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PICTURES AND STORIES
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THE ARAB HORSE.
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PICTURES AND STORIES
YITH FIFTEEN ILLUSTRATIONS.
T. NELSON AND SONS, PATERNOSTER ROW.
EDINDURGH; AND NEW YORK.
INTRODUCTION, ... ... ... ... ... 9
THE HORSE, ... ... ... ... ... 12
THE ARAB HORSE, ... .. ... ... ... ... 15
THE PONY, ... ... ... ... ... ... 20
THE ASS, ... ... ... ... .... 2 5 25
THE CAMEL, ... ... ... ... ... ... 28
THE BULL, ... .. ... ... 33
THE COW, ... .. .. .. ... ... 35
THE CALF, ... ... .. ... 41
THE GOAT, ... ... ... ... ...... 43
THE DEER, ... ... .. ... ... 47
THE REINDEER, ... ... ... ... ... 4q
THE SHEEP, ... ... ... -- 55
THE PIG, ... ... ... ... ...... 60
THE MASTIFF, ... ... ... ... ... 63
THE DOG OF ST. BERNARD, ... ... 67
THE SHEPHERD'S DOG, ... ... .... 74
THE LAP-DOG, ... ... ... ... .. ... ** 79
THE CAT, .. ... ... : 83
THE RABBIT, ... ... ... ... 8
THE GUINEA-PIG, ... ... ... .... 90
THE SQUIRREL, ... ... 9
.IIist of cIlutittritioioI
THE ARAB HORSE, .. .. ... .. Frontispiece
THE PONY, ... 20
THE ASS, .... .. 25
IN THE DESERT, ...... 28
THE COW, .. ...... 3
SACRED OX OF THE HINDU, .. ... 37
THE OX, ... .. 39
GOATS IN SWITZERLAND, .. .. .. .. .. .. 43
A DIFFICULTY SURMOUNTED, ...... 45
THE LAPLANDER IN HIS SLEDGE, .. .. .. .. 50
MILKING THE REINDEER, .... .. 52
EASTERN SHEPHERD AND FLOCK, .. .. .. .. 56
DOGS OF ST. BERNARD, .. .. .. .. .. 68
THE SHEPHERD'S DOG, .. .. .. 74
STEALING THE MILK, .. .. .. .. .. 84
rHE love of animals is generally strong in
Good children. When men and women,
or boys and girls, are unkind to the dumb
creatures which God has created for our use or
for our pleasure, we may be quite sure that
there is something very wrong with their
A great deal may be learned by noticing
the habits of animals; we shall find that they
are among the most wonderful works of
There is implanted within each one that
strong power which we call instinct-an im-
pulse which teaches each creature how to
protect itself and how to secure the food
suited to its wants.
It is instinct which leads the savage lion
and tiger to prowl in places where they are
likely to find prey; it is the same instinct
which makes the domestic cat a patient
watcher by the hole behind which a little
mouse has hidden himself; and, alas! excites
her to dart up the tall trees after the birds,
or to take an opportunity of devouring some
pet canary that has been tamed to fly about
But in those animals which we call domestic
-meaning that they are docile and tame,
and have become the friends or servants
of men-there is a kind of reason, as well as
this strong natural instinct. It is, as we have
just said, the strong impulse of the cat to catch
mice and birds; but she may be taught by
reason to understand that if she does so she
will be punished: and thus it is that we some-
times see the so-called Happy Family," or
large travelling-cage, drawn about the streets
of London and other cities, in which cats,
birds, and mice live happily together.
A great many books have been written
about animals and their wonderful habits and
instincts. This little volume is given entirely
to a description of those with which we are
most familiar in our homes, in our farm-yards,
or in the green meadows.
IN some countries in the East, and away in
Sthe far west of America, the horse runs
In those regions he is found in herds of
many thousands in number, and may be seen
running in wild freedom over the plains.
The domestic horse is a noble, useful animal.
He is gentle, and willing to work. He is not
made to destroy or to hurt, but to be useful
to man. He never takes the life of any other
animal for his food; for he feeds on grass, hay,
The horse loves his master, and soon learns
to know him. A story is told of a soldier
who had a favourite horse, that never seemed
so happy as when his master was on his back.
THE HORSE. 13
Then he was all life, and full of spirit. At
last, in a terrible battle his master was killed.
He dropped from his horse, and his bod was
found some days afterwards wi ful
animal still standing beside it.
During that long time the hors ad never
left the body of his master. Without food or
water, he had stood over it, scaring away the
birds of prey. Was not he a noble animal ?
Here is another story:-
An old soldier was one day passing along a
street in London. All at once he was seen
to stop, and stand looking at a horse on the
other side of the street. I know him! I
know him!" cried he, as he crossed to the
other side. It is my own old horse. Dear
The horse seemed to know the voice. He
laid back his ears, and pushed his nose against
the hand that stroked him so kindly.
After a few moments the soldier put his
hand into his pocket, and as he did so he
said, "Yes, he shall have it, though it were
my last penny I have enough to buy him a
feed of corn."
14 THE HORSE.
Away he went to bring it, and in a few
minutes he came back with the corn, and
stood kindly feeding the horse with his own
After staying beside him for some time, he
asked where the stable of the horse was, that
he might go and see him again some other
He then went his way, saying to the horse's
master as he left, Be good to him, poor
fellow, and use him well."
It was a beautiful sight, and no wonder
that some little boys who stood near cried
out, Hurrah! when they saw the soldier's
kindness to his old friend.
It was a lesson on kindness to animals
which they would not soon forget.
THE ARAB HORSE.
YOU have read in the Bible of people
4 dwelling in tents. The Arabs live in
tents now, and they are just like the people
the Bible tells us about.
The Arab would not be happy if he were
made to stay long in one place. So a tent
suits him better than a house. He can set it
up where he likes; and when he is tired of
living there, he can take it down again, and
carry it off somewhere else.
If he is rich, he has plenty of flocks and
herds to drive before him; and he has camels
to carry his tents and his goods. But what
he loves and values more than them all is his
In the picture the Arab is standing by his
horse, and just going to mount.
16 THE ARAB HORSE.
His horse can carry him a great many miles
without stopping. And he seems as fond of
going about as his master is.
An Arab once was so fond of riding, that
he spent three or four weeks on horseback!
He would gallop off from his tent a dozen
times a day, make a long circuit, and come
back again. He would ride with his spear in
his hand, and his robe flying behind him in
His horse did not seem at all tired with
those gallops. And when he came back to
the tent, he would paw the ground, and want
to be off again as soon as his master would let
The Arab looks upon his horse as his best
friend. When the little foal is born, the
Arab takes it in his arms. He will nurse and
cherish it, as if it were a baby, till it gets
strong enough to stand. Then he sets it on
the ground, and watches it as it totters about
and tries to walk. As it grows older it is left
to run about in the tent, like a dog. The
children make a great fuss with it, and are
very fond of it indeed. The women feed it
THE ARAB HORSE. 17
with camel's milk, and take care of it. They
would not part with it for any money.
The horse, as you may think, grows up to
be very fond of his master, and will never fail
him. If he is in danger, the horse will put
forth all his strength, and gallop so fast that
nothing can overtake him.
The Arab could not hunt the ostrich if it
were not for his horse. None but an Arab horse
is swift enough or strong enough for that work.
The ostrich is the great bird of the desert.
It is taller than a man, and its long legs can
take very wide strides. As it runs, its wings
help it along, though they are too small to fly
with. It gets over the ground so fast, that
if it ran in a straight line not even the
Arab horse would have any chance of
catching it. But instead of running in a
straight line, it keeps going from one side to
the other. The horse all the while gallops
along, without turning to the right or to the
left; so that he keeps getting nearer and
nearer to the ostrich. At last the ostrich gets
tired, and hides its head in the sand. Then
the Arab can take it.
18 THE ARAB HORSE.
Its fine feathers are what he wants; and
they are sent to England for the ladies to
wear in their hats and bonnets.
And besides the ostrich, the Arab hunts
the giraffe. This is very hard work indeed.
And if the horse were not very strong, he
could not do it. Sometimes the giraffe will
bound away to a rock or a mountain. He can
climb as well as a goat can, and the horse can-
not follow him. Then the giraffe gets away.
But if it is on level ground, the horse will
never give up the chase. He will press on,
without food or rest, till he has run down the
The Arab is so fond of his horse that he
will very seldom part with him. An English-
man was once on his travels in the desert.
He wanted an Arab horse, and he told an
Arab if he would sell his horse he would give
him a great deal of money. The Arab only
laughed and rode away.
You perhaps think he must have been rich,
to refuse so much money. But no such
thing! All he had in the world was his
$OME little people fancy that the pretty
S gray or white or brown ponies they ad-
mire so much will by-and-by grow up to be
horses. This is a very great mistake.
However old it may be, a pony will never
be anything but a pony; it is natural to it to
remain small of size.
The Shetland ponies are very tiny creatures;
but they are both spirited and strong. Some
of them are not bigger than a huge dog, and
can be carried upstairs and taken into the
children's nursery; yet if ridden or driven, it
will not be an easy matter to hold the wild
little animal in with the rein.
The Welsh ponies are not so small; but they
are very useful, and very strong. If you
THE PONY. 21
travel among the villages of Wales, you will
constantly meet the sturdy animals coming
cautiously down the steep mountainous roads.
Sometimes you may meet a pony with one of
the country-women seated on its back among
her market-baskets, and her hands busy with
her knitting, because the pony needs no guid-
ance and knows its way so well.
There was a Welsh pony named Taffy, that
belonged to an old lady who spoiled him ex-
ceedingly, and was almost afraid to give him
any work to do. Taffy grew fat and lazy, and
very cunning also. Every day he had to take
his mistress a drive in a small pony carriage;
which was a very light burden for his strength.
But as soon as she had got a short distance,
Taffy began to cough terribly; and the kind
lady was so sorry for him that she turned to
wards home directly. As this happened every
day, month after month, and as it was seen that
the instant his head was turned towards home
Taffy ceased coughing, and trotted off in the
liveliest manner, it was decided to be an art-
ful trick for saving himself work.
Another pony named Bob was very clever
22 THE PONY.
in slipping his head from the halter and escap-
ing from his stall through the open stable door,
by which he could reach the kitchen garden,
and so help himself to apples. He would go
as quietly as he could, and was sometimes
observed turning his head cautiously, to make
sure that he was not followed.
Ponies are not only clever but very loving
and very useful. They like to be petted, and
will be pleased if their young friends give
them bread or sugar from their hands. They
like carrots, too, very much; and a tired pony
has been seen to run along with fresh spirits
by some one going a little before holding out
a piece of his favourite vegetable to coax him
over a bit of steep or rough road. They be-
come so much attached to their owners that
they have been observed to be most unhappy
when they went to a new home. A pony which
had been a gift to a boy, seemed to know when
its young master died, and drooped its head
sorrowfully for many a long day; it used to
turn and listen as if waiting for the well-known
step and voice which would never be heard
THE PONY. 23
It is quite sad sometimes to see the cruelty
with which ponies are treated, the heavy loads
they are made to draw, and the rough blows
which are dealt out to them when they are
working as hard as they can. Unkindness to
animals must be very displeasing in the sight
of Him who created them; and it is a certain
sign of a bad disposition in either a child or a
rTHE poor ass generally leads a very hard
'^^ life, and is often seen carrying too heavy
It is thought by most people to be a very
stupid animal; but this is not the case.
It is stubborn because it is very often ill
treated. When well treated, it shows itself
to be one of the cleverest of domestic animals.
It well repays any kindness shown to it,
and becomes very fond of its master.
It soon learns to be familiar with children,
and will let several of them ride on its back
A story is told of an ass that was attacked
in a field by a fierce bull-dog.
The dog sprang at the poor. donkey, and
26 THE ASS.
tried to bite it; but the ass seized him with
The dog tried in vain to escape; for the
donkey held him fast, and carried him across
the field to the river side, and there plunged
him into the water The dog never tried to
meddle with the ass again.
A bundle of dry grass, or a few thistles from
the road-side, with a drink of water from
the brook, serves for its daily meal.
In eastern countries the ass is found in a
wild state. It is celebrated for its swiftness.
On hilly or rocky ground, neither horse nor
dog can overtake it.
It lives in troops among the hills, coming
down to the plains in the winter months, and
returning again when summer begins.
7 OD has made the Camel so that he can
live in the desert.
The desert is a great sandy plain, that
reaches many hundred miles. The sand is
very hot, for the burning sun shines all day
It would scorch your feet to walk upon the
hot sand. But the camel's feet are made on
purpose, and it does not hurt them at all.
Sometimes the wind rises in the desert, and
whirls the sand round and round in the air.
The men lie down on their faces, and try to
keep the sand out of their mouths and out of
their noses. The camel is better off than they
are. He can shut his nose quite tight-so
tight that not a bit of sand can get in !
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IN THE DESERT.~
THE CAMEL. 29
Water is very scarce in the desert. The
wells of water are so far apart, that men some-
times die of thirst as they go from one well to
another. But the camel can go many days
without drinking; and I can tell you how it
is. He has a cistern in his stomach, and he
fills it with water. This keeps the camel from
And he can smell water a very long way
off. When the men have drunk up all the
water they carry with them, they think they
must die of thirst. No well is to be seen,
and they don't know where to find one. But
the camel pricks up his ears, and sniffs with
his nose in the air, as if he smelt something.
He jogs on a little faster, and a little faster
still. The men do not try to stop him. They
think that he smells water; and so it is.
There is a well, miles away in the distance,
and the camel is making his way to it. There
the poor thirsty people can drink as much as
Perhaps it is' night when they get to the
well, and the camel is turned loose to get his
own supper. He wilt eat the nice bit of grass
30 THE CAMEL.
that grows near the water. But he is not
dainty, and if there is no grass, he makes his
supper on the plants that live in the sand, and
that are all over prickles and spikes.
The men would not think such plants were
of any use, if they did not see the camel eat
them. The Arabs like dates much better.
The tree that yields dates is called the date-
palm. The dates are nice to eat: they are as
good to the Arab as bread is to us.
The camel is taught to carry a heavy load;
and I will tell you how. When he is quite
a little camel, his master makes him kneel
down once every day. Then he puts a weight
upon his back, and makes him get up again.
He goes on doing this every day, and every day
he puts a greater weight upon the camel's
back. When the camel is grown up, his back
has got used to burdens, and he can carry a
very great load.
All the time the camel is being loaded he
makes a noise, as if he would complain of his
hard lot. He knows just how much he can
carry. If his master puts a little too much
upon him, he will not get up until some of
THE CAMEL. 31
the load is taken off. Then he will get up
and set off with good-will, and be patient and
happy, let his hardships be what they will.
The Arab does not drive his camel with a
whip. Instead of that, he sings a song; and
the camel is so pleased with the music that he
quickens his pace, and goes as fast as he can.
The hair of the camel falls off once a year;
and the Arab uses it to make clothing of.
You have read in the Bible that John the
Baptist had "his raiment of camel's hair,"
when he was in the desert.
There are two kinds of camels. The Arab's
camel has one hump, and is called by a very
long name. He is called a Dromedary, and is
more used to ride upon than to carry burdens.
The other camel has two humps. He cannot
go so fast, but he can carry a greater weight
upon his back.
*[,HE very name of this animal brings to
Mind the idea of something fierce, some-
thing to be avoided in our rambles in the fields,
for we have heard so many accounts of the
attacks of bulls upon those who had no wish
to tease and molest them. Seen at a safe dis-
tance they are very handsome creatures, with
bright and prominent eyes and finely-arched
necks. The Devonshire bull is one of the best
We have all read of the cruel bull-fights in
Spain, where a crowd of people will assemble
to witness the conflict between the savage
animal and a horse or a man. Even ladies
go to these fights and applaud; and not one of
the on-lookers seems to return shocked and
saddened by the sight. Sunday afternoon is
THE BULL. 33
the usual time for these shameful exhibitions;
and the highest and noblest of the land may
be seen there, for it is a national amusement.
Happily we have nothing of the kind in Eng-
land; and cruelty to animals is punished when
found out, while all pastimes which belonged
to the days of barbarism have been long ago
It is said that the bull has a great dislike to
anything which is of a red colour, and that to
wave such a thing before his eyes is a certain
way of provoking his fury. Because they are
so fierce, bulls are not driven loose as are the
cows and oxen; when they have to be taken
from one place to another they are kept under
control by cords and carefully guarded, other-
wise there might be some sad accidents. If in
such a case the strong creature were to succeed
in getting loose, he would be so furious with
fright and anger that the people in the streets
would run here and there seeking shelter and
raising the cry, "A mad bull! Even power-
ful men have been tossed into the air and
gored by their cruel horns.
S I do not know what we should do with-
S out milk and cream, and the cheese and
butter which are made from them, I suppose
the cow must be considered the most useful
of all our domestic animals. It is a gentle
creature, and very fond of its young ones; it
has even been known to carry them to a safe
hiding-place, lest they might be taken away.
The cow is very fond of the sound of music,
and in some countries the women always sing
during the process of milking, so that the
animal may stand quite patiently and still.
Cows have even been seen to leave a grassy
common on which they were feeding, and
gather round a band of children whose fresh
young voices were giving out some pretty
melody. England produces a very large
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36 THE COW.
number of cows; in Cheshire alone there are
said to be one hundred thousand.
The ox is as useful as the female animal; for
its flesh gives us the best beef, its fat is melted
into tallow and thus makes candles, its skin is
tanned for our boots and shoes, and from its
horns cups and combs and the handles of
knives can be produced. Then, too, its hair is
mixed with the mortar which is wanted for
building houses, its gristle is manufactured
into glue, and oil for cleaning harness is made
from some of its smaller bones, while the
larger ones are ground into manure for the
Oxen are tame and gentle enough unless
they are teased: it will be dangerous for any
one who treats them badly to come within reach
of their horns. There is one kind of ox which
the Hindus treat as a sacred animal, not allow-
ing it to do any common work nor to be killed
for food. In England and some other
countries oxen are often seen drawing the
plough, sometimes harnessed to waggons,
and sometimes drawing wood, for they are
SACRED OX OF THE HINDU
38 THE COW.
Both cows and oxen are found in almost
every part of the world, helping in these
different ways to serve and benefit mankind;
but the cattle of Great Britain are finer than
those of other countries. In Scotland there
is a particular race of black cattle which is
thought to be the same in character as the
breed which was known in our island at the
time of its invasion by Julius Caesar. The
Normandy and Brittany cows are small in
size, but give a large quantity of rich milk.
They generally wear a bell, which rings pleas-
antly as they come down to the streams to drink.
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IiHEN spring-time comes, and the pretty
golden buttercups bloom in the mead-
ows, we see the playful calf bounding along by
its mother's side. Every one loves the gentle
little creature, for it is never fierce or angry
with any one. The poor cow will never
willingly leave it, and when it is taken from
her she gives many a mournful "moo," and
seeks for it everywhere.
The flesh of the calf is called veal, and as
many people are fond of this meat, the little
animal must be killed by the butcher; but
otherwise it is left to grow up into an ox or a
cow. The skin of the calf makes a strong kind
of leather which is used for binding books; it
is one of the best and most costly bindings
which are used.
THE CALF. 41
Many hundred years ago, the people of
Egypt used to worship this little creature,
perhaps because it was so valuable and because
they knew no better.
You cannot have forgotten, also, that in
those far-off days, when the children of Israel
were wandering in the desert, they made
Aaron set up a golden calf, before which they
knelt down in worship, while Moses was up
on the mountain top listening to the voice of
the Almighty. It was very wicked of them
to do so, for they knew much better than the
people of Egypt; and therefore God was angry
There are some persons who think it cruel
to kill animals for food; but though we do not
like to think of a pretty calf being taken to
the butcher's, it is certain that all these crea-
tures were given us for our use, and that if they
were every one allowed to live we should fare
very ill indeed. Besides this, the world would
be quite too full of them.
Still, the children at a farm-house grieve
when the gentle brown-eyed calf disappears
and their daily visits to it are over.
SH E goat has a long beard and long horns.
It has also strong limbs, and can climb
steep hills where neither cows nor sheep would
venture to go.
The hoof of the goat is so formed that it
does not slip on the rocks.
In some countries goats are kept in large
flocks, and children tend them on the moun-
In Switzerland, as you travel along the
valleys, you can see the goats away far above
you on the hills, where they look like little
The children who tend the flocks follow
them along from rock to rock.
Little bells are sometimes hung round the
necks of the goats; and by the tinkling of
GOATS IN SWITZERLAND.
44 THE GOAT.
these bells the children soon find any goat
which gets hid among the rocks.
The flesh of the goat is used for food. Its
milk is often made into cheese; and leather is
made from its skin.
Young goats are called kids. They are very
playful, but they never become so tame as
In a wild mountain two goats once met, on a
ledge just over a precipice. The ledge was so
narrow that there was neither room for them
to pass each other nor to turn round and go
back. A steep rock rose straight above them
-a deep dark chasm lay below! What do
you think the two goats did ?
One of them quietly and carefully laid him-
self down on the narrow ledge, pressing as
close to the rock as he could. Then the other
goat gently and softly stepped over his com-
panion, till, safe on the farther side, he could
lightly bound away.
The goat that had lain down then drew
himself up from his lowly position, safe and
uninjured, free to spring again from rock to
rock, and crop the sweet herbage on the hills !
I ,, _/ ,
A" "I ." L- SUiRMOUNTE
A DIFFICULTY SURMOUNTED.
N many of our large and beautiful parks we
see the graceful deer bounding lightly
here and there, or grouped together under the
wide-spreading trees. They are smaller than
their relative the stag, which dwells on moun-
tain tops, and are very timid, gentle creatures,
though they not unfrequently fight among
themselves. Their antlers or horns are also
different from those of the stag, and their colour
is of a pale yellowish red. They eat grass just
like sheep and oxen, but they are also fond of
some kinds of berries.
The flesh of the deer is esteemed a dainty
dish: we call it venison. The skin of the
male animal or buck and of the female or doe is
much used for gloves, and is stronger and more
durable than the skin of the kid. The handles
THE DEER. 47
of our knives are very often made of the horns
of the deer.
There is scarcely any animal so gentle and
so pretty as the young deer or fawn, with
its soft dark eyes turning towards the
careful mother, whose movements it follows
at the slightest alarm. The deer in Rich-
mond Park are very tame, and will approach
quite near to the pleasure parties who ramble
about there during the fine days of sunmner;
still, if the sudden cry or movement of a child
should startle them, away run the whole herd,
and hide under the shade of the brushwood
till all is quiet again.
It is said that when there is a dispute among
the deer they form themselves into two parties
and fight, having the oldest of them as leaders.
They are very valuable animals, and are
much prized by their owners. In the grounds
belonging to Magdalen College, Oxford, there
are some beautiful deer to be seen under the
old trees. They are quite tame, and not at all
disturbed by the sounds in the streets which
run so near their retreat.
APLAND is a very cold country to live
in, and the Laplander would be badly
off if it were not for the reindeer.
If he wants to go from one place to another,
he can harness his reindeer to a sledge, and
drive over the snow, as you see him doing in
the picture. The reindeer whirls the sledge
along at a great rate, and can go many miles
And look how the Laplander is wrapped up,
to keep him from the cold For all his warm
clothes he has to thank the reindeer. His
coat and his cap are made of the skin, that
has all the thick soft hair left upon it. And
besides his coat and his cap, his boots and his
gloves are made of it as well. And at night,
THE REINDEER. 49
though it freezes so sharply, he lies warm and
snug. His bed and his blankets are both
made of the deer-skin.
The horse could not live in Lapland through
the winter. The cold would soon kill it.
And it would have nothing to eat. There
are no grassy meadows, or corn-fields, as there
are in England.
I dare say you wonder how the reindeer
gets a living. But God provides food for all
the creatures he has made. And so the rein-
deer finds plenty to eat even in Lapland. A
little plant grows all over the ground, and on
the trunks of the trees. It is not pretty to
look at, but God has placed it there for the
reindeer to eat. It is called reindeer moss.
In the winter, when the snow covers the
ground, the reindeer have to root about with
their noses to find the moss. But if the hard
ice covers the ground, then the reindeer can-
not, get at the moss. The Laplander has no
other food for them, so he cuts down some of
the trees, and lets the deer peel off the moss
that grows upon them. But he is glad when
the' ice on the ground begins to thaw. If it
T ---E_- -APLAN E I S.-_.- -
THE LAPLANDER IN HIS SLEDGE.
THE REINDEER. 51
lasted a very long time, the reindeer would die
The Laplander is a rich man when he has
a herd of reindeer. They are so hardy he
need not have any stables or sheds to keep
them in. He need only drive them to the
mountains in summer, and bring them down
to the plains in winter.
You will see that the reindeer is as good as
a horse to the Laplander. And now I am
going to tell you that it is of the same use to
him as the cow is to us. The milk of the
reindeer is very nice and sweet; and the herds
are driven up every day to be milked.
When the reindeer are being milked the
women have to light a fire, that the smoke
may drive the gnats away, else the deer
would not stand still.
There are a great many more gnats in Lap-
land than there are in England. They fill
the air like a cloud of dust, and if you were to
open your mouth it would be full of gnats in a
The deer are very much afraid of the gnats,
and would run anywhere to get away from
MILKING THE REINDEER.
.,, ." r.; d' : ": --:.,-
-~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~~~~i~ _ .- ": ..-"."-
MILKING THE REINDEER.
THE REINDEER. 53
them. They run up to the tops of the moun-
tains, where it is too cold for the gnats to live.
There is no food for them on the mountains :
but they would rather go without food than
be bitten by the gnats.
The Laplander does not want them to get
thin and weak. He wants them to feed on
the moss which is growing on the plains below.
So he and his dogs go after, them to drive
them back again.
There is a great deal of noise and running
about before the deer are made to come down.
When they have been brought back, the Lap-
lander and his dogs stay with them all day, to
keep them in the place where their food is to
He may well wish them to get fat. All
the long winter, he and his wife and children
live on the dried flesh of the reindeer.
The reindeer are killed as cows and sheep
are with us. And the Laplander wants no
other meat. The tongue is thought the best
bit, and is often sent to England.
0 you know what the soft white wool
Which covers the sheep is used for?
-It is used to make cloth, and flannel, and
many other things.
The frock that you wear in winter, papa's
coat, our cloaks, our shawls, our warm blankets,
and the carpets which cover our rooms, are all
made of wool. Wool is also spun into worsted,
to make warm stockings and many other things.
How good God is, to make it grow on the
gentle sheep, so that we can get it easily, and
use it to keep us warm in the cold weather
Do you know what the wool when it is
cut off the back of the sheep is called ?-It
is called the fleece, and it is cut off once every
THE SHEEP. 55
Are the sheep not very cold when their
warm wool is taken from them ?-No; it is
cut off in summer, when the weather is warm,
and it grows again before winter.
Besides using the wool of the sheep to make
cloth, we also use its flesh as food, and its skin
is made into leather. The flesh of the sheep
is called mutton.
How pretty it is to see the sheep in the
fields or on the hill-side In spring you can
see them with their little lambs jumping and
frisking about full of fun and play.
In this country the sheep are allowed to be
out in the fields all night, because there are no
wild beasts to harm them. In countries where
there are wild beasts, they are shut up in a
place called a sheep-fold.
In this country the shepherd goes behind
the flock, and by the help of a dog he drives
the sheep before him. But it is not so in the
lands of the Bible.
Here is a picture of an Eastern shepherd
leading his flock to the fold.
You see that the shepherd goes before the
sheep; and we are told that they know the
.i ^ -:" .- -- -
* c:'., -.
EASTERN SHEPHERD AND FLOCK.
THE SHEEP. 57
shepherd's voice. He calls them, and they
Do you remember that when the angel
came to tell that Christ was born in Beth-
lehem, it is said, "There were shepherds
abiding in the fields by night "? This is very
often the case in the East. The shepherds
have to remain all night in the fields, to
watch their flocks-to protect them from
robbers and wild beasts.
THE PET LAMB.
MARY had a little lamb,
Its fleece was white as snow;
And everywhere that Mary went
The lamb was sure to go.
He followed her to school one day-
That was against the rule;
It made the children laugh and play,
To see a lamb at school.
So the teacher turned him out;
But still lie lingered near,
And waited patiently about,
Till Mary did appear.
58 THE SHEEP.
Then he ran to her, and laid
His head upon her arm,
As if he said, I'm not afraid-
You'll keep me from all harm.
What makes the lamb love Mary so ?"
The eager children cry :
Oh, Mary loves the lamb, you know,"
The teacher did reply.
THE pig has not, certainly, got very
^ pleasant habits: he loves to wallow in
some damp and dirty ditch, and is not at all
particular about his food unless well looked
after. The colour of the pig is sometimes
black and sometimes piebald, but more usually
a dirty white.
The old Jewish law forbade the use of pigs
as an ar icle of food; and it was thought such
a very disgraceful thing to keep them that
only slaves were employed in feeding and
looking after them.
When England was.a verydifferent place from
what it is now, and there were more woods
and forests than streets and houses, the pig in
its wild state-which is called a boar-was
hunted by dogs. It was very fierce, and
60 THE PIG.
would often turn upon and kill its pursuers,
attacking them with its cruelly sharp tusks.
There are none of these savage creatures in
our country now as in the days when a boar's
head was the chief dish at the Christmas
Though we cannot say that the tame pig
has any claim to beauty, it looks its best in
some nicely-kept sty in a farm-yard; and the
tiny pigs which run about among the grass not
far from their mother's side are attractive to
the eyes of most little people.
I have never heard of a pig that would
"follow when it was called. From the days of
the old woman of the nursery story, whose pig
would not go over the stile, to the present
time, when we see the little country swine-
herd trying to keep the obstinate animals
from following each its own way, they seem
incapable of the obedience which would per-
haps make them into pets. The grunting,
snoring noise which a pig makes when it is
happy and contented, is changed into a very
loud and pitiful squealing when it is frightened
THE PIG. 61
There is a small country town in Hertford-
shire where there exists the custom of eating
roast pork for dinner on the first Sunday in
September; it is a sad time for the pigs of
that neighbourhood! Sucking-pig is a very
favourite dish with many people. The poor
mother must be unhappy when her little ones
are taken from her so young.
"T HE mastiff guards his master's house. If
Sa beggar venture near, the mastiff will
jump up and look very fierce. He will grow]
and bark; and, if he is chained, he will pull at
his chain and try to get loose. He thinks the
beggar has no right to be there, and that it is
his duty to drive him away. The beggar will
hardly dare to go near the dog. He would
lay hold of his leg, and perhaps bite it.
A good dog knows his master's friends, and
never barks at them. Instead of that, he
wags his tail and seems to say that he is glad
to see them.
When thieves are going to break into a
house, they take care to find out if there is a
good dog about the place. They know the
THE MASTIFF. 63
dog is faithful to his master, and will bark and
Sometimes the dog seems to know when
the thieves are coming. I will tell you a
story of a dog saving his master from being
This dog was a mastiff, and lived in a
kennel in the yard. One night he would go
into the house, and went after his master up-
stairs to his room. His master was going to
bed, and did not want him there. He drove
him out, and wanted to make him go back to
his kennel. But every time the dog was
driven out, he came back again. He lay
on the mat outside the door, and kept on
whining and 1,,I. .ii,. to be let in. His
master got tired of the noise, and as he wanted
to go to sleep he let the dog in. The dog
was very pleased, and wagged his tail, and lay
down under the bed.
And now you will see the reason the dog
had for wanting to come in. In the middle
of the night the door of the room was quietly
opened, and a man stole across the carpet. He
had not time to take more than a few steps. The
64 THE MASTIFF.
dog sprang from under the bed, and laid fast
hold of him It was a thief come to steal.
But the dog's master was roused by the noise,
and rang his bell. Very soon all the people
in the house came running to see what was
the matter. Then the thief was taken up,
and sent off to jail.
The mastiff cannot swim, and if he falls into
the water he is very likely to get drowned.
Once upon a time a mastiff lived near the sea.
As he went after his master on the pier, he
met a Newfoundland dog named Ponto. The
mastiff is fond of fighting, and he began to
quarrel with Ponto. Every day the two dogs
used to meet each other on the pier, and every
day they used to fight. But one day, while
they were fighting, they got too near the edge
of the pier. All at once they both fell over
into the sea. Ponto could swim, and soon
got to land and was on the pier again. As
he stood shaking the water out of his coat, he
caught sight of the mastiff. The poor mastiff
was very badly off. He could not swim, and
was just going to the bottom. But Ponto
was very sorrow for him. He forgot his
THE MASTIFF. 65
quarrel, and jumped into the sea. He took
hold of the mastiff by his collar, and held his
head above water till he got him safe to land.
You will be glad to hear that the two dogs
did not quarrel any more. They were good
friends all the rest of their lives.
The mastiff is an English dog, and very
brave indeed. In olden times people were
fond of cruel sports. They liked to see dogs
fight with the lion. Three mastiffs were a
match for a lion, and could drive him back
into his cage. It is a happy thing that people
are able to read, and know better in these
days. Such sports are done away with,
and the mastiff now lies in his kennel and
guards his master's house.
THE DOG OF ST. BERNARD.
T. BERNARD is the name of one of the
high mountains of the Alps.
The deep snow hangs so loosely on the
sides of these mountains, that great masses
often fall into the plains below, with a noise
Wild snow-storms also come on, and the
passes on the mountains become so blocked
up and covered over, that it is impossible to
find them out.
In this way many travellers have perished,
and been buried in a deep snowy grave.
Far far up the mountain there is a building
called the Convent of St. Bernard.
Here is found that wonderful race of dogs
THE DOG OF ST. BERNARD. 67
called the Dogs of St. Bernard, famous all
over the world for their noble deeds.
These dogs are trained to go out on the
mountains among the snow, and search for
Suppose you are taking a journey across the
A terrible snow-storm comes on. Night
is drawing near, while you are weary with
your journey, and perishing with cold and
Your whole body begins to feel numb, and
soon you will be unable to go any further.
You think of home and kind friends there,
and you kneel down to pray that you may not
be left to perish in the snow.
At the very moment you are about to give
up in despair, you hear the deep bark of a
dog, coming nearer and nearer amid the dark-
ness and the snow-drift!
It is the sweetest sound you ever heard in
How thankful you are when you see two
noble-looking dogs coming toward you, one
with a flask of spirits tied to his neck, and
=^ -- K--- -- W -.' '*
D O .w
DOGS O ST. BRNARD
THE DOG OF ST. BERNARD. 69
the other carrying a cloak to wrap around
How eagerly you untie the flask and drink,
and how gratefully you cover yourself with
The dogs look on, and seem to understand
all. They hasten back to fetch the monks,
who soon come to the spot.
You are carried to the convent, and there
rubbed and warmed, till at last you revive and
know that you are saved.
Such is the work the monks of St. Bernard
and their famous dogs have often had to do.
One dog saved the lives of twenty-two
persons, who, but for his help, must have
For many years this dog wore a medal
round his neck, which was given him in
honour of his deeds !
The following story tells how this noble
creature at last met his death:-
At the foot of the mountain there is a little
village. Here dwelt a poor courier, who used
to carry letters and messages across the moun-
70 THE DOG OF ST. BERNARD.
This was the way he procured bread for his
wife and children.
On one occasion, when on his way back to his
home, a terrible storm came on.
With great difficulty he made his way to
The monks did all they could to persuade
him to remain till the storm had passed away.
But the poor man knew how anxious his
family would be. He was sure that they
would be out on the mountain in search of
him;-and so they really were.
He felt that he must proceed, and the
monks spoke to him in vain.
All they could do was to furnish him with
two guides, attended by two dogs.
One of these dogs was the noble animal that
wore the medal.
But the poor courier and his family never
On his way down the mountain with the
guides and the dogs, a great mass of frozen
snow fell upon them, and courier, guides, and
dogs were all buried beneath it.
THE DOG OF ST. BERNARD. 71
THE LOST CHILD.
AN interesting and affecting story is told of two of these brave dogs
having once saved the life of a little boy, who had lost his way on
IT was a clear, cold winter night,
The heavens all brightly starred,
Where on Mount Bernard's snowy height
The good monks kept their guard.
And round their hearth that night they told,
To one who shelter craved,
How the brave dog he thought so old
Full forty lives had saved;
When suddenly, with kindling eye,
Up sprang the old dog there,
As from afar a -.I Ib -, shrill cry
Rung through the.frosty air.
In haste the monks unbarred the door,
Rugs round the mastiffs threw;
And as they bounded forth once more,
Called, Blessings be with you "
They hurried headlong down the hill,
Past many a snow-wreath wild,
Until the older guide stood still
Beside a sleeping child.
72 THE DOG OF ST. BERNARD.
He licked the little icy hand,
With his rough, kindly tongue;
With his warm breath he gently fanned
The tresses fair and long.
The child looked up with eyes of blue,
As if the whole lie guessed;
His arms around the dog lie threw,
And sunk again to rest.
Once more he woke, and wrapped him fast
In the warm covering sent:
The dogs then with their charge, at last,
Up the steep mountain went.
The fire glowed bright with heaped-up logs,
Each monk brought forth a light;
Good dogs !" they cried, "good dogs, good dogs
Whom bring you here to-night ?"
In with a joyous bound they come-
The boy awoke and smiled:
Ah me the stranger cried, "some home
Mourneth for thee, fair child !
With morning light, the monks and boy
Sought where the village lay-
I dare not try to paint the joy
Their coming gave that day.
If sweet," the brethren said, "to see
Such gladness shed around,
What wondrous joy in heaven must be
When a lost child is found "
THE SHEPHERD'S DOG.
OsOMETIMES the sheep get a great way
f? from the shepherd, for they wander on,
nibbling the grass. He could never make
them come back if he were by himself. But
there is his friend the dog. No matter how
far the sheep have gone, he has only to say,
"Fetch them up, Rover."
Rover knows how to set about it. He runs
barking round the sheep, and soon drives
them into a flock. Then he brings them to
his master, and looks up to him, and wags his
tail as if he wanted a word of praise.
No one has taught the shepherd's dog to
take care of the sheep. He began to do it
of his own accord, and as soon as he was old
'~; -.. . _. ~i--, -;, -- -' -
_~-- .- -- --
Ma-i ,-- -.
THE SHEPHERD'S DOG.
THE SHEPHERD'S DOG. 75
A farmer once had a dog whose name was
Spot, and a very clever dog he was. When
Spot came in from the field, he would lie
down by the kitchen fire and go to sleep. His
master's cap hung on a peg by the wall. If
Spot awoke, he would look to see if the cap
was there. If it was, he would coil himself
up, and go to sleep again. But if the cap
was not there, he knew that his master was
gone out. Then Spot would jump up in a
great hurry, and scamper after him up the
field. He seemed to know that he might be
The sheep are poor helpless things, and
cannot defend themselves from danger.
The fox is very fond of stealing the young
lambs. But the dog is always on the watch,
and will not let him, if he can help it.
And in some countries there is the wolf.
At night, when it is dark, the wolf prowls
round the fold. The sheep and the lambs are
asleep, and little know who is so near them.
But if the dog takes a nap, his eyes and ears
seem to be open. The least sound makes him
start up. Then he sees the fierce eyes of the
76 THE SHEPHERD'S DOG.
wolf gleaming in the dark. He gives an angry
growl, and if the wolf does not run away, it
is often the worse for him. The brave dog
will fly at his throat, and hold him till the
shepherd comes with his cudgel or his gun.
The shepherd's dog is very faithful to his
master, and will not let any harm happen to
him, if he can prevent it. I will tell you a
little story about a shepherd's dog.
His master was walking home from market
late one night. It was winter, and the snow
lay thick upon the ground, and the frost was
very severe. The poor man lost his way, and
kept getting further and further from home.
At last he was so tired, and he felt so sleepy,
that he could not go on any longer. He fell
down in the snow, and lay quite helpless, and
stiff with cold.
No one was going that way, and he would
have to lie there all night. But his good
faithful dog had been at his heels, and was the
only friend he had. The dog did not forsake
him. He scratched away the snow that had
fallen on his master, and then rolled himself
round, and lay upon his breast. It was the
THE SHEPHERD'S DOG. 77
best thing the dog could do. The warmth of
his body kept his poor master from being
frozen to death.
He- lay there all night. But the next
morning a man came by with a gun in his
hand. He was out shooting. Then the dog
jumped up and ran to him, and made signs as
if he were asking him to come and help his
master. The poor man was found lying on
his bed of snow, and I need only tell you that
his life was saved.
When he got well, he had a silver collar
made for the dog to wear. And he never
forgot that, under God, he owed his life to
his four-footed friend.
Y the term "lap-dog" we mean all the
M tiny creatures that are the pets of ladies
and children, more ornamental than useful.
There are the clever little toy-terriers, the
delicate Italian greyhounds, the poodles of
different descriptions, the small-size pugs which
cost such large sums of money; the King
Charles dogs, also, which are now becoming so
The toy-terriers are perhaps the most shrewd
and sharp of drawing-room pets; they will
often carry gloves, letters, and other small
articles, and they have many amusing tricks.
The poodles will beg wonderfully well, walk
round a room on their hind legs, dance a little,
and jump over a hoop or the extended arms of
THE LAP-DOG. 79
The pugs, I think, can do little but sleep,
and snore, and eat; and the more ugly they
are, so much more is their value !
The ways of little pet dogs are most amus-
ing to watch. A small Maltese terrier not
only singled out the friends of his owners as
worthy of his special notice, but he seemed
also to know if they had done anything which
was not approved; in which case he would turn
away his head and "cut" their acquaintance as
cleverly as any human being could manage it.
He seemed to have some knowledge, also, of our
system of conversation; for even if his mistress
said in a whisper that she was going out,
" Charlie kept close to her side, inviting her
at frequent intervals to the room where her
walking-dress would be found. He objected
greatly to take his meals when any eye was
upon him, and waited after his plate of dinner
had been put down until every one seemed to
have forgotten him; at which moment he would
quietly clear it off and return to his place,
as if he had eaten nothing nor thought of
Another very small terrier, of the Scotch
80 THE LAP-DOG.
breed, was particularly fond of the smell of
roast mutton and of the savoury odour of fried
sausages. When either of these dishes was
being prepared, Rough would sit at the top
of the kitchen stairs sniffing," after the
fashion of the hungry little street boys who
hang about the eating-houses and cook-shops.
At no other time was he ever known to absent
himself from the ladies of the family
"Gyp" was another of the lap-dog kind, who,
though past his puppy days, was full of
mischievous pranks. He would bring up the
cook's dusters from the kitchen to the drawing-
room, steal the veils of lady visitors, pick
pockets of handkerchiefs, and other such things;
-all very amusing, yet now and then rather
troublesome to those who owned him.
Certainly all these small dogs are very faith-
ful and affectionate; and many human beings
are very glad to have the love even of a little
dumb creature, who, if he cannot speak words
of kindness and comfort, can show his feelings
in his own fashion. At the Home for Lost
Dogs, which some kind-hearted people have
started in London, they say that many of the
THE LAP-DOG. 81
pet animals which are brought there pine
away and die, simply because they have been
separated from some much-loved master or
mistress. There are many stories of the fond
fidelity of little dogs which are so touching
that they bring tears to the eyes of all whose
hearts are tender. They make quite as good
guards to a house as their larger relatives; for
if they can do little in the way of defence, they
are roused by the least noise, and will bark
violently at the sound of a stranger's step in
>IREEPING stealthily along some garden
wall in the hope of a sudden spring
upon a poor little sparrow, the cat reminds us
somewhat of the cruel tiger; but as she lies
basking before the fire, or laps up her milk
from a saucer in the kitchen, we think her a
very gentle creature, and make her a great pet.
There are so many stories about cats that
it is difficult to choose from out of them those
which you will like best.
A pretty tabby kitten was one day seen sit-
ting on a door-step, where some unkind person
had left it; and being taken into the house, it
became the pet of a little girl who lived there.
She called it "Dolly Doodles," which was a
strange name, certainly; but the kitten learned
THE CAT. 83
to answer to it, and ran at the first sound.
But the gentleman of the house owned some
large ships which sailed to Australia and back;
and when Dolly was a year old she was sent
on a voyage on purpose to catch the mice
and rats, which are so very destructive in
ships. Her little mistress grieved sadly to
part with her favourite; but the sailor-boy who
fetched the kitten from the house promised to
bring it safely back to England again.
Long months passed by. It was more than
a year since Dolly Doodles sailed away, when
there came a knock at the door of her old
house, and when it was opened a sailor-boy
I've brought little missie her cat," he said;
but when he opened a bag and let out a thin,
hungry-looking animal, no one could believe it
was indeed the sleek, plump kitten of a year
before. Dolly, however, seemed to remember
the kitchen where she had once been so happy;
for she lay down before the fire with a con-
tented air, and soon lapped up some milk.
Then the sailor told how cleverly she had
caught the rats, and would carry them and lay
iI i I' .i
I i i I .
I- i ,
"i I ,
"! l tti~
STEALING THE MILK.
THE CAT. 85
them down at the feet of the captain of the
ship, as if she had done a very praiseworthy
action. But the strange thing was, and the
sailor declared it true, that instead of satis-
fying her own hunger with the mice she found
on the homeward voyage, Dolly used to take
one first of all to another cat, which could
not hunt for herself because she was lying in
a basket guarding her family of tiny kittens.
You may be quite sure that this nice cat was
never sent away again, and she stayed with
the family to the very end of her fifteen years'
life, by which time she was nearly blind.
If I had space I could tell you 'many more
stories which prove that cats are not the sense-
less animals some people think them; they
often show a cleverness and an affection nearly
equal to those of the dog. The French and
Maltese cats are particularly sensible; but they
are rather troublesome pets to possess, for their
large size and long beautiful fur attract the
eyes of men and boys who are on the watch to
steal them. There is a beautiful black cat of
the Angora breed which lives at a nobleman's
house in London. Its name is Boots;" and
86 THE CAT.
it has made friends with a common stray cat,
which comes regularly to one of the windows
every morning for a few bits of meat, which
the well-to-do animal carries out in its mouth
without fail. The stranger is called by the
family Boots's poor relation."
I must tell you that Boots is somewhat
given to stealing, helping himself to milk by
dipping his paw into the jug when left con-
veniently within reach, or tasting gravy after
the same fashion. This proves that cats are
not very honest by nature, however well fed;
and I know that many of them enjoy what
they take far better than what is given.
HE rabbit is of the same family as the hare,
but it is much smaller. The tame ones,
which little people are so fond of keeping in
hutches and feeding with lettuce and other
kinds of green food, are of various colours-
white, gray, and speckled; but the rabbits
which run wild out-of-doors are nearly always
of a brownish hue. They make deep holes for
their dwelling-places in sandy hillocks, and
these are called burrows; many burrows to-
gether form what we term a warren. In com-
mon with almost every other animal, the
rabbit is exceedingly devoted to its young
ones, and will protect them with a very won-
derful degree of courage.
The lop-eared rabbits are perhaps the fav-
88 THE RABBIT.
ourites among the tame species: their ears,
instead of rising from the head, fall somewhat
to the side, and look as if they had been folded
and pressed down. The Angora rabbits with
long silky hair are very much admired. In
colour they are chiefly white, or a mixture of
black and white and gray and white.
It is better to let rabbits run about in a
yard than to keep them always confined to
their hutch; this freedom will make them
more lively, and it is very amusing to watch
their games with each other; and they will
become very familiar with whoever is in the
habit of giving them food
tHE guinea-pig was brought to us from
South America; but it has been reared
in England for such a very long time that
we reckon it among the number of our
You perhaps have seen the Italian boys
who carry a cage holding a guinea-pig or two,
for the purpose of gaining pence by showing
them to children: they will be very pleased
with a bit of parsley to eat, but they will not
take any notice if you stroke and pet them.
When the guinea-pig is living in a wild
state, it eats only roots and vegetables and
grass; as a tame pet, it will not refuse fruit,
bread, and many other things.
Guinea-pigs feel the cold weather very much
indeed, and might die if not well taken care of,
90 THE GUINEA-PIG.
because their natural home is in a very hot
country. They like to be kept clean; and
if you watch their habits, you will see that
they try to smooth their fur constantly.
Guinea-pigs would not know how to defend
themselves against other animals-they have
no strength or courage for that-so they are
well fitted to be made into pets and protected
from whatever could harm them.
No animal has teeth so soon as the guinea-
pig, therefore the little ones are very quickly
able to feed themselves. In their wild state
they come out of their hiding-places at night in
search of food; and even as pets in our homes
they prefer sleep in the day in the sunshine
or near the warm fire, and are more inclined
for a little exercise as evening approaches.
Guinea-pigs cost very little to purchase, and
this is why children so often possess them.
When they are carefully fed and well cared for
they live a long time.
--'. c~b-r u
,n"HIS pretty, active little creature, is quite
a household pet with us, and a very
merry playfellow for children, when it has
A squirrel was once badly hurt by some
cruel boys, who pelted it as it sprang
from branch to branch of a high tree, and
presently it fell helplessly to the ground. By
that time, however, a gentleman had reached
the spot, who, having seen what was done,
took the poor, frightened, trembling creature
to his home, that he might try to cure it. Its
little broken leg was bandaged up, it was fed
and kept warm by the fire, and the squirrel
seemed to understand that it had fallen into
good hands; so it grew quite tame and happy
92 THE SQUIRREL.
during the long winter months, and never
pined at all for its woodland home. Perhaps
it is alive now, for all I know; but I can
certainly tell you that "Quiz" had not deserted
its owners when last I heard of it; and even
in the summer-time, when it was set free in
the garden, it always made its appearance at the
window as evening came on, so that it might
take its rest in the cage which was its home.
Of course you know that the squirrel is very
fond of nuts, and that when it is living in the
woods it saves up a store of them to serve as
food in the cold winter-time. For a store-
house it chooses the hollow of some tree,
though some kinds of squirrels have been
known to make a hiding-place for their pro-
visions by forming cells on the ground, in a
very clever fashion, and arranged with wonder-
ful order. Have you ever seen a squirrel eat-
ing an acorn or a nut? He does it in a very
dainty fashion; biting through the shell, peel-
ing off the brown skin, and so reaching the
kernel, which he enjoys very much, as he sits
upright with his bushy tail curled above him.
In a book which was written by an Ameri-
THE SQUIRREL. 93
can lady a good many years ago, there is a
description of a little girl called Fleda, who
goes nutting with two young gentlemen. One
of these came suddenly on a poor squirrel's
hoard of nuts, and would have secured it had
not Fleda begged him to leave it untouched.
When she was grown to womanhood and had
thought over her childish days, she wrote this
pretty poem about the squirrel:-
Merrily sang the crickets forth
One fair October night;
And the stars looked down, and the Northern crown
Gave its strange fantastic light.
A nipping frost was in the air,
On flowers and grass it fell;
And the leaves were still on the eastern hill,
As if touched by a fairy spell.
To the very top of the tall nut-trees
The frost-king seemed to ride;
With his wand he stirs the chestnut burs,
And straight they are opened wide.
And squirrels and children together dream
Of the coming winter's hoard;
And many, I ween, are the chestnuts seen,
In hole or in garret stored.
The children are sleeping in feather-beds,
Poor Bun in his mossy nest;
He courts repose with his tail on his nose,
On the others warm blankets rest.
Late in the morning the sun gets up
From behind the village spire;
94 THE SQUIRREL.
And the children dream that the first red gleam
Is the chestnut-tree on fire.
The squirrel had on when he first awoke
All the clothing he could command;
And his breakfast was light-he just took a bite
Of an acorn that lay at hand.
And then he was off to the trees to work,
While the children some time it takes
To dress, and to eat what they think meet
Of coffee and buckwheat cakes.
The sparkling frost when they first go out
Lies thick upon all around
And earth and grass, as they onward pass.
Give a pleasant crackling sound.
0 there is a heap of chestnuts, see!"
Cried the youngest of the train;
For they came to a stone where the squirrel had thrown
"What he meant to pick up again.
And two bright eyes from the tree o'erhead
Looked down at the open hag
Where the nuts went in-and so to begin,
Almost made his courage flag.
Away on the hill outside the woods
Three giant trees there stand;
And the chestnuts bright that hang in sight
Are eyed by the youthful band.
And one of their number climbs the tree,
And passes from bough to bough;
And the children run-for with pelting fun
The nuts fall thickly now.
Some of the burs are still shut tight,
Some open with chestnuts three;
And some nuts fall with no burs at all,
Smooth, shiny as nuts can be.
THE SQUIRREL. 95
Oh who can tell what fun it was
To see the prickly shower;
To feel what a whack on head or back
Was within a chestnut's power !
To run beneath the shaking tree,
And then to scamper away;
And with laughing shout to dance about
The grass where the chestnuts lay,
With flowing tresses and blowing hair,
And eyes that no shadow knew,
Like the growing light of a morning bright,
The dawn of a sununer llue !
The work was ended, the trees were stripped,
The children were tired of play;
And they forgot, -1..... 1. the squirrel did not,
The wrong they had done that day.