y ** -- ~- T
WEIR AND OTHERS
DANA ESTES AND COMPANY
1888, 1884, 1885, 1886, 1887, 1888, 1889, 1890, 1891, 1892, and 1898,
By ESTES AND LAURIAT.
THE GRIFFIN VULTURE.
THE griffin vulture is an inhabitant of Southern
Europe, Northern Africa, and some parts of Asia.
It makes its nest on the most inaccessible rocks of the
Pyrenees or other mountains, and sometimes in tall
forest trees. It is a large and handsome bird, with yel-
lowish-brown plumage and a fierce eye. The ruff on
its neck is beautifully white.
When this vulture has found a carcass on which to
feed, it will remain on the spot, gorging and torpidly
resting by turns, till not a morsel of flesh remains. It
is on record that on some battlefields the horrible sight
has been seen of vast numbers of vultures assembling
together in order to devour the dead. This, if true,
may account for the disgust and loathing which many
persons feel for this rapacious bird.
HOW TO SCARE LIONS.
B ISHOP HANNINGTON, one day when taking his
walk abroad in the jungles, saw a pretty little
animal which came fawning up to him like a puppy.
-He picked it up and began to fondle it, whereupon
some natives who were with him howled and ran away.
The good missionary had taken a lion's whelp to his
bosom; and the infuriated parents soon made their
appearance on the scene.
The Bishop showed equal pluck and presence of mind.
Dropping the cub, he put up his umbrella, and gallantly
charged the lion and lioness, dancing and yelling as if
he had been one of the unconverted pagans celebrating
some diabolical rite. Terror at the sight and sounds
got the better of paternal and maternal affection, and
the great cats turned tail and rushed back to their lair
in the forest.
THE DOG AND THE DOVE.
AT Tullibelton, in Perthshire, there is a well-bred
pointer, named Fop," who, when not engaged in
his professional pursuits on the moor, lives chiefly in a
kennel adjoining the stables. Nearly a year ago, one
of a pair of Jacobin pigeons, who lived in and about the
stable-yard, died, and its mate at once attached itself
to the dog, and has been its constant companion ever
since. On the days when the sportsmen are not seeking
grouse, the dog is in his kennel, and the pigeon is al-
ways his close attendant. On the days when "Fop"
is taken onto the moor, the pigeon is much concerned.
She follows him as far as she dare, until a little wood
is reached, through which the keeper and dogs have to
take their way. At this point her courage fails her,
and she returns to the stable, to wait hopefully for her
THIS remarkable bird is mainly found along the
entire length of the immense mountain chain of
the Andes, which may be called the backbone of the
South American continent.
The condor lives mainly upon carrion. When he
sees the carcass of a dead horse or cow, or some such
carrion, he descends upon it in a sweeping flight, and
gorges himself with it so that sometimes he cannot fly
off. The condor will sometimes pounce upon living ani-
mals; it has been known to carry off a lamb, and when
pressed with hunger it will kill and devour a huge snake.
Of the many birds which soar to a great height in the
atmosphere, such as the eagle, the frigate-bird, and
others,- the condor surpasses them all! Humboldt
observed them in the Andes at a height of not less
than 20,000 feet above the level of the sea.
A STRUGGLE WITH A WOLF.
SIGISMUND DONIOWSKI nearly lost his life in an
encounter with a large grey wolf. While travel-
ling along a lonely forest path he seated himself to rest
and fell asleep. He was suddenly awakened by some
creature which had fallen on him, at the same time fix-
ing its fangs in his thick jacket. He attempted to
shake off the wolf and to reach his axe which had been
forced out of his belt. The struggle was a severe one;
but Sigismund was a very muscular man, and, suddenly
clinching his right hand, he drove his fist with all his
force against the nose of the wolf, which compelled it
to start back. Before the monster could recover from
its surprise, Sigismund had seized it by its thick hair,
and, lifting it high into the air, he dashed it with all
his force to the ground. The wolf's spine was injured,
and Sigismund quickly killed it with his axe.
AN ELEPHANT'S REVENGE AND REMORSE.
A FAVOURITE elephant, whose name was Malleer,
had to contend with a most formidable opponent
of his own race. In a moment of extreme excitement,
Malleer suddenly rushed upon his keeper, and at a sin-
gle stroke of his trunk killed him. The keeper's wife,
frantic with grief, rushed forward, exclaiming, "Oh,
Malleer, Malleer, savage beast! See what you have
done! You have killed my husband, whom you loved
so well, -now kill me and his son!" But Malleer's
rage was appeased, and he now felt remorse for what
he had done. As the woman turned now and then to
the elephant to reproach him, he stood as if conscious
of his crime, looking sadly at her. From that day she
was his keeper; he would have no other. Even when
in a fury of excitement, she had only to command and
SDARE say you think the Chinese a funny sort o
people, with long pigtails, little eyes, and thick-solei
shoes, and who are mostly engaged in the tea trade
They certainly have small eyes, or rather narrow ones
and they do wear very thick, white soles to their shoes
but as for their pigtails, they have only worn those foi
the last two hundred years.
One of the greatest indignities that can be inflicted
on a Chinaman is to cut off his pigtail; yet the happen
dage serves various purposes which are neither dignified
nor pleasant to the owner thereof. If a prisoner i,
brought before a magistrate, the warder drags him intc
the hall of justice by his pigtail. If a thief is pursued
he is often caught by his pigtail; so those of the lowei
classes, who think that it may prove a too convenient
handle, usually wear it twisted round their heads.
JOSEPH FLUDE, having set out to go to the house
of a neighbour one stormy night, lost his way and
accidentally trod on a large snake which fastened on his
leg; but fortunately for him its fangs only caught on
his trousers. He seized a thick stick which happened
to be lying on the ground, and with it he battered the
snake till he stunned it. But to his horror a vivid flash
of lightning revealed hissing reptiles on every side. He
ran for his life; but another snake had fastened on his
leg, and as he ran, he dragged it with him along the
ground. He arrived at his destination completely
exhausted; but the snake dropped off on the way, hav-
ing, like the first one, only caught its teeth in his trou-
sers. To this circumstance he owed his life; for had
its poisonous fangs pierced his skin, his fate would have
KITE-FLYING IN CHINA.
SOME of the amusements of children in Europe are
in China the pastimes of grown-up people; and
old men may often be seen flying kites, whilst the chil-
dren look on.
At a certain season of the year, when the weather is
favourable, great numbers of people take part in this
amusement. Some of them are big boys, but they are
mostly grown-up men, and amongst them may be seen
old gentlemen, with grey beards and huge goggle spec-
tacles, earnestly engaged managing their kites which
they send up to a surprising height. The chief fun to
the younger men is to try and bring down each other's
kites, either by entangling them or dividing the string.
Meanwhile the children look on and solemnly discuss
the merits of the kites or the skill of their different
A CLEVER GANDER.
SOME years ago I went with my sister to call at a
cottage. In approaching it we passed a goose and
a gander, with a thriving family of young ones, the
gander being at the time busy in inflicting punishment,
with beak and wings, on one of his goslings. My sister
went into the cottage, and while I waited for her I saw
the old man who lived in the cottage walking along a
footpath leading from it, followed by the gander, which
had left its family and its quarrel to walk meekly at
his heels like a dog. When it saw, however, that he
was going off the open ground, it mounted an eminence,
watched him till he was out of sight, and then returned
to its proper sphere. Asking the old man's daughter
what method her father used in gaining the gander's
affection, she replied, "Not by feeding or petting. He
just claps it on the head, and says, My man.'"
HOW "SNOB" SAVED HIS MASTER.
ONE day, Snob's master had gone into his dressing-
room to put on his boots before going out, and he
was followed into the room by the dog. He sat down,
took one of the boots up, and was in the act of putting
it on, when Snob seized hold of it in his mouth, and,
dragging it away, would not allow his master to come
near it. He thought this very strange, and tried to get
it from him, but the more he tried, the more Snob
barked. At last his master began to wonder if there
really was anything in the boot, and approaching as
near as the dog would let him, he examined it well,
and after a short time out came a small snake, which
had, no doubt, been coiled up fast asleep all the time.
He killed it immediately, and upon looking closely he
found it to be one of a very poisonous nature, and had
the creature bitten him he would not have lived long.
A MOTHER WATER-RAT.
I WAS standing on a bridge over a small brook, when
I saw a water-rat swimming up the stream towards
me, and making for the archway, where it disappeared;
and on returning towards the same spot shortly after-
wards, I caught sight of the rat coming from under the
arch with something in its mouth, and swimming
quickly towards me. Close at hand was a rail with an
upright post, around which clung a good deal of float-
ing weed. To this the rat made her way, still carrying
her burden, which she laid upon it, and then began to
climb up herself. When she was fairly up I saw that
her burden was a young one of about three inches long,
which nestled under the mother, till, a slight shower
coming on, they both made for the rail, the mother
pushing her child up onto it first in safety, and then
getting up herself and nursing it as before.
DISTANCE (so the bard has shown us)
Lends enchantment to the view;
And what seems a splendid bonus,
Sometimes is not worth a sou.
Rover, like his lord, is gifted-
He can eat his dinner twice;
When it hangs on high uplifted,
Looking, oh, so very nice!
And when mutton, beef, or bacon -
(As his doggish tastes may run),
In his mouth capacious taken,
Proves a sorry scrap of bun.
As you eye old Rover dining
Off the little bits that fall,
Be contented, one and all!
JUDGING BY APPEARANCES.
SN civilised countries the greatest man in an assembly
is often the most plainly dressed. But amongst
savage races, this is very seldom the case.
In the earlier years of the reign of Queen Victoria,
a band of Canadian Indians, of the Ojibbeway tribe,
was brought over to this country, and exhibited at the
Egyptian Hall, where they gave illustrations of their
native customs, dances, and games. The Queen being
desirous of seeing the Redmen, they were taken in
cabs to Buckingham Palace, and as they entered the
doors of the palace, their attention was arrested by an
imposing personage, arrayed in scarlet and blue,
trimmed with gold lace. Surely, they thought, here
was some mighty chief; and they swooped down on
the astonished and alarmed porter, and shook his
unwilling hand until his fingers ached again.
IT has, from 'an early period, been the custom in
European countries to uncover the head in the pres-
ence of a superior, as a mark of respect. When the
Society of Friends, or Quakers, as they were called,
refused to remove their hats out of respect to any
human being, there were some very odd scenes.
Notwithstanding his peculiarities, William Penn was
liked by King Charles II. When he was planning his
American colony he had occasion to go to Whitehall,
where the King held his court. Entering the room,
and advancing amid all the bareheaded courtiers with
his hat on, the King, with a smile, took off his own.
Friend Charles," said Penn, "wherefore dost thou
uncover thyself ?"
Friend Penn," replied the King, it is the custom of
this place for only one man at a time to wear his hat."
A QUEER SALUTE.
IN different parts of the world people have various
ways of saluting or showing respect to one another.
Europeans generally show respect by bowing, and
taking off their hats.
The New Zealanders, and other inhabitants of Aus-
tralasia, greet each other by rubbing their noses
together, and the natives of Tahiti show respect to a
superior by removing their upper garments.
But the strangest of all modes of salutation is that
practised by the Tibetians. Though Tibet forms a part
of the Chinese empire, the natives have never adopted
any of the Chinese fashions, except that some of them
wear queues. The Chinese manner of saluting is by
bending the body, joining the closed hands together
and raising them to the forehead; but when two Tibe-
tians meet, they bow, scratch their ears, and put out
A RICH Chinaman was very proud of wearing a
dress which was trimmed all over with costly
jewels. An old priest, who was very shabbily dressed,
one day met him in the street. He stood in front of
him, and looked him over from head to foot, then he
bowed down to the ground before him, and thanked
him in the warmest manner for his jewels. My
friend," said the rich man, I have not given you any
Certainly not," replied the old priest, "but you
have given me the pleasure of seeing them, and you
yourself can get no further enjoyment from them.
Therefore the only difference between us is, that you
have the trouble of wearing and guarding them, whilst
I am spared that burden, and can also enjoy them
when I see them."
THE PUMA; OR, AMERICAN LTON.
THE Puma, or Cougar, sometimes called the Ameri-
can Lion, is rivalled in America only by the
Jaguar, which is somewhat larger. Its fur is thick
and close, reddish-brown above, and of a paler colour on
the breast and lower parts of the body. Young pumas,
however, have dark-brown spots all over the back,
which spots disappear when the animal is full-grown.
The puma climbs trees with great ease, and generally
secures its prey by darting down upon some unwary
animal, such as an antelope, which may be passing
below. It is not only very active in its habits, but it
is a powerfully built animal, though fortunately it is
rather cowardly, seldom venturing to attack a man face
to face, though quite willing to dog his footsteps day
after day, in the hope of finding him off his guard or
asleep, when it will at once attack and destroy him.
THE elephant is endowed with extraordinary sagac-
ity. He is so immense, so unwieldy, so strong,
that he could crush any one of us to death with one
stamp of his foot; and yet so amiable, so good-natured,
that he allows children to ride upon his back, and
would step aside from the path lest he should crush
some fallen infant to death.
Water to all elephants is an absolute necessity. In
their native haunts the bath is always taken in the
cool of the evening, when a herd of these gigantic
creatures have been seen by sportsmen to approach
some deep forest pool with such a noiseless tread that
scarcely a sound can be heard. Whenever the leading
elephant makes up his mind that no concealed enemies
are near, he gives a signal to his companions, and they
all rush into the water, and enjoy themselves.
PERILS BY GUNPOWDER.
IN the year 1812, the En i was fighting in
Spain. The town of( udad Rodrigo had just been
taken; and a Captain Jonesad qa rL ed some of the
soldiers in a warehouse, and had then gone on towards
a church near which Lord Wellington and his principal
officers were standing. The instant he stepped into
the building he saw that the church had been used as a
powder-magazine by the French. Barrels were stand-
ing round, gunpowder lay loosely scattered on the
pavement, and in the midst was a fire, probably lighted
by the Portuguese soldiers. Without a moment's loss
of time, he and the sergeants entered the church, took
up the burning embers piece by piece, and carried them
safely over the scattered powder and out of the church.
Thus they saved, probably, not only the soldiers, but
Lord Wellington and his officers, from a terrible death.
THE MARINER'S COMPASS.
IN ancient times ships were steered by the position of
the sun by day, and at night by certain clusters of
stars. But as these were invisible in stormy weather,
it was often mere chance if the vessel reached the port
for which it was bound. Now a ship can be steered to
any part of the world with the greatest accuracy by
means of the mariner's compass, which consists of a
magnetised needle working on a pivot in the centre of
a circular card, on which are inscribed the thirty-two
points of the compass. It is placed in a box so con-
structed that the compass retains a horizontal position,
however much the ship rolls; and as the needle always
points towards the north, the captain can, at any time,
by looking at it, tell in what direction his vessel is
going. The needle acquires its magnetic power by
being rubbed with a loadstone.
A CIRCASSIAN VIEW OF EUROPEAN CUSTOMS.
WV HEN Dr. Clarke was travelling through the Rus-
sian Empire he arrived at the banks of the River
Kuban, just as a conference was about to take place by
which terms of peace might be arranged between the
Turkish Pasha and Circassian chiefs on one side, and
the Cossacks on the other. When the conference was
ended the Turkish Pasha took his departure as quickly
as possible; but Dr. Clarke wished to cross to the
Asiatic side to get a nearer view of the people. The
Circassians, seeing the party advancing, seized their
arms and began talking loudly and rapidly. The Doc-
tor, wishing to show his friendly feelings towards them,
took off his hat and made them a low bow. The
Circassians burst into a loud peal of laughter, and
mimicked his gesture until the Doctor and his party
had reached the European side of the river.
A GOOD EXAMPLE.
M/ ARY ALLEN was the only daughter, among eight
children, of a widow feeble and poor. Mary had
so loving and generous a disposition that she was will-
ing to take upon her young shoulders the whole burden
of her seven brothers. But Mary's unselfish routine of
duty was brought to a sudden close one day by an
attack of influenza; and for some weeks an aunt came
to take charge of the household and to nurse the good
daughter. After this illness had passed, Mary was
sent to a country village to recover her strength. This
was a time of happiness to her, for there were aged
people and neglected children there to whom her loving
heart prompted her to be as kind as possible. When
Mary left to return home, many blessings were given
her by her various friends, one old lady telling her
that her bonny face was like a sunbeam to her heart.
EU7RIPIDES, the last of the three great tragic poets
of Athens, was born in Salamis, B. c. 480. He
exhibited his first tragedy when in his twenty-fifth
year. The King of Macedonia, a great patron of
learned men, invited him to his Court and treated him
with the greatest honour; but this excited the envy of
rival poets at the Court. They set the King's dogs upon
him, and the aged dramatist was so badly bitten that
he died of his injuries. He received a magnificent
funeral, the King himself showing his grief by going
into mourning. Euripides was seventy-five years old-
when he met with his death. He is said to have written
seventy-five dramas. His poetry was held in higher
esteem abroad than in his own country; for when the
Athenians were routed in a great battle in Sicily, many
gained their liberty by teaching his verses to their
AN ASTOUNDED WAITER.
A ONE-EYED engineer, a one-armed cavalry officer,
and a one-legged sea-captain seated themselves in
the corners of a room in a hotel, and called for the
waiter. "Waiter," cried the engineer, "take off my
eye-glass, and while you are about it, take out my eye."
Eye-glass and glass eye came away together, and the
waiter looked at them doubtfully as they lay in his
hand. Just then, the one-armed dragoon called,
" Waiter, take off my glove, and also my arm." Glove
and hand gave way, when the one-legged sailor shouted,
" Waiter, pull off my leg and my boot, too." The poor
waiter complied, and the previously loosened straps of
the cork leg gave way, and down went the dignified
waiter on his back, with the artificial limb in his grasp.
The waiter, casting a terrified glance at the limbs which
strewed the carpet, rushed frantically downstairs.
T HE Micmacs were the most numerous of the Cana-
dian tribes, and they were divided into two parties,
under separate chiefs, named respectively, "Sam Soap"
and "Peter Basket." Some difficulty arose about the
land, and Peter Basket determined to go to England
and lay his case before Queen Victoria.
When he arrived there, he made numerous friends;
so, instead of going home when his business was com-
pleted, he remained in England for fifteen years!
At last he remembered his old home and set out on
his return voyage. One day he suddenly walked into
his old wigwam in a brand-new suit of English clothes,
and sat down without a word. His old squaw turned
to her grown-up daughter, who had been a baby when
her father left her, and said, Nancy, here's the old man
come back again in a new hat "
A DEAR little robin once sat on a tree
(The snow lay quite thick on the track),
And the sweet little pet was as bright as could be.
"I must just make the best of the weather," thought he,
"For I know that sweet spring will come back.
"I am hungry, of course, and would like a few crumbs;
Oh, would n't I think them so good!
But I know very well when the little girl comes,
Who sits at that window and works at her sums,
She will throw me some morsels of food.
"Ah, here comes the dear little maid! In her hand
She carries a dish full of crumbs.
I'm sure she's the best little girl in the land,
And I hope she may always have crumbs at command
To feed us when cold winter comes!"
"THE TALENTED KITTENS."
NT OW, a saucy youngster, an impudent boy,
Owns a pair of pug puppies, his pride and his joy;
And he dared to declare we'd no sense in our head,
While his puppies could take in each word that he said.
So, after we'd practised in private awhile,
We advanced to the table with sweet Cheshire smile,
And we balanced ourselves on our little hind legs,
Unsurpassed by the cleverest puppy that begs,
While glad little Kathleen clapped hands with delight,
And Jim scarce could credit the wonderful sight;
He hardly could speak, with astonishment smitten,
And humbly owned each was a marvellous kitten.
And ever since then, and for aye, I expect,
We have won from that urchin the deepest respect,
Since, without being taught, we had managed the trick,
And proved that our talents were nimble and quick.
THE EAGLE OWL.
OWLS are not only harmless but very useful, as
their food consists of mice and other vermin.
There are exceptions, however, to every rule, and it is
true enough that some of the larger owls, such as the
dignified-looking bird before us, are bold and powerful,
and not unwilling to add young pigeons, chickens, and
small game to their usual bill of fare.
Our captive owls are perfectly happy in their exile;
they have plenty of food, their meditations are undis-
turbed, and what more could an owl desire?
There are upwards of sixty species of owls, widely
spread over the known world. One species is very pecu-
liar in its habits, as it is a burrowing owl. It is only
met with in parts of America where it shares the bur-
row of the prairie dog, and may almost always be seen
near its companion.
TO watch the playful gambols of the Polar bears in
the Zoological Gardens is a source of much amuse-
ment to visitors. The larger animal is heavy and
uncouth, while his smaller companion likes to get some
fun out of him, especially while in their bath. There
they roll and tumble about together, often splashing so
vigorously that the unwary onlooker sometimes has an
unexpected shower-bath, to the great amusement of
those who have contrived to escape in time.
The larger animal has been in the Gardens for many
years, living all the time in what he must have felt to
be a dreary solitude indeed. At length a pretty little
bear being procured as a companion for him, it was soon
seen that they were disposed to be friendly, and they
have long shared each other's exile, doubtless to the
great contentment of both.
TTHERE are many varieties of this fine bird, and they
are found in almost every quarter of the globe.
Eagles are all fierce and powerful, with a great stretch
of wing, so that their flight is beautiful and majestic.
The natural food of these majestic birds, when at
liberty, is hares, rabbits, young lambs, and sometimes
even sheep; while it is on record that a large male bird
has actually been seen, in the wilds of Scotland, boldly
to attack a stag, swooping down upon its back from a
great height, tearing the flesh from its neck with its
claws, and attempting to deprive it of sight by repeated
strokes from its beak.
The nest of the eagle is a tangle of sticks and rushes,
built generally on a flat shelf of rock at a great height.
It is extremely dangerous to approach the nest after
the eaglets are hatched, as at that time the parent-
birds are fierce and daring.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN SHEEP.
AMONG the great variety of wild sheep, none are
more interesting than the species which inhabits
the Rocky Mountains of North America. The abode
of these sheep is in the most craggy and inaccessible
parts of that great mountain chain, where they roam
about in little danger. The flesh of these sheep is of
the very best quality; the wool is also very fine. The
general colour is brown, although in spring the old rams
become almost white.
Both male and female of this variety are supplied
with horns, although the horns of the latter are much
smaller and also less twisted than those of her partner;
the horns of the ram being so large and so much curved
downwards and forwards that, in many cases, the
creature is quite unable to feed on level ground; but
as they inhabit a mountainous region they have little
need to go hungry.
PERFORMING HIS TOILET.
A LADY in India, returning to her bungalow one cool
evening, was surprised to catch glimpses of a brush
in active use before her looking-glass. She could not
see who was wielding it, but she suspected her Ayah or
native maid. She entered her apartment very softly,
and there saw, perched on a chair before the dressing-
table, a large monkey. He used the brush in quite a
skilful way, and turned his head from side to side in
most grotesque imitation of a human being similarly
occupied. After watching for a few moments the lady
clapped her hands, when out went Mr. Monkey in one
flying leap through the window. The owner of the
brush afterwards remembered how a group of monkeys
had watched her toilet from the outside, and she found
that she had been unconsciously giving a lesson in
T HIS curious bird is generally found near water,
haunting the rivers, marshes, and swamps of South
America, where it can find ample supplies of food. The
boat-bill is by no means uncommon in Guiana and
Brazil; sometimes it frequents the sea-coast, feeding
upon the small crabs and various other things which
are left by the retiring tide; but its usual places of
resort are rivers and inland swamps. Its method of
procuring its food resembles that of the king-fisher. It
perches upon some branch which overhangs the water,
and then pounces upon its prey beneath.
Its appearance is remarkable, especially the head and
beak. It is called the boat-bill from the singular form
of its bill, which resembles a boat reversed, having a
strong ridge or keel down the middle of the upper
mandible, and the sides spread out and bowed.
THE IRISH WOLF-HOUND.
AT what date wolves ceased to exist in England it is
impossible now to say. The hounds used in the
chase of wolves were fleet of foot, strong, and very
courageous. When they seized the prey, they held
on with a grip which they refused to relax as long as
life remained in the victim. The animals, known now
as wolf-hounds, have degenerated from the original type.
They are, however, still marked by fineness of scent and
by docility and sagacity. The muzzle is not so sharp
as in the greyhound, nor is the form so slender. The
ears are long and drooping. The dogs attach them-
selves closely to man; indeed, to own one of those
intelligent animals is to possess a friend whose fidelity
may be counted on as long as it has life.
In the days of King Edgar, criminals were granted
a pardon if they could produce a certain number of
THE crocodile is the largest of known reptiles. It
is lizard-like in form, and its mouth presents a
very formidable appearance. Each jaw has a single
row of large, strong, conical teeth. It preys on fish
and on warm-blooded animals, which go to the river
to drink. Some of the larger crocodiles do not scruple
to attack a man, pursuing him on land, or, if having
seized him in the river, they drag him into the deeper
water, and hold him under till he is drowned.
The neck of the crocodile is very stiff, which makes
it very difficult for the unwieldy creature to turn:
therefore, should a man be pursued by one of these ani-
mals, he may escape if he can be cool enough to turn
swiftly from side to side.
Crocodiles are found in fresh water and estuaries, but
only in the warmest parts of the world.
THIS bird is well known in many parts of the world;
its history may be traced far back into the shad-
The appearance of the Hoopoe is somewhat remark-
able; its beak is long and slender and finely pointed.
The tongue is forked and capable of being extended so
as to enable it to reach the juices of flowers. The
arched, fan-like crest is formed by two parallel rows of
long feathers, of a ruddy buff colour tipped with black;
the feathers of the crest can be elevated or depressed
at pleasure, in a slow and graceful manner. The tail
is long and has a bar of white crossing it. The bird
generally remains concealed among the trees, but con-
stantly utters the syllable bu, bu, bu, with such a strong
penetrating voice that it may be heard at a great
A FRICA is the only quarter of the globe in which
the hippopotamus is found. He is one of the
largest of existing quadrupeds, his bulk being little
inferior to that of the elephant, although he does not
stand nearly so high, the legs being so short that the
body almost touches the ground. The head of the hip-
popotamus is enormous, with small ears, and small eyes
placed high in the head. The muzzle is very large and
swollen in appearance, with large nostrils, and great
lips concealing the huge front teeth.
As the animal only eats vegetable matter, one feels
almost astonished at the size and strength of these
teeth; but such is the luxuriance of tropical vegeta-
tion that unless furnished with teeth such as these he
could never drag out the roots and great stems, of
aquatic plants upon which he delights to feed.
A REMARKABLE bird is found among the hills in
New Zealand; it is named Neomorpha (or new
form), as its form is peculiar and almost unknown,
except, of course, to the natives. When it was first
observed by Mr. Gould, he thought that the specimen
with the straight beak was of a different species from
that which has the curved bill, and put them down in
his notes under different titles; but, afterwards, he
found that they were only the male and female of the
same birds. These birds are in great demand among the
natives, on account of the feathers of the tail; these
tail feathers are sent as presents to all parts of the
island. The natives regard the bird with the straight
and stout beak as the male, and the other as the female.
These fine birds can only be obtained with the help of
a native, who calls them with a shrill prolonged whistle.
T HERE is a bewildering variety of wild ducks. But
of all these birds it may be said that there is a
marked difference in colour between the males and the
females, which difference is not nearly so apparent in
the case of geese and swans.
Conspicuous among the wild ducks to be seen at the
Zoological Gardens is the summer duck of North Amer-
ica, a really beautiful bird, and which is said (in
common with the mandarin duck) to possess the sin-
gular power of perching on trees. Another very
handsome bird is the pintail duck, rather longer in
shape than most ducks, and with a tail which tapers to
a point. This bird regularly visits many parts of the
British coasts, and is much esteemed for the table.
Besides these, there are the Javanese duck, the whist-
ling duck of the warmer parts of America, the black
duck, and many others.
THE leopard, now generally supposed to be the
same as the panther, has a peculiar gracefulness
and flexibility of form, with a very long tail and
spotted fur, each spot composed of five or six small
spots arranged in a circle or rosette.
The leopard is extremely agile, and has wonderful
power in leaping, and also in climbing trees.
There can be no prettier sight than to witness the
gambols of these pretty and graceful creatures in the
Zoological Garden:s, where every convenience for climb-
ing and otherwise amusing themselves is afforded them.
No animal can be kept in a healthy condition if it is
not happy; it is therefore not only kind, but wise, that
all the variety of curious and rare creatures assembled
in the Gardens should be treated in such a manner as
to make them happy in exile.
THE CRESTED HORNBILL.
M ANY conjectures have been made as to the use or
purpose of the extraordinary helm and beak of
the hornbill. Some think that it may assist the bird
in producing the extremely loud, hoarse cry for which
it is remarkable.
Our illustration shows the crested hornbill; its gen-
eral colour is a rich violet black. The bill is yellowish-
white, with the base of the lower mandible black. The
bird in the picture with a smaller casque is the adult
female; the young has an admixture of brown in the
plumage, and is without the pointed ridge to the casque.
When in a tame condition the hornbill soon becomes
much attached to its owner. If any quarrelling is going
on among the other tame birds of the establishment,
the hornbill rushes into the affray like a policeman,
and speedily puts an end to the dispute.
A BIRD IN HAND.
B EHOLD Master Fox hurrying off with a plump
duck which he has managed to secure, and which
will soon have quacked for the last time! No doubt he
thinks that the "bird in hand" rather, we should
say, in mouth is better than two, or any number
of rabbits, in the hedgerow. As he rushes along to his
den, the rabbits in the copse fly hither and thither,
alarmed at his approach; but for the present they are
safe; he is not likely to meddle with them just now.
Still, when he is strong and well, a fox has a remarkably
good appetite, and poultry of all sorts game, hares,
and rabbits are acceptable to him; and he is bold
enough to make a prize of a very young lamb if he has
Foxes are such thieves that it is necessary that they
should not be allowed to multiply too fast.
RECOLLECTIONS OF "SPEED."
OUR dog "Speed" was a beautiful creature, and he
soon became a great favourite in the household,
with one exception,- Snap, the ancient pug, could not
endure him, and kept up this animosity to the close of
his life without the least provocation; for Speed never
was known to retaliate. When the younger members
of the family were chatting around the fire, the door
would be gently pushed open and Speed's head would
be seen; and the moment he was perceived, Snap would
dart upon him, worrying him in a most irritating man-
ner. Speed would watch his friends, hoping for the
coveted invitation which was soon forthcoming. It was
delightful to see the grateful look that shone in his
eyes as he made one of the happy circle round the fire.
When we moved to the city he was allowed much
liberty, which developed in Speed a taste for wrong.
OUR DOG SPEED.
SPEED discovered one day, on a side-table, a tempt-
ing roll of butter, also an ox-tongue which had just
been boiled and laid there to cool. The delicious odour
was too much to withstand; and when discovered these
viands were almost entirely consumed, and the unfor-
tunate Speed was already beginning to suffer from the
indigestion which followed. We almost feared he
would die; and after his recovery he actually seemed
to connect his sufferings with his transgression, and
never again was known to steal food. One day, while
chained, a pet rabbit which belonged to the children
escaped from its hutch and ventured within Speed's
reach, and he seized the poor little thing in his paws,
and killed it in a moment. Speed, apparently some-
what penitent, was found looking quietly at his dead
victim and slowly wagging his tail.
ACCORDING to tradition, Homer was not the origi-
nal name of the poet, but he received that name,
meaning a blind person, after losing his sight while
making a voyage when quite young. He afterwards
was very poor and in a starving condition, having had
his verses stolen from him, and otherwise suffering from
the unkindness of man. At Chios he opened a school
for music and poetry, and was successful at last and
married. There he composed his two greatest works,
- the Iliad and Odyssey. He then made a voyage
to Greece, but died on the way at the island of los.
He was buried near the seashore; and though he had
lived in poverty, after his death seven cities contended
for the honour of being his birthplace. The Iliad and
Odyssey are the only undoubted epic poems of Homer
that are extant.
A LARGE AVIARY.
N the great bird-house at the Zoological Gardens we
find a large and happy family.
One of the birds, a quiet-looking individual, seated
on the roof of his house, is the Laughing Jackass, an
Australian bird, whose strange name has been given to
him because his voice is so harsh and unmusical that it
sounds exactly like the bray of a donkey.
Quite near him may be seen storks, found in many
European countries, and easily tamed. They have no
voice, though they sometimes make a clattering noise
with their mandibles, as though they wished to speak
to each other. Then on the ground we see several
strange-looking birds with very long legs. These birds
all live upon fish, and in their wild state they find their
food by wading in the rivers.
We see other birds of the duck tribe quite contented