Stories illustrative of the instinct of animals

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Material Information

Title:
Stories illustrative of the instinct of animals their characters and habits
Spine title:
Bingley's stories about instinct
Physical Description:
vii, 199 p., <8> leaves of plates : ill. ; 14 cm.
Language:
English
Creator:
Bingley, Thomas
Landseer, Thomas, 1795-1880 ( Illustrator )
Harrild, Thomas ( Printer )
W. Kent and Co ( Publisher )
Publisher:
W. Kent and Co.
Place of Publication:
London
Manufacturer:
Thomas Harrild
Publication Date:
Edition:
5th ed.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Animals -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Animal welfare -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Human-animal relationships -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Pictorial cloth bindings (Binding) -- 1861   ( rbbin )
Bldn -- 1861
Genre:
Pictorial cloth bindings (Binding)   ( rbbin )
Spatial Coverage:
England -- London

Notes

Statement of Responsibility:
by Thomas Bingley ; with engravings from dawings by Thomas Landseer.
General Note:
Date from inscription.
General Note:
Tinted wood engravings.
Funding:
Brittle Books Program

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in Special Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries
Rights Management:
All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 002222232
oclc - 48010945
notis - ALG2469
System ID:
UF00003112:00001

Related Items

Related Items:
Alternate version (PALMM)
PALMM Version

Full Text


STORIES

ILLUSTRATIVE OF THE


INSTINCT OF ANIMALS,


gstir rQdtters anb abrits.


BY

THOMAS BINGLEY,
AUTHOR OP "BTORIBS ABOUT DOGS; "TALEB OF SHIPWRECKS;"
STORIES ABOUT HORSESB," TC. ETC.



WITH ENGRAVINGS FROM DRAWINGS BY THOMAS LANDSEER.



FIFTH EDITION.


LONDON:
W. KENT AND CO. (LATE
86, FLEET STREET.


D. BOGUE),

























BINGLEY'S TALES AND STORIES.


"A SET OF BOOKS

WHICH, PROFESSING ONLY TO AMUSE,

INSTRUCT AND EDIFY

IN

NO COMMON DEGREE."


QUARTRLY IsrEVIEW MARCl, 141.
















Tan sale of nearly Seven Thousand copies of this little work
in the short space of time that has elapsed since it was first
published, is a sufficient test of the estimation in which it is
held by the public.
On its first appearance manyfiattering notices of it appeared
in the various periodicals of the day. More recently the
highest literary authority in England-The Quarterly Re-
view-in a late number mentions the series of Tales and
Stories, of which it forms a part, with high commendation,
characterising them as a set of books which, professing only
to amuse, instruct and edify in no common degree."
In America the books have been all reprinted, and enjoy a
reputation not inferior to that which has been so generously
awarded them in this country. In a paper issued from the
" Secretary's Office, Department of Common Schools, State
of New York," the superintendent says-" I have examined
the little works which you were so obliging as to send me
[Bingley's Tales, etc.], and have no hesitation in saying that
they are each and all admirably adapted to the purposes they





PREFACE.


were designed to subserve in the development of the intel-
lectual and moral faculties of children. A liberal infusion of
these and other kindred works into our school-district libraries
would, in my judgment, greatly conduce to their interest,
especially to the young."
In the present edition some improvements have been made
so as to render the work still more worthy of public appro-
bation.
The series of works now consists of seven volumes, any of
which can be purchased separately.
STORIEs ABOUT Does, illustrative of their Intelligence, Saga-
city, and Fidelity; with Engravings by THOMAS La ID-
SEEB. Third Edition.
STORIES ABOUT HOBRES, illustrative of their Intelligence, Sa-
gacity, and Docility; with Twelve Engravings on Steel.
TALES ABOUT SHIPWRECKS, and other Disasters at Sea; with
Engravings by E. LANDELLS.
TALES ABOUT BIRDS, illustrative of their Habits and Instincts;
with Engravings.
TALES ABOUT TRAVELLERS, their Perils, Adventures, and
Discoveries; including those of Bruce, Park, Denham,
and Clapperton, etc. etc.; with Engravings.
BIBLE QUADRUPEDS; the Natural History of the Animals
mentioned in Scripture; with Sixteen Engravings by
SAMUEL WILLIAMS.


















CONTENTS.





CHAPTER I.

UNCLE THOMAS RESUMES HIS STORIES ABOUT THE INSTINCTS OF ANIMALS.
-TELLS ABOUT THE HORSE, AND OF THE IMMENSE HERDS WHICH ARE
TO BE FOUND ON THE PLAINS OF SOUTH AMERICA; OF THEIR CAPTURE
BY MEANS OF THE. LASSO; AS WELL AS SEVERAL CURIOUS STORIES
ABOUT THE INTELLIGENCE, AFFECTION, AND DOCILITY OF THE
ORSE .... ........................... .................... .Page 1


CHAPTER II.

UNCLE THOMAS TELLS ABOUT THE HABITS OF THE BEAVER; ALSO ABOUT
THE CURIOUS NESTS OF THE SOCIABLE GROSBEAK; AND GIVES A LONG
AND ENTERTAINING ACCOUNT OF THE WHITE ANT OF AFRICA, AND THE
IMPORTANT PART WHICH IT ACTS IN THE ECONOMY OF NATURE... 21


CHAPTER III.

UNCLE THOMAS DESCRIBES THE MANNER IN WHICH WILD ELEPHANTS ARE
CAUGHT, AND RELATES SOME CURIOUS STORIES OF THE CUNNING,
AFFECTION, AND INTELLIGENCE OF THE ELEPHANT................. 46






CONTENTS.


CHAPTER IV.

UNCLE THOMAS INTRODUCES TO THE NOTICE OF HIS LITTLE AUDIENCE
THE ETTRICK SHEPHERD'S STORIES ABOUT SHEEP; AND TELLS
THEM SOME INTERESTING STORIES ABOUT THE GOAT, AND ITS
PECULIARITIES...................................................... Page 64



CHAPTER V.

UNCLE THOMAS RELATES SOME VERY REMARKABLE STORIES ABOUT THE
CAT; POINTS OUT TO THE DOYS THE CONNECTION SUBSISTING BETWEEN
THE DOMESTIC CAT AND TIE LION AND TIGER, AND TELLS THEM SOME
STORIES ABOUT THE GENTLENESS AS WELL AS THE FEROCITY OF THOSE
ANIMALS ........................ ...................................... 82



CHAPTER VI.

UNCLE THOMAS TELLS ABOUT THE TIGER, AND OF THE CURIOUS MODES
WHICH ARE ADOPTED FOR ITS CAPTURE AND DESTRUCTION; ALSO
ABOUT THE PUMA, OR AMERICAN LION; AND INTRODUCES SOME
HUNTING SCENES IN NORTH AND SOUTH AMERICA, WITH OTHER
INTERESTING AND ENTERTAINING ADVENTURES ................... 116



CHAPTER VII.

UNCLE THOMAS TELLS ABOUT THE MIGRATING INSTINCT OF ANIMALS:-
OF THE HOUSE SWALLOW OF ENGLAND; AND THE ESCULENT SWAhLOW,
WHOSE NEST IS EATEN BY TIE CHINESE ; ALSO ABOUT THE PASSENGER
PIGEON OF AMERICA; OF TIE LAND-CRAB AND ITS MIGRATIONS ; AND
OF THOSE OF THE SALMON AND THE HERRING................... 138







CONTENTS. Vii


CHAPTER VIII.

UNCLE THOMAS TELLS ABOUT THE BABOONS, AND THEIR PLUNDERING
EXCURSIONS TO THE' GARDENS AT THE CAPE OF GOOD HOPE; ALSO
ABOUT LE VAILLANT'S BABOON KEES, AND HIS PECULIARITIES; AND
RELATES AN AMUSING STORY ABOUT A YOUNG MONKEY, DEPRIVED OF
ITS MOTHER, PUTTING ITSELF UNDER THE FOSTERING CARE OF A
WIG-BLOCK I.. .................... .............................. Page 169



CHAPTER IX.

UNCLE THOMAS CONCLUDES STORIES ABOUT INSTINCT, WITH SEVERAL
INTERESTING ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE AFFECTIONS OF ANIMALS,
PARTICULARLY OF THE INSTINCT OF MATERNAL AFFECTION; AND
POINTS OUT THE BENEFICENT CARE OF PROVIDENCE IN IMPLANTING
IN THE BREASTS OF EACH OF HIS CREATURES THE INSTINCTS WHICH
ARE NECESSARY FOR ITS PROTECTION AND PRESERVATION ......... 189










STORIES
ILLUSTRATIVE OF THE

INSTINCTS OF ANIMALS.



CHAPTER I.

UNCLE THOMAS RESUMES HIS STORIES ABOUT THE INSTINCTS OF ANIMALS.
-TELLS ABOUT THE HOSE, AND OF THE IMMENSE HERDS WHICH ARE
TO BE FOUND ON THE PLAINS OF SOUTH AMERICA; OF THEIR CAPTURE
Br MEANS OF THE LASSO; AS WELL AS SEVERAL CURIOUS STORIES
ABOUT THE INTELLIGENCE AFFECTION, AND DOCILITY OF THE HORSE.

" COME along, boys, I am glad to see you
again I promised, at our next meeting, to tell
you some Tales about the Instincts of Animals;
and I propose to begin with the Horse. I like
to interest you with those animals with which
you are familiar, and to draw out your sym-
pathies towards them. After the STORIES




STORIES ABOUT INSTINCT.


ABOUT DOGS which I told you, some of them
exhibiting those fine creatures in such an ami-
able and affectionate light, I am sure they
must assume a new interest in your minds.
Such instances of fidelity and attachment could
not fail to impress you with a higher opinion
of the animals than you before possessed, and
show that kindness and good treatment, even to
a brute, are never without their reward.
"I wish to excite the same interest towards
the other animal which, I hope, I have effected
towards the Dog. Each, you will find, has
been endowed by its Creator with particular
instincts and dispositions, to fit it for the station
which it was intended to occupy in the great
system of nature. But I know you like stories
better than lectures, so I will not tire you by
lecturing, but at once proceed to relate some
of the stories which I have gathered for you."
"Oh no, Uncle Thomas, we never feel tired
of listening to you; we know you have always
something curious to tell us."





INTRODUCTION.


"Well then, boys, I will begin with the
Horse. I have so many stories about the in-
telligence, sagacity, and docility of that noble
animal, however, that I must now tell you a
few only, referring you for the others to
STORIES ABOUT HORSES, where you will find
many more, quite equal in interest to any of the
Stories which I have told you."
"Thank you, Uncle Thomas !"
In some parts of the world there are to be
found large herds of wild Horses. In South
America, in particular, immense plains are in-
habited by them, and, it is said, that so many
as ten thousand are sometimes found in a single
herd. They are always preceded by a leader,
who directs their motions; and such is the
regularity with which they perform their move-
ments, that it seems almost as if they could not
be surpassed by the best-trained cavalry.
It is extremely dangerous for travellers to
encounter a herd of this description. When
unaccustomed to the sight of such an immense




STORIES ABOUT INSTINCT.


multitude of animals, they cannot help feeling
greatly alarmed at their rapid and apparently
irresistible approach. Their trampling sounds
like the loudest thunder; and such is the ra-
pidity and impetuosity of their advance, that it
seems to threaten instant destruction. Suddenly,
however, they stop short, utter a loud and
piercing neigh, and, with a rapid wheel in an
opposite course, sometimes altogether disappear.
On such occasions, it requires all the care of the
traveller to prevent his horses from breaking
loose and escaping with the wild herd."
"I have heard that wild Horses are very
watchful, Uncle Thomas."
"They are so, Harry. Knowing that they
are ill prepared for fighting, and that their
safety is in flight, when they sleep, they always
appoint one to act as sentinel. If it sees any
suspicious object approach, it walks up to it
for the purpose of ascertaining if there is dan-
ger, and, if necessary, to prevent a nearer
advance. If, however, the assailant is not to be





HABITS OF THE WILD HORSE.


deterred, the sentinel sounds the alarm by
uttering a peculiar neigh, which rouses the
whole herd, and all gallop away."
Are they ever caught, then, UncleThomas?"
Oh yes, Frank. In those countries where
Horses are so plentiful the inhabitants seldom
take the trouble to rear them, but, when they
want one, mount upon an animal which has been
accustomed to the sport, and gallop over the
plain towards the herd, which is generally found
at no great distance. Gradually he approaches
some stragglers from the main body, and,
having selected the animal which he wishes to
possess, he dexterously throws the lasso (which
is a long rope with a running noose, and which
is firmly fixed to his saddle) in such a manner
as to entangle its hind legs; and, with a sudden
jerk, he pulls it over on its side. In an
instant he jumps off his horse, wraps his
poncho, or cloak, round the captive's head, fixes
a bit into his mouth, and a saddle upon its
back. He then removes the cloak, leaps into





6 STORIES ABOUT INSTINCT.

the saddle, and the animal starts on its feet.
In spite of its contortions and kicking, the
hunter keeps his seat till the animal, having
wearied itself out with its vain efforts, submits
to the discipline of its captor, who seldom fails
to reduce it to complete obedience."
That is very dexterous indeed, Uncle Tho-
mas; but surely all Horses are not originally
found in this wild state ? I have heard that the
Arabians are famous for rearing them."
"Arabia has for a long time been noted,
Frank, for the symmetry and speed of its
Horses : so much attention has been paid, how-
ever, to the breeding of them in our own country,
for the race-course as well as the hunting-field,
that the English Horses are now almost un-
equalled both for speed and endurance.
It is little wonder that the Arabian Horse
should be very excellent, considering the
care and attention which it receives, and the
kindness and consideration with which it is
treated. One of the best stories which I ever





THE ARABIAN HORSE.


heard of the love of an Arab for his steed is that
related of one from whom one of our envoys
wished to purchase his horse.
The animal was a bright bay mare, of extra-
ordinary shape and beauty; and the owner,
proud of its appearance and qualities, paraded
it before the envoy's tent until it attracted his
attention. On being asked if he would sell her,
'What will you give me ?" was the reply. 'That
depends upon her age; I suppose she is past
five ?' 'Guess again,' said he. 'Four ?'
' Look at her mouth,' said the Arab, with a
smile. On examination she was found to be
rising three. This, from her size and symmetry,
greatly enhanced her value. The envoy said, I
will give you fifty tomans (a coin nearly of
the value of a sovereign). 'A little more, if
you please,' said the fellow, somewhat enter-
tained. Eighty-a hundred.' He shook his
head and smiled. The officer at last came to
two hundred tomans. 'Well,' said the Arab,
'you need not tempt me farther. You are a





STORIES ABOUT INSTINCT.


rich elchee (nobleman); you have fine horses,
camels, and mules, and I ain told you have
loads of silver and gold. Now,' added he,
'you want my mare, but you shall not have
her for all you have got.' He put spurs to
his horse, and was soon out of the reach of
temptation.
Swift as the Arabian horses, are, however,
they are frequently matched by those of our own
country. I say nothing about Race Horses,
because, though some of them are recorded to
have run at an amazing speed, the effort is
generally continued for but a short time. Here
is an instance of speed in a horse which saved
its unworthy master from the punishment due
to his crimes:-
One morning, about four o'clock, a gentle-
man was stopped and robbed by a highwayman
named Nicks, at Gadshill, on the west side of
Chatham. He was mounted on a bay mare of
great speed and endurance, and as soon as he
had accomplished his purpose, he instantly




SPEED OF THE HORSE.


started for Gravesend, where he was detained
nearly an hour by the difficulty of getting a boat.
He employed the interval to advantage, however,
by baiting his horse. From thence he crossed
the Thames, and landing in Essex proceeded
to Chelmsford, where he again stopped about
half an hour for refreshment. He then went
to Braintree, Bocking, Withersfield, over the
Downs to Cambridge, and still pursuing the
cross roads, he went by Fenney Stanton to Hunt-
ingdon, where he again rested about half an hour.
Proceeding now on the north road, at a full
gallop most of the way, he arrived at York the
same afternoon, put off his boots and riding
clothes, and went dressed to the bowling-green,
where, among other promenaders, happened to
be the Lord Mayor of the city. He there tried
to do something particular, that his lordship
might remember him, and asking what o'clock
it was, the mayor informed him that it was a
quarter past eight. Notwithstanding all these
precautions, however, he was discovered, and tried




STORIES ABOUT INSTINCT.


for the robbery; he rested his defence on the
fact of his being at York at the time mentioned,
and argued from this, that it was impossible he
could have been at Gadshill at the time of the
robbery. The gentleman swore positively to
the time and place at which the robbery was
committed, but, on the other hand, the proof
was equally clear that the prisoner was at York
the same evening, and the jury acquitted him,
on the supposed impossibility of his having got
so great a distance from Kent in so short
a time."
So that he owed his safety to the speed of
his horse, Uncle Thomas ?"
He did so, Harry. The horse can on occa-
sion swim as well as most other animals, yet it
never takes to the water unless urged to do so.
Here is a story about a horse saving the lives
of many persons who had suffered shipwreck
by being driven upon the rocks at the Cape of
Good Hope, which, I am sure, will interest you
as much for the perseverance and docility of the





DOCILITY OF THE HORSE.


animal, as for the benevolence and intrepidity of
its owner:-
"A violent gale of wind setting in from
north and north-west, a vessel in the roads
dragged her anchors, was forced on the rocks,
and bulged; and while the greater part of the
crew fell an immediate sacrifice to the waves,
the remainder were seen from the shore strug-
gling for their lives, by clinging to the different
pieces of the wreck. The sea ran dreadfully
high, and broke over the sailors with such amaz-
ing fury, that no boat whatever could venture
off to their assistance. Meanwhile a planter,
considerably advanced in life, had come from
his farm to be a spectator of the shipwreck;
his heart was melted at the sight of the un-
happy seamen, and knowing the bold and en-
terprising spirit of his horse, and his particular
excellence as a swimmer, he instantly deter-
mined to make a desperate effort for their de-
liverance. He alighted and blew a little brandy
into his horse's nostrils, and again seating him-





STORIES ABOUT INSTINCT.


self in the saddle, he instantly pushed into the
midst of the breakers. At first both disap-
peared, but it was not long before they floated
on the surface, and swam up to the wreck;
when, taking with him two men, each of whom
held by one of his stirrups, he brought them
safe to shore. This perilous expedition he
repeated no less than seven times, and saved
fourteen lives; but on his return the eighth
time, being much fatigued, and meeting a most
formidable wave, he lost his balance, and was
overwhelmed in a moment. The horse swam
safely to land, but his gallant rider sank to
rise no more."
That was very unfortunate, Uncle Thomas.
I suppose the planter had been so fatigued by
his previous exertions, that he had not strength
to struggle with the strong waves."
Most likely, Harry. I dare say the poor
animal felt the loss of this kind owner very
much, for the Horse soon becomes attached
to his master, and exhibits traits of intelli-





AFFECTION OF THE HORSE.


gence and fidelity, certainly not surpassed by
those of any other animal. For instance :-A
gentleman, who was one dark night riding home
through a wood, had the misfortune to strike his
head against the branch of a tree, and fell from
his horse stunned by the blow. The noble ani-
mal immediately returned to the house which
they had left, which stood about a mile distant.
He found the door closed,-the family had retired
to bed. He pawed at it, however, till one of
them, hearing the noise, arose and opened it, and
to his surprise, saw the horse of his friend. No
sooner was the door opened than the horse turned
round as if it wished to be followed; and the
man, suspecting there was something wrong,
followed the animal, which led him directly to
the spot where its wounded master lay on the
ground.
There is another story of a somewhat simi-
lar description in which he saved his master from
perishing among the snow ; it happened in the
north of Scotland :-





STORIES ABOUT INSTINCT.


A gentleman connected with the Excise
was returning home from one of his professional
journeys. His way lay across a range of hills,
the road over which was so blocked up with
snow as to leave no trace of it discernible.
Uncertain how to proceed, he resolved to trust
to his horse, and throwing loose the reins,
allowed him to choose his course. The ani-
mal proceeded cautiously, and safely for some
time, till, coming to a ravine, both horse and
rider sunk in a snow-wreath several fathoms'
deep.
Stunned by the suddenness and depth of
the descent, the gentleman lay for some time
insensible. On recovering he found himself
nearly three yards from the dangerous spot,
with his faithful horse standing over him,
licking the snow from his face. He accounted
for his extrication, by supposing that the bridle
must have been attached to his person, but so
completely had he lost all consciousness that,
beyond the bare fact as stated, he had no





FRIENDSHIP OF ANIMALS.


knowledge of the means by which he had made
so remarkable an escape."
It was at any rate very kind in the horse
to clear away the snow, Uncle Thomas."
No doubt of it, John, and perhaps he owed
his life quite as much to this act of kindness, as
to being pulled out of the ravine. He might
have been as certainly choked by the snow out
of it as in it. Sometimes the Horse becomes
much attached to the animals with which it
associates, and its' feelings of friendship are as
powerful as those of the dog. A gentleman of
Bristol had a greyhound, which slept in the
same stable and contracted a very great inti-
macy with a fine hunter. When the dog was
taken out, the horse neighed wistfully after it,
and seemed to long for its return; he welcomed
it home with a neigh; the greyhound ran up to
the horse and licked him; the horse, in return,
scratched the greyhound's back with his teeth.
On one occasion, when the groom had the
pair out for exercise, a large dog attacked the





STORIES ABOUT INSTINCT.


greyhound, bore him to the ground, and seemed
likely to worry him, when the horse threw back
his ears, rushed forward, seized the strange dog
by the back, and flung him to a distance, which
so terrified the aggressor, that he at once desisted
and made off."
That was very kind, Uncle Thomas. I
like to hear of such instances of friendship be-
tween animals."
Such a docile animal as the Horse, boys,
can readily be trained to particular habits, and
does not readily forget them, however disrepu-
table. There is an odd story to illustrate this :-
About the middle of last century, a Scot-
tish lawyer had occasion to visit the metropolis.
At that period such journeys were usually
performed on horseback, and the traveller might
either ride post, or, if willing to travel eco-
nomically, he bought a horse before setting
out, and sold it at the end of his journey.
The lawyer had chosen the latter mode of tra-
velling, and sold the animal on which he rode





DOCILITY OF THE HORSE.


from Scotland as soon as he arrived in London.
With a view to his return, he went to Smithfield
to purchase a horse. About dusk a handsome
one was offered at so cheap a rate that he
suspected the soundness of the animal, but
being able to discover no blemish, he became
the purchaser.
"Next morning, he set out on his journey;
the horse had excellent paces, and our traveller
while riding over the first few miles, where the
road was well frequented, did not fail to con-
gratulate himself on his good fortune, which had
led him to make so advantageous a bargain.
They arrived at last at Finchley Common,
and, at a place where the road ran down a slight
eminence and up another, the lawyer met a
clergyman driving a one-horse chaise. There
was nobody within sight, and the horse by his
conduct instantly discovered the profession of his
former owner. Instead of pursuing his journey,
he ran close up to the chaise and stopped it,
having no doubt but his rider would embrace





STORIES ABOUT INSTINCT.


so favourable an opportunity for exercising his
calling. The clergyman seemed of the same
opinion, produced his purse unasked, and assured
the astonished lawyer that it was quite unne-
cessary to draw his pistol, as he did not intend to
offer any resistance. The traveller rallied his
horse, and with many apologies to the gentleman
he had so innocently and unwillingly affrighted,
pursued his journey.
They had not proceeded far till the horse
again made the same suspicious approach to a
coach, from the window of which a blunderbuss
was levelled, with denunciations of death and
destruction to the hapless and perplexed rider.
In short, after his life had been several times
endangered by the suspicions to which the con-
duct of his horse gave rise, and his liberty as often
threatened by the peace-officers, who were dis-
posed to apprehend him as a notorious highway-
man who had been the former owner of the horse,
he was obliged to part with the inauspicious
animal at a low price, and to purchase, for a high





INTELLIGENCE OF THE HORSE.


sum, one less beautiful, but not accustomed to
such dangerous habits."
Capital, Uncle Thomas I should have
liked to have seen the perplexed look of the poor
lawyer, when he saw the blunderbuss make its
appearance at the carriage window !"
"There is one other story about the Horse,
boys, illustrative of its kindness and considera-
tion, which I must tell you before we leave
this intelligent and docile animal. A horse
which was remarkable for the peculiarity of its
temper, and for its antipathy to strangers,
among other bad propensities constantly re-
sented the attempts of the groom to trim its
fetlocks. This circumstance happened to be
mentioned by its owner in conversation, in the
presence of his youngest child, a very few years
old, when he defied any man to perform the ope-
ration unassisted. The father next day, in passing
through the stable yard, beheld, with the utmost
distress, the infant employed with a pair of scissors
attempting to clip the fetlocks of the hind legs





20 STORIES ABOUT INSTINCT.
b
of this vicious hunter-an operation which had
been always performed with great danger, even
by a number of men. Instead, however, of
exhibiting his usual vicious disposition, the
horse, in the present case, was looking with the
greatest complacency on the little groom, who
soon after, to the very great relief of his father,
walked off unhurt."
That was indeed a singular instance of
docility, Uncle Thomas !"
It was so, Frank, and many more might
be told, but I must stop for the evening. Good
night, boys."
Good night, Uncle Thomas."














CHAPTER II.

UNCLE THOMAS TELLS ABOUT THE HABITS OF THE BEAVER; ALSO ABOUT
THE CURIOUS NESTS OF THE SOCIABLE GROSBEAK; AND GIVES A LONG
AND ENTERTAINING ACCOUNT OF THE WHITE ANT OF AFRICA, AND THE
IMPORTANT PART WHICH IT ACTS IN THE ECONOMY OF NATURE.

" GooD evening, boys. I am going to tell you
about a very singular animal to-night-singular
both in its conformation and its habits. I allude
to the Beaver."
Oh, we shall be so glad to hear about the
Beaver, Uncle Thomas. I have sometimes won-
dered what sort of an animal it is. It is of its
skin that hats are made-is it not ?"
It is so, Harry-at least it is of the fur
with which its skin is covered. But our business
now is with the Beaver itself. I think we shall





STORIES ABOUT INSTINCT.


get on better by confining our attention to the
habits and instincts of the animal at present,
leaving its uses for future consideration."
Very well, Uncle Thomas, we are all at-
tention."
The Beaver, which now is only to be found
in the more inaccessible parts of America, and
the northern countries of Europe, affords a
curious instance of what may be called a com-
pound structure. It has the fore feet of a land
animal, and the hind ones of an aquatic one-the
latter only being webbed. Its tail is covered
with scales like a fish, and serves to direct its
course in the water, in which it spends much of
its time.
On the rivers where they abound, they
form societies, sometimes consisting of upwards
of two hundred. They begin to assemble about
the months of July or August, and generally
choose for the place of their future habitation
the side of a lake or river. If a lake in which
the water is always pretty nearly of an uniform




HABITS OF THE BEAVER.


level, they dispense with building a dam; but if
the place they fix upon be the banks of a river,
which is liable to fluctuations in height, they im-
mediately set about constructing a pier or dam
to confine the water, so that they may always
have a good supply. This dam they build more
or less solid, according to the strength of the
current, always taking care to make it of the
form which offers the greatest resistance to the
flowing of the water."
That is very singular, Uncle Thomas. I
suppose it is their instinct which teaches them to
act in this manner."
You are right, Frank. Well, the mode in
which they set about constructing the dam is
this: having fixed upon the spot, they go into
the neighboring forest, and cut quantities of
the smaller trees, which they forthwith convey
to the place selected, and having fixed them in
the earth, interweave them strongly and closely,
filling up all the crevices with mud and stones,
so as soon to make a most compact structure.




STORIES ABOUT INSTINCT.


Sometimes even the trees take root, and the birds
build their nests in the branches."
It must be a work of very great labour, to
make a dam of this sort, Uncle Thomas."
"The labour is very considerable, boys; but
the power which, for want of a better name, we
call instinct, comes wonderfully to their aid. For
instance, it has been observed that they seek all
the trees which they want, on the banks of the
river, higher up than their building, so that
having once got them into the water, they are
easily floated to it. The same wonderful power
also teaches them to gnaw the trees, and cause
them to fall on the side nearest the water, so
as to convey them to it with the least possible
labour."
Very good, Uncle Thomas."
When the Beavers have finished the dam,
they then proceed to construct houses for them-
selves. First they dig a foundation of a size
proportioned to the number of the family which
is to inhabit it. They then form the walls of earth





HABITS OF THE BEAVER.


and stones, mixed with billets of wood crossing
each other, and thus tying the fabric together
just in the sate way as you sometimes see
masons do in building human dwellings. Their
huts, which are made to accommodate about four
old ones and six or eight young, are generally
shaped something like the figure of a haycock,
from four to seven feet high, and eight or nine
wide, and they have usually several entrances-
one or more opening into the river or lake,
below the surface of the water, and one commu-
nicating with any bushes or brushwood which
may be at hand, so as to afford the means of
escape in case of attack either on the land or
water side."
They must be pretty safe, then, Uncle
Thomas, since they can so readily escape."
They are secure enough, Frank, so long as
they have only irrational or half-reasoning ani-
mals to contend with; but when man, armed
with the power before which mere instinct
must at all times bow, attacks them, they are




STORIES ABOUT INSTINCT.


very easily overcome. Shall I tell you how the
hunters capture them ?"
If you please, Uncle Thomas."
"Very well. I must first tell you that the
skin of the Beaver is most valuable during
winter, as the fur is then thicker and finer
than during the summer; they are, therefore,
very little, if at all, molested during this season
by the hunters. When winter sets in, however,
and the lakes and rivers are frozen over, the
hunters set out to seek for the beaver colonies,
and, having found them, they make a number of
holes in the ice. They then break down the
huts, and the animals escape into the water as
a place of safety. As they cannot remain long
under water, however, they soon have occasion
to come to the surface to breathe, and of course
make for the holes which the hunters have
formed in the ice, when some of the latter, who
are waiting in readiness, knock them on the
head."
"But, Uncle Thomas, is it not very cruel to





HABITS OF THE BEAVER.


kill the Beavers so ? They feed entirely on ve-
getables, I believe, and do no harm to any one."
"You might say the same, John, of the
sheep on the downs; the one is not more cruel
than the other: both are useful to man, and
furnish him with food as well as raiment, and
both were, of course, included in the 'dominion'
which God originally gave to man 'over the
beasts of the field.' "
"Is the Beaver used for food, then, Uncle
Thomas ?"
It is, John, and except during a small part
of the year, when it feeds on the root of the
water-lily, which communicates a peculiar fla-
vour to its flesh, it is said to be very palatable.
It is, however, principally for its fur that it is
hunted; the skin, even, is of little value, being
coarser and looser in texture, and less applicable
to general uses than that of many other animals.
I dare say you have often seen it made into
gloves."
Oh yes, Uncle Thomas !"





i STORIES ABOUT INSTINCT.

I will now, boys, read to you an account of
a tame Beaver, which its owner, Mr. Broderip,
communicated to 'The Gardens and Menage-
ries of the Zoological Society :'-
The animal arrived in this country in the
winter of 1825, very young, being small and
woolly, and without the covering of long hair,
which marks the adult Beaver. It was the sole
survivor of five or six which were shipped at
the same time, and was in a very pitiable con-
dition. Good treatment soon made it familiar.
When called by its name, 'Binny,' it generally
answered with a little cry, and came to its
owner. The hearth rug was its favourite
haunt, and thereon it would lie, stretched out,
sometimes on its back, and sometimes flat on its
belly, but always near its master. The build-
ing instinct showed itself immediately after
it was let out of its cage, and materials were
placed in its way,-and this, before it had
been a week in its new quarters. Its strength,
even before it was half grown, was great. It




HABITS OF THE BEAVER.


would drag along a large sweeping-brush, or
a warming-pan, grasping the handle with his
teeth, so that the load came over its shoul-
der, and advancing in an oblique direction,
till it arrived at the point where it wished to
place it. The long and large materials were
always taken first, and two of the longest
were generally laid crosswise, with one of the
ends of each touching the wall, and the other
ends projecting out into the room. The area
formed by the crossed brushes and the wall he
would fill up with hand-brushes, rush baskets,
books, boots, sticks, cloths, dried turf, or any-
thing portable. As the work grew high, he
supported himself on his tail, which propped
him up admirably; and he would often, after
laying on one of his building materials, sit up
over against it, apparently to consider his work,
or, as the country people say, 'judge it.' This
pause was sometimes followed by changing the
position of the material 'judged,' and sometimes
it was left in its place. After he had piled





STORIES ABOUT INSTINCT.


"Bread, and bread and milk, and sugar,
formed the principal part of Binny's food; but he
was very fond of succulent fruits and roots. He
was a most entertaining creature; and some
highly comic scenes occurred between the worthy
but slow Beaver and a light and airy macauco,
that was kept in the same apartment."
1 I think I have read, Uncle Thomas, that
Beavers use their tails, as trowels to plaster
their houses, and as sledges to carry the ma-
terials to build their huts."
"I dare say you have, Frank; but such
stories are mere fables, told by the ignorant to
excite wonder in the minds of the credulous.
No such operations have been observed by the
most accurate observers of the animal's habits.
The wonderful instinct which they display in
building their houses, and in laying up a store
of food as a provision against winter, are quite
sufficient to excite our wonder and adiniation,
without having recourse to false and exaggerated
statements."




THE SOCIABLE GROSBEAK.


The building instinct of the Beaver is very
singular, Uncle Thomas. Is it displayed by any
other animal ?"
All animals exhibit it more or less, Harry,
and birds in particular, in the construction of
their nests, some of which are very curious
indeed; perhaps one of the most striking in-
stances is that of the Sociable Grosbeak, a bird
which is found in the interior of the Cape of
Good Hope. They construct their nests under
one roof, which they form of the branches of
some tall and wide-spreading tree, thatching it
all over, as it were, with a species of grass.
When they have got their habitation fairly
covered in, they lay out the inside, according to
some travellers, into regular streets, with nests
on both sides, about a couple of inches apart
from each other. In one respect, however, they
differ from the Beaver, they do not appear to
lay up a common store of food, the nature of
the climate not rendering such a precaution
necessary.





STORIES ABOUT INSTINCT.


Here is the account of one of these nests,
furnished by a gentleman who minutely ex-
amined it:-
'I observed on the way a tree with an
enormous nest of those birds to which I have
given the appellation of republicans; and as
soon as'I arrived at my camp, I despatched a few
men, with a waggon, to bring it to me, that I
might open the hive, and examine the structure
in its minutest parts. When it arrived, I cut
it in pieces with a hatchet, and found that the
chief portion of it consisted of a mass of Bosh-
man's grass, without any mixture, but so com-
pact and firmly basketed together as to be
impenetrable to the rain. This is the com-
mencement of the structure; and each bird
builds its particular nest under this canopy.
But the nests are formed only beneath the eaves
of the canopy, the upper surface remaining
void, without, however, being useless; for, as it
has a projecting rim, and is a little inclined, it
serves to let the rain-water run off, and preserves





THE SOCIABLE GROSBEAK.


each little dwelling from the wet. Figure to your-
self a huge irregular sloping roof, and all the
eaves of which are completely covered with
nests, crowded one against another, and you
will have a tolerably accurate idea of these sin-
gular edifices.
Each individual nest is three or four inches
in diameter, which is sufficient for the bird. But
as they are all in contact with one another, around
the eaves, they appear to the eye to form but one
building, and are distinguishable from each other
only by a little external aperture, which serves as
an entrance to the nest; and even this is some-
times common to three different nests, one of
which is situated at the bottom, and the other
two at the sides.
"' The large nest which I examined was one
of the most considerable which I had seen any-
where on my journey, and contained three hun-
dred and twenty inhabited cells.' "
Well, Uncle Thomas, that is very curious;
I don't know which most to admire. I rather




STORIES ABOUT INSTINCT.


incline to the beaver, however, because of the
winter store of food which it lays up."
There is another little animal, boys, which
displays the building instinct so remarkably, that
I must tell you something about it before we
part."
Which is it, Uncle Thomas ?"
"It is the White Ant of Africa; a little crea-
ture, scarcely, if at all, exceeding in size the Ants
of our own country, yet they construct large nests
of a conical or sugar-loaf shape, sometimes from
ten to twelve feet high; and one species builds
them so strong and compact, that even when they
are raised to little more than half their height,
the wild bulls of the country use them as sentinel
posts to watch over the safety of the herd which
grazes below.
Mr. Smeathman, a naturalist who examined
those Ants' nests with great care, states that on
one occasion he and four men stood on the top
of one of them. So you may guess how strong
they are."





NEST OF THE WHITE ANT.


"What are they made of, Uncle Thomas ?
They must be very curious structures. How
very different from the ant-hills of England 1"
"Very different, indeed, John. They are
made of clay and sand, and as in such a luxu-
riant climate they soon become coated over
with grass, they quickly assume the appear-
ance of haycocks. They are indeed very re-
markable structures, whether we consider them
externally or internally, and are said to excel,
in the skilfulness of their construction and in the
niceness of their adaptation to the wants of the
animal, those of the beaver and the bee in the
same proportions as the habitations of the most
polished European nations excel the huts of the
rude inhabitants of the country where the
Termites or White Ants abound; while, in regard
to mere size, Mr. Smeathman calculates that,
supposing a man's ordinary height to be six
feet, the nests of these creatures may be con-
sidered to bear the same relation to their size
as that of a man does to a building raised





STORIES ABOUT INSTINCT.


to four times the height of the largest Egyptian
pyramids !"
"That is enormous, Uncle Thomas !"
It is indeed, Frank; but strange though it
is in this point of view, the interior of the nest
is even more remarkable, many parts of its
construction falling little short of human in-
genuity. I need not attempt to describe all its
arrangements, which, without a plan, would be
nearly unintelligible; but there is one device
so admirable that I must point it out to you.
The nest is formed of two floors, as it were,
and all round the walls are galleries perforated
in various winding directions, and leading to
the storehouses of the colony, or to the nur-
series where the eggs are 'deposited. As it is
sometimes convenient, however, to reach the
galleries which open from the upper roof with-
out threading all the intricacies of these winding
passages, they construct a bridge of a single
arch between the floor of the nest and its dome,
if I may so call it, and thus at once reach the





NEST OF THE WHITE ANT.


upper roof, from which these passages diverge.
They are thus saved much labour, in trans-
porting provisions, and in bearing the eggs to
the places where they are to remain till they are
hatched."
That is indeed admirable, Uncle Thomas;
they must be very curious animals."
They divide themselves, Frank, into differ-
ent classes, in the same way as bees; choosing
a queen, and some of them acting as workers,
etc. But the White Ants have a class to which
there is nothing similar among any other race
of insects. These are what Smeathman calls
soldiers, from the duties which they perform;
they are much less numerous than the workers,
being somewhat in the proportion of one in
one hundred. The duty of the soldier-insects
is to protect the nest when it is attacked.
They are furnished with long and slender jaws,
and when enraged bite very fiercely, and some-
times drive off the negroes who may have at-
tacked them, and even white people suffer




STORIES ABOUT INSTINCT.


severely,-a bite even through the stocking
bleeding profusely. Some one who observed
the colony alarmed, by having part of the nest
broken down, gives the following account of
the subsequent operations. One of the soldiers
first makes his appearance, as if to see if the
enemy be gone, and to learn whence the attack
proceeds. By-and-bye t^b or three others
follow, and soon afterwards a numerous body
rushes out, which increases in number so long
as the attack is continued. They are at this
time in a state of the most violent agitation;
some employed in beating upon the building
with their mandibles, so as to make a noise
which may be distinctly heard at the distance
of three or four feet. Whenever the attack is
discontinued, the soldiers retire, and quickly re-
appear, followed by another class which may be
called labourers, which hasten in various direc-
tions towards the breach, each with a burden
of mortar ready tempered, and thus they soon
repair the damage. Besides the duty of pro-




NEST OF THE WHITE ANT.


testing the colony, the soldiers seem to act
as overseers of the work, one being generally
in attendance on every six or eight hundred
labourers. One, who may be looked on as
commander-in-chief, takes up his station close
to the wall which they are repairing, and fre-
quently repeats the beating which I just men-
tioned, which is instantly answered by a
loud hiss from all the labourers within the
dome,-those at work working with redoubled
energy."
But, Uncle Thomas, what can be the use
of such animals as White Ants ? I really can-
not see what use they are for."
Well, John, I confess I do not much won-
der at your question, though in putting it
you have forgotten that God makes nothing
in vain. Mr. Smeathman, who tells us so much
about these curious animals, has answered
you by anticipation; and his answer is in
such a spirit that I cannot do better than read it
to you :-




STORIES ABOUT INSTINCT.


It may appear surprising,' he says, 'how
a Being perfectly good should have created ani-
mals which seem to serve no other end but to
spread destruction and desolation wherever they
go. But let us be cautious in suspecting any
imperfection in the FATHER OF THE UNIVERSE.
What at first sight may seem only productive of
mischief will, upon mature deliberation, be found
worthy of that wisdom which planned the most
beautiful parts of the world. Many poisons
are valuable medicines. Storms are bene-
ficial; and diseases often promote life. These
Termites are indeed frequently pernicious to
mankind, but they are also very useful and
even necessary. One valuable purpose which
they serve' is to destroy decayed trees and
other substances, which, if left on the sur-
face of the ground in hot climates, would in
a short time pollute the air. In this respect
they resemble very much the common flies,
which are regarded by mankind in general as
noxious and, albeit, as useless beings in crea-





UTILITY OF THE WHITE ANT.


tion. But this is certainly for want of consi-
deration. There are not probably in all nature
animals of more importance, and it would not
be difficult to prove that we should feel the
want of one or two large quadrupeds much
less than of one or two species of these des-
picable-looking insects. Mankind in general
are sensible that nothing is more disagreeable
or more pestiferous than putrid substances;
and it is apparent to all who have made ob-
servation, that those little insects contribute
more to the quick dissolution and dispersion
of putrescent matter than any other. They
are so necessary in all hot climates, that even
in the open fields a dead animal or small
putrid substance cannot be laid upon the
ground two minutes before it will be covered
with flies and their maggots, which instantly
entering, quickly devour one part, and perfo-
rating the rest in various directions, expose the
whole to be much sooner decomposed by the
elements. Thus it is with the Termites. The




STORIES ABOUT INSTINCT.


rapid vegetation in hot climates, of which no
idea can be formed by anything to be seen in
this, is equalled by as great a degree of de-
struction from natural as well as accidental
causes. It seems apparent that when any-
thing whatever has arrived at its last degree of
perfection, the Creator has decreed that it shall
be wholly destroyed as soon as possible, that
the face of nature may be speedily adorned with
fresh productions in the bloom of spring, or the
pride of summer; so when trees and even woods
are in part destroyed by tornadoes or fire, it is
wonderful to observe how many agents are em-
ployed in hastening the total dissolution of the
rest. But in hot climates there are none so
expert, or who do their business so expeditiously
and effectually, as these insects, which in a few
weeks destroy and carry away the bodies of
large trees, without leaving a particle behind;
thus clearing the place for other vegetables,
which soon fill up every vacancy: and in places
where two or three years before there has been





UTILITY OF THE WHITE ANT. 45

a populous town, if the inhabitants, as is fre-
quently the case, have chosen to abandon it,
there shall be a very thick wood, and not a ves-
tige of a post to be seen, unless the wood has
been of a species which from its hardness is called
iron wood.' "
Thank you, Uncle Thomas.- I see, I was
quite wrong in supposing that the Ants are of
no use. I really did not imagine that they could
have been so serviceable."





46


CHAPTER III.

UNCLE THOMAS DESCRIBES THE MANNER IN WHICH WILD ELEPHANTS ARE
CAUGHT, AND RELATES SOME CURIOUS STORIES OF THE CUNNING,
AFFECTION, AND INTELLIGENCE OF THE ELEPHANT.

" WELL, boys, you are once more welcome !-
I am going to tell you some stories about the
Elephant to-night, which I hope will interest
you quite as much as those which I told you
about the dog. Next to the dog, the Elephant
is one of the most intelligent animals; some
of his actions, indeed, seem to be rather the
result of reason than mere instinct. But I
must first tell you about the animal in its native
forests.
In the luxuriant forests with which a large
portion of Asia is covered, this huge animal
reigns supreme. Its size and strength easily





ELEPHANT-HUNTING.


enable it to overcome the most formidable oppo-
nents. The intelligence with which it has been
endowed by its Creator would make it a most
formidable enemy to man, but that the same
All-wise Being has graciously created it with
peaceful and gentle feelings. In its native forests
it roams about without seeking to molest any one,
and even when caught it very soon becomes
gentle and obedient.
In the East Indies the Elephant is in very
general use as a beast of burden. For this pur-
pose it is hunted and caught in great numbers
by the natives, who employ some very ingenious
devices to deceive them, and to drive them into
the ambuscades which they form for them. The
manner in which whole herds are captured is as
follows:-
"When the herd is discovered by parties
who are -sent out in search of it, they first of all
note the direction in which it is ranging, as,
if their food is plentiful, the quiet unsuspecting
animals generally continue to advance in one




STORIES ABOUT INSTINCT.


direction for miles together; of this the hunters
take advantage, and immediately proceed to
construct, at a considerable distance in front,
a series of enclosures, into which it is their
object to drive them.
When everything is prepared, the hunters,
sometimes to the number of several hundreds,
divide themselves into small parties, and form a
large circle, so as to surround the herd. Each
party generally consists of three men, whose
duty it is to light a fire and to clear a
footpath between their station and that of
their neighbours, so that in this way a com-
munication is kept up by the whole circle, and
assistance can at once be afforded at any
point.
New circles are constantly formed at short
distances in advance, so as gradually to drive
the animals in the required direction. The
hunters are all the while concealed by the luxu-
riant brushwood or jungle, and do not show
themselves to the Elephants at all, but urge




ELEPHANT-HUNTING.


them forward by the use of drums, rattles, etc.,
etc., from the noise of which the animals seek
to escape, and thus wander on, feeding as they
proceed, toward the toils which are prepared for
them.
The keddah, or trap as it may be called,
consists of three enclosures, each formed of
strong stockades on the outside of deep ditches;
the innermost one being the strongest, because
by the time they arrive in it the Elephants are
.generally in a state of great excitement, and
would soon break down a frail barrier, and make
their escape.
"As soon as the ,herd has entered the first
enclosure, strong barricades are erected across
the entrance; and as there, is no ditch at this
point, the hunters take advantage of the intense
dread which the animal has of fire, to scare them
from this most vulnerable part of the fortification.
Fires are gradually lit all round the first enclosure,
so that the only way of escape which is left is by
the entrance to the second.




STORIES ABOUT INSTINCT.


At first, as if profiting by their former
experience, they generally shun the entrance to
the second of the series, but at last, seeing no
other chance of escape, the leader of the herd
ventures forward, and the rest follow. The gate
is instantly shut, and they are in the same
manner driven into the third enclosure. Find-
ing no outlet from this they become desperate,
scream with tremendous violence, and seek to
escape by furiously attacking the sides of the
stockade. At all points, however, they are
repulsed by lighted fires, and, the tumultu-
ous and exulting shouts of the triumphant
hunters.
In this place of confinement they remain
for several days. When their excitement has
somewhat subsided, they are enticed one by one
to enter a narrow passage leading back to the
second enclosure. As soon as one ventures in,
the entrance is closed, and as the passage is so
narrow that it cannot turn round, it soon
fatigues itself by unavailing exertions to beat




ELEPHANT-HUNTING.


down the barriers by which it is confined.
Strong ropes with running nooses are now laid
down, and no sooner does the animal put his
foot within one of them, than the rope is drawn
tight by some of the hunters who are stationed
on a small scaffold, which has in the meantime
been raised over the gateway. In the same
manner his other feet are secured. When this
has been effected, some of the hunters venture
to approach, and tie his hind legs together.
Having thus secured him, they are able with
comparative safety to complete their capture.
He is now placed between two tame Elephants,
led away to the forest and fastened to a tree;
and the same operation is repeated, till the
whole herd has been secured. So long as the
animals between which he is led away prisoner
remain with him, the captive is comparatively
quiet, but when he sees them depart, he is
agitated with all the horrors of despair, and
makes the most extravagant attempts to regain
his liberty. For some time he refuses to




STORIES ABOUT INSTINCT.


eat, but gradually becomes resigned, and feeds
freely.
A keeper is appointed to each animal, as
they are secured. His first object is to gain its
confidence; supplying it regularly with food,
pouring water over its body to keep it cool, and
gradually accustoming it to caresses. In the
course of five or six weeks he generally obtains
a complete ascendancy over it; its fetters are
removed by degrees; it knows his voice and
obeys him, and is then gradually instructed in
its future labours."
Thank you, Uncle Thomas. I think that
we now understand all about Elephant-hunting.
I could not imagine how the hunters managed
to secure such a huge animal. It seems to be
no such difficult task, after all."
It seems easy enough from description,
Frank; but it sometimes happens that they
break loose, and, irritated by their efforts to
escape, they range about in the most furious
manner, and, as they are very cunning animals,





CUNNING OF THE ELEPHANT.


it requires all the circumspection of the hunt-
ers to counteract their schemes. I recollect
a story which displays the sagacity and cun-
ning of the Elephant in a very strong
light:-
During the siege of Bhurtpore in the year
1805, when the British army, with its countless
host of followers and attendants, and thousands
of cattle, had been for a long time before the-
city, the approach of the warm season and of the
dry hot winds caused the quantity of water in
the neighbourhood of the camps to begin to
fail; the ponds or tanks had dried up, and no
more water was left than the immense wells of
the country could furnish. The multitude of
men and cattle that were unceasingly at the
wells occasioned no little struggle for priority in
procuring the supply, and the consequent con-
fusion on the spot was frequently very consider-
able. On one occasion, two Elephant-drivers,
each with his Elephant, the one remarkably
large and strong, and the other comparatively





STORIES ABOUT INSTINCT.


small and weak, were at the well together; the
smaller animal had been provided by his master
with a bucket for the occasion, which he carried
at the end of his trunk; but the other one being
unprovided with anything of the kind, either
spontaneously, or by desire of his keeper, seized
the bucket, and easily wrested it from his less
powerful opponent. The latter was too sen-
sible of his inferiority openly to resist the insult,
though it was obvious that he felt it; but
great squabbling and abuse ensued between the
keepers.
At length the weaker animal, watching the
opportunity when the other was standing with
his side to the well, retired backwards a few
paces, in a very quiet and unsuspicious manner,
and then rushing forward with all his might,
drove his head against the side of the other, and
fairly pushed him into the well. It may easily
be imagined that great inconvenience was imme-
diately experienced, and serious apprehensions
quickly followed that the water in the well, on





CUNNING OF THE ELEPHANT.


which the existence of so many seemed in a
great measure to depend, would be spoiled by the
unwieldy brute which was precipitated into it;
and as the surface of the water was nearly twenty
feet below the level of the ground, there did not
appear to be any means that could be adopted
to get the animal out by main force, without
the risk of injuring him. There were many feet
of water below the Elephant, -who floated at ease
on its surface, and experiencing considerable
pleasure from his cool retreat, he evinced but
little inclination to lend any assistance towards
his rescue.
A vast number of fascines (bundles of wood)
had been employed by the army in conducting
the siege; and at length it occurred to the Ele-
phant-keeper, that a sufficient number of these
might be lowered into the well, on which the
animal might be raised to the top, if it could
be made to lay them in regular succession
under its feet. Permission having accordingly
been obtained from the engineers to use the





56 STORIES ABOUT INSTINCT.


fascines, the keeper, by means of that extra-
ordinary ascendancy which these men attain
over their charge, joined with the intellectual
resources of the animal itself, soon taught it
how to proceed; and the Elephant began
quickly to place each fascine, as it was lowered,
under him, in succession until, in a short
time, he was able to stand upon them. By
this time, however, the cunning brute, enjoy-
ing the coolness of his situation, after the heat
and partial privation of water to which he had
been lately exposed, was unwilling to work
any longer; and all the threats of his keeper
could not induce him to place another fascine.
The man then opposed cunning to cunning,
and began to caress and praise the Elephant;
and what he could not effect by threats he
was enabled to do by the repeated promise
of plenty of arrack, a spirituous beverage com-
posed of rum, of which the Elephant is very
fond. Incited by this, the animal again set to
work, raised himself considerably higher, until,





DOCILITY OF THE ELEPHANT.


by a partial removal of the masonry round the
top of the well, he was enabled to step out,
after having been in the water about fourteen
hours."
The keepers seem to attain great ascend-
ancy over the animals, Uncle Thomas."
"The attachment of the Elephant to its
keeper, and the command which some of those
men acquire over the affections of the animal is
very extraordinary. The mere sound of the
keeper's voice has been known to reclaim an ani-
mal which had escaped from domestication, and
resumed its original freedom :-
"A female Elephant, belonging to a gentle-
man in Calcutta, who was ordered from the
-upper country to Chittagong, in the route
thither, broke loose from her keeper, and,
making her way to the woods, was lost. The
unhappy keeper tried every means to vindicate
himself, but his master, angry at the loss of so
valuable an animal, refused to listen to any
of his excuses, branded him with dishonesty,





STORIES ABOUT INSTINCT.


and charged him with having sold the Elephant.
The unfortunate keeper was tried for the theft,
and being convicted, was condemned to work on
the roads for life, and his wife and children sold
for slaves.
About twelve years after this event, this
man, who was known to be well acquainted with
taming Elephants, was sent into the country with
a party to assist in catching wild ones. They
at last came upon a herd, amongst which the
man fancied he saw the Elephant, for the loss of
which he had been condemned. He resolved
to approach it, nor could the strongest remon-
strances of the party dissuade him from the
attempt. As he advanced towards the animal,
he called her by name, when she immediately
recognized his voice; she waved her trunk in
the air as a token of salutation, and kneeling
down, allowed him to mount her neck. She
afterwards assisted in taking other Elephants,
and decoyed into the trap three young ones,
to which she had given birth since her escape.





DOCILITY OF THE ELEPHANT.


The keeper returned to his master with the
Elephant, and the singular circumstances at-
tending her recovery being told, he regained
his character; and, as a recompense for his
unmerited sufferings, had a pension settled on
him for life."
That was an instance of rare good fortune,
Uncle Thomas. How very curious that he should
fall in with the herd in which his own Elephant
was !"
It was very fortunate indeed, Frank. It
.was not a little curious too that the Elephant
should recognize him after so long a period. But
the attachment which they show to their keepers
is sometimes very great. One which in a mo-
ment of rage killed its keeper, a few years ago,
adopted his son as its carnac or driver, and
would allow no one else to assume his place.
The wife of the unfortunate man, who witnessed
the dreadful scene, in her frenzy took her two
children, and threw them at the feet of the
Elephant, saying, 'As you have slain my hus-





STORIES ABOUT INSTINCT.


band, take my life also, as well as that of my
children !' The animal, which seemed to under-
stand her distress, immediately became calm,
and, as if stung with remorse, took up the eldest
boy with its trunk, and placed him on its neck,
adopted him for its carnac, and never afterwards
allowed another to occupy that seat."
That was at least making all the reparation
in its power, Uncle Thomas."
There are one or two other stories about
the Elephant, boys, showing that he knows how
to revenge an insult, which I must tell you before
you go:-
A merchant at Bencoolen kept a tame Ele-
phant, which was so exceedingly gentle in his
habits, that he was permitted to go at large.
This huge animal used to walk about the streets
in the most quiet and orderly manner, and paid
many visits through the city to people who were
kind to him. Two cobblers having taken an ill-
will to this inoffensive creature, several times
pricked him on the proboscis with their awls,




















































Page 61.




SAGACITY OF THE ELEPHANT.


when he saluted them in passing. The noble
animal did not punish them in the manner he
might have done, and seemed to think they
were too contemptible for his anger. He took
other means to reward them for their cruelty.
He walked deliberately away, and having filled
his trunk with a quantity of dirty water, advanced
towards them in his ordinary manner, and
spouted the whole of the puddle, over them.
The punishment-was highly applauded by those
who witnessed it, and the poor cobblers were
laughed at for their pains."
Ha ha! ha He must have been a very
knowing animal, Uncle Thomas. I dare say the
cobblers behaved better in future."
I dare say they would, boys. Here is
another story of the same description, but the
trickster did not escape so easily:-
A person in the island of Ceylon, who lived
near a place where Elephants were daily led to
water, and often sat at the door of his house,
used occasionally to give one of these animals




STORIES ABOUT INSTINCT.


some fig-leaves, of which Elephants are very
fond. One day he took it into his head to play
the Elephant a trick. He wrapped a stone
round with fig-leaves, and said to the driver,
' This time I will give him a stone to eat, and
see how it will agree with him.' The driver
told him that the Elephant would not be such a
fool as to swallow a stone. The man, how-
ever, handed it the packet, but no sooner had it
touched it with its trunk, than it immediately
let it fall to the ground. 'You see,' said the
keeper, 'that I was right;' and without farther
remark he. drove away his Elephants. After
they were watered, he was conducting them again
to their stable. The man who had played
the Elephant the trick was still sitting at his door,
when, before he was aware, the animal ran
at him, threw his trunk around his body, and,
dashing him to the ground, trampled him to
death."
"Shocking! Uncle Thomas. I shall be afraid
to go near an Elephant next time I see one."




DOCILITY OF THE ELEPHANT. 63

It ought at least to teach you not to try its
temper too much, John. It is always a dan-
gerous experiment, especially with such a large
and powerful animal. But we must stop for the
evening."
Good night, Uncle Thomas."












CHAPTER IV.

UNCLE THOMAS INTRODUCES TO THE NOTICE OF HIS LITTLE AUDIENCE
THE ETTRICK SHEPHERD'S STORIES ABOUT SHEEP; AND TELLS
THEM SOME INTERESTING STORIES ABOUT THE GOAT, AND ITS
PECULIARITIES.
" I DARE say, bbys, you have not forgotten the
Ettrick ShliplLerid's wonderful -stories about his
Dogs. Some of those which he relates about
Sheep are equally remarkable, and as he tells
them in the same pleasing style, I think I can-
not do better than read to you the chapter in
' The Shepherd's Calendar' which he devotes to
this animal."
Thank you, Uncle Thomas. We remember
very well his stories about Sirrah and Hector and
Chieftain, and the old shepherd's grief at parting
with his dog."
"That's right, boys; I am happy to think




CHARACTER OF THE SHEEP. 65

t you do not forget what I tell you. But listen
.he Ettrick Shepherd:-
The Sheep has scarcely any marked cha-
save that of natural affection, of which it
sses a very great share. It is otherwise a
d indifferent animal, having few wants, and
expedients. The old black-faced or forest
have, far more powerful capabilities than
f of the' finer breeds that have been intro-
Sinto Scotland, and, therefore, the few anec-
Sthat I have to relate shall be confined to

So strong is the attachment of Sheep to
place where they have been bred, that I have
d of their returning from Yorkshire to the
glands. I was always somewhat inclined to
pect that they might have been lost by the
y, but it is certain, however, that when once
e or a few Sheep get away from the rest of
eir acquaintances, they return homeward with
eat eagerness and perseverance. I have lived
Inside a drove-road the better part of my life,




STORIES ABOUT INSTINCT.


and many stragglers have I seen bending their
steps northward- in the spring of the year. A
shepherd rarely sees these journeyers twice:
if he sees them and stops them in the morning,
they are gone long before night; and if he
sees them at night, they will be gone many
miles before morning. This strong attach-
ment to the place of their nativity is much
more predominant in our old aboriginal breed
than in any of the other kinds with which I arf
acquainted.
The most singular instance that I know
of, to be quite well authenticated, is that of
a black ewe, that returned with her lamb
from a farm in the head of Glen-Lyon, to the
farm of Harehope, in Tweeddale, and accom-
plished the journey in nine days. She was
soon missed by her owner, and a shepherd was
despatched in pursuit of her, who followed her
all the way to Crieff, where he gave her up
and returned home. He got intelligence of
her all the way, and every one told him that





AFFECTION OF THE SHEEP.


she absolutely persisted in travelling on,-she
would not be Stopped, regarding neither sheep
nor shepherd by the way. Her lamb was
often far behind, and she had constantly to
urge it on by impatient bleating. She un-
luckily came to Stirling on the morning of a
great annual fair, about the end of May, and
judging it imprudent to venture through the
crowd with her lamb, she halted on the north
side of the town the whole day, where she was
seen by hundreds, lying close by the roadside.
But next morning, when all was quiet, a little
after the break of day, she was observed stealing
quietly through the town, in apparent terror of
the dogs that were prowling about the street.
The last time she was seen on the road was at a
toll-bar near St. Ninian's; the man stopped her,
thinking she was a strayed animal, and that
some one would claim her. She tried several
times to break through by force when he opened
the gate, but he always prevented her, and at
length she turned patiently back. She had




STORIES ABOUT INSTINCT.


found some means of eluding him, however,
for home she came on a Sabbath morning, early
in June; and she left the farms of Lochs, in
Glen-Lyon, either on the Thursday afternoon or
Friday morning, a week and two days before.
The farmer of Harehope paid the Highland
farmer the price of her, and she remained on
her native farm till she died of old age, in her
seventeenth year.
"' With regard to the natural affection of
this animal, the instances that might be men-
tioned are without number. When one loses its
sight in a flock of Sheep, it is rarely abandoned
to itself in that hapless and helpless state.
Some one always attaches itself to it, and by
bleating calls it back from the precipice, the
lake, the pool, and all dangers whatever.
There is a disease among Sheep, called by
shepherds the Breakshugh, a deadly sort of
dysentery, which is as infectious as fire in a
flock. Whenever a Sheep feels itself seized by
this, it instantly withdraws from all the rest,





AFFECTION OF THE SHEEP.


shunning their society with the greatest care;
it even hides itself, and is often very hard to be
found. Though this propensity can hardly be
attributed to natural instinct, it is, at all events,
a provision of nature of the greatest kindness
and beneficence.
'Another manifest provision of nature
with regard to these animals is, that the more
inhospitable the land is on which they feed, the
greater their kindness and attention to their
young. I once herded two years on a wild and
bare farm called Willenslee, on the border of
Mid-Lothian, and of all the Sheep I ever saw,
th*,e were the kindest and most affectionate to
their lambs. I was often deeply affected at
scenes which I witnessed. We had one very
severe winter, so that our Sheep grew lean in the
spring, and thwarter-ill, a sort of paralytic
affection, came among them, and carried off a
number. Often have I seen these poor victims,
when fallen down to rise no more, even when
unable to lift their heads from the ground, hold-





STORIES ABOUT INSTINCT.


ing up the leg, to invite the starving lamb to the
miserable pittance that the udder could still
supply. I had never seen aught more painfully
affecting.
'It is well known that it is a custom with,
shepherds when a lamb dies, if the mother have
a sufficiency of milk, to bring her from the hill,
and put another lamb to her. This is done by
putting the skin of the dead lamb upon the
living one; the ewe immediately acknowledges
the relationship, and after the skin has warmed
on it, so as to give it something of the smell of
her own progeny, and it has sucked her two or
three times, she accepts and nourishes it as her
own ever after. Whether it is from joy at this
apparent reanimation of her young one, or be-
cause a little doubt remains on her mind which
she would fain dispel, I cannot decide, but for
a number of days she shows far more fondness,
by bleating and caressing over this one, than
she did formerly over the one that was really
her own. But this is not what I wanted to





AFFECTION OF THE SHEEP.


explain; it was, that such Sheep as thus lose
their lambs must be driven to a house with
dogs, so' that the lamb may be put to them;
for they will not suffer it to approach but in
.a dark confined place. But at Willenslee, I
never needed to drive home a Sheep by force
with dogs, or in any other way than the fol-
lowing: I found every ewe, of course, standing
hanging her head over her dead lamb; and
having a piece of twine with me for the purpose,
I tied that to the lamb's neck or foot, and
trailing it along, the ewe followed me into any
house or fold that I chose to lead her. Any
of them would have followed me in that way
for miles, with her nose close on the lamb,
which she never quitted for a moment, except
to chase my dog, which she would not suffer
to walk near. me. I often, out of curiosity,
led them into the side of the kitchen-fire by
this means, into the midst of servants and
dogs; but the *more that dangers multiplied
around the ewe, she clung the closer to her dead




STORIES ABOUT INSTINCT.


offspring, and thought of nothing whatever
but protecting it. One of the two years while
I remained on this farm, a severe blast of
snow came on by night, about the latter end
of April, which destroyed several scores of our
lambs; and as we had not enough of twins and
odd lambs for the mothers that had lost theirs,
of course we selected the best ewes, and put
lambs to them. As we were making the dis-
tribution, I requested of my master to spare me
a lamb for a hawked ewe which he knew,
and which was standing over a dead lamb
in the head of the Hope, about four miles from
the house. He would not do it, but bid me
let her remain for a day or two, and per-
haps a twin would be forthcoming. I did
so, and faithfully she did stand to her charge;
so faithfully, that I think the like never was
equalled by any of the woolly race. I visited
her every morning and evening, and for
the first eight days never found her above
two or three yards from the lamb; and al-





AFFECTION OF THE SHEEP. 76

ways, as I went my rounds, she eyed me
long ere I came near her, and kept tramp-
ing with her feet, and whistling through her
nose, to frighten away the dog; he got a
regular chase twice a day as I passed by: but,
however excited and fierce a ewe may be, she
never offers any resistance to mankind, being
perfectly and meekly passive to them. The
weather grew fine and warm, and the dead
lamb soon decayed, which the body of a
dead lamb does particularly soon; but still
this affectionate and desolate creature kept
hanging over the poor remains with an attach-
ment that seemed to be nourished by hope-
lessness. It often drew the tears from my
eyes to see her hanging with such fondness
over a few bones, mixed with a small portion
of wool. For the first fortnight she never
quitted the spot, and for another week she
visited it every morning and evening, uttering
a few kindly and heart-piercing bleats each time;
till at length every remnant of her offspring





STORIES ABOUT INSTINCT.


vanished, mixing with the soil, or wafted away
by the winds.'"
Poor creature! Uncle Thomas, that was
very affecting."
So much for the Ettrick Shepherd's stories,
I will now tell you of a remarkable instance of
sagacity in a Roebuck, which is mentioned in
Monk Lewis's correspondence. Here it is:-
' One of the farm-keeper's wives going homewards
through the wood, saw a Roebuck running to-
wards her with great speed. Thinking it was
going to attack her with its horns, she was con-
siderably alarmed; but, at the distance of a few
paces, the animal stopped and disappeared among
the bushes. The woman recovered herself,
and was proceeding on her way when the
Roebuck appeared again, ran towards her as
before, and again retreated without doing her
any harm. On this being done a third time,
the woman was induced to follow it till it led
her to the side of a deep ditch, in which she
discovered a young Roebuck unable to extriL





HABITS OF THE GOAT.


cate itself, and on the point of being drowned.
The woman immediately tried to rescue it,
during which the other Roebuck stood by
quietly, and, as soon as her exertions were
successful, the two animals galloped off to-
gether.'
"Though it differs in many respects from
the Sheep, the Goat bears so strong a resemblance
to that animal, that now I am speaking of it,
I may as well tell you a story or two about
the Goat. It will save my returning to it after-
wards."
Very well, Uncle Thomas."
"The Goat is in every respect more fitted
for a life of savage liberty than the Sheep.
It is of a more lively disposition, and is pos-
sessed of a greater degree of intelligence. It
readily attaches itself to man, and seems sen-
sible of his caresses. It delights in climbing
rocky precipices, and going to the very edge of
danger. Nature has admirably fitted it for
traversing such places with ease; its hoof is





STORIES ABOUT INSTINCT.


hollow underneath, with sharp edges, so that it
walks as securely on the ridge of a house as on
the level ground.
The celebrated traveller Dr. Clarke gives a
very curious account of a Goat, which was trained
to exhibit various amusing feats of dexterity.
We met,' says he, an Arab with a Goat
which he led about the country to exhibit in
order to gain a livelihood for itself and its owner.
He had taught this animal, while he accompanied
its movements with a song,'to mount upon little
cylindrical blocks of wood, placed successively
one above another, and in shape resembling the
dice-box belonging to a backgammon table.
In this manner the Goat stood, first on the top
of one cylinder, then on the top of two;
afterwards, of three, four, five, and six, until
it remained balanced upon the summit of them
all, elevated several feet above the ground, and
with its four feet collected upon a single point,
without throwing down the disjointed fabric
on which it stood. The diameter pf the upper




COURAGE OF THE GOAT.


cylinder, on which its four feet alternately
remained until the Arab had ended his ditty,
was only two inches,.and the length of each six
inches. The most curious part of the per-
formance occurred afterwards; for the Arab,
to convince us of the animal's attention to the
turn of the air, occasionally interrupted it; and
as often as he did this, the goat tottered,
appeared uneasy, and upon his becoming sud-
denly silent, in the middle of his song, it fell to
the ground.' "
Like the Sheep, the Goat possesses great
natural affection for its young. In its de-
fence it boldly repels the attacks of the most
formidable opponents. I remember a little
story which finely illustrates this instinctive
courage :
A gentleman having missed one of his Goats
when his flock was taken home at night, being
afraid the wanderer would get among and de-
stroy the young trees in the nursery, two boys,
wrapped in their plaids, were appointed to keep




STORIES ABOUT INSTINCT.


watch all night. When the morning dawned,
they set out in search of her. They at length
discovered her on a pointed rock at a consider-
able distance, and hastening to the spot, per-
ceived her standing over her kid with the
greatest anxiety, defending it from a fox.. Rey-
nard turned round and round to lay hold of his
prey, but the Goat presented her horns in every
direction. The youngest boy was" despatched for
assistance to attack the fox, and the eldest, by
hallooing and throwing stones, sought to inti-
midate it as he advanced to the rescue. The
fox seemed well aware that the child could
not execute his threats; he looked at him one
instant, and then renewed the assault, till, quite
impatient, he made a sudden spring at the kid.
"The whole three animals then suddenly dis-
appeared, and were found at the bottom of
the precipice. The Goat's horns were darted
into the back of the fox, and the kid lay
stretched beside them. It is supposed that
the fox had fixed his teeth in the kid, for its




AFFECTION OF THE GOAT.


neck was lacerated; but the blow by which the
faithful mother had inflicted the death wound
upon her mortal enemy had been struck with so
much determination, that she had lost her balance,
and the whole three were thus precipitated over
the rock.
There is another story of the Goat, which
places its gratitude and affection in such an inte-
resting light, that I am sure it will delight you:-
After the final suppression of the Scottish
rebellion of 1715 by the decisive battle of
Preston, a gentleman who had taken a very
active share in it escaped to the West High-
lands, to the residence of a female relative, who
afforded him an asylum. As, in consequence
of the strict search which was made after the
ringleaders, it was soon judged unsafe for him
to remain in the house of his friend, he was
conducted to a cavern in a sequestered situation,
and furnished with a supply of food. The ap-
proach to this lonely abode consisted of a small
aperture, through which he. crept, dragging his




STORIES ABOUT INSTINCT.


provisions along with him. A little way from
the mouth of the cave the roof became elevated,
but, on advancing, an obstacle obstructed his
progress. He soon perceived that, whatever it
might be, the object was a living one, but,
suspicious of danger though he was, he felt
unwilling to strike at a venture with his dirk,
but stooped down, and discovered a Goat and
her kid lying on the ground. The animal was
evidently in great pain, and on passing his
hand over her body, he discovered that one of
her legs was fractured. He accordingly bound
it up with his garter, and offered her some of
his bread; but she refused to eat, and stretched
out her tongue, as if intimating that her mouth
was parched with thirst. He gave her water,
which she drank greedily, and then she ate -
the bread. At midnight he ventured from the
cave, pulled a quantity of grass and the tender
branches of trees, and carried them to the
poor sufferer, who received them with demon-
strations of gratitude.




GRATITUDE OF THE GOAT.


The only thing which the fugitive had to
occupy his attention in his dreary abode was
administering comfort to the Goat; and secluded
and solitary as he was he was thankful to
have any living creature beside-him. Under
his care the animal quickly recovered, and be-
came tenderly attached to him. It happened
that the servant who' was intrusted with the
secret of his retreat fell sick, when it became
necessary to send another with the daily pro-
vision. The Goat, on this occasion happening
to be lying near the mouth of the cavern,
violently opposed the entrance of the stranger,
butting him furiously with her head. The
fugitive, hearing the noise, advanced, and re-
ceiving the watchword from his new attendant,
interposed, and the faithful Goat permitted him
to pass. So resolute was the animal on this
occasion, that the gentleman was convinced she
would have died in his defence."
That was noble, Uncle Thomas."












CHAPTER V.
UNCLE THOMAS RELATES SOME VERY REMARKABLE STORIES ABOUT THE
CAT; POINTS OUT TO THE BOYS THE CONNECTION SUBSISTING BETWEEN
THE DOMESTIC CAT AND THE LION AND TIGER, AND TELLS THEM SOME
STORIES ABOUT THE GENTLENESS AS WELL AS THE FEROCITY OF THOSE
ANIMALS.
" TROUGH far from being so general a favourite
as the dog, the domestic Cat has many qualities
to recommend it to our regard, and some of the.
stories which I am going to tell you exhibit
instances of gentleness and affection which
cannot be surpassed.
I dare say, Frank, you recollect the cir-
cumstance of the, Duke of Norfolk's Cat'"
seeking to share his imprisonment by getting
down the chimney of his room when he was
confined in the Tower, during the reign of
Queen Elizabeth. Here, however, is an in-




FELINE AFFECTION.


Stance of still stronger attachment to its master,
which will match indeed with the best of those
of the dog :-
A Cat which had been brought up in a
family became extremely attached to the eldest
child, a little boy, who was very fond of play-
ing with her. She bore with the most exem-
plary patience any little maltreatment which
she received from. him-which even good-
natured children seldom fail, occasionally, to
give to animals in their sports with them-
without ever making any attempt at resistance.
Whenever she caught a mouse, she brought
it alive to her friend; if he showed any de-
sire to take her prey from her, she would suffer
it to escape, and waited to see whether he was
able to catch it. If he did not, the Cat darted
at, seized it, and laid it again before him;
and in this manner the sport continued as long
as the child showed any inclination for the
amusement.
It happened that the boy was attacked by
/




STORIES ABOUT INSTINCT.


small-pox, and during the early stages of the
disease the Cat never quitted his bedside; but,
as the danger increased, it was found necessary
to remove the Cat and lock her up. At length
the child died. On the following day the Cat
having escaped from her confinement, imme-
diately ran to the apartment where she hoped
to find her playmate. Disappointed in her
expectation, she sought for him with symptoms
of great uneasiness and loud lamentations, all
over the house, till she came to the door of the
room in which the corpse lay. Here she lay
down in silent melancholy, till she was again
locked up. As soon as the child was interred,
the Cat was set at liberty; she soon disappeared,
and it was not till nearly a fortnight had
elapsed that she returned to the well-known
apartment, quite emaciated. She refused, how-
ever, to take any food, and soon again escaped,
with dismal cries. At length, compelled by
hunger, she made her appearance daily at
dinner-time, but always left the house as soon









































































































Page 85.


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r--
--- ----- '"' ~ -,
c'V





FELINE AFFECTION. 85

as she had eaten the portion of food assigned to
her. No one knew where she spent the rest of
the time, till she was one day discovered under
the wall of the burying-ground, close to the
grave of her favourite; and so indelible was
her attachment to' her deceased friend, that till
his parents removed to another place, five years
afterwards, she never, except in the greatest
severity of winter, passed the night anywhere
else than close to the grave. It was somewhat
curious, that although she suffered herself to
be played with by the other children, she never
exhibited a particular partiality for any of
them."
"Poor Puss It certainly was a most affec-
tionate creature, Uncle Thomas."
"There is another story of the Cat's attach-
ment, boys, which I lately saw recorded in a
provincial newspaper. It serves to illustrate
the unexplained-I had almost said unexplain-
able-instinct which carries animals from one
place to another, although they may never


U





STORIES ABOUT INSTINCT.


have been that way before. A short time ago,
a family removed from the metropolis of Scot-
land to another town, at the distance of up-
wards of thirty miles, to reach which it is
necessary to cross an arm of the sea, several
miles in breadth, or to make a circuit of about
twenty miles. They had a favourite Cat, which,
previous to their removal, alarmed perhaps by
the unwonted bustle, hid itself, and no stra-
tagem could induce it to leave its place of con-
cealment. They of course gave her up for lost.
It happened, however, that one morning, after
they had been settled for several weeks in
their new abode, their attention was attracted by
a violent scratching at the door; on opening it,
greatly to their astonishment, in walked their
favourite Cat, of which, from the time of their
removal, they had heard nothing. How she had
found out the way, whether she had crossed
the sea or avoided it by making the long circuit
of which I told you, it was of course im-
possible to tell, but it certainly is one of





FELINE AFFECTION.


the most remarkable instances of the kind on
record."
It is a most mysterious affair, Uncle
Thomas."
It is so, Harry, but the instance is not a
solitary one. The same thing happened with
the favourite Cat of a nobleman, which on being
removed to his country seat, more than a hin-
dred miles from London, found her way back
to his house in town."
I recollect, boys, how highly pleased you
were with the story which I told you about
the dog discovering the murderers of his
master. There is one of a very similar de-
scription of a French Cat, which I am sure
will also interest you:-
In the beginning of the present century a
woman was murdered in Paris. The magis-
trate who went to investigate the affair was
accompanied by a physician; they found the
body lying upon the floor. Upon a chest in
a corner of the room sat a Cat, motionless, with




STORIES ABOUT INSTINCT.


its eyes stedfastly fixed upon the body of its
murdered mistress. Many persons, drawn by
curiosity, now entered the apartment, but
neither the appearance of such a crowd of
strangers, nor the confusion that prevailed in
the place, could make the Cat change her
position. In the meantime, several persons
were apprehended on suspicion of being con-
cerned in the murder, and it was resolved to
lead them into the apartment. Before the Cat
saw them, when she only heard their footsteps
approaching, her eyes flashed with increased
fury, her hair stood erect, and as soon as
they entered the apartment, she sprang towards
them with expressions of the most violent rage
but did not venture to attack them, being
probably alarmed by the crowd that followed.
After turning several times towards them with
a peculiar ferocity of aspect, she crept into a
corner,. with an air indicative of the deepest
melancholy. This extraordinary behaviour of
the Cat astonished every one present, nor was