The Baldwin Library
*AT1RUING THN NIUT8 0? TRh 28CULENT SWALLOW.
BANVARD'S LIBRARY SERIES.
HOW TO LEARN WITHOUT BOOKS.
IN THREE PARTS.
REV. J. BANVARD, A. M.,
AUTHOR OP TH TOPICAL QUTWION 3o0," PSAOML
QUSTIOXI OOK," ETC. 3TC.
New England Sabbath School Depository,
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1840,
BY JOSEPH BANVARD,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of Massachusetts.
OEOROE A. CURTIS;
NIW EMOLAND TTPI AND ITEREOTYPE eOUNDRY,
IT was stated in the First Part, that this work was
originally published in one volume. It becomes, there-
fore, proper to observe here, that in issuing it in three
separate parts, it was found necessary, in order to
make the parts of similar size, to add considerable new
matter to the present number. This new material
consists of several chapters at the beginning and end
of the book, which are not found in the first edition.
Robert's discovery.-Boy's impatience.-How beetles bury a
bird.-The other children called.-The insects examine
their work.-Robert sent on an errand.-The bird and bee-
tles taken home.-How disposed of.-Their conduct in a
transparent prison.-The children watch them.-Their mys-
terious disappearance.-How accounted for.-Their habits
a proof of Divine Wisdom and Goodness.-Why they bury
birds.-Robert's exclamation.-Globe full of beetles.-
How they came there.-Works of God all wonderful.-
Consequence if the bird had not been buried.-Three ques-
tions.-Their answers, .. . . . .. 11-23
AN INSECT liTH COAT OF MAIL.
Strange things in water.-Robert takes some home.-
Caddis worms.-Children's opinions of their grsvly
coat.-How they make their coat.-They know how to
make it light or heavy.-A supposition.-How they pe-
par fr their tranformation.-Become fle.-Who taught
them to guard against danger . . ... .. 4-
THE INSECT TAILORS.
Moths.-How produced.-How they manufacture their gar-
ment.-They always wear it.-How they travel.-No
need of long journeys.-The goodness of their Maker.-
How they enlarge their garment.-A tailor and a road-
maker.-Its mode of changing to a fly or miller.-Some
seem to think that all wonderful things must come from a
distance.-This a mistake, . . . . ... 31-36
COMMON THINGS CURIOUS.
What is the most common insect.-Children's mistake.-The
fly.-Has a thousand eyes.-How they appear through a mi-
croscope.-The goodness of the Creator in giving them so
many eyes.-Their curious feet.-How they walk up
smooth surfaces.-How on rough surfaces.-Common
things curious, .. . . . . . . .. 37-41
THE MOLE AND THE WOODPECKER.
Stroll through the garden.-Attention arrested.-Robert star-
tled.-Mode of killing an known animal.-It travelled
under ground.-Robert's comparison of the crowbar.-Wil-
liam and the woodpecker.-Mole.-Its mode of life.-Arri-
val at home.-Strange head and feet.-Proofs of Divine
wisdom and goodness.-Children's objections.-Mole sid
to have no eyes nor ear.-y close inspection both ae
disocrsd.-The eyea d an of tho male m betr hr
him than oura would be.-His head ad feet ae adapsl to
his mode of life.-That a proof of Divine wisdom and good-
ness.-The small size of his eyes and ears evince the
same.-The woodpecker.-How it lives.-Three things
respecting its tongne.-Has barbs at its end.-Catches
insects.-The use of its barbed tongue.-Like spearing
eels.-These barbs are prof of wisdom and goodness.-
All creatures adapted to their respective modes of life.-
This another proof, .. . . . . .... 4-64
A LECTURE ON BIRD.
Emily's adventure.-A lecture proposed.-The preparations.-
The parlor lecture.-The eider duck.-Its nests.-Curious
way of obtaining down.-Robbing nests.-Conduct of the
duck.-How the down is prepared.-Is very light.-How
Icelanders gather large quantities.-Esculent swallow.-
Where found.-Live in caves.-Make peculiar nests.-
These nests are eaten.-Dangerous mode of obtaining them.
-Bee-eater.-Lives in a hole.-Has vivid red eyes.-
Beautiful plumage.-Its food.-Why called bee-eater.-
Caught with a hook and line.-Said to be attentive to their
parents.-Good example.-Duty of children.-Audience
pleased, .................... .-66e
STORIES ABOUT BIRDS.
Birds are heavy.-Their bones hollow.-Their wings strong.
-Why a man could not fly with eagle's wings.-Arrange-
ment of the feathers.-Different modes of flying.-Story of
a willow wren.-Sagacity of two fly-catchers.-Ansodote
of swallows.-Of a sparrow.-Surprising story.--Moal
VOL. II. 2
eetioda .-A- unfortunate iproer.-Lark ad gold-
ches, .. . ............. .* 7-81
THE STORMY PETEREL.
Mother Carey's chickens.-Why called peterel.-Walks the
water.-Seen in storms.-Their habits.-Presentiments
of storms.-Howitt's poetry on these birds.-Their long
flights-Are used as lights-Are emblems of Christians.-
Religious truth illustrated from Nature.-Divine Provi-
dence.-No accidents.-A very sensible dog.-Singular
anecdote of a parrot.-Curious circumstance.-Concluding
advice .......... . . . 82-96
THE YOUNG OBSERVERS.
INSECT ORAVE DIGGERS.
"Oh! father, father, I have made a dis-
covery," said Robert, as he hastily entered
the house one warm day, with his face crim-
soned by the heat, and the drops of perspi-
ration coursing their way down his cheeks
like play-fellows; and I have run as fast as
I could to let you know it before it is gone."
"What is it, my son?" said the father,
raising his eyes from a periodical which
he was reading.
"It is a large black insect making a ring
all round a little dead bird which is lying in
the garden. He puts his head in the ground,
and then with a quick motion throws the dirt
out of his way; and in this manner," contin-
ued the little boy with earnestness, "hehas
12 TRE YOUNO OBStRVZRU.
got the ring almost made. O, pa, I want you
to see it, that you may tell me what it is."
"I will," said he, and immediately laying
aside the periodical, he arose from his seat,
put on a light straw hat, and followed his
son into the garden. So anxious was Rob-
ert to get his father to the spot, that he took
hold of his hand and tried to draw him
along a little faster, but finding him unwill-
ing to quicken his steps, he let go his hold,
and ran to the scene of his observations.
As soon as he arrived the impatient little
boy cried out, "Come quickly, pa, the
insect has finished one ring, and has com-
menced another." In a few moments the
father was at the spot, and there saw two
large insects of the beetle tribe. One of
them was busily engaged in the manner
described by Robert-digging a ring or
trench round a little dead bird. He put his
$lead in the soft ploughed soil of the garden
a little slanting, and then, with a quick mo-
tion, threw the dirt out as skilfully as
though he used a shovel. The ring which
he had completed was the outer one; he
was now laboring to finish an inner one
3153Ct 3A?3 UI GOIRS.
nearer to the bird. But what appeared a
little remarkable was, that with the dirt
which the beetle threw out in making the
inner circle, it filled up the outer one. Af-
ter the second furrow was completed the
beetle commenced a third one under the
bird. After laboring some time, the insect
was completely concealed under the bird.
Its labors could be seen only by the heaving
of the dirt which formed a little ridge round
the bird. Whilst one of the beetles was in
this manner mining under the bird, the
other was on it, either trying to trample it
in the hole, or looking for some exposed
portion of which to make a dainty supper.
Presently, the one that was buried, drew
itself out from under the bird, and when it
found its companion on top, it pursued after,
and drove her away. He then walked over
and around the buried bird, as if to examine
his work. After which he remained some
time perfectly motionless, perhaps to rest
Mr. Rogers told his son that he had better
call the other children, and let them have
the privilege of seeing the curiosity, as an-
1t Tff YOUNO *)nU51t3
ether opportunity for observing similar habits
might not occur for a long time. Robert im-
mediately started off and presently returned,
accompanied by his brother and sister.
Shortly after they arrived, the beetle de-
scended again below the bird, and recom-
menced his work. By closely observing
the bird, it was seen to move. The beetle
appeared to be pulling it first one way, then
another, in order to work it into the hole
which it had made. After tugging at it a
long time, and spending a good deal of
strength for so small a creature, it finally
succeeded. It then came out again, and,
after taking another rest, it got upon the
bird, and finding that the manner in which
it lay in this new grave was not satisfactory,
it began with its strong mandibles, or pincers,
to pull it in different directions, and trample
it more firmly in the ground. After having
arranged it according to its taste, and forced
it into the hole which it had made, it then,
to the surprise of all the children, began
to cover it with earth. It did this in a
very ingenious manner. The little ridge
which was made by throwing the dirt out
m, msain mean"
f the hole, he now shovled on ito
bird. He went behind it, and bending his
broad head downwards, he placed it against
the ridge, and then, with a strong, sudden
jerk, he threw on to the bird as much as his
head would hold. This he rapidly repeated
until the bird was completely covered. Af-
ter succeeding in burying it, he then passed
and repassed over the grave in various
"See, see," said William, "he is walking
over the spot to see if he can smell the
"No, no," said Robert, "I guess he is
doing it to pack the earth down upon it."
"Perhaps," said Mr. Rogers, "he is
merely examining his work to see if it is
After satisfying himself that all was well,
the beetle made a hole in the loose soil, by
the side of the bird, into which he and his
companion entered, and buried themselves
We shall see no more of them to-night,"
said Mr. Rogers; "but as the history and
habits of these insects an curious, I propos
16 THE YOUNG OBSBEIVERS
that we make these two prisoners, and take
them home and study them."
"What! study beetles?" said Emily; "I
never heard of studying bugs before."
"Perhaps you have not," said her father,
"and yet it may be a very interesting and
important study. I once heard of a gentle-
man who spent seven years in studying the
anatomy of a single insect, and others have
spent a large part of their lives in investi-
gating the habits of these little creatures.
They have kept them in their houses, fed
them, brought them up, and watched them
by day and night, in order to ascertain
their modes of life. Robert, if you will go
to the house and get a shovel, a small cov-
ered basket, and a piece of paper to put into
it, I will take these ingenious diggers home,
and try some experiments with them."
Robert went immediately, for it was now
quite dark, and soon returned with the re-
quired articles. Mr. Rogers put the paper
in the basket, so as to cover the bottom and
sides, that the earth might not soil it, and
then, pushing the shovel carefully under the
beetles and the bird, he raised them up and
INSECT GIAV9 0106115.
put them in the basket. When they arrived
at home, Mr. Rogers took a large glass globe
which was standing on the centre table full
of small shells, as an ornament, and empty-
ing it of its contents, he filled it about two
thirds full with a very light soil. His
object in selecting a glass article, was, that
all the movements of the insects might be
seen, and he chose the lightest soil that
the beetles might find it easy to work in.
Having prepared for them a residence, he
placed them in it, and then laid the deed
bird on the soil in about the centre of the
globe. When the creatures found that there
was no way of escape from their imprison-
ment, they seemed to conclude to make the
best of it. Accordingly, one of them set
himself to work to dig a furrow round the
bird. He adopted the same method as he
did in the garden, but made more rapid
progress, as the soil was very loose. The
children watched it with great interest until
it was late in the evening, and long after
their usual hour for retiring.
According to his custom, Mr. Rogers re-
solved to take advantage of Robert's dis-
18 THE YOUNG OBSERVERS.
cover to impart to his children some new
and curious information.
The next morning, the first thing the
children thought of was the beetles. As
soon as they were dressed, they went to the
glass globe to watch their movements.
Their surprise was great to find that no-
thing could be seen of them. Beetles and
bird were all gone. They at first thought
that the insects had escaped. This could
not be, as the glass globe had been carefully
covered, and the cover had not been re-
moved. Besides, if the beetles had fled,
what had become of the bird That could
not fly too. After a little reflection, they
concluded, from what they had seen in the
garden, that the beetles had buried both the
bird and themselves in the earth that was
in the globe. Their father now entered the
room and confirmed their opinion.
"Whilst you, my dear children, were
quietly sleeping, these little creatures were
busily at work, digging a grave to bury the
"I don't think that is very pleasant work
in the dark," said Robert. "If I were a
INECT GRATE DI058I.
grave-digger, I would rather work in the
"That is one of their habits," said their
father, and if it had not been so near night
when you went into the garden yesterday,
you would not have discovered them; they
generally work in the dark."
That is very strange," said Robert.
"So it is, my son, but at the same tite
it is a proof of the wisdom and goodness of
"Because, as many kinds of birds and
animals live upon worms and insects, if
these beetles were to show themselves in
the day time, they would be seized and
eaten. Now, as their Creator has made
them to love the darkness and shun the
light, he has given them such a nature as
keeps them concealed whilst their enemies
are abroad, and leads them to seek for food
when these enemies have retired."
But why do they bury birds, pa? for if
they go abroad in the night, I should think
they could eat their food in safety, without
taking the trouble to bury it."
3SD TE1 VOUNG OWBERVKES.
"They do not bury it to eat them-
"Do not?" said Robert, with astonish-
ment. That is the strangest thing of all."
"No, no," replied the father, "it is not
the strangest thing of all. If you will have
patience for a few days, you will see some-
thing in this globe that will surprise you
more than anything you have witnessed
yet; and as I do not wish to destroy your
pleasure, by telling you previously what
will take place, I will defer the account of
this insect until some future time."
The curiosity of the children was now
highly excited, and they waited with impa-
tience for the end of their father's experi-
Some weeks after this, as the family were
sitting round the centre-table listening to
William, who was reading from a new
work on Natural History, which his father
had recently brought home, they were
interrupted by a loud exclamation from
Robert. "See! see! the glass globe is full
of beetles." They all immediately left the
table, and went to the globe and found it as
Robert had said, full of beetles.
INUUOT GZAVZ DMUSO.
"Pa, did you put them there 1" asked
"No, my daughter."
"How then did they come there?"
"I will tell you, by giving you a short
history of these creatures. The old ones
bury in the ground, toads, rats, birds, moles
and other small animals, not for their own
use, but to supply their young with food.
They then deposit in the grave of the
buried animal, a number of eggs; these
eggs produce small worms, which, as soon
as they leave the egg, commence eating the
buried animal, which was placed there for
that purpose. After some time each of
these worms makes for itself, in the ground,
a small oval chamber; here it changes from
a worm or grub, to what is called a chrys-
alis. It remains in this state, inactive and
without taking food, a number of days.
It then breaks the skin, and behold, the little
worm is transformed into a perfect beetle,
with wings, feelers, legs and pincers, pre-
pared to seek its food and provide its own
"How wonderful!" said Robert.
a TR YOUNG 03Ms 1
"It is, indeed, my son, but no more so than
a thousand other things in nature. 'he
works of God are all wonderful to him
who attentively examines them. Well has
the Psalmist exclaimed, 'Great and marvel-
lous are thy works, Lord God Almighty.'"
But, pa," interrupted Emily, you have
not told us how these, that we are now
looking at, came in the globe."
"It was in this way, my dear. After the
two beetles, which I first placed in their
transparent prison, had buried the bird, one
of them laid a number of eggs; these eggs
produced little worms called larva, which
lived upon the dead bird. After a short
time they each ceased eating, made a little
room in the soil, and turned into a chrysa-
lis. In a few days they underwent another
change and became perfect beetles, such as
you now see them."
"Suppose," asked William, "that the
two beetles had not buried the bird, nor
anything else, what would be the result?"
In that case, the little worms that came
from the eggs would have died, they would
have starved to death for want of food, and
INsC? Ona3 DIOGIns.
consequently would never have become bee-
ties. That instinct which taught them to
bury that bird is another evidence of Divine
wisdom and goodness.
"Now that I have explained to you the
history of these strange insects, I want to
ask you a few questions.
First, why are these beetles like a sex-
"Second, what good do they do?
"Third, why do they resemble wicked
After considerable conversation, the an-
swers furnished were as follows:-
They are like. a sexton, because they dig
graves and bury the dead.
They do good, by removing various dead
creatures, which, if they remained upon the
ground, would be offensive and injurious to
They are like the wicked, because "they
love darkness rather than light."
AN INSECT WITH A COAT OF MAIL.
ONE day, as Robert was upon his hands
and knees, drinking from a cool flow-
ing stream, his curiosity was excited by
seeing several little things about an inch
long, moving in different directions upon
the bottom. After he had finished drink-
ing he continued upon his hands and knees
to observe them more carefully. At first
he thought they were little straws, or chips,
with grains of sand sticking to them. But
he was soon convinced by their motions
that this was a mistake. Some of them
were nearly as large as a quill, and others
not larger than the stem of an apple. They
were covered all over in a singular manner
with gravel, particles of wood, and small
shells. He noticed that at one end there
was a head and several feet, by which the
creatures dragged themselves along. As he
had never seen nor heard of these things
A Worst waiy ai COAt o KAn.. 0
befr he concluded to take several of them
home to show to the family, and to obtain
their history from his father. He immedi-
ately looked around for something to carry
them in, and fortunately found a large
clam-shell. This he dipped partly full of
water, then placed in it a half a dozen of
the little creatures, and started for the
house. When he arrived at home, he pour-
ed the contents of his shell into a white
saucer, so that he might have a more dis-
tinct view of the motions and habits of his
strange prisoners. As soon as Mr. Rogers
returned from business, Robert showed him
his curiosities, and asked him what they
They are caddis-worms, my son, and
after tea I will tell you all I know about
In the evening, when the family were
gathered round the centre-table, Robert
brought his saucer forward, and gave them
all an opportunity of examining his curiosi-
"I guess," said Emily, that these little
worms are covered all over with some kind
VOL. II. 3
MS THR TOUNG oUTYU.
of glue, or paste, and that is the reason why
stones and chips stick to them."
"I think so too," said Robert; "for do
you not recollect, William, how slimy that
eel was you caught the other dayl"
"Yes," said William, laughing, "I do;
but I recollect also, that the slime, instead
of making it sticky, made it so slippery,
that I could not hold it with both hands."
"Perhaps," said Robert, "this is a dif-
ferent kind, and is more sticky than that on
No, no, my son," said Mr. Rogers, who
had been amusing himself by listening to
the conversation of his children; you have
not hit upon the true explanation; it is
something much more curious than you
seem to suppose. The chips and gravel
which you see upon these creatures, form
a little hollow tube or case, in which the
insect lives, and which it carries about with
it wherever it goes."
"Is that possible "
"I will show you." Mr. Rogers took one
of the insects from the water and pulled it
out of the case. "There, what do you
AN INMOT WfI A OOAT O MAIL. fW
think now said he, as he held the inest
in one hand and its case in the other. The
children were astonished. They all wanted
to see the hollow case. That was now the
greater curiosity of the two. Mr. Rogers
passed it around, and permitted them all to
examine it until they were satisfied that it
was no part of the animal. They now
looked into the saucer and watched the
others with greater interest than before.
They could see at one end of each case, a
bead and six legs; with these the animal
crept, and drew its case after it.
"According to my promise, Robert," said
his father, "I will now tell you all that I
know about these novel little water-men.
They are called case-worms, straw-worms
and caddis-worms. They possess the power
of spinning threads in the water, the same
as silk-worms on trees. With a material
similar to silk, it manufactures a garment
for itself. But as this is very weak and
does not furnish sufficient protection, it very
ingeniously attaches to it, chips, gravel,
shells and other articles, and thus makes a
complete coa of mail. It is very important
U TM TOWIS ORmnIRl.
that this coat be not too heavy, for in that
ase the worm could not conveniently carry
it; and on the other hand, if it be made too
light, instead of keeping on the bottom, it
would float to the top. Now, strange as it
may seem, although the caddis-worm has
never studied philosophy, it knows what
articles to attach to its silk coat to make it
of exactly the right weight; and if at any
time it wants to make its coat lighter or
heavier than it is, it knows precisely what
articles to detach from it, or what to add
to it, whether a stone, a shell, or a chip.
Is not this a most beautiful exhibition of the
wisdom and goodness of the Creator?
But there are other facts in the his-
tory of this worm, which furnish similar
exhibitions. Suppose you were to see an
eel, or fish, make for itself a house in the
water, go into that house, and then make
bars before it to keep out enemies. Sup-
pose, after a while, that eel, or fish should
be changed into a perfect bird, and should
fly away; would you not be greatly sur-
Bt that would be no more woodor
AN USoT MI A COAT OF NAIL
ful than what takes place in the histow
of the caddis-worm. For after a while
this worm draws itself into its case, that
it may turn into a pupa or chrysalis. But
as in that state it would be exposed to
various enemies, who would devour it, it
makes, at each end of its case, a grate,
of strong silk thread, to keep them out.
These grates, however, must not be so
tight as to exclude the water, for in that
case the imprisoned insect would die. They
must be constructed in such a manner
as to bar out intruders, and, at the same
time, suffer the water to flow through.
In this guarded citadel, the little worm
undergoes a mysterious change, by which
it is converted into-a jfyl Who taught
that helpless insect to guard against danger
whilst experiencing this wonderful change?
From whom did it learn to make a grate
at each end of its fortress, which would
let in water whilst it kept out enemies?
Who carried onward that astonishing
change by which the worm became a fly
It was the everywhere present Creator,
90 THB YOUNG OmIBTES.
whom wisdom and goodness are alike
unsearchable-who watches attentively the
affairs of the meanest insect, as well as those
of the highest angel before his throne."
THE INSECT TAILORS.
In continuing the conversation with his
children Mr. Rogers remarked, that there
were other insects which possessed the
peculiar power of manufacturing their own
garments, and that among these one of the
most curious, was the common moth, which
frequently gets into our trunks, and ruins
"Moths?" said William, in a tone indi-
cating surprise and doubt; "I thought
moths were a kind of butterfly, or miller,
and if they are, I do not see why they want
"You think right, my son; in their per-
fect state, they are a sort of miller, and in
that state they use no garment; but previ-
eou to becoming millers or dies, they are
little worms, hatched from eggs, and get
among clothes, books and furs, eating what-
32 THE YOUNG OB805VERS.
ever comes in their way. It is in this state
that they use a garment. This garment is
made out of the material which they eat.
If they happen to be upon red flannel they
will make a red coat; but if upon blue
cloth then they make a blue coat. This
coat is nothing more than a hollow tube, or
case, which exactly fits the worm, lined
with soft silk. It is open at each end. Af-
ter this case is finished, the worm gets into
it, and always afterward carries the case
with it. It thrusts its head and legs out at
one end, and as it slowly creeps along,
it draws its case after it."
"I should think," said Robert, "that if
that is the way it travels, it could not make
a very long journey in a day."
"It has no occasion to make a long jour,
ney," replied his father.
"Why not ?"
"Because the eggs are laid upon the ma-
terial which the young ones eat. Conse.
quently, so soon as they leave the egg, they
find food in abundance close to them, and
therefore need not go to a distance for it"
sM ImsO TdAIMeS.
"I thought you were going to say, 'bw
good;' for it is a striking instance of the
goodness of the Creator, that he teaches
the parents to lay their eggs where the
young will be supplied with plenty of food
so soon as they are hatched. If they were
to place their eggs anywhere else, the
young ones would starve to death before
they could find food."
Pa, do they never out-grow their clothes
and require new ones?"
"I am glad you asked that question,
William, because it reminds me of another
habit of these ingenious creatures, which I
might otherwise have forgotten. They do
sometimes out-grow their garments, but
they do not make new ones; they do
something more surprising, and at the same
time more economical than that; they en-
large their old garment!"
"Enlarge their old garment!" repeated
the children with astonishment; "how can
they do that?"
In this way; they make a slit on two
opposite sides of their garment, but only
half its length; they then go to work and
VOL. in. 4
TRE YOUN" ONUrErrS.
set pieces in these slits, and thus enlarge
their coat one half its length. They then
begin at the other end, and make slits in the
other two sides, half the length, and set
pieces in them in the same manner; so that,
instead of having two pieces inserted on
two sides, and running the whole length
of the coat, they have four pieces on the
four sides, two at each end, which extend
only half the length of the garment. Some-
times the pieces which are used to enlarge
their case, are of a different color from the
case itself. If, when the moth manufac-
tured its coat, it was living on blue cloth,
its coat would be blue; if, when the time
came for its enlargement, it happened to be
on red flannel, then it would set red patches
in the four slits. This diversity of color
sometimes gives them a peculiar, patch-work
"The moth, then, is a tailor," said Rob-
He is something else, besides," responded
the father; "he is a road-maker."
"A road-maker, how is that"
"Why, when he travels, he has to at
Tm IM8T TAILOuA.
of the nap, or fur, of the cloth, or skin, on
which he is, and thus make a road for him-
self. He would find it hard work to drag
his coat over that nap or fur. And here
again we see the wisdom and goodness of
the Creator, in furnishing him with just
such a kind of mouth as enables him to
eat off these obstructions without difficul-
When the time comes for it to undergo
its changes, and turn into a miller, or fly, it
closes up both ends of its case, after having
made it fast by strings, ceases eating,
changes into a pupa, and afterwards is
transformed into a miller, or perfect moth.
"You see now, dear children, how inter-
esting and instructive is the history of an
insect so common as to be found in almost
every house. And yet there are many per-
sons who hunt and destroy these little crea-
tures, who never become acquainted with
their remarkable habits and instincts. Some
persons seem to imagine that to find any-
thing wonderful, they must go to some dis-
tant part of the world. If anything which
has been brought across the wide ocean is
36 THB YOUNG G3ssUV335.
shown them, they regard it as a great cud-
osity. It is curious because it has come
from a distance. The objects of creation
which constantly surround them, appear
nowise remarkable. If such persons were
in Europe they would be interested in arti-
cles sent them from America. American
plants, insects or birds would appear in-
vested with an unusual strangeness. But
European plants, insects and birds would be
comparatively void of interest. The truth
is, my children, if we patiently observe, and
carefully reflect, we shall find objects that
will excite our astonishment wherever we
go. The most common plant, or bird, or
animal, if closely examined and studied,
will be found to possess many surprising
peculiarities. It is our ignorance of the
history of these familiar objects which
makes them appear to us so uninteresting.
To convince you of this, I will, to-morrow
evening, relate to you some facts in the his-
tory of the most common insect with which
we are acquainted."
COMMON THINGS CURIOUS.
THa next evening there was quite a dis-
cussion between the children before it was
decided what was the most common insect.
One contended for the cricket, another for
the grasshopper, another for the bee. So
warmly did they espouse the cause of these
out-door creatures, that their attention was
wholly withdrawn from the numerous flies,
which were upon the walls and the glass, a
few of which would now and then light
upon the children's faces, or fly before their
eyes, as if to remind them of their claims to
the honor in controversy. When their fa-
ther named "the fly," "There," said two
voices at once, "why did we not think of
them before, for we know that they are the
most common insect ?"
38 TNl Z V(%V MSUtKS.
It was beCelise they are wo common that
you overlooked them."
"Strange," said Robert, "that I did not
mention the fly, when there has been one
buzzing about my ears all the evening."
"No matter," said their father; "that
neither of you thought of the forgotten, yet
ever-to-be-remembered fly, so long as you
all admit that he is the most common insect
among us. He is not only very common,
but also very curious. Look at his head,
more than two thirds of it consists of eyes."
"Has he more than two eyes, pa?"
"Yes, he has thousands." The children
appeared to be amazed.
"A fly with a thousand'eyes!"
"To convince you, I will catch one, and
let you view what you call an eye, through
my microscope." He did so.
"Oh, it looks just like lace-work," said
"I think it resembles a net," replied
Robert; "for only see how many holes
there are, and how regularly they are ar-
OSEN011 1=09 CURMU.
Ar all those little holes, eyeo." asked
They are, my son; and you must p-
member that you can see only a small r-
tion of them, because the microscope iAo
small. These eyes are arranged upon the
fly in such a manner that he can see in
every direction at the same time."
"It is just the same as though we had
eyes all round our head, is it not, pa?"
"It is, my son. Now when we remem-
ber that flies have many enemies, that
spiders, birds, wasps, dragon-flies and cruel
children catch them and destroy them, we
can see the goodness of the Creator in ar-
ranging their eyes in such a manner, that
they can detect the approach of their ene-
mies from any quarter, for they then have
a better opportunity to escape. This is the
reason why it is so difficult for you to
catch flies. When you fix your hand for
that purpose, and approach them very cau-
.4iously, although they do not change their
position, they see all your motions, and
away they fly, before you can enclose them
TUE YOU O38UWU3SM
in your grasp. Another thing very curious
about these creatures is their feet."
"I have often wondered," said William,
"how it is that they climb on glass and other
d ooth surfaces, with their back downwards.
Can you explain it, father "
There are two principal theories of ex-
planation. Some persons, who have devoted
much time to the examination of these insects,
say that when they walk upon very smooth
surfaces, it is done by means of a small
sponge on the bottoms of the feet of the fly,
which contains a sticky substance. When
they step they press out some of this glhtin-
ous fluid, and this makes their feet stick
fast until they take the next step. But
others say that the bottom of the fly's foot,
acts upon the same principle as a sucker
with which boys lift up stones; that instead
of a sponge containing a kind of glue, they
have a delicate membrane, and when this is
placed upon a smooth surface, it sucks to
that surface and keeps the fly from falling."
"Does it walk in the same way upon
No, my son. It has claws in addition to
COMMON TWIROS CURIOUS. 41
this membrane or sponge by which it sticks
to glass, and when it walks up rough sur-
faces, it clings by these claws."
"How strange! it has, as it were, two
sets of feet, one to walk on smooth, and the
other to walk on rough articles, and it can
use them both at pleasure."
Do you not see now, my dear children,
that this very common creature is also very
curious ? Thus is it with all the works of
God around us. If we only acquaint our-
selves with them, and closely observe them,
we shall find them full of interest. They
are all of them proofs of the wisdom, good-
ness, and power of their Creator."
THE MOLE AND THE WOODPECtER.
OnE day, as Robert was slowly strolling
through the garden, accompanied by his
little sister, his attention was arrested by
seeing the ground, a few feet before him,
rise in the form of a small hillock, nearly as
large as his fist; and what was still more
remarkable, this hillock, or ridge seemed to
move, as if some kind of animal were slowly
creeping under ground and raising the earth
in its progress. At first he was startled,
but soon recovering himself, he jumped
upon the little hillock to kill whatever was
beneath it. After waiting a few moments
to see whether the ground would stir again,
and perceiving no motion, he ventured to
remove the earth that he might discover
what was under it. He was both pleased
and surprised to find that it was a small
TRE MOLE AND TES WOOMPCKR. 4
animal, about the size of a rat, but very dif-
ferent in its general appearance. After sat-
isfying himself that the little creature was
really dead, he took it by the tail to carry it
"How curious it was," said Emily, "to
see the earth rise like a little ridge, as he
crept along under it."
"Yes," said Robert, "it looked just as
the ground did the other day, when I tried
to see how far I could push the crowbar
under it. I didn't put it in deep, but I
pushed the sharpest end along, a few inches
below the surface, and it made the ground
rise up like a little hill; and I could tell
exactly how far under the crowbar was, by
the little ridge on top of the ground."
What a singular head he has got," con-
tinued Emily, in a manner which seemed to
intimate that she had not paid much atten-
tion to her brother's comparison.
Not more singular than his feet," wa
his answer, as he held up the little creature
for his sister to examine
"l am sorry you killed it, Rob; I sho
TRB YOUNG OBUSfVEU.
like to have taken it home, and have seen it
creep on the floor."
"I did not know what it was, Emily:
when I daw the ground rising before me, I
was frightened for a moment, and then I
thought that we had better kill whatever
was under it, than to run the risk of being
As the two children were on their way to
the house, taking with them the mysterious
under-ground traveller, their progress was
checked by hearing their older brother call-
ing to them from a neighboring field, and
telling them that he had a woodpecker
which James Barker's father had shot from
an old apple-tree in his orchard, and which
James had given to him. They waited for
William to overtake them, and after passing
a few minutes in examining each other's
curiosities, they hastened towards the house.
The little animal which Robert had killed,
was a mole. It lives a great portion of the
time under ground, feeding updn the roots
of various kinds of plants, and in this man-
amr is so m es productive of great injury
to a garden
IT= muL are TM woosUoCK. LS
When the children arrived at hoe, mthir
father expressed both pleasure and regret at
the spoils which they brought with them.
He was pleased, because both the wood-
pecker and the mole would furnish them with
interesting and profitable conversation; but
his pleasure was mingled with sorrow that
both were dead. He, however, embraced
the opportunity which was afforded to im-
part instruction to his children, and to do it
in such a manner, as was calculated to exer-
cise their powers of reflection.
"What a strange looking head the mole
has got," said Emily again, who was more
interested in that part of the little animal
than in any other.
"True," replied her father; "but if you
will examine, Emily, you will perceive that
it is no more singular than its paws. Both
its head and feet, strange as they are, fur-
nish proofs of the wisdom and goodness of
its Maker. I have sometimes thought that
there is sufficient evidence of the existence
and attributes of God, in the structure of the
heads and feet of different living creature,
46 THu ToUNG oumnvuu
to convince the most confirmed infidel, if he
would only examine them."
But, pa, it has no eyes," said the talka-
tive little girl, "and I should not think it
was very good to be without eyes; why,
when I make a little doll, I always give it
eyes." William and Robert could not help
laughing at their sister's simplicity and ear-
nestness, for she spoke just as though she
thought that her dolls could see with the
eyes that she gave them, though they were
aware that she knew better.
"What else does it seem to be destitute
of which other animals usually have?"
asked their father.
William took it in his hands, and after
looking at it a moment, said he could find
"What!" exclaimed Robert, "no eyes
nor ears: I don't see how such a head is a
proof of wisdom or goodness. I should feel
very badly if I were both blind and deaf.
Why, pa, suppose a carver were to carve a
man's head, or a painter paint one, and sup-
pose that he should forget to make the eyes
TH MOIL AND TUs WOmOWCKR. 4
and ears, would you call him a good work-
"By no means, my son. But you are
too fast. The cases are not alike. Before
we proceed to reason upon any subject, we
should carefully establish all the facts from
which we reason, otherwise we shall be
likely to make some strange blunders. In
what you have said, you have been reason-
ing. The facts upon which you base your
reasoning are, that the mole has neither eyes
nor ears. But these facts you have not
established. That is, you have not proved
that they are facts. Your examination of
that animal has been too hasty, and hence
you have made two great mistakes. If you
will examine the head of the mole more
carefully, perhaps you will detect those
Robert took the mole from his brother,
and scrutinized it closely. With his thumb
and fingers he pushed the soft fur aside, so
that he could see the surface of the skin,
and in this manner he examined various
parts of the head. Presently he detected
what seemed to be a small slit in the skin.
A T1om XOG OFAUSUI.
He carefully pressed it open with his fa-
gers, and discovered a very small eye, not
much larger than the head of a pin, glisten-
ing as though it were a glass bead concealed
among the fur. He then searched the oppo-
site side of the head and found another.
Encouraged by his success, he continued
his searching process until he discovered
two other minute holes, which his father
told him were the ears.
In this manner Mr. Rogers led his son, by
a personal examination of the curious crea-
tures, to correct his own mistakes.
As Robert was pointing out the eyes and
ears to his brother and sister, he remarked,
that he did not think they were of much
use. "If I had such eyes and ears," said
he, "I do not believe that I could see or
"But you must remember, Robert, that
you do not burrow under ground like the
mole: if you did, do you not suppose that
the eyes and ears which you now have
would be very inconvenient to you ?"
"Yes, sir," answered Robert, with a
smile; they would very soon get so full
THE MOL4 AMR TsH WOOaWCKIB.
of dirt, that I suppose I should not be able
to use them any better than the mole does
"Nor so well neither," interrupted Mr.
Rogers, for the eyes and ears of the mole
do not get full of dirt. Although you have
just taken this one from under ground,
yet his eyes and ears are as clean as though
he never went near the earth. You see,
therefore, that they are better for him
than such eyes and ears as ours would
"But how is it," asked William, "that
the head and feet of the mole are proofs of
the wisdom and goodness of God 1"
"I will show you. The mole is an ani-
mal which is made to live under ground.
It is to plough its way along below the sur-
face of the earth, and feed upon the roots
which it may find in its course. Accord-
ingly the Creator has give it a long, sharp
nose, with which it may easily pierce the
soil; he has given it strong, broad paws,
with long sharp nails, and the two fore
paws he has made to turn with the palms
out, so as to enable the mole to scratch, or
VOL. Im. 5
Bo THs YOUNG OBraV3s8s.
dig away the earth from the sides of its
head, as fast as its nose penetrates, and
push it out of the way. Whenever any-
thing is made in such a manner as to an-
swer the purpose for which it was intended,
it evinces wisdom. Hence, as the head and
feet of the mole are precisely adapted to the
mode of life which it was intended the mole
should pursue, it is an evidence of the wisdom
of God. And as the enjoyment of the mole
is increased by this peculiar fitness for its
subterranean life, we see also the Divine
"The eyes and ears of the mole, though
so very small, are sufficiently large for all
the purposes for which they are needed;
and when their use is not required, the mole
has it in his power to conceal them under a
thick covering of soft fur, and thus efectu-
ally protect them from external danger. In
this arrangement we see also wisdom and
Mr. Rogers now took up the woodpecker,
which had hitherto been lying unnoticed
upon the table. "This bird," said he,
lives upon the worms and insects which
THn MOLt AN T S WOO ro CK 51
are found under the decayed bark and in
the crevices of old trees, and as with the
mole, so with the woodpecker;-the struc-
ture of its head and feet furnishes proofs of
the character of God. Its spreading claws,
armed with strong crooked nails, enable it
to run up the trunk of a tree by clinging to
the rough bark-with its strong bony bill
it taps upon the tree, pecks holes through
the bark, and disturbs the insects so that
they leave their places of concealment, and
come within its reach. But the most won-
derful of all is its curious tongue. There
are three things about this tongue that I
want you to notice. First, its length."
Mr. Rogers opened the mouth of the bird,
and, to the astonishment of the children,
drew forth a tongue three or four inches
long, and very slender. The second thing
to observe is, that this tongue is tipped with
horn." The children felt of the end of it,
and found that it was sharp and hard as
their father had said, just as if it was bone
or horn. "The third thing to notice is, that
at the end of the tongue there are some
little barbs,, like the barbs of a fish-hook,
OR I'E TOUNS O BUERUN.
which prevent the bait from escaping."
The children examined it more closely than
they did before, and found the barbs to
which their father referred. "Altogether,
it is one of the most curious tongues which
I have ever seen," said Mr. Rogers, "and
presents us with a striking illustration of
the Divine wisdom and goodness. The
woodpecker, as I have said, lives upon
insects. They are its natural food. It is
therefore an insect-hunter. Now, the wis-
dom and goodness of the Creator are seen
in his having given to this bird just such a
bill and tongue as qualify it to catch insects
with facility-to take its natural prey easily.
It is a frequent visitor to old decaying
trees, where insects of various kinds are
numerous. When, by its loud tapping,
these terrified little creatures leave their
nests and scamper away through the cracks
in the tree, or under the holes in the bark
which the bird has made, it darts its long
tongue out at them as-swiftly as an arrow,
and pierces them through with its sharp
horny end. The barbs with which it is
furnished prevent the insects from escaping,
THE MOLE AND TB WOODfPCKER. 83
so that all the woodpecker has to do,
is to draw its tongue in again, laden
with its precious morsel. It then darts it
out again, pierces another insect in the
same manner, and continues the process
until it either gets enough, or the insects
"It is just like spearing eels," said Rob-
"Precisely so," answered his father;
"for as the barbs on the spear prevent the
eels from slipping off, so those on the wood-
pecker's tongue have the same effect upon
all worms and bugs which it pierces. Now,
as these barbs upon the eel-spear and upon
fish-hooks are wise and ingenious contriv-
ances, and answer a useful purpose, the
same may be said of those of the wood-
"It is in this manner that all living
creatures afford evidence of the wisdom
and goodness of the Creator. They are
all adapted to the mode of life for which
they were designed. Birds are fitted for
the air, fishes for the water, and animals
54 THI YOUNG OBsnv3R s.
for the land, and in consequence of this
fitness, life is to them a source of enjoy-
ment. He, therefore, who was the author
of this fitness, must have been wise and
A LECTURE ON BIRDS.
ONE windy day, as Emily was trudging
home from school with her satchel of books
on her arm, thinking of her father's experi-
ments, she saw something white blowing
along the road before her. At first, she
thought it was a piece of white paper, not
worth the trouble of picking up. But recol-
lecting that her father had often told her to
take particular notice of anything which ar-
rested her attention, she resolved to keep her
eye fixed upon the object as well as she could,
till she overtook it. As the wind blew it
along, turning it over and over, she observed
on one side dark spots, but whether they were
made by ink, or by mud, into which it
might have blown, she could not tell.
When the wind paused a moment, and the
object of which Emily was in pursuit 0-
56 THE YOUNG OBSERVERS.
mained stationary, she quickened her steps,
overtook it, and upon picking it up, found
that it was the leaf of a book, and the dark
spots upon it were pictures of birds.
Emily noticed that the birds were of a
different kind from any that she had ever
seen alive; she therefore tucked the paper
into her satchel, that she might ask her
father about them when she should reach
As she approached the house, she saw
her father in the garden examining some
flower plants which had been given him by
a friend, and which, on that account, he
highly prized. She immediately ran to
him, and on her way, said, with a loud
voice, "Father, father, I have found a pic-
ture of some strange birds; will you please
to tell me what they are?" She took the
paper out of her satchel, and handed it to
him. After looking at it a moment, her
father told her that they were all foreign
birds, were found in countries a great dis-
tance from us, and their habits were so
peculiar that they would furnish an inter-
esting subject for a social lecture. "And
LECTU1O ON D1D6.
so, Emmy, if you and your brothersb entire
it, I will give you a lecture in the partof
this evening, about these birds."
"Oh, thank, thank you, pa," said the
happy little girl. "I desire it, and I know
that brothers will too, because you tell us
so many interesting things;" and, without
waiting for any reply, away she ran down
the road in search of her brothers, who had
lingered behind to play with their school-
mates. As soon as she met her oldest bro-
ther, she said to him, in an earnest, sprightly
manner, which evinced how greatly she
was pleased, William, father says he Wilt
give us a lecture in the parlor this evetib,
if you and Robert desire it."
"Abovt what?" asked William.
About some pictures which I found in
the road as I was coming from school."
Robert now came up, and Emily de-
scribed to both of them the pictures, and
asked them if they should like to hear a
lecture upon them. They both answered
in the affirmative.
"Well, then, we shall have it."
THB YOUNG OBSnVERS.
"And no doubt," said Robert, "we shall
hear something new and pleasing."
In the evening, the parlor was lighted
with two lamps more than usual; the centre
table was drawn towards one side of the
room, and the rocking-chair placed behind
it for Mr. Rogers; chairs were arranged
in a row on the opposite side of the room for
the children, whilst Mrs. Rogers took her
place near the window. When the little
audience, consisting of the children of Mr.
Rogers, and several of their school-mates,
whom, with their father's permission, they
had invited to be present, were all seated,
Mr. Rogers passed to them the paper con-
taining the pictures, and told them to take
particular notice of each bird. This occu-
pied a number of minutes. When it was
over, Mr. Rogers took his place in the
rocking-chair behind the table, and com-
THE PARLOR LECTURE.
"I am very happy, dear children, to meet
you here this evening. It always gives me
pleasure to impart instruction, especially to
those who are willing and desirous to learn.
The facts which I am about to relate are of
a nature so interesting, that I hope they
will induce you, both to read about, and
carefully watch, the habits of birds. In
this way you may gain much curious and
"The first bird on this picture is the
Eider Duck. It inhabits very cold coun-
tries, as Iceland, Greenland, and Labrador.
It generally builds its nest on small islands,
so that it may not be annoyed by the un-
welcome visits of men and dogs. In some
places these nests are so numerous that a
person can scarcely walk without stepping
into them. They are usually made of drift
grass and sea-weed, which is washed upon
the shore by the waters of the ocean. But
as such materials would be too rough and
cold for the young birds, the nests are
thickly lined with a species of down, which
is exceedingly light, soft and warm. And
where do you suppose this down is obtained?
I will tell you: the female bird plucks it
from her own breast. Such is her love for
her offspring, that Ahe takes off, as it were,
TH9 YOUNG O53UtS!5S.
her own garnnet, and with it covers them.
So large a quantity of this down does she
tear from her breast and deposit in her
nest, that after she begins to hatch, and is
obliged by hunger to go in search of food,
she is able with it to cover her eggs, and
keep them warm till she returns And
after the young birds are hatched, the same
down keeps them comfortable in the coldest
climate in the world. This down is very
useful to men. The inhabitants of those
cold countries collect it as an article of com-
merce, and sell it at a very high price.
They visit the nest after it has been lined
by the Eider Duck, and gather from it all
the down which it contains. When the
bird returns and finds that her nest has
been robbed, she does not forsake it, but
she immediately plucks more down from
her breast, and lines it again. If the nest is
stripped a second time, it is said that she is
not able to furnish any more. The male
bird then lines it with down from his own
breast. If the nest is robbed a third time,
the birds are obliged to abandon it.
After the down is collected, it is cleaned
PARLOR LICTUm L
and rolled up into hard wads, ot balls,
about as large as an infant's head. It is
very elastic, that is, it swells very much
after having been so closely pressed. One
of these balls, if carefully opened in a warm
room, will expand so as to fill a ben. One
female bird will furnish about a half-a-
pound. This is so extremely light that it
will more than fill a bushel.
"This down is such a profitable article,
that the Icelanders have contrived a way
to gather it, in considerable abundance.
They cut holes in rows, in certain places
which the Eider Ducks would not other-
wise occupy, but which they readily take
possession of, when they find such con-
venient places for their nests. As these
holes containing nests are numerous, they
furnish large quantities of down, which
the people are very careful to collect; and
then the poor birds, with their breasts and
their nests both almost bare, have to endure
the severity of the cold the best way they
"The next bird on the picture, is called
the Esculent Swallow. Near it is its nest,
GB THE YroUe oUEassa s.
which looks something like a sailor's ham-
mock. These birds are found in great
numbers in various parts of the East Indies.
They build their nests in dark, damp cav-
erns. Sometimes large flocks of them are
seen by the sea side, apparently gathering
something from the foam of the waves, but
whether it is food or materials for building
which they are after, is unknown.
"These birds are remarkable chiefly for
their peculiar nests. Strange as it may
seem to you, these nests are considered a
delicious article for food, and are eagerly
sought after. Large numbers of them are
collected every year and sent to China,
where they are sold at a high price, and aie
regarded as rare luxuries. They are com-
posed of a glutinous or gummy substance,
and when dissolved they make, as isin-
glass does, a rich jelly. They are used to
thicken different kinds of broths. The best
qualities are white and clean. There are
others which are dark-colored and soiled.
Those which are unsuitable for food are
converted into glue.
As these birds build in caverns, their
nests are sometimes very difficult to be
obtained. In Java, there are some places
where the caves which they inhabit are in
the high rocks which skirt the ocean, and
against the base of which the turbulent
waves are constantly dashing. Those who
gather the nests, are let down from the top
of the precipice by a rope or ladder made of
bamboo or of ratan, until they reach the
mouth of the cave: they then, at the hazard
of their lives, creep into the cave, and by
means of a torch-light, collect the nests.*
Having obtained all within reach, they then
come to the mouth of the cavern, seize the
rope, or the bamboo ladder, by which they
descended, and again risking their lives,
mount to the top. It is an extremely dan-
gerous employment, and requires great
courage and presence of mind. If the rope
should break, or a hand slip, death would
be the inevitable result. Or if, after enter-
ing the cave, they should be unable to reach
the rope or ladder, the same fatal conse-
quences would follow.
The last on the picture is a bird which
* Se cut.
64 THE YOUNG OBSKeVIRS.
is found in various parts of Europe and
Asia, but which abounds in the island of
Candia. It is the Bee-eater. It makes its
nest, like some species of swallows, in the
bottom of a hole, which it digs in the sand,
with its short, strong feet, and horny bill.
It has small eyes of a vivid red color, and
as the feathers immediately surrounding
them are jet black, its eyes look like burn-
ing coals, placed on the sides of its head.
For its size, it is one of the most splendid
birds known. Its plumage consists of sea-
green, chestnut, golden-yellow, blue and
black, elegantly contrasted with each other.
It lives upon various kinds of insects, but is
particularly fond of wasps and bees, from
which fact, it derives its name of bee-eater.
There are several species of them, and when
they migrate from one place to another, they
usually fly in flocks.
"The boys in Candia have a singular
method of catching these birds. They fish
for them with a hook and line! They
take a locust or some other insect, put
through it a bent pin, or fish-hook, tied to a
long string, and then throw it in the air.
PARLOQ L CTURK.
As the hook does not kill the insect, it files
away with considerable rapidity. The bee-
eater, constantly on the watch for flying
insects, darts at the tempting bait, swallows
it, and is caught by the hook which it con-
tains. The boys then draw it to themselves
and secure the bird.
It is said of the young bee-eaters, that
they are very attentive to their parents.
They do not wait until their parents really
need their assistance, but as soon as they
can use their wings with safety, they make
frequent excursions from the nest, and
return, bringing the old ones food. I wish
there was sufficient evidence to believe that
this statement was true, because it would
furnish such a good example for children.
there is something peculiarly lovely in the
character of a child, who does all in his
power, by cheerful obedience, and kind
attentions, to render his parents happy.
Solomon has said of such conduct, that it
is "an ornament of grace unto the head,
and chains about the neck.' An opposite
course is disgraceful and repulsive. That
obild who is guilty of it, is a 'calam-
66 THE YOUNG OSRBBVERS.
Ity to his father,' and 'bitterness to his
mother.' Of such, the same wise man hath
said, 'The eye that mocketh at his father,
and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens
of the valley shall pluck it out, and the
young eagles shall eat it.' I will therefore
close my lecture by repeating a very impor-
tant command, which I hope you will never
forget. Honor thy father and thy mother,
that thy days may be long upon the land
which the Lord thy God giveth thee."'
After Mr. Rogers had finished his ad-
dress, the children examined the pictures
again, but with much greater interest than
they had at first. They asked a number
of questions about the different kinds, all
of which were cheerfully answered. The
conversation was kept up until it was time
for the little visitors to return home. When
they separated from their companions, they
expressed themselves as delighted with that
novel way of spending the evening, and
hoped that before long Mr. Rogers would
give another parlor lecture.
STORIES ABOUT BIRDS.
THE next day the conversation of the
children with their father, was about the
feathered tribes. They had been so highly
interested in the last evening's lecture, that
they wanted their father to relate to them
stories of other birds.
"Are not birds heavy asked William.
"Ha, ha, ha! I guess you would have
thought so if you had tried to lift that tur-
key we had for dinner last Thanksgiving,"
"If that question pleases you so much, I
will ask another:-if birds are heavy, how
is it that they can fly so high in the air?"
Robert did not laugh at that; it was a
question that he had never thought of.
"Pa, can you tell how it is that birds
68 THB YOUNG OBSUV8IS.
"Yes, my son; it is because their whole
animal structure is peculiarly fitted for that
motion. In the first place, their bones con-
sist of a very strong and light material, and
are all hollow. If their bones were heavy
and solid, it would be much more difficult
for them to rise in the air. The same is
true of that part of their feathers which is
inserted in the flesh,-the quill part. It is,
as you have often seen, strong, light and
hollow. Their wings, in proportion to the
size of the bird, are very strong. A bird
that would weigh only as much as Emily,
has a wing more powerful than a man's
arm. Birds that do not weigh near as
much as a man, are able with one stroke
of their wing to break a man's arm, or by
striking him on the head, to kill him. This
great degree of muscular power was neces-
sary to enable them to support themselves
in the air. If it were possible for a man to
attach to his shoulders the wings of an
eagle, he would be unable to fly, because he
would not have sufficient strength in his
arms to use those wings. An eagle has
much more strength in his wings than a
STOmUI AfBOUr 1M.
man has in his arms. This is true of many
other large birds. Besides this, the feathers
of a bird are wonderfully adapted to the
purposes for which they are used, and they
are arranged upon the bird in just that
manner as furnishes it the greatest assist-
ance in flying. Suppose that all the feath-
ers were placed in the bird in an opposite
direction from what they are; that is, sup-
pose that the feathered parts all pointed
towards the head instead of the tail"-
"That would be funny enough," inter-
"Not merely funny," replied his father;
"it would be very awkward; for how could
the bird then fly? all his feathers would be
blown back. Now, as all birds have their
feathers arranged in the manner best adapted
to their respective modes of flight, and as
this could not have happened by chance, it
proves to us the existence of a Designer,
who is both wise and good. This De-
signer is God.
Birds have different modes of flying. I
was much interested in perusing a descrip-
tion of their various modes of passing
TEE TOMs" ouSVUs.
through the air in my History of Birds, and
as I am tired of talking, you may, if you
choose, William, get it from the book-case
and read it."
William immediately got the volume and
read as follows:-
"Kites and buzzards sail round in circles,
with wings expanded and motionless, and
it is from their gliding manner that the
former are still called, in the north of Eng-
land, gleads, from the Saxon word glidan,
to glide. The kestrel, or wind-hover, has a
peculiar mode of hanging in the air in one
place, his wings all the while being briskly
agitated. Hen harriers fly low over heaths
or fields of corn, beat the ground regularly
like a pointer, or setting dog. Owls move
in a buoyant manner, as if lighter than air;
they seem to want ballast. There is a pe-
culiarity belonging to the ravens, that must
draw the attention even of the most incuri-
ous-they spend all their leisure time in
striking and cuffing each other on the wing,
in a kind of playful skirmish; and when
they move from one place to another, ft.-
quently turn on their backs with a loud croak,
8?0335 305 BMWn.
and seem to be falling to the ground. When
this odd gesture betides them, they are
scratching themselves with one foot, and
thus lose the centre of gravity. Rooks
sometimes dive and tumble in a frolicsome
manner; crows and daws swagger in their
walk; woodpeckers fly, opening and closing
their wings at every stroke, and so are
always rising or falling in curves. All of
this genus use their tails, which incline
downwards, as a support while they run up
trees. Parrots, like all other hooked-clawed
birds, walk awkwardly, and make use of
their bills as a third foot, climbing and de-
scending with ridiculous caution. Magpies
and jays flutter with powerless wings and
make no despatch; Herons seem encum-
bered with too much sail for their light
bodies; but these vast hollow wings are
necessary in carrying burdens, such as
large fishes and the like. Pigeons, and
particularly the kind called smiters, have a
way of clashing their wings the one against
the other, over their backs, with a loud
snap; another variety, called tumblers, turn
themselves over in the air. The kingfisher
72 TESK tOUNG OMUIVIs.
darts along like an arrow; fern-owls, or
goat-suckers, glance in the dusk over the
tops of the trees like a meteor; starling, as
it were, swim along; while missel thrushes
use a wild and desultory flight; swallows
sweep over the surface of the ground
and water, and distinguish themselves by
rapid turns and quick evolutions; swifts
dash round in circles; and the bank-martin
moves with frequent vacillations, like a but-
terfly. Most of the small birds fly by jerks,
rising and falling as they advance. Sky-
larks rise and fall perpendicularly as they
sing; wood-larks hang poised in the air;
and titlarks rise and fall in large curves,
singing in their descent. The white-throat
uses odd jerks and gesticulations, over the
tops of hedges and bushes. All .te duck
kind waddle; divers and auks walk as if
fettered, and stand erect on their tails.
Geese and cranes, and most wild fowls,
move in figured flights, often changing their
position. Dab-chicks, moor-hens and coots
fly erect, with their heads hanging down,
and hardly make any despatch."
"You see, then," said Mr. Rogers, whea
STOaInS ABOUT AmMN.
William paused, "that the flight of birds is
very various. A good ornithologist can tell
to what genus, or family, many birds belong
by their manner of flying."
"Ornithologist!" said Robert; "what is
"An ornithologist is one who has made
the structure and habits of birds his study,
until he has become well acquainted with
"I knew a gentleman who said he could
tell the names of different kinds of butter-
flies from simply observing their manner of
"' Pa, can you not tell us some more sto-
ries about birds?" asked Robert.
Yes, my son; for the history of birds is
full of anecdotes of the most entertaining
character. Frequently is it the case that
birds exhibit a high degree of sagacity.
This is particularly true in the efforts which
they make for the protection of their young.
A willow-wren built her nest in a bank, and
when the time came for her to sit upon her
eggs, she was carefully watched by some
gentlemen. She seemed to eye these ob-
VOL. III. 7
It Trut Youxe osUavns.
servers with some degree of suspicion.
After some days had passed away, the gen-
tlemen were desirous of learning how her
brood came on. They went to the spot,
but, behold! no nest was there. They did
not know what to make of it, until one of
them happened to take up a bunch of long,
green moss, and lo! under that was the nest.
The little bird had covered its nest with
this moss in order to prevent it from being
That was a cunning little fellow," said
"In addition to exhibiting sagacity, pa-
rent birds sometimes undergo a great de-
gree of inconvenience for their young. A
pair of birds, called fly-catchers, built their
nest one year, on a bough of a vine which
was not protected by any shade. When
their eggs were hatched, a hot, sunny
season approached, which was so oppres-
sive that the young birds must have per-
ished if the parents had not devised an
expedient to prevent such a catastrophe."
"What did they do?"
"Their strong attachment to their young
tOsns ADmoT asw.
prompted them to hover over their nest aB
the hottest hours of the day, whilst, with
out-stretched wings, and panting for breath,
they screened their little ones from the
burning rays of the sun. It must have
been extremely tiresome."
"Do birds ever relieve or assist others
beside their young?"
"Yes. The following very interesting
instance is related by Lord Brougham.
"'A swallow had slipped its foot into the
noose of a cord attached to a spout at Paris,
and by its efforts to escape, had drawn the
After its strength was exhausted in vain
attempts to fly, it uttered piteous cries,
which drew around it a vast number of
swallows from a large basin that was near.
After crowding and apparently consulting
together for a short time, one of them
darted at the string and struck at it with
his beak as he passed it; others followed in
quick succession, and struck at the same
part After continuing this operation for
about half an hour, they succeeded in
TUES YOUNG OBREETERS.
breaking the string, and liberating their
"Oh, how I should like to have seen
them," said William.
"And you should desire to imitate them,
my son; for they furnish a most beautiful
example of kindness to the unfortunate.
Whenever you see any being in distress,
cherish feelings of sympathy, and offer as-
sistance. Like these swallows, endeavor to
sever the cord-to remove the evil. Where
we cannot entirely remove an evil, we may
do much towards relieving its severity-we
may lighten the load, and render it easier
to be borne. Remember the language of
Scripture-' Bear ye one another's burthens,
and so fulfil the law of Christ.'
"In contrast with these swallows, I will
now relate to you the conduct of some oth-
ers, of an opposite character.
"A pair of swallows built their nest
against one of the first floor windows of an
unoccupied house in Dublin. A sparrow,
however, took possession of it, and the
swallows were frequently seen hanging to
the nest, and making efforts to enter the
STORIES ABOUT BIRDS.
abode which they had constructed with w
much toil. In every instance, however,
they were defeated by the sparrow. The
swallows being disheartened at their ill
success, took to flight, but soon returned,
bringing with them a number of others,
each of them having a lump of dirt in its
bill. With these pieces of dirt they stopped
up the hole or entrance to the nest, and
thus sealed the sparrow in total darkness.
Some time afterwards the nest was taken
down and shown to a number of persons,
with the dead sparrow in it!"
"Is that story true, pa? for I can scarcely
I do not wonder, my son, for it presents
several remarkable features. It exhibits a
degree of reasoning and contrivance very
surprising. .They seem to have possessed the
power of making known their trouble to other
swallows at a distance, of informing them
how to remove it, and then of influencing
them to assist in the undertaking. There
appears to have been a concerted action;-
an understanding between them as to what
each should do. I do not wonder that you
7 THS YTOUNG OBSBRTvRs.
hesitate to believe so marvellous a story.
I became acquainted with it in Jessie's
Gleanings in Natural History. He says, I
received it from a person on whose veracity
I can place the most perfect reliance, and
who himself witnessed the whole of the pro-
ceeding.' And he adds: 'I am as much
convinced of its truth, as if it had been wit-
nessed by all the world.'"
Had the sparrow any right to the
nest?" asked Emily.
"Certainly not. It was the work of the
swallows, and they ought to have been
allowed to occupy it. That sparrow acted
as many men do. The strong oppress the
weak. A powerful nation sometimes makes
war upon a weaker, and wrongfully wrests
from them their dominions. The strong
and wealthy sometimes oppress the poor."
"Just as a great boy will sometimes take
advantage of a small one, I suppose," said
William, and take from him his play-
"Precisely so. Now this is wrong. We
ought to allow every person quietly to
enjoy the possession of his own property.
STOlIl S ABOUT RD.IB
We ought to do to others, as we would
have others do to us. Yet, when we are
robbed as these swallows were, we ought
not to seek the death of him who injures us.
We may endeavor to regain our property,
and to bring the robber to justice, but we
have no right to rise upon him, and under
excited, revengeful feelings, labor for his
destruction. In our efforts to have justice
done, our object should be to reform the
offender, and to deter others from imitating
But before closing our present conversa-
tion, I want to relate to you another fact
illustrative of the kindness of birds long after
they are supposed to be indifferent to their
"A pair of sparrows which had built
their nest in the thatch roof of a house, and
had there raised their little family, were
seen to make regular visits to the nest long
after the time when the young birds are ac-
customed to take to flight. These unusual
visits continued through the year. In the
winter, a gentleman who had observed
them, was impelled by curiosity to aser-
80 THE YOUNG OBsanVRs.
tain the cause. He therefore obtained a
ladder and ascended to the nest. The
mystery was at once unravelled. One of
the young birds had accidentally twisted a
piece of string round its leg, which had
been used in the construction of the nest.
It was therefore a prisoner. Being, in this
manner, rendered unable to provide its own
food, it had been regularly fed by the con-
stant exertions of its parents."
What, did they keep carrying food up
to it regularly all that time ?"
"They did. If it had not been for their
continued attentions, the little prisoner
would have starved to death. I have
heard of other instances of a similar char-
acter, where young birds had been caught
and confined in a cage, and the old birds
would feed them through the wires.
When birds have been brought up in a
cage and are afterwards set at liberty, they
sometimes return to the place of their old
imprisonment. A story is told of a lark
which had been brought up in a cage till it
was able to fly, and then it was liberated,
and some young goldfinches were put in the
STORIES ABOUT BIDS. 81
cage in its place. But the lark returned,
and was allowed to renter the cage with
the goldfinches. They were young and
tender; but the lark, instead of taking ad-
vantage of their weakness, and pecking at
them with her bill, or beating them with
her wings, not only brooded over them, but
also fed them. She treated them with the
tenderness of a mother."
VOL. II. 8
THE STORMY PETEREL.
A FEW days after the above conversation,
William told his father that James Reynolds
had just returned from sea, and had been
telling them some strange stories about birds
which he had seen several hundred miles
from land. "Do you believe that birds
can fly so far?"
"What did he call them V"
"He said they were devil's birds or Mo-
ther Cary's chickens, and always brought
a storm with them. Some sailors, he said,
were always sorry to see them, and they
could run on the water like a dog upon the
I know the bird It is called the stormy
"Why is that name given to it "
"Do you know what disciple it was that
TEN STORMY PFlEI
attempted to walk upon the water to the
Saviour 7"asked his father.
"Yes, sir. It was Peter."
"This bird, Mr. Buffon states, is called
peterel because, like Peter, it walks upon
"Why does it not sink, as Peter did 7"
"Because it has flat, web-feet, and when
standing or running upon the water, its
light body receives considerable support
from its expanded wings, which it keeps in
motion, just enough to prevent its feet from
sinking into the water. Mr. Wilson says
of these birds: It is, indeed, an interesting
sight to observe them in a gale, coursing
over the waves, down the declivities, up the
ascents of the foaming surf that threatens
to burst over their heads, sweeping along
the hollow troughs of the sea, as in a
sheltered valley, and again mounting with
the rising billow, and just above its surface
occasionally dropping its feet, which, strik-
ing the water, throws it up again with ad-
ditional force; sometimes leaping with both
legs parallel, on the surface of the roughest
waves, for several yards at a time.' It is
si Tmn VWH OmURna1.
called the tormy peterel, because they lock,
in large numbers, around vessels just before,
or during the continuance of a gale, and are
then unusually active in picking up various
articles from the surface of the water. Nu-
merous other birds have a presentiment of
a change of weather. By some mysterious
instinct, they can tell when a storm is ap-
"Mr. Wilson says, that 'the woodpeckers,
the snow-birds, the swallows, are all ob-
served to be uncommonly busy before a
storm, searching for food with great eager-
ness, as if anxious to provide for the priva-
tions of the coming tempest. The common
duck and the geese are infallibly noisy and
tumultuous before falling weather: The
intelligent and observing farmer remarks
this bustle, and wisely prepares for the
issue. And why should not those who nav-
igate the ocean, contemplate the appearance
of this little peterel in like manner, instead
of eyeing it with hatred and execration?
As well might they curse the midnight
light-house, that, star-like, guides them on
their watery way, or the buoy, that warns
Tft STORMY WlRuM.
them of the sunken rocks below, as this
harmless wanderer, whose manner informs
them of the approach of a storm.'"
"I was reading about that bird," said
Robert,, "in Mary Howett's Poems, the
other day. I was not much pleased with it
then, because I knew nothing about the
bird; but after your account of it, I think I
shall be much interested in the poem."
You had better get the book and read it
again. I think we shall all be pleased to
hear it now."
Robert got a miniature volume of How-
ett's Poems from the centre-table and read
THE STORMY PETEREL.
"0, stormy, stormy peterel,
Come rest thee, bird, awhile;
There is no storm, believe me,
Anigh this summer isle.
'Come, rest thy waving pinions;
Alight thee down by me;
And tell me somewhat of the lore
Thou learnest on the sea
1* THS YTOW OMUUVR.
"Dost hear beneath the ocean
The gathering tempest form?
See'st thou afar the little cloud
That grows into the storm?
"How is it in the billowy depths-
Doth sea-weed heave and swell?
And is a sound of coming woe
Rung from each caverned shell I
"Dost watch the stormy sunset
In tempests of the west ?
And see the old moon riding slow,
With the new moon on her breast.
"Dost mark the billows heaving
Before the coming gale;
And scream for joy of every sound
That turns the seaman pale 1
"Are gusty tempests mirth to thee I
Lov'st thou the lightning's flash;
The booming of the mountain waves-
The thunder's deafening crash I
"O, stormy, stormy peterel,
Thou art a bird of woe!
Yet, would I thou could'st tell me half
Of the misery thou dost know.
SThere was a ship went down last night -
A good ship and a fair;
A costly freight within her lay,
And many a soul was there!
Ta STORMY rTlrL..
"The night-black storm wasover her,
And neathh the caverned wave,
In all her strength she perished,
Nor skill of man could save.
"The cry of her great agony
Went upward to the sky;
She perished in her strength and pride,
Nor human aid was nigh.
"But thou, 0 stormy peterel,
Went'st screaming o'er the foam ;-
Are there no tidings from that ship,
Which thou can't carry home I
Yes! He who raised the tempest up,
Sustained each drooping one;
And God was present in the storm,
Though human aid was none!"
After Robert had finished reading the
poetry, their father told them that these
birds were known to follow vessels at sea,
day after day, for a week or more in suc-
cession, flying all day long without once
lighting upon the rigging.
"How can it be told that they are the
same birds which are seen every day I"
"A gentleman at sea, after having killed
several of these birds, fired again, and broke
a quill feather in both wings of another;
08 T33 YOUNG U03133733.
and this wounded peterel, with the two
broken feathers hanging down very con-
spicuously under the wings, continued to
fly after the vessel for nearly'a week, during
which time it sailed more than four hun-
dred miles to the north."
"Are they good to eat?"
"They are not very palatable, because
their flesh is rank and disagreeable. But
though they are not suitable for food, they
are used for other purposes.
"Sometimes they are very fat, and then
it is said, the inhabitants of the Feroe Isles
use them as candles. They draw a wick
through the body, which being lighted, the
flame is fed by the fat and oil of the bird.
"I have often thought, my children, that
the peterel was a beautiful emblem of the
Christian. When afflictions gather around
him like dark and heavy clouds, when they
beat upon him like a violent tempest, then,
upon the wings of faith, can he rise safely
above them, like the storm bird soaring
unharmed above the foaming billows. And
as the peterel developed its greatest agility
and strength when the gale rages most so
THB 8TORMY IPBTBRL.
verely, so the Christian exhibits the highest
traits of religious character, when enduring
his most painful trials. He is also a light
in the world, and as such, is required to
have his lamp trimmed and burning. As
that beautiful hymn of Dr. Doddridge says,
"' Ye servants of the Lord,
Each in his office wait;
With joy obey his heavenly word,
And watch before his gate.
"' Let all your lamps be bright,
And trim the golden flame;
Gird up your loins as in his sight,
For awful is his name.'
"When our Saviour was on earth,'
continued Mr. Rogers, he was accustomed
to illustrate religious truth by various natu-
ral objects. Sometimes he referred to the
sky, to water, to storms, to seed, trees,
vines, flowers, and also to birds. He has
told us that birds neither sow nor reap, they
neither have store-house nor barn, yet God
feedeth them, and he then asks, 'How much
more are ye better than the fowls?' He
eaches us that though the feathered tribes
90 THI TOUNo OBSUVeUS
have not foresight suffcient to induce them
to provide food for the future, yet their ne-
cessities are abundantly provided for by
"How, pa?" asked little Emily.
"Why, in the first place, God has given
to birds a great variety of tastes; that is, he
has made one species of birds love one kind
of article for food, and another species of
birds love another article, and then he has
provided, in great abundance, all the differ-
ent kinds of food which the numerous
species of birds desire. Some birds love
cherries, others cedar-berries, and others
seeds. Some are fond of insects, others
relish fish, and others delight in flesh. All
these different kinds of food are plentifully
provided. For the Creator, although he is
highly exalted above all earthly things, yet
he is not unmindful of the lowest creature
that he has made. He provides for the
stormy peterel, the soaring eagle, and the
The other idea conveyed by the Saviour,
i, that if God provides for these lower orea
tures, he will also provide for man. We
TUB STORMY MPTEIU.
are of more value in his sight; we belong t
a higher grade of beings than the birds; he
will not, therefore, carefully supply their
wants, and entirely neglect ours. We
should not, then, be over anxious about the
future. We should attend faithfully to our
duties, with full confidence that God will do
for us what is best"
And the Saviour says, also, that a spar-
row cannot fall to the ground without our
heavenly Father's notice."
"True, my child; and you recollect he
adds, that the very hairs of our head are all
numbered. He teaches us that the watch-
ful providence of God extends to the small-
est objects. No event, how apparently in-
significant, can occur without his agency or
permission. There are no accidents. No-
thing happens by chance. When storms,
earthquakes or pestilences prevail, we know
that God sends them, because he has su-
preme control of all the elements of nature.
But God has also control of all the other
events of life. At one time the boiler of a
steam-boat bursts, and hundreds find theis
graves in the great deep; at another time a
9B THB YOUNG OWlVKRBS.
horse runs away, upsets a chaise, and breaks
a man's arm; at another time a bee stings a
child, or a mosquito bites him;-but each of
these events is as much under the control of
Divine Providence as the earthquake or the
tempest. He guides the motions of an atom
in the sunbeam, as really as he does the
planets in their orbits through the skies.
"Remember, then, my children, that
whenever anything befalls you, whether it
be losses, sickness, or sudden calamities, it
is not an accident, but a providence. God
sent it upon you for your best good. In-
stead, therefore, of repining under it, you
should be anxious to learn the lesson which
your heavenly Father intends to teach you.
You will then be made wiser and better for
the things that you suffer."
They were now interrupted by papers
being brought from the post-office. Some
of these were devoted to the different de-
partments of Natural History.
Mr. Rogers opened them, and interested
his family by reading the following inci-
A VERY sENSIBLE Doe.-We tell so many
dog stories, that we have some fear that we
may run the thing into the ground," as the
saying is; but the fine Newfoundland dog
of a gentleman who stopped at one of our
hotels not long ago, was a sensible one, and
we venture him in print. One morning his
master offered him some brandy toddy.
Lion was young and inexperienced and
confiding. It was his first temptation; and,
like many a silly young man, he yielded.
The result was, that he became much ex-
cited, and performed various undogly antics,
peculiar to those in that state. The next
day the temptation was renewed. Lion
put his paw languidly up to his head, as
much as to say, Excuse me, if you please,
the brandy I drank yesterday gave me the
SINGULAR ANECDOTE OF A PARROT.-A
Quaker lady in England had a little ser-
vant girl, whom she frequently called into
the parlor to instruct her in reading, and as
she had a low mumbling voice, her mistress
had frequent occasion to reprove her, telling
94 TEE YroUN OUaITIas.
her to speak up-can if thee will-mutter,
mutter, mutter, mutter." A favorite parrot
which was caged in the parlor, from the
frequent reiteration, learned to reprove ver-
batim. It happened that a ministering
friend, in his travels, visited this family,
and they had what is called a family sitting,
in which the friend felt a concern to speak;
and beginning in rather a low voice, the
parrot sung out, "Speak up-can if thee
will-mutter,, mutter, mutter, mutter."
The preacher raised his voice a little. But
presently he heard the same command,
"Speak up-can if thee will-mutter, mut-
ter, mutter, mutter;" and the reproof was
repeated till the preacher found that nothing
but the audibility of his voice would silence
the pert reprover. It is needless to state
that Poll was never after permitted to be
present during a family sitting.
CURIOUS CIRCUMSTANCE.-An extraordinary
instance of maternal affection in a cat, oc-
curred at Coupland, near Wooler a short
time ago. A cat belonging to Mr. Scott,
gardener, Coupland Castle, had a number
of kittens, which were all taken from her
except two. For some time she appeared to
mourn her loss, and became quite restless,
and left the house, as was supposed, in
search of her offspring, but she soon re-
turned, carrying in her mouth a rabbit, not
many days old. This she placed beside
her two kittens, and again went out, re-
turning shortly, with a rabbit of the same
age. These creatures she continued to
nurse with the greatest care and tenderness,
along with her own offspring for nearly two
months, when they became so troublesome
to the family by their unruly sports and
gambols, both by night and day, that they
were, in consequence, all taken to an out-
house. Pussy, however, again made her
appearance, bringing her adopted little ones
with her, leaving her own offspring in the
shed, and paying them only occasional
visits, her chief delight obviously being in
playing antics with, and in watching over
her two fondlings.
My young readers, allow me, in closing
this little volume, to advise you to imitate
96 TNE YOUNG 0383VUIS.
the example of the children of Mr. Rogers.
Wherever you go, keep your eyes and your
ears open. Formthabits of observation. Pay
particular attention to things which you see
for the first time. Remember that beasts,
birds, fishes, insects that live in the air,
or swim in the water, with plants and trees,
may all furnish you with profitable instruc-
Cultivate habits of reflection. When
you see or hear something new, do not
allow it to pass immediately from your
minds. Think about it. Do as Mr. Rogers
advised his children. "Ask, what is its
cause? What is its probable design Does
it furnish any proof of the wisdom and
goodness, or power of the Creator? "
When you make discoveries of things,
the causes of which you are unable to ex-
plain, take a suitable opportunity to ask for
information. Never be afraid of exposing
your ignorance by such questions. A few
appropriate inquiries will sometimes elicit
much useful knowledge. In this manner you
also may become "Young Observers," and
may learn many things without books."