Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Title Page
 The swallow's nest
 Mother-deer and baby
 The slasin, or antelope of...
 Carrier pigeons
 The chamois
 Our dumb teachers
 An unforgiving dog
 Condor, great bustard, ground robin,...
 Our clever dog (picture)
 The king of the castle
 The kingfisher
 Mrs. Bruin and family
 The kangaroo
 Jacko with Pussy's bone
 Red deer, the deer, reitbok, and...
 I would rather be my lady's...
 Wild birds
 The heron
 A bird without wings
 Drinking sheep
 Mrs. Bunny and family
 The elk
 A proud mother
 The golden eagle, the stork, the...
 Sheep and lambs
 The light-heartedness of birds
 The guinea-pig
 The clever fox
 Field-mice and their nest
 Cat and squirrels
 The raven, the ring-dove, the hoopoe,...
 Back Cover

Title: Mother's stories
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00053673/00001
 Material Information
Title: Mother's stories
Physical Description: 1 v. (unpaged) : ill. ; 25 cm.
Language: English
Creator: R. Worthington ( Publisher )
Publisher: R. Worthington
Place of Publication: New York
Publication Date: c1884
Subject: Animals -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Children's poetry   ( lcsh )
Children's stories -- 1884   ( lcsh )
Children's poetry -- 1884   ( lcsh )
Publishers' advertisements -- 1884   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1884
Genre: Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Children's poetry   ( lcsh )
Publishers' advertisements   ( rbgenr )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- New York -- New York
General Note: Contains prose and verse.
General Note: Publisher's advertisements on back cover.
Funding: Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00053673
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002224282
notis - ALG4543
oclc - 64428081


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UF00053673_00001 ( XML )

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Cover 1
        Cover 2
    Front Matter
        Page i
    Title Page
        Page ii
    The swallow's nest
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Mother-deer and baby
        Page 3
        Page 4
    The slasin, or antelope of India
        Page 5
        Page 6
    Carrier pigeons
        Page 7
        Page 8
    The chamois
        Page 9
        Page 10
    Our dumb teachers
        Page 11
        Page 12
    An unforgiving dog
        Page 13
        Page 14
    Condor, great bustard, ground robin, and wood pigeon (picture)
        Page 15
    Our clever dog (picture)
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
    The king of the castle
        Page 19
        Page 20
    The kingfisher
        Page 21
        Page 22
    Mrs. Bruin and family
        Page 23
        Page 24
    The kangaroo
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
    Jacko with Pussy's bone
        Page 29
        Page 30
    Red deer, the deer, reitbok, and blauwbok (picture)
        Page 31
    I would rather be my lady's hawk
        Page 32
    Wild birds
        Page 33
        Page 34
    The heron
        Page 35
        Page 36
    A bird without wings
        Page 37
        Page 38
    Drinking sheep
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
    Mrs. Bunny and family
        Page 43
        Page 44
    The elk
        Page 45
        Page 46
    A proud mother
        Page 47
    The golden eagle, the stork, the Virginian horned owl, and the crane (picture)
        Page 48
    Sheep and lambs
        Page 49
        Page 50
    The light-heartedness of birds
        Page 51
        Page 52
    The guinea-pig
        Page 53
        Page 54
    The clever fox
        Page 55
        Page 56
    Field-mice and their nest
        Page 57
        Page 58
    Cat and squirrels
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
    The raven, the ring-dove, the hoopoe, and the cock (picture)
        Page 63
    Back Cover
        Cover 1
        Cover 2
Full Text

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FTEN in former years the twitter of the
..; birds glittering in the morning sun was
the first sound that met my ear during the
wakeful hours which frequently accompany
illness after the worst crisis has passed, and
you are recovering by degrees. The gutters
ran beneath my bedroom windows, and I could
see the steel-blue backs of the swallows as
they sat on the rims of the gutter, twisting
their little heads, opening their yellow-lined
beaks, singing to their hearts' content. Whole
families would perch there together, or the
young would rest in rows of four or five, ac-'
cording to the nest-broods of each. How
delightful to see them fed by their agile pa-
rents! how tantalizing to have them almost
within reach of my hands, yet not to be able
to catch them or give them a kiss, as they
would cower in my hollow hands if I only
could have got them in there!

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OMETHING has startled them, as
they fed securely enough, one would
think, on the grass at the foot of the rocks;
and if we could only get a little nearer, this
is what we should hear the mother-deer
saying to her baby: "My child, I am sure
there is danger about; look out and tell me
if you see the slightest movement on the
hill yonder, or if I see it first, I will give you
the signal, and you must follow me, and run
for your very life." And the baby, with
cocked ears and glistening eyes, promises to
do as it is told. But after all it will probably
prove a false alarm, for this is not the time
of year for deerstalking; and I dare say the
noise they heard was made by a party of
people coming up the valley below to see
the waterfall, which is famous in the



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," HE Siasin, or Antelope of India, roams
over the open and rocky plains of
that immense country. It is distin-
guished from the rest of its family by
the beauty and singular shape of its
horns, which are annulated or ringed, and spi-
rally convoluted or curved together, making two
or more turns, according to the age of the ani-
mal. The fakirs and dervishes o0 India, who
are enjoined by their religion from carrying
swords, frequently wear at their girdles the
polished horns of the siasin instead of the usual
military arm. This antelope is one of the fleet-
est-footed of its family, and its leap is some-
thing wonderful. It is not uncommon for it to
vault to the height of twelve or thirteen feet,
passing over ten or twelve yards at a single
bound. In color it is almost black on the up-
per part of the body, and light-colored beneath.
"When full grown, it is about the size of our
common deer.

-- ------- L-

--=---- =_S--=--==----=--=--=







MHE carrier pigeon is
remarkable for the de-
gree in which it pos-
sesses the instinct and
Power of returning from a distance
to its accustomed home. In Eastern
i- countries it is the practice to bathe
the pigeon's feet in vinegar to keep them cool,
and to prevent it from alighting in quest of
water, by which the letter might sustain in-
jury. Pigeons intended for this use must be
brought from the place to which they are to
return, within a short period, and must be kept
in the dark and without food for at least eight
hours before being let loose. The carrier
pigeon was of great service during the siege
of Paris in 1871, and conveyed many impor-
tant messages. It goes through the air at the
rate of thirty miles an hour, but has been
known to fly even faster.

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HE CHAMOIS are indeed high-born,
for among the high mountain-peaks,
where the eternal snow rests and the Alpine
roses bloom, there they make their home!
There they spring up over the snowy slopes
to those heights to which man cannot climb.
They rest upon the glittering ice, the snow
does not blind them, neither does it cool
their hot blood. Carelessly they stride
across the snowed-over crevices, and when
the terrible storms, at which men are so
alarmed, hurl down rocks and avalanches
from the summits, the Chamois do not fear
them. They find their way safely through
the thickest mist and darkest clouds.
Agile and light-footed, gentle and peaceable,
proud and courageous, they lead a happy
life among the mountains, as long as man
does not molest them.


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A Wonderful Friendship.
NE of the most remarkable them with shrill cries, and an exciting
friendships among animals is struggle ensued. The reptiles, fixed on
that which exists between a the ground by the strong feet of the
cat in the Elephant House at bird, twisted and hissed, and bit; but
the Zoilogical Gardens in London, and they could make no impression on the
the large two-horned African rhinoceros rugose skin, and they were chopped
which is kept there. into mince-meat with a few strokes of
It is even more strange than yEsop's the beak. The secretary is also, it may
fable of the mouse and the lion, for the be remarked, a great destroyer of ro-
little sleek mouse was able to be of great dents.
service to the lion in nibbling the meshes NEVER SAY FAIL.
of his net; but the huge rhinoceros can Keep pushing-'tis wiser
scarcely believe that pussy is able to set Than sitting aside,
him free, yet, that a great affection exists And dreaming and sighing,
between the two is certain. And waiting the tide.
They may be often seen together, puss In life's earnest battle,
toying with the formidable head of the They only prevail
monster, who appears to lay aside his Tho daily march onward,
strength, and is as gentle as a lamb, al- And never say fail.
lowing her to do almost anything, even
to lie sleeping contendedly close to his In life's rosy morning,
nose, or playfully patting his horn with In manhood's firm pride,
her paws; yet with one mighty charge Let this be your motto
that same horn could easily destroy an Your footsteps to guide;
elephant. In storm and in sunshine,
True affection may exist between the Whatever assail,
most opposite natures, and the strong Ve'll onward and conquer,
have it always in their power to be gentle And never say fail.
to the weak. H. TIE more methods there are in a state
for acquiring riches without industry
THE SECRETARY BIRD.-A curious or merit the less there will be of either
experiment took place the other day at in that state.
the Jardin d'Acclimatization in Paris. AVOID the habit of incessant badinage
A nest of living vipers was thrown into in your talk. It is disgusting and re-
the inclosure where the secretaries or pellent to encounter a person who never
snake-eaters (from the Cape) are kept. seems to be in earnest about anything,
These birds have the bright eye of birds treating the gravest matters with ridi-
of prey, powerful beaks, and vulture- cule or scorn, and whose softest speech
like bodies mounted on legs like those corrodes like oil of vitriol. There is
of a wading bird. Whenever the secre- nothing more despicable than the man
tries saw the snakes they fell upon who despises everybody else.

---------- -



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TOUCHING instance of dig- Do not forget that if you accomplish
nity and self-respect in a New- a little every day it will amount to a
foundland dog occurred not good deal in a year. If you pursue
long ago, on board the ship some study, or read one hour every day
Alexandra, and is related by a passen- in the year, you will have acquired an
ger. He belonged to an acquaintance amount of knowledge in three hundred
who was obliged to remain in Naples and sixty-five days that will surprise
on account of illness, but sent her ser- you. Bear this in mind now, early in
vant home with her baggage and per- the year, and let nothing prevent you
sonal property, including this dog. He from taking advantage of it.
was a great pet with his mistress, and
when he was brought on board immedi- A SISTER'S LOVE.-Who can tell the
ately took a great fancy to this gentle- thoughts that cluster around the word
man, and showed great pleasure when sister? How ready she is to forgive the
noticed by him. "At last," says he, errors, to excuse the foibles of a brother.
"I found he was bringing fleas from She never deserts him. In adversity she
the steerage, and one day, with a de- clings closely to him, and in trial she
cided voice and manner, I ordered him cheers him. And when the bitter voice of
away. He looked at me as if he could reproach is poured in his ears she is ever
not have understood me rightly; but I ready to hush its harsh tones, and turn
repeated the order, and he dropped his his attention away from its painful notes.
head, and slowly and sadly walked off.
After this I could not get him to take
the slightest notice of me. If I coaxed If we would but check the speaker
and petted him ever so much he only When he spoils his neighbor's fame
looked sadly away, and kept as much If we would but help the erring,
as possible out of my path. I would Ere we utter words of blame;
have given much to have talked, so that If we would, how many might we
he might have understood me, or to have Turn from paths of sin and shame.
had any wag of his tail in token of his
having forgotten my harsh manner ; but Ah, the wrongs that might be righted
to the end of the voyage he was unre- If we would but see the way
lenting and unforgiving." Ah, the pains that might be lightened
Every hour and every day,
If we would but hear the pleadings
Of the hearts that go astray.
TIME is lent to us to be laid out in
God's service, to His honor, and we In each life, however lowly,
cannot be too diligent in it, if we con- There are seeds of mighty good;
sider that time is precious, short, pass- Still, we shrink from souls appealing
ing, uncertain, irrevocable when gone, With a timid "if we could;"
and that for which we must be account- But a God who judgeth all things
able. Knows the truth is, "if we would."

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"7i7 N Aurochs in blind rage, charging through
,t1 O thick and thin, has had a fascination for
me as long as I can remember. The
true aurochs and this, the European Bison,
ceased to exist in the British Isles, except in
the Zoological Gardens; but the latter is still
found wild in Lithuania, and is also carefully
preserved in cth3r parts of Russia, of which the
Emperor has a herd. There is much talk about
their being untamable--that they will not mix
with tame cattle--that tame cows shrink from
the aurochs' calves; but does not any cow
shrink from any calf not her own ? The Ameri-
can Bison, with which you are all pretty fa-
miliar, is very similar to the one just men-
tioned. There have been several attempts made
to domesticate the American bison, and havQ
been so far successful. The size and strength
of the animal make it probable that if domes-
ticated, it would be of great use.


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S the lion is called the king of beasts,
so the eagle is called the king of birds;
but except that it is bigger, stronger,
and swifter than other birds, there does
not seem much reason for the name. It is a mis-
take to attribute noble or mean qualities to ani-
mals or birds, or to think they can do good or
bad actions, when they can only do what God
has created them to do, and as their instinct
The most powerful of the eagles is the Golden
Eagle, so called because of the rich yellowish-
brown bordering to its feathers. It makes its
nest in the clefts of the rocky sides of the moun-
tains, and seldom on a tree, unless where one
has sprung up in between the clefts, and the
tangled roots make a sort of platform. This the
eagles cover with sticks, and here they make
their house, living in it always, and not only
when they lay eggs or have young ones.
If there are eaglets in the nest, the food is at
once carried home to them, and the skinning and
eating done at home. Eagles are very attentive
to their young, and feed them with great care
until they are able to take care of themselves.



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"rHE common kingfisher is a beautiful bird
and is well known. It is, as Sir William
Jardine observes, one of the most gayly
tinted birds, and when darting down some
wooded stream, and shone upon at times by the
sunbeams, it may give some faint idea of the brill-
iant plumage that sports in the forests of the
tropics, and that flits from place to place like so
many lights in their deeply shaded recesses."
The plumage of the upper parts is resplendent
with emerald green, becoming on the tail ultra-
marine blue, while the under parts are of a pale
orange hue; the throat and neck are varied with
white and blue.
The ordinary food of the kingfisher is fish-the
stickleback and the minnow, with the young of
larger species; but he is said also to eat slugs,
worms, and leeches.
The kingfisher either digs or selects a hole in
some bank, as the scene of its domestic economy.
It is always formed in an upward direction, that
the accumulating moisture may drain off at the
mouth. At the end, which is about three feet
from the entrance, quantities of fish-bones are
found, ejected by the parent birds; but whether
these are placed there with or without design, is
as yet a disputed point among naturalists. The
prevailing opinion seems to be that the castings
are purposely accumulated to form a sort of nest.
Six or seven eggs are laid, and the young do not
leave the hole till able to fly, after which they sit
on a branch for a few days, and are fed by the
parents. The kingfisher is partially migratory.

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SHIS is the American black bear, who
i is looking so lively and seemingly
inviting the young folks to have a
romp, which they will be only too
"willing to join in. The black bear
is of a timid disposition, and seldom
attacks man except in self-defense.
The female bear is a most affection-
ate mother, and many stories are related show-
ing her care and love for her young, and her
sorrow and mournful cries when any evil be-
falls them. On one occasion a black bear
with her two cubs was pursued across the ice
by some armed sailors. At first she urged her
cubs to increased speed, but finding her pur-
suers gaining upon them, she carried, pushed,
and pitched them, alternately, forward, until
she effected their escape from her pursuers.

. . ...


WVf-ELL," said little Herbert Joyce, as he
S, lo ok ed ov er th e b ook s of d raw in g s
which his cousin had just brought home
from Australia, "I never saw anything
so extraordinary before in all my life;
why here is an animal with three heads, and
two of them are very low down, and much
smaller than the others." "What do you
mean, Herbert?" asked his cousin, who just
then came into the room. "There are no three-
headed animals let me see the picture. Oh!
no wonder you were puzzled; it does look like
a queer creature. That is a kangaroo, and the
small heads belong to her children, whom she
carries about in a bag formed hy a hole in her
skin, until they are old enough to walk; and
the little things seem very happy there; and
sometimes, as their mother moves along over
the grass, you may see them nibbling it."

I I - -----; =------= -'---- ----

- __ =-----~~~~--__ = *~rC


NE day at the Zoological Gardens, I
saw the group of Badgers as they
are here given. Little do visitors to the
gardens take into account how much a
wild animal goes through till it has got used
to a state of things so opposite to its natural
habits. Their wants are attended to as
much as possible, but cannot be always
met; and so we have here a devoted mother,
worn out by the demands of her cubs, and
vainly anxious to hide herself from daylight
and man's gaze. She has long given up
trying to dig or scratch her way out. All
she can do is to lean against the wall, ready
for a last defence, should anybody come
within her prison. She dares not curl up
into a ball, like the one cub, and go to
sleep; while this little careless imp on her
back, happy and trustful, adds to her tired-
ness by his weight.

S' Ali


ACKO is a bird called a Macaw, and has
fine feathers-scarlet and yellow and
blue. Jacko can talk a little. He says,
"Come along, Jacko, come along;" and
when you come, as soon as he thinks
you near enough, he pecks at you with
his great beak. When he is in a good temper
he will say, "Poor, poor!" He will sit upon
the ivy all the morning and talk to himself, and
he will call the gardener, and he will cough and
sneeze, and crow and cackle, in a very funny
manner. If Jacko sees sparrows picking up a
few crumbs, he will rush up, sweeping his great
wings along the ground, and take their meal
for himself. If he sees poor Pussy picking a
bone, he takes great delight in creeping down
from his ivy, helping himself down with beak
and claws, and at a sight of Jacko's approach
Pussy darts away, leaving the bone in Jacko's
possession. Pussy, of course, does not like this,
but stands at a respectable distance, and with
curved back and flashing eyes shows her indig-
nation at Jacko. Presently Jacko retires to the
ivy and Pussy resumes her feast.

i--___ __--- ---- = --' ,---.

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WOULD rather be my lady's
A nd perch upon her hand,
Than I would be the deerhound grim,
To range this forest-land.


HE birds in this picture have all long beaks,
and seek their food in marshes. The
marshes being wet and soft, and full of
worms, these long beaks enable them to probe
them, and so get at the worms.
But of all beaks the Spoonbill's is about the
oddest. It looks exactly like a double spoon
squeezed flat; but its owner finds it just the
beak it would have chose for capturing the
various little creatures which live in shallow
water. The bird itself is very rare, but from
time to time small flocks of them have traveled
as far as this country.
The Bittern, which stands behind the Spoon-
bill in the picture, used to be much commoner
than it is now; for since fens have become
scarce, and guns common, its visits have grown
few and far between. Yet it is worth protect-
ing and making much of, for it is a great beauty,
and the deep, booming note which it has in the
spring, is a sound which must add an inexpress-
ible charm to the lonely spots it chooses for its


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S I HE Heron is a large bird, which inhabits
marshy districts or the neighborhood of
the sea or a river. It has a dark crest
hanging down from the back part of the head;
the body is variegated with black and white, the
under part being of a bluish tinge; the bill of a
deep yellow; the skin of the eye naked, and of
a bluish purple; the feet brown, but yellowish
toward the feathered part. The beak and legs
are long, and their under and upper chaps are
alike in length. It is a tall bird, and is very
light in proportion to its size, weighing about
three pounds and a half. Its length is three
feet, and breadth, from tip to tip of extended
wing, five feet. It builds its nest in some ele-
vated position, generally on a tree or a rock,
and lays four or five eggs at a time. Its food
consists chiefly of fish and small reptiles, though
it will sometimes devour mice, and even rats.
The Heron is not an expert swimmer; and, when
in search of its prey it usually stands by or in
the water, perfectly motionless, until its unsus-
pecting victim approaches, when it spears it
with a rapid stroke of its bill.


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SINGLE bone, found in a New Zealand
watercourse, was brought to England and
sent to Professor Owen. It belonged, he
said, to a wingless, tailless bird, which was at least
twelve feet high! Other men of science thought this
to be impossible, and tried to prevent him from mak-
ing his opinion known. But Professor Owen was
right, and a specimen of the Apteryx (that is, "wing-
less bird) in due course arrived at the Zoological Gar-
dens in London. This strange creature is nocturnal
in its habits, and, if brought out into the light of day,
runs here and there in search of cover. Wingless and
tailless it is, standing upon legs like those of an os-
trich, and with a long bill that might belong to a
stork. This long bill has more uses than in the case
of most birds. When its ungainly owner leans for-
ward it is used as a support, just as a bent and aged
man would lean upon a walking-stick. With it, too,
the Apteryx is enabled to unearth the worms on which
it feeds. From the bones which have been found, it
is certain that this and other strange birds once ex-
isted in many of the islands in the Polynesian ocean.
A. R. B.


-------- --- ------ -,//U_ YMUP-----.------i





--;---;;- -i---


CURIOUS it is how apt we are to judge
of everything merely from our own
personal experience. The picture from
which our engraving is taken was painted
after a stay on the shores of Grasmere Lake,
in Westmoreland. Our sitting-room faced
a small island in the lake, whose only inhab-
itants were a score or two of sheep, and
whose only house was their hovel. Every
day we saw them come to the water's edge
to drink. Yet I was asked by a friend of
mine, who has killed many a royal stag and
helped to eat many a blackfaced Highland
wether, "Do sheep ever drink?" for he
had never seen either a sheep or a deer
drink, and he said "that my picture was in
that respect a great mistake."
Of course he more particularly thought of
sheep and deer in the moist climate and sap-
py pastures of the British Islands, and those
only when in a natural state.

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I HIS beautiful and majestic bird was con-
$ sidered the bird-royal in England, owing
to a law of England that when found
in a partially wild state on the sea and navi-
gable rivers it belonged to the crown; but of
course it is to be found on the ponds and lakes
of many a gentleman's estate, and is always
prized as a great ornament to the lake. The
swan is also very valuable in clearing the ponds
of weeds, and makes a most effective clearance,
as they eat them before they rise to the sur-
face. The swan affords a pleasing illustration
of the love of the mother-bird for its young,
and has been known to vanquish a fox who
made an attack on its nest-showing that the
instinct of motherhood kindles boldness and
bravery in the breast of the most timi&l animals.
The nest is generally made on an islet, and
composed of reeds and rushes, and when the
live or seven large eggs are hatched, the mother
may be seen swimming about with the young
ones on her back.

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HIS wild Rabbit has been startled by

some noise, and the next moment she
may be scampering away to her bur-
row, with the little bunnies, at the top of their
speed, and crouch there until all is quiet again.
Rabbits usually select, if possible, a sandy soil
overgrown with furze, in which to make their
burrows, as such a soil is easily removed, and
the dense prickly furze hides their retreat,
whilst it affords them a wholesome and never-
failing food. These furze bushes are constantly
eaten down, as far as the rabbits can reach
standing on their hind legs, and consequently
present the appearance of a solid mass with
the surface even and rounded. These animals
retire into their burrows by day to rest, and
come out only in the twilight to obtain food.

_i_ _





HIS is the largest existing species of the
Sdeer family, and is a native of the north-
ern parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa. It grows
to be six feet high and twelve hundred pounds
in weight. They are very rare in Europe and
this country, but at one time they extended as
far south as the Ohio River. They love the
woods and marshy places, and live off of the
branches of trees, being unable to eat grass un-
less they get upon their knees. They are very
timid, and not easily approached by the hunter,
but should a dog come in the way, one stroke
from an elk's foot will kill it. Many of the
parents of our little friends in Maine and Can-
ada are, no doubt, familiar with the elk and
its habits.







LUCK, cluck!" said the hen, Again the proud hen cried out, "Cluck,
as with eager pride, cluck, cluck!"
-She walked 'mid. her wee yel- Do not any distance go;
low brood. Keep very near me, if you would not be
"What a family fine! there are none O'ercome by any foe."
like mine, So off they go o'er the grass so green,
And all of them strong and good." And a happier family never was seen.
And all of them strong and good." And a happier family never was seen.


"T o



HE sheep were in the fold at night;
And now a new-born lamb
Totters and trembles in the light,
Or bleats beside its dam.

How anxiously the mother tries,
With every tender care,
To screen it from inclement skies,
And the cold morning air!

The hail-storm of the east is fled,
She seems with joy to swell;
While ever, as she bends her head,
I hear the tinkling bell.

So while for me a mother's prayer
Ascends to Heaven above,
May I repay her tender care
With gratitude and love.


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JHE light-heartedness of the birds is always cheer-
ing to me. They have neither storehouse nor
barn: the leaves may shelter them for part of
the year, but winter turns the woods, in which they
sing now so blithely, into bare, ruined choirs, and
often freezes the ground so that their food well-nigh
fails them. Yet the first sign of spring effaces all the
memory of their troubles, and they fill the air with
their gladness. It seems as if they were the opposite
of ourselves in this, for we forget our blessings but
dwell upon our misfortunes.
I live in the country, and this cold winter we had
such a lot of robins visiting us. They perch on the
holly-bush outside, and stare in, and chirp, and hop,
and fidget about, saying as plainly as possible, Do
make haste, and come down with our crumbs; we
want our breakfast badly!" Some mornings they sit
watching me all the time I am dressing; and never
moved, even when I rapped against the glass with
my hair-brush. Last spring a pair of these birds built
a nest in a hawthorn hedge in our lane, and there
hatched five ugly little mites, all eyes, for baby robins
are regular guys, and not at all pretty.



HE Guinea-pig is a native of South
America, and is remarkable for the
beauty and variety of its colors, and
the neatness of its appearance. These
little pets are very careful in keeping them-
selves and their offspring neat and tidy, and
may be frequently seen smoothing and dressing
their fur, somewhat in the manner of a cat.
After having smoothed and dressed each other's
fur, both turn their attention to their young,
from whose coats they remove the smallest
speck of dirt, at the same time trying to keep
their hair smooth and unruffled. The Guinea-
pig feeds on bread, grain, fruit, vegetables, tea
leaves, and especially garden parsley, to which
it is very partial. It generally gives birth to
seven and eight young at a time, and they
very soon are able to take care of themselves.

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W NE summer's day on the banks of the river
Tweed, in Scotland, a fox sat watching
a brood of wild ducks feeding in the river.
Presently a branch of a fir tree floated in their
midst, which caused them to rise in the air,
and after circling round for some time, they
again settled down on their feeding ground.
At short intervals this was repeated, the
branch floating from the same direction, until
the ducks took no further notice of it than
allowing it to pass by. Mr. Reynard noticed
this; so he got a larger branch than the others,
and crouching down among the leaves, got
afloat, and coming to the ducks, who took no
notice of the branch, he seized two of the
ducks, and then allowed himself to be floated
to the other side, where, we suppose, he had
a repast.

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HE small mice hang their nests for
their children up amidst the straws
of standing corn above the ground;
in the winter they burrow deep in
the earth, and make warm beds of
grass; but their grand rendezvous
seems to be in corn ricks, into which they are
carried at harvest.
I measured them, and found that from
nose to tail they were just two inches and a
quarter, and their tails just two inches long.
Two of them, in a scale, weighed down just
one copper half-penny, which is about the
third of an ounce avoirdupois ; so that I sup-
pose they are the smallest quadrupeds.

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A YVERY fine cat was shown at the Crys-
tal Palace Cat Show, with two squir-
rels in the same cage; the cat having lost
its kittens, brought up the squirrels, nursing
and suckling them from quite tiny things.
It was interesting to see the curious play-
ful gambols that the adopted little ones in-
dulged in with their evidently fond nurse;
at times springing over her, then hiding
beneath her warm fur, peeping out as sau-
cily as may be, then with their forepaws
about her neck caressing her, and being
caressed in the gentlest manner possible.
It was indeed a pretty sight; one to see and
remember. H.W.

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TOWZER was our big mastiff, a grand,
fine-looking fellow, who kept watch
and ward for us in the yard outside the house,
a very terror to all the folks who had no
business about the place, and whose con-
sciences were therefore likely to be tender;
and rather a terror, now and then, even to
the people whose real business it was to
come. Once, I remember, when a new post-
man brought the letters, he was so frightened
at the sight of Towzer, who was always un-
chained, that he took to his heels as fast as
he could, and threw all our letters down in
the road outside the gate, where we after-
wards found them.
But Beauty, our new dog, was not fright-
ened at him, that is, after the first few days,
-which was of course quite right, as you
will remember in the fairy-tale.



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