Infomotions, Inc.Stories about Animals: with Pictures to Match / Woodworth, Francis C. (Francis Channing), 1812-1859



Author: Woodworth, Francis C. (Francis Channing), 1812-1859
Title: Stories about Animals: with Pictures to Match
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STORIES ABOUT ANIMALS.

WITH

PICTURES TO MATCH


by

FRANCIS C. WOODWORTH,

Editor of "The Youth's Cabinet," Author of "Stories
About Birds," &C.







Boston.
Phillips, Sampson and Company.
1851.
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in
the year 1849,
By D. A. Woodworth,
in the Clerk's Office of the District Court for
the Southern District of New York.





Preface.


In the following pages are grouped together anecdotes illustrative of
the peculiarities of different animals--mostly quadrupeds--their habits,
dispositions, intelligence, and affection. Nothing like a scientific
treatise of any of these animals has been attempted. I do not even give
a generic or specific history of one of them, except so far as they are
all casually and incidentally described in these anecdotes. Their
natural history, in detail, I leave for others, as the historian or
biographer of men, bent only on a record of the thoughts, words, and
acts of men, passes by the abstract details, however interesting they
may be, of human physiology, and the general characteristics of the
species. I have not aimed to introduce to the reader, in this volume,
all the animals belonging to the race of quadrupeds, who have a claim to
such a distinction. I have preferred rather to make a selection from the
great multitude, and to present such facts and anecdotes respecting
those selected as shall, while they interest and entertain the young
reader, tend to make him familiar with this branch of useful knowledge.

I ought, in justice to myself, to explain the reason why I have
restricted my anecdotes almost exclusively to animals belonging to the
race of quadrupeds. It is seldom wise, in my judgment, for an author to
define, very minutely, any plan he may have, to be developed in future
years--as so many circumstances may thwart that plan altogether, or very
materially modify it. Yet I may say, in this connection, that the
general plan I had marked out for myself, when I set about the task of
collecting materials for these familiar anecdotes, is by no means
exhausted in this volume, and that, should my stories respecting
quadrupeds prove as acceptable to my young friends as I hope, it is my
intention eventually to pursue the same, or a similar course, in
relation to the other great divisions of the animal kingdom--Birds,
Reptiles, Insects, Fishes, etc.

The stories I tell I have picked up wherever I could find them--having
been generally content when I have judged a particular story to be, in
the first place, a good story, and in the second place, a reliable one.
I have not thought it either necessary or desirable, to give, in every
case, the source from which I have derived my facts. Some of them I
obtained by actual observation; quite as many were communicated by
personal friends and casual acquaintances; and by far the greater
portion were gleaned from the current newspapers of the day, and from
the many valuable works on natural history, published in England and in
this country. Among the books I have consulted, I am mostly indebted to
the following: Bingley's Anecdotes illustrative of the Instincts of
Animals; Knight's Library of Entertaining Knowledge; Bell's Phenomena of
Nature; the Young Naturalist's Rambles; Natural History of the Earth and
Man; Chambers' Miscellany of Useful and Entertaining Knowledge; Animal
Biography; and the Penny Magazine.

The task of preparing this volume for the press has been an exceedingly
pleasant one. Indeed, it has been rather recreation than toil, in
comparison with other and severer literary labors. I trust my young
friends will take as much pleasure in reading these stories as I have
taken in collecting them. I hope too, that no one of my readers will
fail to discover, as he proceeds, the evidences of the wisdom, power,
and goodness of the Being who formed and who controls and governs the
animal kingdom. Here, as in every department of nature's works, these
evidences abound, if we will but perceive them. Look at them, dear
reader, and in your admiration of nature, forget not the love and
reverence you owe to nature's God.

[Illustration: (signed) Francis C. Woodworth]




Contents.


The Dog

The Wolf

The Horse

The Panther

The Elephant

The Lion

The Galago

The Bear

The Rat

The Mouse

The Rabbit

The Hare

The Cat

The Jackal

The Sheep

The Deer

The Hippopotamus

The Weasel

The Squirrel

The Giraffe

The Monkey Tribe

The Zebra

The Ox and Cow

The Lama


[Illustration: "Engravings." Heading.]


Rover and his Play-fellow

The Dog at his Master's Grave

Nero, saving Little Ellen

The Servant and the Mastiff

The Child discovered by the Indian's Dog

The Dog of St. Bernard, rescuing the Child

The Bloodhound

Exploit of the New England Dog

A Shepherd Dog feeding a lost Child

A Newfoundland, saving a Child from drowning

The Adventure with the Serpent

The Russian Dog-Sledge

The Skirmish with Wolves

A Scene in the old Wolf Story

The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

The Horse watching over the Trumpeter

Parting with the Favorite Horse

Alexander taming Bucephalus

Uncle Peter and his queer Old Mare

The Horse sentenced to die

The Leopard and the Serpent

The Elephant

The Lion

The Lioness and her Cubs

The Convention of Animals

The Galago

Portrait of Goldsmith

The Juggler and his Pupils

Field Mice

The Rabbit Trap

The Rabbit

Tame Hares

Portrait of Cowper

Wonderful Feat of a Goat

The Tiger

The Rhinoceros

The Alligator

The Cat

The Jackal

The Wounded Traveler

Giotto, sketching among his Sheep

The Invalid and the Sheep

The Deer

The Hippopotamus

The Ferret Weasel

A Hawk pouncing on a Weasel

The Squirrel

The Giraffe

The Orang-outang

The Zebra

Cows, taking their comfort




Stories about Animals.




The Dog.


Whatever may be thought of the somewhat aristocratic pretensions of the
lion, as the dog, after all, has the reputation of being the most
intelligent of the inferior animals, I will allow this interesting
family the precedence in these stories, and introduce them first to the
reader. For the same reason, too--because they exhibit such wonderful
marks of intelligence, approaching, sometimes, almost to the boundary of
human reason--I shall occupy much more time in relating stories about
them than about any other animal. Let me see. Where shall I begin? With
Rover, my old friend Rover--my companion and play-fellow, when a little
boy? I have a good mind to do so; for he endeared himself to me by
thousands of acts of kindness and affection, and he has still a place
of honor in my memory. He frequently went to school with me. As soon as
he saw me get my satchel of books, he was at my side, and off he ran
before me toward the school-house. When he had conducted me to school,
he usually took leave of me, and returned home. But he came back again,
before school was out, so as to be my companion homeward. I might tell a
great many stories about the smartness of Rover; but on the whole I
think I will forbear. I am afraid if I should talk half an hour about
him, some of you would accuse me of too much partiality for my
favorite, and would think I had fallen into the same foolish mistake
that is sometimes noticed in over-fond fathers and mothers, who talk
about a little boy or girl of theirs, as if there never was another such
a prodigy. So I will just pass over Rover's wonderful exploits--for he
had some, let me whisper it in your ear--and tell my stories about other
people's dogs.

[Illustration: ROVER AND HIS PLAY-FELLOW.]

"Going to the dogs," is a favorite expression with a great many people.
They understand by it a condition in the last degree deplorable. To "go
to the dogs," is spoken of as being just about the worst thing that can
happen to a poor fellow. I think differently, however. I wish from my
heart, that some selfish persons whom I could name would go to the dogs.
They would learn there, I am sure, what they have never learned
before--most valuable lessons in gratitude, and affection, and
self-sacrifice--to say nothing about common sense, a little more of
which would not hurt them.

There is an exceedingly affecting story of a dog that lived in Scotland
as long ago as 1716: This dog belonged to a Mr. Stewart, of Argyleshire,
and was a great favorite with his master. He was a Highland greyhound, I
believe. One afternoon, while his master was hunting in company with
this dog, he was attacked with inflammation in his side. He returned
home, and died the same evening. Some three days afterward his funeral
took place, when the dog followed the remains of his master to the
grave-yard, which was nearly ten miles from the residence of the family.
He remained until the interment was completed, when he returned home
with those who attended the funeral. When he entered the house he found
the plaid cloak, formerly his master's, hanging in the entry. He pulled
it down, and in defiance of all attempts to take it from him, lay on it
all night, and would not even allow any person to touch it. Every
evening afterward, about sunset, he left home, traveled to the
grave-yard, reposed on the grave of his late master all night, and
returned home regularly in the morning. But, what was still more
remarkable, he could not be persuaded to eat a morsel. Children near the
grave-yard, who watched his motions, again and again carried him food;
but he resolutely refused it, and it was never known by what means he
existed. While at home he was always dull and sorrowful; he usually lay
in a sleeping posture, and frequently uttered long and mournful groans.

[Illustration: THE DOG AT HIS MASTER'S GRAVE.]

In the western part of our own country, some years since, an exploit was
performed by a Newfoundland dog, which I must tell my readers. It is
related by Mrs. Phelan. A man by the name of Wilson, residing near a
river which was navigable, although the current was somewhat rapid, kept
a pleasure boat. One day he invited a small party to accompany him in an
excursion on the river. They set out. Among the number were Mr. Wilson's
wife and little girl, about three years of age. The child was delighted
with the boat, and with the water lilies that floated on the surface of
the river. Meanwhile, a fine Newfoundland dog trotted along the bank of
the stream, looking occasionally at the boat, and thinking, perhaps,
that he should like a sail himself.

Pleasantly onward went the boat, and the party were in the highest
spirits, when little Ellen, trying to get a pretty lily, stretched out
her hand over the side of the boat, and in a moment she lost her balance
and fell into the river. What language can describe the agony of those
parents when they saw the current close over their dear child! The
mother, in her terror, could hardly be prevented from throwing herself
into the river to rescue her drowning girl, and her husband had to hold
her back by force. Vain was the help of man at that dreadful moment; but
prayer was offered up to God, and he heard it.

No one took any notice of Nero, the faithful dog. But he had kept his
eye upon the boat, it seems. He saw all that was going on; he plunged
into the river at the critical moment when the child had sunk to the
bottom, and dived beneath the surface. Suddenly a strange noise was
heard on the side of the boat opposite to the one toward which the party
were anxiously looking, and something seemed to be splashing in the
water. It was the dog. Nero had dived to the bottom of that deep river,
and found the very spot where the poor child had settled down into her
cold, strange cradle of weeds and slime. Seizing her clothes, and
holding them fast in his teeth, he brought her up to the surface of the
water, a very little distance from the boat, and with looks that told
his joy, he gave the little girl into the hands of her astonished
father. Then, swimming back to the shore, he shook the water from his
long, shaggy coat, and laid himself down, panting, to recover from the
fatigue of his adventure.

[Illustration: NERO SAVING LITTLE ELLEN.]

Ellen seemed for awhile to be dead; her face was deadly pale; it hung
on her shoulder; her dress showed that she had sunk to the bottom. But
by and by she recovered gradually, and in less than a week she was as
well as ever.

But the Glasgow Chronicle tells a story of the most supremely humane dog
I ever heard of--so humane, in fact, that his humanity was somewhat
troublesome. This dog--a fine Newfoundland--resided near Edinburgh.
Every day he was seen visiting all the ponds and brooks in the
neighborhood of his master's residence. He had been instrumental more
than once in saving persons from drowning. He was respected for his
magnanimity, and caressed for his amiable qualities, till, strange as it
may be considered, this flattery completely turned his head. Saving life
became a passion. He took to it as men take to dram-drinking. Not having
sufficient scope for the exercise of his diseased benevolence in the
district, he took to a very questionable method of supplying the
deficiency. Whenever he found a child on the brink of a pond, he watched
patiently for the opportunity to place his fore-paws suddenly on its
person, and plunged it in before it was aware. Now all this was done for
the mere purpose of fetching them out again. He appeared to find intense
pleasure in this nonsensical sort of work. At last the outcry became so
great by parents alarmed for their children, although no life was ever
lost by the indulgence of such a singular taste, that the poor dog was
reluctantly destroyed.

Mr. Bingley, an English writer, has contributed not a little to the
amusement and instruction of the young, by a book which he published a
few years ago, relating to the instinct of the dog. Among the stories
told in this book, are several which I must transfer for my own readers.
Here is one about the fatal adventure of a large mastiff with a robber.
I shall give it nearly in the words of Mr. Bingley.

Not a great many years ago, a lady, who resided in a lonely house in
Cheshire, England, permitted all her domestics, save one female, to go
to a supper at an inn about three miles distant, which was kept by the
uncle of the girl who remained at home with her mistress. As the
servants were not expected to return till the morning, all the doors and
windows were as usual secured, and the lady and her companion were about
to retire to bed, when they were alarmed by the noise of some persons
apparently attempting to break into the house. A large mastiff, which
fortunately happened to be in the kitchen, set up a tremendous barking;
but this had not the effect of intimidating the robbers.

After listening attentively for some time, the maid-servant discovered
that the robbers were attempting to enter the house by forcing their way
through a hole under the sunk story in the back kitchen. Being a young
woman of courage, she went toward the spot, accompanied by the dog, and
patting him on the back, exclaimed, "At him, Caesar!" The dog leaped into
the hole, made a furious attack upon the intruder, and gave something a
violent shake. In a few minutes all became quiet, and the animal
returned with his mouth full of blood. A slight bustle was now heard
outside the house, but in a short time all again became still. The lady
and servant, too much terrified to think of going to bed, sat up until
morning without further molestation. When day dawned they discovered a
quantity of blood outside of the wall in the court-yard.

When her fellow-servants came home, they brought word to the girl that
her uncle, the inn-keeper, had died suddenly of apoplexy during the
night, and that it was intended that the funeral should take place in
the course of the day. Having obtained leave to go to the funeral, she
was surprised to learn, on her arrival, that the coffin was screwed
down. She insisted, however, on taking a last look at the body, which
was most unwillingly granted; when, to her great surprise and horror,
she discovered that his death had been occasioned by a large wound in
the throat. The events of the preceding night rushed on her mind, and it
soon became evident to her that she had been the innocent and unwilling
cause of her uncle's death. It turned out, that he and one of his
servants had formed the design of robbing the house and murdering the
lady during the absence of her servants, but that their wicked design
had been frustrated by the courage and watchfulness of her faithful
mastiff.

[Illustration: THE SERVANT AND THE MASTIFF.]

There is another anecdote told of a wild Indian dog which I am sure my
young friends will like. It is from the same source with the one about
the mastiff. A man by the name of Le Fevre, many years ago, lived on a
farm in the United States, near the Blue mountains. Those mountains at
that time abounded in deer and other animals. One day, the youngest of
Le Fevre's children, who was four years old, disappeared early in the
morning. The family, after a partial search, becoming alarmed, had
recourse to the assistance of some neighbors. These separated into
parties, and explored the woods in every direction, but without success.
Next day the search was renewed, but with no better result. In the
midst of their distress Tewenissa, a native Indian from Anaguaga, on the
eastern branch of the river Susquehannah, who happened to be journeying
in that quarter, accompanied by his dog Oniah, happily went into the
house of the planter with the design of reposing himself. Observing the
distress of the family, and being informed of the circumstances, he
requested that the shoes and stockings last worn by the child should be
brought to him. He then ordered his dog to smell them; and taking the
house for a centre, described a semicircle of a quarter of a mile,
urging the dog to find out the scent. They had not gone far before the
sagacious animal began to bark. The track was followed up by the dog
with still louder barking, till at last, darting off at full speed, he
was lost in the thickness of the woods. Half an hour after they saw him
returning. His countenance was animated, bearing even an expression of
joy; it was evident he had found the child--but was he dead or alive?
This was a moment of cruel suspense, but it was of short continuance.
The Indian followed his dog, and the excellent animal conducted him to
the lost child, who was found unharmed, lying at the foot of a great
tree. Tewenissa took him in his arms, and returned with him to the
distressed parents and their friends, who had not been able to
advance with the same speed. He restored little Derick to his father and
mother, who ran to meet him; when a scene of tenderness and gratitude
ensued, which may be easier felt than described. The child was in a
state of extreme weakness, but, by means of a little care, he was in a
short time restored to his usual vigor.

[Illustration: THE CHILD DISCOVERED BY THE INDIAN'S DOG.]

In one of the churches at Lambeth, England, there is a painting on a
window, representing a man with his dog. There is a story connected with
this painting which is worth telling. Tradition informs us that a piece
of ground near Westminster bridge, containing a little over an acre, was
left to that parish by a pedler, upon condition that his picture,
accompanied by his dog, should be faithfully painted on the glass of one
of the windows. The parishioners, as the story goes, had this picture
executed accordingly, and came in possession of the land. This was in
the year 1504. The property rented at that time for about a dollar a
year. It now commands a rent of nearly fifteen hundred dollars. The
reason given for the pedler's request is, that he was once very poor,
when, one day, having occasion to pass across this piece of ground, and
being weary, he sat down under a tree to rest. While seated here, he
noticed that his dog, who was with him, acted strangely. At a distance
of several rods from the place where he sat, the dog busied himself for
awhile in scratching at a particular spot of earth, after which he
returned to his master, looked earnestly up to his face, and endeavored
to draw him toward the spot where he had been digging. The pedler,
however, paid but little attention to the movements of the dog, until he
had repeated them several times, when he was induced to accompany the
dog. To his surprise he found, on doing so, that there was a pot of gold
buried there. With a part of this gold he purchased the lot of ground on
which it had been discovered, and bequeathed it to the parish on the
conditions mentioned above. The pedler and his dog are represented in
the picture which ornaments the window of that church. "But is the story
a true one?" methinks I hear my little friends inquire. I confess it has
the air of one of Baron Munchausen's yarns, and I am somewhat doubtful
about it. But that is the tradition in the Lambeth parish, where the
picture may still be seen by any body who takes the trouble to visit the
place. The story may be true. Stranger things have happened.

Those who have studied geography do not need to be informed that there
is a chain of high mountains running through Switzerland, called the
Alps. The tops of some of these mountains are covered with snow nearly
all the year. In the winter it is very difficult and dangerous traveling
over the Alps; for the snow frequently rolls down the sides of the
mountain, in a great mass, called an _avalanche_, and buries the
traveler beneath it. On one of these mountains there is the convent of
St. Bernard. It is situated ten thousand feet above the base of the
mountain, and is on one of the most dangerous passes between Switzerland
and Savoy. It is said to be the highest inhabited spot in the old world.
It is tenanted by a race of monks, who are very kind to travelers. Among
other good services they render to the strangers who pass near their
convent, they search for unhappy persons who have been overtaken by
sudden storms, and who are liable to perish.

These monks have a peculiar variety of the dog, called the dog of St.
Bernard, or the Alpine Spaniel, which they train to hunt for travelers
who are overtaken by a storm, and who are in danger of perishing. The
dog of St. Bernard is one of the most sagacious of his species. He is
covered with thick, curly hair, which is frequently of great service in
warming the traveler, when he is almost dead with cold.

One of these dogs, named Barry, had, it was reckoned, in twelve years
saved the lives of forty individuals. Whenever the mountain was
enveloped in fogs and snow, away scoured Barry, barking and searching
all about for any person who might have fallen a victim to the storm.
When he was successful in finding any one, if his own strength was
insufficient to rescue him, he would run back to the convent in search
of assistance.

I think I must translate for my young readers an affecting story about
this dog Barry, which I read the other day in a little French book,
entitled "Modeles des Enfans." It seems that a great while ago there was
a poor woman wandering about these mountains, in the vicinity of the
convent of St. Bernard, in company with her son, a very small boy. The
story does not inform us what they were doing, and why they were walking
in such a dangerous place. Perhaps they were gathering fuel to keep them
warm; and very likely when they left home the weather was mild, and that
they did not anticipate a storm. However that may be, they were
overtaken by an avalanche, the mother was buried beneath it, and the
child saw her no more. But I must tell the remainder of the story in the
language of the French writer.

[Illustration: THE DOG OF ST. BERNARD, RESCUING THE CHILD.]

"Poor boy! the storm increased; the wind howled, and whirled the snow
into huge heaps. In the hope that he might possibly meet a traveler, the
child forced his way for awhile through the snow; but at last,
exhausted, benumbed with the cold, and discouraged, he fell upon his
knees, joined his hands devoutly together, and cried, as he raised his
face, bathed in tears, toward heaven, 'O my God! have mercy on a poor
child, who has nobody in the world to care for him!' As he lay in the
place where he fell down, which was sheltered a little by a rock, he
grew colder and colder, and he thought he must die. But still, from time
to time, he prayed, 'Have mercy, O my God! on a poor child, who has
nobody in the world to care for him!' At last he fell asleep, but was
wakened by feeling a warm paw on his face. As he opened his eyes he saw
with terror an enormous dog holding his head near his own. He uttered a
cry of fear, and started back a little way from the dog. The dog
approached the boy again, and tried, after his own fashion, to make the
little fellow understand that he came there to do him good, and not to
hurt him. Then he licked the face and hands of the child. By and by the
child confided in his visitor, and began to entertain a hope that he
might yet be saved. When Barry saw that his errand was understood, he
lifted his head, and showed the child a bottle covered with willow,
which was hanging around his neck. This bottle contained wine, some of
which the little fellow drank, and felt refreshed. Then the dog lay down
by the side of the child, and gave him the benefit of the heat of his
own body for a long time. After this, the dog made a sign for the boy to
get upon his back. It was some time before the boy could understand what
the sign meant. But it was repeated again and again, and at last the
child mounted the back of the kind animal, who carried him safely to the
convent."

Here is a capital story about a bloodhound, taken from the excellent
book by Mr. Bingley, to which I have before alluded. Aubri de Mondidier,
a gentleman of family and fortune, traveling alone through the Forest of
Bondy, in France, was murdered, and buried under a tree. His dog, a
bloodhound, would not quit his master's grave for several days; till at
length, compelled by hunger, he proceeded to the house of an intimate
friend of the unfortunate Aubri at Paris, and, by his melancholy
howling, seemed desirous of expressing the loss they had both sustained.
He repeated his cries, ran to the door, looked back to see if any one
followed him, returned to his master's friend, pulled him by the
sleeve, and with dumb eloquence, entreated him to go with him. The
singularity of all these actions of the dog, added to the circumstance
of his coming there without his master, whose faithful companion he had
always been, prompted the company to follow the animal. He conducted
them to the foot of a tree, where he renewed his howling, scratching the
earth with his feet, and significantly entreating them to search the
particular spot. Accordingly, on digging, the body of the unhappy Aubri
was found.

[Illustration: THE BLOODHOUND]

Some time after, the dog accidentally met the assassin, who is styled,
by all the historians who relate the story, the Chevalier Macaire, when,
instantly seizing him by the throat, he was with great difficulty
compelled to quit his victim. In short, whenever the dog saw the
chevalier, he continued to pursue and attack him with equal fury. Such
obstinate violence, confined only to Macaire, appeared very
extraordinary, especially to those who at once recalled the dog's
remarkable attachment to his master, and several instances in which
Macaire's envy and hatred to Aubri de Mondidier had been conspicuous.

Additional circumstances increased suspicion, and at length the affair
reached the royal ear. The king accordingly sent for the dog, which
appeared extremely gentle, till he perceived Macaire in the midst of
several noblemen, when he ran fiercely toward him, growling at and
attacking him, as usual. Struck with such a combination of
circumstantial evidence against Macaire, the king determined to refer
the decision to the chance of battle; or, in other words, he gave orders
for a combat between the chevalier and the dog. The lists were appointed
in the Isle of Notre Dame, then an unenclosed, uninhabited place.
Macaire was allowed for his weapon a great cudgel, and an empty cask was
given to the dog as a place of retreat, to enable him to recover breath.

Every thing being prepared, the dog no sooner found himself at liberty,
than he made for his adversary, running round him and menacing him on
every side, avoiding his blows till his strength was exhausted; then
springing forward, he seized him by the throat, threw him on the ground,
and obliged him to confess his guilt in presence of the king and the
whole court. In consequence of this confession, the chevalier, after a
few days, was convicted upon his own acknowledgment, and beheaded on a
scaffold in the Isle of Notre Dame.

The editor of the Portland (Maine) Advertiser relates the following
anecdote: "A gentleman from the country recently drove up to a store in
this city, and jumping from his sleigh, left his dog in the care of the
vehicle. Presently an avalanche of snow slid from the top of the
building upon the sidewalk, which so frightened the horse that he
started off down the street at a furious run. At this critical juncture,
the dog sprang from the sleigh, and seizing the reins in his mouth, held
back with all his strength, and actually reined in the frightened animal
to a post at the side of the street, when apparently having satisfied
himself that no danger was to be apprehended, he again resumed his
station in the sleigh, as unconcerned as if he had only done an ordinary
act of duty."

A few years ago a little girl, residing in an inland village in
Connecticut--without the consent of her mother, be it remembered--went
alone to a pond near by, to play with her brother's little vessel, and
fell into the water. She came very near drowning; but a dog belonging to
the family, named Rollo, who was not far off, plunged in and drew her to
the shore. She was so exhausted, however, that she could not rise, and
the dog could not lift her entirely out of the water. But he raised her
head a little above the surface, and then ran after help. He found a
man, and made use of every expedient in his power to draw him to the
spot where he had left the child. At first the stranger paid very little
attention to the dog; but by and by he was persuaded something was
wrong, and followed the dog to the pond. The little girl was not
drowned, though she was quite insensible; and the man lifted her from
the water, and saved her life, to the great joy of Rollo, who seemed
eager to assist in this enterprise.

Here is a capital story about a shepherd's dog in Scotland. I take the
liberty of borrowing it from Bingley's admirable book. The valleys, or
glens, as they are called by the natives, which intersect the Grampians,
a ridge of rocky and precipitous mountains in the northern part of
Scotland, are chiefly inhabited by shepherds. As the pastures over which
each flock is permitted to range, extend many miles in every direction,
the shepherd never has a view of his whole flock at once, except when it
is collected for the purpose of sale or shearing. His occupation is to
make daily visits to the different extremities of his pastures in
succession, and to turn back, by means of his dog, any stragglers that
may be approaching the boundaries of his neighbors.

[Illustration: EXPLOIT OF THE NEW ENGLAND DOG.]

In one of these excursions, a shepherd happened to carry with him one of
his children, an infant some two or three years old. After traversing
his pastures for some time, attended by his dog, the shepherd found
himself under the necessity of ascending a summit at some distance to
have a more extended view of his range. As the ascent was too fatiguing
for his child, he left him on a small plain at the bottom, with strict
injunctions not to stir from it till his return. Scarcely, however, had
he gained the summit, when the horizon was suddenly darkened by one of
those thick and heavy fogs which frequently descend so rapidly amid
these mountains, as, in the space of a few minutes, almost to turn day
into night. The anxious father instantly hastened back to find his
child; but, owing to the unusual darkness, and his own trepidation, he
unfortunately missed his way in the descent. After a fruitless search of
many hours among the dangerous morasses and cataracts with which these
mountains abound, he was at length overtaken by night. Still wandering
on, without knowing whither, he at length came to the verge of the mist,
and, by the light of the moon, discovered that he had reached the bottom
of the valley, and was now within a short distance of his cottage. To
renew the search that night was equally fruitless and dangerous. He was
therefore obliged to return home, having lost both his child and his
dog, which had attended him faithfully for years.

Next morning by day-break, the shepherd, accompanied by a band of his
neighbors, set out again to seek his child; but, after a day spent in
fruitless fatigue, he was at last compelled by the approach of night to
descend from the mountain. On returning to his cottage, he found that
the dog which he had lost the day before, had been home, and, on
receiving a piece of cake, had instantly gone off again. For several
successive days the shepherd renewed the search for his child, and
still, on returning in the evening disappointed to his cottage, he found
that the dog had been there, and, on receiving his usual allowance of
cake, had instantly disappeared. Struck with this singular circumstance,
he remained at home one day, and when the dog, as usual, departed with
his piece of cake, he resolved to follow him, and find out the cause of
this strange procedure. The dog led the way to a cataract at some
distance from the spot where the shepherd had left his child. The banks
of the waterfall, almost joined at the top, yet separated by an abyss of
immense depth, presented that abrupt appearance which so often
astonishes and appalls the traveler amid the Grampian mountains, and
indicates that these stupendous chasms were not the silent work of
time, but the sudden effect of some violent convulsion of the earth.
Down one of these rugged and almost perpendicular descents the dog
began, without hesitation, to make his way, and at last disappeared in a
cave, the mouth of which was almost on a level with the torrent. The
shepherd with difficulty followed; but, on entering the cave, what were
his emotions, when he beheld his infant eating with much satisfaction
the cake which the dog had just brought him, while the faithful animal
stood by, eyeing his young charge with the utmost complacency! From the
situation in which the child was found, it appeared that he had wandered
to the brink of the precipice, and either fallen or scrambled down till
he reached the cave, which the dread of the torrent had afterward
prevented him from quitting. The dog, by means of his scent, had traced
him to the spot, and afterward prevented him from starving, by giving up
to him his own daily allowance. He appears never to have quitted the
child by night or day, except when it was necessary to go for his food,
and then he was always seen running at full speed to and from the
cottage.

[Illustration: A SHEPHERD'S DOG FEEDING A LOST CHILD]

The following story is related on the authority of a correspondent of
the Boston Traveler: A gentleman from abroad, stopping at a hotel in
Boston, privately secreted his handkerchief behind the cushion of a
sofa, and left the hotel, in company with his dog. After walking for
some minutes, he suddenly stopped, and said to his dog, "I have left my
handkerchief at the hotel, and want it"--giving no particular directions
in reference to it. The dog immediately returned in full speed, and
entered the room which his master had just left. He went directly to the
sofa, but the handkerchief was gone. He jumped upon tables and counters,
but it was not to be seen. It proved that a friend had discovered it,
and supposing that it had been left by mistake, had retained it for the
owner. But Tiger was not to be foiled. He flew about the room,
apparently much excited, in quest of the "lost or stolen." Soon,
however, he was upon the track; he scented it to the gentleman's coat
pocket. What was to be done? The dog had no means of asking verbally for
it, and was not accustomed to picking pockets; and, besides, the
gentleman was ignorant of his business with him. But Tiger's sagacity
did not suffer him to remain long in suspense; he seized the skirt
containing the prize, and furiously tore it from the coat, and hastily
made off with it, much to the surprise of its owner. Tiger overtook his
master, and restored the lost property, receiving his approbation,
notwithstanding he did it at the expense of the gentleman's coat. At a
subsequent interview, the gentleman refused any remuneration for his
torn garment, declaring that the joke was worth the price of his coat.

One day, as a little girl was amusing herself with a child, near
Carlisle Bridge, Dublin, and was sportively toying with the child, he
made a sudden spring from her arms, and in an instant fell into the
river. The screaming nurse and anxious spectators saw the water close
over the child, and conceived that he had sunk to rise no more. A
Newfoundland dog, which had been accidentally passing with his master,
sprang forward to the wall, and gazed wistfully at the ripple in the
water, made by the child's descent. At the same instant the dog sprang
forward to the edge of the water. While the animal was descending, the
child again sunk, and the faithful creature was seen anxiously swimming
round and round the spot where he had disappeared. Once more the child
rose to the surface; the dog seized him, and with a firm but gentle
pressure, bore him to land without injury. Meanwhile a gentleman
arrived, who, on inquiry into the circumstances of the transaction,
exhibited strong marks of interest and feeling toward the child, and of
admiration for the dog that had rescued him from death. The person who
had removed the child from the dog turned to show him to the gentleman,
when there were presented to his view the well-known features of his own
son! A mixed sensation of terror, joy, and surprise, struck him mute.
When he had recovered the use of his faculties, and fondly kissed his
little darling, he lavished a thousand embraces on the dog, and offered
to his master five hundred guineas if he would transfer the valuable
animal to him; but the owner of the dog felt too much affection for the
useful creature, to part with him for any consideration whatever.

A boatman on the river Thames, in England, once laid a wager that he and
his dog would leap from the centre arch of Westminster Bridge, and land
at Lambeth within a minute of each other. He jumped off first, and the
dog immediately followed; but as he was not in the secret, and fearing
that his master would be drowned, he seized him by the neck, and dragged
him on shore, to the great diversion of the spectators.

[Illustration: NEWFOUNDLAND DOG, SAVING A CHILD FROM DROWNING]

Some years ago, a gentleman of Queen's College, Oxford, went to pass the
Christmas vacation at his father's in the country. An uncle, a brother,
and other friends, were one day to dine together. It was fine, frosty
weather; the two young gentlemen went out for a forenoon's
recreation, and one of them took his skates with him. They were followed
by a favorite greyhound. When the friends were beginning to long for
their return, the dog came home at full speed, and by his apparent
anxiety, his laying hold of their clothes to pull them along, and all
his gestures, he convinced them that something was wrong. They followed
the greyhound, who led them to a piece of water frozen over. A hat was
seen on the ice, near which was a fresh aperture. The bodies of the
young gentlemen were soon found, but, alas! though every means were
tried, life could not be restored.

There is another story which places the sagacity of the greyhound in
still stronger light. A Scotch gentleman, who kept a greyhound and a
pointer, being fond of coursing, employed the one to find the hares, and
the other to catch them. It was, however, discovered, that when the
season was over, the dogs were in the habit of going out by themselves,
and killing hares for their own amusement. To prevent this, a large iron
ring was fastened to the pointer's neck by a leather collar, and hung
down so as to prevent the dog from running or jumping over dikes. The
animals, however, continued to stroll out to the fields together; and
one day, the gentleman suspecting that all was not right, resolved to
watch them, and, to his surprise, found that the moment they thought
they were unobserved, the greyhound took up the ring in his mouth, and
carrying it, they set off to the hills, and began to search for hares,
as usual. They were followed; and it was observed that whenever the
pointer scented the hare, the ring was dropped, and the greyhound stood
ready to pounce upon the game the moment the other drove her from her
form; but that he uniformly returned to assist his companion, after he
had caught his prey.

[Illustration: AN ENCAMPMENT OF GIPSIES.]

Some of the dogs belonging to the gipsies possess a great deal of
shrewdness. The gipsies, you know, are a very singular race of people.
They are scattered over a great portion of Europe, wandering from place
to place, and living in miserable tents, or huts. You can form a pretty
correct notion of a gipsy encampment, by the picture on another page.
Here you see the gipsy men and women, sitting and standing around a
fire, over which is a pot, evidently containing the material for their
meal. If you notice the picture carefully, you will observe, also, a
little, insignificant looking dog, who is apparently asleep, and, for
aught I know, dreaming about the exploits of the day. You will no doubt
smile, and wonder what exploits such a cur is able to perform; but I
assure you that if he is at all like some of the gipsy dogs I have heard
of, he has been taught a good many very shrewd tricks. The dogs of the
gipsies are sometimes trained to steal for their masters. The thief
enters a store with some respectably dressed man, whom the owner of the
dog will commission for the purpose, and--the man having made certain
signals to the animal--the gipsy cur, after loitering about the store,
perhaps for hours, waiting a favorable opportunity, will steal the
articles which were designated, and run away with them to his master's
tent.

I made the acquaintance of a dog at Niagara Falls, last summer, who was
an ardent admirer of the beautiful and grand in nature. The little
steamer called the "Maid of the Mist" makes several trips daily, from a
point some two miles down the river, to within a few rods of the Canada
Fall. I went up in this boat, one morning, and the trip afforded me one
of the finest views I had of this inimitable cataract. Among the
passengers in this boat, at the time, was the dog who was so fond of the
sublime. He walked leisurely on board, just before the hour of starting,
and during the entire excursion seemed to enjoy the scene as much as any
of the rest of the passengers. As the boat approached the American
Fall, he took his station in the bow, where he remained, completely
deluged in the spray, until the boat passed the same Fall, on its
return. This, however, is not the most remarkable part of the story. The
captain informed me that such was the daily practice of the dog. Every
morning, regularly, at the hour of starting, he makes his appearance,
though he is not owned by any one engaged in the boat, and treats
himself to this novel excursion.

There is a dog living on Staten Island, who has for some time been
acting the part of a philanthropist, on a large scale. He makes it a
great share of his business to administer to the necessities of the sick
and infirm dogs in the neighborhood. As soon as he learns that a dog is
sick, so that he is unable to take care of himself, he visits the
invalid, and nurses him; and he even goes from house to house, searching
out those who need his assistance. Frequently he brings his patient to
his own kennel, and takes care of him until he either gets well or dies.
Sometimes he has two or three sick dogs in his hospital, at the same
time. I have these facts on the authority of my friend Mr. Ranlett, the
editor of the "Architect," a gentleman of unquestionable veracity, who
has seen the dog thus imitating the example of the Good Samaritan.

[Illustration: RUSSIAN SLEDGE.]

Captain Parry, an adventurous sailor, who went out from England on a
voyage of discovery in the northern seas, relates some amusing anecdotes
about the dogs among the Esquimaux Indians. These dogs are trained to
draw a vehicle called a sledge, made a little like what we call a
sleigh. In some parts of Russia many people travel in the same manner.
Here is a picture of one of the Russian sledges. It is made in very
handsome style, as you see. The greater portion of them are constructed
much more rudely. The Esquimaux Indian is famous for his feats in
driving dogs. When he wants to take a ride, he harnesses up several
pairs of these dogs, and off he goes, almost as swift as the wind. The
dogs are rather unruly, however, sometimes, and get themselves sadly
snarled together, so that the driver is obliged to go through the
harnessing process several times in the course of a drive of a few
miles. When the road is level and pretty smoothly worn, eight or ten
dogs, with a weight only of some six or seven hundred pounds attached to
them, are almost unmanageable, and will run any where they choose at the
rate of ten miles an hour.

The following anecdote we have on the authority of the Newark (N. J.)
Daily Advertiser: An officer of the army, accompanied by his dog, left
West Point on a visit to the city of Burlington, N. J., and while there,
becoming sick, wrote to his wife and family at West Point, in relation
to his indisposition. Shortly after the reception of his letter, the
family were aroused by a whining, barking and scratching, at the door of
the house, and when opened to ascertain the cause, in rushed the
faithful dog. After being caressed, and every attempt made to quiet him,
the dog, in despair at not being understood, seized a shawl in his
teeth, and, placing his paws on the lady's shoulders, deposited there
the shawl! He then placed himself before her, and, fixing his gaze
intently upon her, to attract her attention, seized her dress, and began
to drag her to the door. The lady then became alarmed, and sent for a
relative, who endeavored to allay her fears, but she prevailed upon him
to accompany her at once to her husband, and on arriving, found him
dangerously ill in Burlington. The distance traveled by the faithful
animal, and the difficulties encountered, render this exploit almost
incredible, especially as the boats could not stop at West Point, on
account of the ice, it being in the winter.

There is a dog in the city of New York, who, according to unquestionable
authority, is accustomed every day not only to bring his mistress the
morning paper, as soon as it is thrown into the front yard, but to
select the one belonging to the lady, when, as is frequently the case,
there is one lying with it belonging to another member of the family.

An unfortunate dog, living in England, in order to make sport for some
fools, had a pan tied to his tail, and was sent off on his travels
toward a village a few miles distant. He reached the place utterly
exhausted, and lay down before the steps of a tavern, eyeing most
anxiously the horrid annoyance hung behind him, but unable to move a
step further, or rid himself of the torment. Another dog, a Scotch
colly, came up at the time, and seeing the distress of his crony, laid
himself down gently beside him, and gaining his confidence by a few
caresses, proceeded to gnaw the string by which the noisy appendage was
attached to his friend's tail, and by about a quarter of an hour's
exertion, severed the cord, and started to his legs, with the pan
hanging from the string in his mouth, and after a few joyful capers
around his friend, departed on his travels, in the highest glee at his
success.

The Albany Journal tells us of a dog in that city, who has formed the
habit of regarding a shadow with a great deal of interest. In this
particular, he is not unlike some people that one occasionally meets
with, who spend their whole time following shadows. The story of the
Albany editor is thus told: Those who are in the habit of frequenting
the post-office, between the hours of six and eight in the evening, have
doubtless noticed the singular wanderings of a dog near the first swing
door, without knowing the cause of his mysterious actions. The hall is
lighted with gas, and the burner is placed between the two doors. When
the outer door swings, the frame-work of the sash throws a moving shadow
on the wall, beneath the structure, which, from its peculiar movement
toward the floor, has attracted the notice of this dog. He watches it as
sharp as if it were a mouse, and although his labors have been
fruitless, yet he still continues nightly to grace this place with his
presence. Several attempts have been made to draw his attention from the
object, with but little success; for though his attention may be
diverted, it is soon lost, as the instant his eye catches the shadow, he
renews his watchings. In all his movements he is very harmless, and he
neither injures nor even molests those who have occasion to pass through
the hall.

As a farmer of good circumstances, who resided in the county of Norfolk,
England, was taking an excursion to a considerable distance from home,
during the frosts in the month of March 1795, he at length was so
benumbed by the intense cold, that he became stupefied, and so sleepy
that he found himself unable to proceed. He lay down, and would have
perished on the spot, had not a faithful dog, which attended him, as if
sensible of his dangerous situation, got on his breast, and, extending
himself over him, preserved the circulation of his blood. The dog, so
situated for many hours, kept up a continual barking, by which means,
and the assistance of some passengers, the farmer was roused, and led to
a house, where he soon recovered.




The Wolf.


From an authentic source I have obtained an incident of recent
occurrence, which painfully illustrates the fury of the wolf, while
engaged at a favorite meal. Near Lake Constance, in Canada, two men
observed some wolves engaged in eating a deer. One of them, named Black,
went to dispute the prize with these ravenous animals, when he
unfortunately fell a victim to his rashness, the wolves having devoured
him, leaving only a small portion of his bones.

Some three years since, while traveling in Canada, I met a lady who
resided with a brother in the employ of the Hudson's Bay Company, a few
hundred miles north of Montreal. This lady informed me that she had not
unfrequently been chased by wolves, while proceeding to the house of her
nearest neighbor--about ten miles distant--and that a pack of them,
unusually hungry, once seemed very much determined to pull her from
her horse, though they finally made up their minds that they would try
their fortunes in another direction.

[Illustration: AN ADVENTURE WITH WOLVES.]

It sometimes, though not very frequently happens, that several wolves
together attack men who travel on horseback, and fight furiously. A
story is told of two men who were traveling in this manner in Mexico,
when two or three wolves, who, one would suppose, had fasted a good
while, fell upon the men and their horses, and it was a matter of some
doubt, for a time, who would be the victors, the travelers or their
assailants. The former were armed with pistols, too. The wolves got the
worst of the battle, however, at last, and they retreated, as men very
often do when they go to war with each other--having gained nothing but
a broken limb or two, which they boast of for the remainder of their
lives.

A peasant in Russia was one day riding along, when he found that he was
pursued by eleven wolves. Being about two miles from home he urged his
horse to the very extent of his speed. At the entrance to his residence
was a gate, which being shut at the time, the frightened horse dashed
open, and carried his master safely into the yard. Nine of the wolves
followed the man and his horse into the inclosure, when fortunately,
the gate swung back, and caught them all as it were in a trap. Finding
themselves caught in this manner, the wolves seemed to lose all their
courage and ferocity. They shrunk away, and tried to hide themselves
instead of pursuing their prey, and they were all killed with very
little difficulty.

The following story of an encounter with a saucy wolf in the
south-western part of the United States, is taken from the journal of a
Santa Fe trader: "I shall not soon forget an adventure with a furious
wolf, many years ago, on the frontiers of Missouri. Riding near the
prairie border, I perceived one of the largest and fiercest of the gray
species, which had just descended from the west, and seemed famished to
desperation. I at once prepared for a chase; and being without arms, I
caught up a cudgel, when I betook me valiantly to the charge, much
stronger, as I soon discovered, in my cause than in my equipment. The
wolf was in no humor to flee, however, but boldly met me full half way.
I was soon disarmed, for my club broke upon the animal's head. He then
'laid to' my horse's legs, which, not relishing the conflict, gave a
plunge, and sent me whirling over his head, and made his escape, leaving
me and the wolf at close quarters. I was no sooner upon my feet than my
antagonist renewed the charge; but being without a weapon, or any means
of awakening an emotion of terror, save through his imagination, I took
off my large black hat, and using it for a shield, began to thrust it
toward his gaping jaws. My _ruse_ had the desired effect; for after
springing at me a few times, he wheeled about, and trotted off several
paces, and stopped to gaze at me. Being apprehensive that he might
change his mind, and return to the attack, and conscious that, under the
compromise, I had the best of the bargain, I very resolutely took to my
heels, glad of the opportunity of making a drawn game,[1] though I had
myself given the challenge." A friend of mine, who visited Texas a
little while ago, gives quite an interesting account of a ride he had
through an uninhabited part of that country, where wolves were abundant.
He says: "As there was no road, I was obliged to take the prairie. My
conveyance was a mule, which is, by the way, the best for a long journey
in this country, as it is far more capable of endurance than a horse.
When I had rode about five miles, I found that I had lost my course; and
as the sun was clouded, I had no means of guessing at the route. But I
pushed on, and soon found myself in a dense grove of live oak. Here I
heard a distinct barking, and thought I must be near a house. I rode
toward the place whence the noise seemed to proceed, but soon found that
I had committed a most egregious error; for I was in the very midst of a
pack of wolves, consisting of about a dozen. As you may suppose, I was
terribly frightened, though I had heard that wolves in the country
seldom molest any one traveling on horseback. Still, this interesting
party appeared singularly fierce and hungry, and I opened a large clasp
knife, the only available weapon I had, in order to be prepared for the
contemplated attack. In this way I rode on about a mile, with the wolves
after me, when the whole force quietly dispersed. After riding about
three hours more, I discovered that I had been on the wrong track all
the time, though I was not sure where I was; but it was so dark it was
not safe to go further. So I spread my cloak on the grass, tied my mule
up to a tree, made my saddle into a pillow, and, thus prepared, lay down
for the night. I thought of wolves and snakes for some time, but being
very tired, soon went to sleep."

[Footnote 1: A drawn game at chess, as some of my readers may not be
aware, is one in which neither party is the victor.]

The wolf is capable of strong attachments, and has been known to cherish
the memory of a friend for a great length of time. A wolf belonging to
the menagerie in London, met his old keeper, after three years' absence.
It was evening when the man returned, and the wolf's den was shut up
from any external observation; yet the instant the man's voice was
heard, the faithful animal set up the most anxious cries; and the door
of his cage being opened, he rushed toward his friend, leaped upon his
shoulders, licked his face, and threatened to bite his keepers on their
attempting to separate them. When the man ultimately went away, he fell
sick, was long on the verge of death, and would never after permit a
stranger to approach him.

Captain Franklin, in his journal of a voyage in the Polar seas, mentions
seeing white wolves there, and gives an account which shows the wolf to
be quite a cunning animal. A number of deer, says the captain, were
feeding on a high cliff, when a multitude of wolves slily encircled the
place, and then rushed upon the deer, scaring them over the precipice,
where they were crushed to death by the fall. The wolves then came down,
and devoured the deer at their leisure.

[Illustration: SCENE IN THE OLD WOLF STORY.]

When I was quite a little boy, it used to be the fashion for many people
to fill children's heads with all manner of frightful stories about
wolves, and bears, and gentry of that sort--stories that had not a word
of truth in them, and which did a great deal of mischief. I remember to
this day, the horror I used to have, when obliged to go away alone in
the dark. Many a time I have looked behind me, thinking it quite likely
that a furious wolf was at my heels. The reason for this foolish
fear--for it was foolish, of course--was, that a servant girl, in the
employ of my mother, used to tell me scores of stories in which wolves
always played a very prominent part. I remember one story in particular,
which cost me a world of terror. The principal scene in the tale, and
the one which most frightened me, was at the time pictured so strongly
on my imagination, that it never entirely wore off. It was much after
this fashion. The wolf's jaws were opened wide enough to take a poor
fellow's head in, and fancy pictured that event as being about to happen
scores of times. Indeed, the nurse told me, over and over again, that
unless I kept out of mischief--which I did not always, I am sorry to
say--I should be sure to come to some such end. Boys and girls, if you
have ever heard such stories, don't let them trouble you for a moment.
There is not a word of truth in them. I know how you feel--some of you
who are quite young, and who have been entertained with stories of this
class--when any body asks you to go alone into a dark room. You are
afraid of something, and for your life cannot tell what. I should not
wonder very much if some of you were _afraid of the dark_. I have heard
children talk about being afraid of the dark. You laugh, perhaps. It is
rather funny--almost too funny to be treated seriously. Well, if it is
not the dark, what is it you are afraid of? Your parents, and others who
are older than you, are alone in the dark a thousand times in the course
of a year. Did you ever hear them say any thing about meeting a single
one of the heroes of the frightful stories you have heard? Do you think
they ever came across a ghost, or an apparition, or a fairy, or an elf,
or a witch, or a hobgoblin, or a giant, or a Blue-Beard, or a wolf? It
makes you smile to think of it. Well, then, after all, don't you think
it would be a great deal wiser and better to turn all these foolish
fancies out of your head, just as one would get rid of a company of
saucy rats and mice that were doing mischief in the cellar or
corn-house? I think so.

Before I have done with the wolf, I must recite that fable of AEsop's,
about one who dressed himself up in the garb of a sheep, to impose upon
the shepherd, but who shared a very different fate from the one he
anticipated.

[Illustration: THE WOLF IN SHEEP'S CLOTHING.]

A wolf, clothing himself in the skin of a sheep, and getting in among
the flock, by this means took the opportunity to devour many of them. At
last the shepherd discovered him, and cunningly fastening a rope about
his neck, tied him up to a tree which stood hard by. Some other
shepherds happening to pass that way, and observing what he was about,
drew near and expressed their amazement. "What," says one of them,
"brother, do you make a practice of hanging sheep?" "No," replies the
other; "but I make a practice of hanging a wolf whenever I catch him,
though in the habit and garb of a sheep." Then he showed them their
mistake, and they applauded the justice of the execution. The moral of
this fable is so plain, that it is quite useless to repeat it.




The Horse.


Of all the animals which have been pressed into the service of man, the
horse, perhaps, is the most useful. What could we do without the labor
of this noble and faithful animal? Day after day, and year after year,
he toils on for his master, seldom complaining, when he is well treated,
seldom showing himself ungrateful to his friends, and sometimes
exhibiting the strongest attachment.

The following story is a matter of history, and is told by one who was a
witness of most of the facts connected with it: During the peninsular
war in Europe, the trumpeter of a French cavalry corps had a fine
charger assigned to him, of which he became passionately fond, and
which, by gentleness of disposition and uniform docility, equally
evinced its affection. The sound of the trumpeter's voice, the sight of
his uniform, or the twang of his trumpet, was sufficient to throw
this animal into a state of the greatest excitement; and he appeared
to be pleased and happy only when under the saddle of his rider. Indeed
he was unruly and useless to every body else; for once, on being removed
to another part of the forces, and consigned to a young officer, he
resolutely refused to perform his evolutions, and bolted straight to the
trumpeter's station, and there took his stand, jostling alongside his
former master. This animal, on being restored to the trumpeter, carried
him, during several of the peninsular campaigns, through many
difficulties and hair-breadth escapes. At last the corps to which he
belonged was worsted, and in the confusion of retreat the trumpeter was
mortally wounded. Dropping from his horse, his body was found, many days
after the engagement, stretched on the ground, with the faithful old
charger standing beside it. During the long interval, it seems that he
had never left the trumpeter's side, but had stood sentinel over his
corpse, as represented in the engraving, scaring away the birds of prey,
and remaining totally heedless of his own privations. When found, he was
in a sadly reduced condition, partly from loss of blood through wounds,
but chiefly from want of food, of which, in the excess of his grief, he
could not be prevailed on to partake.

[Illustration: THE HORSE WATCHING THE BODY OF THE TRUMPETER.]

In a book called "Sketches of the Horse," is an anecdote which exhibits
the intelligence of this animal in perhaps a still stronger light. A
farmer, living in the neighborhood of Bedford, in England, was returning
home from market one evening in 1828, and being somewhat tipsy, rolled
off his saddle into the middle of the road. His horse stood still; but
after remaining patiently for some time, and not observing any
disposition in his rider to get up and proceed further, he took him by
the collar and shook him. This had little or no effect, for the farmer
only gave a grumble of dissatisfaction at having his repose disturbed.
The animal was not to be put off by any such evasion, and so applied his
mouth to one of his master's coat-laps, and after several attempts, by
dragging at it, to raise him upon his feet, the coat-lap gave way. Three
individuals who witnessed this extraordinary proceeding then went up,
and assisted the man in mounting his horse.

My father had a horse, when I was a little boy, that was quite a pet
with the whole family. We called him Jack, and he knew his name as well
as I did. The biography of the old veteran would be very interesting, I
am sure, if any body were to write it. I do not mean to be his
biographer, however, though my partiality for him will be a sufficient
apology for a slight sketch.

Old Jack was a very intelligent horse. He would always come when he
heard his name called, let him be ever so far distant in the pasture;
that is, if he had a mind to come. Of course, being a gentleman of
discernment, he sometimes chose to stay where he was, and enjoy his
walk. This was especially the case when the grass was very green, and
when the person who came for him chanced to be a little green also. Jack
had his faults, it cannot be denied, and among them, perhaps the most
prominent one was a strong aversion to being caught by any body but my
father, whom he seemed to regard as having the sole right to summon him
from the pasture. I used occasionally to try my hand at catching him. In
fact, I succeeded several times, by stratagem only. I carried a measure
containing a few gills of oats with me into the field; and his love for
oats was so much stronger than his dislike of the catching process, that
I secured him. But after a while the old fellow became too cunning for
me. He came to the conclusion that the quantity of his favorite dish was
too small to warrant him in sacrificing his freedom. He had some
knowledge of arithmetic, you see. Certainly he must have cyphered as
far as loss and gain. One day I went into the pasture with my bridle
concealed behind me, and just about enough oats to cover the bottom of
my measure, and advanced carefully toward the spot where old Jack was
quietly grazing in the meadow. He did not stir as I approached. He held
up his head a little, and seemed to be thinking what it was best to do.
I drew nearer, encouraged, of course. The cunning fellow let me come
within a few feet of him, and then suddenly wheeled around, threw his
heels into the air, a great deal too near my head, and then started off
at full gallop, snorting his delight at the fun, and seeming to say, "I
am not quite so great a fool as you suppose."

Still, old Jack was kind and gentle. My father never had any trouble
with him, and many a long mile have I rode after him, when he went over
the ground like a bird. I loved him, with all his faults; I loved him
dearly, and when he was sold, we all had a long crying spell about it. I
remember the time well, when the man who purchased our old pet came to
take him away. I presume the man was kind enough, but really I never
could forgive him for buying the horse. He was rather a rough-looking
man, and he laughed a good deal when we told him he must be good to
Jack, and give him plenty of oats, and not make him work too hard. I
went out, with my sister, to bid our old friend a last sad good-bye. We
carried him some green grass--we knew how well he loved grass, he had
given us proof enough of that--and while he was eating it, and the man
was preparing to take him away, we talked to old Jack till the tears
stood in our eyes; we told him how sorry we were to part with him; and
he seemed to be sad, too, for he stopped eating his grass, and looked at
us tenderly, while we put our arms around his neck and caressed him for
the last time.

[Illustration: PARTING WITH OLD JACK.]

I have had a great many pets since--cats and dogs, squirrels and
rabbits, canary birds and parrots--but never any that I loved more than
I did old Jack; and to this day I am ashamed of the deception I
practiced upon him in the matter of the oats, when trying to catch him.
I don't wonder he resented the trick, and played one on me in return.

But I am transgressing the rule I laid down for myself in the outset of
these stories--not to prate much about my own pets. According to this
rule, I ought to have touched much more lightly upon the life and times
of old Jack.

A correspondent of the Providence (R. I.) Journal, gives an account of a
horse in his neighborhood that was remarkably fond of music. "A
physician," he says, "called daily to visit a patient opposite to my
place of residence. We had a piano in the room on the street, on which a
young lady daily practiced for several hours in the morning. The weather
was warm, and the windows were open, and the moment the horse caught the
sound of the piano, he would deliberately wheel about, cross the street,
place himself as near the window as possible, and there, with ears and
eyes dilating, would he quietly stand and listen till his owner came for
him. This was his daily practice. Sometimes the young lady would stop
playing when the doctor drove up. The horse would then remain quietly in
his place; but the first stroke of a key would arrest his attention, and
half a dozen notes would invariably call him across the street. I
witnessed the effect several times."

There was a show-bill printed during the reign of Queen Anne, a copy of
which is still to be seen in one of the public libraries in England, to
the following effect: "To be seen, at the Ship, upon Great Tower Hill,
the finest taught horse in the world. He fetches and carries like a
spaniel dog. If you hide a glove, a handkerchief, a door key, a pewter
spoon, or so small a thing as a silver twopence, he will seek about the
room till he has found it, and then he will bring it to his master.
He will also tell the number of spots on a card, and leap through a
hoop; with a variety of other curious performances."

[Illustration: ALEXANDER TAMING BUCEPHALUS.]

The story of Alexander the Great, and his favorite horse Bucephalus,
doubtless most of my readers have heard before. Bucephalus was a
war-horse of a very high spirit, which had been sent to Philip,
Alexander's father, when the latter was a boy. This horse was taken out
into one of the parks connected with the palace, and the king and many
of his courtiers went to see him. The horse pranced about so furiously,
that every body was afraid of him. He seemed perfectly unmanageable. No
one was willing to risk his life by mounting such an unruly animal.
Philip, instead of being thankful for the present, was inclined to be in
ill humor about it. In the mean time, the boy Alexander stood quietly
by, watching all the motions of the horse, and seeming to be studying
his character. Philip had decided that the horse was useless, and had
given orders to have him sent back to Thessaly, where he came from.
Alexander did not much like the idea of losing so fine an animal, and
begged his father to allow him to mount the horse. Philip at first
refused, thinking the risk was too great. But he finally consented,
after his son had urged him a great while. So Alexander went up to the
horse, and took hold of his bridle. He patted him upon the neck, and
soothed him with his voice, showing him, at the same time, by his easy
and unconcerned manner, that he was not in the least afraid of him.
Bucephalus was calmed and subdued by the presence of Alexander. He
allowed himself to be caressed. Alexander turned his head in such a
direction as to prevent his seeing his own shadow, which had before
appeared to frighten him. Then he threw off his cloak, and sprang upon
the back of the horse, and let him go as fast as he pleased. The animal
flew across the plain, at the top of his speed, while the king and his
courtiers looked on, at first with extreme fear, but afterward with the
greatest admiration and pleasure. When Bucephalus had got tired of
running, he was easily reined in, and Alexander returned to the king,
who praised him very highly, and told him that he deserved a larger
kingdom than Macedon. Alexander had a larger kingdom, some years
after--a great deal larger one--though that is a part of another story.

Bucephalus became the favorite horse of Alexander, and was very
tractable and docile, though full of life and spirit. He would kneel
upon his fore legs, at the command of his master, in order that he might
mount more easily. A great many anecdotes are related of the feats of
Bucephalus, as a war-horse. He was never willing to have any one ride
him but Alexander. When the horse died, Alexander mourned for him a
great deal. He had him buried with great solemnity, and built a small
city upon the spot of his interment, which he named, in honor of his
favorite, Bucephalia.

An odd sort of an old mare, called by her master Nancy, used to go by my
father's house, when I was a child. She was the bearer of Peter
Packer--Uncle Peter, as he was sometimes called by the good people in
our neighborhood--and he was the bearer of the weekly newspaper, and
was, withal, quite as odd as his mare. As long as I can remember, Uncle
Peter went his weekly rounds, and for aught I know, he is going to this
day. No storm, or tempest, or snow-bank, could detain him, that is, not
longer than a day or two, in his mission. He was a very punctual man--in
other words, he always paced leisurely along, some time or another.
Speaking of pacing, reminds me that the mare aforesaid belonged to that
particular class and order called _pacers_, from their peculiar gait. I
should think, too, that the mare was not altogether unlike the
celebrated animal on which Don Quixote rode in pursuit of wind-mills,
and things of that sort. But she had one peculiarity which is not set
down in the description of Rozinante, to wit: the faculty of diagonal or
oblique locomotion. This mare of Uncle Peter's went forward something
after the fashion of a crab, and a little like a ship with the wind
abeam, as the sailors would say. It was a standing topic of dispute
among us school-boys, whether the animal went head foremost or not. But
that did not matter much, practically, it is true, so that she always
made her circuit; and that she did, as I have said before. Sometimes she
was a day or two later than usual. But that seldom occurred except in
the summer season; and when it did happen, it was on this wise: she had
a most passionate love for the study of practical botany; and not being
allowed, when at home, to pursue her favorite science as often as she
wished, owing partly to a want of specimens, and partly to her master's
desire to educate her in the more solid branches--he was a great
advocate for the solid branches--she frequently took the liberty to
divest herself of her bridle, when standing at the door of her master's
customers, and to pace away in search of the dear flowers. Oh, she was a
devoted student of botany! so much so, that her desire to obtain
botanical specimens did sometimes interfere a good deal with her
other literary and scientific engagements. She used to do very nearly as
she chose. Uncle Peter seldom crossed her in her inclinations. If she
was pacing along the highway, and felt a little thirsty, she never
hesitated to stop, whether her master invited her to do so or not, at a
brook or a watering-trough. Uncle Peter used to say, that he never tried
to prevent these liberties but once, and he had occasion to repent
bitterly of that. A thunder-storm was coming on, and he was in a hurry
to get to the next house. But the mare was determined, before she went
any further, to stop at a stream of water and drink. He set out to have
his way--Nancy set out to have hers. The result was, that Peter was
obliged to yield. But that was not the worst of it. The old mare was so
much vexed because her master disputed her will, that while she was
standing in the brook, she threw up her hind feet and let him fall over
her head into the water. That gentle correction cured Uncle Peter. She
had her own way after the ducking.

[Illustration: UNCLE PETER AND HIS OLD MARE.]

Horses have been known to cherish a strong attachment for each other. In
one of the British wars called the peninsular war, two horses, who had
long been associated together, assisting in dragging the same piece of
artillery, became so much attached to each other as to be inseparable
companions. At length one of them was killed in battle. After the
engagement was over, the other horse was attended to, as usual, and his
food was brought to him. But he refused to eat, and was constantly
turning his head to look for his former companion, sometimes neighing,
as if to call her. All the attention which was bestowed upon him was of
no avail. Though surrounded by other horses, he took no notice of them,
but was continually mourning for his lost friend. Shortly after he died,
having refused to taste any food from the day his companion was killed.

An old Shetland pony was so much attached to a little boy, his master,
that he would place his fore feet in the hands of the boy, like a dog,
thrust his head under his arm, to court his caresses, and join with him
and a little dog in their noisy rompings. The same animal daily carried
his master to school. He would even walk alone from the stable to the
school-house, to bring the boy home, and sometimes he would wait hours
for him, having come much too early.

But I have occupied the reader's attention long enough with stories of
the horse, interesting and noble as this animal is. I must, however,
before I pass to another subject, recite a touching ballad, from one of
our sweetest bards.

[Illustration: THE OLD HORSE'S ADDRESS TO HIS MASTER, ON BEING SENTENCED
TO DIE.]

    And hast thou fixed my doom, kind master, say?
      And wilt thou kill thy servant, old and poor?
    A little longer let me live, I pray--
      A little longer hobble round thy door.

    For much it glads me to behold this place,
      And house me in this hospitable shed;
    It glads me more to see my master's face,
      And linger on the spot where I was bred.

    For oh! to think of what we have enjoyed,
      In my life's prime, ere I was old and poor;
    Then, from the jocund morn to eve employed,
      My gracious master on my back I bore.

    Thrice told ten happy years have danced along,
      Since first to thee these wayworn limbs I gave;
    Sweet smiling years, when both of us were young--
      The kindest master, and the happiest slave!

    Ah, years sweet smiling, now forever flown!
      Ten years thrice told, alas! are as a day;
    Yet, as together we are aged grown,
      Together let us wear that age away.

    For still the olden times are dear to thought,
      And rapture marked each minute as it flew;
    Light were our hearts, and every season brought
      Pains that were soft, and pleasures that were new.

    And hast thou fixed my doom, sweet master, say?
      And wilt thou kill thy servant, old and poor?
    A little longer let me live, I pray--
      A little longer hobble round thy door.

    But oh! kind Nature, take thy victim's life!
      End thou a servant, feeble, old, and poor!
    So shalt thou save me from the uplifted knife,
      And gently stretch me at my master's door.




[Illustration: THE LEOPARD AND THE SERPENT.]

The Panther and Leopard.


Leopards and panthers are very similar in their appearance and habits;
so much so, that I shall introduce them both in the same chapter. The
engraving represents a panther. He is in some danger from the serpent
near him, I am inclined to think.

A panther is spoken of by an English lady, Mrs. Bowdich, who resided for
some time in Africa, as being thoroughly domesticated. He was as tame as
a cat, and much more affectionate than cats usually are. On one
occasion, when he was sick, the boy who had charge of him slept in his
den, and held the patient a great part of the time in his arms, and the
poor fellow appeared to be soothed by the care and attention of his
nurse. He had a great partiality for white people, probably because he
had been tamed by them; and the lady who gives this account of him was
his especial favorite. Twice each week she used to take him some
lavender water, which he was very fond of, and seized with great
eagerness. He allowed the children to play with him; and sometimes, when
he was sitting in the window, gazing upon what was going on below, the
little urchins would pull him down by the tail. It would seem to be
rather a dangerous experiment. But the panther let his play-fellows
enjoy the sport. I suppose he thought that though it was not very
pleasant to him, he would make the sacrifice of a little comfort rather
than to get angry and revenge himself. Besides, he might have said to
himself, "These boys like the sport pretty well; I should guess it was
capital fun for them; it is a pity to rob them of their amusement it
does not hurt me much, and I will let it go; they don't mean any harm;
they are the kindest, best-natured children in the world; they would go
without their own dinner, any day, rather than see me suffer." If the
panther said this to himself, it was a very wise and sensible speech;
and if he did not say it, my little readers may consider me as the
author of it. I am satisfied, whether the panther has the credit of
making the remarks or whether I have it, so that my young friends get
the benefit of the lesson.

In their wild state these animals are very destructive. The same lady
who tells the story about the tame panther, says that in one case a
panther leaped through an open window near her residence, and killed a
little girl who happened to be the only occupant of the house at the
time, except a man who was asleep.

The tame leopard is often used in India for the purpose of hunting
antelopes. He is carried in a kind of small wagon, blindfolded, to the
place where the herd of antelopes are feeding. The reason they blindfold
him is to prevent his being too much in a hurry, so that he might make
choice of an animal which is not worth much. He does not fly at his prey
at once, when let loose, but, winding along carefully, conceals himself,
until an opportunity offers for his leap; and then, with five or six
bounds, made with amazing force and rapidity, overtakes the herd, and
brings his prey to the ground.

I have read a very serious story of an American panther. The lady, who
is the heroine of the story, and her husband, were among the first
settlers in the wilderness of one of our western states. They at first
lived in a log cabin. The luxury of glass was unknown in that wild place
among the forests, and consequently light and air were admitted through
holes which were always open. Both husband and wife had been away from
home for a day or two; and on their return, they found some deer's
flesh, which had been hanging up inside, partly eaten, and the tracks of
an animal, which the gentleman supposed were those of a large dog. He
was again obliged to leave home for a night, and this time the lady
remained in the house alone. She went to bed; and soon after, she heard
an animal climbing up the outside of the hut, and jump down through one
of the openings into the adjoining room, with which her sleeping
apartment was connected by a doorway without a door. Peeping out, she
saw a huge panther, apparently seeking for prey, and of course very
hungry and fierce. She beat against the partition between the rooms, and
screamed as loudly as she could, which so frightened the panther that he
jumped out. He was, however, soon in again, and a second time she
frightened him away in the same manner, when she sprang out of bed, and
went to the fire-place, in the hope of making a sufficient blaze to keep
the panther from entering again. But the embers were too much burned,
and would send out but a slight flame. What could the poor woman do? She
thought of getting under the bed; but then she reflected that the animal
would find no difficulty in getting at her in that situation, in which
case he would tear her in pieces before she could make any resistance.

The only plan which then occurred to her mind for perfect security, was
to get into a large sea-chest of her husband's, which was nearly empty.
Into that she accordingly crept. But there was danger of her being
smothered in this retreat; so she put her hand between the edge of the
chest and the lid, in order to keep the chest open a little, and admit
the air. Fortunately this lid hung over the side of the chest a little,
which saved her fingers. The panther soon came back again, as was
anticipated; and after snuffing about for some time, evidently
discovered where the lady was, and prowled round and round the chest,
licking and scratching the wood close to her fingers. There she lay,
scarcely daring to move, and listening intently to every movement of her
enemy. At last, he jumped on the top of the chest. His weight crushed
her fingers terribly; but she was brave enough to keep them where they
were, until the panther, tired of his fruitless efforts to get at her,
and finding nothing else to eat, finally retreated. She did not dare to
come out of the chest, however, until morning; for she feared, as long
as it was dark, that the beast might come back again. So there she sat,
ready to crouch down into her hiding-place, if she heard a noise from
her enemy. There she remained till after daylight. She was a heroine,
was she not?

A horse was killed one night by an American panther; but the body was
not disturbed until the next day, when some gentlemen living in the
vicinity, had an opportunity of watching the motions of the panther when
he returned to his prey. He seized the body of the horse with his teeth,
and drew it about sixty paces to a river, into which he plunged with his
prey, swam across with it, and drew it into a neighboring forest.

The American panther is very fond of fish, and instances have been known
of these animals catching trout with their paws. Humboldt says that he
saw a great many turtle shells which the panthers had robbed of the
flesh. The manner in which the panther performs this operation, this
traveler informs us, is to run with all speed when he sees a number of
turtles together on land, and to turn them, or as many of them as he can
catch before they reach the water, upon their backs, so that they cannot
escape, after which he feasts at his leisure.

Two children, a girl and a boy, were playing together near a small
Indian village, in the vicinity of a thicket, when a large panther came
out of the woods and made toward them, playfully bounding along, his
head down, and his back arched after the fashion of the cat when she
chooses to put on some of her mischievous airs. He came up to the boy,
and began to play with him, as the latter at first supposed, although he
was convinced of his mistake when the panther hit him so severe a blow
on his head as to draw blood. Then the little girl, who had a small
stick in her hand, struck the panther; and matters were going on in this
way, when some Indians in the village, hearing the cries of the
children, came to their rescue.

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

Captain Marryatt had a pretty serious adventure with a huge panther in
Africa, while his vessel lay at anchor in a river there, and he and his
men were busy in taking in a cargo of ivory. As they were thus engaged
one day, by some accident a hole was made in the bottom of the boat, and
they were unable to proceed with it. The captain told the men to remain
by the boat, and started himself to obtain assistance from the vessel.
He thought that if he could force his way through the canes which
abounded in that vicinity, a short distance down the river, he could
make signals to those on board, and that some of them would come to
their help. This expedition, however, proved a much longer one than he
anticipated, and much more perilous. He lost his way. "At first," he
says, "I got on very well, as there were little paths through the canes,
made, as I imagined, by the natives; and although I was up to my knees
in thick black mud, I continued to get on pretty fast; but at last the
canes grew so thick that I could hardly force my way through them, and
it was a work of exceeding labor. Still I persevered, expecting each
second I should arrive at the banks of the river, and be rewarded for my
fatigue; but the more I labored the worse it appeared for me, and at
last I became worn out and quite bewildered. I then tried to find my way
back, and was equally unsuccessful, when I sat down with any thing but
pleasant thoughts in my mind. I calculated that I had been two hours in
making this attempt, and was now quite puzzled how to proceed. I
bitterly lamented my rashness, now that it was too late. Having reposed
a little, I resumed my toil, and again, after an hour's exertion, was
compelled, from fatigue, to sit down in the deep black mud. Another
respite from toil and another hour more of exertion, and I gave myself
up for lost. The day was evidently fast closing in, the light over head
was not near so bright as it had been, and I knew that a night passed in
the miasma of the cane swamp was death. At last it became darker and
darker. There could not be an hour of daylight remaining. I determined
upon one struggle more, and reeking as I was with perspiration, and
faint with fatigue, I rose again, and was forcing my way through the
thickest of the canes, when I heard a deep growl, and perceived a large
panther not twenty yards from me. He was on the move as well as myself,
attempting to force his way through the thickest of the canes, so as to
come up to me. I retreated from him as fast as I could, but he gained
slowly upon me, and my strength was fast declining. I thought I heard
sounds at a distance, and they became more and more distinct; but what
they were, my fear and my struggles probably prevented from making out.

"My eyes were fixed upon the fierce animal who was in pursuit of me; and
I now thank God that the canes were so thick and impassable. Still the
animal evidently gained ground, until it was not more than twenty yards
from me, dashing and springing at the canes, and tearing them aside with
his teeth. The sounds were now nearer, and I made them out to be the
hallooing of some other animals. A moment's pause, and I thought it was
the barking of dogs, and I thought I must have arrived close to where
the schooner lay, and that I heard the barking of bloodhounds. At last I
could do no more, and dropped exhausted and almost senseless in the mud.
I recollect hearing the crashing of canes, and then the savage roar, and
the yells, and growls, and struggle, and fierce contention, but had
fainted.

"I must now inform the reader that about an hour after I had left the
boat, the captain of an American vessel was pulling up the river, and
was hailed by our men in our long boat. Perceiving them on that side of
the river, and that they were in distress, he pulled toward them, and
they told him what had happened, and that an hour previous I had left
the boat to force my way through the cane brakes, and they had heard
nothing of me since. 'Madness!' cried he, 'he is a lost man. Stay till I
come back from the schooner.' He went back to the schooner, and taking
two of his crew, who were negroes, and his two bloodhounds, into the
boat, he returned immediately; and as soon as he landed, he put the
bloodhounds on my track, and sent the negroes on with them. They had
followed me in all my windings--for it appeared that I had traveled in
all directions--and had come up with me just as I had sunk with
exhaustion, and the panther was so close upon me. The bloodhounds had
attacked the panther, and this was the noise which sounded on my ears as
I lay stupefied at the mercy of the wild beast. The panther was not
easily, although eventually overcome, and the black men coming up, had
found me and borne me in a state of insensibility on board my vessel.
The fever had set upon me, and it was not till three weeks afterward
that I recovered my senses, when I learned what I have told to the
reader."




[Illustration: THE ELEPHANT.]

The Elephant.


Several hunters once surprised a male and female elephant in an open
spot, near a thick swamp. The animals fled toward the thicket, and the
male was soon beyond the reach of the balls from the hunters' guns. The
female, however, was wounded so severely, that she was not able to make
her escape; and the hunters were about to capture her, when the male
elephant rushed from his retreat, and with a shrill and frightful
scream, like the sound of a trumpet, attacked the party. All escaped but
one, the man who had last discharged his gun, and who was standing with
his horse's bridle over his arm, reloading his gun, at the moment the
furious animal burst from the wood. This unfortunate man the elephant
immediately singled out, and before he could spring into his saddle, he
was prepared to revenge the insult that had been offered to his
companion. One blow from his trunk struck the poor man to the earth; and
without troubling himself about the horse, who galloped off at full
speed, the elephant thrust his tusks into the hunter's body, and flung
him high into the air. The unfortunate man was instantly killed. After
this act, the elephant walked gently up to his bleeding companion, and
regardless of the volleys with which he was assailed from the hunters,
he caressed her, and aided her in reaching a shelter in the thicket.

A tame elephant had a great affection for a dog; and those who visited
the place where the animal was exhibited, used to pull the dog's ears,
to make him yelp, on purpose to see what the elephant would do. On one
occasion, when this cruel sport was going on at the opposite side of the
barn where the elephant was kept, she no sooner heard the voice of her
friend in distress, than she began to feel the boards of the partition
which separated her and the dog, and then, striking them a heavy blow,
made them fly in splinters. After this she looked through the hole she
had made, which was large enough to admit her entire body, with such
threatening gestures, that the miserable fools who were teasing the dog
concluded that it would not pay very well to continue the sport.

At an exhibition of a menagerie in one of our principal cities, not long
since, when the crowd of spectators was the greatest, a little girl, who
had fed the elephant with sundry cakes and apples from her bag, drew out
her ivory card-case, which fell unobserved in the saw-dust of the ring.
At the close of the ring performances, the crowd opened to let the
elephant pass to his recess; but instead of proceeding as usual, he
turned aside and thrust his trunk in the midst of a group of ladies and
gentlemen, who, as might be expected, were so much alarmed that they
scattered in every direction. The keeper, at this moment, discovered
that the animal had something in his trunk. Upon examination, he found
it to be the young lady's card-case, which the elephant picked up, and
it now appeared that he was only seeking out the owner.

A person in the island of Ceylon, who lived near a place where elephants
were daily led to water, and often sat at the door of his house, used
occasionally to give one of these animals some fig leaves, a kind of
food which elephants are said to be very fond of. One day this man took
it into his head to play one of the elephants a trick. He wrapped up a
stone in fig leaves, and said to the man who had the elephants in
charge, "This time I am going to give him a stone to eat; I want to see
how it will agree with him." The keeper replied, that the elephant would
not be such a fool as to swallow the stone--he might make up his mind to
that. The other, however, reached out the stone to the elephant, who
took it in his trunk, but instantly let it fall to the ground. "You
see," said the keeper, "that I was right, and that the beast is not so
great a fool as you took him to be;" and drove away his elephants. After
they were watered, he was conducting them again to their stable. The man
who had played the elephant the trick was still sitting at his door,
when, before he had time to think of his danger, the insulted animal ran
at him, threw his trunk around his body, dashed him to the ground, and
trampled him to death.

At the Cape of Good Hope, it is customary to hunt these animals for the
sake of the ivory they obtain from them. Three horsemen armed with
lances, attack the beast alternately, each relieving the other as they
see their companion pressed, and likely to get the worst of the contest.
On one occasion three Dutchmen, who were brothers, having made large
fortunes at the cape by elephant hunting, were about to return home to
enjoy the fruits of their toil. They determined, however, the day before
they started, to have one more hunt by way of amusement. They went out
into the field, and soon met with an elephant, whom they began to attack
in their usual manner. But unfortunately, the horse of the man who was
fighting with the elephant at the time fell, and the rider was thrown to
the ground. Then the elephant had his vengeance, and it was a terrible
one--almost too terrible to think upon. He instantly seized the unhappy
man with his trunk, threw him up into the air to a vast height, and
received him upon his tusks as he fell. Then, turning toward the other
two brothers with an aspect of revenge and insult, he held out to them
the mangled body of his victim, writhing in the agony of death.

At Macassar an elephant driver one day had a cocoanut given him, which,
in order to break it, he struck two or three times against the
elephant's head. The next day the animal saw some cocoanuts exposed in
the street for sale, and taking one of them up in his trunk, beat it
about the driver's head until he fractured his skull.

Mr. Colton, the author of that admirable book called "Lacon," tells a
similar anecdote of an elephant in Madras. It was a war elephant, and
was trained to perform an act of civility called the _grand salam_,
which is done by falling on the first joint of the fore-leg at a given
signal. The elephant was to make the salam before a British officer. It
was noticed at the time that he was rather out of humor. The keeper was
ordered up to explain the cause, and was in the act of doing so, when
the elephant advanced a few steps, and with one stroke of his trunk laid
the poor man dead at his feet. He then retired to his former position,
and made the grand salam with the utmost propriety and apparent good
will. The wife of the unfortunate man said that she had always been
afraid something of that kind would happen, as her husband had been
constantly in the habit of robbing the elephant of his rations of rice.

It is said that when once wild elephants have been caught, and eluded
the snares of their adversaries, if they are compelled to go into the
woods they are mistrustful, and break with their trunk a large branch,
with which they sound the ground before they put their foot upon it, to
discover if there are any holes on their passage, not to be caught a
second time. "We saw two wild elephants," says a traveler, "which had
just been caught; each of them was between two tame elephant; and around
the wild elephants were six men, holding spears. They spoke to these
animals in presenting them something to eat, and telling them, in their
language, _take this and eat it_. They had small bundles of hay, bits of
black sugar, or rice boiled in water with pepper. When the wild elephant
refused to do what he was ordered, the men commanded the tame elephants
to beat him, which they did immediately, one striking his forehead with
his; and when he seemed to aim at revenge against his aggressor, another
struck him; so that the poor wild elephant perceived he had nothing to
do but to obey."

A sentinel belonging to the menagerie at Paris, was in the habit of
telling the spectators not to give any food to the elephant during the
exhibition. One day, after a piece of bread had been presented to the
animal, the sentinel had commenced making the usual request, when the
elephant violently discharged in his face a stream of water, so that he
could not utter the admonition in his confusion. Of course the
spectators roared with laughter, and the elephant seemed to enjoy the
joke as well as they. By and by, the sentinel having wiped his face,
found himself under the necessity of repeating the request which he had
made before. But no sooner had he done this, than the elephant laid hold
of his musket with her trunk, wrested it from his hands, twirled it
round and round, trod it under her feet, and did not restore it until
she had twisted it nearly into the form of a cork-screw.

Elephants are occasionally taught to work on a farm, like horses and
oxen. Any one visiting Singapore, may see a small elephant, named Rajah,
working daily on the estate of J. Balestier, Esq., American Consul; and,
although the animal is only five years and a half old, he will plough
his acre of land a day, with ease. One man holds the plough, and another
walks beside the animal, and directs him in his duty. The docile little
creature obeys every word that is said to him, and will plough all day
between the cane rows, without plucking a single cane.

An elephant was once wounded in battle, and rendered so furious by the
pain she endured, that she ran about the field, uttering the most
hideous cries. One of the men was unable, in consequence of his wounds,
to get out of her way. The elephant seemed conscious of his situation,
and for fear she should trample upon him, took him up with her trunk,
placed him where he would be more safe, and continued her route.

A young elephant received a violent wound in its head, from which it
became so furious that it was utterly impossible to come near it to
dress the wound. A variety of expedients were tried, but in vain, until
at last the keeper hit upon this plan: he succeeded in making the mother
understand, by signs, what he wanted, and she immediately seized the
young one around the neck with her trunk, and held it firmly down,
though groaning with anguish, until the wound was dressed. This she
continued to do every day, for some time afterward, until the service
was no longer necessary.

Elephants are said to be exceedingly susceptible of the power of music,
and some curious experiments were tried at Paris, with a view of
observing the effect of it upon them. In one instance, a band was placed
near their den, while some food was given to a pair of elephants, to
engage their attention. On the commencement of the music, the huge
creatures turned round, and appeared alarmed for their safety, either
from the players or the spectators. The music, however, soon overcame
their fears, and all other emotions appeared absorbed in their attention
to it. According to the character of the music, so were their feelings.
If it was bold, they were excited, or manifested signs of approaching
anger. If it was brisk, they were lively; if it was plaintive, they were
soothed by its effects. The female seemed to express the most lively
emotions of the two.

A merchant in the East Indies kept a tame elephant, which was so
exceedingly gentle in his habits, that he was permitted to go at large.
This huge animal used to walk about the streets in the most quiet and
orderly manner, and paid many visits through the city to people who were
kind to him. Two cobblers took an ill will to this inoffensive creature,
and several times pricked him on the proboscis with their awls. The
noble animal did not chastise them in the manner he might have done, and
seemed to think they were too contemptible to be angry with them. But he
took other means to punish them for their cruelty. He filled his trunk
with water of a dirty quality, and advancing toward them in his ordinary
manner, spouted the whole of the puddle over them. The punishment was
highly applauded by those who witnessed it, and the poor cobblers were
laughed at for their pains.




[Illustration: THE LION.]

The Lion.


I have read a thrilling story of a poor Hottentot, who was sent to take
his master's cattle to water at a pool not far off from the house. When
he came to the watering-place, he perceived that a huge lion was lying
there, apparently bathing himself. He immediately ran, with the greatest
terror, through the midst of the herd of cattle, hoping the lion would
be satisfied with one of the cattle, and allow him to escape. He was
mistaken, however. The lion dashed through the herd, and made directly
after the man. Throwing his eyes over his shoulder, he saw that the
furious animal had singled him out. Not knowing what else to do to get
clear of his enemy, he scrambled up an aloe-tree, that happened to be
near. At that very moment the lion made a spring at him, but
unsuccessfully, and fell to the ground. There was in the tree a cluster
of nests of the bird called the sociable grosbeak; and the Hottentot hid
himself among these nests, in hopes that he could get out of the lion's
sight, and that the beast would leave him. So he remained silent and
motionless for a great while, and then ventured to peep out of his
retreat. To his surprise, he perceived that he was still watched. In
this way, he was kept a prisoner for more than twenty-four hours, when,
at last, the lion, parched with thirst, went to the pool to drink, and
the Hottentot embraced the opportunity to come down, and run home as
fast as his legs would carry him.

There is a thrilling anecdote told of a settler in the back districts of
the Cape of Good Hope, who was a hunter. Returning, one day, with some
friends, from an excursion, they suddenly came upon two large full-grown
lions. Their horses were already jaded, and the utmost consternation for
a moment seized them. They immediately saw that their only hope of
safety lay in separation. They started in somewhat different directions,
at the top of their speed, holding their rifles on the cock. Those who
were most lightly loaded made good way, but the third was left behind,
and, as his companions disappeared below the brow of a hill, the two
beasts came directly after him. He quickly loosed a deer which was tied
to his saddle, but the prey was not sufficient to distract them from
their purpose. Happily, as is the custom, both barrels of his piece were
loaded with ball--a most timely precaution in that country--and he was a
good marksman. Turning for a moment, he leveled his gun with as much
precision as at such a time he could command, and fired. He waited not
for the result, but again scampered off as quickly as his horse could
carry him, but he heard a deep, short, and outrageous roar. The ball was
afterward found to have entered the animal's breast, and lodged in his
back. His work, however, was but half done. The time he had lost
sufficed to bring the other within reach, and, with a tremendous bound,
he leaped upon the horse's back, lacerating it in a dreadful manner, but
missed his hold, for the poor creature, mad with agony and fear, kicked
with all his force, and hurried forward with increased rapidity. A
second attempt was more successful, and the hunter was shaken from his
seat; the horse, however, again escaped.

The poor fellow gave himself up for lost, but he was a brave man, and he
determined not to die without every attempt to save his life should
fail. Escape he saw was hopeless; so planting himself with the energy of
despair, he put his rifle hastily to his shoulder, and just as the lion
was stooping for his spring, he fired. He was a little too late; the
beast had moved, and the ball did not prove so effective as he hoped. It
entered the side of the wild beast, though it did him no mortal harm,
and he leaped at his victim. The shot had, nevertheless, delayed his
bound for an instant, and the hunter avoided its effect by a rapid jump,
and with the butt-end of his gun struck at the lion with all his power,
as he turned upon him. The dreadful creature seized it with his teeth,
but with such force, that instead of twisting it out of the hunter's
hand, he broke it short off by the barrel. The hunter immediately
attacked him again, but his weapon was too short, and the lion fixed his
claws in his breast, tearing off all his flesh, and endeavored to gripe
his shoulder with his mouth, but the gun-barrel was of excellent
service. Driving it into the mouth of the beast with all his strength,
he seized one of the creature's jaws with his left hand, and, what with
the strength and energy given by the dreadful circumstances, and the
purchase obtained by the gun-barrel, he succeeded in splitting the
animal's mouth. At the same time they fell together on their sides, and
a struggle for several minutes ensued upon the ground. Blood flowed
freely in the lion's mouth, and nearly choked him. His motions were thus
so frustrated that the hunter was upon his feet first, and, aiming a
blow with all his might, he knocked out one of the lion's eyes. He
roared terrifically with pain and rage, and, during the moments of delay
caused by the loss of his eye, the hunter got behind him, and, animated
by his success, hit him a dreadful stroke on the back of the neck, which
he knew was the most tender part. The stroke, however, appeared to have
no effect, for the lion immediately leaped at him again; but, it is
supposed from a defect of vision occasioned by the loss of his eye,
instead of coming down upon the hunter, he leaped beside him, and shook
his head, as if from excess of pain. The hunter felt his strength
rapidly declining, but the agony he endured excited him, and thus gave
new power to strike the lion again across the eyes. The beast fell
backward, but drew the hunter with him with his paw, and another
struggle took place upon the ground. He felt that the gun-barrel was his
safeguard; and though it rather seemed to encumber his hands, he clung
tenaciously to it. Rising up from the ground in terrible pain, he
managed to thrust it into the throat of the lion with all his might.
That thrust was fatal; and the huge animal fell on his side, powerless.
The hunter dragged himself to a considerable distance, and then fell
exhausted and senseless. His friends shortly afterward returned to his
assistance.

A lion had broken into a walled inclosure for cattle, and had done
considerable damage. The people belonging to the farm were well assured
that he would come again by the same way. They therefore stretched a
rope directly across the entrance, to which several loaded guns were
fastened, in such a manner that they must necessarily discharge
themselves into the lion's body, as soon as he should push against the
cord with his breast. But the lion, who came before it was dark, and had
probably some suspicion of the cord, struck it away with his foot, and
without betraying the least alarm in consequence of the reports made by
the loaded pieces, went fearlessly on, and devoured the prey he had left
untouched before.

The strength of the lion is so prodigious, that a single stroke of his
paw is sufficient to break the back of a horse; and one sweep of his
tail will throw a strong man to the ground. Kolbein says, that when he
comes up to his prey, he always knocks it down dead, and seldom bites it
till the mortal blow has been given. A lion at the Cape of Good Hope
was once seen to take a heifer in his mouth; and though that animal's
legs dragged on the ground, yet he seemed to carry her off with as much
ease as a cat does a rat.

One of the residents in South Africa--according to the Naturalist's
History--shot a lion in the most perilous circumstances that can be
conceived. We must tell the story in his own words. "My wife," he says,
"was sitting in the house, near the door. The children were playing
around her. I was outside, busily engaged in doing something to a wagon,
when suddenly, though it was mid-day, an enormous lion came up and laid
himself quietly down in the shade, upon the very threshold of the door.
My wife, either stupefied with fear, or aware of the danger attending
any attempt to fly, remained motionless in her place, while the children
took refuge in her lap. The cry they uttered immediately attracted my
attention. I hastened toward the door; but my astonishment may well be
conceived, when I found the entrance to it barred in such a way.
Although the animal had not seen me, unarmed as I was, escape seemed
impossible; yet I glided gently, scarcely knowing what I meant to do, to
the side of the house, up to the window of my chamber, where I knew my
loaded gun was standing, and which I found in such a condition, that I
could reach it with my hand--a most fortunate circumstance; and still
more so, when I found that the door of the room was open, so that I
could see the whole danger of the scene. The lion was beginning to move,
perhaps with the intention of making a spring. There was no longer any
time to think. I called softly to the mother not to be alarmed; and,
invoking the name of the Lord, fired my piece. The ball passed directly
over the hair of my boy's head, and lodged in the forehead of the lion,
immediately above his eyes, which shot forth, as it were, sparks of
fire, and stretched him on the ground, so that he never stirred more."

Nothing is more common than for the keepers of wild beasts to play with
the lion, to pull out his tongue, and even to chastise him without
cause. He seems to bear it all with the utmost composure; and we very
rarely have instances of his revenging these unprovoked sallies of
cruelty. However, when his anger is at last excited, the consequences
are terrible. Labat tells us of a gentleman who kept a lion in his
chamber, and employed a servant to attend it, who, as is usual, mixed
blows with his caresses. This state of things continued for some time,
till one morning the gentleman was awakened by a noise in his room,
which at first he could not tell the cause of; but, drawing the
curtains, he perceived a horrid spectacle--the lion growling over the
man's head, which he had separated from the body, and tossing it round
the floor! He immediately flew into the next apartment, called to the
people without, and had the animal secured from doing further mischief.

We are told of the combat of a lion and a wild boar, in a meadow near
Algiers, which continued for a long time with incredible obstinacy. At
last, both were seen to fall by the wounds they had given each other;
and the ground all about them was covered with their blood. These
instances, however, are rare; the lion is in general undisputed master
of the forest.

It was once customary for those who were unable to pay sixpence for the
sight of the wild beasts in the tower of London, to bring a dog or a
cat, as a gift to the beasts, in lieu of money to the keeper. Among
others, a man had brought a pretty black spaniel, which was thrown into
the cage of the great lion. Immediately the little animal trembled and
shivered, crouched, and threw himself on his back, put forth his tongue,
and held up his paws, as if praying for mercy. In the mean time, the
lion, instead of devouring him, turned him over with one paw, and then
with the other. He smelled of him, and seemed desirous of courting a
further acquaintance. The keeper, on seeing this, brought a large mess
of his own family dinner. But the lion kept aloof, and refused to eat,
keeping his eye on the dog, and inviting him, as it were, to be his
taster. At length, the little animal's fears being somewhat abated, and
his appetite quickened by the smell of the food, he approached slowly,
and, with trembling, ventured to eat. The lion then advanced gently, and
began to partake, and they finished their meal very quietly together.

From this day, a strict friendship commenced between them, consisting of
great affection and tenderness on the part of the lion, and the utmost
confidence and boldness on the part of the dog; insomuch that he would
lay himself down to sleep, within the fangs and under the jaws of his
terrible patron. In about twelve months the little spaniel sickened and
died. For a time the lion did not appear to conceive otherwise than that
his favorite was asleep. He would continue to smell of him, and then
would stir him with his nose, and turn him over with his paws. But
finding that all his efforts to wake him were vain, he would traverse
his cage from end to end, at a swift and uneasy pace. He would then
stop, and look down upon him with a fixed and drooping regard, and again
lift up his head, and roar for several minutes, as the sound of distant
thunder. They attempted, but in vain, to convey the carcass from him.
The keeper then endeavored to tempt him with a variety of food, but he
turned from all that was offered, with loathing. They then put several
living dogs in his cage, which he tore in pieces, but left their
carcasses on the floor. His passions being thus inflamed, he would
grapple at the bars of his cage, as if enraged at his restraint from
tearing those around him to pieces. Again, as if quite spent, he would
stretch himself by the remains of his beloved associate, lay his paws
upon him, and take him to his bosom; and then utter his grief in deep
and melancholy roaring, for the loss of his little play-fellow. For five
days he thus languished, and gradually declined, without taking any
sustenance or admitting any comfort, till, one morning, he was found
dead, with his head reclined on the carcass of his little friend. They
were both interred together.

A lion, when about three months old, was caught in the forests of
Senegal, and tamed by the director of the African company in that
colony. He became unusually tractable and gentle. He slept in company
with cats, dogs, geese, monkeys, and other animals, and never offered
any violence to them. When he was about eight months old, he formed an
attachment to a terrier dog, and this attachment increased afterward to
such an extent, that the lion was seldom happy in the absence of his
companion. At the age of fourteen months, the lion, with the dog in
company, was transported to France. He showed so little ferocity on
shipboard, that he was allowed at all times to have the liberty of
walking about the vessel. When he was landed at Havre, he was conducted
with only a cord attached to his collar, and attended by his favorite
play-fellow, to Versailles. Soon after their arrival, the dog died, when
the lion became so disconsolate, that it was found necessary to put
another dog into his den. This dog, terrified at the sight of such an
animal, endeavored to conceal himself; and the lion, surprised at the
noise, killed him by a stroke with one of his paws.

M. Felix, some years since the keeper of the national menagerie at
Paris, added two lions to the collection, a male and a female. He had
become endeared to them by kind treatment, so that scarcely any one else
could control them, and they manifested their regard in a great many
ways. The gentleman, however, was taken very sick, and was confined for
some time to his bed. Another person was necessarily intrusted with the
care of these lions. From the moment that M. Felix left, the male sat,
sad and solitary, at the end of his cage, and refused to take food from
the hands of the stranger, for whom, it was evident, he entertained no
little dislike. The company of the female seemed to displease him. In a
short time he became so uneasy, that no one dared to approach him. By
and by, however, his old master recovered, and with the intention of
surprising the animal, he crept softly to the cage, and showed only his
face between the bars. But the male lion knew him at once. He leaped
against the bars, patted him with his paws, licked his hands and face,
and actually trembled with pleasure. The female also ran to him; but the
other drove her back, and was on the point of quarreling with her, so
jealous was he lest she should receive any of the favors of M. Felix.
Afterward, however, the keeper entered the cage, caressed them both by
turns, and pacified them.

Sir George Davis, who was English consul at Naples about the middle of
the seventeenth century, happening on one occasion to be in Florence,
visited the menagerie of the grand duke. At the farther end of one of
the dens he saw a lion which lay in sullen majesty, and which the
keepers informed him they had been unable to tame, although every effort
had been used for upward of three years. Sir George had no sooner
reached the gate of the den, than the lion ran to it, and evinced every
demonstration of joy and transport. The animal reared himself up, purred
like a cat when pleased, and licked the hand of Sir George, which he had
put through the bars. The keeper was astonished and frightened for the
safety of his visitor, entreated him not to trust an apparent fit of
phrensy, with which the animal seemed to be seized; for he was, without
exception, the most fierce and sullen of his tribe which he had ever
seen. This, however, had no effect on Sir George, who, notwithstanding
every entreaty on the part of the keeper, insisted on entering the
lion's den. The moment he got in, the delighted lion threw his paws upon
his shoulders, licked his face, and ran about him, rubbing his head on
Sir George, purring and fawning like a cat when expressing its affection
for its master. This occurrence became the talk of Florence, and reached
the ears of the grand duke, who sent for Sir George, and requested an
interview at the menagerie, that he might witness so extraordinary a
circumstance, when Sir George gave the following explanation: "A captain
of a ship from Barbary gave me this lion, when quite a whelp. I brought
him up tame; but when I thought him too large to be suffered to run
about the house, I built a den for him in my court-yard. From that time
he was never permitted to be loose, except when brought to the house to
be exhibited to my friends. When he was five years old, he did some
mischief by pawing and playing with people in his frolicsome moods.
Having griped a man one day a little too hard, I ordered him to be shot,
for fear of myself incurring the guilt of what might happen. On this a
friend, who happened to be then at dinner with me, begged him as a
present. How he came here, I do not know." The Grand Duke of Tuscany, on
hearing his story, said it was the very same person who had presented
him with the lion.

[Illustration: THE LIONESS AND HER CUBS.]

Part of a ship's crew being sent ashore on the coast of India for the
purpose of cutting wood, the curiosity of one of the men having led him
to stray to a considerable distance from his companions, he was much
alarmed by the appearance of a large lioness, who made toward him; but,
on her coming up, his fear was allayed, by her lying down at his feet,
and looking very earnestly, first in his face, and then at a tree some
little distance off. After repeating these looks several times, she
arose, and proceeded toward the tree, looking back, as if she wished the
sailor to follow her. At length he ventured, and, coming to the tree,
perceived a huge baboon, with two young cubs in her arms, which he
immediately supposed to be those of the lioness, as she crouched down
like a cat, and seemed to eye them very steadfastly. The man being
afraid to ascend the tree, decided on cutting it down; and having his
axe with him, he set actively to work, when the lioness seemed most
attentive to what he was doing. When the tree fell, she pounced upon the
baboon, and, after tearing her in pieces, she turned round, and licked
the cubs for some time. She then returned to the sailor, and fawned
round him, rubbing her head against him in great fondness, and in token
of her gratitude for the service done her. After this, she carried the
cubs away one by one, and the sailor rejoined his companions, much
pleased with the adventure.

A French gentleman relates a remarkable anecdote about a combat which he
saw on the banks of the Niger, between a Moorish chief and a lion. The
prince took the Frenchman and his company to a place adjoining a
large wood which was much infested with wild beasts, and directed them
all to climb the trees. They did so. Then, getting upon his horse, and
taking three spears and a dagger, he entered the forest, where he soon
found a lion, which he wounded with one of the spears. The enraged
animal sprang with great fury at his assailant, who, by a feigned
flight, led him near the spot where the company were stationed. He then
turned his horse, and in a moment darted another spear at the lion,
which pierced his body. He alighted, and the lion, now grown furious,
advanced with open jaws; but the prince received him on the point of his
third spear, which he forced into his throat. Then, at one leap,
springing across his body, he cut open his throat with his dagger. In
this contest, the Moor's skill was such, that he received only a slight
scratch on the thigh.

[Illustration: THE CONVENTION OF ANIMALS.]

Allow me, in concluding these stories about lions, to recite one from
the French. It is fabulous, as you will perceive; but fables are not to
be despised. The design of the fable is to illustrate the truth that in
a community, every one may be more or less useful. "War having been
declared between two nations of animals (for, notwithstanding their
instinct, they are as foolish as men), the lion issued a proclamation of
the fact to his subjects, and ordered them to appear in person at his
camp. Among the great number of animals that obeyed the orders of their
sovereign, were some asses and hares. Each animal offered his services
for the campaign. The elephant agreed to transport the baggage of the
army. The bear took it upon him to make the assaults. The fox proposed
to manage the ruses and the stratagems. The monkey promised to amuse the
enemy by his tricks. 'Sire,' said the horse, 'send back the asses; they
are too lazy--and the hares; they are too timid, and subject to too
frequent alarms.' 'By no means,' said the king of the animals; 'our army
would not be complete without these. The asses will serve for
trumpeters, and the hares will make excellent couriers.'"




[Illustration: THE GALAGO.]

The Galago.


From a recent English periodical, I have obtained some interesting facts
in relation to an animal to which naturalists have given the name of the
Galago. In the picture on the opposite page you have a portrait of the
animal, drawn from life. He is a very singular looking fellow, as you
perceive. Not long ago he was brought to England from Zanguebar, in
Africa. The specimen, now being exhibited in London, is the first of
this race of quadrupeds which has ever been introduced from its native
country into any part of Europe, and it is exciting a great deal of
interest among naturalists. Very little is known of the genus to which
the animal belongs, all its species being found only in the barbarous
countries, very little known, on the eastern coast of Africa. They all
climb upon trees, like the squirrel. Their habits are strictly
nocturnal. They never venture from their retreats while the faintest
gleam of daylight is visible; but at the approach of night they become
exceedingly active, springing from tree to tree with all the dexterity
of the squirrel. In the day time, they remain, for the most part, in the
holes of decayed trees. Their food is gum and pulpy fruits. The country
where they live is one of the hottest regions on the globe. On this
account, the animal sent to England is very sensitive to the sudden
changes of that comparatively northern latitude, and it requires much
care to preserve him from the influence of the cold. One of the striking
peculiarities of the animal is the appearance of his feet. They resemble
the hands of a man, as will be seen by the engraving. This peculiarity
admirably fits the galago for the life it leads, as it spends a great
part of its time in leaping on the boughs of trees. The specimen in
England is remarkably tame and frolicksome, and does not seem altogether
happy except when he is fondled and petted, when he enjoys himself
immensely. During the night he delights in active motion, climbing and
playing like a kitten, often uttering a loud, clucking noise, which ends
with a sharp, shrill call, of astonishing volume. The animal is not so
large as a fox.




The Bear.


That distinguished author, Oliver Goldsmith, in his "Animated Nature,"
has given a most interesting account of the habits of the bear, which I
wish, for the benefit of my readers, might be embodied in this chapter,
though, on the whole, I think the entire account is too long, and I am
forced to omit it. Besides, I suppose it would hardly be just to accord
such a civility to the bear, while it is denied to the other animals.
According to the description of this eminent practical naturalist, the
bear is not by any means the unamiable monster he has been represented
to be; but has, on the contrary, a great many good traits of character.
He has been slandered, grossly slandered, if we may credit Mr.
Goldsmith; and for one, I do credit him. He is exceedingly reliable in
most of his statements. Now that I am speaking of Mr. Goldsmith, I can
scarce refrain from adding that I have been greatly assisted, in the
preparation of this volume, by the work of his above alluded to. It is,
and ever will be, a valuable book in the library of those who are
interested in becoming acquainted with nature, in her varied aspects.

There are three species of bears--the black, the white, and the brown or
Syrian bear. The latter, represented in the engraving on the opposite
page, is the one to which allusion is made in Scripture.

[Illustration: THE BROWN BEAR.]

The bear is capable of strong and generous attachment. Many years ago,
Leopold, Duke of Lorraine, in Europe, owned a bear which had become very
tame, and which was remarkable for the strength of his love for those
whom he happened to fancy. In the winter of 1709, a poor Savoyard boy
had been placed in a barn to stay over night. This boy, finding that he
was near the hut occupied by the duke's bear, took it into his head to
go and pay the bear a visit. It was a singular fancy, to be sure. But as
the old proverb says, "There is no accounting for tastes." He had no
sooner formed the determination, than off he started to see Marco--for
that was the name of the bear. He was cold, I think; and not having
any other way of warming himself, he thought he would see if Marco could
not be prevailed upon to let him share in the benefit of his shaggy coat
for awhile. So in he went, and he and the bear were soon on the best of
terms. Marco took him between his paws, and warmed him, by pressing him
to his breast, until the next morning, when he allowed him to depart, to
ramble about the city. In the evening, the young Savoyard returned to
the bear's den, and was received with the same marks of kindness and
affection. For several days, the boy made this den his home. The bear
saved a part of his food for his companion, and they lived together on
the most intimate and friendly terms. A number of days passed in this
manner, without the servants knowing any thing about the circumstance,
the boy not being in the den when the bear's food was brought. At
length, one day, when some one came to bring the generous animal his
supper, rather later than usual, the boy was there. The servant then saw
the fondness of the bear for the young Savoyard. The boy was asleep. The
bear rolled his eyes around, in a furious manner, and seemed to intimate
that as little noise as possible must be made, for fear of awaking the
child, whom he clasped to his breast. The bear did not move when the
food was placed before him. This extraordinary circumstance was related
to Leopold, the owner of the bear, who, with a good many others, went to
the bear's hut, where they found, with surprise, that the animal never
stirred as long as his guest manifested a disposition to sleep. When the
little fellow awoke in the morning, he was very much ashamed and alarmed
to find that he was discovered, thinking that he should be punished; and
he begged the duke's pardon for the liberty he had taken with the bear.
The bear, however, caressed his new friend, and tried to prevail upon
him to eat a part of the supper which had been brought the previous
evening, and which seemed untouched.

Bruin is famous for hugging his enemies so desperately, that they are
glad to get clear of him. But in these hugging fights, he sometimes gets
the worst of it, as in the following instance. Some years since, when
the western part of the State of New York was but slightly settled, some
enterprising emigrant from New England had built a saw-mill on the banks
of the Genesee river. One day, as he was eating his luncheon, sitting on
the log which was going through the sawing operation at the time, a huge
black bear came from the woods, toward the mill. The man, leaving his
bread and cold bacon on the log, made a spring, and climbed up to a beam
above, to get out of the way of the bear, when the latter, mounting the
log which the sawyer had left, sat down, with his back toward the saw,
and commenced eating the man's dinner. After awhile, the log on which he
sat approached so near the saw, that he got scratched a little, and he
hitched away a few feet from the saw, and resumed his dinner. But the
saw scratched him again soon, of course, and this time rather more
seriously. Bruin got angry, and his anger cost him dearly. He wheeled
about, and throwing his paws around the saw, he gave it a most desperate
hug. In this position he remained, until he was sawn into two pieces, as
if he had been a log. Poor fellow! we ought to pity him, I suppose; but
it is pretty difficult to avoid a hearty laugh over his misfortunes.

Here is a story of an encounter between a bear and a bull, which is also
rather laughable, although there is a good deal of the tragic in it. A
bull was attacked in the forest by a rather small bear, when, striking
his horns into his assailant, he pinned him against a tree. In this
situation they were both found dead; the bull from starvation, the bear
from his wounds.

Some years ago, a New Hampshire boy found a very young cub near Lake
Winnepeg, and carried it home with him. It was fed and brought up in the
house of the boy's father, and became as tame as a dog. At length, it
learned to follow the boy to school, and by degrees, it became his daily
companion. At first, the other scholars were somewhat shy of Bruin's
acquaintance; but before a great while, it became their constant
play-fellow, and they delighted in sharing with it the little store of
provisions which they brought for their own dinner. However, it wandered
off into the woods again, and for four years, nothing was heard of it.
Changes had taken place in the school where the bear used to be a
welcome guest. Another generation of pupils had taken the place of the
bear's old companions. One very cold winter day, while the schoolmistress
was busy with her lessons, a boy happened to leave the door open, and a
huge bear walked in. The consternation of the mistress and her pupils
was very great, of course. But what could they do? Nothing but look on,
and see what would come of this strange visit. However, the bear
molested no one. It walked quietly up to the fire, and warmed itself.
Then it walked up to the wall, where the dinner baskets hung, and
standing on its hind feet, reached them down, and made free with their
contents. By and by, it went out. But the alarm was given, and the poor
fellow was shot, when it was found out, by some marks on its body, that
it was the identical bear that had used to visit the school four years
before.

In one of the expeditions from England to the Polar seas, a white bear
was seen to perform an ingenious feat in order to capture some walruses.
He was seen to swim cautiously to a large, rough piece of ice, on which
these walruses were lying, fast asleep, with their cubs. The wily animal
crept up some little hillocks of ice, behind the party, and with his
fore feet loosened a large block of ice. This, with the help of his nose
and paws, he rolled along until he was near the sleepers, and almost
over their heads, when he let it fall on one of the old walruses, who
was instantly killed. The other walrus, with her cubs, rolled into the
water; but the young one of the dead animal remained with its mother. On
this helpless creature the bear then leaped down, and completed the
destruction of two animals which it would not have ventured to attack
openly.

It often happens, that when a Greenlander and his wife are paddling
along out at sea, by coming too near a floating field of ice, a white
bear unexpectedly jumps into their canoe. Provided he does not upset it
by the weight of his body, he sits calmly and demurely in one end of it,
like any other passenger, and allows himself to be rowed to the shore.
The Greenlander would very cheerfully dispense with the company of the
bear; but dares not dispute his right there--it might cost him a pretty
rough handling. So he makes a virtue of necessity, and rows his bearship
to the shore.

In the early part of the settlement of this country, an expedition was
sent to explore a part of the territory now called Missouri. Bears were
found there, at that time, in great abundance, and of very large size.
Some of the men belonging to the expedition were in a canoe one day,
when they discovered a bear lying in the open grounds, about three
hundred paces from the river. Six of the men, all good hunters,
immediately went to attack him, and concealing themselves by a small
eminence, came within forty paces of him before they were perceived.
Four of the hunters now fired, as nearly as they could at the same
instant, and each lodged a ball in his body, two of which entered the
lungs. The furious animal then sprang up, and ran upon the men, with his
mouth wide open, ready for a terrible attack. As he came near, the two
hunters who had reserved their fire gave him two rounds, one of which,
breaking his shoulder, retarded his progress for a moment; but before
they could reload, he was so near that they were obliged to run to the
river. Before they reached it, he had almost overtaken them. Two jumped
into the canoe; the other four separated, and concealing themselves
among the willows, fired as fast as they could reload. They hit him
several times; but instead of weakening the monster, each shot only
seemed to direct him toward the hunters, till at last he pursued two of
them so closely, that they threw aside their guns and pouches, and
jumped down a perpendicular bank of some fifteen feet into the river.
The bear sprang after them, and was within a few feet of the hindermost,
when one of the hunters on the shore shot him in the head, and finally
killed him. They dragged him to the shore, and found that eight balls
had passed through him, in different directions.

While a British frigate was locked in the ice of the Polar seas, three
bears were discovered one morning, directing their course toward the
ship. They had undoubtedly been attracted by the scent of a part of the
carcass of a sea-horse that the crew had killed a few days before, which
had been set on fire, and was burning on the ice at the time of their
approach. They proved to be a female bear and her two cubs; but the cubs
were nearly as large as the mother. They ran eagerly to the fire, and
drew out of the flames a part of the flesh of the sea-horse which
remained unconsumed, and ate it voraciously. Some of the crew threw
large pieces of the flesh from the ship upon the ice, which the old bear
took, one by one, and laid before her cubs. Then she divided each piece,
and reserved only a very small portion for herself. As she was carrying
away the last piece, several of the men on board the ship aimed their
muskets at the two cubs, and shot them dead; after which they shot at
the old bear, and wounded her, though not mortally. One of the gentlemen
who witnessed this spectacle says that it would have drawn pity from any
but the most unfeeling hearts, to mark the affectionate concern
expressed by this poor beast, as she saw that her young were dying.
Though she was sorely wounded herself, and could but just crawl to the
place where they lay, she carried the last piece of flesh to them, as
she had done with the others, and divided it for them. When she
perceived that they refused to eat, she put her paws first upon one and
then upon the other, and endeavored to raise them up. All this time it
was deeply affecting to hear her moans. When she found she could not
stir her dying cubs in this manner, she went away some distance from
them, looking back occasionally, and moaning, as if in the utmost
distress. This means not availing to entice them away from the spot, she
returned, and commenced smelling around them, and licking their wounds.
Then she went off a second time, as before, and having crawled a few
paces, looked again behind her, and for some time stood still, uttering
the most piteous cries. But still her cubs did not rise to follow her,
and she returned to them, and with signs of the greatest fondness, went
around them separately, placing her paws upon them tenderly, and giving
utterance to the same cries of distress. Finding, at last, that they
were cold and lifeless, she raised her head toward the ship, and growled
in indignation for the murder. Poor creature! the men on board returned
her angry cry with a shower of musket balls. She fell between her cubs,
and died licking their wounds.

Hans Christian Andersen, in his "Picture Book without Pictures," relates
an anecdote, in his droll way, about a tame bear, who got loose, when
the man who was exhibiting him was at dinner, and who found his way into
the public house, and went straight to a room where there were three
children, the eldest of whom was only some six or eight years old. But,
Hans, you may tell the rest of the story in your own peculiar language:
"The door sprang open, and in stepped the great rough bear! He had grown
tired of standing out there in the yard, and he now found his way up the
steps. The children were very much frightened at the great, grim-looking
beast, and crept each one of them into a corner. But he found them all
out, and rubbed them with his nose. He did them no harm, not the
slightest. 'It is certainly a big dog,' thought they; and so they patted
him kindly. He laid himself down on the floor, and the smallest boy
tumbled over him, and amused himself by hiding his curly head in the
thick black hair of the animal. The eldest boy now took his drum, and
made a tremendous noise; and the bear rose up on his hind legs, and
began to dance. It was charming. Each boy took his weapons--for they had
been playing at soldiers before their visitor arrived. The bear must
have a gun too, and he held it like a regular militia man. What a fine
comrade they had found!--and so they marched about the room--'one, two!
one, two!' Presently, however, the door opened. It was the children's
mother. You should have seen her--her face as white as a sheet; her
half-opened mouth, her staring eyes. The smallest of the children ran
up to her mother, and shouted with all her might, 'Mama, we are playing
at soldiers!'"

[Illustration: THE JUGGLER AND HIS PUPILS.]

Bears have frequently been taught a great many funny tricks. I remember
seeing one, when a boy, that would stand on his head, and dance, and
perform sundry other feats of skill. His master was an old man, who
passed himself off among the little folks as a conjurer. He was dressed
in a most grotesque manner, and played on a drum and some kind of wind
instrument at the same time. Besides the bear, who seemed to be the hero
in the different performances, the juggler had some dogs, which he had
trained to dance to his music, and a cock which would walk and dance,
after his fashion, on stilts. But I should not care to witness any such
performances now. I should not be able to keep out of my mind the
thought that the different animals engaged in these exhibitions must
have been subjected to a great deal of pain and ill treatment before
they could have arrived at such a stage of proficiency, and that thought
would imbitter the entertainment, I imagine.




The Rat and Mouse.


Every body, almost, entertains a sort of hostility to the rat family,
and considers himself licensed to say all manner of hard things about
them. They are a set of rogues--there is no doubt about that, unless
they are universally slandered. But they are shrewd and cunning, as well
as roguish; and many of their exploits are worth recording.

There were several slaughter-houses near Paris, where as many as thirty
worn-out horses were slaughtered every day. One of these
slaughter-houses was regarded as a nuisance, and a proposition was made
to remove it at a greater distance from the city. But there was a strong
objection made to its removal, on account of the ravages which the rats
would make in the neighborhood, when they had no longer the carcasses
of the horses to feed upon. These voracious creatures assembled at this
spot in such numbers, that they devoured all the flesh (that was not
much, perhaps, in many cases) of twenty or thirty horses in one night,
so that in the morning nothing remained of these carcasses but bare
bones. In one of these slaughter-houses, which was inclosed by solid
walls, the carcasses of two or three horses were placed; and in the
night the workmen blocked up all the holes through which the rats went
in. When this was done, the workmen went inside with lighted torches and
heavy clubs, and killed two thousand six hundred and fifty rats. In four
such hunts, the numbers destroyed were upward of nine thousand. The rats
in this neighborhood made themselves burrows like rabbits; and to such
an extent was the building of these underground villages carried, that
the earth sometimes tumbled in, and revealed the astonishing work they
had been doing.

That is rather a tough story, but I guess we shall have to believe it.
It comes to us on the authority of Mr. Jesse, who, in his excellent work
on Natural History, is pretty careful to say nothing which cannot be
relied upon as true. As to the battle which those men had with the rats
in the slaughter-house, it must have been a desperate one. I should not
have fancied it much. I had a little experience in fighting with rats
once, when I was a boy. They were in a room occupied with meal and
flour. The door was closed, so that they could not get out. I was armed
with a fire shovel, or something of that sort, and I fought, as I
thought at the time, with a good deal of bravery and some skill. But the
rats got the better of me. They won the victory. They would jump upon a
barrel, and from that upon a shelf, and then down they would fly into my
face, ready to gripe me with their teeth. I was glad to beat a retreat
soon, I assure you.

They are a shrewd set of fellows, these rats. Some years ago, the cellar
of the house in which I resided was greatly infested with them. They
devoured potatoes, apples, cabbages, and whatever came in their way; for
they are not very particular about their diet, you know. Well, we set a
trap for them. It was a flat stone set up on one end, with a figure
four. We scattered corn all about the trap, and placed a few barrels on
the end of the spindle under the stone. The first night these midnight
robbers ate up all the corn around the trap, but did not touch a morsel
under it. This they repeated several nights in succession; and all at
once, there was not the trace of a rat to be found in the cellar. They
no doubt held a council (rats are accustomed to hold councils, it would
seem; they once held a council to deliberate upon the best mode of
protection against their enemy, the cat, and concluded to put a bell on
her ladyship--so the fable says)--they held a council, as I said before,
and came to the unanimous conclusion that those quarters were no longer
safe. So they decamped forthwith; and the very next day after we missed
them, one of our neighbors complained that they were suddenly besieged
by a whole army of rats.

A German succeeded in training six rats so that they would go through
astonishing exercises. He kept them in a box, which he opened, and from
which they came out only as their names were called. This box was placed
on a table, before which the man stood. He held a wand in his hand, and
called by name such of his pupils as he wished to appear. The one who
was called came out instantly, and climbed up the wand, on which he
seated himself in an upright posture, looking round on the spectators,
and saluting them, after his own fashion. Then he waited the orders of
his master, which he executed with the utmost precision, running from
one end of the rod to the other counterfeiting death, and performing a
multitude of astonishing feats, as he was bidden by his master. After
these performances were finished, the pupil received a reward for his
good behavior, and for his proficiency in study. The master invited him
to come and kiss his face, and eat a part of the biscuit which he held
between his lips. Immediately the animal ran toward him, climbed up to
his shoulder, licked the cheek of his master, and afterward took the
biscuit. Then, turning to the spectators, he seated himself on his
master's shoulder, ate his dinner, and returned to his box. The other
rats were called, one by one, in the same manner, and all went through
the several parts with the same precision.

I have read a pretty tough rat story in the "Penny Magazine," but it is
said to be authentic. "An open box," says the narrator, "containing some
bottles of Florence oil, was placed in a room which was seldom visited.
On going into the room for one of the bottles, it was perceived that the
pieces of bladder and the cotton, which were at the mouth of each
bottle, had disappeared; and that a considerable quantity of the
contents of the bottles had been consumed. This circumstance having
excited surprise, some of the bottles were filled with oil, and the
mouths of them secured as before. The next morning the coverings of the
bottles had again been removed, and part of the oil was gone. On
watching the room, through a small window, some rats were seen to get
into the box, thrust their tails into the necks of the bottles, and
then, withdrawing them, lick off the oil which adhered to them."

Another story about these animals, almost as wonderful, I have upon the
authority of a clergyman in England. He says that he was walking out in
the meadow one evening, and he observed a great number of rats in the
act of emigrating. He stood perfectly still, and the whole army passed
close to him. Among the number he tells us was an old rat who was blind.
He held a piece of stick by one end in his mouth, while another rat had
hold of the other end of it, and was conducting him.

The Chicago Democrat tells the following, prefacing it with the remark
that the rats of Chicago are "noted for their firmness and daring." A
few nights since, a cat belonging to a friend, while exercising the
office of mother of a family of kittens, was attacked by a regularly
organized band of rats, which, sad to relate, contrived to kill the
parent, and make a prey of the offspring. In the morning the cat was
found bitten to death by the side of nine of her assailants, whom she
slew before she was overpowered by superior numbers.

The following story about a rat extremely fond of good living, was told
me by a clerical friend residing in the city of New York. The family in
which this rat lived, had just purchased some round clams, and they were
placed in the cellar. One night all the inmates of the house were
alarmed by an unusual noise. It appeared as if some one was stamping
about the house with heavy boots on. It was a long time before they
found out how the matter stood; but when they did find out, an old rat
was discovered dragging one of these clams about with him. It appeared
that this fellow, thinking it would be nice to have a supper from one of
the clams, which he saw open, thrust in his paw, and got caught.

This story reminds me of a French fable about the rat who got tired of
staying at home, and went abroad to see something of the world. "A rat
with very few brains"--so runs the fable--"got tired of living in
solitude, and took it into his head to travel. He had hardly proceeded a
mile, before he exclaimed, 'What a grand and spacious world this is!
Behold the Alps and the Pyrenees!' The least mole-hill seemed a mountain
in his eyes. After a few days, our traveler arrived at the sea-coast,
where there were a multitude of oysters. At first he thought they were
ships. Among these oysters, was one lying open. The rat perceived it.
'What do I see?' said he. 'Here is a delicate morsel for me, and if I am
not greatly mistaken, I shall have a fine dinner to-day.' So he
approached the oyster, stretched out his neck, and thrust his head
between the shells. The oyster closed, and master Nibble was caught as
effectually as if he was in a trap." I believe the moral of this fable
is something as follows: "Those who have no experience in the world, are
often astonished at the smallest objects, and not unfrequently become
the dupes of their ignorance."

In 1776, one of the British ships engaged in the war with this country,
became infested with rats to such a degree, that they at last devoured
daily nearly a hundred weight of biscuit. They were at last destroyed,
by smoking the ship between decks, after which several bushels of them
were removed.

In the Isle of France rats are found in prodigious swarms. There were
formerly so many, that, according to some accounts, they formed the
principal cause for abandoning the island by the Dutch. In some of the
houses, thirty thousand have been known to be killed in one year.

In Egypt, when the waters of the Nile retire, after the annual overflow,
multitudes of rats and mice are seen to issue from the moistened soil.
The Egyptians believe that these animals are generated from the earth;
and some of the people assert, that they have seen the rats in a state
of formation, while one half of the bodies was flesh and the other half
mud.

The following anecdote is related by a correspondent of one of the
English newspapers: "This morning," says he, "while reading in bed, I
was suddenly interrupted by a noise similar to that made by rats, when
running through a double wainscot, and endeavoring to pierce it. The
noise ceased for some moments, and then commenced again. I was only two
or three feet from the wall whence the noise proceeded; and soon I
perceived a great rat making his appearance at a hole. It looked about
for awhile, without making any noise, and having made the observations
it wished, it retired. An instant after, I saw it come again, leading by
the ear another rat, larger than itself, and which appeared to be much
advanced in years. Having left this one at the edge of the hole, it was
joined by another young rat. The two then ran about the chamber,
collecting the crumbs of bread which had fallen from the table at supper
the previous evening, and carried them to the rat which they had left at
the edge of the hole. I was astonished at this extraordinary attention
on the part of the young rats, and continued to observe all their
motions with a great deal of care. It soon appeared clear to me that the
animal to whom the food was brought was blind, and unable to find the
bread which was placed before it, except by feeling after it. The two
younger ones were undoubtedly the offspring of the other, and they were
engaged in supplying the wants of their poor, blind parent. I admired
the wisdom of the God of nature, who has given to all animals a social
tenderness, a gratitude, I had almost said a virtue, proportionate to
their faculties. From that moment, these creatures, which I had before
abhorred, seemed to become my friends. By and by, a person opened the
door of the room, when the two young rats warned the blind one by a cry;
and in spite of their fears, they did not seek for safety themselves,
until assured that their blind parent was beyond the reach of danger.
They followed as the other retired, and served as a sort of rear-guard."

[Illustration: FIELD MICE.]

There are several species of mice. The engraving represents the field
mouse, an animal which sometimes makes great havoc with the farmer's
grain. The common domestic mouse is perhaps better known. He is
generally, and I think I may say justly, regarded as a pest in the house
where he becomes a tenant. But he is an interesting animal, after all. I
love to watch him--the sly little fellow--nibbling his favorite cheese,
his keen black eye looking straight at me, all the time, as if to read
by my countenance what sort of thoughts I had about his mouseship. How
much at home he always contrives to make himself in a family! How very
much at his ease he is, as he regales himself on the best things which
the house affords!

A day or two ago, a friend of mine was telling me an amusing story about
some mice with which he had the pleasure of a slight acquaintance. He
lived in the same house with a gentleman who kept a sort of bachelor's
hall, and who was a great lover of pets. This gentleman took him into
his room one day to see a mouse which he was educating to be a companion
of his lonely hours. The bachelor remarked that he had been a pensioner
for some time, that he fed him bountifully every day, and that he had
become very tame indeed. "But," said the mouse's patron, "he is an
ungrateful fellow. He is not content with eating what I give him; he
destroys every thing he can lay hold of." A short time after this, my
friend was called in again, when he was told by the bachelor, that, the
mouse having become absolutely intolerable by his petty larcenies and
grand larcenies, he set a trap for him and caught him. But still the
larcenies continued. He set his trap again, and caught another rogue,
and another, and another, till at last he found he had been making a pet
of thirteen mice, instead of one, as he at first supposed.

The field mouse, represented in the engraving, lays up a large store of
provisions in his nice little nest under ground, which he keeps for
winter. These mice are very particular in stowing away their winter
store. The corn, acorns, chestnuts, hickory nuts, and whatever else they
hoard up, have each separate apartments. One room contains nothing but
corn, another nothing but chestnuts, and so on. When they have exhausted
their stock of provisions before spring, and they have nothing else to
eat, they turn to, and eat one another. They are regular cannibals, if
their manners and customs have been correctly reported. Sometimes the
hogs, as they are roaming about the pasture, in the autumn, soon after a
family of field mice have laid in their provisions, and before the
ground has frozen, come across the nest, and smell the good things that
are in it. Then the poor mouse has to suffer. The author of the Boy's
Winter Book thus graphically and humorously describes the misfortunes of
such a mouse: "There he sits huddled up in a dark corner, looking on, as
the hog is devouring the contents of his house, saying to himself, no
doubt, 'I wish it may choke you, you great, grunting brute, that I do.
There go my poor acorns, a dozen at a mouthfull. Twelve long journeys I
had to take to the foot of the old oak, where I picked them up--such a
hard day's work, that I could hardly get a wink of sleep, my bones ached
so. And now that great glutton gobbles them all up at once, and makes
nothing of it! What I shall do in the winter, I'm sure I don't know.
There goes my corn, too, which I brought, a little at a time, all the
way from the field on the other side of the woods, and with which I was
often obliged to rest, two or three times before I reached home; and
then I sometimes had to lay my load down, while I had a battle with
another field mouse, who tried to take the corn away from me, under
pretence of helping me to carry it home, which I knew well enough meant
his own nest. And after all this fighting, and slaving, and carrying
heavy loads from sunrise to sunset, here comes a pair of great, grunting
pork chaps, and make a meal from my hard earnings. Well, never mind, Mr.
Pig. It's winter now; but perhaps by next harvest time, I shall creep
into some reaper's basket, and have a taste of you, when he brings a
part of you, nicely cured and cooked, and laid lovingly between two
slices of bread and butter. I'll be even with you then, old fellow--that
I will, if I am only spared!' And so he creeps out, scarcely knowing
whether he should make up his mind to beg, borrow, or steal, half
muttering to himself, as he hops across the way, to visit some neighbor
for a breakfast, 'I declare such infamous treatment is enough to make
one dishonest, and never be industrious and virtuous any more!'"




The Rabbit.


Friend reader, did you ever see the rabbit bounding along through the
bushes, when you have been walking in the woods? When a boy, I used
often to be amused at the gambols of the rabbits, in the woods near my
father's house. They do not run very gracefully or very fast, and a dog
easily overtakes them. It seems cruel to hunt them, and set snares for
them; and yet if they are wanted for food, doubtless there is no harm in
taking their life. The way in which I used to catch them, years ago,
when the sources of my enjoyment were widely different from what they
are at present, was by means of a box-trap with a lid to it, so adjusted
that the poor rabbit, when he undertook to nibble the apple, attached to
the spindle for a bait, sprung the trap, and made himself a prisoner.
Another method we used to employ to catch the rabbit, was something like
this: a fence was made of brush-wood, about three feet high, and
reaching some rods in length. The brush in this fence was interlaced so
closely, that rabbits and partridges could not get through except at
intervals of a few yards, where there was a door. At this door was a
noose connecting with a flexible pole, which was bent down for the
purpose. The unsuspecting rabbit, in his journeyings from place to
place, comes to the fence. He could leap over, if he should try. But he
thinks it cheaper to walk through the door, especially as there is a
choice bit of apple suspended over the entrance. Well, he attempts to go
through, stopping a minute to eat that favorite morsel; he thrusts his
head into the noose; the trap is sprung, and the elastic pole twitches
the poor wayfarer up by the neck. It is rather barbarous business, this
snaring innocent rabbits; and I should much rather my young friends
would adopt either of a hundred other sports of winter, than this.

[Illustration: THE RABBIT TRAP.]

[Illustration: THE RABBIT.]

The father of a family of rabbits is said to exercise a very respectable
discipline among the children. Would it not be well for some of our
fathers and mothers to attend school, a quarter or so, in one of their
villages? The father among rabbits is a patriarch. Somebody who owned
several tame ones, tells us that whenever any of them quarreled, the
father instantly ran among them, and at once peace and order were
restored. "If he caught any one quarreling, he always punished him as an
example to the rest. Having taught them to come to me," says this man,
"with the call of a whistle, the instant this signal was given, I saw
this old fellow marshal up his forces, sometimes taking the lead, and
sometimes making them file off before him."




The Hare.


Probably most of my readers are so well acquainted with natural history,
that they do not need to be told that the hare and the rabbit are very
like, in their appearance, as well as in most of their habits. The two
animals, however, are sufficiently unlike to be entitled to a separate
introduction in our stories.

Hares have been known to possess a good deal of cunning, which is a
fortunate circumstance for them, as they often need not a little of this
trait of character in their numerous persecutions. "I have seen," says
Du Fouilloux, a French naturalist, "a hare so cunning, that, as soon as
it heard the huntsman's horn, it started from its place, and though at
the distance of a quarter of a league from it, leaped to a pond, and
there hid itself among the rushes, thus escaping the pursuit of the
dogs. I have seen a hare, which, after having run above two hours before
the dogs, has dislodged another hare, and taken possession of its
residence. I have seen them swim over three ponds, of which the smallest
was not less than eighty paces broad. I have seen others, which, after
having been warmly chased for two hours, have entered a sheep-cot,
through the little opening under the door, and remained among the
cattle. Others, again, when the dogs have chased them, have joined a
flock of sheep in the field, and, in like manner, remained with them. I
have seen others, which, when they heard the dogs, have concealed
themselves in the earth, or have gone along on one side of a hedge, and
returned by the other, so that there was only the thickness of the hedge
between the dogs and the hare. I have seen others, which, after they had
been chased for half an hour, have mounted an old wall of six feet high,
and taken refuge in a hole covered with ivy."

An English hunter tells a very affecting anecdote about two hares which
were chased by a pack of dogs. A hare which they had pursued for some
time was nearly exhausted. On the way, he came across another hare,
doubtless a personal friend of his. The latter, after a short
conversation with the former--for there was not time for many
ceremonies--took the place of the poor weary one, and allowed himself to
be chased by the dogs, while the other, who must soon have fallen a
victim to the dogs, was left to shift as best he could, and try to find
a place of shelter.

The hares in Liberia exhibit much foresight. In the month of August they
cut great quantities of soft, tender grass, and other herbs, which they
spread out to dry. This hay, early in autumn, they collect into heaps,
and place either beneath the overhanging rocks, or around the trunks of
trees, in conical heaps of various sizes, resembling the stacks in which
men sometimes preserve their hay in winter. The stacks which the hares
make are much smaller, however, not usually more than three feet high.
In the winter these stacks are covered with snow, and the animals make a
path between them and their holes. They select the best of vegetables
for their winter store, and crop them when in the fullest vigor, and
these they make into the best and greenest hay.

Dr. Towson, while in Gottingen, succeeded in getting a young hare so
tame, that it would play about his sofa and bed. It would leap upon his
knee, pat him with its fore feet, and frequently, while he was
reading, it would jump up in his lap, and knock the book out of his
hand, so as to get a share of his attention.

[Illustration: TAME HARES.]

One Sunday evening, five men were sitting on the bank of the river
Mersey, in England, singing sacred songs. The field where they were had
a forest on one side of it. As they were singing, a hare came out of
this forest, and ran toward the place where they were seated. When she
came up very near the spot, she suddenly stopped, and stood still for a
considerable time, appearing to enjoy the sound of the music. She
frequently turned her head, as if listening with intense interest. When
they stopped singing, she turned slowly toward the forest. She had
nearly reached the forest, when the gentlemen commenced singing again.
The hare turned around, and ran back swiftly, nearly to the spot where
she stood before, and listened with the same apparent pleasure, until
the music was finished, when she again retired toward the woods, and
soon disappeared.

Cowper was a great lover of pets; and I confess that I love him for this
trait in his character. He has endeared himself to me, indeed, as much
by the kindness he showed to the different animals which he had about
him, and which he had taught to love him, as by almost any other act of
his. I never think of Cowper, without thinking, too, of the interest he
took in every thing that breathed; and I hardly ever see a pet hare, or
rabbit, or squirrel, without thinking of him. If the reader is as much
interested in the poet as I am, he will like to see a portrait of him,
which I introduce in this connection. Many people take great delight in
hunting such beautiful and innocent animals as the fawn and the hare.
But Cowper was no sportsman. He could not bear to hurt any thing that
lived. You remember, perhaps, what he says in his "Task" about being
kind to animals. Let me see if I can quote it from memory. I guess I
can, for I learned it at school when a little boy, and those things are
always fixed in the memory more indelibly than those which are learned
in maturer years. I think he says--

"I would not enter on my list of friends--
Though graced with polished manners and fine sense,
Yet wanting sensibility--the man
Who needlessly sets foot upon a worm.
An inadvertent step may crush the snail,
That crawls at eve along the public path;
But he who has humanity, forewarned,
Will step aside, and let the reptile live."

[Illustration: THE POET COWPER.]

He was right--the kind-hearted poet was right. Well, as I said before,
he was not only careful about giving pain to animals, but he was very
fond of pets. First and last, he had a good many of these pets. But
there were none of them that he took so great delight in as his hares.
He had two of these pretty little creatures, and they seemed to be as
fond of him as he was of them. Cowper was subject to fits of great
despondency, or depression of spirits. With him hypochondria was a sort
of chronic disease. He would try to be cheerful. He knew the nature of
his melancholy, and often tried to remedy indirectly what could not be
reached directly. He resorted to innocent amusements in order to lead
the mind away from the contemplation of its own ills, real or imaginary.
This was well--it was philosophical--but it did not always succeed. The
disease was too deeply seated in his system. The care which he took of
his pets was no doubt one of his favorite amusements. These hares--there
were three of them at first, though one of them did not live long--had
each very different characters. The poet described them in detail in one
of his letters. Puss was the greatest favorite. He was more tractable,
tame and affectionate than the rest. Once the fellow was very sick, and
his master treated him with a great deal of kindness, gave him medicine,
and nursed him so well that he recovered. Cowper says that Puss showed
his gratitude by licking his hand for a long time, a ceremony he never
went through with but once in his life, before or afterward. Bess, who
died young, was the funny one. He had a great fund of humor and
drollery. Tiney, though very entertaining in his way, seems to have been
rather a grave and surly fellow. When he died--and he lived to a good
old age, some nine years, I think--Cowper buried him with honor, and
wrote an epitaph for him. I will copy two or three stanzas from this
epitaph, to show that Tiney got quite as good a character as he
deserved.

    EPITAPH ON A HARE.

    Here lies, whom hound did ne'er pursue,
      Nor swifter greyhound follow,
    Whose feet ne'er tainted morning dew,
      Nor ear heard huntsman's hallo.

    Old Tiney, surliest of his kind,
      Who, nursed with tender care,
    And to domestic bounds confined,
      Was still a wild Jack-hare.

    Though duly from my hand he took
      His pittance every night,
    He did it with a jealous look,
      And when he could, would bite.

    I kept him for his humor's sake,
      For he would oft beguile
    My heart of thought, that made it ache,
      And force me to a smile.

    But now beneath this walnut shade,
      He finds his long, last home,
    And waits, in snug concealment laid,
      Till gentler Puss shall come.

    He, still more aged, feels the shocks,
      From which no power can save,
    And, partner once of Tiney's box,
      Must soon partake his grave.




The Goat.


Goats have been taught to perform a great many wonderful exploits. The
celebrated traveler, Dr. Clarke, gives a very curious account of a goat
which he came across in Arabia. This goat would perform some most
surprising feats of dexterity. "We met," he says, "an Arab with a goat,
which he led about the country to exhibit, in order to gain a
livelihood. He had taught this animal, while he accompanied its
movements with a song, to mount upon little cylindrical blocks of wood,
placed successively one above another, and resembling in shape the dice
belonging to a backgammon table. In this manner the goat stood, first on
the top of two; afterward of three, four, five, and six, until it
remained balanced upon the summit of them all, elevated several feet
above the ground, and with its fore feet collected upon a single point,
without throwing down the disjointed fabric on which it stood. The
diameter of the upper cylinder, on which its four feet alternately
remained until the Arab had ended his ditty, was only two inches, and
the length of each was six inches. The most curious part of the
performance took place afterward; for the Arab, to convince us of the
animal's attention to the turn of the air, sometimes interrupted the
ordinary _da capo_, or repeat, and as often as he did so, the goat
tottered, and appeared uneasy. When the man suddenly stopped, in the
middle of his song, the animal fell to the ground."

[Illustration: THE WONDERFUL FEAT OF THE GOAT.]

A farmer in Scotland missed one of his goats, when his flock came home
at night. Being afraid the missing animal would get among the young
trees in his nursery, he sent two boys, wrapped up warm in their plaid
cloaks, to watch all night. In the morning, these boys climbed up the
brow of a hill near by, to hunt for the wanderer. They found her after a
long search. She was on the brow of a hill, and her young kid was by her
side. This faithful mother was defending the kid from the attack of a
fox. The enemy was using all the cunning and art he was master of, to
get possession of the little fellow, while the old goat was presenting
her horns in every direction, as he made his sallies. The boys shouted
at the top of their voices, in order to drive the fox away. But Master
Renard was probably aware that they would not dare to touch him. At any
rate, he kept up the assault. At last, getting out of patience with the
goat, he made a more resolute effort to seize the kid; and in an instant
all three of the animals rolled off the precipice, and were killed by
the fall. The fox was found at the bottom of the gorge, with the goat's
horns piercing his body.

A story is told by Mr. Bingley, which illustrates, in a very forcible
manner, the gratitude and affection of the goat. After the final
suppression of the Scottish rebellion of 1715, by the decisive battle of
Preston, a gentleman who had taken a very active share in it escaped to
the West Highlands, to the residence of a female relative, who afforded
him an asylum. As, in consequence of the strict search which was made
after the ringleaders, it was soon judged unsafe for him to remain in
the house of his friend, he was conducted to a cavern in a sequestered
situation, and furnished with a supply of food. The approach to this
lonely abode consisted of a small aperture, through which he crept,
dragging his provisions along with him. A little way from the mouth of
the cave the roof became elevated, but on advancing, an obstacle
obstructed his progress. He soon perceived that, whatever it might be,
the object was a living one; but unwilling to strike at a venture with
his dirk, he stooped down, and discovered a goat and her kid lying on
the ground. The animal was evidently in great pain, and feeling her body
and limbs, he ascertained that one of her legs had been fractured. He
bound it up with his garter, and offered her some of his bread; but she
refused to eat, and stretched out her tongue, as if intimating that her
mouth was parched with thirst. He gave her water, which she drank
greedily, and then she ate the bread. At midnight he ventured from the
cave, pulled a quantity of grass and the tender branches of trees, and
carried them to the poor sufferer, which received them with
demonstrations of gratitude. The only thing which this fugitive had to
arrest his attention in this dreary abode, was administering comfort to
the goat; and he was, indeed, thankful to have any living creature
beside him. She quickly recovered, and became tenderly attached to him.
It happened that the servant who was intrusted with the secret of his
retreat fell sick, when it became necessary to send another with
provisions. The goat, on this occasion, happening to be lying near the
mouth of the cavern, opposed his entrance with all her might, butting
him furiously; the fugitive, hearing a disturbance, went forward, and
receiving the watchword from his new attendant, interposed, and the
faithful goat permitted him to pass. So resolute was the animal on this
occasion, that the gentleman was convinced she would have died in his
defence.

[Illustration: CHAPTER END DECORATION]




The Tiger.


Such of my readers as have had an opportunity to look a little into
natural history, are probably aware that the tiger belongs to the cat
family. Many of its habits are very like those of the domestic cat. Did
you ever see an old cat preparing to make a spring at a mouse or a bird?
If you have, you have noticed that she crouches on the ground, and
creeps stealthily along toward her victim, without making the least
noise, until she is near enough, and then suddenly springs upon her
prey. The tiger pursues the same course.

A British officer, who lived for awhile in India, where tigers abound,
was returning, in the evening, to the house where he resided, after
dining with another officer, when he was met by his servants, who were
making a great noise, in order to frighten away a tiger which was known
to be prowling about the neighborhood. Although he had been some years
in India, the young officer had never seen a tiger, as it happened,
except from a distance; and he determined he would gratify his
curiosity, if possible, and have a good view of the animal. So he
dismissed his servants, and seated himself opposite the jungle, where
the tiger was supposed to be, and there looked out for the enemy. It was
moonlight, and the ferocious beast soon discovered the officer. The
latter could distinctly see all the motions of his savage foe. He
approached so slowly as scarcely to make the least noise. Then,
crouching down, he prepared to make the fatal spring at his victim. At
this instant, however, the officer, taking off a bear skin cap which he
wore, swung it in the air, and shouted as loudly as he could. This so
frightened the tiger that he made off with himself, and was soon out of
sight in the bushes.

A European gentleman, who has spent some time in Java, tells us a
thrilling story about the adventure of a criminal with a tiger. The poor
man was condemned, as is the custom in that country, to fight a large
royal tiger, whose ferocity was raised to the highest point by want of
food and artificial irritation. The only weapon allowed to the human
combatant was a lance, with the point broken off. After wrapping a cloth
round his left fist and arm, the man entered the arena with an air of
undaunted calmness, and fixed a steady, menacing gaze upon the brute.
The tiger sprang furiously upon his intended victim, who, with
extraordinary boldness and rapidity, thrust his left fist into the
gaping jaws, and at the same moment, with his keen, pointless dagger,
ripped up the breast to the very heart. In less than a minute the tiger
lay dead at his conqueror's feet. The criminal was forgiven.

[Illustration: THE TIGER.]

Several years ago, an Englishman, by the name of Munro, was killed by a
tiger in the East Indies. The particulars of this distressing scene are
given by an eye-witness. "We went on shore," says the writer of the
narrative, "to shoot deer, of which we saw innumerable tracks, as well
as of tigers; notwithstanding which, we continued our diversion till
near three o'clock, when, sitting down by the side of a jungle to
refresh ourselves, a roar like thunder was heard, and an immense tiger
seized on our unfortunate friend, and rushed again into the jungle,
dragging him through the thickest bushes and trees, every thing giving
way to his monstrous strength; a tigress accompanied his progress. The
united agonies of horror, regret, and fear, rushed at once upon us. I
fired on the tiger; he seemed agitated; my companion fired also, and, in
a few minutes after this, our unfortunate friend came up to us bathed in
blood. Every medical assistance was vain, and he expired in the space of
twenty-four hours, having received such deep wounds from the teeth and
claws of the animal, as rendered his recovery hopeless. A large fire,
consisting of ten or twelve whole trees, was blazing by us at the time
this accident took place, and ten or more natives were with us. The
human mind can scarce form any idea of the scene of horror. We had
hardly pushed our boat from that accursed shore, when the tigress made
her appearance, almost raging mad, and remained on the sand, exhibiting
signs of the utmost ferocity, all the while we continued in sight."

There is an account given of a small party who entered a cave, to seek
shelter from a terrible storm, in South America. The storm raged with
such violence, that they could not hear each other speak; the
cedar-trees were struck down, and the torrents of rain rushed from the
mountains. Suddenly a growling noise was heard at the end of the cave.
They soon found, to their amazement and horror, that they had taken
refuge in a tiger's cave, and that the growling proceeded from two young
cubs. At this moment the Indians who attended them gave the alarm that a
tiger was approaching. The Indians mounted a tree, and the party in the
cave blocked up the mouth of it with a large and heavy stone, which
fortunately lay near. A dreadful roar was heard, which was replied to by
the growling of the two cubs, and the flaming eyes of a tremendous tiger
were seen glowing with fury between the top of the stone and the rock
just above it. The tiger attempted to remove the stone, but his
prodigious strength was unequal to the attempt, and he howled more
tremendously than before. Several of the party had leveled their muskets
and pistols at the head of the tiger, through the narrow opening left by
the stone; but the storm had damped the powder, and the pieces could not
be discharged. The young cubs were then killed and thrust through the
hole to the tiger on the outside, who, after turning them over and
examining them, broke afresh into the wildest fury. The Indians
discharged several arrows at the infuriated animal, but his thick skin
repelled them. The storm ceased, and the thunder was heard only in the
distance, but the tiger laid himself down at the mouth of the cave. In a
short time a roar was heard near, which was answered by the tiger, who
sprang up directly on his feet. The Indians in the tree gave a wild
shriek, as a tigress bounded toward the cave. The howling of the two
animals, after the tigress had examined her cubs, was truly terrible,
and every one in the cavern gave himself over for lost. A powder-flask,
containing their whole stock of gunpowder, had been upset in turning out
the young cubs, so that they were reduced to despair. The tigress, after
staring wildly at the stone at the opening of the cavern, sprang against
it with all her force, and would probably have displaced it, had not the
party joined together to hold it in its place. Suddenly the two tigers
turned their heads toward the forest, and disappeared. The Indians
descended the tree, and urged the party in the cave to take the
opportunity of escaping, for that the tigers had ascended the heights to
find another way into the cave. No time was to be lost; they hurried
through the forest till they came to a wide chasm with a rushing stream
below it. A bridge of reeds had been thrown across the chasm, and over
this bridge they passed, but the tigers were close in pursuit. The last
of the party who crossed the bridge cut the fastenings which tied it to
the rock, and hoped by this means to secure safety, when the tigress
rushed toward the chasm, made a spring, and fell down upon the pointed
rocks below, and from thence into the torrent at the bottom. It was a
fearful sight to see this ferocious animal for a moment in the air,
without knowing whether she would be able to clear the chasm. The tiger
paused not a moment, but making an amazing spring, reached the opposite
side with his fore paws. As he clung to the rock, one of the party
plunged his sword into the breast of the furious beast, while another
struck him a blow on the head with the butt-end of his gun. The tiger
let go his hold, and fell back into the abyss. This was a dreadful
moment! for the man who struck the tiger on the head could not recover
himself; he reeled over the edge of the fearful precipice, stretched out
his hand in vain to seize hold of something with which to save himself,
and then was precipitated into the horrid gulf below!

A novel exhibition was presented in the city of Boston, not long ago,
which attracted the attention of every body, old and young. Herr
Driesbach, the famous tamer of wild animals, made his appearance in an
elegant sleigh, with his pet tiger by his side. In this manner he rode
through the streets. The tiger, it is said, seemed to enjoy the
sleighing mightily, and leaped upon his master, from time to time,
licking his face, and showing other signs of excitement. Driesbach had
to strike him several times, to keep him from making too enthusiastic
demonstrations. After astonishing the citizens for a considerable time,
Driesbach alighted at his hotel, with his tiger, and taking him into one
of the apartments, invited gentlemen to walk in and be introduced,
though there were very few who seemed willing to avail themselves of the
privilege.

[Illustration: CHAPTER END DECORATION]




[Illustration: THE RHINOCEROS.]


The Rhinoceros.


From the accounts of those who are best acquainted with the rhinoceros,
it appears that the animal is tamed only with great difficulty, and
never to such an extent that it is always safe to approach him. Sir
Everard Home gives the following account of one in a menagerie in
London: "He was so savage, that about a month after he came, he
endeavored to kill the keeper, and nearly succeeded. He ran at him with
the greatest fury; but, fortunately, the horn of the animal passed
between the keeper's thighs, and threw him on the head of the
rhinoceros. The horn struck a wooden partition, into which it was forced
to such a depth, that the animal, for a minute, was unable to withdraw
it; and during this interval, the man escaped. By discipline, the
keeper afterward got the management of him; but frequently, more
especially in the middle of the night, fits of phrensy came on, and
while these lasted, nothing could control his rage. He ran, with great
swiftness, round his den, playing all kinds of antics, making hideous
noises, breaking every thing to pieces, and disturbing the whole
neighborhood. While this fit was on, the keeper never dared to come near
him."

When the rhinoceros is quietly pursuing his way through his favorite
glades of mimosa bushes (which his hooked upper lip enables him readily
to seize, and his powerful grinders to masticate), his horns, fixed
loosely in his skin, make a clapping noise by striking one against the
other; but on the approach of danger, if his quick ear or keen scent
makes him aware of the vicinity of a hunter, the head is quickly raised,
and the horns stand stiff, and ready for combat on his terrible front.
The rhinoceros is often accompanied by a sentinel, to give him
warning--a beautiful green-backed and blue-winged bird, about the size
of a jay--which sits on one of his horns.

The following account of the perils of a party hunting for the
rhinoceros is given by Mr. Bruce, a traveler of celebrity: "We were on
horseback, at the dawn of the day, in search of the rhinoceros; and
after having searched about an hour in the thickest part of the forest,
one of these animals rushed out with great violence, and crossed the
plain toward a thicket of canes, at the distance of nearly two miles.
But though he ran, or rather trotted, with surprising speed, considering
his bulk, he was in a short time pierced with thirty or forty javelins.
This attack so confounded him, that he left his purpose of going to the
thicket, and ran into a deep ravine, without outlet, breaking about a
dozen of the javelins as he entered. Here we thought he was caught in a
trap--for he had scarcely room to turn--and a servant, who had a gun,
standing directly over him, fired at his head. The animal fell
immediately, to all appearance dead. All those on foot now jumped into
the ravine, to cut him up. But they had scarcely begun, when the animal
recovered himself so far as to rise upon his knees; and he would
undoubtedly have destroyed several of the men, had not one of them, with
great presence of mind, cut the sinew of the animal's hind leg. To this
precaution they were indebted, under God, for their lives."

The rhinoceros and the elephant have been known to engage in a pitched
battle, in which case the former always comes off victor. The combat,
however, is a very furious one.

There are two species of the rhinoceros. The one which is represented in
the engraving is the double-horned rhinoceros. It is perhaps the largest
of land animals, with the exception of the elephant. When pursued,
notwithstanding its large, unwieldy body, it can run with astonishing
swiftness.

[Illustration: CHAPTER END DECORATION]




The Alligator.


On the whole, though the alligator can hardly claim any attention from
us in these stories, owing to his manner of locomotion, and some other
circumstances, yet I think I will introduce him to the reader, as I have
two or three anecdotes about his tribe, which are worth reading, and as
he comes within the qualifications for introduction to our present
company of animals, so far as to possess the specific number of
locomotive organs.

A British medical officer, many years a resident in the East Indies,
relates the following painful incident: "A native, being employed in
repairing a ship lying in the Bengal river, carelessly put his legs off
the stage upon which he was seated, at the side of the vessel, and
being engaged in conversation with his wife and child, who were on
board, forgot the danger of his situation. As he proceeded in his
labors, it was necessary to lower the stage, until it came within a few
feet only of the water. He had not been in this position many minutes,
when a monstrous alligator rose suddenly above the surface of the river,
and before the poor man perceived the animal, seized one of his legs,
snapped it off, just above the knee, and descended into the water. The
man then tried to get on board the ship, but in vain. The pain, the
terror, the loss of his limb, so entirely prostrated his strength, that
all his efforts were useless. The wife hung terror-stricken over the
side of the vessel, not knowing what to do, calling for assistance, and
shrieking distractedly. The boy, with more presence of mind, clung to
his father, and endeavored, with all his little strength, to lift him
up. The cries of the woman at length brought some persons to ascertain
what was the matter. At this moment the monster appeared again. The son
redoubled his exertions to drag his father from his terrible situation,
but with as little success as before. Some of the people who were
attracted to the spot, threw stones, sticks, or any thing that happened
to be in their way, at the alligator, while the wife, thinking that the
deliverance of her husband was now certain, hastened to the shore to
seek the surgeon. As the monster advanced, the child became convulsed
with terror, and at length was hardly able, by his exertions, to sustain
the weight of his father's body. He called loudly for assistance, but
either through surprise or fear, his cries were unheeded. Still
continuing to defend himself in a measure from the attacks of the
alligator, the sufferer became exhausted from pain and loss of blood.
The terrible animal seized the other leg. The boy still kept his hold,
and contrived to throw a rope round the body of his nearly expiring
father, so as to prevent him from being pulled into the river. At this
instant the wife returned with the surgeon. But, alas! they came too
late. The poor Indian recognized his wife, gave one parting look, then
sunk in death on the bosom of his child."

[Illustration: THE ALLIGATOR.]

Mr. Audubon, the distinguished naturalist, has given some of the most
interesting facts in connection with the alligator that have come to my
knowledge. He says: "A friend having intimated a wish to have the heart
of one of these animals, to study its comparative anatomy, I one
afternoon went out about half a mile from the plantation, and seeing an
alligator that I thought I could put whole into a hogshead of spirits, I
shot it immediately on the skull-bone. It tumbled over from the log on
which it had been basking into the water, and, with the assistance of
two negroes, I had it out in a few minutes, apparently dead. A strong
rope was fastened round its neck, and in this condition, I had it
dragged home across logs, thrown over fences, and handled without the
least fear. Some young ladies there, anxious to see the inside of its
mouth, requested that the mouth should be propped open with a stick put
vertically; this was attempted, but at this instant the first stunning
effect of the wound was over, and the animal thrashed and snapped its
jaws furiously, although it did not advance a foot. I have frequently
been very much amused when fishing in a bayou, where alligators were
numerous, by throwing a blown bladder on the water toward the nearest
one. The alligator makes for it, flaps it toward its mouth, or attempts
seizing it at once, but all in vain. The light bladder slides off; in a
few minutes many alligators are trying to seize this, and their
evolutions are quite interesting. They then put one in mind of a crowd
of boys running after a football. A black bottle is sometimes thrown in
also, tightly corked; but the alligator seizes this easily, and you hear
the glass give way under its teeth, as if ground in a coarse mill. They
are easily caught by negroes, who most expertly throw a rope over their
heads when swimming close to shore, and haul them out instantly."

A writer in the Liberia Herald, according to his account of the matter,
had a pretty good opportunity to observe some of the habits of the
alligator. "Coming down the river," he says, "a few days ago, we espied
an alligator lying with his body on the sloping margin of the river, his
lower jaw submerged in the water, while the upper was extended in the
air, showing a formidable array of teeth. We stopped to gaze at him.
Anon, a hapless fish ventured within the dread chasm, when the
treacherous jaws suddenly closed, and severed the fish asunder. The
native boys who were with us, took the occasion to assign the reason of
some of the alligator's movements. They say he lies with his mouth open,
to attract a certain insect which floats upon the surface of the water.
These collect in large numbers around his mouth; fishes feed upon them,
and when lured by the desired prey within the vortex, they become a prey
themselves."

There is a singular adventure with an alligator recorded by the captain
of a vessel on the coast of Guinea. It is as follows: "The ocean was
very smooth, and the heat very great. Campbell, who had been drinking
too much, was obstinately bent on going overboard to bathe, and although
we used every means in our power to persuade him to the contrary, he
dashed into the water, and had swam some distance from the vessel, when
we on board discovered an alligator making toward him, behind a rock
that stood some distance from the shore. His escape I now considered
impossible, and I applied to Johnson to know how we should act, who,
like myself, affirmed the impossibility of saving him, and instantly
seized upon a loaded musket, to shoot the poor fellow before he fell
into the jaws of the monster. I did not, however, consent to this, but
waited, with horror, the event; yet, willing to do all in my power, I
ordered the boat to be hoisted out, and we fired two shots at the
approaching alligator, but without effect, for they glided over his
scaly covering like hail-stones on a tiled house, and the progress of
the creature was by no means impeded. The report of the piece, and the
noise of the blacks from the sloop, soon made Campbell acquainted with
his danger; he saw the creature making toward him, and, with all the
strength and skill he was master of, he made for the shore. And now the
moment arrived, in which a scene was exhibited beyond the power of my
pen to describe. On approaching within a very short distance of some
canes and shrubs that covered the bank, while closely pursued by the
alligator, a fierce and ferocious tiger sprang toward him, at the
instant the jaws of his first enemy were extended to devour him. At this
awful moment Campbell was preserved. The eager tiger, by overleaping,
fell into the gripe of the alligator. A horrible conflict then ensued.
The water was colored with the blood of the tiger, whose efforts to tear
the scaly covering of the alligator were unavailing, while the latter
had also the advantage of keeping his adversary under water, by which
the victory was presently obtained; for the tiger's death was now
effected. They both sank to the bottom, and we saw no more of the
alligator. Campbell was recovered, and instantly conveyed on board; he
did not speak while in the boat, though his danger had completely
sobered him. But the moment he leaped on the deck, he fell on his knees,
and returned thanks to the Providence who had so protected him; and,
what is most singular, from that moment to the time I am now writing, he
has never been seen the least intoxicated, nor has been heard to utter a
single oath."

[Illustration: CHAPTER END DECORATION]




The Cat.


Cats, say what you will against them, have some excellent traits of
character. They are capable of the strongest attachment. A cat which had
been brought up in a family, became extremely attached to the oldest
child, a little boy who was very fond of playing with her. She bore with
the utmost patience all the rough treatment of the mischievous child,
without ever making the least resistance. As the cat grew up, she used
to catch mice, and bring them alive into the room where the little boy
was, to amuse him with her prey. If he showed an inclination to take the
mouse from her, she let it run, and waited to see whether he was able to
catch it. If he did not, she darted at it, caught it, and again laid it
before him. In this manner the sport continued, as long as the child
showed any taste for it.

At length, the boy was attacked with the small-pox, and during the early
stages of his disorder, the cat rarely left his bed-side; but as his
danger increased, it was thought necessary to remove the cat, and lock
her up. The child died. On the following day, the cat, having escaped
from her confinement, immediately ran to the apartment where she hoped
to find her playmate. Disappointed in her expectations, she sought for
him, with symptoms of great uneasiness and loud lamentations, all over
the house, till she came to the door of the room in which the corpse
lay. Here she lay down in silent grief, till she was again locked up. As
soon as the child was buried, and the cat set at liberty, she
disappeared; and it was not till a fortnight after that event, that she
returned to the well-known apartment, sad and emaciated. She refused to
take any nourishment, and soon ran away again, with dismal cries. At
length, compelled by hunger, she made her appearance one day at
dinner-time, and continued to visit the house after that, every day, at
about the same hour, but always left as soon as she had eaten the food
that was given her. No one knew where she spent the rest of her time,
until she was found, one day, under the wall of the burying-ground,
close to the grave of her favorite; and so strong was the attachment of
the cat to her lost friend, that, till his parents removed to another
place, nearly five years afterward, she never, except in the severest
winter weather, passed the night any where else than in the
burying-ground, at her little friend's grave.

Here is another story of a cat who exhibited in a similar way her love
for her deceased master. The incidents of this story, which, it is
believed, are strictly true, occurred in the north of Scotland. Some
years ago, a poor man residing in that country, whose habits of life had
always been of the most retired description, giving way to the natural
despondency of his disposition, put an end to his existence. The only
other inmate of his cottage was a favorite cat. When the deed was
discovered, the cat was found assiduously watching over her late
master's body, and it was with some difficulty she could be driven away.
The appalling deed naturally excited a great deal of attention in the
surrounding neighborhood; and on the day after the body was deposited in
the grave, which was made at the outside of the church-yard, a number of
school-boys ventured thither, to view the resting-place of one who had
at times been the subject of village wonder, and whose recent act of
self-destruction was invested with additional interest. At first, no one
was brave enough to venture near; but at last, the appearance of a hole
in the side of the grave irresistibly attracted their attention. Having
been minutely examined, it was at length determined that it must have
been the work of some body-snatcher; and the story having spread, the
grave was minutely examined, but as the body had not been removed, the
community considered themselves fortunate in having made so narrow an
escape. The turf was replaced, and the grave again carefully covered up.
On the following morning the turf was again displaced, and a hole,
deeper than before, yawned in the side of the sad receptacle.
Speculation was soon busy at work, and all sorts of explanations were
suggested. In the midst of their speculations, alarmed, perhaps, by the
noise of the disputants, poor Puss darted from the hole, much to the
confusion of some of the most noisy and dogmatic expounders of the
mystery. Again the turf was replaced, and again and again was it removed
by the unceasing efforts of the faithful cat to share the resting-place
of her deceased master. It was at last found necessary to shoot her, it
being found impossible otherwise to put a stop to her unceasing
importunities.

The enmity of the cat and dog is proverbial. Yet instances have been
known in which the closest friendship has been formed between them. A
French author of a work on the Language of Brutes tells the following
story: "I had a cat and dog, which became so attached to each other,
that they would never willingly be asunder. Whenever the dog got any
choice morsel of food, he was sure to divide it with his whiskered
friend. They always ate sociably out of one plate, slept in the same
bed, and daily walked out together. Wishing to put this apparently
sincere friendship to the proof, I one day took the cat by herself into
my room, while I had the dog guarded in another apartment. I entertained
the cat in a most sumptuous manner, being desirous to see what sort of a
meal she would make without her friend, who had hitherto been her
constant table companion. The cat enjoyed the treat with great glee, and
seemed to have entirely forgotten the dog. I had had a partridge for
dinner, half of which I intended to keep for supper. My wife covered it
with a plate, and put it into a cupboard, the door of which she did not
lock. The cat left the room, and I walked out upon business. My wife,
meanwhile, sat at work in an adjoining apartment. When I returned home,
she related to me the following circumstances: The cat, having hastily
left the dining-room, went to the dog, and mewed uncommonly loud, and in
different tones of voice; which the dog, from time to time, answered
with a short bark. They both then went to the door of the room where the
cat had dined, and waited till it was opened. One of my children opened
the door, and immediately the two friends entered the apartment. The
mewing of the cat excited my wife's attention. She rose from her seat,
and stepped softly up to the door, which stood ajar, to observe what was
going on. The cat led the dog to the cupboard which contained the
partridge, pushed off the plate which covered it, and, taking out my
intended supper, laid it before her canine friend, who devoured it
greedily. Probably the cat, by her mewing, had given the dog to
understand what an excellent meal she had made, and how sorry she was
that he had not participated in it; but, at the same time, had explained
to him that something was left for him in the cupboard, and persuaded
him to follow her thither."

[Illustration: THE CAT.]

In Lawrence's History of the Horse occurs the following anecdote, in
which the cat is quite as much concerned as the horse: "A celebrated
Arabian horse and a black cat were for many years the warmest friends.
When the horse died in 1753, the cat sat upon his carcass until it was
buried; and then, creeping slowly and reluctantly away, was never seen
again, till her dead body was found in a hay-loft."

Henry Wriothsly, earl of Southampton, having been some time confined in
the tower of London, was one day surprised by a visit from his favorite
cat, who must have reached her master by descending from the chimney of
the edifice.

The following instance of a cat's courage and maternal affection is
recorded in the Naturalist's Cabinet: "A cat who had a family of
kittens, was playing with them one sunny day in spring, near the door of
a farm-house, when a hawk darted swiftly down and caught one of the
kittens. The assassin was endeavoring to rise with his prey, when the
mother, seeing the danger of the little one, flew at the common enemy,
who, to defend himself, let the kitten fall. The battle presently became
dreadful to both parties; for the hawk, by the power of his wings, the
sharpness of his talons, and the keenness of his beak, had for awhile
the advantage, cruelly lacerating the poor cat, and actually deprived
her of one eye in the conflict. But Puss, not at all daunted by this
accident, strove with all her cunning and strength to protect her little
ones, till she had broken a wing of her adversary. In this state she got
him more within the power of her claws, the hawk still defending
himself, however, according to the best of his ability. The fight
continued for a long time. But at last victory favored the mother; and
by a sudden movement, she laid the hawk motionless beneath her feet,
when, as if exulting in her victory, she tore off the head of her
vanquished enemy. Disregarding the loss of her eye, she immediately ran
to her bleeding kitten, licked the wounds inflicted by the talons of the
hawk, purring, while she caressed the little one, with the same
affection as if nothing had happened to her."

Here is an instance of the ingenuity of a cat. Tabby was in the habit of
visiting a closet, the door of which was fastened by a common iron
latch. A window was situated near the door. When the door was shut, the
cat, as soon as she was tired of her confinement, mounted on the sill of
the window, and with her paws dexterously lifted the latch, opened the
door, and came out of the room. This practice she continued for years.

A cat belonging to a monastery in France was still more ingenious. She
was accustomed to have her meals served to her at the same time that the
inmates of the monastery had theirs. These hours were announced by the
ringing of the bell. One day it so happened that Puss was shut up in a
room by herself, when the bell rang for dinner, so that she was not able
to avail herself of the invitation. Some hours afterward she was
released from her confinement, and instantly ran to the spot where
dinner was always left for her; but no dinner was to be found. In the
afternoon the bell was heard ringing at an unusual hour. When the
inmates of the cloister came to see what was the cause of it, they found
the hungry cat clinging to the bell-rope, and setting it in motion as
well as she was able, in order that she might have her dinner served up
for her. Was not this act of the cat the result of something very nearly
related to what we call reason, when exhibited in man?

A French naturalist gives us an amusing incident connected with a cat in
Prussia. This animal was quietly sleeping on the hearth, when one of the
children in the family where she lived set up a boisterous crying. Puss
left the place where she was lying, marched up to the child, and gave
her such a smart blow with her paw as to draw blood. Then she walked
back, with the greatest composure and gravity, as if satisfied with
having punished the child for crying, and with the hope of indulging in
a comfortable nap. No doubt she had often seen the child punished in
this manner for peevishness; and as there was no one near who seemed
disposed to administer correction in this instance, Puss determined to
take the law into her own hand.

This story brings to my mind one which I saw in a newspaper the other
day, about a cat who took it upon her to punish her children in a very
singular manner. The story runs thus: "One Sabbath, a motherly old cat,
belonging to one of our citizens, left her little family in quiet
repose, while she went forth in pursuit of something to eat. On
returning, she found them quarreling. She then very deliberately took
the one most eagerly engaged in the combat by the nape of the neck, and
not seeing any convenient place near by to administer what she
considered a salutary reproof, went to a tub of water, upon the edge of
which she raised her feet, and dropped the kitten into the water. She
resisted all attempts at escape, and after repeatedly sousing it in the
water till sufficiently punished, she took it again by the neck as
before, and carried it back again, doubtless a thorough repentant for
the wrong it had done. There has been no contention in the family
since."

It must be a very difficult thing for a cat, when a tame bird is within
her reach, to resist the temptation to make a dinner from it. But there
are not wanting instances in which this disposition has been entirely
overcome. More than this: a cat has been known to become the protector
of a bird, when it was in danger. A lady had a tame canary, which she
was in the habit of letting out of its cage every day. One morning, as
it was picking crumbs of bread off the carpet, her cat, who had always
before showed the bird the utmost kindness, seized it suddenly, and
jumped with it in her mouth upon a table. The lady was much alarmed for
the fate of her favorite; but on turning about, she instantly perceived
the cause. The door had been left open, and another cat, a stranger, had
just come into the room! After the lady turned out the neighbor, her own
cat came down from the table, and dropped the bird, without doing it the
smallest injury.

The following story was told me by my friend Dr. Alcott: A cat, in
Northborough, Mass., with three very young kittens, having been removed
to Shrewsbury, a distance of about four miles, continued to elude the
vigilance of her mistress, and, during the hours of sleep, to transport
these three kittens to their old mansion in Northborough.

Here is a story about a cat who was for some time supposed to be a
musical ghost: A family residing a few miles from Aberdeen, Scotland--so
says the Aberdeen Herald--and at the time consisting of females, were
recently thrown for one or two successive nights into no small
consternation, by the unaccountable circumstance of a piano being set a
strumming about midnight, after all the inmates of the house were in
bed. The first night the lady of the house rose when she heard the
unseasonable sounds, thinking some member of the family had set about
"practicing her music" over night. She went cautiously to the room door,
which she found shut; but although she heard the tones of the instrument
when her hand was upon the handle of the door, on entering she was
astonished to find no one in the room. The piano was indeed open, as it
was generally, for a young girl to practice when she had a mind. But
where was the midnight musician? The room was searched, but to no
purpose--there was no musician visible. Next night the same sounds were
heard, and a search was made, but with no better success. One or two
nights of quietude might intervene between those on which such sounds
were heard; but they still broke at intervals through the stillness of
midnight--at one time with note by note, slowly--at another, like the
quick, loud thundering of a battle-piece; till the horrible conviction
filled every mind, that the house was haunted. One morning, the piano
was heard sounding away much louder than usual; and the dawn having
begun to peep through the window-blinds, one or two of the family,
summoning up the courage that comes with the light of day, resolved
that, "ghost, if ghost it were," they should at all risks have a peep at
it, and cautiously descended to the door of the apartment, which was
slightly ajar. The musician was fingering the instrument with the
greatest industry and energy, and apparently at his own entire
satisfaction. Well, after much demurring, in they peeped; and most
assuredly, through the dim dusk of the morning, a gray figure was seen
exerting itself most strenuously. They looked closer, when, behold,
there was--what think you?--the cat, pawing away, first with her fore
feet, and then with her hind; now touching one note gently, and then
dancing with all fours across the keys. There was a solution of the
enigma--a bringing to light of the imagined ghost.

A traveler in one of the Western States relates the following humorous
anecdote of a wild cat: "I was plodding once in a wagon from Toledo to
Maumee, over an execrably level road, in the hot noon sun of a mid-June
day. The driver was a hardy fellow, who looked as though he could outhug
a bear, and loosen the tightest Maumee ague with a single shake, and yet
he owned he had been frightened by a wild cat, so that he ran from it,
and then he told the story, which I give you partly in his own words: 'I
was driving along this road in a buggy, with as fast a horse as ever
scorned the whip, when some ten rods ahead of us, just by that big oak,
a wild cat, leading three kittens, came out of the wood, crossed the
road, and went into those bushes on our left, and I thought what nice
pets they would make, and wished I had one. When I came up, I noticed
one of the young ones in the edge of the bushes, but a few feet off, and
I heard, or thought I heard, the old one stealing along deep in the
woods. I sprang out, snatched up the kitten, threw it into the buggy,
jumped in, and started. When I laid hands on it, it mewed, and kept
mewing, and, as I grasped the reins, I heard a sharp growl and a
thrashing through the brush. I knew the old one was coming, and the next
instant she streamed over a log, and alighted in the road. She ran with
her eyes flaming, her hair bristling, and her teeth grinning. She turned
as on a pivot, and gave an unearthly squall, as she saw me racing away,
and bounded after, with such yells and fury, and gained on me so fast,
that for very fear I threw the kitten out, and lashed the flying horse;
but she scarcely paused for that, but bounded on a while, as though
recovery of her young would not suffice without revenge. When I saw her
at my very back, I scarcely breathed until her crying child recalled
her. Here, at the top of this pitch, I looked back, and saw her
standing, with her young one in her mouth, looking after me, as though
she had half a mind to drop the kitten and give chase again. I gave the
horse a cut, and did not feel quite safe until I had got some miles
away. I made up my mind from that time forward to let young kittens
alone, and mind my own business.'"




The Jackal.


Like the hyena, the jackal derives its principal notoriety from its
ferocious and untameable disposition. It is found in Southern Asia, in
many parts of Africa, and, to some extent, in Syria and Persia. There is
not much difference in the jackal and the dog, except in some of the
habits of the two, and there is a great deal of similarity between the
former and the wolf. By many Biblical commentators, it is thought that
the three hundred foxes to which the sacred penman alludes in the book
of Judges, as performing a singular and mischievous exploit in the
standing corn of the Philistines, were jackals; and their habit of
assembling together in large companies, so as to be taken in
considerable numbers, seems to justify this conclusion--the fox being,
on the other hand, a solitary animal, and in the habit of living for
the most part in small families. To the inhabitants of hot countries,
the jackal is of the same service as the vulture and the hyena. He does
not scruple to feed upon putrid flesh. Wherever there is an animal in a
state of putrefaction, he scents it out from a great distance, and soon
devours it. In this way the air is often freed from substances in the
highest degree unwholesome and deadly. Nor is this all. One of the
habits of this animal is to enter grave-yards, and dig up the bodies
that have been buried there. In countries where jackals abound, great
care needs to be taken in protecting graves, newly opened, on this
account. People frequently mix the earth on the mound raised over a
grave with thorns and other sharp substances, to prevent the jackal from
accomplishing the deed.

[Illustration: THE JACKAL.]

Still the jackal makes his living, in a great measure, by hunting other
beasts. Indeed, he not only makes his own living, but, if the stories
that are told about him are true, he helps other animals in getting
their living, though it is very doubtful whether he means to do so. He
has been called the "lion's provider," you know; and some have
represented him as a humble slave of the lion, obeying his will in every
thing, hunting for him, and only receiving for his portion what his
majesty is pleased to leave. But this notion is probably somewhat
fabulous. The upshot of the matter seems to be this: that the jackal,
having about as much wit as some other servants of kings, chases after
his prey, yelling with all his might, very industriously, and without
hardly stopping to take breath, until the poor hare, or fawn, or
whatever the animal may be, gets tired out, and then the jackal catches
him. But the hunter, by his yelling, starts the lion, as soon as he gets
upon the scent. The lion knows well enough that there is game somewhere
in that region; and so he is on the look-out, while the jackal is
running it down. Well, the jackal has to go over a great deal more
ground than the lion--for these animals, when they are pursued, never go
in a straight direction--and when the game is caught, he has had little
more to do than to look on and enjoy the sport, and he comes up, at his
leisure, just at the right time, to the spot where the jackals are going
to have a feast over their well-earned prey. Then the lion thanks his
dear friends, the jackals, and gives them liberty to retire a few
moments, until he has tasted of their dinner, in order, perhaps he tells
them, to see whether they have made a good selection. After satisfying
his appetite, the jackals have unrestrained liberty to lick the bones,
just as much and as long as they please.

In Captain Beechey's account of his expedition to explore the northern
coasts of Africa, we have an interesting description of this animal. He
does not give a very favorable account of the music made by a band of
jackals. "As they usually come in packs," he says, "the first shriek
which is uttered is always a signal for a general chorus. We hardly know
a sound which is further removed from pleasant harmony than their yells.
The sudden burst of the long-protracted scream, succeeding immediately
to the opening note, is scarcely less impressive than the roll of the
thunder clap after a flash of lightning. The effect of this music is
very much increased when the first note is heard in the distance--a
circumstance which frequently occurs--and the answering yell bursts out
from several points at once, within a few yards of the place where the
auditors are sleeping, or trying to sleep."

It sometimes happens that a jackal ventures near a house, and perhaps
enters a hen-roost, to steal a hen. But in such cases, he often shows
himself to be as stupid as he is impudent; for even then, if he hears
the yelling of his comrades chasing their game, he forgets himself, and
yells as lustily as the rest of them. The result is as might be
expected. The inmates of the house are awakened, and they take such
measures with the poor jackal, as effectually to prevent his repetition
of the blunder.

[Illustration: CHAPTER END DECORATION]




The Sheep.


Sheep, as well as many other animals, show a great fondness for music.
The following anecdote in proof of such a taste, is given on the
authority of the celebrated musician, Haydn. He and several other
gentlemen were making a tour through a mountainous part of Lombardy,
when they fell in with a flock of sheep, which a shepherd was driving
homeward. One of the gentlemen, having a flute with him, commenced
playing, and immediately the sheep, which were following the shepherd,
raised their heads, and turned with haste to the spot whence the music
proceeded. They gradually flocked around the musician, and listened with
the utmost silence and attention. He stopped playing. But the sheep did
not stir. The shepherd, with his staff, now obliged them to move on;
but no sooner did the fluter begin to play again, than his interested
audience returned to him. The shepherd got out of patience, and pelted
the sheep with pieces of turf; but not one of them moved. The fluter
played still more sweet and beautiful strains. The shepherd worked
himself up into a storm of passion. He scolded, and pelted the poor
creatures with stones. Some of the sheep were hit, and they made up
their minds to go on; but the rest remained spell-bound by the music. At
last the shepherd was forced to entreat the flute-player to stop his
music. He did stop, and the sheep moved off, but still they continued to
look behind them occasionally, and to manifest a desire to return, as
often as the musician resumed his playing.

The life of a shepherd is very favorable for study and for improvement
in knowledge, if one has the natural genius and the industry to make use
of his spare time. Some of the most eminent men the world ever saw began
their career by the care of a flock of sheep. Did you ever hear of
Giotto, the great painter Giotto? No doubt you have. He was the man who
made that famous design for a church, at the request of Pope Benedict
IX. The messengers of the pope entered the artist's studio, and
communicated the wish of their master. Giotto took a sheet of paper,
fixed his elbow at his side, to keep his hand steady, and instantly drew
a perfect circle. "Tell his holiness that this is my design," said he.
His friends tried to persuade him not to send such a thing to the pope;
but he persisted in doing so. Pope Benedict was a learned man, and he
saw that Giotto had given the best evidence of perfection in his art. He
invited the painter to Rome, and honored and rewarded him. "Round as
Giotto's O," from that time, became an Italian proverb. But I must give
a glance at the early history of this man. In the year 1276--according
to that invaluable publication, "Chambers' Miscellany of Useful and
Entertaining Knowledge"--about forty miles from Florence, in the town of
Vespignano, there lived a poor laboring man named Bondone. This man had
a son whom he brought up in the ignorance usual to the lowly condition
of a peasant boy. But the extraordinary powers of the child,
uncultivated as they necessarily were, and his surprising quickness of
perception and never-failing vivacity, made him the delight of his
father, and of the unsophisticated people among whom he lived. At the
age of ten, his father intrusted him with the care of a flock. Now the
happy little shepherd-boy strolled at his will over meadow and plain
with his woolly charge, and amused himself with lying on the grass, and
sketching, as fancy led him, the surrounding objects, on broad flat
stones, sand, or soft earth. His sole pencils were a hard stick, or a
sharp piece of stone; his chief models were his flock, which he used to
copy as they gathered around him in various attitudes. One day, as the
shepherd-boy lay in the midst of his flock, earnestly sketching
something on a stone, there came by a traveler. Struck with the boy's
deep attention to his work, and the unconscious grace of his attitude,
the stranger stopped, and went to look at his work. It was a sketch of a
sheep, drawn with such freedom and truth of nature, that the traveler
beheld it with astonishment. "Whose son are you?" cried he, with
eagerness. The startled boy looked up in the face of his questioner. "My
father is Bondone the laborer, and I am his little Giotto, so please the
signor," said he. "Well, then, Giotto, should you like to come and live
with me, and learn how to draw, and paint sheep like this, and horses,
and even men?" The child's eyes flashed with delight, "I will go with
you any where to learn that," said he; "but," he added, as a sudden
thought made him change color, "I must first go and ask my father; I
can do nothing without his leave." "That is quite right, my boy, and so
we will go to him together, and ask him," said the stranger. It was the
celebrated painter, Cimabue. Old Bondone consented to the wish of his
son, and the boy went to Florence with Cimabue. Giotto soon went beyond
his master in his sketches. His former familiarity with nature, while
tending his sheep, doubtless contributed a good deal to his astonishing
progress. One morning the master came into his studio, and looking at a
half finished head, saw a fly resting on the nose. He tried to brush it
off with his hand, when he discovered that it was only painted, and that
it was one of the tricks of his young pupil. It was not long before the
fame of the new artist spread all over Europe.

[Illustration: GIOTTO SKETCHING AMONG HIS SHEEP.]

The author of that pleasant little book, called "Stories of the Instinct
of Animals," relates a pleasing anecdote of a sheep in England. "One
afternoon, in summer," he says, "after an illness which had confined me
some time to the house, I went out into the field, to enjoy awhile the
luxury of a walk at leisure among the beauties of nature. I had not been
long in the field, before my attention was attracted by the motions of
one of the sheep that were grazing there. She came up close to me,
bleating in a piteous manner; and after looking wishfully in my face,
ran off toward a brook which flowed through the pasture. At first I took
but little notice of the creature; but as her entreaties became more
importunate, I followed her. Delighted at having attracted my notice,
she ran with all her speed, frequently looking back, to see if I was
following her. When I reached the spot where she led me, I discovered
the cause of all her anxiety. Her lamb had fallen into the brook, and
the banks being steep, the poor little creature was unable to escape.
Fortunately, the water, though up to the back of the lamb, was not
sufficient to drown it. I rescued the sufferer with the utmost pleasure,
and to the great gratification of its affectionate mother, who licked
it with her tongue, to dry it, now and then skipping about, and making
noisy demonstrations of joy. I watched her with interest, till she lay
down with her little one, caressing it with the utmost fondness, and
apparently trying to show me how much she was indebted to me, for my
friendly aid."

[Illustration: THE INVALID AND THE SHEEP.]

A man was once passing through a lonely part of the Highlands in
Scotland, when he perceived a sheep hurrying toward the road before him.
She was bleating most piteously at the time; and as the man approached
nearer, she redoubled her cries, looked earnestly into his face, and
seemed to be imploring his assistance. He stopped, left his wagon, and
followed the sheep. She led him quite a distance from the road, to a
solitary spot, and at length she stopped. When the traveler came up, he
found a lamb completely wedged in between two large stones, and
struggling, in vain, to extricate himself. The gentleman immediately set
the little sufferer free, and placed him on his feet, when the mother
poured out her thanks and joy, in a long-continued and animated strain
of bleating.

I am indebted to a correspondent of mine--Dr. Charles Burr, residing in
the state of Pennsylvania--for a good story about a sheep which
belonged to his father a number of years ago. This sheep, he says, was a
_cosset_, was quite tame, and very much of a pet. One day, a young lamb
of hers was wounded; and "my father (I must let the doctor tell his
story in his own words) being out of the door, noticed the mother upon
the hill by the barn, being as near the house as she could come. She
appeared to be in great distress, running about, looking toward him, and
bleating; evidently wishing to attract his attention. Supposing that
something must be wrong, my father started to see what was the matter.
The old sheep waited till he had got almost up to her, when she started
and ran a few rods from him and stopped, turned round, looked at him,
and bleated. My father followed on. The old sheep waited until he had
got nearly up to her again, when she ran on, and went through the same
operation as before. In this way she led my father to the farthest end
of the pasture, where lay her lamb, bleeding and helpless. The little
thing had bled so much that it could not raise its head, or help itself
in the least. My father took the lamb, stanched the bleeding wound, took
it in his arms and carried it home--the old sheep, in the mean time,
following, and expressing her joy and gratitude, not by words, it is
true, but by looks and actions more truthful, and which were not to be
mistaken. Suffice it to say, that with proper care and nursing, the lamb
was saved, and restored to health and strength, to the great
satisfaction of both parties concerned."

I have a mind to tell you one of my own youthful adventures, in which a
poor wight of a sheep had a prominent share. The adventure proved of
immense service to me, as you will see in the sequel. Perhaps the story
of it will be valuable to you, in the same manner.

I shall never forget the first time I sallied out into the woods to try
my hand at hunting. Rover, the old family dog, went with me, and he was
about as green in the matter of securing game as myself. We were pretty
well matched, I think. I played the part of Hudibras, as nearly as I can
recollect, and Rover was a second Ralph. I had a most excellent
fowling-piece; so they said. It began its career in the French war, and
was a very veteran in service. Besides this ancient and honorable
weapon, I was provided with all the means and appliances necessary for
successful hunting. I was "armed and equipped as the law directs," to
employ the words of those semi-annual documents that used to summon me
to training.

Well, it was some time before we--Rover and I--started any game.
Wind-mills were scarce. For one, I began to fear we should have to
return without any adventure to call forth our skill and courage. But
the brightest time is just before day, and so it was in this instance.
Rover began presently to bark, and I heard a slight rustling among the
leaves in the woods. Sure enough, there was visible a large animal of
some kind, though I could not determine precisely what it was, on
account of the underbrush. However, I satisfied myself it was rare game,
at any rate; and that point being settled, I took aim and fired.

Rover immediately ran to the poor victim. He was a courageous fellow,
that Rover, especially after the danger was over. Many a time I have
known him make demonstrations as fierce as a tiger when people rode by
our house, though he generally took care not to insult them until they
were at a convenient distance. Rover had no notion of being killed,
knowing very well that if he were dead, he could be of no farther
service whatever to the world. Hudibras said well when he said,

"That he who fights and runs away,
May live to fight another day."

That was good logic. But Rover went farther than this, even. He was for
running away before he fought at all; and so he always did, except when
the enemy ran away first, in which case he ran after him, as every
chivalrous dog should. In the case of the animal which I shot at, Rover
bounded to his side when the gun was discharged, as I said before. For
myself, I did not venture quite so soon, remembering that caution is the
parent of safety. By and by, however, I mustered courage, and advanced
to the spot. There lay the victim of my first shot. It was one of my
father's sheep! Poor creature! She was sick, I believe, and went into
the thicket, near a stream of water, where she could die in peace. I
don't know whether I hit her or not. I didn't look to see, but ran home
as fast as my legs would carry me. Thus ended the first hunting
excursion in which I ever engaged; and though I was a mere boy then, and
am approaching the meridian of life now, it proved to be my last.




The Deer.


There are several species of the deer--the moose, stag, rein-deer, elk,
and others. Of these, the stag is one of the most interesting. He is
said to love music, and to show great delight in hearing a person sing.
"Traveling some years since," says a gentleman whose statements may be
relied on, "I met a bevy of about twenty stags, following a bagpipe and
violin. While the music continued, they proceeded; when it ceased, they
all stood still."

As Captain Smith, a British officer in Bengal, was out one day in a
shooting party, very early in the morning, they observed a tiger steal
out of a jungle, in pursuit of a herd of deer. Having selected one as
his object, it was quickly deserted by the herd. The tiger advanced
with such amazing swiftness, that the stag in vain attempted to
escape, and at the moment the officer expected to see the animal make
the fatal spring, the deer gallantly faced his enemy, and for some
minutes kept him at bay; and it was not till after three attacks, that
the tiger succeeded in securing his prey. He was supposed to have been
considerably injured by the horns of the stag, as, on the advance of
Captain Smith, he abandoned the carcass, having only sucked the blood
from the throat.

[Illustration: THE DEER.]

The following account of a remarkably intelligent stag, is given by
Delacroix, a French gentleman: "When I was at Compiegne, my friends took
me to a German, who exhibited a wonderful stag. As soon as we had taken
our seats in a large room, the stag was introduced. He was of an elegant
form, and majestic stature, and his aspect animated and gentle. The
first trick he performed, was to make a profound bow to the company, as
he entered, after which he paid his respects to each individual of us,
in the same manner. He next carried about a small stick in his mouth, to
each end of which a small wax taper was attached. He was then
blindfolded, and at the beat of a drum, fell upon his knees, and laid
his head upon the ground. As soon as the word _pardon_ was pronounced,
he instantly sprang upon his feet. Dice were then thrown upon the head
of a drum, and he told the numbers that were thrown up, by bowing his
head as many times as there were numbers indicated. He discharged a
pistol, by drawing with his teeth a string that was fastened to the
trigger. He fired a small cannon by means of a match which was attached
to his right foot, and he exhibited no signs of fear at the report of
the cannon. He leaped through a hoop several times, with the greatest
agility--his master holding the hoop at the height of his head above the
floor. At length the exhibition was closed, by his eating a handfull of
oats from the head of a drum, which a person was beating all the time,
with the utmost violence."

We must wind up what we have to say about this animal with a fable.
Perhaps my little friends have seen it before. But it will bear reading
again, and I should not be sorry to hear that many of you had committed
it to memory; for there is a moral in it which you cannot fail to
perceive, and which may be of service to you one of these days:

"A stag, quenching his thirst in a clear lake, was struck with the
beauty of his horns, which he saw reflected in the water. At the same
time, observing the extreme length and slenderness of his legs, 'What a
pity it is,' said he, 'that so fine a creature should be furnished with
so despicable a set of spindle-shanks! What a noble animal I should be,
were my legs answerable to my horns!'

"In the midst of this vain talk, the stag was alarmed by the cry of a
pack of hounds. He immediately bounded over the ground, and left his
pursuers so far behind that he might have escaped; but going into a
thick wood, his horns were entangled in the branches of the trees, where
he was held till the hounds came up, and tore him in pieces.

"In his last moments he thus exclaimed: 'How ill do we judge of our own
true advantages! The legs which I despised would have borne me away in
safety, had not my favorite antlers brought me to ruin.'"




The Hippopotamus.


Every traveler, who has seen the hippopotamus in his native haunts, and
who has attempted to give a description of the animal, represents him as
exceedingly formidable, when he is irritated, and when he can get a
chance to fight his battle in the water. On land, he is unwieldy and
awkward; so that, when he is pursued by an enemy, he usually takes to
his favorite element. There he plunges in head foremost, and sinks to
the bottom, where it is said he finds no difficulty in moving with the
same pace as when upon land, in the open air. He cannot, however,
continue under water for any great length of time. He is obliged to rise
to the surface, to take breath. Severe battles sometimes take place
between the males, and they make sad havoc before they get through.

[Illustration: THE HIPPOPOTAMUS.]

Great masses of flesh, torn out by their terrible jaws, mark the spot
where one of these encounters has occurred. It not unfrequently happens
that one or even both perish on the spot. On the banks of the Nile,
whole fields of grain and sugar cane are sometimes destroyed by these
animals.

Clapperton, the enterprising traveler, informs us that, when on a
warlike expedition, he had convincing evidence that the hippopotamus is
fond of music. "As the expedition passed along the banks of the lake at
sunrise," says he, "these uncouth and stupendous animals followed the
sound of the drums the whole length of the water, sometimes approaching
so close to the shore, that the spray they spouted from their mouths
reached the people, who were passing along the banks. I counted fifteen,
at one time, sporting on the surface of the water."

The following account of hunting the hippopotamus is given by Dr. Edward
Russell: "One of the animals we killed was of an enormous size. We
fought with him for four good hours by night, and came very near losing
our large boat, and probably our lives too, owing to the fury of the
animal. As soon as he spied the hunters in the small canoe, he dashed at
them with all his might, dragged the canoe with him under the water,
and smashed it to pieces. The two hunters escaped with difficulty. Of
twenty-five musket balls aimed at the head, only one pierced the skin
and the bones of the nose. At each snorting, the animal spouted out
large streams of blood on the boat. The rest of the balls stuck in the
thick hide. At last, we availed ourselves of a swivel; but it was not
until we had discharged five balls from it, at the distance of a few
feet, that the huge animal gave up the ghost. The darkness of the night
increased the danger of the contest, for this gigantic enemy tossed our
boat about in the stream at his pleasure; and it was a fortunate moment
for us that he gave up the struggle, as he had carried us into a
complete labyrinth of rocks, which, in the midst of the confusion, none
of our crew had observed."

In Egypt they have a singular mode of catching the hippopotamus. They
throw large quantities of dried peas on the bank of the river along
which the animal is expected to pass. He devours these peas greedily.
The dry food disposes the animal to drink; and after drinking, the peas
swell in his stomach, and the poor fellow is destroyed.

"I have seen," says a traveler, "a hippopotamus open his mouth, fix one
tooth on the side of a boat, and another on the second plank under the
keel--that is, four feet distant from each other--pierce the side
through and through, and in this manner sink the boat." When the negroes
go a-fishing, the same traveler informs us, "in their canoes, and meet
with a hippopotamus, they throw fish to him; and then he passes on,
without disturbing their fishing any more. Once, when our boat was near
shore, I saw a hippopotamus get underneath it, lift it above the water
upon his back, and overset it, with six men who were in it."

"We dare not," says another traveler, "irritate the hippopotamus in the
water, since an adventure happened which came near proving fatal to the
men. They were going in a small canoe, to kill one of these animals in a
river, where there were some eight or ten feet of water. After they had
discovered him walking at the bottom of the river, according to his
custom, they wounded him with a long lance, which so greatly irritated
him, that he rose immediately to the surface of the water, regarded them
with a terrible look, opened his mouth, and with one bite took a great
piece out of the side of the canoe, and very nearly overturned it, but
he plunged again almost directly to the bottom of the river."




The Weasel.


Great numbers of weasels, it seems, sometimes unite together, and defend
themselves pretty resolutely against the attacks of men. A laborer in
Scotland was one day suddenly attacked by six weasels, who rushed upon
him from an old wall near the place where he was at work at the time.
The man, alarmed, as well he might have been, by such a furious onset,
took to his heels; but he soon found he was closely pursued. Although he
had in his hand a large horse-whip, with which he endeavored to frighten
back his enemies, yet so eager were they in pursuing him, that he was on
the point of being seized by the throat, when he fortunately noticed the
fallen branch of a tree, at a little distance, which he reached, and
snatching it up as fiercely as possible, rallied upon his enemies,
and killed three of them, when the remainder thought it best to give up
the battle, and left the field.

[Illustration: THE FERRET WEASEL.]

A similar case occurred some years ago near Edinburgh, when a gentleman,
observing another leaping about in an extraordinary manner, made up to
him, and found him beset and dreadfully bitten by about fifteen weasels,
who still continued their attack. Both of the men being strong and
courageous, they succeeded in killing quite a number of the animals, and
the rest escaped and ran into the fissures of a neighboring rock. The
account the unfortunate man gave of the beginning of the affray was,
that, walking through the park, he ran at a weasel which he saw, and
made several attempts to strike it, remaining between it and the rock,
to which it tried to retreat. The animal, in this situation, squeaked
loudly, when a sudden attack was made by the whole colony of weasels,
who came to the rescue of their companion, determined to conquer or die.

Mr. Miller, in his Boy's Summer Book, tells us a little about what he
had seen and heard of the habits and disposition of this family. He
says, "They are a destructive race of little savages; and one has been
known, before now, to attack a child in his cradle, and inflict a deep
wound upon his neck, where it clung, and sucked like a leech. They are
very fond of blood, and to obtain this, they will sometimes destroy the
occupants of a whole hen-roost, not caring to feed upon the bodies of
the poultry which they have killed. They will climb trees, attack the
old bird on its nest, suck the eggs, or carry off the young; for nothing
of this kind seems to come amiss to them. They are great hunters of
mice; and their long, slender bodies are well adapted for following
these destructive little animals in their rambles among the corn-stalks
in the field. In this way, the weasel renders the farmer a good service
occasionally, though he never asks to be rewarded with a duck or
chicken, always choosing to help himself without asking, whenever he can
get a chance. Oh! if you could but see a weasel attack a mouse, as I
have done. By just one single bite of the head, which is done in a
moment, and which pierces the brain before you can say 'Jack Robinson,'
the mouse is killed as dead as a red herring, before he has time to
squeak or struggle. It is no joke, I can tell you, to be bitten by a
weasel; and if you thought, when you caught hold of one by the back,
that you had him safe, you would soon find your mistake out; for his
neck is as pliable as a piece of India rubber. He would have hold of
your hand in a moment."

[Illustration: THE HAWK POUNCING UPON THE WEASEL.]

I have just come across a funny story about the adventure of a weasel
and a hawk. It seems that a hawk took an especial fancy to a weasel that
he saw prowling about a farm-yard. His hawkship happened to be pretty
hungry at the time, and concluded he would carry off the weasel, and
make a dinner of him at his leisure. So he pounced upon the fellow, and
set out on his journey home. I should not wonder if he had a nest in the
woods not far off. The weasel, however, submitted to his fate with no
very good grace. He thought that two could play at that game. He twisted
around his elastic neck--to use the language of the writer I
mentioned--poked up his pointed nose, and in he went, with his sharp
teeth, right under the wings of the hawk, making such a hole in an
instant, that you might have thrust your finger in. The hawk tried to
pick at him with his hooked beak, but it was no use.

The weasel kept eating away, and licking his lips as if he enjoyed
himself; and the hawk soon came wheeling down to the ground, which he no
sooner touched, than away ran the weasel, having got an excellent dinner
at the expense of the hawk. He was not a bit the worse for the ride;
while Mr. Hawk lay there as dead as a nail. The biter was bitten that
time, wasn't he? It was a pretty good lesson to the hawk family not to
be so greedy, though whether they ever profited by it is more than I can
say. From the account that a little girl gave me of the incursions
recently made upon her chickens, I judge that they did not all profit by
it.

[Illustration: CHAPTER END DECORATION]




The Squirrel.


I had a pretty little red squirrel of my own, when I was a little boy.
My father bought a cage for him, with a wheel in it; and Billy, as we
used to call him, would get inside the wheel, and whirl it around for a
half hour at a time. It was amusing, too, to see him stand up on his
hind feet, and eat the nuts we gave him. Billy was a great favorite with
me and my brother. By and by, we let him go out of the cage, and ramble
wherever he pleased. He became as tame as a kitten. He would go out into
the corn-field in autumn, and come home with his mouth filled with corn,
and this he would lay up in a safe place for further use. Once the old
cat caught him, and the poor fellow would have been killed, if some one
had not been near and rescued him from the grasp of his enemy.

We indulged Billy a good deal. We had a box of hickory nuts in the
garret, and he was allowed to go and help himself whenever he pleased.
He was pleased to go pretty often, too; and he was not satisfied with
eating what he wanted out of the box. The greedy fellow! One day he
carried off nearly all the nuts there were in the box, and hid them away
under the floor, through a hole he had gnawed in the boards.

He was a great pet though, for all that. We could not help loving him,
mischievous as he was. He used to climb up often on my shoulder, and
down into my pockets; and if there was any thing good to eat thereabout,
he would help himself without ceremony. Sometimes, when he felt
particularly frolicksome, he leaped from one person's shoulder to
another, all around the room.

The more we petted this little fellow, and the more good things we gave
him, the more roguish he became. At length he exhausted all my father's
patience by his mischief. One of his last tricks was this. He gnawed a
hole in a bag of meal, and after eating as much as he could (and this
was but little, for we fed him as often as he needed to eat, and
oftener too) he carried away large quantities of the meal, and wasted
it. He never worked harder in his life, not even when he was trying to
get away from the jaws of the old cat, than he did when he was
scattering this meal over the yard. Well, we had a sort of a court about
Billy, after this. My father's corn-house was the court room, and my
father himself was the judge. We all agreed that Billy was guilty,
though we differed as to the punishment that ought to be inflicted. The
question seemed to be, according to the language they use in courts of
law, whether the theft was a _petty larceny_ or a _grand larceny_. Alas
for Billy and Billy's friends! My father decided, in his charge to the
jury, that the crime must be ranked under the head of grand larceny, and
the jury brought in a verdict accordingly. My father pronounced the
sentence, which was that the offending squirrel must die that same day.
Billy seemed to be aware of what was going on, for he did not come near
the house again till almost night; and when he did come, one of my
father's men shot him, and just as the sun was going down he died. For a
long time after that, I cried whenever I thought of poor Billy.

Among the many juvenile friends with whom I have had more or less
correspondence, as the editor of a young people's magazine, is one who
resides at Saratoga Springs. I passed a few days at this watering-place
last summer, and called on Master William, for that is the name of my
friend--who introduced to me a pet squirrel of his, called Dick. Dick
did not perform many very surprising feats while I was present, though I
did not at the time set that circumstance down as any evidence of a want
of smartness on the part of the squirrel; for I well remembered that it
was a very common thing for pets sustaining even a much higher rank in
the scale of intelligence, to disappoint the expectations of those
persons who think all the world of them, when they--the pets--are
ushered into the presence of strangers, for the purpose of being
exhibited, and, indeed, I have some faint recollection of thus
disappointing an over-fond nurse, not unfrequently, on similar
occasions. There are some propositions the truth of which it is quite as
well to assent to, when one hears them stated, without waiting for
proof; and among these propositions I class those which relate to the
unheard-of sagacity and genius of a darling pet. I make it a point to
admit, without demonstration or argument, that there never was another
such a creature in all the world. Moreover, I saw plainly enough in
Dick's keen, black eye, that he knew a thing or two, and I could easily
understand how he might greatly endear himself to his little patron. Nor
was I at all surprised when I recently heard of the death of this
favorite, that my young friend cried a great deal; and I am sure I
shared in some measure his grief. Poor Dick! I immediately wrote to
Willy, to solicit a short biography of his favorite, for my stories
about animals. The request was kindly responded to by Willy's aunt, from
whom I received the following sketch:

"When Dick first became a member of the family, he was shy, resentful,
and very capricious; but by degrees all these faults gave place to a
sort of playful drollery, that called out many a laugh. His cage was a
fine, large, commodious place, well lined with tiers, and furnished with
every convenience that he could have desired in a habitation, not
excepting a big wheel, which is by general consent esteemed a great
luxury for a squirrel. But he often liked a change, and when the door
was left loose, he would soon find his way out. Then he had many
hair-breadth escapes--sometimes from dogs, who looked upon him as lawful
prey; sometimes from frolicsome and thoughtless boys, who forgot how
much a squirrel suffers who is worried almost to death. Sometimes he has
been nearly abducted by strangers, who saw with surprise so small an
individual at large, and quite unconscious of the perils of a public
street in a watering-place. On one of these occasions, when he was
playing with his little master, and skipping from bough to bough on the
large trees that sheltered his home, he bounded from a branch to the
roof of a three-storied house adjoining, and running across, jumped from
one of the angles to the court below, landed on all fours, stopped a
second or two to decide if he were really alive or not, then quietly
trudged home to his cage. If he wanted a change, Dick had odd ways of
showing himself dissatisfied with his condition. In the summer, when his
house was too much exposed to the rays of the sun, he would give a queer
little cry, which, if no one heeded, he would lie down flat, all
extended, and gasp, as if each moment was his last; and no coaxing could
bring him to himself, until he was removed, cage and all; then
immediately he would jump up, frisk about, sit on his haunches, and
laugh out of his eye as merrily as if he had said, 'I know a thing or
two--don't I, though?' These manoeuvres were a clear sham; he could
fall into one in a twinkling, at any time. How many times he has led
the children of the family, and the big children too, through beds of
beans, beets, and cucumbers, and through the tomato vines and
rose-bushes; and when we were in full chase, just ready to believe that
he had eluded us quite, and was gone forever, lo! there sat Dick in his
wheel, as demure as a judge, and looking as wise as possible at those
very silly people, who would be running about so fast, on such a warm
day. He never liked any infringement upon his personal liberty; this he
always resented; but he would pretend to hide away, and come and peep at
you, or jump up behind you, stand on the top of your head or shoulder,
play all manner of pranks about your person, get clear into the pocket
of any friend, who was likely to have a supply of nuts. He would answer
to his name, follow when called, in the house, out of the house, any
where, play all about the large house-dog, Tom--pat him on the ear,
gently pinch his tail, poise himself on his back, and pretend to sleep
by the side of him. But if any one caught him, or held him, as if he
were imprisoned--alas! what a struggle ensued--and then, I grieve to say
it--he would _bite_."

[Illustration: THE SQUIRREL.]

The most common squirrels in this country are the gray, the red, and the
striped, or chipping squirrel. The latter is the smallest of the three;
and as that species are not hunted so much as the rest of the genus,
they are very abundant in the woods. Many and many a time, when a child,
have I been deceived by the cunning of the chipping squirrel. The little
fellow has a hole and nest in the ground. The hole is very frequently
either directly under or very near the stump of a tree which has been
cut down or was blown over by the wind. Well, the little fellow is
accustomed, or he was accustomed, when I was a little boy, to sit
good-humoredly on this stump, and sing for hours together. His song has
nothing very exquisite in it--it is simply "chip, chip, chip," from the
beginning to the end; and his notes are not only all on the same key--a
monotony which one might pardon, if he was particularly
good-natured--but they are all on the same point in the diatonic scale.
However, like many other indifferent singers that I have met in my day,
our striped vocalist goes on with his music, as if he thought there
never was another, or certainly not more than one other quite as
finished a singer as himself. Well, the boy who is unacquainted with the
tricks of this little fellow, as was once my own case, steals along
carefully toward the stump, thinking that the squirrel is so busy with
his music, that he is perfectly unconscious of any thing else that is
going on, and that it is just the easiest matter in the world to catch
him. Half a dozen times, at least, I have tried this experiment, before
I became satisfied that I was not the only interested party who was wide
awake. "Chip, chip, chip," sings the squirrel. He does not move an inch.
He does not vary his song. His eyes seem half closed. The boy advances
within a few feet of the squirrel. He reaches out his hand to secure his
prize, when down goes the striped vocalist into his hole, always
uttering a sort of laugh, as he enters his door, and seeming pretty
plainly to say, though in rather poor Anglo-Saxon, it must be confessed,
"No, you don't."

Whoever takes the pains to dig into the earth, where the striped
squirrel has made his nest, will find something that will amply repay
him for his trouble. The hole goes down pretty straight for some feet;
then it turns, and takes a horizontal direction, and runs sometimes a
great distance. Little chambers are seen leading out from this
horizontal passage, each chamber connected by a door with the passage,
and sometimes with other chambers. In each of these rooms, the squirrel
stores up different varieties of nuts and other provisions. In one you
will find acorns; in another hickory nuts--real shag-barks, for our
chipping squirrel is a good judge in these matters; and in another
chestnuts, a whole hat-full of them, sometimes. There is quite as much
order and regularity in the store-houses of the chipping squirrel, as
there seems to be about the premises of some lazy and careless farmers
one meets with occasionally.

Accounts are given of the ingenuity of the squirrels in Lapland, which
would be too astonishing for belief, were they not credited by such men
as Linnaeus, on whose authority we have them. It seems that the squirrels
in that country are in the habit of emigrating, in large parties, and
that they sometimes travel hundreds of miles in this way, and that when
they meet with broad or rapid lakes in their travels, they take a very
extraordinary method of crossing them. On approaching the banks, and
perceiving the breadth of the water, they return, as if by common
consent, into the neighboring forest, each in quest of a piece of bark,
which answers all the purpose of boats for wafting them over. When the
whole company are fitted in this manner, they boldly commit their little
fleet to the waves--every squirrel sitting on its own piece of bark, and
fanning the air with its tail, to drive the vessel to the desired port.
In this orderly manner they set forward, and often cross lakes several
miles broad. But it occasionally happens that the poor mariners are not
aware of the dangers of their navigation; for although at the edge of
the water it is generally calm, in the middle it is always more rough.
The slightest additional gust of wind often oversets the little sailor
and his vessel altogether. The entire navy, that perhaps but a few
minutes before rode proudly and securely along, is now overturned, and a
shipwreck of two or three thousand vessels is the consequence. This
wreck, which is so unfortunate for the little animal, is generally the
most lucky accident in the world for the Laplander on shore; who gathers
up the dead bodies as they are thrown in by the waves, eats the flesh,
and sells the skins.

I read an interesting story, awhile ago, which came from the Gentleman's
Magazine, about a squirrel who was charmed by a rattle-snake. The
substance of the story was something like this: A gentleman was
traveling by the side of a creek, where he saw a squirrel running
backward and forward between the creek and a large tree a few yards
distant. The squirrel's hair looked very rough, showing that he was very
much terrified about something. His circuit became shorter and shorter,
and the man stopped to see what could be the cause of this strange
state of things. He soon discovered the head and neck of a rattle-snake
pointing directly at the squirrel, through a hole of the tree, which was
hollow. The squirrel at length gave over running, and laid himself down
quietly, with his head close to the snake's. The snake then opened his
mouth wide, and took in the squirrel's head; upon which the man gave the
snake a blow across the neck with his whip, by which the squirrel was
released. You will see by this story, which comes to us well
authenticated, that snakes possess the power of charming, whatever some
people may think or say to the contrary. This is only one among a
multitude of facts which I could relate in proof of the existence of
such a power among many of the serpent race. But we are conversing about
quadrupeds now, and we must not go out of our way to chase after snakes.

A squirrel, sitting on a hickory-tree, was once observed to weigh the
nuts he got in each paw, to find out which were good and which were bad.
The light ones he invariably threw away, retaining only those which were
heavier. It was found, on examining those he had thrown away, that he
had not made a mistake in a single instance. They were all bad nuts.




[Illustration: THE GIRAFFE]


The Giraffe.


Leaving our friends the squirrels, to whom we have certainly devoted
quite sufficient attention, we pass along to quite a different race of
animals--that of the giraffe or camelopard. This is a noble-looking
animal, as you see plainly enough by the engraving. The tongue of the
giraffe is exquisitely contrived for grasping. In its native deserts,
the animal uses it to hook down branches which are beyond the reach of
its muzzle; and in the menagerie at Regent's Park, many a fair lady has
been robbed of the artificial flowers which adorned her bonnet, by the
nimble and filching tongue of the rare object of her admiration. When
attacked, notwithstanding the natural defence of horns and hoofs, the
camelopard always seeks escape in flight, and will not turn to do
battle except at the last extremity. In such cases, he sometimes makes a
successful defence by striking out his powerful armed feet; and the king
of beasts is frequently repelled and disabled by the wounds which the
giraffe has thus inflicted with his hoofs. His horns are also used with
effect, and a side-long sweep of his neck sometimes does fatal
execution.

Some years ago, a giraffe was sent from Egypt to Constantinople. His
keeper used to exercise him in an open square, where the Turks flocked
daily, in great crowds, to see the extraordinary animal. Seeing how
inoffensive he was, and how domestic he became, the keeper took the
animal with him through the city; and wherever he appeared, a number of
friendly hands were held out of the latticed windows, to offer him
something to eat. When he came to a house where he had been well
treated, if no one was at the window, he would tap gently against the
wooden lattice, as if to announce his visit. He was extremely docile and
affectionate; and if left to himself, he always frequented the streets
where he had the most and best friends.




The Monkey Tribe.


Of course my readers are in some measure familiar with the tricks of
this large and notorious family of animals. But one is not easily
wearied with their antics. They afford us, the most sober and sedate of
us, an immense amount of material for amusement. I confess I have
stopped in the street, many a time, to see a sage monkey go through his
grotesque manoeuvres, under the direction of a tutor who ground out
music from a wheezing hand-organ, and have been willing to undergo the
penance of hearing the music of the master, for the sake of witnessing
the genius of the pupil. I can conceive of nothing more excessively
ludicrous than many of these exhibitions. But I must not detain the
reader from the stories any longer.

A foreign gentleman of distinction having to attend the court of Louis
XVI. of France, took with him his favorite monkey. Soon after his
arrival, he was invited to attend a great ball at Versailles; and
anxious to perform his part with credit in that fashionable country, he
engaged one of the first dancing-masters in the city to teach him the
latest mode. Every day he employed several hours in practicing his
lessons with the tutor, so as to be _au fait_, as the French people have
it--quite at home in the ball-room. Pug made his observations very
attentively, watching all his motions. He also scrutinized the musician
very closely, as he was engaged in instructing the gentleman, and
playing on his violin. At the close of his lesson, the foreigner was in
the habit of going to his mirror, and of practicing before it, by
himself, for a considerable time, till he was in a measure satisfied
with his performances, and pretty sure, we may suppose, that he would
make a fine figure at court when the ball should come off. One day,
after the gentleman had been exercising in this manner, and had just
left the room, the monkey, who had been looking on with interest, as
usual, left his post of observation, took up the violin, which had been
left there by the musician, and commenced playing and imitating the
dancing of his master, before the mirror. There is no knowing how much
of a dancer he would have become, if he had been allowed to practice as
much as he desired. As it was, however, his training for the ball was
very suddenly terminated by the entrance of a servant into the room,
while the student was in the midst of his performances.

A monkey tied to a stake was robbed by the crows, in the West Indies, of
his food, and he conceived the following plan of punishing the thieves.
He feigned death, and lay perfectly motionless on the ground near to his
stake. The birds approached by degrees, and got near enough to steal his
food, which he allowed them to do. This he repeated several times, till
they became so bold as to come within the reach of his claws. He
calculated his distance, and laid hold of one of them. Death was not his
plan of punishment. He was more refined in his cruelty. He plucked every
feather out of the bird, and then let him go and show himself to his
companions. He made a man of him according to the ancient definition of
a "biped without feathers."

An organ-grinder, with his monkey, being taken before the mayor of New
Orleans, for exhibiting themselves without a license, the monkey was so
polite to the mayor, took off his cap and made so many bows to his
honor, that the two were permitted to depart in peace. It is said that
no lawyer would have managed the case better than the monkey did.

A gentleman living in Bath, England, had a monkey who used to perform a
great many very amusing tricks, in imitation of his master. The
gentleman was a great politician, and was in the habit of reading his
newspaper very punctually every morning, at the breakfast-table. One
day, business having compelled him to leave the table earlier than
usual, Pug was found, seated in his chair, with his master's spectacles
on, and the Courier newspaper upside down, reading as gravely, and with
as much apparent interest, as the politician. Once in a while he looked
off his paper, and chattered, and made significant gestures, as his
master was in the habit of doing, when he came across any thing very
especially interesting.

A farmer in the West Indies had planted a field with Indian corn.
Numerous monkeys inhabited a forest near by, who had attentively
observed the planting process, and the method by which it was
cultivated. They seemed to take not a little interest in the whole
matter. The farmer had the pleasure of seeing his crop of corn nearly
ready for harvesting. But the monkeys took care that he should not have
the trouble of harvesting it. One night, they issued from the forest in
vast numbers, forming themselves into long lines between it and the
corn-field. All was conducted in silence. Each was intent on the
business in hand. Those in front of the lines plucked off the ears of
corn with great dexterity, and passed them to his nearest companion, who
handed them forward from one to another, till they reached the woods. In
this manner the work proceeded till daylight, when the slaves found the
thieves finishing the operation. It had been a very profitable night's
labor for the mischievous fellows. The corn was pretty nearly all
disposed of. Before the owner of it could get his workmen together, with
suitable weapons of defence, the whole troop had disappeared in the
forest. What a chattering there must have been among them, when they all
met at their rendezvous! How knowing they must have looked, as they said
one to another, "Wasn't that thing managed pretty nicely?"

In Sierra Leone is a species of orang-outang so strong and so
industrious, that, when properly trained and fed, they work like
servants. They generally walk upright on their two hind feet. Sometimes
they are employed to pound substances in a mortar, and they are
frequently taught to go to rivers, and to bring water in small pitchers.
They usually carry the water on their heads. When they come to the door
of the house, if the pitchers are not soon taken off, they let them
fall; and when they perceive that they are broken, the poor fellows
sometimes weep like a child, in anticipation of the flogging they are to
receive.

Buffon saw an orang-outang that performed a multitude of funny tricks.
He would present his hand to lead his visitors about the room, and
promenade as gravely as if he was one of the most important personages
in the company. He would even sit down at table, unfold his napkin, wipe
his lips like any other gentleman, use a spoon or fork in carrying food
to his mouth, pour his liquor into a glass--for it seems he had not
become a convert to the principles of total abstinence--and touch his
glass to that of the person who drank with him. When invited to take
tea, he brought a cup and saucer, placed them on the table, put in
sugar, poured out the tea, and after allowing it to cool, drank it with
the utmost propriety.

[Illustration: THE ORANG-OUTANG.]

In Africa the orang-outang is a very formidable animal, and does not
hesitate to attack men, when alone and without arms, in which cases
he always proves himself the victor. He sleeps under trees, and builds
himself a hut, which serves to protect him against the sun and the rains
of the tropical climates. When the negroes make a fire in the woods,
this animal comes near and warms himself by the blaze. However, he has
not skill enough to keep the flame alive by feeding it with fuel. They
even attack the elephant, which they beat with their clubs, and oblige
to leave that part of the forest which they claim as their own. When one
of these animals dies, the rest cover the body with a quantity of leaves
and branches. They sometimes show mercy to the human species. A negro
boy, it is said, that was taken by one of them and carried into the
woods, continued there a whole year, without receiving any injury. It is
said, indeed, that they often attempt to surprise the negroes as they go
into the woods, and sometimes keep them against their will, for the
pleasure of their company, feeding them very plentifully all the time.
In respect to this latter statement, however, I confess myself a little
skeptical. There have been a great many well-told stories about men of
the woods, which have proved to be altogether fabulous, when the true
state of the case has become known.

There were two monkeys, one of which was peculiarly mischievous, and
the other pretty civil and good-natured, on board of the same ship. One
day, when the sea ran very high, the former prevailed on the other to go
aloft with him, when he drew her attention to an object at a distance,
and when she turned to look at it, he hit her a blow with his paw, and
threw her into the sea, where she was drowned. This act seemed to afford
the rascal a great deal of gratification. He came down to the deck of
the vessel, chattering at the top of his voice, he was so happy.

Le Vaillant, a French traveler in Africa, says of a tame baboon, which
followed him in his rambles, "One day, a gentleman, wishing to put the
fidelity of the animal to the test, pretended to strike me. At this the
monkey flew into a violent rage, and from that time, he could never
endure the sight of the man. If he only saw him at a distance, he began
to cry and to make all sorts of grimaces, which evidently showed that he
wished to revenge the insult that had been done to me. He ground his
teeth, and endeavored, with all his might, to fly at his face."

Here is a story of a monkey who made a fool of himself, and of a British
soldier at the same time. During the period of the siege of Gibraltar,
when England and Spain were at war in 1779, the English fleet being at
the time absent, an attack from the enemy was daily expected. One dark
night, a sentinel, whose post was near a tower facing the Spanish lines,
was standing, at the end of his walk, whistling, looking toward the
enemy, his head filled with fire, and sword, and glory. By the side of
his box stood a deep, narrow-necked earthen jar, in which was the
remainder of his supper, consisting of boiled peas. A large monkey--of
which there were plenty at Gibraltar--encouraged by the man's absence,
and allured by the smell of the peas, ventured to the jar; and in
endeavoring to get at its contents, thrust his head so far into the
vessel that he was not able to get it out again. At this moment, the
soldier approached. The monkey started, in alarm, with the jar on his
head. This terrible monster frightened the poor soldier half out of his
wits. He thought it was a bloodthirsty Spanish grenadier, with a most
prodigious cap on his head. So he fired his musket, like any other
valiant soldier, roaring out, as loud as he could, that the enemy had
scaled the walls. The guards took the alarm; the drums were beaten;
signal guns discharged, and in less than ten minutes the whole garrison
were under arms. The supposed grenadier, being very uncomfortable in his
cap, was soon overtaken and seized; and by his capture, the
tranquillity of the garrison, as the reader might rationally conjecture,
was speedily restored, without any of the bloodshed which the sagacious
sentinel so much feared.

A clergyman in England, of some distinction, had a tame baboon, who was
very fond of him, and whenever he could get a chance, followed him in
the street. When he went to church, however, to perform the service, he
preferred, of course, that his monkey should stay at home, and used to
confine him accordingly. One Sabbath morning the animal escaped, and
followed his master to the church; and silently mounting the
sounding-board over the minister's head, he lay perfectly still till the
sermon commenced. Then he crept to the edge, where he could see his
master, and imitated his gestures in such a droll and amusing manner,
that the entire congregation began to laugh. The minister, who did not
see his favorite monkey, and who was surprised and confounded at this
unaccountable levity, rebuked the audience, but to no effect. The people
still laughed, and the preacher, in the warmth of his zeal, redoubled
his earnestness and action. The consequence was that the ape became more
animated too, and increased the number and violence of his gestures.
The congregation could no longer restrain themselves, and burst into a
long and loud roar of laughter.

Some of the ape-catchers of Africa have a very queer way of securing
these animals. It is said that they take a vessel filled with water out
into the woods with them, and wash their hands and faces in the water.
The apes see this operation. Afterward, the natives throw out the water
in which they washed, and supply its place by a solution of glue. Then
they leave the spot, and the apes come down from the trees, and wash
themselves, in the same manner as they have seen the men wash. The
consequence is, that the poor fellows get their eyes glued together so
fast that they cannot open them, and so being unable to see their way to
escape, they fall into the hands of their enemies.




The Zebra.


Probably there is no animal so beautiful, and that possesses so much
ability for being serviceable to man, that is nevertheless so useless,
except for its beauty, as the zebra. One would suppose, to look at the
fellow--and doubtless this is the fact--that he could perform much of
the labor of the horse. But he is generally quite indisposed to any such
routine of employment. He is very fond of his own way--so fond of it,
indeed, that the most patient and persevering efforts to teach him to
change it are generally almost fruitless. The entire race are any thing
but docile. They are tamed, so as to obey the bridle, only with great
difficulty; and their obedience is rather imperfect, at best. Bingley
mentions one which was brought from the Cape of Good Hope to the
tower of London, in 1803, who was more docile and kindly disposed than
most of the species. When in pretty good humor, this animal would carry
her keeper from fifty to a hundred yards; but he could never prevail
upon her to go any farther. He might beat her as much as he pleased; she
would not budge an inch, but would rear up and kick, until her rider was
obliged to get off. When she got angry, as she did sometimes, she would
plunge at her keeper, and on one occasion she seized him by the coat,
threw him upon the ground, and would undoubtedly have killed him, had he
not been very active, so that he got out of her reach.

[Illustration: THE ZEBRA.]

The most docile zebra on record was one that was burned, accidentally,
in England, several years ago, with several other animals belonging to a
lyceum. This animal allowed his keeper to use great familiarities with
him--to put children on his back, even, without showing any resentment.
On one occasion, a person rode on his back a mile or two. This zebra had
been raised in Portugal.




The Ox and Cow.


[Illustration: COWS TAKING THEIR COMFORT.]

Can any body imagine a more perfect picture of quiet contentment, than a
company of cows that have finished their toils for the day, and have
come at early evening to chew their cud, and to reward their patrons for
the supply of green grass that has been afforded them? There are two
such amiable cows represented in the engraving on the opposite page. The
artist has portrayed them standing before a huge pottery, where they
seem to be very much at home, and at peace with all the world. Their
thoughts--if they have any, and doubtless they have, a good many of
them--are those of the most tranquil and placid nature. Perhaps they are
edifying each other with reflections on the great advantages of the
mechanic arts, and the art of making earthen ware in particular. The old
cow is a genuine philosopher. She makes the best of every thing. Seldom,
very seldom, does she allow herself to get excited. As for being angry,
she makes such a bungling piece of work of it, whenever she does indulge
in a little peevishness, that she seems to cool off at once, from the
very idea of the ludicrous figure she makes. Generally, she takes the
world easy. Her troubles are few. If the flies bite her--and they take
that liberty sometimes--she leisurely employs a wand she has at command,
and brushes them off. Nervous and excitable men might undoubtedly learn
a lesson from the philosophical old cow, if they would go to school to
her. They might learn that the true way to go through the world, is to
keep tolerably cool, and not to be breaking their heads against every
stone wall that happens to lie between them and the object of their
desire.

There are many anecdotes which prove that the ox and cow have a musical
ear, as the phrase is. Professor Bell says that he has often, when a
boy, tried the effect of the music of the flute on cows, and always
observed that it produced great apparent enjoyment. Instances have been
known of the fiercest bulls having been subdued and calmed into
gentleness, by music of a plaintive kind.

There is a laughable story told of the effect of music on a bull. A
fiddler, residing in the country, not far from Liverpool, was returning,
at three o'clock in the morning, with his instrument, from a place where
he had been engaged in his accustomed vocation. He had occasion to cross
a field where there were some cows and a rather saucy bull. The latter
took it into his head to assault the fiddler, who tried to escape. He
did not succeed, however. The bull was wide awake, and could not let the
gentleman off so cheap. The poor fellow then attempted to climb a tree.
But the enraged animal would not permit him to do that. The fiddler, who
had heard something about the wonderful power of music in subduing the
rage of some of the lower animals, thinking of nothing else that he
could do for his protection, got behind the tree, and commenced playing,
literally for his life. Strange as it may appear, the animal was calmed
at once, and appeared to be delighted with the music. By and by, the
fiddler, finding that his enemy was entirely pacified, stopped playing,
and started homeward, as fast as his legs would carry him. But the bull
would not allow him to escape, and made after him. The poor fellow,
fearing he should be killed, stopped, and went to fiddling again. The
animal was pacified, as before. Our hero then plied the bow until his
arm ached, and seizing, as he supposed, a favorable opportunity, he made
another effort to run away. He was probably not accustomed to fiddle
without pay, and he was pretty sure the customer he was now playing for
intended to get his music for nothing. Well, the fiddler was no more
successful this time than he was before. The fury of the bull returned,
as soon as the strains ceased; and at last, the poor man surrendered
himself to his fate, and actually played for the bull until six
o'clock--about three hours in all--when some people came to his rescue.
He must have been pretty well convinced, I think, while he was
entertaining the bull in that manner, that

"Music hath charms to soothe the savage breast."




The Lama.


This animal, which belongs to the same family with the camel, is a
native of some parts of South America, and is used as a beast of burden.
He is capable of carrying from one hundred to one hundred and fifty
pounds, and on the steep places where he is usually employed, will walk
with his load twelve or fifteen miles a day. When lamas get weary, it is
said they will stop, and scarcely any severity can compel them to go on.
Some of the accounts of these singular animals represent them as having
a bad trick of _spitting_, when they do not like their treatment. In
this respect, they resemble a great many strange sort of men I have met
with on our side of the equator, who will spit from morning till night,
sometimes on the carpet, too, on account of a very nauseous weed they
have in their mouths--with this difference, however, that the lamas spit
when they are displeased only, and the men spit all the time.

Some one who has been familiar with the animal in South America, and who
has seen it a great deal in use among the Indians there, presents a very
interesting account of its nature and habits. He says, "The lama is the
only animal associated with man, and undebased by the contact. The lama
will bear neither beating nor ill treatment. They go in troops, an
Indian going a long distance ahead as a guide. If tired, they stop, and
the Indian stops also. If the delay is great, the Indian, becoming
uneasy toward sunset, resolves on supplicating the beasts to resume
their journey. If the lamas are disposed to continue their course, they
follow the Indian in good order, at a regular pace, and very fast, for
their legs are very long; but when they are in ill-humor, they do not
even turn their heads toward the speaker, but remain motionless,
standing or lying down, and gazing on heaven with looks so tender, so
melancholy, that we might imagine these singular animals had the
consciousness of a happier existence. If it happens--which is very
seldom--that an Indian wishes to obtain, either by force or threats,
what the lama will not willingly perform, the instant the animal finds
himself affronted by word or gesture, he raises his head with dignity,
or, without attempting to escape ill treatment by flight, he lies down,
his looks turned toward heaven; large tears flow from his beautiful
eyes; and frequently, in less than an hour, he dies."


[Illustration: THE END.]




     *     *     *     *     *     *     *




Transcriber's note:

   The caption of the illustration in "The Goat", shown in the
   List of Illustrations and above as "THE WONDERFUL FEAT OF THE
   GOAT.", was "THE ARAB AND HIS GOAT." in the printed illustration.



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