DESCRIPTIONS BY MRS. tR LEE,
AUTHOR OF "THE AFRICAN WANDERERS," "ADVENTURES IN AUSTRALIA,"
ANECDOTES OF ANIMALS," ETC.
DRAWINGS BY HARRISON WEIR.
GRANT AND GRIFFITH,
(SUCCESSORS TO NEWBERY AND HARRIS,)
CORNER OF ST. PAUL'S CHURCHYARD.
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PRINTED BY ROBSON, LEVEY, AND FRANKLIN,
Great New Street and Fetter Lane.
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1. The Giraffe.
2. The Hippopotamus.
3. The Tiger.
4. The Rhinoceros.
5. The Camel.
6. The Kangaroo.
S7 The Monkey.
8. The Elephant.
9. The Lion.
10. The Bear (Brown).
11. The Rein-Deer.
12. The Wolf.
13. The Beaver.
14. The Sloth.
15. The Squirrel.
16. The Otter.
17. The Hare.
18. The Goat.
19. The Fox.
20. The Rabbit.
21. The Weasel.
22. The Dog.
23. The Cat.
24. The Horse.
25. The Cow.
26. The Sheep.
27. The Ass.
28. The Pig.
29. The Turkey.
30. The Duck.
31. The Fowl.
32. The Swan.
33. The Goose.
34. The Pigeon.
35. The Pheasant.
36. The Humming-Bird.
37. The Stork.
38. The Lyre-Bird.
39. The Pelican.
40. The Parrot.
41. The Eagle.
42. The Ostrich.
THE very singular proportions of giraffes make them,
in some respects, very awkward animals, while their
beautiful head, their long, slender neck, their sharp-
pointed ears, at times render them very graceful.
It is when carrying that head high, keeping the
neck upright, and wal ng slowly, that they are
most attractive; and the moment they bend that
neck, or increase their pace, they lose their claims
to elegance. It is usually said that their fore legs
are much longer than those behind, and that this
causes the immense slope of the back; but it is in
the shoulders that the disproportion lies; and these
rise so high, that they throw the rest of the frame
into a position different to that of other animals.
The head has two soft horns, which never seem
to be used for fighting; the eyes are so full and pro-
minent, that giraffes can see to a considerable dis-
tance behind them; and when we say that a male
giraffe has been killed which measured twenty-one
feet, and that they are generally from sixteen to
eighteen feet high, we may suppose that they have
the power of seeing far.
The tongue is black, and so long and flexible,
that they twist it round the branch of a tree, and
pull it towards them when they wish to eat its
leaves; for they feed upon trees.
It is difficult for giraffes to take any thing from
the ground; but when they do, or when they drink,
which is but seldom, they are obliged to stretch
their fore legs wide apart, and make a stiff angle
with the neck from the shoulders, for they cannot
arch it; also when they gallop, there is a very
uncouth movement: from the shortness of the back
the hind legs come one on each side, and beyond
the fore legs; they, however, are very swift, and it
requires a fast and untiring horse to overtake them.
Their greatest enemy is the lion, who springs upon
them, and then the frightened creature runs away;
but, unable to shake off his destroyer, he at last
sinks and dies. Their coats are very silky, are of
a pale fawn colour, in some parts approaching to
white, and are marked with closely set and large
square spots of a darker hue. Their disposition is
gentle and affectionate.
or six minutes in the water without coming to the
surface to breathe: they walk at the bottom, and
look very formidable; for if a boat should happen
to touch or to alarm them, they attack it with great
fury, tear it to pieces with their teeth, and would
do the same with the crew if they could. They are,
however, cautious and inoffensive, generally speak-
ing, and are very good friends with crocodiles,
although the contrary has been reported. Their
food is entirely vegetable matter.
CIIRIILI-.I- U~1~~W_ .
PERHAPS the most graceful of all animals are tigers,
and we may see miniature representations of their
movements in young cats. They have all the strength
of the lion, but have greater suppleness and length
in their body. They have equally formidable claws
and teeth, their fore paws are equally strong, their
tail is longer, and has no tuft at the end; and, take
them altogether, they are more destructive than
lions, for they are cunning and stelthy, prowl by
day as well as night, and secretly follow a party of
men, single out a victim, and drag him away before
any one is aware of their presence.
Tigers have been often tamed, and have evinced
great attachment to their owners and keepers; but
we should be afraid to trust such bloodthirsty, sly
animals, who spare neither friend nor foe when en-
raged, or when once they have tasted human blood.
The colour of tigers is tawny or orange-yellow,
fading into white, on the under parts of the body,
with broad black stripes, which become rings on the
tail. They are entirely confined to the continent of
Asia; those which are called tigers in Africa being
leopards or panthers.
A tiger-hunt is, in India, reckoned capital sport;
horses, however, will seldom or ever stand them, and
it is on the elephant that the hunters ride. The
tigers try to rush upon these animals in front, or on
the side, and tear their trunk, which is very sensi-
tive. The elephant is often alarmed by the sudden
spring, becomes disobedient and uncontrollable, and
then terrible accidents ensue.
Tigers always try to make their escape from an
open attack, and are nervous animals, easily startled
in the first instance, and driven away by a sudden
noise or surprise.
THIS strange, unshapely animal is a native of Africa,
the continent of India, and the islands of Java and
Sumatra, where it presents different species, varies in
size, colour, disposition, and some other characters.
It roams through these lands by the side of the most
fearful beasts, and is not behind them in the means
of offence and defence. The enormous thickness of
his skin, which in the Indian species lies in folds
upon his body; the great size of this body, project-
ing on each side; his short, but exceedingly thick
legs,-seem to say that nothing can resist his pon-
derous force. The one or two horns make him a
match for all but man, who, according to the power
given to him, subdues all creatures to his purposes.
The toes are encased in hoofs; the neck is thick and
short; the upper lip is so flexible, that it can be
pushed out, and serve for laying hold of objects
which it is desirable to grasp; and the nose is so
formed, that it not only supports the one or two
horns growing upon it, but can withstand the power-
ful shock which their owner must receive each time
he uses these weapons. The horns are conical, and
are solid masses of hair glued together, resembling
whalebone. A certain motion can be given to them,
for by drawing down the upper lip, they can be
directed forwards when the rhinoceros is making an
attack. They are sometimes fashioned into cups,
and in India are said to shew when poison is put
into them, by causing the pernicious liquor to effer-
vesce. In Africa the poison is said to turn the
light parts black.
The large stride of the rhinoceros gives him a
swiftness which he could not, with his formation,
otherwise possess, and his course is every where
marked by the breaking down and crushing of all
that opposes his progress. Generally speaking, his
habits are sluggish, and he delights in marshes and
swampy woods, where he lies half in and half out of
the water, expressing his satisfaction with a grunt;
but his hearing, and the sight of his small eyes are
so sharp, that it is difficult to take him by surprise.
The dark African species is often very savage
and mischievous, but the white one is said to be
much more gentle.
CAMELS form one of the great blessings of the
eastern world; for they are the principal, and in
some places the only, beasts of burden by which
men can transport themselves and their merchandise
to and from countries divided from each other by
sandy deserts. They are not handsome animals:
they are tall; their legs are bony; their thick, upper
lip is deeply divided; they have a patient look; long
eyelashes protect their eyes; their nostrils are like
slits, so that as little sand as possible may be ad-
mitted; their feet are wide, and are provided under-
neath with large, thick pads, or cushions, which
spread even beyond the feet as they tread upon the
ground; and their hoofs are small. They are often
covered with irregular patches of shabby hair, and
their knees are provided with callous pads, to protect
them when they kneel down to be loaded or mounted.
There are two kinds of camels,-the Arabian,
with one hump on the back, and the Bactrian, with
two. The first is often called the dromedary; but
some say this name more properly belongs to a
smaller and swifter variety. At all events, the
one-humped camel is smaller and fleeter than the
other, and is a native of Arabia, whence it spreads
over those parts of Africa which lie to the north of
the equator, Arabia, Syria, Persia, and other places.
The Bactrian is more confined to the middle parts
of Asia. All are very intelligent and faithful; but
they know when they have as much as they can
carry upon their backs, which is from five to six
hundred pounds, and will not stir if it be beyond
their strength. They will subsist upon the scantiest
supply of food and water, of the latter of which they
carry a stock in the cells of the stomach.
Gentle and obedient as they are to their masters,
they are very quarrelsome among themselves, and
kick and bite each other with great fury, sometimes
extending it to their owners, if ill treated beyond
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THE RED KANGAROO.
THE animal here represented belongs to an extra-
ordinary race of beings, which, with a very few
exceptions (strayed possibly to the Indian islands),
is only found in the New World, and is more abun-
dant in Australia than elsewhere. They vary much
in the nature of their food; some eating flesh, others
insects, while others again entirely confine them-
selves to vegetable substances; and their teeth are
adapted to these differences. The most remarkable
part of their history is, that the young ones leave
their mother in a very imperfect state, and are
lodged in a pouch, or pocket, in front of her, till
they are able to act with entire independence; so
that as they advance, they may be seen running
out of this pocket to feed, and running back to it
to take shelter when the least cause for alarm is
Our plate is a representation of the red kan-
garoo, the habits of which are of the same nature
as those of all others, of which it is only a variety.
It will be observed that the fore legs are extremely
THE RED KANGAROO.
short, so that they cannot be used for any movement
except a sort of awkward hop while feeding, and
that the principal strength of these animals lies in
their hind legs and tail, which is large and bony,
and serves as another limb. The head is elegantly
formed; their eyes are full and soft in expression,
and they generally hold themselves in an upright
position; their bounds and leaps are enormous; and
when alarmed, they stand on tip-toe, and almost
tip-tail, which raises them to a great height, and
they can then see to a great distance.
The natives in Australia hunt the kangaroos in
various ways; white men make use of guns and
dogs, who, if they attack them in front, are apt to
be ripped open by the powerful nail of the longest
toe on the hind foot; for they get their back against
a tree, and fight bravely. Their fur is soft, they
swim well, and eat herbage. They go about in
parties of seven or eight; and when the natives
make what they call a grand hunt, they by yells
and cries drive several of these parties into the same
plain, and the poor terrified animals become easy
victims to their boomerangs and other weapons.
THE four-handed beings which so nearly resemble
ourselves can scarcely be known from a single repre-
sentation; and all that can be said concerning our
artist's figure is, that it is one of a numerous tribe,
which, in formation, and even in action, presents a
strong similarity to men and women. Some per-
sons dislike them on that account, as if it brought us
too nearly together; but if this feeling do not exist,
nothing is more amusing or more interesting than
to watch them, prompted as they are by the same
motives as those which govern ourselves. They do
not require to be tamed or educated to shew their
capability, and in their wild state they are quite as
clever. To be sure, when in their native woods,
they do not lay the cloth for their dinner, nor do
they use a fork and spoon; but they imitate as much
as they see of the ways of human beings around
them. There are some in the hottest parts of Africa
who, having witnessed the erection of huts by their
neighbours the negroes, pull down trees, and con-
struct the same sort of habitation; they, however,
do not understand that they are to live in it, so they
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mount on to the roof, and there take up their abode.
They see the ivory-traders pick up the large tusks
of ivory which have been shed by the elephants, and
walk away with them; so they also put a tusk upon
their shoulder; but not knowing where to leave it,
they walk about with these heavy things till they
are ready to die from fatigue. Advantage is often
taken of this propensity to imitate; and one of the
modes of catching them, in some places, is to set
several bowls of thick pitch upon the ground, and
then taking a bowl of water for themselves, the
captors wash their hands in it, and carry it away
from the place. Presently the monkeys steal to the
spot, and thinking to wash their hands also, dip
them into the pitch, cannot take them out again,
and are caught while they are struggling to get
The hind feet of all have a thumb instead of a
great toe, and long, grasping fingers, which give
them the name of four-handed, and enable them to
clutch the boughs of the trees which they frequent;
while many have tails which they twist round the
branches for the same purpose, and swing from them,
either to reach what they require, or for sport. They
pelt those who pass their trees, while they are hidden
among the leaves; and those underneath little think
how many pairs of eyes are looking at them. Most
of them walk upon all four limbs, and it is only the
very large ones who move in an upright position;
these frequently have very long arms, which they
can fold completely round their body. They are
subject to the most violent fits of passion, during
which time they are always dangerous enemies,
against whom we ought to be on our guard. In
India, however, the lesser kinds are much loved,
are encouraged to mingle with the inhabitants of
the villages in the most familiar manner; and al-
though they lay their hands on every thing they
can get at, still they are not destroyed.
All monkeys appear to be very much afraid of
the wild beasts which share the forests with them,
so that they no doubt often fall a prey to their
attacks. Between these and the large chimpanzee,
which inhabits the middle and hottest parts of Africa,
a fierce warfare is supposed to be always going on:
one blow of their hand would at any time kill a lion;
but these can spring upon and tear them. They
stand five feet high, and their teeth are quite as for-
midable as those of their adversaries, not only that
they may chew the vegetables on which they live,
but that they may have weapons for fighting. None
of these were ever yet taken alive; and all we know
of them in this country is, what we have been told
by those who have seen them, and what we can
judge by the skulls which have been brought over.
They are the largest in size, and from them, mon-
keys dwindle to that of a young kitten; these lesser
dimensions alone presenting any thing like beauty.
The cries of monkeys vary much: one called the
howling ape makes the woods ring every morning
early with its mournful call; they scream, they give
a kind of bark, they grunt, they squeak, and they
chatter in the most violent manner. The only place
in Europe which is inhabited by them is the rock of
Gibraltar, and these are supposed to have come over
the Straits from Africa. They frequent the tropical
parts of all the other continents, those of America
having some differences which are peculiar to them-
selves. None are found in Australia. They are all
more or less covered with hair, the scarcity lying
generally in front and in their faces; the bare skin
being often coloured of a bright red or blue. Their
fur is never bright, but often of a rich black, yel-
lowish grey, speckled grey and white, and a warm
red-brown. Many have pouches hanging from their
cheeks, which they cram as full as possible, and hold
out their paws for more. Their flesh is white, and
of very delicate flavour.
ELEPHANTS are the largest animals in the world;
have a very thick skin, a very long nose, called a
trunk or proboscis, and two teeth, or tusks, of enor-
mous size, always a little curved, which stick out of
their mouth, and afford us the ivory which is em-
ployed for so many useful and ornamental purposes.
They have also huge grinders, formed of several
fastened together, which, when they are worn out,
are pushed away by new ones coming from behind.
They have small hoofs on their toes, but the skin of
the foot so covers them, that they are not much
seen. There are two sorts of elephants, one of which
comes from India, and the other from Africa; the
greatest height reached by the former is said to be
ten feet; the latter are larger, and we hear of them
as fourteen feet high. Their tusks also are bigger
and heavier, their ivory being of a closer nature; and
they have wide, flapping ears, by which they are
often guided when they are in captivity; a pull of
the ear being enough to make the docile animal
The beauty of elephants lies in their great size,
which gives them a majestic appearance; but they
are not otherwise handsome animals. Their eyes
are very small, though bright; their tail has a few
thick, ugly hairs at the broad end, and the rest
hangs down like a stiff rope. Their legs are thick
and straight, and their feet misshapen. They are
generally of a dark, blackish grey, and only a few
hairs scattered upon them. In India there are some
almost white, which are much prized.
The weight of an elephant's head-although the
large portion of bone which it appears to contain, is
much diminished by several hollows, or cells-is
great; and when to it are added the tusks, it is
evident that a strong neck is required for its support.
Accordingly, the elephant's head looks as if set upon
his shoulders, so little is the neck to be distinguished
in consequence of its thickness. It would be impos-
sible for him to bend it, and therefore he is provided
with his very long nose. In this are two tubes, or
hollows, running up to the nostrils in the skull; and
at the end is a sort of fleshy hook, with which the
animal can pick up small substances, even a six-
pence. The trunk itself is able to wind round large
trees, and pull them down, ,-nd it conveys all the
food of the elephant to his mouth; it is covered with
a skin, which is, in general, full of wrinkles, but
which disappear when it is stretched to its utmost
extent. When the elephant wishes to drink, he dips
his proboscis into the water, sucks up as much as he
requires, and putting the end into his mouth, pours
the liquid down his throat. He can raise or lower
this proboscis as he pleases, and twist it in various
directions, for it is very flexible. He often keeps
water in it for a long time, that he may spirt it all
over any body or thing, in fun or anger, and fre-
quently refreshes his own hide in this manner, for
although so thick, it is very sensitive. It is by
causing the air to rush through the proboscis, that
the elephant makes the loud noise called trumpeting.
Elephants do not arrive at their full growth till
they are twenty-five years old. Their pace is swift,
from the large strides which they take, and they
occasionally rush on at great speed. They were
formerly much used in war, and performed a num-
ber of services; but this has been discontinued, and
they now are only employed for dragging artillery,
tiger-hunting, and in the state-processions of the
Rajahs. They look very grand with all their trap-
pings, which are sometimes very costly; and on their
backs is placed a canopy, called a howdah, in which
the riders sit; the driver is seated upon the neck,
and guides them with a sharp-pointed instrument.
Horses are very often frightened at them, and there-
fore they are not allowed to come to the principal
They are very affectionate towards each other,
and towards those who treat them well; but when
made angry by any ill-treatment, they are often
furious; and as they have very good memories,
they will remember an injury for a long time, and
revenge themselves at a convenient opportunity.
The principal trade in ivory is carried on in
Africa, where the teeth have been known to weigh
three hundred and fifty pounds; so that, if both
tusks are alike, the owner must have walked about
with a constant burden of seven hundred pounds.
The African elephants never have been trained
to service of any kind; but this is not from any
fault of their own, for those kept in our menageries
have been extremely docile and affectionate. In
India one is often to be met with living in the
woods by himself, and is always ill-tempered and
fierce; so that it has been supposed, he has been
turned out of the herd for his wickedness.
THE grandest and one of the most courageous of
all beasts is the lion, and well does he deserve to be
called a king. He cannot, however, be called the
monarch of the forests, because he lives in stony,
rugged plains and jungles. Of late years a species
has been discovered in Guzerat, in India, which has
no mane, or else we might have said that there was
but one species inhabiting the whole of the continent
of Africa, Arabia, India, and other parts of Asia.
Holy Scriptures'tell us that it formerly abounded in
Syria; but none are found there at the present time.
Varieties of shade are met with in different
places, and the beautiful mane which covers the
head and neck of the lion is coloured according to
age. It is yellow when the lion is young, black
when he is of full age, which he attains at five
years, and when he is old it becomes grizzly; the
lioness has not any. The mature age of which we
speak is of long duration, as proved by a lion from
the Gambia, which lived seventy years in the Tower
The tail of the lion is very handsome, has a thick
tuft at the end, and very often there is a claw con'
cealed in the tuft, supposed to be a hardened piece
of skin, or perhaps some of the hairs which have
adhered to each other.
The fore-legs of the lion are much more power-
ful than the hind legs, and with them he seizes his
prey; his long and sharp claws forming the most
terrific weapons. These, however, when not used
are drawn back into a sheath; they never touch the
ground and so get blunted, for there is a beautiful
contrivance in the ligaments which prevents this.
The under part of the foot is furnished with a
cushion, and a smaller one lies under each toe, so
that their step is noiseless. Nothing can exceed
the vigour of their bound when they seize their
prey; and besides their terrible claws, they have
large, sharp teeth, which tear the flesh of their
victims. Their tongue is beset with small, horny
projections, which enable them to lick bones clean.
These prevent them from having an acute taste;
nevertheless they will not eat putrid flesh. Their
long whiskers give them a delicate sense of feeling,
and their smell and hearing are highly developed.
They go forth at night to feed and drink, and sleep
in their lairs by day.
THE BROWN BEAR.
THE hairy, massive-looking animals called bears,
walk firmly upon their feet, setting every part of
them to the ground; have great facility in walking
on their hind-feet only, and climb rocks and trees
wish considerable agility. They have large, thick
limbs, and enormous claws, which serve them for
digging in search of roots. They eat every thing,
and shew a strong preference for honey, with great
sagacity finding out the trees where it has been de-
posited. They live in Europe, Asia, and America,
and many have asserted that they are to be found in
Northern Africa; others, however, choose to doubt
their existence in that continent.
Our artist has represented the species called the
brown bear, which was formerly numerous in Great
Britain, and remained in Scotland longer than else-
where, that country affording it better shelter. It
used to be sent from here to Rome, to take a part
in the shows and combats of wild beasts, so often
exhibited in that city.
The manner in which bears hug their victims to
death with their fore-paws is well known, and they
THE BROWN BEAR.
also tear them with their great claws. They swim
well; and when excited will proceed at a tolerably
rapid pace. Their strength is so great, that they
will carry away dead horses. Their fondness for
their cubs and their defence of them is something
remarkable, even when compared with other animals
who also love their offspring.
Bear's flesh is very good to eat, and their skins
afford valuable furs. They pass the winter in gloomy
caverns, which they have often made for themselves,
or the hollow trunks of enormous trees; and some
say that they remain torpid during the cold months:
this, however, can scarcely be the case, for it is at
this period that the females bring forth their young,
and it is not possible they can pass that long time
entirely without food. They are, however, very thin
when they leave these retreats, and it is known
that they are partly supported by their own fat,
which nourishes them. The sucking of their paws
is an idle tale, as far as regards any degree of sus-
tenance to be derived from them. They do suck
their paws, but for what purpose no one knows, and
the noise and gesture with which they pursue this
occupation is most ludicrous.
IF rein-deer are not the most beautiful of their beau-
tiful race, they are the most useful to man, supply-
ing him with food and clothing, and performing the
part of horses, in climates where no horses will live.
Both males and females have horns, and their muzzle
is covered with hair, which is not the case with other
deer; their heads are large, and not handsomely
shaped; their neck is short and thick, as are their
legs, which wear a misshapen appearance. Their
horns are peculiarly formed, and large in size; a
portion of the branches hangs over their forehead,
and the rest rises to a considerable height back-
wards, and curves upwards. Their feet are so much
divided, that they spread when they are set upon
the ground, and rise up again with a snapping noise.
They become much lighter in colour when winter sets
in, and their fur is extremely close, some long hairs
hanging down over the neck, and the whole affording
such warmth, that a person wrapped up in one of
their skins may defy the cold of the arctic regions.
Rein-deer live in the north of all the countries
which are situated in the frozen zone, and some
~_ _______ __~~_~
frequent the Ural mountains, and go as far south
as those of Caucasus. Three species are supposed
to exist, and they are numerous in America. We
know most of them, however, in Lapland, where
they are a source of wealth and comfort to the inha-
bitants, who frequently boast of large herds of them.
They migrate from place to place in search of food,
or to avoid mosquitoes and gad-flies, which make
their appearance in great numbers during the short
summers of those regions. They chiefly live on
lichens of various kinds, some of which grow on the
soil, and others on trees, from which they hang in
large masses; they also eat the young twigs of trees.
They, however, sometimes die of hunger when the
rigorous climate produces scarcity; and it is of no
use for their masters to lay in a stock of food for the
winter, for they will not eat any thing that is dried.
One singular propensity requires to be mentioned,
which is, their desire to eat the mouse-like animals
called lemmings. They draw sledges weighing, with
their burden, two hundred and seventy pounds, and
go for many hours at the rate of ten miles the hour.
Their flesh is excellent to eat, their tongues are
dainties, their milk is delicious; and, to complete
their good qualities, they are docile and affectionate.
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SAVAGE, bloodthirsty, rapacious, and powerful, there
is no animal more to be feared than the wolf. Strong
and bony in frame, with a bushy tail, sharp muzzle,
and strong teeth, his disposition is easily seen in his
countenance. Yet a wolf-puppy is very pretty, and
if properly reared and tutored, the grown-up animal
is perfectly tame, and shews great attachment.
Besides having a ferocious look, wolves have a
cunning expression when wild; and as they are by
no means swift, when compared with many other
animals, they conquer more by artifice and untiring
perseverance, than by open and rapid pursuit. They
assemble in large packs when pressed by hunger in
the winter, but at other times they are unsociable
in their habits. Their attachment to their young is
very great, and they defend them with a courage
which is only to be overcome by death. They pos-
sess strong powers of smell, and when pursued, rush
along with their tail and head. down, their eyes
glowing like fire; and if at last caught by dogs,
and surrounded by them without a hope of escape,
they assume a more erect bearing, and fight to the
last, biting and tearing with a force which often
kills their adversaries. Their cry is between a bark
and a howl.
Wolves were once very numerous throughout
the British Isles, and nothing but rewards offered
for their heads made any impression on their num-
bers. They are still occasionally found in France,
especially during severe winters; and they are said
even now to be abundant in Poland, where they
have much increased since fire-arms were not per-
mitted to remain in the hands of the peasantry.
They formerly existed in Egypt, and are still com-
mon in parts of Asia. They are numerous in the
northern portions of Europe and America.
Many are the fearful stories told of wolves de-
vouring men, women, and children, seizing them
almost from the doors of their houses; and several
of the old tales are mixed up with spectres and
demons, as if wolves had been connected with super-
natural beings. They have a clever trick in North
America, if they see an animal of any kind near a
precipice or river. They then get between it and
the means of escape, in the form of a semicircle, by
narrowing which they oblige it to fall, and then
they secure it without any difficulty.
BEAVERS are gnawing animals, their front teeth in
each jaw being constructed in such a manner as to
give them the power of wearing away the hardest
woods and bark, so as to convert them into food,
and make them serve for other purposes. Their
lower jaw can only move backwards and forwards,
which motion helps them to work upon their hard
materials. Their tails are flat, covered with scales,
and serve them as a sort of rudder when they
are swimming; and under them lie two bags, or
pockets, which produce a kind of ointment, possess-
ing a strong odour, formerly much used in medi-
cine. They pass the greater part of their lives under
water. Their fur, from its lightness and durability,
used to be in great request for the making of hats,
but many other substances are now preferred to
beaver's hair. They chiefly inhabit North America,
but in former times frequented Wales; and now
they are found in some of the principal rivers of
eastern Europe and the western part of Asia. They
are easily tamed, and in that condition will eat
flesh; their own is of very good flavour.
Besides the manufacture of hats, beavers are
famous for constructing comfortable dwellings with
considerable skill. They choose those parts of rivers
and lakes which are too deep to be frozen at the
bottom; and if at any time they think there is a
likelihood of scarcity of water, they raise a dam of
young trees, mud, and stones, which entirely pre-
vents it from flowing away from the spot they have
selected. The houses are built of the same materials,
which they either carry with their fore-paws, or drag
to the spot with their teeth. The pieces of wood
are laid across each other, and plastered over with
mud and stones, so as to form a dry, substantial
floor; and from this rise the walls, several feet thick,
also plastered over with mud, and all of which are
repaired every year. There are often several com-
partments in these houses, in each of which pne
family takes up its abode, but which have no com-
munication except by water, by which way the bea-
vers go out and come in. Near the entrance of the
hut is laid the winter-store of provision, consisting of
wood and bark, each layer of which is kept fast by
means of stones. In these dwellings they pass the
severe weather; but they have other places of refuge
in case their houses should be attacked, which are
numerous holes, deep under water, in the neighbour-
ing banks. During the summer they roam about at
pleasure; but their movements on land are awkward.
THE singular animals called sloths afford another in-
stance of the beautiful manner in which an all-wise
Providence adapts His creatures to the purposes for
which He intended them. They are intended to live
entirely on trees, and they are accordingly formed
for that life, and no other. They have no teeth in
the front of their jaws; their toes are joined together
by the skin; and the only way by which the feet
are seen to be divided is by an enormous nail, which
proceeds from the end of each toe. These powerful
nails bend towards the sole of the foot when the
animal is at rest, and in time even the bones grow
together, and each foot forms a large and powerful
hook. Their fore-legs are much longer than those
behind, so that, if by any chance they should be
forced to crawl upon the ground, they drag them-
selves upon their elbows; they, however, never do
crawl if they can help it, and remain upon a tree
till they have devoured all its foliage. Their young
ones cling to the mother from the moment of their
birth till they are able to be independent of her,
accompanying her every where in her slow progress.
-L .-. .
Their long hair often looks like faded grass hanging
all over them; and when they sleep, they roll them-
selves into a ball, and hide their faces in it, to pro-
tect themselves from innumerable insects.
The strength which lies in the fore-paws of sloths
is immense, and they have been known to strangle
a dog when holding him at arm's length. They
grapple with large snakes in the same manner, and
with the same success. They seldom drink; and
their cry is melancholy, very like a human being in
distress. They inhabit the warmer parts of the
SQUIRRELS are beautiful little animals, with their
long fur, their pretty shape, their bright, quick eyes,
pointed ears, and bushy tail, the hair of which spreads
out on each side like a feather. This tail is most
important to them, for it helps to sustain and guide
them when they take the enormous leaps for which
they are famous. They belong to a set of animals
which all gnaw their food, and for which action
their front teeth are peculiarly adapted, as they
grow at the bottom, and as fast as the tops are
worn off, the teeth are pushed up by the new mat-
ter which is formed at the under part. Their jaws,
too, only move backwards and forwards, and not
from side to side; a faculty which also suits their
mode of eating. Some can convey their food to
their mouths with their fore-paws as cleverly as
monkeys do. Among these are squirrels who may
be seen holding the nuts of which they are so fond.
They live principally in trees, and look very pretty
as they go from branch to branch. Should they
ever be surprised on the ground, they climb a tree
with lightning-like rapidity.
All keepers of squirrels find them very docile
and affectionate; and they live all over the world,
except Australia, and lay up stores for a winter
season, if it exist in the climate which they inhabit.
The American squirrels go from one country
to another in numbers, over mountains and rivers,
sometimes doing great damage to young crops.
Their worst enemy is a species of hawk, in avoid-
ing which they shew great activity. Flying squir-
rels are so called, because there is a fold of skin,
covered with hair, which extends from the fore to
the hind legs, and which sustains them in the air
for the purpose of leaping to a great distance; but
they do not really fly.
THE long bodies and short legs of otters might be
thought to give them an ungraceful appearance;
but it is just the contrary; for they glide through
the water, in which element they chiefly live, with
the most elegant movements, and a rapidity which
makes it difficult to overtake them. They occasion-
ally rise to the surface for a moment, when the
bubbles which they cause in breathing frequently
betray their presence. They conceal themselves in
the banks of rivers and lakes, among the roots of
trees, and generally come out at night. In con-
sequence of this, an otter-hunt is often carried on
by torchlight, and is then very exciting and pic-
turesque. It is remarkable, that courageous dogs,
if they have once followed this sport, prefer it to all
others, although the bite of the otter is very severe.
Otters have the reputation of destroying a great
number of fishes, which is given as a reason for
their destruction; and it is true that they live al-
most entirely upon them, so that when they have
S young ones :also to feed, -many must be devoured.
The old ones, when this sort of prey is plentiful, bite
off the head and a piece of the upper part of the
body, and leave the remainder on shore. This does
not injure the rest of the fish; and the poorer classes
of people in the vicinity are thus enabled to have a
meal without offending the owner of the water, who
generally claims every thing which lives there.
Otters are very affectionate towards their young,
and defend them vigorously, so that a great struggle
and fight ensues when they are attacked. The worst
mischief which they occasion is, that their presence
frightens the fishes from depositing their spawn, and
induces them to leave the water which they inhabit.
When fishes are scarce, they will eat frogs and
water-rats, and also come on land, where they steal
into the poultry-yard, and attack fowls, sucking-
pigs, and lambs. If they should be surprised on
shore, they instantly lie flat upon the ground; and
soon finding out, with their little bright eyes, when
they are seen, scud away as fast as they can.
If one be caught in a trap, his friends will go
round and round him, trying to extricate him, pass-
ing hours in this manner; and although they are
at other times noiseless, silent animals, on these
occasions they make a great snorting and blowing.
Some of those which inhabit fresh water will occa-
sionally go to sea; but there is a species which
always lives on the sea-shores of the north of
Europe, the fur of which is much esteemed. We
have seen a coat lined with it, so heavy from its
close texture, that it was impossible for the wearer
to walk when it was on; but it seemed to bid de-
fiance to cold.
In Scotland there is one called the king of otters,
which is spotted with white.
THE swift and timid hare is one of the prettiest of
our native animals, with its long, soft ears, its large
eyes, and meek expression of countenance. It can
direct these ears towards any point whence sound
seems to proceed, and the form and situation of the
eyes enable it to see all round; so that it is difficult
to surprise this pretty creature. Hares lie upon the
open ground; and the spot where they rest is called
a form. The inside of their mouth and the under
part of their feet are all covered with fur; and in
northern climates they turn quite white. They
abound all over Europe, but are more esteemed for
the table in England than elsewhere, and are in
season from September till March; after which the
game-laws prohibit them from being destroyed.
They run very swiftly, doubling, or running back
over the same ground, when pursued; and are
hunted with harriers, a sort of hound, smaller than
those used for foxes.
Although generally so wild, hares have often
been tamed, and have shewn much affection for their
owners. Our artist has figured the jack, or male
hare, which is larger than the female. The Irish
species is also larger, and its fur not equal to that
of English hares, as it is wholly wanting in the
long, silken, black hairs which lie on the surface of
the latter. They live entirely on vegetable food, are
fond of the bark of trees, and those in the far north
eat lichens and the seeds of fir-cones.
ALTHOUGH goats are to be found wild in Great
Britain, it is not in this country that we see all
their daring activity brought into play. It is true
that there are mountains and precipices in some
parts of our land, but they are not of that fearful
character which calls forth the wonderful powers of
climbing and leaping which goats possess. They
stand fearlessly on ledges of rocks which are so
narrow, that there is scarcely room for their four,
small, hard hoofs to be brought close together upon
them; and they spring from one to another of these
hazardous positions with the utmost nicety.
Goats are very affectionate and playful; their
milk is particularly rich and nourishing, and as
they will live in countries and places where cows
will not thrive, they are often very valuable. Their
flesh is coarser and harder than that of sheep, but
a young kid affords delicious fare.
One of the finest fabrics in the world for light-
ness, warmth, and softness, is manufactured from
the under wool of the Goats which live in Thibet;
and those who have worn what are called Indian
shawls, can scarcely be contented with any others.
Attempts have been made to naturalise these goats
in Europe; but although the animals live very well,
the climate much injures the quality of the wool.
The latter has therefore been brought over, and has
been successful in improving the texture of our
shawls. We read in Holy Scripture of hangings
and tent-coverings made of goats' hair; and to this
day the Arabs use the same material for these pur-
FOXES are the heroes of many ancient fables: and
well they may be; for they are among the most
cunning and sagacious of animals, and inhabit all
parts of the world, except Australia. Their move-
ments are stealthy, they prowl about at night, eat
all they can at one meal, and hide the rest for future
occasions. They commit great havoc on game and
poultry, and their cleverness and activity make it
difficult to take them. In some countries traps are
iet for them; but in England they are generally
hunted with strong hounds, and by men on horse-
oack. They will run for forty or fifty miles before
they are caught, never losing their presence of mind
or their courage; and when at the end they are
overcome, they defend themselves to the last, bite
very severely, and die without uttering even a moan.
Attempts have often been made to domesticate foxes,
but they have never been completely tamed. When
arger food is not to be had, they will eat frogs and
nsects; they worry sheep and lambs; and a con-
rast to their bloodthirsty inclinations is afforded by
their fondness for grapes, which they will devour in
great quantities. They generally live alone, or in
pairs; but in the arctic regions they make tneir
holes close to each other, to the number of thirty or
forty, and are there covered with white, woolly fur.
They curl themselves up when they sleep, and fold
their large bushy tails over their noses, to preserve
them from being frost-bitten. They do not smell as
unpleasantly as those of our country.
The Scotch foxes are large and handsome, and
the quantities of remains found about their holes, or
earths, shew how much they devour; besides which
food, they are very fond of honey.
RABBITS are very like small hares, but their ears
are never erect; these hang down, and are fre-
quently very long. The animal chosen by our artist
is the lop-eared variety, which, according to rabbit-
fanciers, is very handsome. Many persons take
great pains to rear these animals, form themselves
into clubs, have rabbit-shows, and distribute prizes
for the largest and handsomest. The flesh of the
rabbit is white, and rather insipid; and that of the
wild ones is generally preferred. They are vege-
table feeders, live together in large numbers, burrow
habitations for themselves in the ground; and these
communities are called warrens. They are very
destructive to gardens, and particularly fond of nib-
bling off the tops of young plants or shoots, espe-
cially pinks. They thrive well in captivity, though
they have a propensity, when in confinement, which
seems quite inconsistent with their usually gentle
nature; that is, the practice of devouring their
young ones, if they are disturbed within a few days
after their birth. Their fur is long and soft, and
they vary in colour, being black, grey, brown, buff,
or white; the latter generally have red eyes. They
are affectionate animals, generally speaking, but
very timid, and shew but little sagacity.
THE length and slenderness of the whole tribe of
animals to which weasels belong, and the undulating
motion which they are in consequence obliged to
assume, cause them to be named worm-like. From
all, more or less, proceeds a very strong and dis-
agreeable odour; but it is to them that we owe our
most expensive furs, such as sable and ermine; the
latter is the skin of the animal when it turns white
for winter, at which time the tip of its tail always
remains black. Some of the tribe are very destruc-
tive to eggs, birds, &c.; and once in a poultry-yard,
they commit a great amount of mischief.
The weasel is the least destructive of his tribe,
and would rather eat rats and mice than any thing
else; so that farmers will even encourage his pre-
sence in the farm-yard. He is a brave little animal,
and springs vigorously at his prey, always aiming
at the large blood-vessels which lie under the ear,
or sticking his sharp teeth into the back of the skull,
that he may penetrate to the brain. He does not
lose his presence of mind when a large bird pounces
I __---I--- -- -I-~- ---~....I~-.-..-- r-- ---a`Y' -lxr-4U
on him, and takes him up into the' air, but bites
hard; and it often happens that even an eagle will
be so weakened by loss of blood from these bites,
that he will be obliged to come to the ground and
release his prey.
Weasels are very fond of their young ones, and
if any danger happen to them, they carry them
away from it in their mouths. They will even at-
tack men in their defence, assembling in numbers,
and springing at their throat. If not armed with
a stick, fourteen or fifteen of these little creatures
would be formidable enemies.
IT would take a very thick volume to contain all the
sensible, clever, and affectionate actions performed
by our great friend, the Dog; every species of
which is useful or ornamental. They guard the pro-
perty of their masters, fight for them, drag them out
of the water if in danger of being drowned, and pre-
serve their lives in many ways. The dog in our pic-
ture is the shepherd's, one of the most sagacious of
all. He not only serves the shepherd with fidelity,
but attaches himself to the sheep, knows them all so
well, that he can single any one of them out of a
flock, find them if they should be lost, guide them,
and take them back to their folds, when he will lie
down across the entrance, and so take care of them
by night, as well as by day.
From the poor little shivering Italian grey-
hound, to the bold and hardy Newfoundland dog,
they are full of love to mankind; and they possess
a remarkable power of understanding what is said
to them, so that it is almost possible to keep up a
conversation with them; for although they cannot
speak, they whine, make use of their tail and paws,
and return their answers by the expression which
they put into their countenances. Their value in
all the sports of the field, such as hunting, shooting,
&c., is very great; and although, according to their
nature, they like to eat all kinds of flesh, a well-
taught dog never devours the game which he finds,
and will even sit with a piece of meat across his
nose for ten minutes at a time without taking it,
unless his master gives him permission.
There are many wild dogs in countries which
have not numerous inhabitants, and, generally speak-
ing, they are savage. Some savage men eat them
with as little hesitation as we eat hares.
In many places in the East they are not es-
teemed, chiefly because they will eat a great many
dirty things; but we put up with this for the sake
of their many good and sensible qualities. Their
memory of places and persons never leaves them,
and their attachments last longer than life; many
of them having been known to die of grief upon
their masters' graves.
THE CAT AND MOUSE.
TiIS round, plump, striped animal, with a ribbon
round his neck, shews us that we have a favourite
tabby cat represented in our plate. Generally
speaking, cats and their tribe are slender; and it
takes all the cramming and ease enjoyed by pets to
produce a fat specimen of the race. He has been
fast asleep, and suddenly awakened by a suspicious
noise, for his long ears enable him to hear very
quickly; and he is right, for there runs a mouse at
a little distance, frightened at his suddenly starting
up. In one moment, like his cousins, lions, tigers,
&c., he will crouch down, and then spring upon his
prey; if he be a young cat, he will, after playing
with and tormenting it, give a last pounce, and
kill it, and then take it in his mouth, walk up to the
drawing-room, and shew to his master or mistress
how clever he has been, purring and slightly
growling, and then retire to a corner, where pre-
sently he will be heard munching its bones.
Besides having long ears, cats have long whis-
kers, or rather moustaches, which give them a very
F-----~-~-- ~ --~------ ~~-~ ----I---I--~--- -
THE CAT AND MOUSE.
delicate sense of touch, and are particularly useful
in the dark, which is the time at which they chiefly
seek their prey, their eyes being so made that they
see in the dark much better than most animals do.
Their fore paws are larger and stronger than those
behind, which is the case with most of those ani-
mals which spring upon their prey; their fur is
thick and long, and when they are angry they set
it up, make their tails twice their usual size, and
draw their backs up into an arch.
Cats are said to be treacherous, and while they
are playing with you, will scratch and bite; but
this does not arise from deceit, being only the ex-
citement of the moment, which makes them forget
how sharp their teeth and claws may be, and that
they wound when they would only caress. They
like animal food best, and are very fond of birds,
still more so of fishes; but, like many other tamed
beasts, they will eat most things. A great many
go to the woods and become half wild; but there
are some in Scotland which have never been tamed.
HORSES are nearly as useful to man as dogs, and
almost as faithful and affectionate. They are said
to have come from Tartary, from which place they
are now spread almost all over the earth. Many
of them are quite wild, others are kept together in
large herds, and some are turned loose for a time,
and caught again when they are wanted. In their
wild state their manes and tails grow very long,
and when blown about by the wind, these give
them a very curious appearance.
The most beautiful horses are those of Arabia;
they have slender, graceful shapes, and are swifter
than any others. They live with their masters as
if they were dogs, let the children roll over them,
and seem to understand all the words which are ad-
dressed to them. They lie among the Arab tents,
or even within them; and the moment they are
wanted, up they get, ready to go a hundred miles,
if their .master require such service.
The strongest contrast to the Arab in form is
the English dray-horse, which is as beautiful an
example of strength and power as the former is of
grace and speed. He may be seen most days in
the streets of London, with his large limbs, his
arched neck, his grand head, his broad chest, his
glossy skin, and majestic step.
The horse in the plate before us appears to be a
sly-looking old hunter, still full of fun, although he
has run many a long chase, and taken many a high
leap. He is a little stiff from old age and hard
work; but doubtless, if he heard the hounds, he
would be after them, like many other old hunters
who have followed them, without a rider, evidently
enjoying the frolic.
Horses eat grass, hay, and corn; but too much
of the last, unless they take a great deal of exercise,
makes them very frisky. They are very fond of
bread, apples, and dainty morsels, and some like
sugar, to gain which they will play numerous antics.
Those which perform so many tricks, such as dan-
cing, acting in plays, &c. are all taught by kind
means. Ill-treatment makes them timid, stupid, or
vicious, and, generally speaking, they are by nature
good-tempered, generous, and gifted with an excel-
THE very name of cows and oxen brings to our
minds the idea of delicious and strengthening food,
and a number of useful substances and services. In
some countries they are the only beasts which drag
carriages, and in many parts of England they are
used for the same purpose. They eat grass, either
when fresh, or dried into hay; they are very fond
of clover, and if they get into a field of this plant,
and be not watched, they will devour such a quan-
tity that they sometimes die. The cow we have
here looks as if she had escaped from the clover-
field just in time; but the milk, of which her udder
is full, will be very sweet and rich. The food of
these animals is but coarsely chewed at first, but
is thrown up again into the mouth in the shape
of little balls, to be prepared for the final swallow-
ing, by a second bruising between the teeth. This
is called chewing the cud, for which purpose they
generally lie down, and appear to be tranquil and
happy, as long as it lasts.
The flesh of cows is not reckoned as good as
that of oxen; and that of the draught beasts is very
coarse and tough. England and Ireland produce
large, fine animals of this kind, those of Scotland
are smaller. A round of English beef is famous all
over the world, and in some distant parts is es-
teemed a handsome present.
The horns of cows and oxen are sometimes very
long, and generally curved; they are made into a
number of useful and beautiful articles.
When wild, these animals are fierce; but those
which are in our farm-yards are generally harm-
less, and even shew affection for those who take
care of them. Occasionally, they throw down the
milk-maid, pail and all; but if they have this bad
habit, their hind legs are tied together. They are
not graceful in their movements, and are particularly
awkward when they run; for then they swing round
their hind legs, and it is very unpleasant to ride
upon them. When a bull is in a great fury, he
looks very grand; he paws the ground, tries to toss
every thing into the air, his eyes shine, and he bel-
lows with a fierce roar.
WHETHER we are making a good dinner off a leg
of mutton, or hiding our heads snugly in bed under
a warm blanket, we must feel grateful to sheep for
the comforts which they afford. Nor is it only
comfort which we derive from these animals; the
luxuries of rich furniture and light, elegant dresses
come from the covering of their bodies; their skin
yields us the durable substance called parchment,
on which are written our claims to riches; their fat
helps to supply us with candles; and from the head
to the tail every part is useful; the former has the
hair singed off, and forms the famous dish in Scot-
land called "sheep's head singet;" and the latter,
sometimes so large as to be lodged in a box to pro-
tect it from the ground, is in some parts of the world
considered a delicacy.
It would be a very long task to enumerate the
different sorts of sheep which we possession Eng-
land. The South Down and Welsh are most famed
for their mutton; owing, it is said, to the short
grass mixed with herbs on which they feed.
The best wool is that from the Merino, which
is soft, white, and curled; and the nearer the fleeces
approach this, the more they are esteemed. We all
know the soft and delicate purposes, and the beau-
tiful shades of colour, of which lamb's wool is capa-
ble. The Shetland wool proceeds not only from
the sheep of those islands, but from those of the
north of Scotland. It is the fine under-part of the
fleece, combed off, and spun and manufactured by
Sheep-shearing has been, from the earliest ages,
a scene of mirth and rejoicing. After the sheep
are shorn, they are thrown into a pool of water;
and the struggles which they make to avoid this
cause much noise, frequently ending in the sousing
of the men as well as the sheep.
Sheep are said to be timid, stupid animals; and
certainly fright seems to take away their intellect,
for their alarm frequently causes them to rush to
destruction. Their intelligence, however, is often
shewn in an extraordinary manner in behalf of their
THE scrubby, rough-looking donkey in our book,
although a faithful representation of those which
graze upon our commons and by our road-sides,
will not give an idea of the beauty, elegance, and
dignity of the ass in the countries from which it
comes, or, in fact, of the asses of all warmer climates,
where they are larger, have smoother hair, and
carry their heads proudly.
It is difficult to say why asses should be such
degraded animals in this country, for they are ex-
tremely useful, and great treasures to the cottager,
as they bear exposure to all weathers, live upon
thistles, coarse grass, and the refuse of the garden,
and work very hard for hours at a time.
When the Jews were not allowed to use horses,
they rode upon asses, and their great men appeared
on occasions of ceremony on white asses.
Wild asses are very strong and swift, and ex-
tremely difficult to tame and train, for they are
very self-willed in all conditions. They will bear
a great deal of labour, and sometimes shew great
attachment, especially to children, four or five of
whom will sometimes mount their backs at one
time; and though these backs will bend under the
weight of a burden put upon them, they seldom re-
fuse to bear it to its destination.
The peculiar noise made by the donkey, called
braying, proceeds from two hollow places at the
bottom of the windpipe, which fill with air; and
when on the back of the animal it is very disagree-
able to feel the movement which their action occa-
sions. We have heard of one which belonged to a
Greek shepherd, and which brayed so regularly every
hour, that the return of the time could be told with
The skin of asses is thick and soft, and receives
the marks of a pencil without retaining them, a
little water sufficing for taking them away.
PIGS are, without exception, the most perverse and
complaining of all animals. They squeak without
any apparent cause ; they grunt in a dissatisfied tone
when they are most comfortable; if they are wished
to go one way, they are sure to take it into their
heads to go another; if caught between a gate
and a post, although they can easily swing the gate
open, they will stand and squeal as if their heads
were coming off; if they desire to pass hastily
through an aperture, they huddle together and stop
it up. And yet, with all these apparently stupid pro-
ceedings, they are very sagacious animals; and as
every one has heard of learned pigs, their aptitude
in acquiring tricks must be universally acknow-
ledged. They will eat any and every thing, even
S to their own keepers sometimes; and this is pro-
bably the reason why they were thought in ancient
days too unclean to be themselves eaten. Now,
however, most people look upon them as excellent
food, and only Jews and Mahommedans refuse
them. Their flesh is called pork, ham, and bacon,
and their fat is often converted into lard. They
frequently have so much of this fat, when fed for
the purpose, that their eyes are closed up, and they
cannot stand. They are invaluable to the poor man,
from their willingness to eat every thing; and the
wealthy, by bestowing the refuse of their kitchens
upon their less prosperous neighbours, frequently
enable them to obtain the comforts with which a
pig will provide them.
Although so uncleanly in their habits, no ani-
mals do more credit to cleanliness of keep, and not
only are they better to eat in consequence, but they
There are many herds of wild sows and boars in
various parts of the world, and they were formerly,
when large forests were in existence, abundant in
Europe. Hunting the wild boar used to be a
favourite pastime, and not without danger, for
the animal has formidable tusks, and shews much
cleverness in defending himself.
WHO that has eaten an old English Christmas din-
ner, does not know how good a turkey is for a feast?
and yet this is the least of the associations connected
with this bird. We ourselves have been accustomed
for many years to sit down on the above festival
with a party of children and grandchildren, when
the enormous, roasted turkey, big enough to give
each one a slice, is set before grandmamma, and
carved by the eldest son. No one looks more happy
than the dear old lady, with her grey hair, sup-
ported on each side by a tiny grandchild, to whom
she attends much more than to the others, who can
take care of themselves. When the remains of the
turkey are removed, a whisper from a servant is
uttered in the ear of another tall son; he slips out
of the room, and presently returns with the servant
behind him, bearing a noble plum-pudding, with a
piece of holly stuck into the middle, and all in a
flame of fire. These are the remembrances which
the turkey brings to English hearths, and long may
they continue. For although, like all others, they
are connected with the lost and the absent, who
are missed from the board with sorrow and regret,
yet the sight of youthful, happy faces is refreshing;
and the meetings thus established bring those to-
gether who would not otherwise meet, perhaps, for
years, forming a most appropriate feast to celebrate
that day, when a Saviour was born, who viewed all
men and women as one family, and lived and died
We owe the turkey to the warmer parts of
North America, where they exist in great numbers;
and although they were brought to live in England
more than three hundred years ago, they still shew
signs of belonging to a warmer climate; for great
care is required in order to rear a brood of turkeys;
and they are by no means to be left to chance and
their own ways. The turkey-cock spreads his great
tail out, just as the peacock does; holds his head
very upright, moves very slowly, and so stiffly that
he turns his whole body at once, as if he were too
grand to be lively; and then he makes a clucking
noise unlike that of any other bird. They are some-
times very fierce, and it is better for a stranger not
to go near them when they are strutting about in
the above manner. The turkey of Honduras is
almost as beautiful as the peacock, covered as he
is with a brilliant tint of copper bronze.
BOTH tame and wild ducks possess the same sort
of feet, and flat, yellow or black bills; the only dif-
ference being, that the latter have generally the
longest legs. They all differ among themselves in
size and plumage, some being pure white, and others
black and white, while many have every variety of
brown, green, and blue; the two latter chiefly co-
vering the head, neck, and breast, and this mix-
ture, called drake's neck," is often imitated in silk.
The legs of all are set very far back upon the body,
which enables them to swim well; but which makes
them walk with a most ugly waddle when on land.
Their feet have a prolongation of skin between their
toes, which is termed a web, hence the epithet
webbed feet, as applied generally to water-birds.
In common with others which live chiefly in this
element, an oily juice is mingled with their plumage,
which prevents it from being soaked by the water;
and between the quill part or stem of the feathers,
Slices a very soft, feathery down, fitting closely to
the skin in all directions, which also defends them