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THE LONG-EARED SQUIRREL. Sciur u macrotis.
CECIL'S BOOKS OF NATURAL HISTORY.ECIL'SOOK OF EASTS.BYSELIM H. PEABODY, M.A.PHILADELPIHIA:"CLAXTON, REMSEN & HAFFELFINGER,819 & 821 MARKET STREET.1871.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1869,BY SELIM H. PEABODY,In the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
TABLE OF CONTENTS.BOUT QCUIRFPELS.THE LONG-EARED SQUIRREL, Sciurus macrotis Frontispiece.SQUIRRELS: Their names- The Red Squirrel--Its nest- The GraySquirrel- The Long-eared Squirrel- The Chipping Squirrel-GROUND SQUIRRELS -The Striped Gopher -THE FLYING SQUIR-REL- Squirrel frolics- Their journeys- Their teeth- Squir-rels in cities- Squirrel lessons ...... 11BOUT fEAVERS.BEAVERS AT WORK, Castor Canadenass.BEAVERS: Work like a beaver!- Their teeth Their dams- Theirtails- Their houses- Their skins- Roasted beaver- Tamebeavers Their ability to reason ...... 29ABOUT DEER.THE AMERICAN ELK, Alces malchis.DEER: Their horns- How they grow- The Chase- The Stag- TheFallow Deer The Roe-buck The Wapiti Adventure with awapiti-The Virginia Deer -Night hunting- THE ELK- Elkyards-THE REINDEER-Milking in Lapland-God's care fordeer .481*
vi CONTENTS.ABOUT 3ATS.THE VAMPIRE BAT, Jampyrus spectr-m.BATS: How they eat Useful like toads Their wings The BlackRousette- The Kalong- THE VAMPIRE -Do they suck blood-"FLITTER-MICE FOLDED-EARS Tamed bats Poetical treat-ment of bats .. 67BOUT SEALS.THE CRESTED SEAL, Phoca cri.stata.SEALS: How fish breathe-Seals not fish-The Common Seal-Catch-ing seals- A tame seal- The Harp Seal- The Crested Seal-The Elephant Seal-The Sea Lion-The Sea Bear-TheWalrus .... .81A BOUT CATTLE.THE AMERICAN BISON, Ros Americanus.CATTLE : "When the Cows come home" The value of the Ox Cattleintroduced into America -Varieties of English Cattle--TheBrahmin Bull- THE BISON- Hunting the bison- What theIndians do with him- The European Bison- THE BUFFALO-Battle with a Tiger -The Arnee -The Cape Buffalo TheYak- THE MUSK Ox-- Worship of cattle. 99ABOUT JEAP^>.THE BLACK BFAR, 7Urs U Americntns.BEARS : Description Sleep in winter The Black Bear Eats honey-The Brown Bear-The Grizzly Bear-The Polar Bear--Catches seals His great strength -Hunting the White Bear -Mrs. Bear's nursery- The bear's nature 128ABOUT THEE HINOCEf7S.THE KEITLOA, Rhinoceros bicorni.THE RHINOCEROS; The Indian jungle- General description -Thehorn The Indian Rhinoceros-The Javanese Rhinoceros--The Keitloa-The Borele-The White Rhinoceros-The foodofthe Rhinoceros- The ancient Unicorn
CONTENTS. viiTHE HIPPOPOTAMUS--Its home-In the Limpopo-- umming and theSea-cow- How the natives take the Hippopotamus-Behemoth 139}ABOUT SEVERAL FUNNY FELLOWS.STHE KANGAROO, Macropus major.THE DUCKBILL: Queer things in Australia-The Duckbill's name-Appearance of the living creature His home .TE KANGAROO : Description The Boomerang- The Tree Kangaroo -The Brush-tailed Bettong .THE OPOSSUM: The Virginia Opossum-'Possum hunting- How ithunts-How it feigns death Its nestTHE ANT-EATER: The Aard-vark--The Great Ant Bear--The LittleAnt-eater ... . .159ABOUT ANTELOPES.THE SABLE ANTELOPE, Egocesrus niger.ANTELOPES: The Gazelle-Hunting the gazelle- The Spring-bok-" Trek-bokken" The Sasin- The Klip-springer- The Mado-qua- The Pigmy Antelope--The Water-buck- The SableAntelope- The Gems-bok- The Water-root--Fight betweengems-bok and lion The Oryx The Eland The Nylghau-The Gnu- The Chamois- The Prong-horn Antelope .183ABOUT RATS.THE NORWAY RAT, fus decumanus.RATs: Their migrations Killing them in Paris The Norway Rat -How he works-How to destroy him-Old Brownie's Chick-ens- The usefulness of rats 205
10GRACE AND CECIL,AND TO SUCHTHOUGHTFUL ADS AND WINSOMHE .ASSESAS LEARNFrom all tkat lowliest creep, or loftiest soar, alike, lessonsof order, beauty, wisdo n, and love,THESE VOLUMES ARE INSUCIBED.
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He prayeth well who loveth wellBoth man and bird and beast;He prayeth best who loveth bestAll things, both great and smallFor the dear God who loveth us,He made and loveth all.The Rime of Ite Ancient Mariner.
ABOUT SQUIRIPELS.BRANCH- erterata. Having a back bone.CLAss-MHamenalia. -Feeding the young with milk.ORD-ER-Rodenfia. Gawers.FAMILY -Scilride. Squirrel-like.GENus- Surus. True Squirrels.VERY one loves the squirrel.His form is so lithe and grace-ful, his coat so beautiful andG6 clean, his movements so agile,and his whole behavior sosprightly, that he is a generalfavorite. In autumn, when theStrees are glowing with brilliantcolors; while hickory-nuts,beech-nuts, and chestnuts are every wheredropping among the rustling leaves; then isthe carnival of squirrels.
12 ABOUT S UIRRELS.You hear a sharp, shrill chirp; and if quickenough, see in the fork, or on the rugged knotof some old oak, a bright-eyed little fellow,scolding and flirting, evidently quite vexed atyour intrusion, and afraid that you will seewhere he means to bestow the nuts which fillhis puffy cheeks. Watch him slyly and quietly,my friend, if you wish to observe him. If youapproach too near, his whisking tail vanishesbehind the tree, and presently you see him.skipping from limb to limb, till he is lost amongthe distant tree tops.Should you come upon him unawares, youwould find a sleek, grey-haired little fellow,sitting erect upon his hinder feet, with his tailturned up against his back like a plume, whilehe is gnawing a hole into a nut which he holdsin his fore paws. There, it is done, and theempty shell rattles on the ground. He looksaround-sees you, chirps, whisks his tail, and-good-by.The boys in old Greece, who wandered in thevale of Tempe, and gathered nuts on the rugged
THEIR NAMES. 13sides of high Olympus, knew this little fellow'sgreat-grandfather, and called him Scinrus, orShadow-tail. The Indian boys hunted him bythe great lakes and the rushing streams ofthe New World, and they called him Adji-daumo, or Tail-in-air. From the old Greekname has descended, through various languages,our word, squirrel.The time when this family settled in Ameri-ca is not very accurately known, but it is gen-erally admitted that the squirrels came beforewhite men. They have separated into variousclans, wearing garments of different colors, andhave even allowed bitter feuds to spring upamong them. They all have, however, long,broad, plumed tails; sharp, chisel-shaped frontteeth, two in each jaw; and long toes, four onthe fore-feet, and five on the hinder ones, armedwith strong, sharp claws to assist in climbing.There are about fifty American species, twelveof which are found in the United States.The common Red Squirrel, or Chickaree,Sciurus Hudsonius,'is seven or eight inches long2
14 ABOUT S.QUIRRELS.to the tail, which is about six inches. Thecolor of the head, back, legs, and tail, is red-dish brown; the breast and belly are white;the eyes are large, dark and lively; the legs,short and strong. On the ground the motion isa succession of leaps, the tail extended and wav-ing. When it eats, or dresses itself, sittingerect like the hare or rabbit, it uses its fore-paws as hands. It lives upon nuts, acorns, thebark of young trees, leaf-buds, and tendershoots, and does not object to the farmer's corn,if grown in the outside rows. In autumn itprovidently hoards away in the ground, and inholes of trees near its own nest, stores of foodon which it may subsist when fruit and foliageare gone.i The squirrel makes its nest very skillfully oftwigs, dry leaves, and moss, curiously interwo-ven, and hides it in the hollow of a decayedtree, or in the fork between the branches. Inthe latter case it closes up the sides and top, ex-cept a small opening to go in and out at.It defends this door from the weather by a kind
THE GRAY SQUIRREL 15of canopy or shed, so constructed that no watercan come in, even in the most driving storm.In this retreat the little creature conceals itsyoung, and shelters itself from summer rainsand winter's cold.The squirrel is extremely vigilant. If the treein which it lives, is but touched at the bottom,it instantly takes the alarm, quits its nest, leapsto another and another tree, and so travels onuntil it finds a place of safety. After an absenceof several hours it returns with great caution,and by routes which no other quadruped couldtraverse.The Red Squirrel is, perhaps, more widelyknown in both hemispheres, than any other.In the Northern and Middle States of our owncountry the Gray Squirrel, S. Carolinensis, isquite as numerous, and is much more admired,on account of his larger size, his more beautifulfur, and his preeminence in all those engagingqualities which make his family so agreeable.His color is of every shade, from a fine blue-ish grey to jet black. His plume, which is
I6 ABOUT SU)IRRELS.very large and bushy, is often edged with white.In some places these squirrels are so numer-ous as to become pests, not remaining withintheir forest home, but ravaging the fields andstacks of grain. In a corn-field they are pe-culiarly provoking, for they do not eat thewhole kernel of the grain, but bite out the softgerminating part, which the farmers call thechit, and spoil the rest. But when harvest isover, and the squirrels have grown fat withtheir plunder, thousands are killed with trapsand guns. Their flesh is very good eating, andtheir fur is much used for capes and muffs.These squirrels are often tamed, and their play-ful and mischievous habits afford much amuse-ment.The Long-eared Squirrel, S. Macrotis, livesin Borneo. Its name comes from tufts ofglossy, black, stiff hairs about two inches long,which decorate the tips of its ears. Its body isa foot long, and its tail as much more. Itscolor is rich chestnut brown above, fading intolighter brown beneath.
THE GROUND SQUIRREL. 17GEsNs Tamias, or Striped Squirrels.The Chipping, Striped, or Ground Squirrel,or Chipmunk, Tamias Striatus, is a lively, famil- -iar animal, often seen dodging about fences,walls, and the roots of trees. It is five or sixinches long to the tail, which is about fourinches. Its general color above is yellowishgrey and brown, finely grizzled, striped on theback and sides with five longitudinal bands.It does not climb unless surprised, but makesits hole near the roots of a stump or tree, intowhich it carries its stores for winter, and whereit stays, without once coming out, while the coldweather lasts.GBaus--Bpennmoph, Ground Squirrels and Gophers.These are all burrowing animals, and arespecially numerous in the West, whose broadprairies afford no forest shelter for theirtree-loving cousins. With great industry andrapidity, they dig long galleries under ground,throwing out mounds of earth here and there aslarge as a bushel basket. So thoroughly have2*
18 ABOUT S UIRRELS.these little creatures dug over the sandy prairi,-vof Wisconsin, that the hillocks are as numerotu,though not as regular, as in a corn-field.The Striped Gopher or Leopard Spermophile,S. tri-decem-lineatus, is about as large as the RedSquirrel, with a tail about half the length of thebody. The color is dark brown above, bandedwith alternate light stripes and rows of lightspots, there being six stripes, and five rows ofspots. It vanishes into its burrow with a chirpwhenever alarmed.Gmxs Pteromys, Plying Squirrels.The common Flying Squirrel, P. volucella, isabout five inches long to the tail, which is butlittle less. This little animal has a fold of skin,covered, like the rest of his body, with soft silkyfur, which extends along his sides from his fore-feet to his hind-feet. When he leaps, throwinghis feet out, this skin is stretched between them,and spreads like a sail on either side. In thisway his buoyancy is much increased, and hiswhole body resembles a skin floating in the air.
THE FL ING S UIRREL. 19He skims along like a bird on even wing, notbeating the air, but gradually descending, untilhe alights at a place somewhat lower than thatfrom which he sprang, and sometimes one hun-dred and fifty feet distant. The Flying Squir-rel feeds chiefly upon the twigs of trees, and theseeds found in the cones of pine trees.The following pleasant description of the do-mestic life of these animals is given by thenaturalist Webber:"Then, when I went out by myself into thedeep woods, I sat down on the moss at the rootof an old tree to watch for the squirrel. Whenevery thing was still again, I would see himafter a while poking his head out of the hole,snuff! snuff! Then out his head would popto rest his chin upon his paws, and he wouldlook all around, above and below, very cun-ningly, to see if all was right. Then out like athought he would glide, and I could see hislovely brush quickly curled and spread sograndly above his head, as he sat upon a limb,still for a moment. Lo! there is another snuff-
20 ABOUT SQUIRRELS.ing nose, and then great shining eyes fillingthe round black knot-hole, and out another pops,and another and another. Such whisking oftails, darting along limbs, and bounding fromswinging twig to rustling tree-top, until they allmeet!"Now the frolic begins in earnest, and theydart round and round the trunks, rattling thebark down as they chase each other. Theirtails are spread now as wide as they can, as ifthey were scared; and that lady squirrel hemakes love to, you may be sure, for now he haschased her out to the very end of a great highlimb; and, hard pushed, here she comes rightoff into the air! down almost into my face -the white of her arms underneath spread widelike her stiffened tail -into the leaves headforemost, and then up and away, patter! patter!patter! Here he comes, too, sailing down afterher, plump! and rattles off along the old logsand swinging vines in hot chase."So would they all frolic, chasing one anoth-er, and one of them would see me, and stop,
SQUIRREL yOURNETS. 21and stamp his tiny feet, and bark at me, jerkinghis tail in comic wrath."In the North of Europe, the squirrels, likethe birds, are said to migrate yearly, to find awarmer climate. In their journeys they marchby thousands, moving straight on, over rocks,through forests, not stopping even for rivers andlakes. Indeed, were not the wonderful tales oftheir journeys, proved by so high authority asLinnaeus, they could hardly be believed. Ac-cording to that naturalist, when the army ofsquirrels comes to the edge of a stream or lake,they wait for a clear sky and a fair wind, andwhen all is ready, each one on his chosen bit ofbark pushes out into the water. In this orderlymanner, with all tails hoisted, the little fleetssometimes cross sheets of water several miles inwidth. But often they meet the fate of others"who go down to the sea in ships." The windbecomes too strong, or the waves, which werepeaceful near the shore, are too rough for barkswithout keel or ballast, and the whole navysuffers shipwreck. The roving Laplander gath-
22 ABOUT S.UZRRELS.ers the bodies as the waves cast them ashore,and makes both flesh and skins useful.The front or cutting teeth, which the squirrelhas in common with the other members of theorder Rodentia, or Gnawers, are worthy of notice,for they show, as indeed does every thing innature, the care with which the Creator adaptedhis creatures to their peculiar mode of life.The rodents, including squirrels, rats, mice,beavers, and rabbits, have to bite throughtough, hard substances, like the shells of nutsor the wood of trees, and require sharp, chisel-like teeth, which, at the same time, must bevery firm and strong.The teeth of men and most quadrupeds, areformed of hard ivory, covered with a hardercoating of enamel. If they wear away by longuse, all parts wear alike, leaving a flat grindingsurface, and they do not grow. The front orcutting teeth of the rodents are covered only infront with enamel; this wears more slowlythan the ivory, and always presents a sharp, cut-ting edge. The severe use to which the animal
THEIR TEETH. 23puts his teeth, wears out even this sharp ridgeof enamel, and, therefore, these teeth are madeto grow constantly.The molar, or grinding teeth of some of therodents, as of the rat and the beaver, are formedof alternate ridges of ivory and enamel, thatthey may wear into rasp-like ridges, and thusgrind the hard substances which they eat. Thekernels of nuts which the squirrels eat are nothard, so that, while their front teeth will gnawthrough a nut shell, their grinders are madelike those of other quadrupeds.In the public squares of New Haven andPhiladelphia, these beautiful creatures, pro-tected from dogs, and respected by boys, havebecome very tame. On a bright day in autumn,scores of waving plumes may be seen among theleaves as the squirrels chase each other in thegrass, or lay up stores for the winter. Manybits of food are given by passing school-boys tothe timorous fellows, that are half afraid, butstill muster courage to seize the morsel offeredthem. Then they retreat a little way, and
24 ABOUT S.UIRRELSmunch their prize, saying " Thank you" withbright eyes, the while.One quiet afternoon, while musing in one ofthe squares, I observed a grey squirrel with anut in his cheek, evidently looking for a hidingplace. Presently he stopped, pushed away thegrass and began to dig with all his might. Ina moment he had a hole two or three inchesdeep, into which he vigorously crammed thenut. When he was satisfied that it was right,he put back the earth, patted it down carefully,scratched the grass and leaves over the spot,and whisked away, with a sly wink at me, whichsaid " Find it if you can." And sure enough,when I tried to find the spot, from which hissprightly motion had drawn my eye, I tried invain. He had covered his work so skillfullythat I could not find it, though I had watchedevery motion.As I walked away I asked myself this ques-tion: Is man's reason really more valuablethan the brute's instinct, if the man's reasononly teaches him to lay up for old age, while
S. UIRREL-LESSONS. 25the brute knows when to lay by store forwinter? Indeed the brute would seem to bemost sagacious, for the waning years of otherswould constantly warn the man of his comingfortune, while the squirrel only saw the brightsun and falling leaves, and heard the dry leavesrustle in the whistling wind. Unless man learnsto lay up treasure beyond the storehouses ofthis life, how is he better than the beasts thatperish ?Again, I thought, would that every child,every man and woman, would imitate the earn-estness of the squirrel. His work was beforehim and it must be done. Ile rested not untilit was done. He did not dig a moment andthen lie down to dally with the green grass orthe withered leaves, he looked neither to rightnor left, but wrought straight on till his workwas finished; finished with such care, too, andso completely, that no broken earth, no twistedblade of grass betrayed the spot. 0 ye, whobegin and leave unfinished, who are drawn from3
26 ABOUT S.UIRRELS.well-planned schemes, by fresher novelties, everchanging, learn from my squirrel!Still another lesson did this bright eyedmonitor teach. The nut he buried he mightnever uncover. He, perhaps, forgot where heburied it; perhaps he wandered far away; per-haps he died; but even then the seed wouldshow itself, springing into life, the germ ofsome tall tree, and so that burial be not in vain.God, in his providence, has so arranged thateven the squirrels plant his forests, while con-cealiig for themselves. Shall he not bless thatwhich is sown, and watered, and nourished,with earnest hope and faith, as well as thischance seeding?
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IN iBEAVERS AT WORK. Castor Canadensis.
PBOUT PBEAVERS.VERTEBRATA. MAMMALIA.ORDER Rodentia. Gnawers.FAMILY--Seiuridc. Squirrel-like.GENUS Cwstor The Beaver.ORIK like a beaver! How isthat? Don't you know? Itis to be up early and late; todig, and gnaw, and scrub, anddelve. To stop at nothing.If a great tree is in the way,bite it off, chip by chip. Ifthe rock won't move, buildround it, work it in, and makeits firmness the strength of the wall. If thewater rises, build higher. If it breaks through,3*
30 ABOUT BEAVERS.fill up the hole. Where the work is weak,make it stronger. If the winter's cold freezesit, so much the better, the wolverines can't getthrough. If the warm rains thaw it again, nomatter, it is agood time to make repairs.That's how it is to work like a beaver."Who is this worker? Where does he live,and what does he do?He is second cousin to the squirrels, but ismuch larger. He wears a rich robe, usuallychestnut color, sometimes black, made ofsmooth, glossy hair, and lined with the finest,warmest, ash-colored fur. He is about threefeet long, and carries a broad scaly tail, whichadds another foot. This tail is quite a funnyfixture, of which we will say more by and by.The hind-feet are webbed, and serve to paddleit through the water quite swiftly.The cutting teeth, which have the same pecu-liar shape as those of the squirrel, are very large,sharp, and strong. With them he can gnawdown large trees, or pare an apple as smoothlyas if done with a knife. Before the Indians
THEIR HOMES. 31obtained iron tools from white men, they usedthese teeth for chisels, and found them hardenough to cut bone, and to fashion their horn-tipped spear-heads.The beaver is most abundant in the unsettledparts of North America,- the western territo-ries, and Canada. He makes his home in thewater, in some stream or lake.. He prefers run-ning water, because the stream floats to hishouse the wood that he uses, and affords him abetter way of escape when attacked. He alwaysselects a place where the water is so deep thatit will not freeze to the bottom in winter. Ifthe stream is small, and likely to become dry,either from summer's drought or winter's frost,he provides against that danger by building adam, and filling a pond for himself.The shape of the dam differs with the natureof the stream. If the current is slow, the damis made straight across; if swift and strong, thedam is curved against the stream; if thedeep, swift water should be near one side, the
32 ABOUT BEAVERS.dam will be curved there, and straight acrossthe shallow part, where the pressure is light.The work is built of drift-wood, and of logsof green willow, poplar, birch, and soft maple,mixed with mud and stones. The willow andpoplar trees often take root and grow, some-times forming a regularly planted hedge, sotall that birds build in the branches. Wherethe beavers have been long undisturbed, thedam, by constant repair, becomes a solid bank,able to withstand any force of water and ice.A beaver dam at Shawano, Wisconsin, is fromeight to ten feet high, and twelve or fifteen rodslong. It is wide enough at the top to drive ateam upon, and a substantial grist and saw-mill is carried by the abundant supply of waterwhich it affords. It is just as the beavers madeit, with only a sluice added to carry the waterto the wheels.The beavers cut down large trees on the bankof the stream, always taking care to make themfall into the water. Then they gnaw the limbsoff, and cut the trunk in pieces, just as a wood-
THE BEAVER'S TAIL. 33chopper would trim and chop up a tree. Thelarge logs from the body and limbs are strippedof their bark, tumbled into the water, and float-ed to the place where the dam is to be made, orthe houses are to be built. There they aresunk, and held down by stones, mud, and otherlogs. The bark is saved for winter food.The stones and earth are taken from thebank or the bottom of the stream, and carriedin their fore-paws, against their throats. Thewood they drag with their teeth. All the workis done by night, and the earth which theymove in a single night, amounts to many thous-ands of their little handfuls.Some have held mistaken notions about thebeaver's tail. It has been said that the crea-ture carries mud on it, and that he uses it as akind of trowel in plastering his house. Somehave said that when the beaver has laid downhis pawsful of mud, he turns round and givesit a slap with his tail to smooth it, and keep itin place. This mistake has probably arisenfrom a peculiar slap which he does give, when,
34 ABOUT BEAVERS.he plunges into the water, or when he is alarm.ed. This motion does not seem to have anyreal purpose, but to be a kind of habit, whichhe does not forget even when he becomes tame.The beaver cuts most of his wood in thesummer, when the sap is in, and he takes careto choose trees which he can float down streamto his work. He does not use pines, or otherpitchy trees. He lays up in autumn a supplyfor winter, by pulling piles of boughs into thewater near his home, and loading them downwith stones. When he is hungry he goes to hispantry, the brush-pile, helps himself to a stick,eats off the twigs, the small branches, and thebark, and then puts the bone away in some placeon the dam, or lets it float down stream."The beaver houses are built in the same wayas their dams. They are usually circular, andabout seven feet in diameter by three feet high,inside, and fifteen to twenty feet in diameter,and seven or eight feet high, outside. Such ahouse will shelter four old beavers, and six oreight young ones, giving them a warm, dry
BEAVER HOUSES. 35place to eat and sleep in. The shape is likean oven, or an Esquimaux snow-house. Theentrance is from the water, by a passage whichopens near the middle of the floor; and thebeavers' nests are arranged, each by itself,against the wall.Some houses are still larger, and appear tohave several rooms, separated by partitions; butthese apartments do not communicate with eachother, and are really nothing more than severaldistinct houses, joined together as in a block. Aditch is dug about the house, deep enough togive a passage under the ice, and opening intothe deep water in the pond. This makes away of escape if the tenants are alarmed, andprevents other animals from burrowing intotheir castle.In the fall, they take great pains to repair theirhouses with a fresh layer of mud and stones.This they do as late as they can, even after ithas begun to freeze. This covering of earthfreezes very hard, and makes a secure armoragainst their enemy, the wolverine. In fact,
36 ABOUT BEA VERS.their houses are so nearly iron-clad as to standsevere battering with a pick. The hunterslearn to observe the way in which these repairsare done; if the cover is made very thick, andis put on early, it is thought to foretell a longand severe winter.The beaver is hunted chiefly for his skin.The hairs upon the skin are of two kinds. Oneportion is rather long, straight, and coarse, andby its overlapping, serves to shed water, likethatch on a roof. Pushing aside this outsidecoat, we find a beautiful fur at the bottom, whosefine, delicate fibres, are soft and wavy. This furwas formerly in great demand for making hats.Each fibre is edged with little hooks, too smallto be seen unless highly magnified. They allbend one way, and when a mass of them isrubbed, these fibres become matted, together,twining and locking themselves into a dense,tight fabric, in which they are held as firmly asin the skin itself. This fabric is called felt.Wool, and the fur of many small animals, havethis same quality.
ROASTED BEAVER. 37The long hairs are useless, and the furrierspluck them off, whether the skins are to beused as furs, or the fibres are to be taken off tomake felt.Within the last twenty-five years these animalshave become very scarce, so that the fur is toocostly to be made into hats, while the inventionof a kind of silk plush has supplied its placemore cheaply. Some idea of the great numberswhich were once taken, may be had from thefact that in one year more than one hundredand twenty-five thousand skins were sent fromQuebec to England.The Indians prize the flesh very highly;especially when roasted whole in the skin afterthe fur has been singed off. The fur-traders doall they can to stop the waste of fur by thispractice; but they can not prevent one or twofeasts in each year, in an Indian village, whereroasted beaver is the chief luxury. It resemblespork in flavor, but is too rank to be endured bycivilized stomachs. The Indian hunters alsowear pouches made of a whole beaver's or otter's4
38 ABOUT BEAVERS.skin, which they tie about their waists. In themthey keep their tobacco, powder, and whateverelse they wish to secure from moisture.The beavers are taken chiefly in the fall, whenthe fur is in the best order. Then, the old coathas been shed, and a new one has come out,sleek, glossy, and of good color. They arecaught in traps, baited with a substance whichattracts them by its peculiar odor. The youngbeavers are easily taken; but the old onesacquire great cunning, and tax the trapper'sutmost skill. In winter, the hunters sometimesstop up all the outlets of the beaver's house, andthen break in the roof with axes, and capturethe entire family. Sometimes, when the frosthas been very severe, large holes are cut in theice. The creatures come to the holes for freshair, and are killed, or caught in stout nets.If captured, they are easily tamed. When thebuilding season comes, the captive will industri-ously build a dam across one corner of the roomwith boots, brushes, firewood, books, and anylurniture it can move. When he has piled up
LAZY BEAVERS. 39all the material he can procure, he sits in thecenter, quite satisfied with the fine work he hasmade to dam up the river, and patiently waitingfor the water to come and fill up his pond.This fact sets aside all the claims that havebeen made that the beaver is guided by reason.IHe is only driven by a blind instinct, impressedupon his nature, which he must follow whetherhe will or not. If a young beaver which hadnever seen a beaver-dam or house, were set freein a suitable place, he would probably go towork in the same way, and make just as skillfulplans, as if he had the example of many gene-rations of his forefathers before him. There are,to be sure, lazy beavers, who wont work. Theyare driven out of beaver society, and go away bythemselves and burrow holes in the banks, livingas solitary and lonely outcasts.The species described is the American beaver,C. Canadensis. Another species, C. fiber, is foundin Europe and Asia, along the Euphrates, theDanube, and the Rhone. Some fossils found inOhio indicate an animal of this family six timesas large as our living species.
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THE AMERICAN ELK. Alces mlchis.
ABOUT PEER,VETEBRATA-MAMMALIA.ORDERB-Ruminanla. -Cud-chewers.FAMILY- Cervidc. -Deer-like.Gaus-- Ceru. The Stag.ANY species of deer are known,and their representatives arefound in almost every climate.They are not numerous in verywarm countries, but abound intemperate regions, while somespecies dwell where chill win-ter reigns during most of theyear. In size, they vary fromthe stately elk, which is larger than the horse,to the sprightly roe-buck, which is less than thegoat.
44 ABOUT DEER.All the members of this family wear solidhorns. These are formed entirely of bonymatter, and are not even covered with the hornysubstance which forms the hoofs and horns ofthe ox or the sheep. In fact, though the largestand finest head-gear worn by any animals, theyare not true horns, but bones. Sometimes thesebony horns spread into broad palms, with sharpsnags along their outer edges. Sometimes theydivide into branches, of which some project overthe forehead, while others rear upward in theair, or curve gracefully backward. Such a load,borne upon the head, would seem to be incon-venient, from both its size and its weight. Itadds to the stately air of the creature.All the male deer have horns, but shed themevery year and renew them again. When thetime comes for the horns to drop -which varieswith different species, but is usually betweenNovember and March they loosen at the base,first at the outside, and then gradually inward,until they fall. The spot on the forehead bleedsa little, but in twenty-four hours is covered with
HOW THEIR HORNS GROW. 45a thin, transparent film. After a short time theskin begins to swell into a soft tumor, like aball, full of blood, and covered with a velvetysubstance, having nearly the same color asthe creature's hair.This tumor grows every day at the end, likea sprout from a tree, and shoots out branchescalled antlers. The horn sometimes grows aninch and a half in a day; so that the whole isfinished in a few days. The course of the blood-vessels is marked by long, deep furrows, whichalways remain, While. the horns, or, as thehuntsmen say, the attire, is growing, the velvetis very tender, and the animal hides in thickets,coming out only at night, for food. When thehorn has completed its growth, the blood-vesselsare shut off, and the velvet coating dries up.The stag peels it off by rubbing his head againsta tree, and is himself again.Each new horn has one more snag than thehorn which fell, so that the age of the animalmay be readily learned. The first horn comeswhen the deer is a year old, and an additional
46 ABOUT DEER.snag comes every year: if he has five prongs, heis six years old. In England, a deer is said tobe of the first head and worthy of the chase,only when there are five branches upon hishorns; when he is a stag of ten, he is a nobleanimal.Most varieties of the deer are fleet andwatchful; when hunted, they run with greatspeed, and choose their way with much sagacity;when hard pushed they are bold and coura-geous; when slain, their skins are valuable andtheir flesh is delicious. For all these reasonsthey are hunted with much zest, as well by thelordly barons of Europe, as by the tawny savagesof the American wilderness. Some are easilytamed, and become quite domestic; but as afamily, they fade away before the progress ofcultivation. Wild deer love the margin of theforest-going out for food, and returning forshelter and concealment. All take to waterreadily, and swim with ease.No variety of deer has more often been men-tioned by traveler, story-teller, or poet, than the
THE CHASE. 47stag, or red deer, of England, Cervus Elaphus.It was the favorite game in those early days,when the only pursuits thought fit for men ofgentle breeding were war or the chase.The forest laws of the old Norman kingsmade the punishment for killing a deer, exceptin the chase, as great as for killing a man.Large tracts of land were stripped of people;villages, and even churches were destroyed, tomake room for herds of deer, to provide for thiscruel sport.We can imagine the stag in the quiet wood,cropping the dewy leaves, or drinking the clearstream, as the rising sun reddens the tree-tops.At early dawn the hunters mounted their steeds,and now, suddenly," The deep-mouthed bloodhound's heavy bayResounding up the rocky way,And, faint, from further distance borne,The echo of the hoof and horn"startle the timid creature from his fancied secu-rity. When first driven from his cover, thestag flies with the swiftness of the wind, leaving
48 ABOUT DEER.his pursuers far behind, until he again reachessome place which seems safe. Here he stops,looks about, and is less afraid. But the houndsfollow, keeping the fresh track by their keenscent.Again he hears them, and again he flies. Hehalts a second time, and runs again when thedogs come up; but his first race has exhaustedhim, and he can not fly as at first. He nowseeks to do by artifice what he failed to do byspeed. He rushes to the herd, and tries to sub-stitute some other deer in his place, to take thetrack he has made. He runs back over his owncourse to deceive the dogs, and crosses somehard-beaten soil, where the scent will be lessdistinct. The easy, bounding pace which hehad at first, has become stiff and heavy; hismouth is parched, his tongue hangs out, andsome say" The big round tearsDo course each other down his innocent noseIn piteous chase."His last refuge is the water. iHe plunges into
BROUGHT TO BAr. 49whatever lake or river he finds, and swims upthe current, taking care not to touch any bushon the bank, lest he may leave a scent for thehounds. He even hides himself under water,exposing nothing but the tip of his nose.Having exhausted every resource, he gathersup his remaining strength, that he may boldlyface the enemies he can not escape. He defendshimself with hoof and horn against dogs andmen; but when the pack comes up, he is sur-rounded and overcome, and the winding bugleproclaims that the chase is ended.The stag is about three and one-half feet highat the shoulder; his color is reddish brownabove, and whitish beneath, with some blackabout the face, and a black stripe down the neckand between the shoulders. The greatest knownweight of a dressed stag, is three hundred andeighteen pounds. He has a fine eye, an acutesmell, and a good ear. When listening, heraises his head and erects his ears. Though asimple animal, he is curious and crafty. Whencalled to from a distance, he stops short Pnd6
50 ABOUT DEER.looks at horses and men, and if the men have noarms, he shows no signs of fear.In the parks of England, the stag has gener-ally given place to the fallow deer, C. Dama.This animal is much like the stag, but is smaller,feebler, and more gentle. Its color is a brownishbay, beautifully spotted. Its horns are not asround as those of the stag, and their broadextremities are spread out like palms. Its fleshis highly esteemed, as more delicate and juicythan that of either of the other kinds of deer.In strength and cunning it is far inferior to thestag; and when hunted, does not afford so longor so varied a chase.The roe-buck, C. Capreolus, the smallest of theEuropean deer, stands about two and a half feethigh at the shoulders, and weighs about sixtypounds. Its color is reddish brown on the back,yellowish beneath, with a white disc about thetail. The horns are about nine inches long,round, and divided into three branches. Itsmotions are elegant and easy. Few sights arefiner than a roe-buck, bounding among the
AMERICAN ELK. 51bushes, skipping among the hills. These deerlove the shady thickets and the rising slope.They do not herd together, but live in families.The young are driven out when of the properage, but the parents never forsake each other.The roe-buck can not be thoroughly tamed; andas it is difficult to confine it, because of theheight to which it can jump, it is usually sufferedto roam at large. It is very cunning, and whenhunted sometimes escapes the dogs by its craft.It makes a few very long leaps, waits until thedogs have passed, and then returns on its owntrack.The wapiti, or American elk, C. Canadensis,is very much like the English stag, and wascalled the stag by the early settlers, who ac-counted for its larger size by the greater rangein the woods and prairies of the new world. Itis a foot higher than the stag, and its markingsand antlers are quite different. This deer onceroamed over all the northern portion of theUnited States. The rifle and the plow havedriven him away, and he is only occasionally
52 ABOUT DEER.found in a few wild tracts of the Atlantic States,and on the prairies west of the Mississippi.About the upper Missouri, the Indians gatherthe horns and pile them in great heaps, wherethey can be seen at a long distance. One of themounds is said to have been twenty feet incircuit, and fifteen feet high. The horns arevery large, measuring six feet from tip to tip.One might suppose that such head-gear wouldhinder his running through thickets and forests;but he knows how to turn them to account, bylaying them upon his back, and so protectinghimself from the branches through which heforces his way.His skin is very useful. The hunters are saidto have a way of dressing it, so that it does notbecome stiff and harsh when it has been wetand dried again. This makes it very service-able for their hunting-dresses, which are usuallymade of this kind of leather.The wapiti has less cunning than some of theweaker kinds of deer, but makes up for thiswant by strength and courage. If wounded, he
ADVENTURE WITH AN ELK. 53attacks his enemy boldly. A French writer,who had been hunting in the West, gives aninteresting account of an adventure with an elk.He and his companions had crept near the herd,and had each chosen their mark:"We drew up our rifles slowly, and bothshots went off at once. The smoke hung heav-ily for a second or two; when it cleared away,we espied one of the elk lying down. Thenext instant, down rolled the other. On com-ing near my elk, he tried to rise, but rolled backagain. I looked towards the other; when, whatwas my surprise at seeing a regular combatbetween my friend and his wounded elk, nowa very dangerous enemy. Springing on herhaunches, she was striking furiously with herfore-feet. One hoof missed him, but the otherfell on his rifle, which he held up for safety;and, smashing both his ramrod and his loading-stick, beat him down upon his knees. Rising asecond time, she was just ready to repeat herblow, when my ball caught her in the side of thehead, behind the eye; and, with a splendid51
54 ABOUT DEER.bound, she fell lifeless on the broad of her back.I had made a quick, and necessarily a ratherdangerous shot; but I was in luck that day. Sowas my friend, with a beast on one side, and aball on the other."The common or Virginia deer, C. Virgin-ianus, has been called the fallow deer of Amer-ica. It is very beautiful and graceful. It isabundant in all thinly-settled parts, throughoutthe 1orthern and Middle States. Its flesh isone of the luxuries in winter. Its skin is softand flexible, and when dressed, is the buck-skinfrom which gloves and mittens are made. Itsweight is about two hundred pounds. Its coloris light fawn in summer, and reddish grey inwinter; the under part of the throat and the tailare always white. It is very timid. When alarm-ed it bounds over the bushes with incrediblespeed; in a moment, nothing will be seen butthe twinkling of its white tail -which the hunt-ers call its flag -rising and falling, farther andfarther away, till it vanishes in the distance.
NIGHT HUNTING. 55This deer is often hunted by night, while feed-Sing in the water upon the leaves of the waterlily and of other aquatic plants. The huntersmake beforehand a rude lantern, by peeling acircle of bark from a young tree, and making ahole in one side of this rough cylinder. A largecandle of deer's tallow throws a strong beam oflight through this hole. One man fixes thislantern upon his head, like a cap, and lies downin the bow of the boat, while another at thestern silently paddles the canoe along thesmooth stream.On they go, still as the night around them,till some unlucky deer is heard splashing in thewater, and munching the lily-pads. At oncethe canoe turns towards him, and the foolishcreature looks up to see the strange light thatcomes down upon him. It only grows brighterand brighter, swerving neither to right or left,and dazzles his eyes, accustomed to the dark-ness. So the deer waits, in silent amazement,until he feels the sting of a bullet, shot by thehunter in the bow.
56 ABOUT DEER.The utmost caution and skill are necessary inthis kind of hunting, for the least noise thesplash of a paddle, or even the click of a lock -is enough to break the spell which the light hasthrown upon the deer, and send him boundingaway into the night. If the first shot misses, hedoes not wait for another. Many an unluckyhunter has spoiled a night's work by paddlinghis canoe into the midst of a flock of ducks."With loud cries and much splashing of theirwings, away they flew, searing the deer for milesby their noisy clatter in the stillness of the night.GENUS-Aloes. The Elk.SThe largest of the deer family is the elk, ormoose--Alces Americanus. He is quite as largeas a horse, and stands very high. His antlersare palmated, or flattened. They have meas-ured six feet from tip to tip, the breadth of thepalms being twelve inches, and the weight sev-enty pounds. To carry this heavy burden, he hasa short, thick neck, which spoils, in a measure, theelegant proportions so much admired in other
THE MOOSE. 57deer; and he attracts attention more on accountof his size than for any beauty or grace. Hishead is about two feet long, narrow and clumsy;*his eye is small and sunken; his long ears aretufted with hair; his neck has a heavy mane;and his throat is covered with long, coarse hair.His body is round, short, and compact; hislegs, though long, are remarkably clean and-firm. His general color is grayish brown. Insummer, his hair is short and glossy; in winter,it becomes long and coarse, while more warmthis secured by an under-garment of short, finewool.Moose are seldom seen farther south thanthe northern parts of New England and NewYork. In summer, they live near the streamsand lakes, where they feed upon the water-plants, or browse on the bushes which growalong the banks. In winter, they go to the drymountain ridges, and make a haunt, or "yard,"on a slope facing the south. They find someplace where there are plenty of maples, or otherhard wood trees, and feed upon the twigs or the
58 ABOUT DEER.tender bark. They pull down, with their longupper lips, the branches which they can reach,and hold them between their fore legs until thetwigs are eaten off.The season for hunting this animal, is inMarch or September. It is useless to followhim when the snow is fresh and soft, for, withhis long legs and great strength, he can wadeeasily. When the warm sun in spring meltsthe surface of the snow, which the cool nightsfreeze again into a thin crust, the sharp snow-icebreaks his legs, or at least so disables them thathe can not run.The Indians take him with snares. Whenthey find the path which he is accustomed tofollow, they bend a stout sapling over the track,and so fasten it that a slight pull will set it free.A strong noose is fastened to this trap, and ifthe head or horns of a moose is caught, he islifted into the air and killed.The movements of this creature are clumsy.The hind-legs are shorter than the fore-legs, andhe shuffles along, spreading his hind feet to
THE REINDEER. 59avoid treading on his fore-heel. He does notgallop or leap, but trots along; and when hecomes to a fallen tree, or a fence, steps over it.When he runs, he holds his nose high, that hemay lay his horns upon his back. This preventshis seeing well, and causes him to trip occasion-ally, and get a heavy fall. lie is said to com-bine the strength of the ox with the speed ofthe horse, and to be easily domesticated. Agentleman in Maine trained a pair to draw acarriage. They did the work very well, but ifthey took it into their heads to go into a lakeor river, to cool themselves, nobody could stopthem.GBNUS Tarandus. The Reindeer.A remarkable member of the deer family,found in both the old and the new world, is thereindeer- Tarandus rangifer; called reen by theLaplanders, caribou in Canada, and bennesoak bythe Esquimaux. It lives, where no other rumi-nating animal could live, on the white mosseswhich cover the ground like snow in the iow-
60 ABOUT DEER.lands, or on the long black lichens which trailin the forests.It is about four and a half feet high. Itshorns are long, slender and round, with antlersflattened at the ends. Its thick, warm coat isbrown above and white beneath; as it growsold, it turns gray, and sometimes quite white.Its long black hoofs are cloven, and the partsspread when they are set down in the snow,giving a broader footing. When lifted, theystrike each other, and make a clicking noise,which may be heard at some distance.The reindeer is the Laplander's only wealth,and his sole means of living. When harnessedto a sledge, it draws him and his scanty house-hold goods from one place to another, insteadof a horse. Like the cow, it gives him milk,cheese and meat. Like the sheep, it furnisheswarm though homely clothing, as well as tentsand bedding. The tendons, he uses for thread;the horns are made into various things of use;the tongues are a delicacy which he exports.
MILKING TIME. 61Sometimes a single herd contains as many asa thousand deer, but usually not more than twoor three hundred. With such a fortune, theLaplander is independent. With two hundreddeer, and a small family, he can get on; but ifhe has but one hundred, he is a poor man, andusually joins his stock to that of some wealthyneighbor, for whom.he works as a herdsman.Von Buch, a celebrated traveler, thus de-scribes the milking time:" It is a new and a pleasing spectacle, to see,in the evening, the herd assembled around thegamme (encampment) to be milked. On all thehills around, every thing is in an instant full oflife and motion. The busy dogs are every wherebarking, and bringing the mass nearer andnearer; and the reindeer bound and run, standstill and bound again, in an indescribable vari-ety of movements. When the feeding animal,frightened by the dogs, raises his head, and dis-plays aloft his large and proud antlers, what amajestic sight! And when he courses over theground, how fleet and light are his speed and6
62 ABOUT DEER.carriage! We hear nothing but the incessantcracking of the hoofs, as if produced by a suc-cession of electric shocks-a singular noise;and from the number of reindeer by which it isproduced, it is heard at a great distance. Whenall the herd, consisting of three or four hun-dred, reach the gamme, they stand still, or re-pose themselves, or frisk about, playing withtheir antlers against each other, or in groupssurround a patch of moss, browsing." When the maidens run about with theirmilk-vessels, from deer to deer, the brother orservant throws a bark halter round the antlersof the animal which they point out to him, anddraws it towards them. The deer generallystruggles, and is unwilling to follow the halter;and the maiden laughs, and enjoys the labor itoccasions, and sometimes wantonly allows it toget loose, that it may again be caught for her;while the father and mother are heard scoldingthem for their frolicksome behavior, which hasoften the effect of scaring the whole flock."In reviewing the natural history of the deer,
GOD'S CARE FOR DEER. 63we are forced to admire the wondrous forecastwith which that Providence which feeds theravens and clothes the lilies, has created themfor a specific purpose, and has given them qual-ities which peculiarly fit them to fulfil this pur-pose. Like most other animals which chew thecud, they were doubtless meant to be food forman; but, unlike the ox or the sheep, they van-ish before cultivation, and are food only for sav-age man. But the savage would kill them with-out discretion, and wild beasts are equally fondof them. Danger threatens every where. Hencethey have an acute sense of smell, a very delicateear, with great speed and activity; while theirnatural timidity keeps them always alert. It isnot'easy to approach a deer from the windward,and the slightest noise puts the whole herd toflight. Thus, by constant watchfulness, the raceis preserved, in spite of attacks by savages orwild beasts, and only retires before the superiorskill of civilized man, armed with weapons moredeadly than the arrow and the javelin. DothGod care only for deer, and ravens, and lilies?
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THE VAMPIRE BAT. Vamp-ru-s spctru-m.THE VAMPIRE BAT. vYmni)pjR "pectrum.
ABOUT 3ATS.VERTEBRATA. MANMALIA.ORDER- Cheiroptera. Hand-winged.GENUS Pteropus. Wing-footed." Bat, bat, come into my hat,And I'll give you a leg of bacon."0 cry the boys, throwing high theircaps, when one of these little crea-tures goes flittering through theair, in the twilight of a summer'sevening. Here and there they are,sweeping round the light, awayinto the darkness, seen but a mo-ment, and then gone, as quick andas still as thought. Did any batever accept the challenge, and come for thebacon? Perhaps they are too intent in chasing
68 ABOUT BATS.the small game which they follow in their flick-ering flight, to heed such grander offers. Atany rate, they eat a vast number of insects.L One summer evening, a bat was caught in theroom where the writer was sitting. We puthim under a glass case on the table, and thenbrought him all the moths we could find. Whenhe saw a moth, he would crawl towards it in hisuncouth way, until he was near enough tospring, and, in a flash, he had it in his mouth.But the moth was too large to be swallowed ata gulp, and lay across his jaws. He could notturn it round; he could not swallow it as it was;and he was too shrewd to let it go, and trust tocatching it again. Moreover, the light wasbrighter than any he was used to, and a numberof strange eyes were watching him. Althoughafraid, he seemed to think best to secure hisprize first, and then consider his situation.He had no fingers or paws on his fore feet,which could help him with his moth; but hebrought his hind feet to his face, curling him-self nearly double, turned the moth round in a
CAPTURED BAT. 69twinkling, so that he could begin at the head,and then munched it down -body, wings, andall-very much as a cow eats a wisp of hay, ora cabbage-stalk. This amused us so much thatwe ransacked the house, and kept him busy allthe evening.We left a narrow very narrow- place forthe fresh air to come to him, that he might notsuffocate during the night; and in the morninghe was gone. Whether the cat made her sup-per of him, or some person lifted the case andlet him go, or he raised it and freed himself, wedid not know. We thought he had no greatcause of complaint against us. We had givenhim a fat supper for a short captivity; and hehad paid us for our pains, by showing us howcuriously he trussed his fowls and ate them.Like the toad, the bat has been much abused.People used to think that the acrid juice thatthe toad covers his skin with, when he is han-dled, is poisonous; and that he has a poisonousstone in his head. Neither of these thingsare true; and the bunch-backed toad, that silly
70 ABOUT BATS.children are sometimes afraid of, is one of themost useful servants in the garden. Just afternightfall, when you see him hopping about, alittle more busy than usual, though never in ahurry, unless to get away from your stick, he isonly looking about for his supper. He jumpsunder a cabbage-leaf, and his bright eye sees aworm fastened to the under surface, where youwould never think of looking. His little redtongue darts out like a flash, so quick that youcan scarcely see it, even if looking right at him;he smacks his jaws once, and the worm is gone,while he hops on after another.So the bats have been thought to forebodedisaster, and their silent flight through the househas been deemed an evil omen. There is nothingof the kind. They really do a great deal of ser-vice in their way, catching insects which fill theair. In fact, they do by night very much thesame work which the swallows do by day, andin very much the same way.The name cheiroplera signifies hand-winged, andhas been given to this order, on account of the
BATS' ErES. 71curious way in which the fore-paws, or hands,have been developed into wings. If the fingersof a man were drawn out like wires, or umbrella -'bows, three or four feet long, and then a thinmembrane should stretch from finger to finger,and from the little finger along the sides andlegs to the feet, the man would make a prettygood imitation of a bat. This membrane, whichcovers the framework, and so makes the crea-ture's wings, is very thin, soft, and delicate, andhas no hair or fur. It is plentifully suppliedwith nerves, and is so sensitive that it seems likea second pair of eyes. One naturalist, morescientific than humane, put out the eyes of sev-eral bats, and then let them loose in a roomwhere he had stretched strings in various direc-tions. They flew back and forth, through thenetwork of strings, without touching them, asif they had another sense similar to sight.In order to furnish muscular power to moveso large sails as the bat spreads, his breast-boneis made to project forward in a strong ridge, likethat of a bird. The shoulder-blades and collar-
72 ABOUT BATS.bones are also very strong; and in the wholestructure of that part of the body, he resemblesthe birds. The long fingers serve to fold thewings together, when not in use. The thumbjoint is not attached to the others. It has ahook at the end of it, by which the bat dragsitself along when on the ground; he also hashooks on the hind feet, to hang himself up withwhen he sleeps.The bats include five sub-families, nearlyeighty genera, and a great number of species.They may all be placed in two great groups:the frugivorous, or fruit-eating; and the insectiv-orous, or insect-eating, bats. The first are alsocalled rousettes.These have sharp, cutting teeth, and flatgrinders. They sometimes vary their fruit dietby eating birds and small quadrupeds. Theylive in East India and Africa. Of the fortyknown species, the black rousette, Pteropus edulis,or eatable bat, is the largest. It has a body aslarge as a cat, and its wings spread about fourfeet. It lives in Sunda and the Molucca Islands.
MISCHIEVOUS BATS. 73The kalong, or fox-bat, P. Javanicus, a nativeof Java, spreads its wings about five feet. Thesebats live in companies; and having chosen alarge tree for their home, hang by the claws oftheir hind feet to the naked branches. Astranger might mistake them for some kind offruit, or game, hung up in a market for sale.So they sleep through the day, enveloped intheir leathery wings; but at night they quithanging, and start out in quest of food. Theydirect their flight to the forests, villages, andplantations, and do immense injury by eating upevery kind of fruit, from the commonest andcoarsest, like the cocoa-nut and bread-fruit, tothe rarest and most delicate. The natives haveto cover their mangoes with wicker baskets, topreserve them from the havoc of these plunder-ers. Imagine the mischief, if your neighbor'scat, and all the rabbits and woodchucks of theforest, could fly into your pantry and store-room,and eat all the provision which had been care-fully hung up, out of the way !7
74 ABOUT BATS.But, as we said in the beginning, most of thebats, including all among us, live upon insects.GENTS Phyllostomce. -Leaf-faced.The genus phyllostomce, the vampires, has acurious membrane, like a leaf, which grows onthe end of the nose. They live in South Amer-ica. They have a bad reputation of suckingblood from animals, and even from men. Theends of the toes of men, the ears of horses, orthe combs and wattles of fowls, are said to beits favorite pastures. When it has found a feed-ing-place, it watches until the creature it pro-poses to bleed is fast asleep. Then it carefullyfans its victim, while it bites a tiny hole, notlarger than a pin's head, through which it drawsblood enough for a meal.Darwin relates that in Chili, near Coquimbo,the servant found his horses very restive; put-ting his hand, in the dark, suddenly upon thewithers of one of them, he caught a vampire.In the morning, the place where the bite hadbeen made, was readily found. Waterton says
VAMPIRES. 75that he has repeatedly seen both men and ani-mals which had been bled by vampires, and hadexamined their wounds. But he also says thatlie never could discover how they actually drewthe blood."For the space of eleven months," he writes,"I slept alone in the loft of a wood-cutter'sabandoned house, in the forest; and though thevampire came in and out every night, and I hadthe finest opportunity of seeing him, as the moonshone through apertures where windows oncehad been, I could never be certain that I sawhim make a positive attempt to quench his thirstfrom my veins, though he often hovered over thehammock."Others explain such facts, by saying that thereare some persons whom a vampire will not touch,while some frequently suffer.This bat, P. spectrum, has a body about sixinches long, of a reddish-brown color.
76 ABOUT BATS.GENUS -Vespertiio. That fly at evening.The common bats belong to the genus vesper-tilio, named from their habit of flying at eveningor vesper. The English and German boys callthem flitter-mice. Some half-dozen bats ofNorth America are referred to this species.The red bat, V. noveboracencis, is three to fourinches long, and spreads his wings from ten totwelve inches. Its color is reddish-tawny. Thehoary bat, V. pruinosus, is four and a half incheslong, and spreads fifteen. He is gray above,with a fawn-colored band about the throat. Thelittle brown bat, V. subululatus, is three incheslong, spreads nine inches; color, olive-brownabove, brown beneath.GENrTS Plecolm. Folded-ear.The genus plecolus is distinguished by a fold,or pointed membrane, in the ear, whence itsname, folded-ear. When hanging by the hooksof its hind feet, the real ears, which are almosttransparent, and are -very beautiful, are tuckedunder the wings, and the fold seems to be the
TAMED BATS. 77ear- quite changing the whole appearance ofthe creature. Mr. J. G. Wood says:" This bat, P. auritus, is very easily tamed, andwill take flies and other insects from the hand.One that I had in my possession, used to hangby the wing-hooks during the whole of the day,and could hardly be persuaded to move, or evento eat; but when the evening came on,it becamevery brisk indeed, and after carefully combingitself with its hind feet, it would eagerly seize afly or beetle, and devour it, always rejecting thehead, legs and wings. It was then very impa-tient to be released from the cage, and wouldshow its uneasiness by climbing about the cageand fluttering its wings. During the short timethat it lived, it seemed very gentle, and only bitme once, though I.used frequently to handle it."Poets and painters have adopted, if they havenot increased, the popular feeling against bats.The ancient idea of the harpies, half bird andhalf human, which flew to tables spread withfood, and defiled what they did not devour, mayhave been borrowed from the larger creatures. 7*fc
78 ABOUT BATS.of this kind, which dwelt in Eastern countries,The Scriptures speak of them as unclean, as em-blems of darkness, desolation and ruin. Sculp-tors have used them to signify night and sleep.As painters have given to angels the wings ofdoves, so they have clothed their demons withthe plumeless, angular, yet powerful, wings ofbats; and an artist need only paint a gloomy,rocky cave mouth, with the outline of a bat'swing in the thickening shade, to suggest a hor-rible den, peopled with fallen spirits.
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ABOUT SEALS.VERTEBRATA. MAMMALIA.ORDER- Camivora. -Flesh-eaters.FAMILY Phocid&. Seal-like.GEcs PAoca. The Seal.S0 you know that fishes breathe ?They do breathe, but not just asmen, birds, or beasts, that live inthe air, breathe. You know thatyou have lungs, into which youdraw air through your nostrils.In your lungs, there are millionsof little cells, or bags, with verythin, delicate linings. The bloodfrom the heart comes to one side of this lining,and the air to the other side. A part of the
82 ABOUT SEALS.pure air which you have breathed in, goesthrough into the blood, and is carried awaywith it, all over the body; while impure airfrom the blood comes through the lining, andis breathed out.Your lungs are in your chest, but a fish'slungs are in the side of his face, and are calledgills. You can easily lift the gill-covers, andfind them. The gills are thin plates, edged withvery many little cells, which the blood circulatesthrough. The fish takes water in at his mouth,and forces it out between these plates, over thethin lining of the cells. The water has someair mingled with it, which passes through thecell-linings, and purifies the blood, so that thesecells act very much like the cells in your lungs.If you hold the mouth of a fish open, so thathe can not force the current of water throughhis gills, he will suffocate and die -just as aman will die, if you should stop the air fromgoing to his lungs. If the fish is taken out ofthe water, or the man is placed under water,each will perish, because his lungs are not fitted
IHOW FISHES BREATHE. 83to purify the blood, while they are acting insuch a medium. The gentle opening and shut-ting of the mouth of a fish, which you see in avase of gold-fish, or in an aquarium, is to thebreathing of the fish, what the gentle and con-stant heaving of your chest is to your breathing.You can easily understand now, that creatureswhich live in the water are not fish, unless theyare fitted to breathe under water. The whales,which are often called the largest fish in thesea, are not fish at all. They have a fish-likeform, because that form is best fitted for motionthrough the water; and their fin-like paddlesare just so much of arms or legs as they needto push themselves along. But the whalebreathes with lungs instead of gills, and ifforced to stay under water, even for a coupleof hours, would drown like a man or a horse.- Besides their manner of breathing, the youngof whales are born and fed during infancy, likethe young of other mammalia.The family of seals, likewise, live mostly inthe water; and their forms, gradually tapering
84 ABOUT SEALS.from the shoulder to the tail, fit them for motionin this element. Their fore-legs are very short,being little more than paws, or paddles, fastenedat a sort of shoulder. The hinder legs are turnedbackwards, so as to seem almost part of thetail; the thigh and leg are very short, and thefoot is formed like the fore-paw the toeswebbed. Their bodies are covered with a thickdouble fur, which, in water, is pressed close tothe skin, and keeps out the wet. This fur iskept constantly oiled by fat secreted from theskin, and is thus made water-proof. Besidesthe thick garment of fur, the seal wears, justunder his skin, a warm under-jacket of fat,which helps to keep out the cold, even in theicy regions about the pole.The motions of the seals in water are veryeasy and graceful. They are driven mostly bytheir hind feet, which turn inwards, and obtainmuch force against the water. When theywould come on land, a few sharp strokes shootthem out upon the shore, or the edge of the ice,and then they scramble up as fast as their short
TRAINING SEALS. 85legs will carry them. On land, they move veryawkwardly, in a gait between a crawl and ashuffle, but considerably fast. When they taketo the water, they wriggle to the edge, and tum-ble themselves in without ceremony, glad to beat home again.They are expert fishers, and so get their living. Tame seals have been trained to catchfish for their owners. They become quitedocile, when carefully taught. Their eyes arelarge, full, and intelligent. Their nostrils andears are so formed that they can be closed whenunder water. Their teeth are armed with long,sharp points; fish once caught seldom escape.The common seal, Ph. vitulina, inhabits thecolder waters of most parts of the world. It isa handsome creature, with beautifully mottledskin, and large, intelligent eyes. Its color isgenerally grayish yellow, with spots of brownor black, which are largest on the back. Itslength is seldom more than five feet.The fishermen dislike the seal very much,because it has more skill than they. It will8
86 ABOUT SEALS.even take the fish out of the fishers' nets. Acrafty old seal will keep up this kind of robberyfor years, without giving the fishermen anyopportunity for revenge.The Irish have a strange tradition about aseal, which haunts the same waters for a longtime. They think the creature has a charmedlife; that no bullet, however well aimed, willstrike him; that no steel, however keen orwell thrust, will pierce him; that no array ofnets will hold him. So, if the seal be only boldand wary, he soon gets a reputation which is asure protection; for no one will dare to attacka creature which is under supernatural protec-tion. Indeed, the fishermen generally think itunlucky to kill a seal, and that the murdererwill have no farther success at sea; so they suf-fer the robbery as calmly as they can.The capture of seals becomes a profitablebusiness in many parts of the world, particularlyin Newfoundland, and in the islands about CapeIorn. They are valuable for their skins, andfor the oil which is obtained from their fat.
CATCHING SEALS. 87Those who catch seals, land as quietly as pos-sible, on the shore, or the ice where the animalsare lying, and cut off their retreat to the water.As the frightened seals try to escape, the sealersstrike them over the nose with clubs, and stu-pefy them. A wounded seal will fight savagely.It turns upon its side, shuffles along, andscratches furiously with its fore-paws. If a manis in its way, it tries to throw itself upon him,and bear him to the ground. When the beachis covered with coarse gravel or pebbles, it isquite as safe to be before the seal as behindhim; for in his rush to the water, he throws aconstant stream of stones behind him, which itis not easy to avoid. In the water, the seal maysome times be shot with a rifle; but the huntermust be very skillful, for the animal shows onlya small portion of his head, and, if not killed atonce, will escape into deep water.The common seal is easily tamed, and makesone of the kindest pets, displaying a beautifullyloving and gentle nature.An English author gives an account of a seal
88 ABOUT SEALS.which was taken when probably about a fort-night old. In a few weeks, it became quitetame, would eat from the hand, follow itskeeper about, and show by its action that itknew and loved him. It was fond of warmth,and would lie for hours by the kitchen fire,raising its head to see a new comer, and nestlingclose to the dogs, who soon became quite recon-ciled to their new friend. The winter after itwas caught was rough and stormy; boats couldnot often go to sea, and there was but little fishfor the seal to eat. Milk was used instead; butit consumed a great deal, and the keepers finallyconcluded to return it to the sea, and let it takecare of itself.So it was taken out about two miles fromshore, in a boat, and dropped quietly overboard.But it was not willing to be turned away. Fastas the boat was rowed, the seal swam still faster,crying all the time so loud that it could be hearda great distance, and so pitifully that its ownercould not help taking it in, and carrying it homeagain, where it lived in clover for a long time.
TAME SEALS. 89Another author mentions a tame seal, whichwas repeatedly put overboard at sea, but as reg-ularly returned to the house which it loved.Once it contrived to creep through an openwindow, and so reach its old corner by the fire.The harp seal, Ph. grenlandica, is named fromthe peculiar marking of its fur. When but afew months old, it is nearly white, and is clothedwith wool; during the second year, it turnsgray; in the third year, it is marked with darkspots; and by the fifth year, it has two broaddark bands, extending from the shoulders tonear the tail. The figure formed by these bandsis thought to resemble the form of an ancientharp; whence the name. The native Green-landers have several names for it, according toits age and markings. In the first year, theycall it atak; when full grown, atlarsoak.This seal lives in great numbers on the coastsof Greenland, Iceland, and other Arctic regions.It does not come on shore, but prefers to lie onthe floating islands of ice, where it gathers inlarge herds, under the rule of a single chief.8*
90 ABOUT SEALS.One of the herd is always made to do duty as asentinel, and is expected to give warning whendanger approaches; but, for all that, a skillfulhunter finds little trouble in coming nearenough to destroy them.The harp seal is hunted for its fur. Its oil isthought to be the purest and best of animal oils.Like the common seal, this species is very intel-ligent, and is easily tamed.Another species is the crested seal, Ph. crista-tus. This creature has a broad head and a shortmuzzle. From the muzzle a keel-shaped crestrises six or seven inches, and seems to support asack, which, like a hood or cowl, covers thewhole head, and is only a strange enlargementof the nose. We have before said that the seal,when taken, is usually stunned by a sharp blowover the nose. The crested seal finds this hooda great protection, deadening the force of theclub. An animal which the hunters supposedto be killed, often recovers, and fights desper-ately with teeth and claws.This seal is of great value to the Greenlander
USEFULNESS OF SEALS. 91Of the skin, he makes his thick, warm clothing,from his bonnet to his boots; and, besides, hecovers his water-proof kayak, or boat, with it.This boat is small, sharp at each end, andentirely covered over, except a small hole in itsdeck, just the size of the owner's waist. Hetucks himself through this hole into the boat,and then braves, single-handed, the fury of theocean waves. He uses the teeth of the seal forspear-heads, and makes floats of the creature'sstomach. These he fastens to the spear, to showwhere it is, and to resist the struggles of an ani-mal wounded in the water; and thus he gets achance for another blow.He has two ways of catching neitsersoak, ashe calls this seal. The animal makes foritself holes, through which it can crawl uponthe ice without going to the edge of thefield. When the hunter finds a seal-hole, hebuilds a wall of snow and ice near by, andhides until the game comes out. At anothertime, he creeps towards- a seal which he seeslying on the ice. If the animal moves. th-L
92 ABOUT SEALS.man drops, and lies still until the seal recoversfrom its fear, and goes to rest again. Then theman must lay aside all human ways and mo-tions, and imitate only the actions of a seal. Inthis way, he slowly creeps between the creatureand its hole, or comes up to it when asleep, andkills it.The elephant seal, or sea elephant, Ph. leonina,is the largest member of this family, measuringsometimes thirty feet in length, and eighteenfeet in circumference. It gets its name, notonly for its great size, but for a curious exten-sion of the nose, something like the trunk ofan elephant. Only the males have this probos-cis, and they do not show it unless excited.Then they thrust out the nose, blow through it,and look fierce. In spite of all this bluster,they are not disposed to fight, except occasion-ally with each other, and will run away fromdanger if they can.A single large male will furnish about seventygallons of very pure oil. The fur is bluish-gray,shading to brown. It is common in the south-*
THE SEA BEAR. 93ern hemisphere, and migrates to colder latitudesand back, as the seasons change.Another seal found in the southern ocean, iscalled the sea-leopard, from its spotted skin.SThe sea lion, Ph.jubata, is about fifteen feetlong, and weighs about sixteen hundred pounds.It frequents Kamtschatka, and the western coastof North America. It is by nature quiet, andwill suffer pretty rough usage before it will movefrom the spot where it happens to lie.As the sea lion is so called from the coarsehair about its neck and shoulders, like a mane,so the general appearance of the next species weshall mention, gives it the name of sea bear,Ph. ursina, This seal is only about eight feetlong. Its limbs are better developed than thoseof any of its cousins, and it can stand, walk,and run, quite well. Its fur is grayish-brown,very soft and wavy, and brings a high price.When these seals come on shore in the begin-ning of summer, they are found in families, eachold male having sometimes forty or fifty wives.Each family takes for itself a part of the beach,
94 ABOUT SEALS.where no intruders are allowed to enter. If atrespasser is found, a general fight begins, inwhich all ages and sexes join in great fury. Onetraveler, who was not suitably armed, was gladto get upon a rock, which the seals could notclimb; there he was kept a prisoner for severalhours. The father of the family is very strictin his discipline, and treats his wives quiteharshly; if a mother should drop her cub, whencarrying it away, the old fellow at once turnsupon the culprit, and punishes her fault with abite.These animals seem very intelligent, and havea great variety of tones, by which they conversewith each other, and even express their meaningso distinctly that men understand them.The most strange and fearful of the seal fam-ily, though not the largest, is called the walrus,morse, or sea-horse, Trichecus rosmarus. Thefeature peculiar to this animal is a pair of longtusks, of the finest ivory, which project down-ward from the upper jaw. These are some-times two feet in length, and weigh upwards of
SEALS IN HERDS. 95ten pounds each. The ivory is so fine and hardthat dentists formerly held it in great demandfor making artificial teeth. In fight, thesehuge tusks become dangerous weapons, piercingthrough the planks of a boat, and even drivingaway the polar bear.The walrus is sometimes twenty feet long,and as large round as a large ox. It is coveredwith short brown hair. It feeds upon sea-weed,shell-fish, fish, and small seals.The large herds in which the walrus gather,present a curious sight. When a walrus comesout of the water, it lies down on the shore, anddoes not care to stir. But the next one comesup, and wants a place. As it is not convenientto climb over the first one, he butts him along,forcing him to make room, and both lie down.Then comes another, and they all move again.The huge creatures are ever in motion, buttingand tumbling each other, and keeping up a con-stant roaring, which sometimes tells the sailor,when shut in by a fog, that ice is near.These herds number several thousand. When
96 ABOUT SEALS.disturbed, all go scrambling to the water, mak-ing it any thing but safe to be in their way.Those who hunt them, take dogs, which frightenthem farther inland, and scatter them. Themovements of the creature on land are veryclumsy, as one might guess; yet it contrives toget over the ground tolerably fast, by a series'of jerks and leaps, sometimes helping itselfalong by its tusks.The Esquimaux make great use of walrusmeat for food, and Dr. Kane speaks of frozenwalrus as a great luxury to a benighted Arcticvoyager--crackling in the teeth with a richnutty flavor.
ABOUT CATTLE.VERTEBRATA. MAMMALIA.ORDER-Ralminantia. Cud-chewers.FAMILY- Caviconia. Hollow-horned.GENUS-Bo0. The ox.Sf i AVE you ever stood in tlie yardC) of some large farmer, on a quietOctober evening, when tLe greatred sun was calmly sinkingthrough the haze of the Indiansummer, and watched the longtrain which came in from thefields?The toil of summer is over.The grain is all harvested; the fruit is garnered;the potatoes are in the bin; and all day long thetramp of horses and the whirr of the threshing-
I00 ABOUT CATTLE.machine has resounded from the stock-yard, orthe merry laugh has echoed from the groupgathered round the corn-rick, stripping thehusks from the golden ears.The cattle in the meadows have been nippingthe short thick grass which has grown since thehay was cut, apd now come home for the night.Iere are the oxen, looking gravely out fromunder their wide-branching horns, and steppingheavily and slowly over the rails which havebeen let down to give them passage. There thecows, meekly, and of their own accord, turndown the well-known lane to their yard, andwait the quick and skillful hand of the milker.Down in one corner, the sheep-poor sillythings-- have huddled themselves together,fearing to stay, yet dreading to leap, till one,made desperate by impending fate, jumps theonly bar, and at once the air is full of twinklingtails, as the flock go scrambling after. Tommyhas thrown the halter round the gray mare'snose, and jogs along after it, upon her back.Dick is dashing about on the sorrel colt, to the