The Baldwin Library
.. Truvcr ry
-By @lite Eborne PEiler.
BIRD-WAYS. G6mo, r.25.
IN NESTING TIME. 16mo, $1.25.
LITTLE BROTHERS OF THE AIR. i6mo,
A BIRD-LOVER IN THE WEST. 16mo,$x.25.
FOUR-HANDED FOLK. 16mo, $1.25.
HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN AND COMPANY,
BOSTON AND NEW YORK
.- .J.. B?;I
OLIVE THORNE MILLER
WITH ILL USTRA TIONVS
BOSTON AND NEW YORK
HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN AND COMPANY
(Zbe iifroide parea, Caambrioge
BY H. M. MILLER AND HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN & CO.
All rights reserved.
The Riverside Press, Cambridge, Mass., U. S. A.
Electrotyped and Printed by H. 0. Hougliton & Co.
I. THE KINKAJOU 1
I. Nipsey 1
II. The Kinkajou at Home 6
III. Manners of the Kinkajou 11
IV. The Kinkajou's Name and his Looks 16
V. The Last of the Kinkajou 20
VI. A Kinkajou in a Boarding School 23
II. LIVING BALLS .. 28
III. THE HALF-MONKEY 38
I. Koko 38
II. Manners of the Lemur 43
III. Koko's Intelligence 47
IV. Pranks of a Pet 52
V. More Lemur Ways 56
VI. Koko's Friendliness 60
VII. The End of Koko 64
IV. THE MIARMOSET .. 68
I. Mephistopheles 68
II. At Bedtime 73
III. Life on the Meantel 78
IV. Ravini and Ravniini: the Smallest Monkeys
in the World 82
V. A Visit to the Marmosets 87
VI. Monkey Tricks 92
VII. Another Pair of Marmosets 97
V. THE CHIMPANZEE
I. Mr. Crowley .
II. Mr. Crowley's Table Manners
III. A Naughty Chimpanzee
VI. THE SPIDER MONKEY.
I. Gila .
II. More about Gila
III. The Monkey's Quarters
IV. Monkey Mischief
V. The Monkey in New England
VI. Gila the Second
VII. Frolics in the Corridor
VIII. Brother Longlegs
VII. THE OCELOT
II. Tiger Tricks .
VIII. MONKEY BABIES
I. The Coaita and the Orang-Utan
II. Other Monkey Babies
III. The Drollest Baby
IV. The Most Amiable Baby
IX. MONKEYS WHO WomuK
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
THE KINKAJOU .
THE ARMADILLO AND DUCK-BILL.
KOKO AT PLAY
KOKO AS HAIRDRESSER .
A RELAPSE INTO MONKEYISM
THE SPIDER MONKEY
THE way it came about that a bird-student
set up a menagerie in her parlor, was this. In
New York the shops that keep birds for sale
are also supplied with beasts. In the largest
of them one may buy almost anything, from a
white mouse to an elephant, and always when I
go there to look for birds, I pass into the room
beyond and look at the animals. There is gen-
erally a cage or two of monkeys, and half a
dozen or more of other animals, just imported
from abroad, and not yet placed in some museum
or zoological garden.
One day while I was going through the room,
I stopped before a cage containing what looked
like a ball of golden-brown fur, and a lively little
beast who was pulling it about. Of course the
ball was a sleepy little fellow who wanted to be
let alone, and his cage-mate was trying to wake
For a while the rolled-up creature endured
the annoyance of his fellow, but on a harder
push than usual, he slowly uncoiled a little, lifted
his head, and looked up at me as if asking pro-
tection from all this pulling and hauling. Now
I am susceptible to the pleading look in any
dumb face, and that one was so innocent and
mild, and the large eyes so intelligent, that my
heart was won on the instant.
"What is that little brown beast?" I asked
the man in attendance.
I was told that it was a night monkey, that a
sailor had brought it from Africa as a pet, and
they had bought it from him.
A night monkey! I had no desire for a
monkey, full of pranks and mischief, in my
houseful of birds, still less for one who would
carry on his performances at night.
I turned away, but, giving one glance back, I
was lost. The little fellow had come to the front
of the cage, pulled himself up straight, and was
looking at me in an earnest way that I could not
resist. Without pausing to consider the diffi-
culties to be overcome, I bought him at once,
leaving him to be sent home the next day, and
then I went home myself and worked out the
problem of how to keep a night monkey in a
First, of course, I must have a cage, and this
is what I planned, and had made. A tight box
two feet square, of half-inch boards, with the
whole front open. Over this open side a door
of coarse-meshed wire gauze slid up and down.
The bottom of the box was furnished with a
zinc tray, with edges an inch high, on the top
of which rested a slide of the same coarse wire
gauze, and in the upper back corner was nailed
a round wooden spicebox. I describe it thus
carefully, to show my readers how easily a little
beast may be accommodated in a parlor, and
with how little care kept clean and sweet.
The wire floor, of course, let everything fall
through into the tray under it, and thus the little
fellow's fur was beautifully clean. To put the
whole thing in order for the day was the work
of five minutes. The zinc tray on the bottom
of which was always a sheet of newspaper was
drawn out, the newspaper carpet with its con-
tents dumped bodily into the ash barrel, the
tray held a moment under the hot-water faucet
in the laundry, and thoroughly scalded. It was
then dried, a fresh sheet of paper laid in it, and
returned to the cage. All this in the morning,
while the resident of the cage was rolled up in
his blankets fast asleep, and thus it was left
fresh and nice for the day.
He was a cold little beastie, and I feared at
first that we should never make him comfortable,
although he was clad in a coat of thick wool,
which stood out like the wool of a sheep, and
would seem to be very warm. His cage, too,
stood close to the register, and was covered all
day by a thick double gray blanket. Yet he
would not rouse himself at all, unless the ther-
mometer stood at 780, and to be lively he needed
it at 80. This was somewhat smothering to the
family, but they heroically endured it for the
pleasure the little African gave them.
All the long hours of daylight he passed simply
as a ball of fur, deaf to all coaxing, oblivious
alike of friend and foe; but during the night
he was wide awake, and as full of life as any
Not being able to see in the dark easily, lim-
its our acquaintances in the animal world, and
among others, with all my efforts, I never knew
my little pet as I wished, for light, even the dim-
mest, was a damper upon his freedom. I could
listen to him, to be sure, and I did, through as
many nights as I cared to give to it. What I
heard was curious and -..o_- -11i.., and I could
fancy all sorts of performances, turning of
somersaults, dancing of jigs, queer pushing,
shuffling, rustling, and gnawing, with straining
of the joints of the cage, rattling of dishes, and
now and then a fall to the floor, enough to break
THE KINKAJOU. 0
Evidently he was my gentle pet no longer,
but a wild beast trying to escape. Yet, even
then, when his pranks were wildest, if I lifted
the blanket and spoke to him, he quickly thrust
out a cold hand to be warmed, and gently rubbed
a soft nose against my hands, though two min-
utes after I left, the strange sounds were resumed.
The morning showed signs of his deeds : paper
that had covered the floor torn to bits ; sawdust
(which at first I kept on the bottom) scattered
far and wide out on the carpet; his much prized
nest box gnawed, pulled from its fastening if
possible, and upset on the floor; water cup bot-
tom up, and the cage flooded; heavy woollen
blanket that covered the door torn to ribbons,
or made into drawn work," more intricate than
any designs in the pattern-book. These were
the results that proclaimed his night's amuse-
ments. Woe to the household, I thought, if he
succeeded in opening his door.
THE KINKAJOU AT HOME.
ON one occasion we had a guest, a lady who
was afraid of the queer little fellow. During
the night she was frightened by noises she heard
in the parlor, and she declared that she heard a
strange shuffling on the stairs, and a sniffing at
I laughed at her, but when I entered the par-
lor I laughed no more. The room looked as
if a cyclone had struck it. Vases were tipped
over on a shelf ; various articles of bric-a-brac
were upset, a framed photograph thrown down,
and even a framed engraving, quite heavy for
so small a mischief maker, was lying on the floor,
while books, work basket, and all small objects
were scattered from one end of the room to the
Worse still, the author of all the confusion
was not to be found. We searched the house
from attic to cellar, in every spot he could hide;
under the beds, behind the bureaus, and among
the dresses in the closets. Fearing he had gone
out at an open window, we even examined the
THE KINKAJOU. 7
roof, and the outside windowsills no monkey
to be found.
Grieving, both to lose him, and in dread of
the fate he might meet in the streets of the city,
I began to put the room in order, restore the
pictures, which were not injured in any way, to
their places, and pick up the scattered contents
of my work basket. As I went to replace a
volume in a set of low bookshelves, I caught
sight of a bit of fur. I pulled out half a dozen
books, and there, rolled into a snug ball, was the
naughty rogue, fast asleep.
What did I do with him ? Why, I took hold
of him, and he turned his sleepy eyes upon me
with a look so innocent and winning that I put
him back in his box, careful not to disturb his
morning nap and forgave him on the spot.
We never should have made the acquaintance
of the odd little creature at all, if there had not
been several hours between sundown and bed-
time in which to study his curious ways. From
the moment he aroused himself in the evening
he was most interesting.
Soon after the gas was lighted and the family
had become quiet, for he hated confusion or
noise, his house was opened, by throwing the
blanket portibre over on to the top of the cage,
and sliding up the wire door.
Before long the fur ball in the small round
8 FOUR-HANDED FOLK.
box in the upper back corner began to uncoil,
two tiny hands appeared on the edge, followed
by a quaint little gray face, with a look so un-
canny that one could not wonder at the super-
stitions of the natives of his country about him.
First he looked over to make sure of his mis-
tress, who always fed him. Then he leaned far
out of his box, taking hold of the water-cup
across the cage, and drawing his lithe body out
in a long, long stretch, bending his back down-
ward like a bow turned the wrong way, opening
his mouth very wide, and thrusting out his curi-
ous tongue, which was very thin and reached
nearly three inches beyond his lips.
Then he drew back to his box, and proceeded
to get wide awake by stretching each limb sepa-
rately, and spreading the fingers wide apart.
Next came his toilet, for he was a well-mannered
little fellow, and never thought of coming to
breakfast till he was in perfect order.
His way of dressing was amusing. Over each
long limb he passed his claws, thoroughly comb-
ing the hair the wrong way, so that it must
perforce stand up; then lifting himself to an
upright position, resting on feet and tail, he
dressed the fur on his broad stomach, using both
hands in rapid alternation on the same spot, and
moving them so quickly and in so business-like
a manner that it was very funny to see. His
THE KINKAJOU. U
back and head were reached by one foot, or
hand, in doing which he turned and twisted his
arms and legs over his body, till it seemed as
if he would dislocate the joints. His face he
washed as a cat does hers, and he also washed
other parts of his golden-brown fur, while cov-
ered up in his blanket, later in the evening; but
the combing was the regular business, performed
before he was ready for society.
This done he was ready for his supper or
should it be called breakfast, since he had .eaten
nothing later than the night before ? A banana
was peeled, a thin slice cut off, and offered to
him on the point of a silver knife. Ile sniffed
at it gently, above, below, on every side, and if
exactly to his critical taste, he gravely opened
his mouth and received it, every movement being
with the utmost deliberation and dignity.
To eat it, he bit a piece off with the side
teeth, threw back his head, and crushed it be-
tween the tongue and the roof of the mouth,
which was crossed with bony-looking ridges.
When he came to me he ate apples, but the
first time he saw a banana he fairly snatched it
with both hands, so that I could not get it away
to peel for him. He tore the skin, and devoured
it so greedily that he was furnished with ba-
nanas from that time.
Generally he ate sitting up like a kangaroo,
10 FOUR-HANDED FOLK.
but when the piece was large, he sometimes lay
down on his back or side, and brought both
hands and feet into use for help. Occasionally,
if convenient, he sat up against a book, or stick
of wood, leaning on one elbow with a most sen-
His position in sitting down was very curious.
So flexible was his body that he could sit down
at any point of his spine. He often bent at
about the middle of the back, while he slowly
dispatched his food; head and shoulders stand-
ing straight up without support, and the rest of
the body lying flat, with the two legs spread far
apart to keep the balance. Not infrequently he
leaned over the edge of the box, back down,
eating, with his head hanging wrong side up,
in which position any other animal would break
Slice after slice of banana disappeared till
almost the whole of one was consumed, when
he coolly turned his back upon the tempter,
and curled down, apparently for a nap. But
this was merely a hint for people to withdraw,
resume their ordinary occupations, of book, or
work, or play, and leave him in freedom, which
they accordingly did.
MANNERS OF THE KINKAJOU.
THE coast being clear, as he ascertained by
cautiously peeping out, the kinkajou, with great
deliberation, prepared to come out for his even-
ing promenade. First he reached over to the
water-cup and refreshed himself with a drink,
lapping it like a dog; then he quietly came to
the floor of the cage with all fours, holding
tightly to his nest by the long tail, Should any
one move toward him then, he would scramble
back into the nest, and curl down into the small-
est possible space. But no one did; and cau-
tiously he moved about the cage, sniffing, or
smelling, so vigorously that he might be heard
across the room, and at last with perfect ease,
although without haste, let himself down to the
floor (about two feet), and started around the
edge of the room.
At every chair he rose to an erect position,
smelled at the cover, walking around it, and often
taking two or three steps without holding on,
showing that he had no difficulty in walking
on two feet. Occasionally he pulled himself up
12 FOUR-HANDED FOLK.
on to a chair, but he preferred the sofa. This
had a high back, which he quickly mounted,
running along the thin edge of carved wood, and
standing up on the highest point, to smell at a
picture frame on the wall.
Sometimes he curled down on the sofa for a
nap, but usually he proceeded with his tour of
the room, climbing the tall easel to the top, and
there standing up to reach still higher; sliding
down again by twining his tail around, and
clasping with his four little hands the back
support; inspecting the bell-pull, and trying to
understand the mystery of the speaking tube.
The kinkajou's tail was an interesting mem-
ber, plainly for use more than ornament. As
he walked along the floor it dragged over every-
thing with a sort of 10;i,. feeling, and if
it touched anything, like the leg of a chair, it
curled around it. It was a great help in stand-
ing up, and in steadying his body when climb-
ing. It was partly if not fully prehensile.
The little creature was very deliberate in his
usual movements, hobbling around the room like
a small bear, his long hind legs and turned-in
toes giving him a peculiarly awkward gait;
climbing tables and chairs, and coming down
head first in a cautious manner. If startled, he
galloped clumsily back to his corner, scrambled
into the cage, pulled himself up to his nest,
THE KINKAJOU. 13
curled down out of sight, and stayed there till
all was quiet again.
His round spice-box nest, eight inches in
diameter, was his delight by day to sleep in,
and by night to tear to pieces. Now spice boxes
are not very costly, but they come in sets, and
with each one of the proper size came several
smaller ones; so, after overstocking my kitchen
pantry and filling all my empty shelves, I put
an end to the fun by getting a grocer's measure
of the right size. This, being very thick, of
hard wood and iron bound, was too much for his
teeth, and when fastened by screws to a pair of
iron brackets, defied all his attempts to destroy
it. The blankets to sleep on and to keep him
warm were lashed to the box; else they would
not be in place five minutes.
Fond as the kinkajou was of his nest, when
the door was open he discovered a place he liked
even better. This was the top of his cage, four
feet from the floor, where during the evening
lay a thick double gray blanket, into the folds
of which he delighted to creep, and peep out at
us, when the room was cooler than he liked.
To reach this snug retreat, he climbed an arm-
chair which stood beside it, pulling himself first
up to the seat, then to the arm, and then the
back. When the room was of a temperature to
please him, and consequently intolerable to us,
14 FOUR-IIANDED FOLK.
he liked to lie outside the blanket in the odd-
est attitudes; sometimes flat on his back, with
legs stretched to their utmost, sometimes on his
stomach, with head hanging over the edge, in a
way to break his neck, one would think. Head
down was always a favorite attitude with him,
and in the beautiful ball he made of himself it
was not only turned down, but completely cov-
ered in the most smothering way.
The positions into which the kinkajou put his
incredibly lithe body were marvelous; it often
looked as though he had not a bone under his
skin. He could bend his back in a perfect bow
either way, turn and twist arms and legs into
any impossible position, flatten himself to creep
under a low bookcase, or narrow himself to pass
between two books on a shelf. Any place where
he could hold on was perfectly satisfactory. He
sat on the sharp edge of a spice-box with all
four feet (or hands) side by side, and so com-
fortably, that if he wished to eat he removed
one hand for the purpose, and balanced him-
self easily on three, while he disposed of his
On one occasion, passing from a small table
to the top of a cold stove a foot away, he had
put one hand and one foot on the stove, but be-
fore releasing his hold of the table, decided to
eat the slice of banana he held in the other
TJ-IE KINKAJOU. 15
hand ; so, all attitudes being equally agreeable,
he simply rested there, one foot on the table
and the tail laid across it, holding on to the
further edge, and one foot and one hand on
the stove. In this strange, unnatural position
he remained, eating with the utmost delibera-
tion, and washing his hands before he passed on.
The stride of his hind limbs was remarkable.
Climbing from the top of a chair to the mantel,
ten or twelve inches away, and as much higher,
he put up two hands and then one foot beside
them before letting go of the chair. Then he
did not jump, but pulled himself up.
His preparations for sleep were no less pecu-
liar. He often curled his tail from the tip into
a perfectly regular coil, which he used for a
cushion, sitting upon it, and letting his pretty
little finger-like toes hang over the edge; but if
he wished to sleep, he placed his face on this
cushion, put his hands around and over, or
tucked them in behind his head, and drew the
long hind legs and feet up around the whole,
making a complete ball. Sometimes when on
the floor lie curled the tail around outside.
This was his favorite attitude for sleeping
through the day.
THE KINKAJOU'S NAME AND HIS LOOKS.
To discover the name of my queer little pet,
and his place in the books of Natural History, I
found a hard task. Many volumes were studied,
the search being based on the story I had been
told, that he had come from Africa, and was
called a night monkey.
In looks, habits, and manners he resembled
the Lemuridc or half-monkeys of that country.
Books and traveled naturalists agreed that he
must be a lemuroid, though no one could exactly
place him. But one day, in looking for some-
thing else, I stumbled upon a description that
suited him better than any other, and thus found
that he was a kinkajou of Central and South
America. It was plain, therefore, that somebody
through whose hands he had passed had not the
love of truth in his heart.
I was glad to find that I was not the first who
had been puzzled by his resemblance to the
lemurs. 1 rl -: have been uncertain where
to place him, but at last have decided that he
belongs to the bears, and his proper name is
Cercoleptes caudivolvulis, though the South
TIE KINKAJOU. 17
Americans call him kinkajou, and the natives of
Central America, conyeuse.
My little South American was one of the most
nervous and observing creatures I ever saw; not
a movement or a sound escaped his notice when
awake. He would lie on my shoulder or the
back of a chair by the hour, and watch the
shadows especially his own as they fell on
the carpet; he listened to the noises outside,
cats, dogs, the elevated railroad, the latter with
He never liked to have any one come up be-
hind him. A sudden noise startled him greatly,
and his tiny hand had always a nervous jerk
when I held it in mine. He had a most sensitive
organization. At a distance, he liked to sit up
and look at us, but if we moved to approach
him, he turned his back, cuddled into a corner
or buried his head under a blanket. It was not
fear, for he readily came up on us, and, in fact,
became troublesomely familiar at last.
He was playful in a quiet way. He amused
himself with a string, as a kitten does, lying on
his back and using all fours to toss it up and
pull it around. In the same way le played with
a long gold chain, biting and tossing it around,
and he was extremely ticklish. His principal
plaything was his own tail, which had a curious
appearance of independent motion. It curled
16 FOUR-IIANDED FOLK.
around his neck, laid itself over his eyes, or
moved back and forth before his face, while
he, lying on his back, seized it, pretended to bite
and worry it. The card-table was wonderfully
fascinating to him; the cards he liked to put his
sharp teeth into, and the cribbage pegs were
The little animal was pretty as well as inter-
esting ; about the size of a small cat, being fifteen
inches from tip of nose to root of tail, with a
furry, prehensile tail, sixteen inches long, which
was always curled over at the tip. He had
kinky wool, of a beautiful golden-brown color,
darker on the back, with shining golden tips in
the daylight; this stood straight out all over his
body excepting on the back of his hands, where
it was silky and lay flat.
His hands, though without opposable thumbs,
were beautifully shaped, with long, delicate fin-
gers, webbed to the knuckles, with double joints,
enabling him to bend them either way, and soft
thick cushions or pads inside, so that he was
shod with silence. His feet were exactly like his
hands, excepting a heel-bone. Both hands and
feet had long claws instead of nails, and were
flesh-colored inside. His head was really beauti-
ful, shaped somewhat like a cat's, with a face
of a grayish color he had delicate, sensitive ears,
not large, but very wide open and movable with
THE KINKAJOU. 19
every emotion; his eyes were enormously large
for his size, very full and prominent, black and
gentle in expression, and over the inner corner
of each was a little tuft of hair like a cat's
whiskers, about an inch and a half long.
He had also whiskers on the sides of his nose
like a cat's and another tuft of similar length
under the chin. His nose was bare, and the
nostrils were the peculiar shape of the lemur's.
His tongue was of great length, and very thin,
for what purpose I could not discover. Some
writers say that it is to collect insects from
crevices in bark, while others affirm that it is to
gather honey stored away by bees. I could not
induce my pet to touch any insect I could find,
and he did not show fondness for sweets.
Stealthy movement and almost entire silence
were characteristic of the kinkajou. In all the
time he lived with us, we seldom heard a sound
from him. Once, when accidentally hurt, he
uttered a chattering sound like nothing so much
as that made by a stick drawn across a picket
fence, at the same time showing his teeth like a
snarling dog; also, he repelled strangers with a
rough breathing, a sort of huff." When asleep,
we sometimes heard from under the blanket
where he lay, a low "yap like a dreaming
puppy's, or a whine like a dog's. Save these
few times, he never uttered a sound.
THE KINKAJOU. lZ
settling himself for a good frolic. What he
wished to accomplish I never found out, for no
one could long endure the rough treatment. If
I succeeded in keeping him off my shoulder, he
would establish himself on my arm, which he
clasped with all four limbs, and held on for cear
life, while he licked or playfully bit my hand
or wrist. To shake him off was utterly impossi-
ble; he had a wonderful grip, and the more one
shook, the closer he held.
As the weather grew warm, this little fur
boa was not so comfortable around the neck;
neither did I enjoy the warm little body glued
to my arm; but it was impossible to get relief.
If I put him down, or upon some one else for a
rest, he would climb about and amuse himself
till I made some movement or spoke, when in-
stantly his quaint little face turned, he aban-
doned all else and ran for me. When I made
violent effort to drive him away, pushing or
in any way exciting him, he never was scared
away; the more he was alarmed, the more fran-
tically he would run for me, clmnber up my
chair, and mount to my shoulder as though that
were his haven of refuge. The more I disturbed
and pushed and tried to shake him off, the
tighter lie clung, and the more persistently he
returned. Sometimes, when particularly affec-
tionate, he threw all four arms (or legs) around
22 FOURE-HANDED FOLK.
my head so as completely to embrace it, and
buried his teeth in my hair.
Trying to retain him on my lap by keeping
the room still and never relaxing vigilance for a
moment, if any sudden noise, a laugh, a door
opened, or anything startled him, he would slip
through my hands in spite of my efforts to hold
him, scramble to my shoulder, throw his tail and
perhaps an arm around my neck, and hold
closely enough nearly to choke me.
This soon became intolerable. I could neither
read nor do anything, except devote myself
entirely to the kinkajou. I went away from home
for a month this was June and during that
time he never cared to come out of the cage.
When the door was opened for evening, he
would glance gravely out, sniff loudly, and look
slowly around the room, then, in a few moments,
curl down again to sleep. I hoped he was cured
of his troublesome fondness, but on my return
he came out at once, and proceeded to amuse
himself and torment me in the same old way.
The weather was now very warm, and I could
not endure his embarrassing attentions. I would
not keep him confined to his cage, so I presented
him to the National Museum at Washington,
where he was not so gentle and amiable as he
had been with us, but bit and scratched, and, in
fact, went quite back to savagery.
A KINKAJOU IN A BOARDING SCHOOL.
A KICKAJOU whose story was told to me by
his mistress was for four days a pet in a girls
school in Central America. Although a native
of that country, he is rarely seen, because of his
habit of making the night his playtime, and the
people are rather in awe of him.
This one used to sleep all day, rolled into
a ball in some corner, sometimes even on the
window-sill in the schoolroom. When in that
position, he might be tumbled all about the floor
without waking, or at least without uncoiling.
For his breakfast, he sat up in a child's little
chair and, holding a banana in each hand, took
a bite from each in turn till he had enough.
Then he simply opened his i_.-i and let the
fruit drop, and fell to washing his hands with
great care. Unlike my pet, lie breakfasted be-
fore he dressed his fur, but he combed and
brushed himself up very nicely afterward.
The greatest part of his enjoyment consisted
in examining the strange tI;._- he found about
him, and pulling thcm to pieces to see how I,. \
24 FOUR-HANDED FOLK.
were made. Nothing escaped his busy fingers,
and scarcely anything could resist his sharp
He was a social and warmth-loving creature,
and desired above all things to be in somebody's
lap. And he was so droll in his way of getting
about, and so deliberate in his movements, that
his mistress never tired of watching him.
But when the family went to bed at ten
o'clock, his day, of course, was just beginning,
and as he was not caged, he found the field open
for him to indulge his taste for investigation.
His first prank was to tear to pieces a whole
banana plant. The severest cyclone that ever
passed over a prairie in the West could not
more completely demolish a tender plant than
his four little hands did.
Great was the outcry when the family came
out in the morning, and saw how he had amused
himself during his first night in the house.
But when they looked for the culprit, and
found the little bundle of fur on the corner of
a window-sill, and roughly shook him out, pre-
pared to punish him severely, the calm, innocent
look in the sleepy eyes he turned upon them
disarmed them instantly, as the same look in my
own pet always did me. The fiercest wrath
vanished. Poor little beastie !" they said,
"how did he know it was mischief? and he
was forgiven and laid gently down again to
The second night grown wiser, as they
thought, and resolved that no more plants
should suffer--they shut him up in a school-
room. With nothing but desks and benches,
he could surely do no harm.
Could he not? They thought differently the
next morning, when they went in and found the
costly solar system," without which no child
could be expected to understand how the earth
and the moon and the various planets perform
their several waltzes around the sun, a total
ruin, as hopelessly destroyed as the banana
plant had been, and the little beast again coiled
up, sleeping the sleep of innocence.
His owner grew sober; if this was his way
of passing the night, it would soon empty her
purse to pay for his fun. But he was so droll,
she could not bring herself to give him up. She
would try him again. The next night, accord-
ingly, he was carefully shut out of the school-
room, lest he try his hand on the benches them-
selves, for by that time they began to think he
could do anything he chose.
With no fun on hand he became lonely, and
started on a search after society, which he al-
ways liked, but seldom enjoyed, since everybody
was in bed through most of his waking hours.
26 FOUR-HANDED FOLK.
On this unlucky occasion the principal of the
school, who was so nervous as to faint at a spider,
and who of course "hated pets," happened to
be engaged in some writing, which kept her up
after the rest of the household had retired. In
that warm climate, the bedrooms all open upon
the corridor, and have, for hot nights, slat doors,
high enough to keep people out, but not reach-
ing the top of the door frame.
The kinkajou saw a chance of company; so,
calmly and silently, in the stealthy way of his
race, he climbed over the slats and surprised
the late worker by a leap on to her lap. He
was greeted with a wild shriek, which awoke
everybody in that part of the house. Then,
while his mistress lay waiting in terror for
what should happen next, she heard muffled
steps without, a sudden movement, and a heavy
fall on her floor. She sprang up, got a light,
and found her naughty pet, much surprised but
not hurt, thanks to the soft cushions of his feet
and his cat-like way of falling upon them. His
greatly offended enemy had throw him over the
The next day the principal looked rather
sober, though she said nothing, and his mistress
began to consider what she could do with him
to prevent further trouble. But that night, the
fourth of his residence with her, he took his fate
TFIE KINKAJOU. 27
into his own hands, and settled his sentence of
He wandered into the dormitory where twenty
boarders in as many beds were sleeping the
sound sleep of schoolgirls. What the poor little
fellow did could never be found out, probably
no one knew exactly; but he made his presence
obvious in some way, and startled one girl out
of sleep. Her shrieks threw nineteen more into
a panic of terror, that ended when the family
had rushed in half dressed, and the cause of the
uproar was discovered in a fit of hysterics all
Solemnly and grimly the principal sent for
a bottle of bromide, and sternly she forced every
girl to take a dose, while the kinkajou's mistress
gathered the naughty little beast into her arms
and meekly retired to her own room.
That night she sat up and entertained the
troublesome pet, and the next day he was
returned to the hand that gave him, with the
verdict that he was exceedingly interesting, but
his manners needed cultivation to fit him for
MANY animals have the power of rolling them-
selves into a ball, not only to sleep, but for
protection from enemies stronger than them-
selves, with whom they could not fight. Perhaps
the most interesting of these is a little-known
animal of South America, the ball armadillo, or
- in the books- the Dasypus apar.
This creature, scarcely more than a foot long,
is nearly covered by a horny case, curiously
divided into six-sided plates, with three bands
around his body. He looks funny enough when
walking about, exactly as if he had a decorated
blanket over him held in place by three girdles.
Over his wide face, almost hiding his eyes, is a
pointed shield of the same horny substance, and
another protects the top of his short tail.
This queer fellow delights in turning himself
into a ball. If he is in the least afraid of
anything, or if a friend is too rough, he rolls up
with a snap, like a spring, and sometimes the
rough-handed friend gets his fingers nipped be-
tween the sharp edges of his case.
LIVING BALLS. 29
Nothing is so droll as two of these odd little
creatures pretending to fight. The thing each
one tries to do is to bite the ears of his opponent,
or with his claws to tear the tough skin between
the three bands. They scuffle without much
ferocity till one gets a slight advantage, when,
presto! snap! his enemy has become a ball, and
a ball he patiently remains, in spite of the efforts
of beast or man, till he has tired out his assailant,
or considers it proper to unbend.
In this shape the armadillo is safe from the
attacks of larger animals, with which he could
not for an instant cope. The jaguar prowling
through the woods in search of food may roll
him about, but can neither crush him between
his teeth nor force him open with his paw.
Monkeys, which, true to their love of fun, de-
light in teasing small and harmless animals by
pulling them around by the tail, look in vain for
a tail to take hold of. It is not unlikely that he
enjoys some lively rolling about at the hands of
these frolicsome quadrumana, although no such
performance has been reported. Only from
man, who can take him up and carry him home
to unroll at his leisure, is this no protection.
The apar is an interesting little beast apart
from his habit of retiring within his shell. He
is lively and playful, and therefore much liked
as a pet. His walk is very odd. He has on the
80 FOUR-ILANDED FOLK.
fore feet three long claws, on the tips of which
he totters about, and on the hind feet five claws,
which he plants flatly on the ground.
It is curious that although many animals as-
sume as nearly as possible a spherical shape in
sleeping, this little fellow, to whom that shape
is so familiar and easy, sleeps, on the contrary,
stretched out his full length, resting on the stom-
ach, with fore paws laid together straight before
him, head flat between the two, and shield arched
up over him like a roof.
Bolita (little ball), as he is called by the na-
tives, is said by some travelers to be as expert
at tunneling as at ball-making. His enormous
claws being admirable digging tools, he is able
to burrow in soft earth so rapidly that a man
can scarcely seize him before he is out of sight.
Underground, if still pursued, he continues his
tunnel, and to dig him out, even with all the
wit of man in saving labor, is the work of hours.
The ball armadillo is much sought for by the
natives to eat, though, when caught, his innocent,
attractive ways often change his destiny from
roasting in his own shell to being the cherished
household pet and playmate for the children,
whose romps and games with the pretty living
ball are various and charming to see.
The baby bolita is one of the drollest of in-
fants, dressed from the first in armor complete
LIVING BALLS. 31
as that of his elders, but light in color, and soft
The Old World furnishes another living ball
in the manis, or scaly ant-eater. This strange
animal is about eighteen inches in length, with
a tail as long as the body, and a protecting
armor different from, but quite as effectual, as
that of the armadillo. From nose to tip of tail
the manis is clothed in gray horny scales, shield-
shape and convex, so that they lie closely, lap-
ping over each other. The tail is very broad,
and possesses great muscles of such power that
several men together fail to move it from its
chosen position, wrapped around the ball he
makes of himself. In this position he is quite
different from the armadillo. Instead of offer-
ing a smooth, hard surface to the enemy, each
plate stands up from the rest, all presenting an
array of sharp, horny points extremely unpleas-
ant to the touch of man or beast. To assume
the ball shape he places his head between the
fore legs, wraps the tail over legs and head,
bringing it up on to the neck, and there he holds
it, while leopards and jackals, as well as men,
try their strength on him in vain.
The manis is quite as odd when walking about
as the armadillo, though not in the same way.
The claws of his fore feet being long and curved,
he turns them under or back, and walks on the
outside of them, holding his back highly arched
as he goes. He has also a curious manner of
standing erect on his hind legs for a better view
of things, using his broad tail to balance himself.
A better known animal of ball-making habits
is the common hedgehog, of whose spine-covered,
impervious ball we have all read from childhood,
if we have not seen. He also, like the armadillo,
resorts to the spherical form in time of war.
When "having it out" with a venomous snake,
for instance, he will give a savage bite on the
back, and instantly retire behind or within his
sharp spines, which, projecting on all sides,
effectually keep the reptile at a safe distance.
After a time he will cautiously unroll and take
an observation, and, if the snake is off its guard,
give another sudden bite, and so on till he
breaks the back. In the same way he protects
himself from dogs, which are loath to attack the
Not only as a safeguard from enemies is this
accomplishment useful to the hedgehog, but as
a protection from other perils. Should he lose
his hold and fall from a height, even of twenty
feet, he instantly pulls himself together into a
ball, and reaches the ground unhurt. It is even
said that he often chooses that easy way, and
deliberately throws himself to the ground, rather
than take the trouble to climb.
LIVING BALLS. 33
The largest animal known to assume the ball
shape for safety is the black bear of the Him-
alayas, called also the Tibetan sun-bear, and
about the size and color of our American black
bear. When pursued by hunters in his moun-
tain home, he will draw himself up into a large
ball of fur, and deliberately roll down the steep
hillsides, bounding off the rocks, and of course
reaching the valley much more quickly than any
hunter who cannot follow his short cut. At the
bottom he simply unrolls, shakes himself, and
walks off at his leisure.
The strangest animal in the world, perhaps, is
the duck-bill platypus of Australia, and rolling
himself into a ball is one of his dearest delights.
An English naturalist who kept a pair of these
curious fellows alive, to study their ways, made
drawings of the different shapes they put them-
selves into, and their common sleeping position
he found to be that of a ball. To get himself
into this form, the animal placed the fore paws
under the beak, bending its head downward; it
then laid the hind paws over the mandibles and
lastly turned the tail up over all, to make the
whole complete, when it looked like a well-made
fur ball. The naturalist was able to draw down
the tail, and thus disclose the method of pack-
ing; but unless the creature was sound asleep
it would growl like a savage puppy.
84 FOUR-HANDED FOLK.
His account of the manners of his strange
pets is very readable. Like other young ani-
mals, they were extremely playful, and their
antics, being like those of puppies, were most
ludicrous in creatures so oddly shaped as the
Ornithorhynchus. The toilet after bathing was
of great interest. In this operation they used
the claws of the hind feet alone, twisting the
body easily in several directions, changing feet
when tired, and picking the fur as a bird dresses
its feathers. Even the head was combed by the
claws of the hind feet, and after an hour of this
work, the little creatures were beautifully sleek
Another ball-maker is the koala or Australian
native bear. He is a most attractive little beast,
not much bigger than a cat, clothed in long ashy
gray fur. His short face, with its large black
eyes and nose and the long hairy decorations of
his ears, gives him a quaint expression. He rolls
himself up to sleep, and when awake the droll
black-haired baby travels about perched on the
shoulders of his mamma, and makes a charming
picture to look at.
Nearly every part of the world furnishes a
ball maker. In Africa is found one of the
strangest of beasts, the galago, belonging to the
Lemur family. There are several species, some
the size of a rat, and others as large as a cat,
, ... '" .
^^. ;/? '
THEii ARMADILLO AND 1)UCK-BHI.L
LIVING BALLS. 35
but their manners and habits are about the
They are, like the kinkajou, night lovers.
During the day they prefer to sleep, rolled up
into a ball, but at night they are as full of
pranks as a monkey. They will jump about,
holding themselves upright like a kangaroo,
from the floor to a table, or to a person's shoul-
der, sometimes uttering a loud cry, or a lively
chattering, and again going about in perfect
The galagos are pretty little creatures with
woolly fur and very long bushy tails, and they
are four-handed. They have great staring eyes,
as night-loving creatures are apt to have, and
their ears are curious, very large, and capable
of being folded or drawn down so as to be
almost closed, a convenient arrangement for
fellows who want to sleep all day. Some of
them have been kept as pets, and others in
museums, and they are very entertaining.
The island of Madagascar contributes to the
ball-making beasts one of the strangest animals
in the world, the aye-aye. He is also of the
Lemur family, and so shy and solitary in his
habits that even the natives of the country are
not familiar with him.
All day long, when other animals and men
are wide awake, he sleeps rolled into a ball
36 FOUR-HANDED FOLK.
among the thickest bunches of leaves, on the
bamboos, in the deepest woods. But when the
day-lovers have gone to bed, the queer little
beast comes out to frolic and to eat. He eats
the pith of bamboos and sugar-canes, and is fond
of beetles and grubs as well, and he makes more
noise than the galago, uttering a sort of plain-
tive cry as he jumps from branch to branch.
He is a singular-looking animal, with large
eyes and ears, and a tail longer than his body.
His fur is bushy and long, and very dark in
color. But the most remarkable things about
him are his hands. The hinder pair are like
other lemurs, but the front ones have the stran-
gest bony fingers of different lengths, the second
one so long and thin that it looks like a bent
For a long time no one knew the use of this
remarkable finger, but at last a naturalist kept
one alive and watched him. In his cage was
put at one time a worm-eaten branch, and when
the captive came out at dusk he at once began
to examine it. With his wire-like finger he
gently tapped the bark, at the same time hold-
ing his large ears close to it, listening.
Finally he seemed to hear something that
pleased him, for at once he began to tear off the
bark with his strong teeth, and to cut into the
wood, till he reached the entrance to a nest
LIVING BALLS. 37
where a grub was snugly lying. Then he thrust
in his slender finger and brought out the choice
morsel, which he ate with great relish.
When the aye-aye drinks he uses the strange
finger in another way; holding his open mouth
conveniently near, he scoops or throws the water
into it, so rapidly that it seems to rush in in a
It is said that this queer little fellow lives in
a nest which he makes of the long leaves of the
" traveler's tree," rolled up, and lined with dry
leaves. It is ball-shaped, with an opening in
one side, and is placed in a fork in a large tree.
MANY a strange little beast from far-off quar-
ters of the globe may be picked up in New York,
in places where sailors are wont to dispose of
their pets. In such a place I found and bought
a rare and interesting animal, a black-headed
lemur, or Lemur brunneus, native of Madagas-
car. He was a member of my household for
nearly a year, and during that time the family
circle was never dull. The whole of Barnum's
menagerie next door could not have afforded
more entertainment than did this one droll little
He was about the size of a small cat, or, to be
exact, from the tip of his pointed nose to the
root of the tail he measured sixteen inches; of
that length, three inches were face and thirteen
body and neck. His girth back of the fore legs
was nine inches.
The manners of the little stranger were ex-
tremely odd. His home was the cage in the
parlor already described, where he was generally
THE HALF-MONKEY. 39
alone all day, and spent the time, it is to be
-i1'."'-'.1, in -1.. '-.i2, although I must admit I
rarely found him so. At about four in the
afternoon I went into the room and let him out.
The moment I appeared he came to the front of
the cage, pressed his weird little black face with
its clear topaz eyes to the wires, and then
began to call and weave" impatiently. The
latter was a singular movement. Planting his
hind legs far apart, he held up, and outward,
his short arms, and swayed his whole body from
side to side, at each end of his swing bringing
his hands down almost to the floor. This he
did very rapidly, uttering every moment a short,
quick sort of double grunt, with an occasional
explosion or snort," in the exact tone of a pig.
Of course I instantly opened his door, from
that time till ten o'clock being his regular daily
outing. Like a flash he bounced through it,
jumped to the nearest chair, from that to the
sofa, the table, somebody's lap or shoulder, the
mantel, the top of his cage, or the piano, and
so made the circuit of the two parlors, without
touching the carpet.
After thus going the grand rounds, he gen-
erally jumped to the floor, and ran all about
under the furniture. Ilis sharp nose nearly
touched the carpet, and his back (owing to the
four inches difference in length between his fore
and hind limbs) sloped up at an angle of forty-
five degrees to the tail, which stood straight up
like a banner over his back, the tip sometimes
curling forward like a dog's, sometimes back-
ward like a hook. During the whole perform-
ance he constantly uttered a contented single
grunt like woof "
If any movement in the room startled him, he
broke into a grotesque gallop, bringing his feet
up closely beside his hands at every leap. This
gallop, which was rapid and light, always ended
in a sudden spring to somebody's lap, or a
scramble to the top of a tall easel, where lie
looked around to see what had frightened him.
But if not disturbed, when his tour of inspection
was over he usually went to the open fire, placed
himself sometimes on the toe of a lady's slipper
if it were conveniently near, sometimes on a little
three-by-five-inch cushion on the arm of an easy-
Here he sat up like a cat, with tail hanging
out before him, or fell eagerly to dressing his
peculiar woolly fur, which stood out all over his
body. He washed his face by licking the out-
side edge of his hand and rubbing it back and
forth over his face, and wiped his mouth on a
chair, as a bird wipes its bill, first one side and
then the other. Especially did he labor over his
eighteen-inch-long tail, scraping up the fur till
THE HALF-MONKEY. 41
it stood straight out, and made that member look
enormously large. The tool with which he ac-
complished so much was his curious row of lower
front teeth, which ended in points almost as
sharp as needles, and projected so much that
they could not be used to bite, but made an
effective scraper for the skin, or a comb for his
own gray wool.
Warmed and dressed, the playful fellow began
his evening's amusement. If the master's quiet
game of cribbage was going on, he often began
by springing without warning to the middle of
the table, scattering cards like chaff, upsetting
cribbage-board and sending the pegs flying, slap-
ping cards out of the hands of the players and
biting needle-like holes in them.
To make a great commotion of any sort was
his delight. Sitting peacefully on my lap, or
lying flat upon his stomach, every limb stretched
out, apparently the most innocent and harmless
of pets, he would often quietly rise to his feet,
and, before I suspected him, snatch my book out
of my hand or spring over it into my face. If
I started at this rough salute, as I was tolerably
sure to do, he was struck with panic, gave one
mighty bound to the mantel, the bracket of a
lamp, the edge of an open door, or the floor,
where he stood a few seconds motionless as he
alighted. A fright, indeed, always struck him
42 FOUR-HANDED FOLK.
with curious effect. Whether he was lying
quietly on one's knee, standing, sitting, or in
whatever position, on being alarmed by an at-
tempt to capture him, or by an unexpected
sound, he instantly disappeared, sideways,
backward, or forward, without in any way
making ready, or getting upon his legs. It was
as if his body were a spring, or as if he were
flung by some force outside of himself; he sim-
ply went. A curious fashion he had also of
leaping against the bare side wall of the room,
which he struck flatly with all fours, and then
bounded off in another direction. I have seen
the same thing done by a squirrel, and also -
strange as it seems by a bird.
MANNERS OF THE LEMUR.
TiE extreme nervousness of the little lemur
seemed to be caused by too much company.
When alone with one person, especially if that
one were my daughter or myself--his prime
favorites -he was as quiet as the family cat.
He sat or lay in the lap, and allowed himself to
be brushed; indeed, he enjoyed brushing, and
thrust out arms and legs to be operated upon.
He sat up with his tail laid over his shoulders in
a comical way, and, if he wanted to turn his head,
he clucked it under the tail and brought it up
the other side, rather than change its comfortable
position. This member was really a great care
to the little beast; he spent hours in dressing it,
and by means of it he expressed all his emotions.
When in quiet mood it hung straight down, as
stiffly as if made of wood; if he were on mischief
bent, it assumed a naughty-looking sidewise
turn, though still hanging; during his pranks
and in excitement it stood up like a flagstaff,
safely out of harm's way ; if his angry passions
rose," it was swished, after the manner of a cat;
and when he jumped, it delivered a severe blow,
like a smart rap with a stick.
FO UR-HAINDED FOLK.
Never was a living creature more alert than
this small brute. So acute was his hearing that
it was absolutely impossible to surprise him. No
matter how quietly and apparently off his guard
he sat on a chair, one could not jerk or tip that
piece of furniture so quickly as to take him un-
awares; at the first sign of movement he appeared
on the other side of the room, one could hardly
tell how. I wanted much to see him when he
did not see me, and to that end several times
stole into the room from the front. The back of
the cage was toward that side, and he could not
possibly see me. I took off my shoes, and moved
without the slightest sound over the carpet; but
when I reached the point where I could see the
open front of his cage, there he was, waiting,
looking for me, his bright yellow eye pressed
eagerly against the wires, in the corner nearest
the side I came to. The instant he saw me he
uttered a mocking grunt, which plainly said,
" Thought you'd surprise me, eh ? and began a
violent weaving and coaxing to get out.
Perhaps he was thus wide awake because he
seemed really to fear being alone, and to dread
the dark. The moment he was left in the room
the spirit of mischief departed, and he retreated
to the top of his cage, where he stayed till some
one came in. The dusk, with its shadows, always
alarmed him, and, when taken into a strange
THE HALF-MONKEY. 45
room, he cowered and clung to his friend as if
frightened out of his wits. Fond as he was of
society, he was exceedingly nervous about it.
When he heard a person coming through the
hall, he first ran to the end of a sofa nearest the
door; as the steps approached, he grew more
and more uneasy; and when the hand touched
the door-knob, he yielded to wild panic, bounded
to the other end of the sofa and over the back,
where he held by one hand, while his body
His great sensitiveness showed also in another
way; he never met a human eye with his own.
He saw every expression of the face, but he
always looked just beyond it. He violently ob-
jected to being stared at, turned his head away,
and, if his head were held between two hands
for the purpose of looking in his face, he got
away, either by a sudden spring to the top of
the head of his captor, or by wriggling himself
out backward. His wool-covered body it was
almost impossible to hold.
But although the little fellow would not look
one squarely in the face, he saw everything that
happened, and was as inquisitive as any monkey.
IHe liked to sit before the window and look at
passers-by, both beast and human; a cat he
saluted by a short, sharp bark. A bugle that
was brought out proved most interesting. He
46 FOUR-HANDED FOLK.
rose on his hind legs, which he did with perfect
ease, and thrust his nose into the large end,
evidently to find the sound. Once happening
to get possession of it when its owner was ab-
sent, he made a thorough examination of it. IHe
pulled it on to the floor, threw his body across
it, embracing it with his legs to keep it in place,
pushed his head almost out of sight into the big
end, then took the small end in his mouth, as if
to blow, and made minute and careful study of
every part of it, until fully satisfied that what-
ever he sought was beyond his reach, when he
threw it down and left it.
THE intelligence of the lemur was notable.
He knew his own blankets instantly, wherever he
saw them, and was quite positive that no one
had a right to touch them; he learned his name
readily, always answered when spoken to, and
came at a call like a dog, which animals of his
sort rarely do. He also knew his own box, his
chosen seats, his place before the fire, and in-
sisted that they should not be used by others.
In pictures he recognized a bird, tried to snatch
it out of the paper, as he did also any figures
that looked like insects. He disapproved of
change, complained when I closed the shutters,
and looked askance at me when I put on a dif-
ferent dress. He knew with perfect certainty
who would let him out of the cage and who
would not; one of the gentlemen of the house
might sit in the parlor all day, and, except for
keeping an eye on him, the little beast made no
sign; but let either of his mistresses enter, and
he was excited at once, weaving, grunting, and
demanding that the door be opened. He under-
stood at once, too, when forbidden to do any-
46 FOUR-IIHANDED FOLK.
On the occasion of the visit of a child, he was
at first very jealous ; did not like her to occupy
a lap he had considered his own, and opposed
with a squealing grunt her sitting on his special
stool before the fire. But she was a gentle
child, and a little later he became very fond of
her, let her pat him, sit beside him on his seat,
and at last insisted upon lying on some article
of her dress, if any were in the room.
What the small African set his mind on, he
always secured in the end, for his persistence
was simply marvelous. He was as fond of apples
as any schoolboy, and the head of the family
liked to tantalize him by coming in with one
hidden in his pocket. The sharp little nose
sniffed it at once, and the eager little fellow
sprang upon the apple-bearer, tried to dive into
his pocket head first, then to dig into it from
below, and, despairing of this, went to work to
tear away the garments that covered it. No
doubt he would have succeeded, but before he
went so far the owner gave in, and handed the
fruit to the impatient creature. He snatched
it at once, and fairly gobbled it, biting off
pieces with his back teeth, throwing his head up
to chew them, and carefully separating and
dropping the skin.
He never at any time made a full meal, as do
many beasts. His desire seemed to be merely
THE HALF-MONKEY. 49
to stop the cravings of hunger; the moment this
was done he opened his hand, and whatever food
was in it dropped to the floor. He ate bread,
sweet potato, and banana, and drank milk and
water; but his delight was candy, and that he
never dropped. If there was a bit in sight he
was simply wild. When a piece was offered,
he snatched it, chewed it down, and instantly
begged for more. The favorite trick of a mis-
chievous youth was to give him a licorice-drop,
which became soft in the mouth, held his jaws
together, and in every way was troublesome ; but,
in spite of his struggles with it, he was never
discouraged, and always coaxed for another.
No beast that I ever saw was more fond of
play than the little 3L..i g -;, not even a lively
kitten. From the moment his door was opened
till he was shut in for the night, he generally
gave his mind to a constant succession of pranks.
lHe scraped the beads off our dress-trimmings
with his comb-like teeth, and he slapped or
pulled books or work out of our hands. He es-
pecially liked to frolic in one's lap, lying on his
back, kicking with all fours, pretending to bite,
and even turning somersets, or giving the most
peculiar little leaps. To do this he flung out
his arms, dropped his head on one side in a be-
witching way, turned half around in the air, and
came down in the spot he started from, the
FO UR-HANDED FOLK.
whole performance so sudden, and his face so
grave all the time, it seemed as if a spring had
gone off inside of him, with which his will had
nothing to do.
A favorite plaything with the lemur was a
window-shade. He began by jumping up to the
fringe, seizing it and swinging back and forth.
One day he learned by accident that he could
" set it off," and then his extreme pleasure was
to snatch at it with so much force as to start the
spring, when he instantly let go and made one
bound to the other side of the room, or to the
mantel, where he sat, looking the picture of in-
nocence, while the released shade sprang to the
top and went over and over the rod. We could
never prevent his carrying out this little pro-
gramme, and we drew down one shade only to
have him slyly set off another the next instant.
Next to the shade, his chosen playground was
a small brass rod holding a bracket-lamp. It
was not more than half an inch wide, and so
sharp-edged that it seemed impossible that an
animal of his size and weight could stay on it
one minute, especially as it was not more than
eight or ten inches long, and held a burning
lamp at the end. The lamp was no objection to
the always chilly little beast; he enjoyed the
heat of it, and not only did he sit there with per-
fect ease, and dress his fur or eat his bread, but
THE HALF-MONKEY. 51
he played what seemed impossible pranks on it.
He turned somersets over it; he hung by one
hand and swung; he jumped and seized it with
hand or foot; whisked over it, and came up the
other side. He never made a slip nor touched
the lamp, and his long, stiff tail served as a bal-
PRANKS OF A PET.
PERHAPS the greatest fun our little captive
had was with a newspaper. The thing that first
interested him was being told to let it alone
when he longed to tear it up. This desire of his
kept us always on the watch for our papers, till
at last I resolved to give him his wish. I took
an old paper, and put it on the floor for him.
First he came with a big leap into the middle
of it, when the rustle instantly scared him off,
in a second bound as tremendous as the first.
He soon came back, however, and began again.
He turned somersets on it, rolled over it, then
took hold of one corner and rolled himself up in
it. But all the time every fresh rustle of the
paper put him in a panic, and he leaped spas-
modically away. It was a wild frolic impossible
to describe, with attitudes so comical, move-
ments so unexpected, and terror and joy so
closely united, that it was the funniest exhibi-
tion one can imagine.
The next evening I arranged a newspaper
tentwise on the floor. The lemur looked at it
sharply, examined the tempting passage-way
under it, then dashed frantically through, and
flew to the highest retreat in the room, as if he
had taken his life in his hands. He returned -
for it was impossible to keep away and re-
sumed his gambols, his hand-springs, his various
faiitastic exercises; and between each two antics
flung himself about the room as if he had gone
mad, ending every romp by sitting a few seconds
motionless, with a grave and solemn air, as if it
were out of the question that he could be guilty
of anything frivolous.
Early in his residence with us, he made up his
mind that free use of the two mantels in the
rooms he had the run of was desirable. Those
shelves being already occupied, the family nat-
urally opposed his wish. In vain. Every point
in his advance he won with a struggle; chairs
were removed to a distance and reproofs show-
ered upon him. All wasted effort. To frolic
upon those mantels was his aim, and he secured
it. We gave up at last, pushed the bric-a-brac
against the wall, and let him enjoy his victory,
but we might have spared ourselves the fight,
for he never did the slightest harm.
Most amusing were his acrobatic feats on a
set of clothes-bars, brought from the laundry for
his use. IIe accepted the enticing array of
small rods three quarters of an inch in diameter,
without a doubt that it was intended for him, as
54 FOUR-HANDED FOLK.
in fact he did everything; that he could be un-
welcome anywhere never occurred to him. The
moment the bars were set up, he made one flying
leap across the room and landed upon them.
He ran all over those small sticks as if they
were a level floor, using his tail as a balancing
pole; he turned hand somersets (if I may call
them so) over them; hung from one or both
feet, head down and arms stretched out, and in
this attitude often washed his face. He flung
himself from one post to another, never missing
his hold, though the whole thing shook and
creaked with his violence. He went up the cor-
ner post hand over hand, using all fours, and
stood upright on the top, looking up for more
worlds to conquer. One moment he swung by
his hands, his long legs drawn up, and the next
he seized a bar with the right hand and foot, and
whirled over it, coming up in the same position,
a sort of side somerset. There was nothing
possible to a monkey that he did not do, and I
never saw a monkey half so lively. The little
fellow was so happy, and we so entertained, that
the clothes-bars became for a time a part of the
The bars, too, helped Koko to solve a prob-
lem that he had been revolving since he first
came to us. He longed to explore the top of a
tall old-fashioned bookcase, as we knew by his
THE HALF-MONKEY. bb
eager looks and movement, threatening to jump
up from the back of a chair. In his antics one
day he sprang over to the upright window-cas-
ing, to examine an ornament of moss that hung
on the wall, and the ease with which he held
on to the moulding put another notion into his
head. He had found a ladder and he began
This discovery removed the last obstacle be-
tween Ioko and everything in the room. With
three long windows, a wide arch, and a door, all
surrounded by this highway of ladders, he could
reach almost anything on the walls hitherto
barred from him. The first thing, of course,
was to gratify his old longing to explore the
bookcase : he walked up the moulding till he was
level with the top, and then jumped over the
chasm. In about two minutes he satisfied him-
self that nothing was there but dust, and having
well covered his feet and hands with this, he
sprang back to the casing and ran down, leav-
ing pretty little prints of his mischievous hands
all the way. After that exploit the casings were
his favorite playground and retreat.
MORE LEMUR WAYS.
A GREAT pleasure to Koko when there was no
fire was to sit on the centre-table, close to a big
Rochester-burner lamp, and luxuriate in its heat.
The first time he tried this seat, he put one in-
quisitive finger on the shade, but instantly thrust
it into his mouth with a glance at me. I laughed
at him, and, feeling insulted, he ran out his
tongue, and saluted me with a mocking Ya!
ya! ya Often as he sat there afterward he
never touched the lamp again.
When a fire was burning in the open stove,
a foot-rest was placed before it for the use of
the little beast, who spent many hours there.
Sometimes he sat with his tail around his neck
like a boa, but usually he was bolt upright with
his feet stretched out toward the fire, while he
dressed the hair of his tail, which was several
inches longer than his body and an object of
great care. His way of doing this was to haul
it up before his face, and hold it with both
hands, while he washed and combed it the wrong
way; that is, so that the hair stood up instead of
lying down. His hair was woolly and not soft,
KOKO AT PLAY
TIHE HALF-MONKEY. 57
and this treatment of course made it stand out
all over, forming a very pretty coat, and a thick
cushion around him. By this process his tail,
after he was kept nicely, was made to look very
large; as I said before, near the root it became
fully three inches in diameter.
A seat Koko liked very much, was the top of
a high rocking-chair, a bamboo rod an inch and
a quarter in diameter. In spite of the most
violent rocking, he had no trouble to keep his
place, holding on with all four hands side by
side, or by two hands on the post at one end.
In this place he dressed his fur or washed his
face, with perfect ease and calmness. In fact,
so sure was his hold that to get him off a per-
son was almost impossible; he could not be
shaken from an arm, for instance; he clasped
both arms and legs tightly around it, and no jar
or pull would remove him.
We did learn a trick after a while that always
sent him with a leap to the floor, where he stood
and looked at his tormentor with a reproachful
expression, sometimes ran his tongue out very
rapidly several times, as children do to show
contempt, and then went back, with a forgiving
spirit that usually won him the place again.
This potent spell was an imitation of his own
"woof The instant it was uttered, he sprang
off without rising to his feet, or turning his head
b6 FOUR-HANDED FOLK.
to see where he should alight. The cushions
under his fingers and toes, indeed, made it a
matter of indifference where he did fall; he
could not hurt himself.
Troublesome was the position of best friend "
to the little fellow, for whatever happened to
him, if he got into mischief, if any one spoke
reprovingly to him, if he was suddenly startled,
he went on a mad gallop for his friend, sprang
to her knee, to her shoulder, to the top of her
head if she would allow it, and from that point
turned upon his enemy, ready to defend himself.
He could be very savage, too; he had sharp
teeth, and a ferocious way of resenting a direct
insult. He flew at the enemy, screaming with
rage, climbed up his clothes (it was always man
or boy), and acted as if he would tear him to
pieces. But the fury was short-lived ; in a few
moments he grew calm, though I think he never
lost suspicion of a person who had once ill-
One thing that Koko considered an unpardon-
able affront was an exclamation sometimes used
to drive away strange cats, a sort of quish "
spoken with emphasis. This always infuriated
him. If reproved by any one excepting the two
ladies of the household, in those highly offensive
words No no he was displeased also, turned
suddenly, looked over at the speaker with a
THE HALF-MONKEY. 59
squeal which plainly expressed the opinion that
it was not his business to interfere. When
either of his special friends used the same words,
he instantly turned to her, galloped across the
room, and bounded on to her shoulder.
Koko was not dependent on outside objects
for his amusement; he bubbled over with fun,
and his whimsical little pranks can never be
half told. He turned somersets on the carpet,
sometimes very fast, again very slowly, even
pausing while standing on his head; he sprang
over the top of a book or newspaper one was
reading ; he snatched away eye-glasses ; he made
droll little leaps about a foot high, with a
coquettish toss of the head and fling of the arms,
and often spent a long time in thus jumping
about on the floor. Above all things he liked
to leap. It was not uncommon for him to spring
square into one's face, sometimes grasping a nose
in one hand, and an ear in the other, but occa-
sionally embracing the face with all fours, hands
on both sides of the forehead, and feet each side
of the cheek. He stopped but a second; his
friend was merely a station on his way to the
mantel; but it was a great surprise, and though
it lasted but a moment, one felt as if a tornado
had passed over.
UNLIKE most beasts, this little fellow had a
great liking for strangers, and frequently took
violent fancies, in which case it was quite impos-
sible to keep him away from the object of his
affections. Some people liked it, but others did
not; and when one young lady was actually
afraid of him, he appreciated her feeling, and
not only resented it by angry barking grunts,
but contrived again and again to surprise her,
by stealing up behind her chair and suddenly
pouncing upon her. Of course she shrieked,
and he squealed and grunted and ran out his
tongue at her. With his friends he was trouble-
somely affectionate, insisting on being held on
lap, arm, or shoulder, and following them from
room to room, in a long, droll gallop on the floor,
or by jumping from chair to table, and some-
times to their backs as they passed.
Perhaps the most amusing entertainment was
his attention to a certain grave professor who
spent an evening with us.
The professor was interested in animals, and
as pleased to see him as was Koko himself when
THE HALF-MONKEY. 61
he found a willing victim. He began by licking
the hands of his new friend, and then planted
himself on the shoulder and settled to work.
First he washed the face of the gentleman,
holding on to the nose or laying his droll lit-
tle paw flat on forehead or cheek, or grasping
irreverently the full dignified beard. The face
finished, greatly to the professor's delight, he
began on the head. Now the professor's hair was
rather thin, very neatly parted in the middle,
and brushed down each side. Koko's method
of treatment was peculiar; it was to scrape
against the grain with his singular front teeth
as he did in his own toilet.
At it he went, literally tooth and nail, and in
a few minutes the professor's locks stood up as
if he had been electrified, not a hair in its place.
The victim sat like a martyr, closing his eyes
when Koko laid a paw on them to keep his
balance, and saying continually, What a nice
little fellow he is What a dear little pet!
The nicest I ever saw and so on.
For half an hour or more this show went on,
both having a most luxurious time, while I
wished that some of the professor's many ad-
mirers who stood in awe of him could see him
at the moment. He was not only a man of pro-
found learning, but a bachelor of very particular
ways. One of the family suddenly brought a
small mirror and held it before his face. What
a look came over him as he saw his head! He
laughed long and heartily, but I observed that
after he had retired and put his hair in order
he did not allow the nice little fellow to dis-
arrange it again, though he was just as much
pleased with him.
The good-will of a captive is pleasant to have,
and indeed necessary if one would know its
ways; but Koko, as I said, was too affectionate.
His chosen seat was the top of one's head, but
since he was never allowed to occupy that for
more than an instant, he contented himself with
the next desirable, namely, the shoulder of some
one he liked. There he sat and dressed his fur,
now and then giving a sudden lick on the cheek
or ear of his victim, intended for a delicate at-
tention, perhaps a kiss, sometimes varying this
by absent-mindedly snatching a handful of the
hair so near him. These marks of his devotion
being not very welcome, he was forced to take a
seat not quite so near the face. Next in order
was an arm, on which he sat by the hour, lick-
ing the wrist as long as one could endure it, and
scraping it with a push of his queer lower teeth.
On somebody he was determined to be.
Almost every sound Koko uttered was like
the voice of a pig. Going about the room con-
tentedly, he constantly made a low sound like
KOKO AS HAIRDRESSER
THE HALF-MONKEY. 63
"oof or woof When anxious to get out
of his cage the grunt was double, like the draw-
ing in and blowing out of the breath in the same
tone. His bark even was of a piggish quality.
When angry or hurt, he gave a squeal and grunt
together, impossible to describe; and if rubbed
and caressed, he showed his pleasure by a loud,
rough purr. His cry of loneliness was truly pit-
eous; I heard it occasionally through the regis-
ter. It was a sobbing, dismal sound, sometimes
half a howl, sometimes with a retching quality.
In uttering this he opened a small round hole of
a quarter-inch diameter, in the front of his very
flexible lips. If this cry is common with his tribe
in the wilds of Madagascar, I do not wonder
that the people are superstitions about them, and
call them "spectres." No lament can be ima-
gined more weird and heart-rending. At first,
when I heard my pet cry thus, I ran hastily
downstairs, thinking something dreadful had
happened; but the instant his eye fell upon me,
the rogue changed his wails into the grunt of
recognition, and a demand to be let out.
THE END OF KOKO.
AFTER five hours of revels that kept his audi-
ence in shrieks of laughter, or in terror for his
life, the time came for Koko to go to bed. He
was never willing; on the contrary he was deter-
mined to stay out. On this one point he never
had his desire, but catching him required always
a little stratagem. The cage he was careful
never to enter without leaving a leg hanging out;
capturing by the chase was not to be thought of,
so nimble, so quick was he in movement, and so
mighty in leaps ; slippery and elusive was his fur
to hold; there was but one way. It was for his
best friend to wait patiently till he was quiet on
her lap, in exactly the right position so that there
should not be any chance of failure, then bring
two hands down upon him suddenly and firmly,
and carry him to his cage. When the hands of
his friend came upon him in this way, he sub-
mitted as to fate; but if any one else tried it,
he rebelled, wriggled, struggled, bit, and usually
It was curious to see him prepare for the
night. His bed was in a round wooden box, fast-
THE IIALF-MONKEY. 65
ened upon the side of his cage, lined and covered
with blankets. Sometimes he lay on his back,
his head hanging out upside down, and two legs
sticking out at awkward angles ; occasionally his
arms were thrown over his head, and his hands
clung to the edge of the box. But usually, after
a long preparation of fur-dressing, he placed his
head on the bottom of the box, face down, and
then disposed his body around it, wriggling and
twisting and turning till he was satisfied, when
he was seen lying on his side, his head not under
him as would be expected, and his tail curled
neatly around. Sometimes, after long and elabo-
rate arrangement, when one would not expect him
to move before morning, he suddenly started up
and came out as bright and lively as if he never
dreamed of going to sleep. But more often,
when he had thus composed himself, the heavy
blanket was dropped before his door, the lights
were turned out, and he was left for the night.
The society of Koko was entertaining through
the winter and spring, but when the weather
grew warm, a heat-loving little beast who in-
sisted on lying full length on one's shoulder, or
clasping an arm with four very woolly limbs,
was not to be endured. So he was packed off
to the Philadelphia Zoological Gardens, due
arrangements having been made for his comfort.
There his playful ways and amiable disposition
6U FOUR-lIANDED FOLK.
made him at once a favorite, and he was put
with the chimpanzee so long a resident of the
Garden, in a cage twelve feet or more square.
Of course the two animals were closely watched
to see if they would be friends.
When the great lazy ape observed her small
cage-mate, she first honored him with a .....I
stare, and then reached out her long arm to take
hold of him. This, however, was a stranger
Koko did not care to spring upon; he -lie". i
away. She moved a step or two, he retreated
slowly, but careful to be just out of her reach.
She followed him around the. ,-. ; still he eluded
her. The chase began to be int: ..-:.t.. He
took refuge on certain beams put across for her
use: she followed. Higher and farther e
climbed, she close at his heels, till he reached the
highest and the farthest corner whence was no
retreat. On she came, sure now of her -.. .:,
as were also the spectators, who looked on with
deep interest to see if she would be amiable.
Suddenly, jast as she stretched out her hands to
seize him, he rose over her head with a bound,
and came through the air to the other side of the
cage. almost as though li hhad wings. Never
was an audience more surprised.
Although Koko wondd not i the chimpan-
zee to catih him. the two soon became exvel-
lent friends, and i,...-1 i- amusement :...
THE IHALF-MONKEY. bT
visitors for a year, perhaps 1'- The -1.f.,,
bond between them seemed to be, that his great-
est happiness was to scrape and dress and work
over hair, and her greatest happiness was to have
Passing through Philadelphia a year .,it. -
ward, I stopped at the Gardens to see how my
little pet fared with a stranger of his own kind,
who had lately been added to the happy i 1 -.I:
in the chimpanzee cage. Sure enough! there I
saw two lemurs, one sitting over behind a box
nearly hidden, and the other f. 1I _-! in the
front. Was this Koko ? He bouded about in
the same way, though with not so much spirit,
and he had the same vacant stare at -, .
back of his audience, never meeting one's eyes.
It was exactly like him, perhaps a little grown.
After a --. i he came near the chhnpanzee, who
lay quietly on the straw as if she were ill. See-
ing him approach, she put out her hand to push
him away, and in fact. 1., ., he made several
attempts to get close r -- -...' i not '. .
it. But now the other lemnur came from behind
the box, a i. i -.. r copy of the only perhaps
a little smaller. Tith the assurance of estab-
lished custom lie ran up to thie chimpanzee and
began to dress her hair. She closed her eyes in
contentment, and I knew this was Koko.
THE most unique ornament that ever adorned
my mantel was a comical looking little fellow,
who usurped the place of bric-h-brac in my house,
- porcelain and pottery, curios and carvings
were all swept out of sight, and the whole length
and breadth given up to an eight-inch fellow,
whose tricks and manners" were household
entertainment for months.
He might generally be seen sitting inside a
low box, covered with a blanket shawl, his
funny little hands with fingers wide spread rest-
ing on the edge, and quaint face peering out
from under the gray shawl to see that nothing
happened without his knowledge. With his
coal-black complexion, and long silvery hair
lying smoothly back over the top of his head,
as though held by a round comb, he exactly re-
sembled a very black old lady, with a very white
cap and dirty white gloves.
Nor was the illusion quite destroyed when, in
a moment, something interested him, and he
THE MARMOSET. 9
gracefully lifted the shawl and stepped out in
full sight. The rather long fur of the arms and
under parts gave him the appearance of wear-
ing a white, long-sleeved apron over his reddish-
The home, the eating and sleeping place of
the little beast, whose name was lMidas Pinche,
was on the mantel, but he had by way of change,
and to afford a chance for outings, a highway to
the floor in the shape of an old-fashioned easy
chair. The piece of carving at the top was his
favorite seat, from which he looked upon the
strange human world he found about him.
Descending to the arms, he had on the left a
cushioned seat before the bright grate fire, and
on the right a somewhat distant outlook into the
sunshine through the windows. On rare occa-
sions he went to the floor, and made efforts to
climb the slender leg of an upright piano, across
the fireplace from his chair. A laughable figure
he was too, his white arms clasping the leg, and
his queer face turned toward me to see if I in-
tended to allow it. So far and no farther, was
his range, defined for him by the length of a
cord attached to a belt around the body, and
very seldom, indeed, did he attempt to take a
step beyond his limits.
On one occasion, there being no fire, a centre-
table was moved nearer than usual to the mantel,
'U FOUR-HANDED FOLK.
and quite unexpectedly, as I sat beside it read-
ing, the monkey came with a bound upon it. I
was alone and he was not startled, so he pro-
ceeded to make careful study of everything
upon it books, papers, and lastly a small
Japanese tray on which was fastened a bronze
frog about half an inch long. After some
examination of this creature, he cautiously ap-
proached and pounced upon it with both hands,
showing that he was familiar with the business
of catching insects. While he was busily lift-
ing the corners of newspapers, as if looking for
something he had lost, I happened to turn sud-
denly, when he made one tremendous bound and
landed on the mantel, four feet away. I don't
know which of us was the most startled.
From his mantel or the top of his chair, our
South American guest as I said looked on
at the life about him, and expressed his views of
the same, with great freedom. He knew every
one of the family, and had his opinion of them
too, and he considered the presence of a stranger
entirely uncalled for, and not to be tolerated.
He watched one who came in very closely,
with a grave air of suspicion, and generally
ended his scrutiny by a vehement harangue,
which although in his native tongue, and un-
translatable by us, left no doubt of his meaning.
His manner at the time was most droll. He
THE MARMOSET. 71
turned his head over on one side in a sentimental
attitude, though his feelings were far from sen-
timental, and began a low chattering, in a sweet
birdlike tone, which rapidly became louder, hav-
ing notes higher and lower, longer and shorter,
and passages trilled and slurred, with mouth
sometimes contracted to a small round opening.
It was a truly musical performance, surprising
indeed from an animal.
During the delivery of this song as I must
call it he turned his head from side to side, in
the manner of a professional singer, and lastly
gave a bewitching close to the whole, by a whim-
sical little jerk of head and body, first one
side, then the other, as if trying to show off."
Sometimes this jerking movement went so far as
to become weaving," throwing his whole body
on one side and bringing his hands to the mantel,
then doing the same on the other side. This
he kept up for several minutes, his venerable
looking face, with its eager expression and large
dark eyes, swinging through an are of perhaps
six inches each time. Now and then he de-
livered this tirade to a mischievous youth in the
family, who was prone to trifle with his dignity,
by seizing his temptingly long tail, or peeping
under the cover after he was curled up for a nap.
The mere glance of this tormentor he hotly
resented. In fact he much disliked to have any
i FOUR-HANDED FOLK.
one look at him; it seemed to give him a nervous
shock. Sometimes, too, he thus reproved even
his mistress, when she offended him by putting
on eyeglasses, or a bonnet.
From certain performances of his own, and
from the unnatural actions of a dog before he
came to me, the little fellow had established
the reputation of being queer and received
the extraordinary name of Mephistopheles. The
dog a very intelligent spaniel looked upon
him with peculiar suspicion and disfavor. He
plainly longed to shake the life out of him, as he
did with a rat, but his master not allowing this,
he restrained himself, at the same time declining
to make friends with him, as he had with other
pets in the household. He treated the marmoset
always with the same reserve, and at last refused
even to go into the room where he was kept,
although it was his master's studio, and had been
his favorite retreat. He would stand at the
door and whine, and cry, and wag his tail, to
show his friend that he did not lack affection for
him; but over the threshold he would not step.
NoT a movement or sound in the house
escaped the notice and the comments of the
marmoset. A glimpse of his own reflection in
the polished marble, or the glass of the book-
case, always set his head twitching, a strange,
quick jerking motion, that seemed to be involun-
tary. When a hand glass was placed on his
mantel, he twitched as he caught sight of him-
self in the beveled edge, but when he came into
full view he showed no curiosity about the mar-
moset before him, but an absorbing interest in
the room through the looking-glass," at which
he stared so long as the glass stood there.
No elderly maiden with notions was ever more
" set against change than the monkey on the
mantel. A gentleman putting his feet upon a
chair he considered highly improper, and spoke
his mind at once, in a sharp, though musical
chatter. On one occasion of sudden company,
where the youth of teasing ways had to sleep in
the room, he was so excited and annoyed by his
presence that he positively could not go to sleep.
Drowsiness overcoming him, he went into his box
and made preparations for the night; then at the
last moment he cautiously lifted his blanket with
one hand, to see if the intruder were still there,
and seeing him, popped out like a Jack-in-a-box,
to remonstrate and scold, and demand, in his
way, that things be restored to their usual order.
He took great offense at any change in my dress,
and if it were marked, as from- a black to a
white dress, he utterly refused to take his food
from my hand, but chattered and weaved" at
me across the room.
A striking peculiarity of the odd little beast
was his refusing to become familiar with us.
After he had been in the family room for about
four months, and taken his food from our hands,
he was still seared out of his wits if we attempted
to touch him. I never before had beast or bird
who did not after a while cease to be suspicious,
so that, while they might not allow liberties,
they were not afraid. But that strange fellow,
so long with us, persisted in regarding us as
enemies, and resented our slightest touch, with
screams that were truly appalling in one of his
size. I attempted once to give him a treat by
carrying his box, with him in it, to the window,
so that he could look out. At my first movement
he shrieked with terror, as if I were murdering
him. IIe could not have made a greater outcry
if I had actually attempted his life.
THE MARMOSET. 75
Bates, in his Naturalist on the Amazon,"
speaks of the same behavior in the relatives
of my pet in South America. He says that so
long as the ilidas Ursula is in any way con-
fined, it refuses to be familiar, but when allowed
the freedom of the house, it becomes exceed-
Never was a four-handed creature more in-
quisitive than my marmoset, and his attitudes
were curiously human as he daintily lifted one
corner of a cloth or paper, and leaned far over
to peer beneath it. He was suspicious of a mys-
tery concealed under the towel I spread over
the cold marble for him, and he seemed to ex-
pect that a terrific bugaboo would some day
appear through the door that looked into the
Unlike the common marmoset, which destroys
everything it touches, he was naturally gentle.
A white moth, which was once given him to eat,
he took in his dainty fingers, examined it closely
on all sides, and then let it go without hurting
it in the least.
During the summer and early fall the mar-
moset had perfectly regular habits of sleeping.
At five o'clock lie retired to his bed, in the
blanket-lined box. But although so "early to
bed the little sleepy head did not carry out
the old proverb, for not before eleven in the
T7 FOUR-HANDED FOLK.
morning did he condescend to rise. As the
weather grew cold he stayed longer and longer
in his warm nest, and after he found that lights
made the room warm in the evening, he grew
more and more late in going to bed, till Novem-
ber, when he never left us until about eleven
o'clock, though he still rose about eleven. He
took many long naps during the afternoon, and
I believe if it had been cold enough he would
He was a wise little beastie, too; he discov-
ered after a while that it was warmer to crawl
under the shawl itself, outside of, and close
against the box, and so for a month or more
he did not occupy his old quarters. Still he
would not allow the box to be removed; he
might not choose to use it, but he knew it was
his, and he wanted it in its old place, where he
could climb over it on his way to bed.
So long as he slept in the box it was com-
ical to watch his retiring. Beside the box he
always stood a few moments upright, which was
easy for him to do, raised with one hand the
blanket cover, leaned over and peered in, with
a comical air of looking under the bed for a
burglar. Finding things all right, he glanced
around the room to see that all was safe there,
then dived under the blanket, resting his feet
(or hinder hands) on the edge of the box a
moment, while his long tail curled itself up from
the tip like a watchspring, and passed in before
the body, when he instantly dropped under the
cover. Often as we saw the performance, it
never ceased to be extremely funny.
Once inside his bed with his cherished tail,
he sat down with this member standing up
before him, on edge, like a wheel, thrust his
head between his knees beside it, and thus
arranged in a compact bundle, almost as round
as a ball, he slept, the top of his head on the
floor, and his nose buried in his fur. How he
could breathe was a problem. Soon after he
was in bed we heard the most tender, sweet,
and bird-like calls and cries which were really
touching, for they seemed like lamentations for
his mates or dreams of home.
When getting-up time came, the little fellow
uncoiled himself ; we heard gentle stirring, and
a low, single chirp, a true bird note. In a
moment a corner of the shawl was lifted, a wide-
awake black face with its crown of silver hair
appeared, looking, as I said, comically like a
black old lady with a white nightcap. The
next instant out stepped the marmoset, stretch-
ing himself, and showing us how long and thin
he really was. His usual position was sitting
up like a squirrel, when he looked round and
LIFE ON THE MANTEL.
As soon as the marmoset was up he hurried
to his favorite seat, the top of the armchair, and
immediately called for his breakfast, with his
usual cry, a sort of long drawn out e-e-e" in
a musical voice, each note a tone higher and a
little longer than the one before it.
At once his breakfast was brought. If it
happened to be bread and milk, he first drank
the milk, and then ate the soaked bread. If it
were grapes, he poked one into his mouth out
of sight, even though it were a big Concord
grape, chewed till the pulp came out, then took
the skin in one hand and the pulp in the other,
and licked off the juice, rejecting what was left.
A pear, if soft, he took in both arms and
scooped out the inside with his tongue, leaving
the skin an empty cup, thin as the finest of
china. A slice of pear or apple he held in both
hands and bit, when he looked like a small
black boy with a slice of watermelon.
The diet of my pet was at first bananas
alone, and his pranks with this food were in-
tolerable on a mantel, however they might do
in his native woods. He took a thin slice in his
hands, bit off twice as much as he could man-
age, and at every movement of the jaws, thrust
the mouthful out on his tongue. After two or
three chews he gave his head a quick toss, that
flung the surplus off on to carpet and wall and
furniture, which was soon ornamented with
small wads of sticky banana hard to remove.
After enduring it some time I began to experi-
ment, and found that the naughty rogue would
eat many things, and then banana was no longer
on his bill of fare.
The -Midas pinclie was perhaps eight inches
long in body, with a tail of sixteen or eighteen
inches; he would not let us come near enough to
measure it. As already mentioned, his face was
coal-black, while the long silky hair that hung
down on his shoulders was a beautiful silver-
white. He had also a curious line of long white
hairs on his bare face, starting from near the
corner of the eyes and falling off each side like
a fashionable mustache, and his nearly white
eyebrows met in the iniddle and were quite
All of this gave him a truly venerable look,
aside from the fact that his face itself looked as
if he might be a hundred years old. His ears
were bare of hair, very human looking, and
ended in a little point at the top.
8U FOUR-HANDED FOLK.
Unlike most of the monkey tribe, he would
look one squarely in the eye, and not flinch.
On the hands the fingers were long and slim,
but there was no opposable thumb, while on the
feet as we naturally called the hinder pair of
hands there was a decided thumb. All his
fingers had claws and not nails.
This funny tenant of my mantel never washed
face or hands, and paid no attention to his coat,
with one exception, his tail. This apparently
useless appendage, twice as long as he was,
which usually hung straight down, or stood
straight out, gave him much concern, and was
evidently the one point on which he prided him-
self. To dress it, he brought it up before him,
held it with one hand and combed it violently
with the claws of the other, the wrong way of
the fur. When he got too far up in his opera-
tions to reach while sitting (for the tail tow-
ered above his head like a flagpole), he rose to
his feet, and stretched up in a ludicrous way.
It never seemed to occur to him to draw the
prim tail down. In fact he acted as if it be-
longed to somebody else. He often sat and
held it up before his face, contemplating it with
an air of grave interest and curiosity, as who
should say "What is this that I see before men?"
In fright, the beautiful silky hair of his head
rose so much as to change his expression, while
'I; I ~
ii I *
that on the tail stood out all around; and in
anger the member itself was "swished like
that of an angry cat. In fact, although he was
afraid of people, when he was really cornered
he became savage, and showed that, notwith-
standing he was a pet and lived on a mantel, he
might be a very unpleasant beast to manage, a
genuine wild monkey.
As the weather grew colder in the fall, the
little monkey hardly came out at all, from his
warm corner under the blanket. One day I
bethought me of trying to comfort him with
a footstove. I got a flat stone three or four
inches square and an inch thick. This I put
on the kitchen range till it was very warm, then
wrapped it in flannel and laid it in the path of
the shivering little fellow. When he came out
to breakfast and stepped on it, he instantly
stopped, and nothing would induce him to leave
it till it grew cold. After that I kept it heated
for him all the time he was awake, and he
hugged it as a freezing person will hug a stove.
But as the weeks went on lie grew more and
more sleepy and dull, so thlt lie was no longer
anmsing, and I knew lie would not brighten up
till summer came. So I moved his quarters to
another place, and never again tried to keep a
monkey on the mantel.
RAVINI AND RAVENINI: THE SMALLEST
MONKEYS IN THE WORLD.
THE marmoset that lived on my mantel gave
me much pleasure, but none of these little fellows
are half so charming when they are confined in
any way as when they are free.
The house of a friend living not far from me
was, a few years ago, the home of two of the
smallest monkeys in the world.
They were brought from Brazil by the son of
the house, and his mother was horrified when he
told her what he had done.
"Monkeys, of all things and two of them at
that! she cried. What on earth can I do
with them ?"
But mother" he began, "they 're not
"They 're so mischievous! They '11 be up to
all sorts of pranks, and I shall not be able to
sleep nights," went on the mistress of the beau-
tiful home, unused to pets.
For answer, the tall son drew one hand out of
his pocket, held it toward her, and opened it.
There sat a marmoset, the smallest of the mon-
key family, not nearly so big as his fist.
Before his mother could speak, he held the
other hand out, and there sat another monkey,
almost the twin brother of the first.
Oh, what cunning little creatures Are these
your monkeys? burst out the mother in changed
tones, and coming nearer. "The dear little fel-
lows! do let me take them! and she put out
The smaller of the two accepted the offer,
sprang into her hand, and ran up her arm to her
shoulder, where he sat down to a close study of
the lace in her neck. But the other one greeted
her with a sharp chattering, and hastened to hide
himself at the back of the neck of his master,
cuddled down inside his collar. No more coax-
ing was needed. The little strangers won the
heart of the whole household, and before night
every one was as fond of them as their owner.
They were the Pigmy Marmoset, four inches
tall when standing up, and so light one could sit
on the edge of a china teacup and not upset it.
Nothing was ever more funny to look at than
a rough-and-tumlble fight between these two little
beasts, when they would wrestle violently to-
gether, throw each other down freely, scold and
chatter, with plenty of room to spare all in the
palm of a lady's hand.
A comical performance, too, was their hunt
for sugarplums, of which they were very fond.
They soon learned by experience that the desired
bits of candy were sometimes to be found inside
the month of the lady who did n't want any
monkeys before she saw them. All she had to
do was to open her mouth wide, when there was
a rush and a scramble to be first to explore that
The first one who got there stood on her hand
or her shoulder, or any convenient place, rested
his funny little hands on her teeth, and thrust
his little round head out of sight in her mouth,
turning it this way and that till he spied the
tidbit, when he snatched it out and retired to
a safe place to eat it. This might be on top of
her head, or inside her neck ruche against her
neck, which warm nest he was very fond of.
This seems like a strange performance, and if I
had not seen it many times, I should hesitate
about telling it.
If it was the bigger of the two who captured
the dainty, he ate it in peace, for he was not
so good-tempered as his companion, and never
allowed interference with his comfort.
But if the smaller one proved the more nimble
and secured the prize, lie had to run and hide,
and sometimes fight for his rights. Even then
he did not always secure them, for his brother
was down upon him like a flash, with a sharp
chatter, and often snatched the candy away.
The notion they got by this performance was
that an open mouth was an invitation to hunt
for sugarplums, and this made a funny scene
one day. A gentleman visitor was talking and
laughing in the room, when one of the marmosets
noticed that his mouth was unusually large, and
frequently opened in a most tempting way. He
quietly stole up on to the man's knee, then, not
being noticed, he ran up his arm, and at last
from the top of his shoulder gazed longingly
into the attractive opening.
No friendly hand, however, was held up to the
chin for him to stand upon, and it was some dis-
tance from the shoulder. He stood and looked
earnestly, while all the room full-except the
gentleman himself were watching him.
At last the poor little fellow grew desperate,
and when a hearty laugh opened wider than
usual the tantalizing candy-box, as he thought
it, he took one flying leap, landed somewhere
(it was done so quickly that no one could say
where), and head and shoulders disappeared
within the tempting cavity.
There was a cry of horror from the spectators,
who had not imagined that he would go so far,
a yell of dismay from the victim, a jerk of the
tail from his master, and the poor little beastie