbor’s. They caught her several times and brought her back, but she
wouldn’t remain with them.

“‘My cousin, after hearing the particulars, became much interested, and
chided herself for her thoughtlessness in not letting her relative know
the curious story of the rat while making provision for the care of her
cat. She went to the neighbor, but the cat would take no notice of her.
She persevered and took the cat to her old home, but the cat wouldn’t
stay--off she would run to the neighbor she had selected as her friend.
They got the daintiest food they could select, they coaxed and petted
her, kept the door closed, and did everything they could to win back her
confidence; but she wouldn’t eat or taste a thing in the house, and they
finally gave up in despair and allowed her to have her own way.

[Illustration: 0108]

“‘They never could get that cat to notice any one of the family or to
come into the house again. Was this _instinct?_Was it reason? Was it a
type of chivalry and grandeur in the animal not yet recognized by man?”

“Some time ago,” said Mr. Webb, “The _New York World_ published a story
about a cat that lived in Eighteenth Street, in that city, and was
called ‘Ears.’ The _World_ said of her:

“‘She can fetch and carry like a retriever, and when her mistress throws
a paper out of a third-floor window, Ears climbs into a basket fixed
outside on a pulley, shuts the lid, and quietly lets herself down to the
ground. Then she gets the paper, hides away in the basket and mews as
a signal to be drawn up. She will play dead and alive and allow the
wickedest boy alive to whirl her around his head by the tail. She takes
a bath every day of her own accord and rocks herself to sleep on the
back of a rocking-chair. The canary that lives in the same house uses
her as a riding-horse, and every morning Ears gallops round and round
the room with the bird on her back.’”

“I thought cats didn’t like water,” said Charley, “and never took a bath
except by accident.”

“They dislike water very much,” replied Mr. Webb, “as their fur has very
little oil in it to resist the effect of moisture. I knew a cat at the
Wawayanda Club, on Great South Bay, Long Island, that used to go into
the water to catch small fishes; she didn’t seem to mind the wetting, or
rather she cared less for it than for a fish dinner. I read recently of
a mill on a stream in South Carolina, belonging to a man named Pruitt.
Pruitt owns a large cat that, as soon as the mill is stopped, by
shutting down the gate, will immediately run down behind the mill and
get on a log just over the sheeting over which the water is flowing. She
will then look intently into the water, which is from eighteen inches to
two feet deep, until she spies a fish; she then plunges into the water,
frequently burying herself under it, but almost always coming out with a
fish. She then sits quietly down on a rock near by and enjoys her meal.

[Illustration: 0109]

“A newspaper of Portland, Maine,” said Mr. Graham, “published a story
some years ago about a cat that used to catch fish with a hook and

“Of course every one laughed at the absurdity of the idea, all except Mr.
Graham, who didn’t relax the muscles of his face, but declared that he
believed the story to be true. “And so will you,” he continued, “when
you hear the details.”

“By all means give us the details, then,” said Mr. Webb.

“Well, this is the story as I remember it. The cat belonged in a
counting house or office that was on one of the piers in the harbor and
had a trap-door in the floor through which dust was swept. Fishes swam
under the pier and the clerks in the office used to bait a hook and
lower the line through the trap-door to catch a fish for the cat’s
dinner. She sat and looked on at the proceeding and very soon learned
that the trembling of the line was the signal that a fish had been
secured on the hook.

“One day the clerk who had baited the hook and set the line was busy at
his desk when the line trembled and puss knew that the time to haul in
had arrived. The clerk did not come promptly enough to suit her; so she
seized the line and drew it up ‘hand over hand,’ or rather ‘paw over
paw.’ The clerk looked on in surprise as she hauled up the line and
secured the fish, and ever after that she was allowed to do her own
fishing. She never got up to the ability of baiting the hook and setting
the line, but she certainly did all the rest of the work. The newspaper
that I read it in said hundreds of citizens of Portland had seen that
cat take her own fish, and the story is so well vouched for that I have
no doubt of its truth.”

“Cats are more skillful in the use of their paws than many people
believe,” said Mr. Graham. “For instance, listen to the following:

“A clergyman, the Rev. R. Lane, at Claverack, Columbia County, that was
once asked at a school examination; ‘How many toes has a cat?’ Can you

Charley shook his head and admitted that he didn’t know. George and
Henry were equally unlearned on that point, and the former asked how the
question was answered at the school.

“Not one of the pupils in the school could tell,” said Mr. Webb, “and
then the principal was applied to for a solution. He also, with a
good-natured smile, gave it up, when one of the teachers, determined not
to be beaten by so simple a question, hit on the idea of sending out a
delegation of boys to scour the neighborhood for a cat.

“That brings up the question,” said Mr. Webb turning to the boys: the
idea was announced, the whole class wanted to join in the hunt. Several
boys went out and soon returned successful. A returning board was at
once appointed, and the toes counted, when to the relief of all it was
learned that a cat possesses eighteen toes, ten on the front feet and
eight on the hind feet.”

“The _Kingston Freeman_ writes as follows: ‘There is a young lady in the
town of Claverack who has a pet cat which she has taught to sit at the
table, and with a napkin about its neck it takes meat from a plate with
its paws as dexterously as an epicure. When given a piece of meat on a
fork it will hold the fork in its fore-paws and take the meat from the
tines, and when given a cup of milk it will hold up the cup and drink.
The cat has a well-developed ‘thumb’ on each fore-paw.’”

[Illustration: 0111]

“Cats are inquisitive,” Mr. Graham remarked, “and examine new
things with a great deal of care. They are not altogether free from
superstition and sometimes display great alarm at things they do not
understand. Théophile Gautier tells of a cat he had which was a great
pet and used to sit for hours and watch him at his work.

“One day Gautier brought home a parrot; the cat surveyed the bird
carefully and evidently came to the conclusion that it was a green
chicken. It showed no alarm whatever until the parrot spoke. Then a
great fear came over the cat; it arched its back, enlarged its tail and
fled in terror, and not for days could it again be persuaded to enter
the room where the parrot was.

“It is not uncommon for cats to play with a soap bubble without
appearing to be astonished or mystified by its sudden disappearance.
In one case, however, puss was so demoralized at the mystery as to grow
big-tailed, and spit at any soap bubble which might happen to fall to
the floor and drift across it. Another, which up to that time had never
seen a colored person, fled so precipitately from a good-looking negro
girl, that it tumbled into a grating, from which it could not be coaxed
until hunger overcame its terror; and the oddity of it was that puss
herself was as black as a coal.”

“There is fashion in everything,” said Mr. “Webb, “and a New York
newspaper says that cat-parties are the latest sensation. Recently a
young girl, the happy possessor of a fine maltese cat, invited a number
of her friends to bring their pet cats to five o’clock tea, each cat
to have a ribbon about its neck, corresponding to that worn by its
mistress. At the appointed hour the cats made their appearance, in
charge of their respective owners. After the feline introductions had
taken place, some of which were the reverse of friendly, games were
introduced, and soft balls, toy mice and other objects dear to pussy’s
heart were provided. These pastimes, however, were sometimes marred by
a vigorous slap, when two strangers came in collision, and once the
belligerent pussies had to be separated by friends. When tea was
announced, a table furnished with saucers of milk and small cakes, with
cushioned stools, was disclosed.

[Illustration: 0113]

The floral decorations consisted of catnip, lavender, grasses, and
bright flowers. The cats, placed on their respective stools, and
attended by their mistresses, partook of the good cheer set before them.
Their behavior was quite correct. With their fore-paws on the table,
they lapped the milk with becoming propriety. When all were satisfied,
there was a comical sight. Each pussy began making her toilet, and the
face-washing was decorous in the extreme. After leaving the table a
spray of catnip was given each kitty, and the feline happiness was
complete. These sprigs were tossed in the air, caught, and lovingly
caressed. As each kitty departed, it was presented with its ball or toy
mouse as a memento of the party.”

“Before we separate,” said Mr. Graham, glancing at the clock as a hint
that it was time to bring the conference upon felines to an end, “let
me tell you of a cat that saved a house from being burned. His name was
Dan, and he was the property of a little boy who was very kind to his
furry pet.

[Illustration: 9114]

The time came at last when Dan could repay this kindness; and he did so.
One cold winter night all had gone upstairs to bed, and were sleeping
soundly. Dan was cosily rolled up on his nice warm mat behind the
kitchen stove, when all at once the room became very light. Dan awoke;
and what should he see but the broom, which had been left standing a
little too near the stove, all on fire. In a few moments the house would
have been ablaze, but Dan thought of his master; so away he trotted
upstairs to his room.

“Dan called with a very loud voice, ‘Mew, mew, mew’; but his master did
not hear him. Then he said, ‘Mew, mew, mew,’ still louder; but that did
not awake him. Then he jumped upon the bed, pulling back the bed-clothes
with his paw, and gently struck his master in the face. This aroused
the sleepy boy, and he very soon learned the meaning of Dan’s strange
actions. He jumped out of bed, ran downstairs, and put out the fire
before it had got under very great headway. The story was told afterward
in the local newspaper and Dan became a hero in the place where he

A few more cat stories were told in spite of the lateness of the hour,
and it was agreed in conclusion that cats greatly resemble dogs, horses
and children, too, in being influenced by their surroundings, training
and teaching. A child taught to be cruel, or to lie and steal in early
life, is not likely to be a good or useful member of society. Horses
and dogs are made vicious by bad treatment or gentle by kindness, and
a cat’s conduct will depend very largely upon its surroundings and

[Illustration: 0115]

A writer in Harper’s _Young People_ gives the following interesting
account of a wonderful troupe of performing cats at the Winter Circus in

“M. Bonnetty, the owner and trainer of these performing cats, believed,
in spite of all opinions to the contrary, that puss belonged among
animals of the highest intelligence. He collected cats of all kinds, and
set patiently to work to educate them. The result has been wonderful,
and puss has shown that when treated kindly she is capable of great
things, and is a most willing slave, affectionate and gentle, and always
ready to do her master’s bidding.

[Illustration: 0116]

“M. Bonnetty never gives puss a harsh word or a blow, for those arouse
her hatred, and she never forgets them. His work has been accomplished
by coaxing and caressing. He usually begins the training with kittens,
but he has had almost as great success with cats which have been several
years old when they reached his hands. At first he keeps them in a large
apartment for several months, feeding them and petting them until he
has won their entire confidence and affection. Then pussy’s education
begins. The first exercises are very simple, such as jumping through
a hoop and climbing a pole, until by degrees puss, obedient to her
master’s voice, will do every trick that a beast of her size is capable

“After a year’s training the graceful creatures make their first
appearance in public. This is the time of trial, for it sometimes
happens that the little feline artist will perform beautifully when
alone with her master, but will be frightened and confused by the music,
the glare of lights, and the crowd of people at the circus.

“There are fourteen beautiful pussies in the troupe, and the tricks they
do are wonderful. They play with mice and birds, holding them in their
paws and even in their teeth without doing them the slightest injury;
they jump through a blazing hoop held up by the trainer, perform
graceful gymnastic exercises on the backs of thirty-two chairs placed
in a row, march around in time to music like little soldiers, and group
themselves in many graceful and comical attitudes. And the best part
of it is that the pussies seem to take as much delight in their amusing
capers as do the crowds of children who watch them; and when a thousand
little clapping hands applaud them, they form in a row and look as
pleased and proud as if they understood what it was all about. Perhaps
they do.

“A gentleman who went with M. Bonnetty to visit the cats in the room
where they live found them all sleeping in graceful groups around a
glowing stove, for an educated cat loves heat as well as her more humble
sisters, and cannot be kept in good condition without it. As the trainer
and his friend entered the room fourteen pair of little eyes opened,
little ears were pricked up on the alert, and the pussies arose,
stretching themselves and purring, and at once crowded around their
master, rubbing against him, and reaching up to be caressed, while one
little white cat named Gora climbed up to his shoulder and nestled in
his neck. ‘Yes, they all have names,’ said their master, ‘and they know
them. There are Juno and Brutus and Caesar and Mayor and Lucette and
Boulanger--he’s that large cat. He’s as gentle and loving and playful
as a kitten. You know every word I am saying, don’t you, old fellow?’
he added, as a beautiful, glossy tiger cat, with large liquid eyes,
came forward purring and showing every sign of feline delight and

[Illustration: 0118]

“The star of the troupe is named Tibert, after the famous cat in the
ancient romance of ‘Reynard and the Fox.’ Tibert is two years old. He
is very agile and skillful. He leads the company in the jump through
blazing hoops, and his greatest delight is to turn somersaults over the
backs of chairs.

“The performing cats lead very temperate and regular lives. They are
given an airing every day, and the large room where they live is lighted
and sunny and well supplied with soft cushions for beds. They are fed at
regular hours on bread and milk, and once a day they have all the liver
they can eat, as that has been found to be the most healthy meat for
them. They always have a pan of water, for water is something of which
every full-grown cat needs an abundant supply.

“The cats in this troupe are all of the common varieties, black and
white cats, tigers, Maltese, and tortoise-shell. The trainer has tried
in vain to teach the Persian and Angora cats. They are beautiful for
pets, but they are not agile, nor capable of much affection, and they
have very little brains and a short memory. When M. Bonnetty needs
recruits for his troupe, he seeks them among the cats that climb roofs
at night and prowl over back-yard fences, as among these despised and
persecuted creatures he has discovered the highest degrees of docility,
sagacity, and intelligence.”

[Illustration: 0119]


_The Elephant--Differences between Indian and African Elephants--The
Begging Elephant of Willenoor--Recognition of a Friend--What the
Elephant Enjoys--Elephant Working a Pump--One that Served as a Nursemaid
to Children--Madame Duphot’s Pet, Nirjara--The Elephant who Remembered
an Injury--How Wild Elephants are Caught--Tame Elephants used
for Hunting Wild Ones--Manjari and what he did--Securing the
Captives--Driving a Herd into a Keddali--Laws against Killing
Elephants--The Sagacity of a Young Elephant in Robbing a Garden._

We will go at once from a small animal to a large one,” said Mr. Graham
at their next conversation about the intelligence of quadrupeds.
“And not only to a large one but to the largest four-footed animal in

“That must be the elephant,” said Charley, “as he is conceded to be the
largest land animal in the world.”

“Yes,” replied the gentleman, “and what can you tell me about him?”

“He belongs to the order of _Pachydermata_ and the section
_Proboscidean_,” the youth answered, “and his ordinary height at the
shoulder is about eight feet, though there are many elephants that
exceed ten feet. He is very bulky in proportion to his height and
length, the weight of a large elephant being about five tons. He can
sleep standing and often does so, but it is incorrect to suppose, as
some people do, that he cannot lie down on account of the shortness and
stiffness of his legs. He is very sure-footed and can go up and down
steep hills and mountains with very little trouble.”

“Quite correctly stated,” said Mr. Graham as Charley paused. Then
turning to George he asked how many kinds of elephants there are in the

[Illustration: 0121]

“There are only two distinct species now living,” said George, “and they
are known as the Indian and the African elephants. Some differences
have been found between the Sumatran elephant and the Indian one but the
naturalists are not agreed as to whether the Sumatran should be classed
as a distinct species.”

“Evidently you have been reading up the subject of elephants,” said Mr.
Graham with a smile, “as I did not expect to find you so well informed.
But I have brought you something which probably you have not seen, and
it may combine instruction with amusement as it has much to do with

Thereupon Mr. Graham took from the table a book which he explained was
written by Louis Jacolliott, a French gentleman who lived many years
in India and devoted much time and observation to the elephant. “I have
marked several passages in the volume,” said lie, “and you may read them
aloud in English, partly for practice in translating from French
but mainly for the edification of Mr. Webb and Henry as well as of

Charley was first called upon to translate from the marked passages,
which he did as follows:

“The most curious and interesting animal which I have met,” says M.
Jacolliott, “is the elephant. Not the elephant of the menageries, broken
in spirit and submissive, but the elephant as he is found in his native
country. Some instances of his aptitude and intelligence are marvellous.

“A few leagues from Pondichery stands a pagoda called Willenoor, which,
at the grand feasts of May, receives a multitude of five or six hundred
thousand pilgrims, coming from all parts of India. A number of sacred
elephants are attached to this pagoda, and among them is a mendicant,
or begging elephant. Twice each week this elephant, accompanied by
his driver, goes to the villages and to Pondichery to beg alms for the
priests of Willenoor.

“Many times, working beneath the veranda, closed in by curtains on the
first story of my house, I have seen him lift the movable curtain with
his great trunk and balance himself to ask me for a piece of small coin,
which he sucked from my hand to his trunk, a distance of more than
three inches. I never failed to give him a small piece of money for
the pagoda, and for himself a loaf of bread which my servant dipped in
molasses, of which the elephant was very fond. In a short time we became
very friendly. He had seen me only in undress, that is, in the light
silk garments of the country, and then, only across the little pillars
of the balcony of my cottage.

“One day I had occasion to go to Willenoor on business. I arrived at
noon; the sun was burning the earth; no one was seen in the streets or
on the verandas; every one was resting.

“My carriage had stopped under a mango-tree in the principal square, and
I was about to start for the house of the thasildar, or governor of the
village, when all at once a monstrous black elephant came running out of
the pagoda which was opposite. He arrived in front of us and, before I
had time to collect my senses, he lifted me up, placed me on his neck
and started at full speed for the pagoda; he carried me across the
first enclosure, in which was the great well for bathing, and brought me
direct to the elephant quarters.

“Once there, he placed me on the ground in the center of all his
companions; it was the begging elephant; he had recognized me. He
uttered short cries, lifting his trunk and waving his ears, which his
friends doubtless interpreted to my advantage, for when the thasildar,
followed by the priests of the temple, came out to seek the cause of
this strange demonstration, they found me calm, and recovered from my
surprise, in the midst of these enormous beasts who were tendering an
ovation in my behalf.

“‘This is most remarkable,’ said one of the priests, ‘I have never seen
them act so friendly toward any one.’

“I related to him the circumstances of my gifts to the begging elephant.

“‘I am no longer surprised,’ he answered, ‘he has already recounted it
to the whole band and the gourmands are paying you these attentions in
hope of attaining the same reward.’

“‘Is it possible?’ I said with amazement.

“‘I am perfectly sure of it. Do you wish to see the proof? Pass your
arm around the trunk of your elephant friend and make him understand by
signs that you wish him to go out with you; they will all follow you.
Allow yourself to be led and you will see where they will bring you.’

[Illustration: 0124]

[Illustration: 0125]

“The priest with whom I had already spoken, and who was a professor of
philosophy at the temple of Willenoor, told me that from time to time
the begging elephant managed to escape from them, and wandered as far as
Pondichéry to beg on his own account. Knowing perfectly the market where
he obtained the provisions on his expeditions, he would go there, place
the money he had collected upon the table of a fruit merchant, and eat
as many pineapples, bananas, mangoes and as much sugar-cane and arrack
as the Hindoo would allow him for the money.

[Illustration: 0125]

“‘I followed his instructions; the begging elephant and I took up the
lead, the nine others joined in the pace, uttering cries of contentment
among themselves. We passed through the gate of the pagoda and they led
me directly to the shop of a native baker. I would have been utterly
astounded had I not already known the wonderful intelligence of these
animals. At the shop my duty was readily understood and I presented
to each one a loaf of bread, covered with the precious molasses syrup,
which is their greatest delicacy.

“The following instance occurred before my own eyes:

“Every one knows that the elephant can be trained to do all kinds of
work. While I have no hesitation about relating instances bearing on
this statement, I prefer to tell of occurrences which indicate an actual
reasoning power in the animal.

“It is customary in the settlements to water the cattle from large
wooden buckets filled with water pumped from a well. This is done that
they may not drink the water of the reservoirs, which is stagnant and
unwholesome. Ordinarily the pumping is done at early morning by one of
the elephants, the work taking nearly an hour. Accustomed to the task,
he does not wait to be ordered, and every morning, an hour before
sunrise he is at his labor with the precision of a living alarm-clock.

“I was staying once at Trichinopoly, at the house of a friend of mine,
a merchant, who owned a grand villa a few leagues outside the city. The
sun was rising and my servant had just awakened me for my bath. Passing
through the yard I saw a large white elephant working at the pump. He
closed his eyes sadly and was apparently trying to turn his thoughts
from his wearisome labor. He saluted my presence with a joyful flapping
of his ears, for during the two days since my arrival I had given him
many dainties, but he did not cease from his work, which had to be

“I was stroking him with my hand in passing, when I noticed that one
of the two planks which supported the bucket on either side had fallen
away. It thus happened that the bucket, being upheld on one side only,
spilled its contents without a possibility of being filled.

“The elephant did not think that his work was ended because one side of
the bucket was filled: nor did he attempt the impossible feat of trying
to fill the other side until both sides were even. In a few minutes the
water commenced to run from the lower side of the bucket, and the animal
began to show signs of uneasiness; nevertheless he continued to pump.
Soon, however, he dropped the handle and drew nearer to observe the
cause of the trouble. He returned to the pump three times, each time
coming back to examine the bucket. I awaited the end of this strange
scene with unflagging interest. All at once a waving of the ears seemed
to indicate that an idea had occurred to him.

“He came over to lift up the plank that had fallen away, and for a
moment I thought that he intended to put it back in its place under the
lower side of the bucket. But he was not troubled about the lower side,
which was already tilled with water; it was the other side which annoyed
him. Lifting the bucket carefully, he supported it for a moment with
one of his great feet, while with his trunk he pulled out the second
plank, and placed the bucket on solid earth, thus making it even on all
sides. This done, the labor of filling it was easy.

[Illustration: 0127]

“The elephant is much attached to the women and children in the
villages, and it would be dangerous for a stranger to make even an
unfriendly gesture in the presence of this animal.

“It is a remarkable sight to see him guard his master’s children in
their promenades; he watches everything; beasts, serpents, turf-pits and
swamps, in fact, any danger which may be imagined, is overcome by his
presence. His pace is regulated by that of the children, and he attends
them, gathering flowers, fruit from the trees, and sugar-canes; at a
motion from one of them he will break a tree-branch if one desires
to make a whip or cane. At the slightest noise which he does not
understand, if he sees a jackall or a hyena in the distant thicket,
he instantly gathers his brood under his trunk, commences to roar with
rage, and anything, lion, tiger or man which threatens harm to his
charges, is in danger of being dashed to the ground.

“In the lowlands of the Ganges, a swampy country covered with jungles
and rice-fields, the royal Bengal tiger is found of great size and
ferocity. The combats between this terrible beast and the elephant,
guarding the cattle, servants or children of his master, are of almost
daily occurrence. The royal Bengal tiger is so fierce that he never
refuses to fight his adversary, although the end of the combat generally
finds him crushed to death under the feet of his terrible enemy. In
spite of the fact that the elephant is an unpitying foe in his battles
with the tiger, bear or rhinoceros, he never molests the smaller,
inoffensive animals. No matter what power a keeper may have over him, it
is impossible to make him crush an insect.

“There is a little insect which children in Prance call ‘_les betes a
bon Dieu_’; the same insect is found in India, but growing to a size
twice as large as in France. I have often seen one of these little
creatures placed on a level surface, in the troughs of a yard, for
instance; I have seen the elephant ordered to crush the insect, but
never, for master or driver, would he lift his foot above it in passing
by, evidently avoiding any opportunity to do harm. If, on the contrary,
he is commanded to bring it to you, he will pick it up delicately with
his trunk, and place it in your hands without bruising its wings.

“Nirjara, Madame Duphot’s favorite elephant, was an admirable animal. He
was a white elephant, which is the most intelligent of all the elephant
race. About twenty-five years old, he possessed all the power of youth
and infancy, for, in the elephant, the full strength is not reached
until they have passed fifty years. Nirjara was not born in the
settlements. He was captured in a wild state by the elephants employed
for the purpose, and was presented as a gift to his mistress. As soon
as he had accustomed himself to his new surroundings, without a hope
of returning to the free life of the mountains, he had been made the
guardian of Madame Duphot’s two young children, and the companion of all
their sports and journeys. Even in the ordinary walks and rides she
made use of the ‘howdah’ carried by Nirjara, in preference to her own

“This fine animal, having no other task, was entirely free to go and
come as he desired, but he seldom strayed beyond the sound of Madame’s
whistle. He was devoted to her, and always hastened to answer the
slightest call. I have often seen him standing a few paces from the
veranda, following with his eye the movements of his mistress for hours
at a time. I believe he would have slain the entire household at a word
from her. Every day as a part of his food of fresh grass, she used
to prepare for him an eight-pound loaf of bread, made of rice and
maize-flour dipped in the juice of sugar-cane. This she gave to him with
her own hands. His drink was composed of water in which sugarcane had
been crushed, and in warm weather she frequently added to this a measure
of wine flavored with plenty of cinnamon and cloves. Her feeling
of security in the journeys made under his protection is easily

Here Charley paused at a signal from Mr. Graham and the book was handed
to George. The latter remarked that he had never before heard of an
elephant being regularly employed as a nursemaid, though he had read of
the great fondness which he has for children.

“Many anecdotes are told of this peculiarity of the elephant,” said Mr.
Graham, “and he seems to remember kindness quite as much as the dog
or any other quadruped. He can also remember injuries or insults, even
though years may have passed since they occurred.”

[Illustration: 0130]

“I have read,” said Charley, “of a tailor at Acheen who was in front
of his shop one day when an elephant put his trunk in and begged for
something. Instead of giving him anything the man pricked the creature’s
trunk with a needle and the elephant turned and went away. A long
time afterward the same elephant was in the neighborhood, and as he
approached the shop he filled his trunk with water from a trough, and
then watched his chance to eject it upon the man who had offended him.”

[Illustration: 0131]

“That story is in one of the books on the sagacity of animals,” Mr.
Graham answered. Then, turning to George, he said they would now
listen to something from M. Jacolliott about the mode of catching wild
elephants in India and Ceylon.

Thereupon George read as follows:

“Mounted on well trained elephants, the ordinary dangers of hunting are
readily comprehended and foreseen; the intelligence of these splendid
animals is sufficient to inspire confidence. Nevertheless, grave
accidents may arise. When the elephant becomes enraged in his pursuit
of a tiger, it sometimes happens that he listens to no voice whatever,
dashing madly onward until the ‘howdah,’ in which the hunter is
enclosed, is broken in pieces against a huge tree, branch, or other

“It is extraordinary, in hunting wild elephants, that the trained
beasts, once on the field, have no other guide than their own
instincts. At the first sight of a human form the hunted animal retreats
immediately to the thicket, where pursuit is very likely to end in a
catastrophe to the pursuers; or, the wild elephants, sometimes being
assembled in force, will turn courageously to give battle to the trained
animals, of which battle the result can never be foreseen.

“In these expeditions, the slightest carelessness will sometimes reveal
the lurking-place of the hunters; the chase is only undertaken with
twice as many trained elephants as there are wild ones to be captured,
and then only when it has been ascertained by trustworthy scouts that
there are no large troops of elephants within a circle of forty or fifty
miles. The utmost care is used in this respect. When there is no other
way, the Hindoos who make a profession of elephant-hunting sometimes
attack with an inferior force, but the European, who follows the chase
for pleasure, does not fail to take all necessary precautions.”

“The following is an account of one of these hunts:

“The last commands had hardly been given to Manjari, the chief elephant,
by his master, when he started, at the head of his little troop, to
descend the hill on the opposite side to that by which we had ascended;
he marched slowly, giving no evidence of his intention to rejoin the
party which he was leaving behind. The intelligent animal played his
part to perfection; he moved slowly, with his companions, toward the
stream which wound through the depth of the ravine, as if he intended to
slake his thirst at the water. On his way down he stopped here and there
to break a tree branch or to pick up a bunch of grass, which he lazily
deposited in his mouth.

“The wild elephants, resting in the valley, gazed on Manjari and his
troop with curiosity but without, alarm; every movement proved that they
had no suspicion of the intentions of the new-comers.

“Suddenly we witnessed a remarkable sight. A young elephant, which was
in the wild herd with its mother, seeing Manjari and his companions
advancing slowly, bounded toward them to make acquaintance with the

[Illustration: 0133]

The young animal was recalled two or three times by its mother, but she,
seeing that no attention was paid to her calls, continued her watching
from a distance wondering, without doubt, at the welcome extended to her
little one. The old elephant Manjari received the little wanderer with
cries of joy and marks of tenderness which were too well feigned to
arouse suspicion. When, however, the first reception was over, Manjari
gave a signal and two elephants placed themselves, one on each side of
the young one, and he was a captive.

[Illustration: 0134]

“They marched to the banks of the stream and drank eagerly; then,
without the slightest hesitation, they directed their way toward the
two wild elephants who were to be brought back as prisoners. The young
elephant seemed overjoyed to see its new friends going toward the place
where its mother was lying. She answered its cries, without an idea of
the danger which was impending. Her companion was gathering here and
there tufts of grass, and devouring the young buds of the trees.

“They were surrounded in a very short time, and when they realized that
they had to deal with enemies, it was too late to fly; each one had been
caught by its trunk by two of the animals under Manjari and opposition
and resistance were alike vain. After a few struggles they seemed to
understand their position and they commenced to fill the forest with
roars and cries of despair.

“Four more trained elephants were now turned loose and they immediately
joined their troop; they were not needed, however, as two of the trained
elephants could easily lead a wild one, but their presence served to
remove the last faint hope of escape for the captured animals. All this
was accomplished easily, without any visible resistance. In a moment
their trunks were seized, all power of defence was taken away, and the
captives were pressed on each side with such terrible force by their
captors, that they seemed to understand instinctively the futility of

“When the first attempt was made to force them to walk, they made
a supreme effort to remain, but a shower of blows from the trunk of
Manjari decided their movements in a short space of time. When the poor
brutes saw our party, they were terror-stricken and trembled violently;
our weak appearance evidently produced a greater effect on their
imagination, than did that of their captors.

“In a little time, a hunter crept behind each of them, and having given
orders to have them held firmly, bound their hind feet with chains of
special strength. From this moment a single elephant easily guarded
them; they could only march slowly, and a child could have escaped them.
Nothing now remained but to train them, and to make them forget, by kind
and gentle treatment, their early life and the great forests in which
they were born.

“Ordinarily it is possible to approach a captured elephant at the end of
three days; on the eighth day the chains are taken off, and when a month
has passed by the animal will go about quietly with the trained ones,
imitating their actions, and offering to take part in their work.
Indeed, it sometimes happens that, a few hours after the hunt is over,
captors and captives are on the best of terms with each other, and the
latter are set free by the Hindoo banters on the third or fourth day.

[Illustration: 0136]

“When the elephant has tasted the delights of civilized life, he never
returns to the jungle except to hunt, in his turn, his own fellows, and
in this pursuit he displays as much cunning as the older ones did in
capturing him.”

“Another mode of hunting elephants,” said Mr. Webb, “is by driving them
into a keddah or corral. A strong yard is built with trunks of trees set
in the ground like posts about two feet apart so that men can easily go
in and out but elephants cannot pass.

[Illustration: 0137]

From the entrance of the yard two fences enclosing a space shaped like a
‘V’ are extended several miles and the herd of wild elephants is driven
so that it will come into the space enclosed by the ‘V’ Until they are
within the jaws of the fences the driving is done very quietly so as
not to alarm the animals and put them to flight, but when they are once
inside of it, all silence comes to an end, and the hunters make as much
noise as possible with guns, drums and other instruments. This frightens
the elephants and they rush pell-mell into the keddah, where they are
made prisoners.”

George asked if the elephants were killed when caught or were simply
made prisoners.

“No elephants are wantonly killed nowadays in India and Ceylon,” said
Mr. Webb, “with the exception of those that are actually dangerous on
account of their vices. There are stringent laws against shooting an
elephant, the animal being under government protection, and whenever a
herd is driven into a keddah the officials select as many as are wanted
for use and allow the rest to return to the forest. In the early part of
this century the government gave a bounty in Ceylon for the slaughter of
elephants and great numbers were killed by hunters. The mistake in the
policy was not discovered until the animals became very scarce, when the
laws were reversed. Instead of paying now to have elephants killed the
government protects them by making it a serious offence to shoot one.”

“But the case is different in Africa,” said the gentleman. “The African
elephant is not domesticated at present, or very rarely so, though he
seems to have been in ancient times if we may judge by history. The
famous Jumbo was an African elephant; you remember that his ears were
about three times as large as those of an ordinary elephant, and this is
the principal feature which distinguishes one kind from the other. The
African is not as docile as the Asiatic elephant; he is hunted for his
ivory and for his flesh, which is eagerly devoured by the natives. He
is shot, speared, driven into pit-falls, and otherwise taken, and his
numbers are said to be diminishing rapidly. By the end of the century,
at the rate the destruction is going on, there will not be many African
elephants remaining.”

George asked about, the mammoth which formerly lived in Siberia, and
whose remains are occasionally found at the present time where they have
lain for thousands of years imbedded in the frozen earth. Mr. Graham
told him that the mammoth was a member of the elephant family, and his
body was covered with thick fur or long hair to protect it from the
cold. Of the few specimens that have been found the tusks were longer
than those of the elephant and greatly curved; the skele were trimmed
into the required shape for telegraph poles; a number of them being
piled at intervals along the track.

[Illustration: 0140]

“Then the elephants were sent to carry the poles to the distances they
were to be set apart. I saw one mahout conduct his elephant to-a pile
of these heavy poles and tell the intelligent animal to pick one up. He
then, with a long wand he had for the purpose, measured off the distance
and accompanied the elephant, who carried the pole to the place the
mahout indicated. Then I saw the mahout tell the elephant to go to the
pile and place them in line along the track, at the ton of one is in
the museum at St. Petersburg, and portions of the hair and skin are
preserved with it.

[Illustration: 0139]

Returning to the subject of the intelligence of the elephant, Mr.
Grahani read the following from the pen of an American traveler in
Burmah, who tells how the elephant was employed in building a telegraph

“First a track was made by felling all timber and clearing off any
undergrowth, etc., to about twenty feet in width, hundreds of men being
employed. Such trees as were suitable in length and otherwise same
distance apart as the one he had measured. The man then lay down under
a tree and went to sleep. In the meantime the noble animal took up each
piece of timber, and carried it to its proper place in the line. I felt
so interested that I stayed to witness the whole proceeding. I measured
the distance by pacing and found them all to be equal in length and
correctly placed like the first one. The beast then went to his mahout
and gently touched him with the tip of his trunk and awoke him, as much
as to say, ‘All is finished, master, according to your orders.’ The
mahout awoke, mounted the elephant, and went forward to continue the
line in the same easy and agreeable manner.”

[Illustration: 0141]

The same writer says:--

“The young elephants are made pets of and not allowed to work until
fully grown. That they are not deficient in understanding, even at
an early age, the following anecdote will prove:--The commissioner at
Shweygheen had a young elephant, quite a baby, given him by a Burmese
gentleman, and the lively intelligent beast afforded much amusement to
his owner and all who knew him.

“The youngster could do everything but speak. He was kept in a stable
in the garden, specially made for him, the sides being composed of stout
planks instead of the usual wattled split bamboo. The heavy teak door
was fastened on the outside by a sliding bar of the same wood, running
in iron staples. The paths and walks through the garden were made of
ground rolled and pressed to the hardness of a macadamized road.

“Shortly after the young elephant’s arrival and installation in his
stable, the garden was found one morning to have been robbed during’ the
night, the mangoes especially suffering, a quantity of the best fruit
having been taken. No traces were left by the thief or thieves, there
were no footprints on the soft ground outside, nothing to indicate how
an entrance had been made into the garden. This went on for several
nights, and at last it was discovered that the young elephant was the
thief. He used to raise the edge of the roof so as to put out his trank
and slide the bolt; then there was no obstacle to prevent opening the
door, and he opened it and went into the garden. After regaling himself
on the fruit he returned to the stable, closed the door, slid the bolt
into its place, let the edge of the roof fall to its proper position,
and thus made it impossible for any one to know he had been out.”

[Illustration: 5142]


_Apes, Baboons and Monkeys--The Apes at Gibraltar--How they Saved the
Fort from Surprise--A Monkey Fishing Party--The Monkey’s Resemblance to
Man--Illustrations of his Intelligence--A Monkey Theater--Dressing the
Performers--The Four-handed Actors and What they Did--Interview with
their Trainer--Mandrills and their Peculiarities--The Chacma and
his Uses as a Watch-Dog--How Monkeys find Water--Differences between
Old-World and New-World Monkeys--Monkeys with Prehensile Tails--The
South American Howler--Sapajous and Spider Monkeys--Simian
Intelligence--Organizing to Rob Gardens--A Bridge of Monkeys._

WHAT animal shall we consider now?” queried Mr. Graham at their next

“We’ve just had the elephant,” said George, “who belongs in Africa and

[Illustration: 8143]

Suppose we talk about another animal of those countries, the monkey.”

“If you mean that the monkey belongs exclusively in Africa and Asia
as the elephant does,” said Harry, “you’re wrong. The monkey is found
there, it is true, but he is also found in America and Europe.”

“I know he’s found in America,” replied George, “but didn’t know that he
lived in Europe in a wild state. The only European monkeys I ever heard
of were in captivity.”

“You’re not far wrong, though,” Harry answered with a slight, laugh, “as
there’s only one place in Europe where monkeys run wild and that is on
the Rock of Gibraltar.”

[Illustration: 0144]

“Are there many of them?”

“No, not a great number, and they are supposed to be descended from
some that were brought there from Africa and escaped from captivity.
The naturalists class them as Magots or Barbary Apes, and say they are
identical with the monkeys or apes of Northern Africa. Before we go
further let me explain that an ape is a monkey without a tail, a baboon
is a monkey with a short tail, and a monkey is an animal of the same
great family with a long tail.”

“We thank you for the explanation,” said Harry, and his words were,
echoed by George.

“Some interesting stories are told about these Gibraltar monkeys,” said
Mr. Graham, resuming the topic of conversation.

“What are they, please?” exclaimed the youths in a breath.

“It is said,” remarked Mr. Graham, “that a few weeks before the famous
siege of Gibraltar, the Spaniards attempted to surprise one of the
British outposts, and they would have succeeded if it had not been for
the monkeys. The party which was attempting the surprise had to pass a
group of monkeys; the animals set up such a chattering as to alarm
the outpost and put it on its guard. As a reward for their services
in saving Gibraltar, the English garrison has ever since allowed the
monkeys to live unmolested.

“Another story,” the gentleman continued, “relates to the imitative
powers of the monkey. When Lord Howe went to the relief of the garrison
during the siege, he had among the reinforcements the Twenty-fifth
Regiment of infantry. After peace had been declared, several officers of
this regiment went to a spot at the back of the rock to amuse themselves
by catching fish. They found a good place for their purpose, and were
busily engaged in catching whiting, when they were pelted by some one
concealed on the steep rock above them. They shifted their ground two
or three times, and finally found a place where they were no longer

“The fish were biting at a goodly rate when suddenly the drums sounded
to arms. The officers rowed their boat ashore, left it high and dry on
the beach, and then hurried away to report for duty.

“When they came back they were greatly surprised to find that the
position of the boat had been changed, and some of the hooks which had
been left bare were baited. The lines were a good deal tangled, and it
was evident that whoever used the boat had not been at all particular
about other people’s property.

“In a day or two the mystery was explained. An officer of Hanoverian
Grenadiers had taken a solitary walk on that very afternoon, and found a
party of young monkeys pelting the fishermen from behind the rocks. The
officer was a good deal of a naturalist, and so he concealed himself
carefully and watched the performance.

“While the youngsters were pelting the fishermen, several old monkeys
arrived and drove the mischievous youths away. Then they sat down and
watched very attentively the business of fish-taking, and when the
officers beached their boat and went away, the monkeys determined to
improve their lesson. They launched the boat, baited the hooks, and went
to fishing. They caught a few fish, and then came back to shore, left
the boat and retired up the rock before the officers came in sight

“Did they carry off the fish they had caught?” George asked.

“Yes,” was the reply, “not only what they caught themselves but those
that the officers had left in the boat.”

“What a human action!” exclaimed Harry.

[Illustration: 9146]

“The men who argue that we are descended from monkeys ought to know of
the performance of the Gibralter apes.”

“Not only in actions but in structure,” said Mr. Graham, “does the
monkey bear a resemblance to man. Several naturalists have regarded the
monkey as only an inferior form of the human race and have so classified
him. The celebrated naturalist Linnæus placed man with monkeys in his
order of Primates or first animals. He made his genus _Homo_ consist of
human beings (_Homo sapiens_), of chimpanzees (_Homo Troglodytes_), of
orang outangs (_Homo satyrus_), and the Gibbons _Homo lar_.”

“Was his classification accepted by the other naturalists?” one of the
youths asked.

“By some, but by no means by all,” was the reply.

“There was aloud protest against it, not by the monkeys, who didn’t
trouble their heads on the subject, but learned men and others who felt
that the dignity of the human race had been affronted. As time went
on the opinions of Linnæus fell more and more into disfavor, and the
present classification places man in a distinct genus, that of _Bimana_
(two-handed) while the whole tribe of monkeys, apes and the like, are
classed as _Quadrumana_ (four-handed.)

“It must be admitted,” continued Mr. Graham, “that from a purely
anatomical point of view, the monkey has a close resemblance to man. He
can stand upright, has a nude face, his eyes are directed forward,
his internal organs are very much the same, and he is subject to many
diseases of which man is the victim. But although he can walk upright he
does so with difficulty; his forelegs or arms are much longer than the
human arm, in proportion to the rest of the body, and although he has
the same organs in his throat he has not the power of speech. Though his
hand is shaped like the human one in a general way, it is far from being
as perfect; the fingers do not act separately like those of man and the
thumb is short and unwieldy and does not oppose each of the fingers, or
only very imperfectly so.”

“I have read somewhere,” said Harry, “that the highest intellect shown
by the monkey is lower than that of the most degraded savage. Monkeys
are not afraid of fire, but no monkey ever rose to the intelligence of
producing it by rubbing two sticks together as is done by the lowest of

“You are right,” said Mr. Graham. “The observation you refer to was made
by a French philosopher, Joseph de Maistre. There are other points in
which we can show a wide gulf between man and the quadrumana, but we
will drop them for the present.”

At this moment an exclamation from George turned attention in his

“Here’s something for us to see,” said George, as he held up a newspaper
on which he had rested his eye for a moment, while listening to the
remarks of Mr. Graham.

“What is it?” Harry asked.

“A monkey show,” was the reply, “a theatrical performance by trained
monkeys, or rather a pantomime, as the animals cannot be expected to
talk as human actors do.”

It was agreed at once that the monkey performance was something to
be seen, and accordingly arrangements were made for attending it.
Mr. Graham explained to the youths that while these performances were
comparatively rare in America they were an old established institution
in Europe. “Germany and Italy,” said he, “are famous for them, and in
some of the German and Italian cities there are monkey theaters where
performances are given by quadrumana throughout the entire year. They
are assisted by dogs and ponies, and altogether the show is very funny
and interesting.”

The exhibition which our friends attended was managed by Mr. Brockmann,
a famous monkey-trainer of Vienna, who thought it would be a good
speculation to bring his troupe to America. Among the members of his
four-handed company were Kullman, the elegant circus rider; the fat
and lovesick Lottie; Anthony, a gentleman not to be joked with with
impunity; Jack, a little dandy; and George, the clown of the company,
who was said to create any amount of fun by his queer antics.

[Illustration: 0149]

Our young friends read with interest an account from a German paper of
the preparations for their nightly appearance on the stage. “As soon as
the operation of dressing begins,” says the writer, “the cunning little
animals begin to be restless. They shuffle to and fro on their high
stools; they sneeze and blow and sniffle, and make faces at the keepers
and each other. But woe to him who would dare laugh at their grimaces
and their fooling. He would soon make acquaintance with their teeth and
nails. The comical little fellows love to carry on all sorts of fun,
but they wont allow anybody to laugh at them. For this reason they are
attached with little chains to their stools as long as their dressing

[Illustration: 9150]

They like to play all sorts of tricks with the keepers who are dressing
them. One of them amuses himself by tearing his brand new trousers into
shreds, and when he has fully succeeded in doing so, he gives vent to
his delight by loud screams. Another takes pleasure in pulling off the
vest which the keeper has had the greatest difficulty in buttoning on
him, and grins at the unfortunate man with truly fiendish delight. A
third absolutely refuses to put his tiny little hand into the sleeves,
although the keeper holds the armhole in the most inviting manner before
him. The little rascal pretends not to be able to find it, pushing his
hands in every direction but the right one. If the keeper at last loses
his patience and pushes the arm by force into the sleeve, the indignant
artist feels insulted, and replies with a ringing slap in the keeper’s

“At last the operation of dressing has been performed. The little
artists sit quietly on their stools, not a little proud of their gay
costumes. They grin and wink at each other, and munch with great delight
nuts and almonds and other delicacies with which they are rewarded.
Lottie is particularly vain and proud of her pretty costume. With great
complacency she pulls her dress, arranges her coiffure, pushes her hat
from one side to the other to see which is most becoming, and keeps on
a continual flirtation with the gentlemen of the company. Dainty little
Jack, for whom these demonstrations of love are intended, seems to
trouble himself very little about his coquetish mistress. He sits
quietly in a corner enjoying the draughts from a small bottle of mild
beer, of which he is particularly fond, taking very great care that not
a drop of the precious liquor is spilled on his snowy white jacket and
apron, which as cook is his professional costume. Jack is possessed of a
most versatile talent. With equal skill and elegance he appears now as
a cook, then as a coachman, or a circus rider and athlete. Besides
this, he has assumed for his own pleasure the function of picking up the
various articles that lie scattered on the stage after the performance
and conveying them swiftly behind the scenes.”

While waiting for the performance to begin, Harry read the following
account of a reporter’s interview with Mr. Brockmann, the manager of the
monkey troupe. The reporter asked about the system of training, and in
reply to the question the manager said: “I cannot tell everything, as
I have certain methods which I do not want to make generally known. For
forty years my father and I have given exhibitions of trained animals,
and in that time we have naturally learned much of their habits and
dispositions. The great thing, however, is to gain command of an
animal’s entire attention. Once this is obtained, all the rest is
comparatively easy. When a monkey’s training begins he is restless, his
eyes wander all over the room, and his attention is never for more than
a minute concentrated on any one thing. I have to teach him to forget
everything else and watch me. He must learn to keep his eyes on mine.
If any one in the audience will watch the monkeys when they are doing
important acts, he will see that they never take their eyes off me. It
is a singular thing that, while dogs and ponies look larger on the stage
than they really are, monkeys appear very much smaller when dressed up.
I have a little monkey who is an even better tightrope performer than
the one now exhibited, but he would look so small that the audience
would scarcely be able to see his feats. My animals are very fond of me.
The rewards you see me give them on the stage are almonds and raisins.”

The reporter had an opportunity of witnessing a display of the monkeys’
affection for Mr. Brockman, when he made his first appearance for the
day in their dressing-room. He went the rounds and spoke a word or two
to each. Some kissed him, others climbed up and put their arms around
his neck, and each exhibited the utmost impatience till his turn for
recognition came.

“What monkeys are the easiest to train?” inquired the reporter.

“Mandrills and baboons, though they are perhaps a little more delicate
than the other kinds.

[Illustration: 9152]

Still my father had one for thirty years. The oldest performer in the
present troupe is a blue-faced mandrill, whom I have had for twelve
years. He is very good-tempered and will not reject any attentions you
may feel inclined to show him. As a general rule, when a monkey holds
out his hand encouragingly it is safest to give him a wide berth, and
one who is chattering to himself is nearly always in a bad temper.”

“How often do you feed them, and what, is their favorite food?”

“When they are performing twice they get four light meals a day, milk,
fruit, and potatoes being their principal diet. We keep their cages very
clean, but they look after their own toilets and we do not wash them.”

“What animals do you find possess the most intelligence, monkeys, dogs
or horses?”

“There are clever and stupid specimens of each, but I don’t think there
is any great difference in general intelligence. The great difficulty
with all of them is to get undivided attention.”

[Illustration: 0153]

“What is the difference between a mandrill and an ordinary monkey?”
 queried Harry as he paused at the end of his reading.

“The mandrill,” said Mr. Graham, “is one of the many members of the
monkey family, and belongs among the apes or the baboons. He is a native
of the coast of Guinea in Africa, and has a very short tail or no tail
at all; his face is furrowed, and so much resembles that of a dog, that
he is often spoken of as a dog-faced monkey. A full grown mandrill is
about, five feet high when standing erect, and his head is very large
in proportion to his body. He is not the best looking of his race, and
would never be chosen as a contestant for a prize for beauty.

“There are monkeys with tails,” continued Mr. Graham, “and monkeys
without tails, and the list of each kind is so long that you couldn’t
remember a quarter of it if it were repeated. Generally speaking the
apes, or the tailless monkeys, are more quiet in disposition than the
others, and hence they are the easiest to teach and control. At best the
monkey is a restless animal, and his attention cannot be kept at any one
thing for more than a few moments. Mr. Brockmann justly says that the
work of securing the monkey’s attention is the most difficult part of
his education.”

“I have read about a variety of monkey that the settlers at the Cape of
Good Hope train to serve as watch-dogs,” said Harry. “Are they of the
same kind as the mandrills?”

“Not exactly.” was the reply, “but they are closely related to them.
They are known as chaemas, and when full grown are as large as an
English mastiff and excel him in strength and agility. The chaema has a
tail about half as long as his body and with a tuft of hair at the end.
Like most other monkeys he is a great thief, and cannot be trusted in
the presence of provisions of which he is fond. He has such a keen scent
that it is very difficult to poison him, and he can find water when
the most experienced traveler or bushman is unable to discover it. The
Hottentots in traveling carry a tame chaema with them, and when unable
to find water they turn him loose and follow him. After carefully
surveying the ground, he selects a spot and begins to dig; the
Hottentots dig where he directs, and almost invariably succeed in
finding the water that they want.”

[Illustration: 0155]

“But how about his serving as a watch-dog?”

“He can hear sounds that are inaudible even to the dogs; in a camp he
will always give the alarm when danger approaches, and so much do the
dogs rely on him, that they go to sleep in the fullest confidence that
he will call them in case their services are wanted. When he gives the
alarm, they are on the alert and rush in the direction he indicates.

“He generally lives on good terms with the dogs, and one traveler who
carried a chaema tells how the beast used to jump on the backs of
the dogs when he was tired. Some of them used to carry him without
objection, but others did not like to be employed as pack animals. One
in particular always stopped when the chaema mounted his shoulders, and
allowed the caravan to pass on out of sight. The monkey did not like to
be separated from the caravan, and as it disappeared over the plain or
among the hills he would dismount and follow it. The cunning dog then
joined him in running to overtake the caravan, but always managed to
keep the chaema a little in advance, so that he would not be likely to
jump again on the dog’s shoulders.”

“Which shows that the intellect of the dog was superior to that of the
chaema,” George remarked.

“The dog’s reasoning powers are superior to those of the monkey.”
 said Mr. Graham, “but the latter has the greater faculty for pure
imitation.--Ah! there goes the curtain and the performance is about to

Here is the account which Harry wrote after his return from the theater:

“The opening scene is entitled ‘African Friends Meet--A dinner at
Delmonico’s.’ Seated at a table on the stage when the curtain rises,
are three monkeys, dressed in the height of fashion. They are Mr.
Blackberry, a dude: Colonel Axletree, a retired army officer, and Miss
Terrini, from the Darwinian Theater. Mr. Blackberry rings a bell which
summons a waitress. The waitress hands the diners a bill of fare and
each gives an order. Presently. M. Pouillon, the cook, comes in to
consult the feasters, who explain just how they want everything served.
The monkey cook bows in inimitable French style and departs. In a moment
or two the dinner is served, the only unusual thing in the act being the
fact that each monkey steals a portion of his neighbor’s food. While his
master’s back is turned the cook takes a sly drink from a bottle, and
also helps himself to the contents of a basket which he has been
ordered to place on the table. The monkeys at the table appear to be in
conversation, and the by-play among them is very amusing. The pantomine
is excellent and the apes do almost everything but speak.

“The adventures of Robert Macaire are illustrated by two monkeys known
as Cadieux and Ravennes, while another called Robinson does several
clever acts as a circus rider. He rides upright upon a pony’s back,
jumps through rings and over hurdles.

[Illustration: 8157]

Other monkeys stand on their heads, walk tight-ropes with balancing
rods, turn somersaults, and do acts on the flying trapeze.”

On the way home from the theater the conversation about monkeys was
continued, and the youths made mental note of several matters on which
they desired information. Harry expressed his disappointment at the
absence of tails on the performing monkeys, a circumstance which has
already been explained. The youth said he had expected to see the
creatures suspending themselves by the tail from the ropes where they
were to walk or balance themselves; he thought it would have added
materially to the interest of the performance, and wondered if the
monkey trainers of Asia or Africa could not do better in this line than
did Mr. Brockmann.

“As to that,” replied Mr. Graham, “I am in very great doubt or rather in
no doubt at all. No Asiatic or African monkey can suspend himself by the
tail, no matter how long that appendage may be.”

“Do you mean,” said Harry, “that none of the old world monkeys have
prehensile tails?”

“Exactly so,” was the reply. “The only monkeys that can use the tail
as a fifth hand, or for clinging to branches of trees, are found in
America, and never in the old world unless they have been carried there
from this country. But do not understand that all the American monkeys
have prehensile tails; some of them have the tail wonderfully developed
and useful, while others cannot hold on with it, and several varieties
have almost no tails at all. A naturalist who lived four years in South
America says that in that time he saw twenty-one varieties of monkey,
seven of them having prehensile and fourteen of them non-prehensile
tails. The Asiatic monkey does not seem to be aware that the tail can be
made of any use, but the liveliest of the American monkeys employ it for
picking up objects and for support while swinging among the trees. And
we may further say that the monkeys of the old world are unlike those
of the new, none of the varieties that exist on one side of the Atlantic
being found on the other.

“The largest of the American monkeys is far below the largest of his
Asiatic or African cousins in the matter of size. While several members
of the baboon family are five feet in height, and a large gorilla is
said to be six feet or very nearly when standing erect, the largest of
the American monkeys, if we leave his long tail out of calculation, does
not exceed three feet. He belongs in South America, and is known as
the Howler, and he can howl louder than twenty men if the stories of
travelers are to be believed. The noise he makes is so terrific, that
many a traveler has been frightened by it and has thought that all the
wild beasts of the woods had assembled close at hand, and were about to
devour everybody and everything within their neighborhood. One monkey
gives a howl, and when he is tired he signals to the rest tried to
ascertain accurately how far the sound could be heard. Judging the
distance by the time it took him to reach the tree where the monkeys
were, he thought two miles not an over estimate; when the sound came
across a lake unimpeded by trees it was easily audible a good three

George asked if these animals kept up their howling when in captivity?

“They all shout in chorus. After a while they stop, and then the
solitary one starts up again. And in this way the unearthly chorus is
kept up from midnight till sunrise; sometimes they begin at the close of
day and keep it up all night, making it quite impossible for a traveler
to sleep within a mile of them.”

[Illustration: 0159]

“Can they really be heard at the distance of a mile?” one of the boys

“Yes, and farther still,” was the reply.

Mr Graham explained that they were active enough in the woods, but as
soon as they became prisoners they lost all their spirit, displayed
surly dispositions, refused to make friends with anybody, and soon died
of grief.

[Illustration: 9160]

Other varieties of South American monkeys were more tractable, Mr Graham
further explained, and he specially mentioned the little spider monkey
and a sapajou as amusing and affectionate.

“Some of these American monkeys,” Mr Graham continued, “show a great
deal of intelligence, bordering upon reason. A naturalist who studied
them in Brazil says that when one of them received an egg for the first
time he broke it clumsily and lost half the contents, but so, he handled
it with the greatest care. Lumps of sugar were occasionally given to
him wrapped in paper; one day a live wasp was put in the paper with the
sugar, so that when the monkey tore it open he was stung. After that
he always held the paper to his ear and listened intently to detect any
movement within.”

“Haven’t I read,” said Harry, “about monkeys organizing raids upon
orchards and gardens in a very systematic manner, just as boys or men
might do?”

“Quite likely you have,” was the reply, “for such things are by no means
uncommon. Monkeys are gregarious animals and hunt in the second time he
only broke the top and lost nothing. Ever after that when he received an
egg he gently broke the top by hitting it against a hard substance,
and then picked off the fragments of the shell with his fingers. After
cutting himself once with a sharp tool he would not for some time touch
it again, and when he finally did troops; these troops generally have
their chiefs, whom they obey implicity, and there would seem to be
some mode of communication among them by which orders are issued and

“The monkeys of Northern Africa come down from their places of
concealment in the forest and rob the gardens of the people, carrying
off the fruit by wholesale. Sentinels are posted to give warning in
case of danger, then one of the troop climbs over the fence followed by
another and another. They form a line from the wall to the tree which is
to be robbed, and as fast as the fruit is plucked it is passed from one
to another with the greatest rapidity. Those at the farther end of the
line and outside of the garden wall, load themselves with all they can
carry and then move away; as soon as the fruit has been stripped from
the tree, or at the slightest note of alarm, the whole line scrambles
off and is out of reach in a moment.”

[Illustration: 0162]

“How do they divide their spoil?” one of the youths asked.

“We don’t know that,” was the reply, “but it is certain they have some
form of division or they would not pass the fruit from one to another as
they do. It is quite possible that the chief takes the best for himself
and either assigns the others their shares or lets them quarrel over
what he does not want.”

“Another instance of their close imitation of human customs,” said
George with a laugh.

“Captain Mayne Reid gives an interesting account,” said Mr. Graham, “of
how monkeys in the tropical forest of America cross a stream. It is an
excellent illustration of the subject we have under consideration.”

When they reached home Mr. Graham found the book containing the story
and handed it to Harry, who read aloud as follows:

“The half-human voices now sounded nearer, and we could perceive that
the animals were approaching the spot where we lay. Presently they
appeared upon the opposite bank, headed by an old gray chieftain,
and officered like so many soldiers. They were of the _comadreja_ or
ring-tailed tribe.

“One--an aide-de-camp, or chief pioneer, perhaps--ran out upon a
projecting rock, and after looking across the stream, as if calculating
the distance, scampered back, and appeared to communicate with the
leader. This produced a movement in the troops. Commands were issued,
and fatigue parties were detailed and marched to the front.

[Illustration: 8163]

Meanwhile several of the _comadrejas_--engineers, no doubt--ran along
the bank, examining the trees on both sides.

“At length they all collected around a tall cotton-wood tree that grew
over the narrowest part of the stream, and twenty or thirty of them
scampered up its trunk.

“On reaching a high point, the foremost, a strong fellow, ran out upon
a limb, and taking several turns of his tail around it, slipped off and
hung head downwards. The next on the limb, also a stout one, climbed
down the body of the first, and whipping his tail tightly round the neck
and forearm of the latter, dropped off in his turn, and hung, head down.
The third repeated the maneuver upon the second, and the fourth upon the
third, and so on, until the last one upon the string rested his forepaws
upon the ground.

“The living chain now commenced swinging backward and forward, like
the pendulum of a clock. The motion was slight at first, but gradually
increased, the lowermost monkey striking his hands violently on the
earth as he passed the tangent of the oscillating curve. Several others
upon the limbs above aided the movement.

“This continued until the monkey at the end of the chain was thrown
among the branches of a tree on the opposite bank. Here, after two or
three vibrations, he clutched a limb and held fast. This movement was
executed adroitly, just at the culminating point of the oscillation, in
order to save the intermediate links from the violence of a too sudden

“The chain was fast at both ends, forming a complete suspension bridge,
over which the whole troop, to the number of four or five hundred,
passed with the rapidity of thought.

“The troop was now on the other side, but how were the animals forming
the bridge to get themselves over? This was the question which suggested
itself. Manifestly by number one letting go his tail. But then the point
d’appui on the other side was much lower down, and number one, with half
a dozen of his neighbors, would be dashed against the opposite bank, or
soused into the water.

“Here, then, was a problem, and we waited with some curiosity for its
solution. It was soon solved. A monkey was now seen attaching his tail
to the lowest on the bridge, another girded him in a similar manner, and
another and so on until a dozen more were added to the string. These
last were all powerful fellows, and running up a high limb, they lifted
the bridge into a position almost horizontal.

“Then a scream from the last monkey of the new formation warned the
tail-end that all was ready, and the next moment the whole chain was
swung over, and landed safely on the opposite bank. The lowermost links
now dropped off like a melting candle, while the higher ones leaped on
the branches and came down by the trunk. The whole troop then scampered
off into the chapparal and disappeared.”


_A Famous Chimpanzee--Mr. Crowley of Central Park--His Origin
and History--Details of his Early Life--His Training and
Accomplishments--Elating at Table with Knife, Fork, and Spoon--Furniture
of his Apartment--Drinking from a Cup--What he Eats and Drinks--His
appreciation of Music--Refusal to wear Clothes--Ill of Pneumonia and
Recovery--A bad Temper--The Gorilla and his near Relatives--The Gorilla
at Home--Du Chaillu’s Experiences--Friendship between a Dog and a
Gorilla--The Orang-outang--His Home and Habits--Performances of a
Baby Orang--The Gibbon--Gentlest of the Monkey Family--Mr. Newmian’s
Pet--Long-nosed Monkeys--Monkeys catching Crabs with their Tails--How
the Traveler Lost and Recovered his Red Caps--The Monkey and the
Mirror--The Orang that Saved the Child._

The afternoon of the day following the visit to the monkey theater was
devoted to a visit to the collection of wild animals in Central Park.
The special object of the visit was a famous chimpanzee known as Mr.
Crowley, who was the wonder and admiration of many children and grown
people on account of his intelligence and accomplishments.

Unfortunately for the interest of science and the amusement of the
public, Mr. Crowley met the fate that befalls most monkeys who are
brought from their tropical homes to colder climates; he died of
pneumonia and pleurisy after having been several times dangerously ill.

[Illustration: 0166]

Monkeys rarely live long in northern countries; they die of pneumonia or
consumption, generally in a few months, in spite of the greatest care
in shielding them from the effects of draughts or chills. The tailless
monkeys are more hardy than the tailed ones, but even they are not proof
against the rigors of the north.

From his own observations, aided by free quotations from a little book
entitled “Mr. Crowley of Central Park,” by Henry S. Fuller, George
prepared the following description of this remarkable animal:

“Crowley was captured when very young in the forests of Africa, not far
from Monrovia, Liberia. He was presented to the Central Park Museum by
the Hon. Mr. Smythe, U. S. Minister to Liberia, and became a resident of
New York in May 1884. He was then thought to be about six months old and
weighed not far from twenty-five pounds; he was very active, and soon
after his arrival a trapeze was fitted up for him on which he took great
pleasure in swinging.

[Illustration: 0168]

A pair of ninepins were obtained for him, in shape like small Indian
clubs, and several wooden balls sufficiently large not to be slipped
through the grating. He took great pleasure in making targets of the
pins, and would hurl the balls at them with all his strength and chatter
with delight when the targets were struck. Tiring of this, he would
seize the pins, one in each hand, and exercise with these, not entirely
according to the written rules of club exercise, but with a zest that
was of equal benefit to the muscles; although, when he abandoned
this practice and used them as drumsticks to batter the sides of his
apartment, the uproar sometimes became too great to be endured.

“His meals were usually taken outside of his apartment. Seated in one of
the office chairs about six o’clock, after his morning toilet had been
made, he was handed a plate of boiled rice, sweetened with a little
sugar, which he ate in genteel fashion with a spoon, and with apparent
relish, often looking up at his benefactor with one eye in apparent
gratitude, and only pausing an instant to wipe his spacious chin of
little rivulets of rice that would trickle at times from the convex
corners of his mouth.

[Illustration: 9169]

A cup of milk would then be given him to aid the digestion of more solid

“These meals were prepared punctually four times a day, a custom which
has become of a second nature to the chimpanzee and continues to the
present time. The first meal was in the morning, and a lunch followed
about ten o’clock; between one and two he was given his dinner, and his
supper hour was at five, after which he invariably indicated a desire to
retire to his blanket and dispose of himself for the night. The lunch in
the morning and the supper were often varied with fruit, an orange or
a banana, which was first carefully prepared by peeling. Otherwise
his diet was quite plain; all sweetmeats, candies and dainties being
positively prohibited.

“During the fall of 1884, his weight, increasing at more than a pound
a month, reached forty pounds. His height and strength developed
proportionately. The coat of hair that had begun to appear upon his body
was black and glossy. It was brushed daily, an operation which he seemed
to enjoy; about the head, where it grew longer, a natural inclination
was discovered to part in the center, and for better effect the hair was
brushed down over his forehead and kept trimmed and banged, imparting a
more civilized appearance when he was presented to visitors.

“On being permitted to view himself in a glass, Crowley expressed his
entire approbation of this fashion. He displayed much vanity and did not
soon tire of admiring himself. When he grasped a policeman’s club
that was in the room and paraded up and down with it for a cane, his
appearance was striking. The natural stoop of his shoulders became
profoundly English, and taken in conjunction with the cane, so thick
and heavy in proportion to Crowley’s figure, the resemblance was most

“He was quite conscious of his increasing importance, and took great
pleasure in receiving visitors. He submitted to the cleaning of his
nails and the scrubbing of his teeth, but the washing of his hands and
face was always extremely distasteful to him. He never became entirely
reconciled to that practice, and after he became older he discarded it
almost entirely.

“A small chair and a table of solid oak were made for him, both articles
being sufficiently heavy to withstand an outburst of animal spirits that
he sometimes indulged in after a meal. For the same reason his dishes
were of the heavy ware used in down-town restaurants. He had previously
learned to drink from a cup and sip his milk with a spoon. Now he was
instructed in the use of knife and fork, and in the absence of meat or
other solid food, he carved into slices the bananas and other fruits
given him, and conveyed these slices to his mouth on the fork.

“One admirer sent him a napkin enclosed in a plated silver ring. The
ring was engraved, ‘Remus Crowley, Esq.,’ and a corner of the napkin
had also the name embroidered on it. After inspecting both with grave
deliberation, he grunted his appreciation, and proceeded to thrust the
napkin into his mouth. Much patient persevering was required to impress
upon him the importance of laying the napkin on one knee, or of folding
it over his chest while eating, and that its function was to keep his
mouth and chin clean, but repeated instructions at last instilled these
precepts on his mind.

“The chimpanzees are keen, observant animals, and Crowley inherited the
full gifts of his race. Little that transpired around him escaped his
attention, while his understanding was not less ready and intelligent.
In a few days he learned to lock and unlock the doors of the room in
which he lived, and to hide the key which was used to lock him in the
apartment. More care was needed with him than for a child of live years.
If he could not express himself intelligently in speech. He was neither
deaf nor dumb, and he had a vocabulary of his own made up of gutteral
monosyllables, which his attendant professes to understand quite well,
though to the uninitiated it is more than Greek or Sanscrit.”

[Illustration: 0171]

“‘Shall I wash your face, Crowley?’ asked his keeper.

“‘Ooh! ooh! ooh!’ exclaimed Crowley, moving away disgusted. ‘That means
no,’ explains the attendant.

“‘Here’s an orange, baby.’

“‘Ut, oot, oot, oot!’ and Crowley thrust out a fist eagerly. His other
expressions are more complex, except with regard to pain or pleasure.
With the first he utters a yell that would startle a Sioux Indian; when
pleased, the ends of his mouth stretch to each ear, while he dances and
mumbles with enjoyment.

“By the summer of 1885 Crowley weighed fifty pounds and was very
vigorous. A new cage was made for him in the west end of the monkey
house; it was about ten feet long, six feet high, and of the same
width, open on all sides, and protected by a grating of iron wire, the
thickness of a lady’s little finger. One of the new features introduced
in it was a swing or trapeze; a wooden bar suspended at one end of the
cage by two stout ropes from the ceiling. At the other end of the cage
was a spring board, to enable him to indulge to his full bent in his
propensity for leaping. When placed in his new quarters he made a
dignified circuit of his room, walking as erect as possible, only
resting on the knuckles of his hands, or supporting himself by holding
to the grating, He inspected the spring-board as if accustomed to
spring-boards of various patterns, and passed on without testing its
elasticity. The trapeze he eyed with some curiosity, but did not deign
to try it.

“At the close of his second summer, it was decided that many changes
would be needed another year, to fit that place for his growth. When
standing erect, and flat on his feet, Crowley was now nearly four feet
in height. He had outgrown the baby chair provided for him the first
year, and it was succeeded by one better suited to a person of his
size and importance. A bedstead of oak was procured, so that instead of
stretching himself on the hard floor, he could sleep like other people.
The bedstead was five feet long and three feet wide, giving him ample
room to turn around without rolling out; but for greater security it was
attached to the floor with iron braces, which defied, for the time, Mr.
Crowley’s ingenuity to unscrew, and his strength to remove from their

“Crowley had a fondness for music. Whenever his attendant produced a
mouth organ and played on it “Sweet Violets,” or “Yankee Doodle,” the
chimpanzee’s whole attention was at once arrested. He would listen for a
few moments intently, and as the air proceeded, a state of great nervous
excitement would come upon him. His body would begin to sway in unison
with the attendant’s foot as it beat upon the floor, until at last,
no longer able to contain himself, he would spring up and down in a
chimpanzee jig, which appears to be a kind of cross between a Virginia
reel and an Irish break-down, keeping this up until he became exhausted
or the music ceased. When the instrument was given to him and held for
him, he would blow upon it and try to reproduce the sounds which caused
him pleasure, and when he succeeded, an expression of delight would
brighten his flexible features. But his performances were never such as
to warrant his applying for a situation in Theodore Thomas’s orchestra
or even in an ordinary street band.

“With the winter of 1887-88 Crowley entered upon his fifth year. He
had attained the weight of nearly one hundred pounds, and when erect he
stood quite four feet two inches in his bare feet. His hands were as big
and knotted as those of a negro laborer inured to toil, and his muscles
were thoroughly developed. His temper did not improve, and it became
necessary to apply a whip to him occasionally to keep him under
discipline. During the winter he had an attack of pneumonia, and when
the fever came on all his bluster and bad temper disappeared. His
strength left him and he became quite helpless, lying all day on the
floor in the center of his cage, his head resting on one arm for a
pillow, with a piece of heavy bagging beneath him for a mattress. When
strangers entered his cage he was too weak to raise his head. Many
physicians called to see him and tender their services. He recognized
their kindness and their purpose with a low grunt, which often ended in
a fit of coughing.

[Illustration: 0175]

“When requested, he would proffer his arm for the physicians to feel his
pulse, turn over that the breathing in his chest might be listened to,
and show his tongue for examination. For a long time he regarded the
thermometer used to secure his temperature with suspicion. It could not
be placed beneath his tongue for fear of the consequences, but, as he
became weaker, and unable to repel the liberties, he was persuaded to
hold the instrument under an arm.

“All that could be done for Crowley seemed of little avail, and for two
weeks he remained in this hopeless state.. His temperature at times rose
to one hundred and five degrees, and pulse beat nearly a hundred. In the
absence of hot applications, only hot teas and liquors could be given
him. A concoction of rum and molasses was prepared and he was prevailed
on, at a critical point of his illness, to swallow a large dose of this,
to which a quantity of brandy was added. Soon after swallowing it
he fell into a heavy stupor which continued for several hours. About
midnight he startled his attendant by suddenly leaping into his trapeze
with all his old nimbleness. He bounded upon his spring-board and for an
hour danced and shouted in his cage, and then staggered and sank down in
a profound perspiration. He was covered with a blanket and slept soundly
until morning.

“When he awoke, there was something like the old grin on his face as he
looked up at his keeper.

“‘Comin’ around, old man?’ asked the keeper tenderly.

“‘Oogh, oogh!’ muttered Crowley, faintly, and closed his eyes.

“Sure enough he was on the way to recovery. His strength and flesh
returned, and with them his occasional displays of bad temper that
required the use of the whip.”

“What is the difference between the chimpanzee and the gorilla?” Harry
asked, when George had finished reading his description of Mr. Crowley
and his curious ways.

“The name has sometimes been given to all the great apes, including the
gorilla and the orang-outang,” said Mr. Graham, “but it properly belongs
to the lowest of the man-shaped apes of equatorial Africa. The gorilla
stands at the head of the list; then comes the kooloo-kamba, then the
nachiego-mbouve, then the soko, and after these the chimpanzee. They are
all so closely allied that any one but a close student may mistake one
for the other, and this circumstance has led to confusion in the stories
of explorers.

“In size and shape the gorilla approaches more nearly to man than any
other of the monkey family, but he is still a long way from being able
to claim one of us as his brother. The arms are so long that they almost
touch the ground when the animal stands erect, which he does not do

[Illustration: 0177]

“Mr. du Chaillu was the first explorer to see the gorilla at home; he
killed several specimens of this remarkable creature and sent their
skins to England, but though he tried very hard to bring away a living
sample he was unable to do so. Later travelers have been more fortunate,
and I have read to-day in a newspaper that Boston has just received
from Africa the largest gorilla ever landed in this country. His name
is Jack, and he is five feet in height when standing erect, and measures
seven feet from the end of one outstretched hand to the other. He weighs
about one hundred and twenty-five pounds and exhibits enormous strength,
compared with which that of man seems like a child’s. He arrived in a
large box made of planking two and a half inches thick, and when being
removed from the ship he tore large splinters from the hard wood planks
with as much ease as a child would break a twig. The hair, which is very
coarse, and from two to four inches in length, is of a greenish-gray
color, and on the back, legs and arms inclines to a black. His shoulders
are immense. The expression of his face, which is black, is scowling.
The eyes are small, sunken in the head, and the lips large and thin.”

“I suppose the gorilla does not make as good-natured a captive as Mr.
Crowley, for example,” one of the boys remarked.

“Not by any means,” answered Mr. Graham. “He is of an ugly disposition
and generally refuses to be tamed, though occasionally one is found that
is comparatively submissive. Some years ago a gentleman bought a gorilla
that was thought to be about two years old and shipped it to England.
It was not spiteful or obstinate in its ways, but seemed to be very shy;
its owner thought the best plan was to allow it to run about the ship,
and after it was given its freedom it got along very well. It would
take food from the hands of passengers and sailors, but permitted no
familiarity; it formed a great friendship for a bull terrier, and the
two used to play together by the hour, the dog occasionally giving
a very sharp nip which was not resented by the larger animal. But,
unfortunately, the gorilla was missed one morning, and was supposed to
have fallen overboard during the night.”

“The gorilla is the largest monkey of Africa and in fact of the whole
world. The largest Asiatic monkey is found, not on the continent of
Asia, but on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo. He is know to foreigners
as the orang-outang or wild man of the forest, and is generally called
‘mias’ by the natives. Many of the people believe that the creature is a
human being who lives in a wild state, and hence the name by which he
is described to strangers. In habits, size, and general appearance, the
mias is much like the gorilla, but he is more easily tamed and kept in
captivity. He lives in the forestand travels from tree to tree without
descending to the ground; in fact he sleeps in the trees, making a bed
of leaves among the branches. Mr. Wallace, a naturalist, describes how
he shot at a mias and broke his arm. The animal was in the top of a
tree at the time, and immediately proceeded to break off branches and
make a nest for himself. Mr. Wallace fired at him several times, but
he did not quit his work, and he finally laid down in the nest and died
there from the effects of the shot. It was necessary to cut down the
tree in order to obtain the body, which proved to be a very large one.

[Illustration: 0179]

“Mr. Wallace caught a young mias and managed to keep it six or eight
weeks; he hoped to be able to take it to England, but it died at the end
of that time, probably from the impossibility of obtaining proper food.
He said it would cry like a child when hungry or when its food did
not suit its taste; if its keeper persisted in offering food that it
disliked it would scream and kick violently, exactly like a baby in a
passion. Altogether he thought it very human in its actions, and was
very sorry when it died from intermittent fever.”

Harry asked if the gibbon monkey which comes from Siam and the
neighboring countries was anything like the mias.

Mr. Graham explained that the gibbon was much smaller than the gorilla
or the orang-outang, and more human in his general appearance. He is
a delicate creature and cannot exist in a cold climate even with the
greatest care. An adult gibbon rarely lives more than a few weeks in
captivity, and when captured young the animal does not usually reach
maturity. The gibbons are very gentle in their manners, devotedly
attached to their masters when kindly treated, and not at all

“On a steamer that carried me from Bangkok to Singapore,” said Mr.
Graham, “one of the passengers, Mr. Newman, had a gibbon which he was
undertaking to carry to England. The little fellow was very gentle and
playful and easily made friends with all the passengers. Mr. Newman
said he had kept the monkey at his house in Bangkok and allowed him the
largest liberty.

“The house was full of bric-a-brac and curios of various kinds, but the
monkey went about with the greatest care and never injured anything.

“One of his favorite amusements was to race around the verandah of the
house with his master, the two starting from one point and going in
opposite directions. Frequently he came in the morning and by signs
indicated that he wished a race; Mr. Newman generally allowed the monkey
to beat him, and the creature always seemed pleased at his triumph.

“He sat at the table and drank milk and coffee from a cup, and his
manners in general were far better than those of most monkeys in

“Another gibbon that was being carried to England on a steamer would
walk the entire length of the saloon table at dinner without breaking or
even touching anything upon it, although the table might be covered with
glasses and plates and the vessel was rolling heavily. He would start
from the foot of the table, walk to the other end to take a glass of
wine with the captain, and then return in the same careful manner. The
wild gibbons drink by scooping up the water with a single paw, and it
requires some patience to teach them to drink from a glass or cup in a
human fashion.

[Illustration: 0182]

“But of all the monkeys in the world,” continued the gentleman, “the
most comical is the long-nosed monkey of Borneo; as far as known it has
been found nowhere else than in that island. He grows to the size of a
large pointer dog, lives in the same forests with the orang-outang, and
probably associates with him. He has a funny appearance at any age, but
perhaps the funniest when young and the nose has just begun to develop.
Its hair grows naturally down the sides of the head as though parted by
a comb, it has whiskers but no mustaches, and it has a long tail which
starts high enough up the back not to be in the way when the animal sits

“The Dyak natives believe that these monkeys are a race of men who have
fled to the forest in order to avoid the payment of taxes!”

[Illustration: 0183]

“And now,” said Mr. Graham, glancing at his watch, “we will drop the
subject of apes and their kindred until to-morrow.”

The youths took the hint and no further questions were asked that
evening about quadrumana and their strange ways. But the next day
they were ready with several “monkey stories,” some of which are worth

Harry found the following, which certainly shows a reasoning power on
the part of the monkey:

“There is on the coast of Java a peculiar long-tailed monkey, and a sand
crab that grows to extraordinary size and possesses great strength in
its claws.

[Illustration: 8184]

The monkeys are particularly fond of these crabs, which live in deep
holes in the sand, but spend much of their time on the outside of their
holes, where they run and hop about. They range in size from that of a
silver dollar to that of our edible crabs. Their claws are not large,
but have a grip that is vise-like. The monkeys make daily raids on the
haunts of these crabs, and occasionally succeed--by creeping stealthily
to within a few feet of a group of them and then springing down upon
them--in capturing one. Usually, however, the crabs are so wary that
while the monkey is in the air during his spring toward them they have
separated and disappeared into the ground. The monkey finding himself
too slow to make a capture, then resorts to a bit of strategy to
secure a dinner; he backs himself up to a hole into which a crab has
disappeared, and sitting down, thrusts his long tail into the hole. The
crab seizes the end of the tail the moment it approaches near enough.
Any one who may have been fortunate enough to hide himself in the
bushes unobserved by the monkey making a raid, will have a hard time to
restrain his laughter when the critical moment of contact between the
crab’s claw and the monkey’s tail is reached. There is a look of comical
suspense on the monkey’s face as he thrusts his tail in the hole. When
the crab closes on the tail the look of suspense departs. The monkey
gives an involuntary start, and then settles on his haunches while
he closes his teeth together with a determined air, and eventually,
springing forward, out comes the tail from the hole with the crab
dangling to it, and the monkey is soon proceeding with his meal.”

“Here’s another story,” said George, “which is old but good: ‘A Spanish
mule-driver once invested his scant earnings, purchasing a number of red
woolen caps, which form the crown of the turban worn throughout Turkey
and Africa, and set out to make his fortune in the interior.

[Illustration: 9185]

He started before sunrise, and, when the heat of the day came on, lay
down to sleep beneath a tree in a wood. Taking off his hat he opened his
valise, and, putting on a red cap, was soon asleep.

“‘When the sun was low in the horizon he awoke, and to his horror, saw
the trees tilled with monkeys in red raps. They had seen the Spaniard
put on the red cap before going to sleep, and followed his example.
The poor Spaniard, with all the gesticulation peculiar to his country,
stamped his foot in anger, and tearing off his red cap threw it on the
ground, when--blessed and unexpected result--all the monkeys followed
his example. He picked up his caps and moved on.’”

“Here’s a story from a St Louis newspaper,” said Harry, “about an
incident that must have been very funny:

“‘Yesterday was a good day for the monkeys at the Fair grounds, and they
liked it. They frisked about in the sunshine, and cut their antics with
an abandon that showed them to be bubbling over with fun and mischief.
There is one that by some amusing peculiarities becomes an immediate
favorite with every spectator. A gentleman in the crowd yesterday
happened to have a small pocket-mirror, and just for sport passed it to
the favorite. The monkey’s behavior, on seeing his face reflected in
the glass, kept the crowd in a roar of laughter for nearly an hour. The
monkey of course failed to recognize the reflection of himself, and took
it for another monkey, and his anxiety to get hold of that monkey was
what made the fun. He would look behind the glass, and feel for it in
such a comical way while he was looking in the glass, that one could not
help laughing. While the glass was close to his eye he gradually bent
over, casually, and noticing that the evanescent monkey was on his back
apparently he dropped the glass and made a sudden grab for him. When he
didn’t get him he looked surprised and commenced looking under the straw
to see what had become of him. He was then seized with a luminous idea.
He picked up the glass and ran to the topmost branch of the dead tree
that is erected in the cage, and climbing to the extreme end, again
looked in the glass. It seemed he reasoned that in such a position the
monkey could not get away. He felt for it, grabbed at it, and tried all
sorts of strategy to capture it, notwithstanding repeated failures.’”

That the monkey can be a hero is shown by a story which George found in
_Our Animal Friends_, credited to _The Children’s Treasury_.

“A nobleman had a favorite monkey, a large orang-outang.

[Illustration: 8186]

This monkey was very much attached to his master and to the baby boy who
was the pet of the whole family. One day, a fire suddenly broke out in
the house, and everybody was running here and there to put it out,
while the little boy in the nursery was almost forgotten; and, when they
thought of him, the staircase was all in flames. What could be done?

“As they were looking up and wondering, a large hairy hand and arm
opened the window: and presently the monkey appeared with the baby in
his arms, and carefully climbed down over the porch, and brought the
child safely to his nurse. Nobody else could have done it; for a man
cannot climb like a monkey and is not nearly so strong.

“You may imagine how the faithful creature was praised and petted after
that. This is a true story, and the child who was saved was the young
Marquis of Kildare.”

[Illustration: 5187]


_A Calf saving a Child from Drowning--Another that
Seasoned--Illustrations of the Intelligence of Horned Cattle--Oxen
taking care of Sheep--The Cow that sought Help for Another--Natural
History of the Ox--Peculiarities of the Bison--Encounter with a
Bull-bison--How a Hunter Escaped being Trampled to Death--Stampeding a
Herd--The Aurochs or European Bison--A bad Character--The Yak and the
Musk-ox--Mr. Graham’s Narrow Escape from an Egyptian Buffalo--The Cape
Buffalo--How the Natives Hunt him, and are Hunted by him._

Here’s a good story,” said Harry, “about the intelligence of a calf. It
is copied from the Atlanta Constitution.”

Mr. Graham and George listened attentively while Harry read as
follows:--“Little Dillie Welsh is the four-year-old daughter of
Yard-master Welsh, of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad.

[Illustration: 8188]

She is bright and a general favorite. Her father keeps a Jersey cow,
which has a calf. The calf and little Dillie have formed a mutual

“In the adjoining lot to Mr. Welsh is a mineral well, which has a low
opening, and a child can stand and look over it. A few days ago Dillie
and her calf were playing near the well when the little girl went too
near. She crawled up and was looking over, when the calf came up and
held onto her dress with his teeth. She lost her balance and fell over
in the mouth of the well. The calf held on to the child’s clothes while
she was suspended in the air over the water. If the animal had let go
the dress, the child would have been drowned. The child was rescued by a
servant, and the calf was happy.”

“That’s a very pretty story,” said George; “and I have a good one to
go with it.” Thereupon he read something which he said was from _The
Greenville (N. C.) Reflector_.

“An amusing incident occurred at the home of Mr. S. M. Jones, near
Bethel, recently. Among his cattle was a calf that seemed to possess a
very great dislike to being roped at milking time and always made quite
an objection. One morning Mrs. Jones went out to attend the milking,
and upon looking in the accustomed place for the rope failed to find it.
While the search for it was going on the calf thought, perhaps, to get
more than his share of the milk, but something seemed to interfere with
the imbibing process, and his peculiar actions attracted attention to
him, whereupon it was discovered that the calf had swallowed the rope,
but failed to make a complete job of it, as the noose was hanging from
one corner of his mouth. The noose was laid hold of and a steady pull
brought the rope to light. The calf is sufficiently amused and doesn’t
swallow any more ropes to evade being tied.”

“Isn’t it unusual for calves or any of their relatives to display as
much intelligence as we have in these two stories?” one of the boys

“Decidedly unusual,” was the reply, “and that’s the reason why these
performances have been placed on record. But the fact is,” the gentleman
continued, “that the ox is not as stupid a creature as is generally
supposed. He is patient and slow, and for this reason the conclusion has
been arrived at that he is correspondingly dull. The naturalists tell us
that some of the tribes of South Africa trust to oxen to care for their
flocks, and that the sagacious animals perform their duties in a manner
worthy of the highest praise. They are quick to discover the approach of
danger, and if the flocks are attacked by wild animals the oxen show a
great deal of bravery in defending their charges. But while brave, they
are prudent, and will not take any needless risk. When night approaches
they drive the flocks to the camp or village, and if any of the sheep
are inclined to straggle. The watchful guardians prod them in no gentle
manner with their horns and make them understand that they are liable to
severe punishment.


“The South African oxen are not only used for teaming purposes like oxen
in other parts of the world, but they are excellent for carrying burdens
on their backs. African hunters tell how they have used oxen in this
way. Andersson, a famous hunter in South Africa, had an ox that he rode
more than two thousand miles, and for ordinary traveling preferred him
to a horse. When it came to pursuing wild animals, and especially to
escape from a furious elephant or lion, he found a great advantage
in the superior speed of the horse. His plan was to ride the ox while
traveling and reserve his horse for hunting expeditions.

“There are many varieties of _bovidae_,” said Mr. Graham, “as this family
is called, and these varieties have certain subdivisions. The most
remarkable are the American bison, commonly called the buffalo, the
European bison or aurochs, the yak of Tartary, and the musk ox of the
extreme parts of North America. The greatest intelligence of the bovine
family is displayed by the wild animals, for the reason that they
have been obliged to depend entirely on themselves, while the domestic
species have the protection and care of their owners on whom they rely.
A domestic ox or cow, when in trouble, will seek the aid of his master
when it is possible to do so.

“I was reading not long ago,” said Harry, “of a cow that came from the
pasture one afternoon, and called the attention of some of the men about
the place in a way which told very plainly that help was wanted. She
repeatedly tried to induce somebody to follow her; when she finally
succeeded she trotted off and led the way to a clump of trees, where
another cow had become entangled in such a manner that she could not
free herself without assistance. When the prisoner was liberated both
she and the cow that had gone for help fairly danced about the man, and
showed in every way in their power how grateful they were to him. They
licked his hands with their rough tongues, caressed him with their
noses, and when he returned to the barn they trotted along, one on
each side of him until he reached the gate. Then they went back to to
pasture and resumed their grazing.”

“Many stories of the same kind have been told about domestic cattle, all
of them showing the reliance that these good-natured animals place upon

[Illustration: 9193]

The time when they were first domesticated is unknown; the Egyptians had
their herds of oxen and cows, and some naturalists think the ox was a
domestic animal while the dog and cat were still in a wild state, in
other words it was the earliest animal which submitted to the control
of man. Centuries of domestication have made him the patient and gentle
animal that he is, but he retains enough of his original instincts to be
made wild again without much difficulty. A herd of cattle turned loose
and allowed to run free for a single season are half wild at the end of
it, and very difficult to manage. A few seasons make them fully so, and
the calves that grow to maturity without any association with man seem
to have lost everything that came from centuries of domestic ancestors.
The wild cattle of South America are descended from tame ones and the
same may be said of wild cattle in most parts of the world.”

George asked if the buffalo of America was anything like that of the
old world. He said he had read about the differences between them but
couldn’t remember what they were.

“The name of buffalo,” said Mr. Graham, “is improperly applied to the
bison, whose scientific name is _Bison Americanus_. The American bison
is rapidly becoming extinct, and it is quite probable that there will
not be one of these animals alive at the end of the present century.
Fifty years ago there were countless millions of these animals, and as
recently as twenty-five years ago vast herds of them roamed the western
prairies from Texas to the Saskatchewan.

[Illustration: 0194]

At this moment their numbers have diminished to a few dozens, or at most
a few hundreds; if I have read correctly there are only two or three
small herds known to exist, one of them being in the north of Texas and
the other near the boundary between Canada and the United States. An
effort is being made to capture the few remaining bison and keep them
in reserve fields or pastures, but it is doubtful if the experiment
succeeds. The bison does not thrive in captivity, and as for taking him
alive that is a very difficult matter. The calves and cows may possibly
be captured but as for the bulls I would rather not be the one to
attempt to take them.”

“They are hard fighters; I suppose,” said George.

“When driven into a corner and forced to defend themselves,” Mr. Graham
answered, “they do so with great vigor. Properly speaking, the bison
is not a ferocious animal: he does not wantonly attack man but on
the contrary will always flee from him if he has the opportunity. His
fighting qualities come out when he is obliged to defend himself or when
men get in the way of the herds in their movements across country. The
fiercest and strongest bulls are always in advance: they turn aside if
they can do so in time, but if men get in their way and attack them they
dash on without regard to circumstances. A man who is thrown down in
front of an advancing herd has very little chance of escape. The herd
passes on and tramples him to death, even if he escapes the advance
guard of bulls.”

“I have read,” said Harry, “of a man who was in front of a herd of
buffalo when his horse stumbled and fell. The man had the presence of
mind to draw his revolver and fire it several times, not at the herd or
any animal in it, but straight up in the air. If he had wounded one of
the bulls he and his horse would have been gored to death; the sound of
the shots caused the advance to divide and leave him unharmed. The rest
of the herd followed the example of the advance and for several hours
the man and the horse lay there like a little islet in a vast river of
buffaloes. When the last of the herd had passed, the man mounted his
horse and rode away, very thankful to have escaped unharmed from so
great a danger.”

“Incidents of the same kind have occurred in stampedes of cattle in the
far west of our country and in Australia,” said Mr. Graham.

Harry asked what a stampede was.

“Cattle and horses are said to be stampeded,” Mr. Graham answered, “when
they take fright at anything and run away. The word is of Spanish origin
and seems at present to be regularly adopted into our language. When a
large herd of half-wild cattle is stampeded it is very apt to run over
anything that comes in its way. Sometimes the herdsmen are thrown from
their horses right in the midst of a frightened herd and trampled to
death; if it happens that the herd separates at the moment a man falls
the rest of it will do likewise and nothing serious occurs.

“Returning to the bison,” continued Mr. Graham, “the animal looks much
more fierce than he really is. His head is large and carried quite low,
his eyes are small and piercing, and his head and shoulders are covered,
with long shaggy hair that make the forward half of the animal look very
heavy. He has a hump on his shoulders which consists partly of fat and
partly of strong muscles, the amount of fat varying according to the
season of the year and the condition of the animal. The flesh of the
bulls is so tough and strong that only a very hungry man can eat it,
but that of the young cows is rich and juicy like good beef. The choice
parts of the buffalo are the hump and the tongue, the latter being the
greatest delicacy of the buffalo country. You see I have fallen into the
universal practice and speak of the animal as the buffalo, when he is
really the bison, as I have before told you.

[Illustration: 0196]

“But by whatever name he is known, it is a pity that he is rapidly
becoming a creature of the past. Indians and white men have waged
incessant war upon him: as long as only the Indians attacked him with
their arrows and lances, the slaughter was not sufficiently great to
make any impression upon the herds, but when the white men poured into
the West bringing their improved weapons, which were speedily acquired
by the Indians, the destruction of the buffalo became simply a question
of time. When the buffalo became scarce on the plains they were followed
to their winter haunts, and killed in the deep snow, where they were
unable to make any resistance. Thousands, and we could almost say
millions, of buffaloes have been shot for mere sport and left to rot on
the ground, not even their hides being taken away. Of late years their
hides have risen to high figures owing to their scarcity; ‘buffalo
robes’ were common enough twenty or thirty years ago, but at the present
time they are rarely seen.”

[Illustration: 0198]

“Isn’t there a bison in Europe as well as in America?” queried George.

“There is,” was the reply, “and he is known as the aurochs in books on
natural history. He is thought to be the oldest of his race, and
would have been extinct long ago were it not for the protection he has
received. He is found only in a few localities in Russia, where he is
protected by the Government, and no animal of the race can be killed
under severe penalties except by permission of the Russian Emperor. It
is needless to say that this permission is seldom or almost never
given. These creatures have never been domesticated, but run wild in the
forest, where they eat grass and brushwood, and the bark and twigs of
young trees. The aurochs does not reach maturity until its sixth year,
and next to the elephant, rhinoceros and giraffe it is the largest of
land animals.”

One of the youths asked what was the size of a full-grown aurochs.

“Measured at its withers,” was the reply, “it is nearly six feet high,
and it is immensely strong. Its horns are large, round and lateral, and
its tail is long with a tuft of hair at the end. The shoulders and all
the front part of the body are covered with long coarse hair very
much like that of the American bison, and it has a long mane under
its throat. The rest of the body has a thick coat of black hair, and
altogether the aurochs is not an amiable looking beast.”


One of the listeners asked whether he was fierce or gentle in his ways.

“As to that,” Mr. Graham answered, “he bears a bad reputation. He is
very shy, and like the American bison will keep out of the way man face
to face, but rushes at him with great fierceness. If captured when young
he becomes accustomed to his keepers, but will not tolerate the presence
of any one else.

“The aurochs is the urus of the ancients,” continued the gentleman, “his
name coming from Ure-ox. Fossil remains of the animal have been found
all over Europe, and in the time of Julius Cæsar it lived in Germany. It
was a contemporary of the mammoth and is the only existing land
animal whose skeleton has been found side by side when he can. He also
resembles his American cousin in having a keen scent, so that he can
only be approached against the wind; the buffalo hunters will tell you
that you cannot get anywhere near a herd if you approach it with the
wind, as the animals will scent the danger miles away and start off at a
rapid pace to avoid it.

[Illustration: 0201]

The aurochs also resembles the bison in fighting fiercely when cornered;
he is worse than the bison in one respect, as he will not try to escape
when he meets a with that of the huge creature whose remains have
astonished the scientific world.

“From the bison to the buffalo is a very natural step, and by buffalo I
mean the animal to whom the name properly belongs. But before taking him
up I will mention the yak of Tartary, which has a flowing tail like that
of a horse, a hump on its shoulders, a tuft of hair on its forehead, a
mane along its neck and shoulders, and long hair on the lower part of
its body which varies in quantity according to the season of the year.
He is used as a beast of burden and can carry a very heavy load, and
he is as sure-footed as a goat. The Tartars keep large herds of these
animals and move about from place to place to find pasturage; they make
tents and ropes of the hair of the yak, and clothing out of his skin,
and they occasionally eat the flesh of the beast, though they prefer
that of the horse. They make butter from the milk, and by putting it
in bladders tightly closed against the air they can preserve it a long

[Illustration: 0203]

“I’ve been reading about another animal,” said Harry, “that must be a
near relative of the yak.”

“What is that?”

“The musk ox of North America,” was the reply.

“Yes,” said Mr. Graham, “he is a relative of the yak, though somewhat
smaller, in fact he is so small that he resembles a large sheep more
than an ox. He belongs in the cold regions of North America, and is very
useful to Arctic explorers, who feed upon his flesh. He has a covering
of thick and long hair of a dark brown color, and his horns are thick
and large, bending downwards over the sides of his head and then
suddenly backwards and upwards at the tips.”

“He looks very clumsy.” said George, glancing at the picture of the
animal, “and evidently can’t, get over the ground very fast.”

“On the contrary.” was the reply, “he is as nimble as a goat and can
make astonishingly rapid speed over the rough and rocky ground where lie
lives. The hunter who thinks he can travel as fast as this apparently
clumsy animal makes a great mistake.”

“He’s not the only animal that deceives us that way,” said George.
“Nobody would think the hog could run and yet what a lively chase it is
to catch a wild one. But some hogs are swifter than others, and I have
heard of parts of the country where hogs were prized not according
to their fatness, but for their ability to out-run professional

[Illustration: 0204]

The buffalo of Europe and Asia,” said Mr. Graham, “is supposed to be
a native of the damp parts of India, whence he has spread over the
countries where he is now found. He is essentially a tropical animal and
does not thrive in mild climates, and he is fond of wallowing in the mud
and lying down to rest there.”

[Illustration: 0205]

George asked in what the Asiatic buffalo resembled the common ox. Mr.
Graham said it was about the size of the ox and had a bulging-forehead
with two black horns curved outward. It has a scanty coat and generally
presents a very dingy appearance. “It is of an ugly disposition,”
 continued the gentleman, “and is much inclined to attack strangers. I
had an adventure with one of these creatures in Egypt that came near
costing me my life.”

“Please tell us about it,” said one of the boys.

“I was taking a walk in the fields a few miles from Cairo,” said Mr.
Graham, “and carried nothing except a small walking stick. While I was
looking at the grasses and the fields of cotton and douro, and watching
the pigeons circling in the air, I heard all at once the shouting of
the natives to indicate something unusual. Looking around I saw that a
buffalo was coming directly toward me and was not more than a hundred
feet away. His head was lowered and it was very evident that I was to be
the object of his attack.

“I had to think and act very quickly, as none of the natives were near
enough to divert the attention of the brute. There was no fence near and
no building or enclosure in which I could find safety.

“Close by me was a field of cotton, the bushes being as high as my head.
Into this field I ran, and once in its shelter I doubled on my pursuer
and ran the way that both of us had come. Then I met the crowd of
natives that were trying to catch the runaway animal and they soon had
him secured. A friend of mine in Egypt that same year only saved himself
by firing a charge of shot directly at the buffalo’s eyes when the
creature was not more than ten yards away. He was compelled to pay for
the destruction of the animal, as it was very properly argued that he
was a trespasser in the field where the buffalo was grazing. You may be
sure that he was careful after that not to go where he had no right to
be, especially if there was a likelihood of encountering buffaloes.

“A very pugnacious variety of the buffalo is the South African one. He
has large horns, that spread out at the base so as to form a sort
of helmet that is impenetrable for a bullet or for any other missile
smaller than a cannon shot. The African buffalo is found all the way
from Guinea to the Cape of Good Hope, and is often called the Cape
buffalo. He lives in large herds in the forests, though he sometimes
comes into the open plains, where he is more cautious and less
quarrelsome than when in the woods. The natives hunt the Cape buffalo,
but very often the animal shows so much fight that he becomes the hunter
and drives his assailants away. Not infrequently he kills some of them
with his powerful horns, and also with his feet, which he uses with
great alertness. A single buffalo has been known to resist successfully
a hundred natives armed with spears; since the introduction of fire-arms
the numbers of the Cape buffalo have diminished, as he is unable to
stand against the weapons of civilization any more than can his American

“We’ll go from the cows to sheep at our next talk,” said Mr. Graham to
the youths, “and in the meantime please look at the books, and when we
sit down to discuss them you may tell what you have found.”

In the language of Parliamentarians “the meeting then adjourned,” and
the boys proceeded to look at Cassell’s Natural History and other books
for information on the topic which they were next to consider.

[Illustration: 0207]


_Origin of the Sheep--The Asiatic Argali--Rocky Mountain
Big-Horns--Their Remarkable Intelligence and other Peculiarities--A
Hunter’s Experience Among Them--Sentinels Guarding the
Flocks--Differences between Wild and Domestic Sheep--Gentleness of
the Lamb--The Lamb and the Children in the Well--The Sheep that Broke
Through the Fence--Varieties of Sheep--The Long Wool and the Short
Wool--The Merino--His Origin and Present Extent--Sheep in Australia--An
Old Question and its Answer--Astrachan Sheep--Intelligence and Activity
of the Goat--Some of his Performances--His Powers of Climbing--Goats
said to eat Tomato-Cans and Old Boots--What Buffon says of the Goat--the

Well,” remarked Mr. Graham as they sat down for their next discussion
of the animal kingdom, “what have you learned about the sheep and his

The youths waited a half minute or more, each desiring the other to
begin. Then Mr. Graham turned to Harry and nodded for him to speak. Thus
encouraged the youth made an end of the silence.

“I have found,” said he, “that the naturalists do not agree as to the
origin of the sheep. Some think he is descended from the argali, an
animal which is found in Asia and is as large as a deer. In shape and
general appearance he resembles a sheep but is larger than the largest
known variety of the domestic sheep. He runs wild in the mountains but
can be easily tamed, especially if he is captured when young.”

“Has he any relatives in America?” the gentleman asked.

“Yes,” was the reply; “the Rocky Mountain sheep or big-horn, as he is
also called, is the American argali, and resembles the Asiatic one very
nearly, Now while some naturalists think the domestic sheep is descended
from the argali, others believe that the sheep is a animal that has
never lived in a wild state.”

“What do you think about it?” was a query that somewhat puzzled the

“We haven’t made up our minds yet,” answered Harry, “and from present
appearances we are not likely to at once. We went to look at a flock of
sheep and concluded from what we knew of the habits of the animal that
they would have a hard time to exist if they were outside the care of
man. We don’t know much about the argali either in Asia or America,
but if he is no more intelligent than the sheep he would not be able to
elude the hunters as he does.”

[Illustration: 0209]

“You are quite right,” said their mentor, “as the argali far surpasses
the sheep in intelligence and activity. The argali is graceful in
figure, wonderfully sure of foot, his vision and heaving are of the
keenest, and when there is any danger near he is always on the alert
to discover it. Read what a hunter say of the _Ovis montana_ or Rocky
Mountain sheep,” he continued, as he opened the pages of a book entitled
“Sporting Adventures in the Far West,” by J. Mortimer Murphy.

George took the book and read as follows:

“Few creatures are more difficult of approach than the big-horn, for,
like all mountain animals, it is exceedingly keen of scent, unusually
vigilant, and so cautious that it carefully reconnoitres a country from
an elevated stand-point ere it presumes to advance toward it. The Nimrod
who would place the head of the big-horn among his trophies of the
chase, must be not only of an active and vigorous form to bear steep
mountain climbing and a rarefied atmosphere, but he must also possess
the qualities of patience, perseverance and hardihood, for its pursuit
may lead him through deep and gloomy precipices, and over ground so
stony and rough as to seem impassable.

[Illustration: 0210]

“When a flock is migrating to new pastures the sentinels or leaden
carefully scrutinize the country before them from every commanding
position, and when they are satisfied with its appearance the whole
party advance boldly, and having made it their head-quarters, throw
out vedettes, generally males, who mount guard on elevated crags
or hillocks, and vigilantly survey their surroundings until their
companions have dined, when all seek shelter amidst crags, small pine or
fir coppices, and inaccessible shelves of rock or somber canyons, where
no ordinary enemy can follow them without making its presence known.

[Illustration: 0211]

“When a sentinel detects the approach of a suspicions object, he sounds
an alarm at once by a few loud and peremptory hissing snorts; this
brings the flock huddling together, the lambs and ewes in the center;
and when the column is formed, all dash for the highest ridges at their
best pace, and never stop until they have sought a safe refuge among
crags or chasms. The advance is always led by a sturdy ram, one that
is generally looked upon as the leader, and the rear and flanks are
carefully guarded by the young males. In regions where they are little
disturbed they raise their heads every few minutes while feeding and
survey their surroundings; and as they are both sharp of eye and keen
of scent it requires the most careful stalking to approach them within
shooting range without being discovered. They will get the scent of a
hunter to windward seemingly half a mile away; and when that terrifying
odor is made known to the flock they display the greatest symptoms of
terror and dash wildly for the highest pinnacles, now leaping nimbly
from crag to crag, or vaulting dark and narrow chasms with the greatest
ease, nor do they stop until they have placed a goodly distance between
themselves and their most dreaded foe.”

[Illustration: 0212]

“A common sheep could do nothing like that,” said Harry, as George
paused and closed the book.

“Not by any means,” responded Mr. Graham, “as he is heavy in his steps
and slow in his motions. His intelligence is low and his constitution
could not stand the exposure to the weather that the wild animal endures
without injury. Except under very favorable circumstances a flock of
sheep would soon perish if turned out to shift for themselves.”

“Then I suppose we cannot find many stories of the intelligence of the
sheep as we can of the dog, the elephant and the horse,” one of the
youths remarked.

“We cannot,” was the reply, “but to offset the lack of sagacity in the
sheep we have its patience and kindness of disposition, in which it
is without a superior. The lamb has been in all ages the type of
gentleness, and will probably continue so as long as man and the sheep
exist together. He is also the type of playfulness, and there can be few
more pleasing sights than that of a flock of lambs sporting on the grass
or a single lamb playing among children by whom he is kept as a pet. I
have somewhere read a story of a lamb that belonged to some children and
went out with them one day as he had often done before. An hour or so
later the ‘lamb came to the house bleating loudly and evidently wishing
to attract somebody’s attention. When he obtained it he led the way to
where the two children had fallen into a shallow well, and though not
injured by the fall, which had only been a few feet, they were unable to
get out. It seems they were standing on a plank which covered the well;
the plank being old and rotten had given way beneath them, but as the
well had been filled nearly to the top with earth they suffered no
damage. In this case the lamb had the intelligence to understand that
help was needed and he went to bring it.

“Sheep will sometimes display considerable cunning in getting into
fields and pastures where they have no right to go. On the country farm
where I lived when I was a boy we had a small flock of sheep; they were
all stupid enough with the exception of one, that used to devote himself
to hunting for weak places in the fence between the pasture where they
ran and the adjoining field. It was what we called a ‘brush’ fence, and
this mischievous animal used to walk along the line and survey it with
great care. When he found what he thought was a weak place he would
insert his head through the opening and work patiently till lie had
enlarged it sufficiently to permit him to get through. Then the rest of
the lot followed ‘like a flock of sheep,’ and when we went to drive them
out the shrewd leader took them in a direction quite opposite to the
opening. He seemed to understand that it would be blocked up as soon as
discovered and he wanted to keep it for further use.”

[Illustration: 0214]

Harry asked how many varieties of sheep there are in the world. He had
looked through the works on natural history but was unable to find out.

“There are two great varieties,” answered George proudly, as he realized
that he had come upon some information which had escaped his brother.
“They are the long-wool and the short-wool,” said he, “the former being
most useful for the production of meat and the latter for their wool.
The long-wooled sheep have the wool straight or slightly curved
while the short-wooled kind have it thick and curly. The Leicesters,
Cotswolds, Scotch and Welsh breeds are of the long-wooled kind, while
the Merino is the most noted of the other sort.”

[Illustration: 0215]

“That is right,” said Mr. Graham, “and can you tell me which is the most
widely known of the short-wooled sheep?”

“I can,” said Harry; “it is the Merino, which was brought into Spain
by the Moors and derives its name from the Spanish word _merino_ which
signifies ‘wandering.’ It was introduced into France more than a hundred
years ago and has gradually spread all over Europe and to America and
Australia. There wasn’t a sheep in Australia when Governor Philip went
there in 1788, and now that country sends a million and a quarter
bales of wool every year to London alone besides what it ships to other
countries and consumes at home. The merino is the favorite sheep of
Australia, and it has also found a home in the British colonies at the
Cape of Good Hope.

[Illustration: 0216]

“As to the other kinds of sheep,” continued the youth, “they are, as the
auctioneers say in their advertisements, too numerous to mention. Almost
every county of England has its peculiar breed, some of them being
more famous for their mutton than their wool, and others _vice versa._
Scattered over Europe are many breeds, but it is safe to say that the
most of them came from one original stock and owe their variation in
development to the differences of climate and modes of rearing. One of
the most famous breeds of sheep in England is the Southdown, which is
famous both for wool and meat: it has been introduced into France and
other countries, and we have a good supply of Southdowns nowadays in

“I am reminded,” said George, “of a conundrum I heard a while ago, and
it is about sheep.”

“What is it?”

“Why do white sheep eat more than black ones?”

“I know,” said Harry, “that’s a chestnut. It’s because there are more of

“Yes,” responded Mr. Graham, “and the naturalists have had much
difficulty in separating the one from the other in consequence of the
intermediate forms between them. The goat is generally believed to be
descended from the paseng or ibex of Asia, and he inherits some of the
qualities of his ancestors who dwell among the rugged mountains. He is
marvelously sure-footed, and can go where almost any other quadruped
would not dare venture.”

“I wonder if it is true,” said one of the youths, “that when two

“But it isn’t exactly right,” said George, “at least not for all parts
of the world. In Central Asia the flocks contain more black sheep than
white ones; the Astrachan sheep is generally black and his wool is very
soft and curly. The skin of the Astrachan lamb is used as a sort of fur,
and very pretty cloaks, muffs, collars, coats and similar things are
made of it.”

[Illustration: 0217]

“While I was looking up the description of sheep,” said Harry, “I read
something about the goat, who may be called his first cousin, when goats
meet on a mountain road where it is too narrow for them to turn around
or pass at the side, one will lie down and let the other go over him.”

[Illustration: 0218]

“It has been told so often,” Mr. Graham answered, “that it certainly
ought to be true. Not long ago I read of exactly such an occurrence
somewhere in Spain, and it was witnessed by several persons. But what
is much more likely to happen is that the animals would fight for the
possession of the road, and one or perhaps both would be forced over the
precipice and dashed to death on the rocks below.

“The goat’s power of climbing and his fondness for getting into
dangerous places are something remarkable. I have seen in the Alps and
also in Algeria the goats browsing on the steep side of a mountain where
it would be impossible for a man to climb, and where a single slip
or mis-step would send the animal down for hundreds of feet almost
perpendicularly. At Constantine in Algeria there is a wall of rock
five or six hundred feet high; it is slightly, broken near the top,
perpendicular further down, and the goats browse along the broken part,
springing slowly from break to break until they can get no farther. Then
they slowly ascend the cliff and start out for a new grazing place. The
funny thing was that there was plenty of grass elsewhere and they had no
occasion to get into such dangerous positions. They seemed to do it for
the fun of the thing.”

“You remember they had a goat at the monkey theater,” said Harry, “that
climbed upon bottles in the shape of a pyramid, stood on the top of a
pole, balanced himself on a table and did other curious things. I wonder
somebody doesn’t train goats to walk a tight rope, for it must be they
could do it.”

[Illustration: 0220]

“I think I’ve heard of their doing it,” Mr. Graham remarked, “though I
am not positive on that point. I’ve seen an elephant walk a tight rope,
but it was stretched only a foot or so from the ground so that a fall
wouldn’t injure him.”

[Illustration: 0219]

[Illustration: 0221]

The conversation about goats took a wide range and included performances
both actual and apochryphal. George asked what variety of goat it was
that was credited with eating tomato-cans, umbrellas, boots, and similar
things usually considered inedible, and was told he must seek it in the
upper districts of New York and at Hoboken and other suburban places.
But while Mr. Graham would not aver that the goat lived upon the
articles mentioned, he positively assured the youths that he had seen
the creature devour newspapers and bill-posters with apparent relish,
and that it didn’t seem to make any difference to him whether the
newspapers were Republican or Democratic, secular or religious. He was
sure that the digestion of the goat was one of the best in the world
and could justly be envied by a great many men. “But leaving all jest
aside,” said he, “the goat is a hardy feeder and can live on very
little; he has been called the poor man’s cow, as he can be kept by
people who cannot afford the expense of a cow and the milk of the goat
is rich and nutritious. Invalids are sometimes nourished on it when the
milk of the cow does not answer the purpose, and in some countries large
flocks of goats are maintained for their milk. The medicinal properties
of goat’s milk and whey are well known, and cheese made from goat’s milk
brings a higher price in the market than that from cow’s milk.”

“I found what Buffon, the naturalist, said of the goat,” said George,
“and it is worth remembering. He considers the goat superior to the
sheep both in intelligence and agility. He is stronger, lighter, and
more agile than the sheep, he is sprightly, capricious and given to
wander, and it is with difficulty he can be confined to a flock. He
loves to retire into solitude, and climb steep and rugged places. Though
he seems to feel the effects of severe cold, he is not afraid of rain or
storms or too great a degree of heat: he cheerfully exposes himself to
the sun and without inconvenience sleeps under its most severe rays.”

The various kinds of goat, the Angora and Cashmere varieties, which
supply the wool for shawls and other fine fabrics, the Syrian goat with
pendulous ears, the Swiss goat which is kept in large flocks and is
highly profitable to its owners, and the common goat which is found
in all civilized countries of the world, all were discussed and duly
considered. But the youths were disappointed in the animal, as they were
obliged to offset his numerous good qualities with the fact that he
is wayward and unruly, and does not form any serious attachment to his
owner. The youths decided that they would not enter the business of
rearing goats, but be content with the pet animals they then possessed.

George suggested that it was time to look after their horses. While they
are busy with those favorites we will lay down our pen for the present,
in the hope that we will be allowed to listen whenever they again
discuss the members of the animal kingdom.

[Illustration: 5222]

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Horse Stories - And Stories of Other Animals" ***

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