Front Cover
 Title Page
 Front Matter
 Table of Contents
 Lobo, the king of Currumpaw
 Silverspot, the story of a...
 Raggylug, the story of a cottontail...
 Bingo, the story of my dog
 The Springfield fox
 The pacing mustang
 Wully, the story of a yaller...
 Redruff, the story of the Don Valley...
 Back Cover

Group Title: Wild animals I have known, and 200 drawings : being the personal histories of Lobo, Silverspot, Raggylug, Bingo, the Springfield fox, the pacing mustang, Wully, and Redruff
Title: Wild animals I have known, and 200 drawings
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00086562/00001
 Material Information
Title: Wild animals I have known, and 200 drawings being the personal histories of Lobo, Silverspot, Raggylug, Bingo, the Springfield fox, the pacing mustang, Wully, and Redruff
Physical Description: 358 p. : ill. ; 21 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Seton, Ernest Thompson, 1860-1946
Seton, Ernest Thompson, 1860-1946 ( Illustrator )
Nutt, David ( Publisher )
Manhattan Press ( Printer )
Publisher: David Nutt
Place of Publication: London
Manufacturer: Manhattan Press
Publication Date: 1900
Subject: Animals -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Animals -- Juvenile fiction -- Anecdotes   ( lcsh )
Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Juvenile literature -- 1900   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1900
Genre: Juvenile literature   ( rbgenr )
fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
United States -- New York -- New York
Statement of Responsibility: by Ernest Seton Thompson.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00086562
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 001562431
oclc - 22699138
notis - AHH6153

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 1
        Page 1a
    Title Page
        Page 2
        Page 3
    Front Matter
        Page 4
    Table of Contents
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
    Lobo, the king of Currumpaw
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
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        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
    Silverspot, the story of a crow
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
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        Page 85
        Page 86
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        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
    Raggylug, the story of a cottontail rabbit
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
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        Page 139
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        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
    Bingo, the story of my dog
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
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        Page 183
        Page 184
    The Springfield fox
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 191
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        Page 220
        Page 221
        Page 222
        Page 223
        Page 224
        Page 225
        Page 226
    The pacing mustang
        Page 227
        Page 228
        Page 229
        Page 230
        Page 231
        Page 232
        Page 233
        Page 234
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        Page 269
        Page 270
        Page 271
        Page 272
    Wully, the story of a yaller dog
        Page 273
        Page 274
        Page 275
        Page 276
        Page 277
        Page 278
        Page 279
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        Page 300
        Page 301
        Page 302
        Page 303
        Page 304
    Redruff, the story of the Don Valley partridge
        Page 305
        Page 306
        Page 307
        Page 308
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    Back Cover
        Page 364
        Page 365
        Page 366
Full Text

Wild .Animsmais.KnowN




BBeinthSlErsonia Historis of
The Springfidd Fo)
The Pacing Mustang
and R edruff


Copyright, 1898, by
Grnest Seton Chompson
for the United States of Hmeriea

printed by Manhattan press, New Torh, U. 9. H.

This BoOK
is Dedicated

To Jim

- ~- ~

A List of the Stories in this Book

And their Full-page Drawings
Lobo, the King of Currumpaw . 15
Lobo showing the pack how to kill
beef . 23
Tannerey, with his dogs, came gallop-
ing up the canon . .. 27
Lobo exposing the traps .. 38
Lobo and Blanca . .. 42
Lobo Rex Currumpsa . .. 55

Silvespot, the Story of a Crow 57
Silverspot . 61
The handle of a china-cup, the gem of
the collection . .. 73
Roost in a row, like big folks 78
The track of the murderer 85
The death of Silverspot 89

A List of the Stories in this Book

Raggylug, the Story of a Cottontail
Rabbit. 9I
"Mammy, mammy! he screamed, in
mortal terror . .. 97
Rag followed the snow-white beacon 118
The hound came sniffing along the
log . 126
No chance to turn now . 139

Bingo, the Story of jvy Dog 145
Frank retreated each time the wolf
turned 149
Bingo and the she-wolf .. 167
Bingo watched while Curley feasted 172
Tail-piece 183

Cbe Springfield fox . .. 185
They tussled and fought, while their
mother looked on with fond de-
light . 196
Vix shows the cubs how to catch mice 202
There she had lain, and mourned 218
Vix 22r

A List of the Stories in this Book

The pacing Mustang . .. 227
Away went the mustang at his famous
pace . 261

Mutty, the Story of a Tatter Dog .273
The three maroons . 277
Once more a sheep-dog in charge of
a flock ........ 287
Wully studied her calm face .299

Redruff, the Story of the Don Vattey
partridge . . 305
In the moonlight . .. 321
Redruff saving Runtie .. 340
The owl . . 356

The thought. (Tail-piece) .. 359

Note to the Reader

THESE STORIES are true. Although I
have left the strict line of historical truth in
many places, the animals in this book were all
real characters. They lived the lives I have
depicted, and showed the stamp of heroism and
personality more strongly by far than it has been
in the power of my pen to tell.
I believe that natural history has lost much
by the vague general treatment that is so com-
mon. What satisfaction would be derived from
a ten-page sketch of the habits and customs of
Man ? How much more profitable it would be
to devote that space to the life of some one
great man. This is the principle I have en-
deavored to apply to my animals. The real
personality of the individual, and his view of
life are my theme, rather than the ways of the

Note to the Reader

race in general, as viewed by a casual and hos-
tile human eye.
This may sound inconsistent in view of my
having pieced together some of the characters,
but that was made necessary by the fragmentary
nature of the records. There is, however, al-
most no deviation from the truth in Lobo, Bin-
go, and the Mustang.
Lobo lived, his wild romantic life from 1889
to 1894 in the Currumpaw region, as the ranch-
men know too well, and died, precisely as re-
lated, on January 31, 1894.
Bingo was my dog from 1882 to 1888, in
spite of interruptions, caused by lengthy visits
to New York, as my Manitoban friends will re-
member. And my old friend, the owner of
Tan, will learn from these pages how his dog
really died.
The Mustang lived not far from Lobo in the
early nineties. The story is given strictly as it
occurred, excepting that there is a dispute as to
the manner of his death. According to some
testimony he broke his neck in the corral that

Note to the Reader

he was first taken to. Old Turkeytrack is where
he cannot be consulted to settle it.
Wully is, in a sense, a compound of two dogs;
both were mongrels, of some collie blood, and
were raised as sheep-dogs. The first part of
Wully is given as it happened, after that it was
known only that he became a savage, treacher-
ous sheep-killer. The details of the second part
belong really to another, a similar yaller dog,
who long lived the double life-a faithful sheep-
dog by day, and a bloodthirsty, treacherous
monster by night. Such things are less rare
than is supposed, and since writing these stories
I have heard of another double-lived sheep-dog
that added to its night amusements the crown-
ing barbarity of murdering the smaller dogs of
the neighborhood. He had killed twenty, and
hidden them in a sand-pit, when discovered by
his master. He died just as Wully did.
All told, I now have information of six of
these Jekyl-Hyde dogs. In each case it hap-
pened to be a collie.
Redruff really lived in the Don Valley north

Note to the Reader

of Toronto, and many of my companions will
remember him. He was killed in 1889, be-
tween the Sugar Loaf and Castle Frank, by a
creature whose name I have withheld, as it is
the species, rather than the individual, that I
wish to expose.
Silverspot, Raggylug, and Vixen are founded
on real characters. Though I have ascribed to
them the adventures of more than one of their
kind, every incident in their biographies is from
The fact that these stories are true is the rea-
son why all are tragic. The life of a wild ani-
mal always has a tragic end.
Such a collection of histories naturally sug-
gests a common thought-a moral it would have
been called in the last century. No doubt each
different mind will find a moral to its taste, but
I hope some will herein find emphasized a
moral as old as Scripture-we and the beasts
are kin. Man has nothing that the animals
have not at least a vestige of, the animals have
nothing that man does not in some degree share.

Note to the Reader

Since, then, the animals are creatures with
wants and feelings differing in degree only from
our own, they surely have their rights. This
fact, now beginning to be recognized by the
Caucasian world, was first proclaimed by Moses
and was emphasized by the Buddhist over 2,000
years ago.

THIS BOOK was made by my wife, Grace
Gallatin Seton Thompson. Although the
handiwork throughout is my own, she chiefly
is responsible for designs of cover, title page,
and general make-up. Thanks are due her also
for the literary revision, and for the mechanical
labor of seeing the book through the press.

rest Seton-Cbompson.



The King of


The King of Currumpaw


URRUMPAW is a vast cattle range in
Northern New Mexico. It is a land
of rich pastures and teeming flocks
and herds, a land of rolling mesas and
precious running waters that at length
unite in the Currumpaw River, from
which the whole region is named.
And the king whose despotic power was felt
over its entire extent was an old gray wolf.
Old Lobo, or the king, as the Mexicans called
him, was the gigantic leader of a remarkable
pack of gray wolves, that had ravaged the Cur-
rumpaw Valley for a number of years. All the
shepherds and ranchmen knew him well, and,


wherever he appeared with his trusty band, ter-
ror reigned supreme among the cattle, and wrath
and despair among their owners. Old Lobo
was a giant among wolves, and was cunning and
strong in proportion to his size. His voice at
night was well-known and easily distinguished
from that of any of his fellows. An ordi-
nary wolf might howl half the night about the
herdsman's bivouac without attracting more
than a passing notice, but when the deep roar
of the old king came booming down the cation,
the watcher bestirred himself and prepared to
learn in the morning that fresh and serious in-
roads had been made among the herds.
Old Lobo's band was but a small one. This
I never quite understood, for usually, when a
wolf rises to the position and power that he had,
he attracts a numerous following. It may be
that he had as many as he desired, or perhaps
his ferocious temper prevented the increase of
his pack. Certain is it that Lobo had only five
followers during the latter part of his reign.
Each of these, however, was a wolf of renown,
most of them were above the ordinary size, one
in particular, the second in command, was a


veritable giant, but even he was far below the
leader in size and prowess. Several of the band,
besides the two leaders, were especially noted.
One of those was a beautiful white wolf, that
the Mexicans called Blanca; this was supposed
to be a female, possibly Lobo's mate. Another
was a yellow wolf of remarkable swiftness, which,
according to current stories had, on several oc-
casions, captured an antelope for the pack.
It will be seen, then, that these wolves were
thoroughly well-known to the cowboys and
shepherds. They were frequently seen and
oftener heard, and their lives were intimately
associated with those of the cattlemen, who
would so gladly have destroyed them. There
was not a stockman on the Currumpaw who
would not readily have given the value of
many steers for the scalp of any one of Lobo's
band, but they seemed to possess charmed lives,
and defied all manner of devices to kill them.
They scorned all hunters, derided all poisons,
and continued, for at least five years, to exact
their tribute from the Currumpaw ranchers to
the extent, many said, of a cow each day. Ac-
cording to this estimate, therefore, the band had


killed more than two thousand of the finest
stock, for, as was only too well-known, they
selected the best in every instance.
The old idea that a wolf was constantly in a
starving state, and therefore ready to eat any-
thing, was as far as possible from the truth in
this case, for these freebooters were always
sleek and well-conditioned, and were in fact
most fastidious about what they ate. Any ani-
mal that had died from natural causes, or that
was diseased or tainted, they would not touch,
and they even rejected anything that had been
killed by the stockmen. Their choice and
daily food was the tenderer part of a freshly
killed yearling heifer. An old bull or cow
they disdained, and though they occasionally
took a young calf or colt, it was quite clear
that veal or horseflesh was not their favorite
diet. It was also known that they were not
fond of mutton, although they often amused
themselves by killing sheep. One night in
November, 1893, Blanca and the yellow wolf
killed two hundred and fifty sheep, apparently
for the fun of it, and did not eat an ounce of
their flesh.


These are examples of many stories which
I might repeat, to show the ravages of this
destructive band. Many new devices for their
extinction were tried each year, but still they
lived and throve in spite of all the efforts of
their foes. A great price was set on Lobo's
head, and in consequence poison in a score of
subtle forms was put out for him, but he never
failed to detect and avoid it. One thing only
he feared-that was firearms, and knowing full
well that all men in this region carried them,
he never was known to attack or face a human
being. Indeed, the set policy of his band was
to take refuge in flight whenever, in the day-
time, a man was described, no matter at what
distance. Lobo's habit of permitting the pack
to eat only that which they themselves had
killed, was in numerous cases their salvation,
and the keenness of his scent to detect the taint
of human hands or the poison itself, completed
their immunity.
On one occasion, one of the cowboys heard
the too familiar rallying-cry of Old Lobo, and
stealthily approaching, he found the Currum-
paw pack in a hollow, where they had round-


ed up' a small herd of cattle. Lobo sat apart
on a knoll, while Blanca with the rest was en-
deavoring to 'cut out' a young cow, which
they had selected; but the cattle were standing
in a compact mass with their heads outward,
and presented to the foe a line of horns, un-
broken save when some cow, frightened by a
fresh onset of the wolves, tried to retreat into
the middle of the herd. It was only by taking
advantage of these breaks that the wolves had
succeeded at all in wounding the selected cow,
but she was far from being disabled, and it
seemed that Lobo at length lost patience with
his followers, for he left his position on the hill,
and, uttering a deep roar, dashed toward the herd.
The terrified rank broke at his charge, and he
sprang in among them. Then the cattle scattered
like the pieces of a bursting bomb. Away went
the chosen victim, but ere she had gone twenty-
five yards Lobo was upon her. Seizing her by
the neck he suddenly held back with all his
force and so threw her heavily to the ground.
The shock must have been tremendous, for the
heifer was thrown heels over head. Lobo also
turned a somersault, but immediately recovered


;,. .

~~ ..

Loo hoin te ac hw o il bef


himself, and his followers falling on the poor
cow, killed her in a few seconds. Lobo took
no part in the killing-after having thrown the
victim, he seemed to say, Now, why could
not some of you have done that at once with-
out wasting so much time ?"
The man now rode up shouting, the wolves
as usual retired, and he, having a bottle of
strychnine, quickly poisoned the carcass in
three places, then went away, knowing they
would return to feed, as they had killed the
animal themselves. But next morning, on go-
ing to look for his expected victims, he found
that, although the wolves had eaten the heifer,
they had carefully cut out and thrown aside all
those parts that had been poisoned.
The dread of this great wolf spread yearly
among the ranchmen, and each year a larger
price was set on his head, until at last it reached
$1,ooo, an unparalleled wolf-bounty, surely;
many a good man has been hunted down for
less. Tempted by the promised reward, a
Texan ranger named Tannerey came one day
galloping up the canon of the Currumpaw. He
had a superb outfit for wolf-hunting-the best


of guns and horses, and a pack of enormous
wolf-hounds. Far out on the plains of the
Pan-handle, he and his dogs had killed many
a wolf, and now he never doubted that, within
a few days, old Lobo's scalp would dangle at
his saddle-bow.
Away they went bravely on their hunt in the
gray dawn of a summer morning, and soon the
great dogs gave joyous tongue to say that they
were already on the track of their quarry.
Within two miles, the grizzly band of Cur-
rumpaw leaped into view, and the chase grew
fast and furious. The part of the wolf-hounds
was merely to hold the wolves at bay till the
hunter could ride up and shoot them, and this
usually was easy on the open plains of Texas ;
but here a new feature of the country came into
play, and showed how well Lobo had chosen
his range; for the rocky cautions of the Currum-
paw and its tributaries intersect the prairies in
every direction. The old wolf at once made
for the nearest of these and by crossing it
got rid of the horsemen. His band then scat-
tered and thereby scattered the dogs, and when
they reunited at a distant point of course all of

Tannerey, with his dogs, came galloping up the canon.


the dogs did not turn up, and the wolves no
longer outnumbered, turned on their pursuers
and killed or desperately wounded them all.
That night when Tannerey mustered his dogs,
only six of them returned, and of these, two
were terribly lacerated. This hunter made
two other attempts to capture the royal scalp,
but neither of them was more successful than
the first, and on the last occasion his best
horse met its death by a fall; so he gave up
the chase in disgust and went back to Texas,
leaving Lobo more than ever the despot of the
Next year, two other hunters appeared, de-
termined to win the promised bounty. Each
believed he could destroy this noted wolf, the
first by means of a newly devised poison, which
was to be laid out in an entirely new manner;
the other a French Canadian, by poison as-
sisted with certain spells and charms, for he
firmly believed that Lobo was a veritable
'loup-garou,' and could not be killed by or-
dinary means. But cunningly compounded
poisons, charms, and incantations were all of
no avail against this grizzly devastator, He


made his weekly rounds and daily banquets as
aforetime, and before many weeks had passed,
Calone and Laloche gave up in despair and
went elsewhere to hunt.
In the spring of 1893, after his unsuccessful
attempt to capture Lobo, Joe Calone had a
humiliating experience, which seems to show
that the big wolf simply scorned his enemies,
and had absolute confidence in himself. Ca-
lone's farm was on a small tributary of the
Currumpaw, in a picturesque cation, and among
the rocks of this very cation, within a thousand
yards of the house, old Lobo and his mate se-
lected their den and raised their family that
season. There they lived all summer, and
killed Joe's cattle, sheep, and dogs, but laughed
at all his poisons and traps, and rested securely
among the recesses of the cavernous cliffs, while
Joe vainly racked his brain for some method of
smoking them out, or of reaching them with
dynamite. But they escaped entirely unscathed,
and continued their ravages as before. "There's
where he lived all last summer," said Joe,
pointing to the face of the cliff, "and I couldn't
do a thing with him. I was like a fool to him."



THIS history, gathered so far from the cow-
boys, I found hard to believe until in the fall
of 1893, I made the acquaintance of the wily
marauder, and at length came to know him
more thoroughly than anyone else. Some
years before, in the Bingo days, I had been
a wolf-hunter, but my occupations since then
had been of another sort, chaining me to stool
and desk. I was much in need of a change,
and when a friend, who was also a ranch-owner
on the Currumpaw, asked me to come to New
Mexico and try if I could do anything with
this predatory pack, I accepted the invitation
and, eager to make the acquaintance of its
king, was as soon as possible among the mesas
of that region. I spent some time riding about
to learn the country, and at intervals, my guide
would point to the skeleton of a cow to which
the hide still adhered, and remark, "That's
some of his work."
It became quite clear to me that, in this
rough country, it was useless to think of pur-


suing Lobo with hounds and horses, so that
poison or traps were the only available expe-
dients. At present we had no traps large
enough, so I set to work with poison.
I need not enter into the details of a hun-
dred devices that I employed to circumvent
This loup-garou' ; there was no combination
of strychnine, arsenic, cyanide, or prussic acid,
that I did not essay; there was no manner of
flesh that I did not try as bait; but morning
after morning, as I rode forth to learn the result,
I found that all my efforts had been useless.
The old king was too cunning for me. A
single instance will show his wonderful sagacity.
Acting on the hint of an old trapper, I melted
some cheese together with the kidney fat of a
freshly killed heifer, stewing it in a china dish,
and cutting it with a bone knife to avoid the
taint of metal. When the mixture was cool, I
cut it into lumps, and making a hole in one
side of each lump, I inserted a large dose of
strychnine and cyanide, contained in a capsule
that was impermeable by any odor; finally I
sealed the holes up with pieces of the cheese
itself. During the whole process, I wore a


pair of gloves steeped in the hot blood of the
heifer, and even avoided breathing on the
baits. When all was ready, I put them in a
raw-hide bag rubbed all over with blood, and
rode forth dragging the liver and kidneys of
the beef at the end of a rope. With this I
made a ten-mile circuit, dropping a bait at
each quarter of a mile, and taking the utmost
care, always, not to touch any with my hands.
Lobo, generally, came into this part of the
range in the early part of each week, and
passed the latter part, it was supposed, around
the base of Sierra Grande. This was Monday,
and that same evening, as we were about to
retire, I heard the deep bass howl of his ma-
jesty. On hearing it one of the boys briefly re-
marked, There he is, we'll see."
The next morning I went forth, eager to
know the result. I soon came on the fresh
trail of the robbers, with Lobo in the lead-his
track was always easily distinguished. An or-
dinary wolf's forefoot is 4Y inches long, that
of a large wolf 4Y4 inches, but Lobo's, as
measured a number of times, was 5 inches
from claw to heel; I afterward found that his

rT 3


other proportions were commensurate, for he
stood three feet high at the shoulder, and
weighed 150 pounds. His trail, therefore,
though obscured by those of his followers, was
never difficult to trace. The pack had soon
found the track of my drag, and as usual fol-
lowed it. I could see that Lobo had come to
the first bait, sniffed about it, and finally had
picked it up.
Then I could not conceal my delight. "I've
got him at last," I exclaimed; "I shall find
him stark within a mile," and I galloped on
with eager eyes fixed on the great broad track
in the dust. It led me to the second bait and
that also was gone. How I exulted-I surely
have him now and perhaps several of his band.
But there was the broad paw-mark still on the
drag; and though I stood in the stirrup and
scanned the plain I saw nothing that looked
like a dead wolf. Again I followed-to find
now that the third bait was gone-and the
king-wolf's track led on to the fourth, there to
learn that he had not really taken a bait at all,
but had merely carried them in his mouth.
Then having piled the three on the fourth, he



scattered filth over them to express his utter
contempt for my devices. After this he left
my drag and went about his business with the
pack he guarded so effectively.
This is only one of many similar experiences
which convinced me that poison would never
avail to destroy this robber, and though I con-
tinued to use it while awaiting the arrival of
the traps, it was only because it was meanwhile
a sure means of killing many prairie wolves and
other destructive vermin.
About this time there came under my obser-
vation an incident that will illustrate Lobo's
diabolic cunning. These wolves had at least
one pursuit which was merely an amusement, it
was stampeding and killing sheep, though they
rarely ate them. The sheep are usually kept in
flocks of from one thousand to three thousand
under one or more shepherds. At night they
are gathered in the most sheltered place avail-
able, and a herdsman sleeps on each side of the
flock to give additional protection. Sheep are
such senseless creatures that they are liable to
be stampeded by the veriest trifle, but they
have deeply ingrained in their nature one, and


perhaps only one, strong weakness, namely, to
follow their leader. And this the shepherds
turn to good account by putting half a dozen
goats in the flock of sheep. The latter recog-
nize the superior intelligence of their bearded
cousins, and when a night alarm occurs they
crowd around them, and usually are thus saved
from a stampede and are easily protected. But it
was not always so. One night late in last No-
vember, two Perico shepherds were aroused by
an onset of wolves. Their flocks huddled
around the goats, which being neither fools
nor cowards, stood their ground and were
bravely defiant; but alas for them, no common
wolf was heading this attack. Old Lobo, the
weir-wolf, knew as well as the shepherds that
the goats were the moral force of the flock, so
hastily running over the backs of the densely
packed sheep, he fell on these leaders, slew
them all in a few minutes, and soon had the
luckless sheep stampeding in a thousand differ-
ent directions. For weeks afterward I was al-
most daily accosted by some anxious shepherd,
who asked, Have you seen any stray OTO
sheep lately ? and usually I was obliged to



,I.- I

Lobo expousillg tile raps.

~- --


say I had; one day it was, "Yes, I came on
some five or six carcasses by Diamond Springs;"
or another, it was to the effect that I had seen
a small bunch' running on the Malpai Mesa;
or again, "No, but Juan Meira saw about
twenty, freshly killed, on the Cedra Monte
two days ago."
At length the wolf traps arrived, and with
two m n I worked a whole week to get them
properly set out. We spared no labor or pains,
I adopted every device I could think of that
might help to insure success. The second day
after the traps arrived, I rode around to inspect,
and soon came upon Lobo's trail running from
trap to trap. In the dust I could read the
whole story of his doings that night. He had
trotted along in the darkness, and although the
traps were so carefully concealed, he had in-
stantly detected the first one. Stopping the
onward march of the pack, he had cautiously
scratched around it until he had disclosed the
trap, the chain, and the log, then left them
wholly exposed to view with the trap still un-
sprung, and passing on he treated over a dozen
traps in the same fashion. Very soon I noticed


that he stopped and turned aside as soon as
he detected suspicious signs on the trail and a
new plan to outwit him at once suggested itself.
I set the traps in the form of an H; that is,
with a row of traps on each side of the trail,
and one on the trail for the cross-bar of the H.
Before long, I had an opportunity to count an-
other failure. Lobo came trotting along the trail,
and was fairly between the parallel lines be-
fore he detected the single trap in the trail, but
he stopped in time, and why or how he knew
enough I cannot tell, the Angel of the wild
things must have been with him, but without
turning an inch to the right or left, he slowly
and cautiously backed on his own tracks, put-
ting each paw exactly in its old track until he
was off the dangerous ground. Then returning
at one side he scratched clods and stones with
his hind feet till he had sprung every trap. This
he did on many other occasions, and although
I varied my methods and redoubled my precau-
tions, he was never deceived, his sagacity seemed
never at fault, and he might have been pursuing
his career of rapine to-day, but for an unfortu-
nate alliance that proved his ruin and added
his name to the long list of heroes who, unassail-


Lobo and Blanca.


able when alone, have fallen through the indis-
cretion of a trusted ally.


Once or twice, I had found indications that
everything was not quite right in the Currum-
paw pack. There were signs of irregularity, I
thought; for instance there was clearly the trail
of a smaller wolf running ahead of the leader,
at times, and this I could not understand until
a cowboy made a remark which explained the
"I saw them to-day, he said, "and the
wild one that breaks away is Blanca." Then
the truth dawned upon me, and I added, "Now,
I know that Blanca is a she-wolf, because were
a he-wolf to act thus, Lobo would kill him at
This suggested a new plan. I killed a heifer,
and set one or two rather obvious traps about
the carcass. Then cutting off the head, which
is considered useless offal, and quite beneath
the notice of a wolf, I set it a little apart and
around it placed six powerful steel traps proper-


if i


ly deodorized and concealed with the utmost
care. During my operations I kept my hands,
boots, and implements smeared with fresh blood,
and afterward sprinkled the ground with the
same, as though it had flowed from the head;
and when the traps were buried in the dust I
brushed the place over with the skin of a coyote,
and with a foot of the same animal made a
number of tracks over the traps. The head
was so placed that there was a narrow passage
between it and some tussocks, and in this pas-
sage I buried two of my best traps, fastening
them to the head itself.
Wolves have a habit of approaching every
carcass they get the wind of, in order to ex-
amine it, even when they have no intention of
eating of it, and I hoped that this habit would
bring the Currumpaw pack within reach of my
latest stratagem. I did not doubt that Lobo
would detect my handiwork about the meat,
and prevent the pack approaching it, but I did
build some hopes on the head, for it looked as
though it had been thrown aside as useless.
Next morning, I sallied forth to inspect the
traps, and there, oh, joy I were the tracks of


the pack, and the place where the beef-head
and its traps had been was empty. A hasty
study of the trail showed that Lobo had kept
the pack from approaching the meat, but one,
a small wolf, had evidently gone on to examine
the head as it lay apart and had walked right
into one of the traps.
We set out on the trail, and within a mile
discovered that the hapless wolf was Blanca.
Away she went, however, at a gallop, and al-
though encumbered by the beef-head, which
weighed over fifty pounds, she speedily dis-
tanced my companion who was on foot. But
we overtook her when she reached the rocks,
for the horns of the cow's head became caught
and held her fast. She was the handsomest
wolf I had ever seen. Her coat was in perfect
condition and nearly white.
She turned to fight, and raising her voice
in the rallying cry of her race, sent a long
howl rolling over the cation. From far away
upon the mesa came a deep response, the cry
of Old Lobo. That was her last call, for now
we had closed in on her, and all her energy and
breath were devoted to combat.







o .o


Then followed the inevitable tragedy, the
idea of which I shrank from afterward more
than at the time. We each threw a lasso over
the neck of the doomed wolf, and strained our
horses in opposite directions until the blood
burst from her mouth, her eyes glazed, her
limbs stiffened and then fell limp. Homeward
then we rode, carrying the dead wolf, and ex-
ulting over this, the first death-blow we had
been able to inflict on the Currumpaw pack.
At intervals during the tragedy, and afterward
as we rode homeward, we heard the roar of
Lobo as he wandered about on the distant
mesas, where he seemed to be searching for
Blanca. He had never really deserted her, but
knowing that he could not save her, his deep-
rooted dread of firearms had been too much for
him when he saw us approaching. All that day
we heard him wailing as he roamed in his quest,
and I remarked at length to one of the boys,
" Now, indeed, I truly know that Blanca was
his mate."
As evening fell he seemed to be coming tow-
ard the home cation, for his voice sounded con-
tinually nearer. There was an unmistakable


note of sorrow in it now. It was no longer the
loud, defiant howl, but a long, plaintive wail;
" Blanca Blanca! he seemed to call. And
as night came down, I noticed that he was not
far from the place where we had overtaken her.
At length he seemed to find the trail, and when
he came to the spot where we had killed her,
his heart-broken wailing was piteous to hear.
It was sadder than I could possibly have be-
lieved. Even the stolid cowboys noticed it,
and said they had never heard a wolf carry
on like that before." He seemed to know ex-
actly what had taken place, for her blood had
stained the place of her death.
Then he took up the trail of the horses and
followed it to the ranch-house. Whether in
hopes of finding her there, or in quest of re-
venge, I know not, but the latter was what he
found, for he surprised our unfortunate watch-
dog outside and tore him to little bits within fifty
yards of the door. He evidently came alone
this time, for I found but one trail next morn-
ing, and he had galloped about in a reckless
manner that was very unusual with him. I had
half expected this, and had set a number of ad-



ditional traps about the pasture. Afterward I
found that he had indeed fallen into one of
these, but such was his strength, he had torn
himself loose and cast it aside.
I believed that he would continue in the
neighborhood until he found her body at least,
so I concentrated all my energies on this one
enterprise of catching him before he left the
region, and while yet in this reckless mood.
Then I realized what a mistake I had made in
killing Blanca, for by using her as a decoy I
might have secured him the next night.
I gathered in all the traps I could command,
one hundred and thirty strong steel wolf-traps,
and set them in fours in every trail that led into
the cation; each trap was separately fastened to
a log, and each log was separately buried. In
burying them, I carefully removed the sod and
every particle of earth that was lifted we put
in blankets, so that after the sod was replaced
and all was finished the eye could detect no trace
of human handiwork. When the traps were
concealed I trailed the body of poor Blanca
over each place, and made of it a drag that
circled all about the ranch, and finally I took

:rN i


off one of her paws and made with it a line of
tracks over each trap. Every precaution and
device known to me I used, and retired at a late
hour to await the result.
Once during the night I thought I heard Old
Lobo, but was not sure of it. Next day I rode
around, but darkness came on before I completed
the circuit of the north cation, and I had noth-
ing to report. At supper one of the cowboys
said, There was a great row among the cattle
in the north cation this morning, maybe there
is something in the traps there." It was after-
noon of the next day before I got to the place re-
ferred to, and as I drew near a great grizzly form
arose from the ground, vainly endeavoring to
escape, and there revealed before me stood Lobo,
King of the Currumpaw, firmly held in the
traps. Poor old hero, he had never ceased to
search for his darling, and when he found the
trail her body had made he followed it reckless-
ly, and so fell into the snare prepared for him.
There he lay in the iron grasp of all four traps,
perfectly helpless, and all around him were nu-
merous tracks showing how the cattle had gath-
ered about him to insult the fallen despot, without


daring to approach within his reach. For two
days and two nights he had lain there, and now
was worn out with struggling. Yet, when I went
near him, he rose up with bristling mane and
raised his voice, and for the last time made the
cation reverberate with his deep bass roar, a call
for help, the muster call of his band. But there
was none to answer him, and, left alone in his
extremity, he whirled about with all his strength
and made a desperate effort to get at me. All
in vain, each trap was a dead drag of over three
hundred pounds, and in their relentless fourfold
grasp, with great steel jaws on every foot, and the
heavy logs and chains all entangled together,
he was absolutely powerless. How his huge
ivory tusks did grind on those cruel chains, and
when I ventured to touch him with my rifle-
barrel he left grooves on it which are there to
this day. His eyes glared green with hate and
fury, and his jaws snapped with a hollow
' chop,' as he vainly endeavored to reach me
and my trembling horse. But he was worn
out with hunger and struggling and loss of
blood, and he soon sank exhausted to the


Something like compunction came over me,
as I prepared to deal out to him that which so
many had suffered at his hands.
Grand old outlaw, hero of a thousand law-
less raids, in a few minutes you will be but a
great load of carrion. It cannot be otherwise."
Then I swung my lasso and sent it whistling
over his head. But not so fast; he was yet far
from being subdued, and, before the supple
coils had fallen on his neck he seized the noose
and, with one fierce chop, cut through its hard
thick strands, and dropped it in two pieces at
his feet.
Of course I had my rifle as a last resource, but
I did not wish to spoil his royal hide, so I gal-
loped back to the camp and returned with a
cowboy and a fresh lasso. We threw to our
victim a stick of wood which he seized in his
teeth, and before he could relinquish it our
lassoes whistled through the air and tightened
on his neck.
Yet before the light had died from his fierce
eyes, I cried, "Stay, we will not kill him; let
us take him alive to the camp." He was so
completely powerless now that it was easy to


put a stout stick through his mouth, behind his
tusks, and then lash his jaws with a heavy cord
which was also fastened to the stick. The stick
kept the cord in, and the cord kept the stick
in so he was harmless. As soon as he felt his
jaws were tied he made no further resistance,
and uttered no sound, but looked calmly at us
and seemed to say, "Well, you have got me at
last, do as you please with me." And from that
time he took no more notice of us.
We tied his feet securely, but he never
groaned, nor growled, nor turned his head.
Then with our united strength were just able to
put him on my horse. His breath came evenly
as though sleeping, and his eyes were bright
and clear again, but did not rest on us. Afar
on the great rolling mesas they were fixed, his
passing kingdom, where his famous band was
now scattered. And he gazed till the pony
descended the pathway into the cation, and the
rocks cut off the view.
By travelling slowly we reached the ranch in
safety, and after securing him with a collar and
strong chain, we staked him out in the past-
ure and removed the cords. Then for the first


time I could examine him closely, and proved
how unreliable is vulgar report when a living
hero or tyrant is concerned. He had not a
collar of gold about his neck, nor was there on
his shoulders an inverted cross to denote that
he had league himself with Satan. But I did
find on one haunch a great broad scar, that
tradition says was the fang-mark of Juno, the
leader of Tannerey's wolf-hounds -a mark
which she gave him the moment before he
stretched her lifeless on the sand of the cafion.
I set meat and water beside him, but he paid
no heed. He lay calmly on his breast, and
gazed with those steadfast yellow eyes away
past me down through the gateway of the cation,
over the open plains-his plains-nor moved a
muscle when I touched him. When the sun
went down he was still gazing fixedly across the
prairie. I expected he would call up his band
when night came, and prepared for them, but
he had called once in his extremity, and none
had come; he would never call again.
A lion shorn of his strength, an eagle robbed
of his freedom, or a dove bereft of his mate, all
die, it is said, of a broken heart; and who will


aver that this grim bandit could bear the tnree-
fold brunt, heart-whole? This only I know,
that when the morning dawned, he was lying
there still in his position of calm repose, his
body unwounded, but his spirit was gone-the
old King-wolf was dead.
I took the chain from his neck, a cowboy
helped me to carry him to the shed where lay
the remains of Blanca, and as we laid him be-
side her, the cattle-man exclaimed: "There,
you would come to her, now you are together

S The Story of a Crow


The Story of a Crow


TOW many of us have ever got to
know a wild animal? I do not
mean merely to meet with one once
74j or twice, or to have one in a cage,
but to really know it for a long
time while it is wild, and to get an
insight into its life and history. The trouble
usually is to know one creature from his fellow.
One fox or crow is so much like another that
we cannot be sure that it really is the same
next time we meet. But once in awhile there
arises an animal who is stronger or wiser than
his fellow, who becomes a great leader, who is,
as we would say, a genius, and if he is bigger,


or has some mark by which men can know
him, he soon becomes famous in his country,
and shows us that the life of a wild animal may
be far more interesting and exciting than that
of many human beings.
Of this class were Courtant, the bob-tailed
wolf that terrorized the whole city of Paris for
about ten years in the beginning of the four-
teenth century ; Clubfoot, the lame grizzly bear
that left such a terrific record in the San Joaquin
Valley of California; Lobo, the king-wolf of
New Mexico, that killed a cow every day for
five years, and the Seonee panther that in less
than two years killed nearly three hundred
human beings-and such also was Silverspot,
whose history, so far as I could learn it, I shall
now briefly tell.
Silverspot was simply a wise old crow; his
name was given because of the silvery white
spot that was like a nickel, stuck on his right
side, between the eye and the bill, and it was
owing to this spot that I was able to know
him from the other crows, and put together
the parts of his history that came to my


-U C-J.

S-v s ---t




Crows are, as you must know, our most in-
telligent birds-' Wise as an old crow' did
not become a saying without good reason.
Crows know the value of organization, and are
as well drilled as soldiers-very much better
than some soldiers, in fact, for crows are al-
ways on duty, always at war, and always de-
pendent on each other for life and safety.
Their leaders not only are the oldest and wisest
of the band, but also the strongest and bravest,
for they must be ready at any time with sheer
force to put down an upstart or a rebel. The
rank and file are the youngsters and the crows
without special gifts.
Old Silverspot was the leader of a large band
of crows that made their headquarters near
Toronto, Canada, in Castle Frank, which is a
pine-clad hill on the northeast edge of the city.
This band numbered about two hundred, and
for reasons that I never understood did not in-
crease. In mild winters they stayed along the
Niagara River; in cold winters they went much
farther south. But each year in the last week
of February Old Silverspot would muster his
followers and boldly cross the forty miles of


open water that lies between Toronto and Ni-
agara ; not, however, in a straight line would
he go, but always in a curve to the west,
whereby he kept in sight of the familiar land-
mark of Dundas Mountain, until the pine-clad
hill itself came in view. Each year he came
with his troop, and for about six weeks took up
his abode on the hill. Each morning there-
after the crows set out in three bands to forage.
One band went southeast to Ashbridge's Bay.
One went north up the Don, and one, the
largest, went northwestward up the ravine. The
last Silverspot led in person. Who led the
others I never found out.
On calm mornings they flew high and straight
away. But when it was windy the band flew
low, and followed the ravine for shelter. My
windows overlooked the ravine, and it was thus
that in 1885 I first noticed this old crow. I
was a new-comer in the neighborhood, but an
old resident said to me then that there old
crow has been a-flying up and down this ravine
for more than twenty years." My chances to
watch were in the ravine, and Silverspot dog-
gedly clinging to the old route, though now it

-.age Y


was edged with houses and spanned by bridges,
became a very familiar acquaintance. Twice
each day in March and part of April, then again
in the late summer and the fall, he passed and
repassed, and gave me chances to see his move-
ments, and hear his orders to his bands, and
so, little by little, opened my eyes to the fact
that the crows, though a little people, are of
great wit, a race of birds with a language and
a social system that is wonderfully human in
many of its chief points, and in some is better
carried out than our own.
One windy day I stood on the high bridge
across the ravine, as the old crow, heading his
long, straggling troop, came flying down home-
ward. Half a mile away I could hear the con-
tented 'All's well, come right along!' as we
No. i.

Caw Caw

should say, or as he put it, and as also his lieu-
tenant echoed it at the rear of the band. They
were flying very low to be out of the wind, and


would have to rise a little to clear the bridge
on which I was. Silverspot saw me standing
there, and as I was closely watching him he
didn't like it. He checked his flight and called
out, Be on your guard,' or
No. 2.

and rose much higher in the air. Then seeing
that I was not armed he flew over my head
about twenty feet, and his followers in turn did
the same, dipping again to the old level when
past the bridge.
Next day I was at the same place, and as
the crows came near I raised my walking stick
and pointed it at them. The old fellow at once
cried out 'Danger,' and rose fifty feet higher
No. 3.

than before. Seeing that it was not a gun, he'
ventured to fly over. But on the third day I


took with me a gun, and at once he cried out,
'Great danger-a gun.' His lieutenant re-
No. 4.

cacacaca Caw
peated the cry, and every crow in the troop
began to tower and scatter from the rest, till
they were far above gun shot, and so passed
safely over, coming down again to the shelter
of the valley when well beyond reach. An-
other time, as the long, straggling troop came
down the valley, a red-tailed hawk alighted on
a tree close by their intended route. The
leader cried out, 'Hawk, hawk,' and stayed
No. 5.

Caw Caw
his flight, as did each crow on nearing him,
until all were massed in a solid body. Then,
no longer fearing the hawk, they passed on.
But a quarter of a mile farther on a man with
a gun appeared below, and the cry, Great


danger-a gun, a gun ; scatter for your lives,'
at once caused them to scatter widely and tower
No. 6.

cacacaca Caw
till far beyond range. Many others of his
words of command I learned in the course of
my long acquaintance, and found that sometimes
a very little difference in the sound makes a
very great difference in meaning. Thus while
No. 5 means hawk, or any large, dangerous
bird, this means 'wheel around,' evidently a
No. 7.

Caw Caw cacacaca
combination of No. 5, whose root idea is dan-
ger, and of No. 4, whose root idea is retreat, and
this again is a mere 'good day,' to a far away
No. 8.

Caw Caw


comrade. This is usually addressed to the
ranks and means attention.'
No. 9.

Early in April there began to be great
doings among the crows. Some new cause of
excitement seemed to have come on them.
They spent half the day among the pines, in-
stead of foraging from dawn till dark. Pairs
and trios might be seen chasing each other, and
from time to time they showed off in various
feats of flight. A favorite sport was to dart
down suddenly from a great height toward
some perching crow, and just before touching
it to turn at a hairbreadth and rebound in the air
so fast that the wings of the swooper whirred
with a sound like distant thunder. Sometimes
one crow would lower his head, raise every
feather, and coming close to another would gur-
gle out a long note like
No. 1o.

C -r-r -a -W



What did it all mean? I soon learned. They
were making love and pairing off. The males
were showing off their wing powers and their
voices to the lady crows. And they must have
been highly appreciated, for by the middle of
April all had mated and had scattered over the
country for their honeymoon, leaving the som-
bre old pines of Castle Frank deserted and


The Sugar Loaf hill stands alone in the Don
Valley. It is still covered with woods that join
with those of Castle Frank, a quarter of a mile
off. In the woods, between the two hills, is a
pine-tree in whose top is a deserted hawk's nest.
Every Toronto school-boy knows the nest, and,
excepting that I had once shot a black squirrel
on its edge, no one had ever seen a sign of life
about it. There it was year after year, ragged
and old, and falling to pieces. Yet, strange to
tell, in all that time it never did drop to pieces,
like other old nests.
One morning in May I was out at gray dawn,
and stealing gently through the woods, whose


dead leaves were so wet that no rustle was made.
I chanced to pass under the old nest, and was
surprised to see a black tail sticking over the
edge. I struck the tree a smart blow, off flew
a crow, and the secret was out. I had long
suspected that a pair of crows nested each year
about the pines, but now I realized that it was
Silverspot and his wife. The old nest was
theirs, and they were too wise to give it an air
of spring-cleaning and housekeeping each year.
Here they had nested for long, though guns in
the hands of men and boys hungry to shoot
crows were carried under their home every day.
I never surprised the old fellow again, though I
several times saw him through my telescope.
One day while watching I saw a crow crossing
the Don Valley with something white in his
beak. He flew to the mouth of the Rosedale
Brook, then took a short flight to the Beaver
Elm. There he dropped the white object, and
looking about gave me a chance to recognize
my old friend Silverspot. After a minute he
picked up the white thing-a shell-and walked
over past the spring, and here, among the docks
and the skunk-cabbages, he unearthed a pile of



shells and other white, shiny things. He spread
them out in the sun, turned them over, lifted
them one by one in his beak, dropped them,
nestled on them as though they were eggs, toyed
with them and gloated over them like a miser.
This was his hobby, his weakness. He could
not have explained why he enjoyed them, any
more than a boy can explain why he collects
postage-stamps, or a girl why she prefers pearls
to rubies; but his pleasure in them was very real,
and after half an hour he covered them all, in-
cluding the new one, with earth and leaves, and
flew off. I went at once to the spot and ex-
amined the hoard; there was about a hatful in
all, chiefly white pebbles, clam-shells, and some
bits of tin, but there was also the handle ofa
china cup, which must have been the gem ao
the collection. That was the last time I saw
them. Silverspot knew that I had found his
treasures, and he removed them at once; where
I never knew.
During the space that I watched him so
closely he had many little adventures and
escapes. He was once severely handled by a
sparrowhawk, and often he was chased and



The handle of a china-cup, the gem of the collection.


I -





worried by kingbirds. Not that these did him
much harm, but they were such noisy pests
that he avoided their company as quickly as
possible, just as a grown man avoids a conflict
with a noisy and impudent small boy. He
had some cruel tricks, too. He had a way
of going the round of the small birds' nests
each morning to eat the new laid eggs, as
regularly as a doctor visiting his patients. But
we must not judge him for that, as it is just
what we ourselves do to the hens in the barn-
His quickness of wit was often shown. One
fay I saw him flying down the ravine with a
large piece of bread in his bill. The stream
below him was at this time being bricked over
as a sewer. There was one part of two hundred
yards quite finished, and, as he flew over the
open water just above this, the bread fell from
his bill, and was swept by the current out of
sight into the tunnel. He flew down and
peered vainly into the dark cavern, then, act-
ing upon a happy thought, he flew to the down-
stream end of the tunnel, and awaiting the re-
appearance of the floating bread, as it was swept




onward by the current, he seized and bore it
off in triumph.
Silverspot was a crow of the world. He
was truly a successful crow. He lived in a
region that, though full of dangers, abounded
with food. In the old, unrepaired nest he
raised a brood each year with his wife, whom,
by the way, I never could distinguish, and
when the crows again gathered together he was
their acknowledged chief.
The reassembling takes place about the end
of June-the young crows with their bob-tails,
soft wings, and falsetto voices are brought by
their parents, whom they nearly equal in size,
and introduced to society at the old pine woods,
a woods that is at once their fortress and col-
lege. Here they find security in numbers and
in lofty yet sheltered perches, and here they
begin their schooling and are taught all the
secrets of success in crow life, and in crow life
the least failure does not simply mean begin
again. It means death.
The first week or two after their arrival is
spent by the young ones in getting acquainted,
for each crow must know personally all the


Roost in a row, like big folks.

C~1 :


others in the band. Their parents meanwhile
have time to rest a little after the work of rais-
ing them, for now the youngsters are able to
feed themselves and roost on a branch in a row,
just like big folks.
In a week or two the moulting season comes.
At this time the old crows are usually irritable
and nervous, but it does not stop them from be-
ginning to drill the youngsters, who, of course,
do not much enjoy the punishment and nagging
they get so soon after they have been mamma's
own darlings. But it is all for their good, as
the old lady said when she skinned the eels, and
old Silverspot is an excellent teacher. Some-
times he seems to make a speech to them.
What he says I cannot guess, but, judging by
the way they receive it, it must be extremely
witty. Each' morning there is a company
drill, for the young ones naturally drop into
two or three squads according to their age and
strength. The rest of the day they forage with
their parents.
When at length September comes we find a
great change. The rabble of silly little crows
have begun to learn sense. The delicate blue





iris of their eyes, the sign of a fool-crow, has
given place to the dark brown eye of the old
stager. They know their drill now and have
learned sentry duty. They have been taught
guns and traps and taken a special course in
wire-worms and greencorn. They know that
a fat old farmer's wife is much less dangerous,
though so much larger, than her fifteen-year-old
son, and they can tell the boy from his sister.
They know that an umbrella is not a gun, and
they can count up to six, which is fair for
young crows, though Silverspot can go up
nearly to thirty. They know the smell of gun-
powder and the south side of a hemlock-tree,
and begin to plume themselves upon being
crows of the world. They always fold their
wings three times after alighting, to be sure
that it is neatly done. They know how to
worry a fox into giving up half his dinner, and
also that when the kingbird or the purple mar-
tin assails them they must dash into a bush, for
it is as impossible to fight the little pests as it is
for the fat apple-woman to catch the small boys
who have raided her basket. All these things
do the young crows know; but they have taken



no lessons in egg-hunting yet, for it is not the
season. They are unacquainted with clams,
and have never tasted horses' eyes, or seen
sprouted corn, and they don't know a thing
about travel, the greatest educator of all. They
did not think of that two months ago, and
since then they have thought of it, but have
learned to wait till their betters are ready. r
September sees a great change in the old
crows, too. Their moulting is over. They
are now in full feather again and proud of their
handsome coats. Their health is again good,
and with it their tempers are improved. Even
old Silverspot, the strict teacher, becomes quite
jolly, and the youngsters, who have long ago
learned to respect him, begin really to love him.
He has hammered away at drill, teaching
them all the signals and words of command in
use, and now it is a pleasure to see them in the
early morning.
Company !' the old chieftain would cry
in crow, and Company i would answer with a
great clamor.
'Fly!' and himself leading them, they would
all fly straight forward.


Mountt' and straight upward they turned
in a moment.
Bunch and they all massed into a dense
black flock.
'Scatter and they spread out like leaves
before the wind.
Form line/' and they strung out into the
long line of ordinary flight.
Descend!' and they all dropped nearly to
the ground.
Forage!' and they alighted and scattered
about to feed, while two of the permanent sen-
tries mounted duty-one on a tree to the right,
the other on a mound to the far left. A minute
or two later Silverspot would cry out, 'A man
with a gun !' The sentries repeated the cry
and the company flew at once in open order as
quickly as possible toward the trees. Once be-
hind these, they formed line again in safety and
returned to the home pines.
Sentry duty is not taken in turn by all the
crows, but a certain number whose watchfulness
has been often proved are the perpetual sentries,
and are expected to watch and forage at the
same time. Rather hard on them it seems to


us, but it works well and the crow organization
is admitted by all birds to be the very best in
Finally, each November sees the troop sail
away southward to learn new modes of life, new
landmarks and new kinds of food, under the
guidance of the ever-wise Silverspot.


There is only one time when a crow is a fool,
and that is at night. There is only one bird
that terrifies the crow, and that is the owl.
When, therefore, these come together it is a
woful thing for the sable birds. The distant
hoot of an owl after dark is enough to make
them withdraw their heads from under their
wings, and sit trembling and miserable till
morning. In very cold weather the exposure
of their faces thus has often resulted in a crow
having one or both of his eyes frozen, so that
blindness followed and therefore death. There
are no hospitals for sick crows.


But with the morning their courage comes
again, and arousing themselves they ransack
the woods for a mile around till they find that
owl, and if they do not kill him they at least
worry him half to death and drive him twenty
miles away.
In 1893 the crows had come as usual to Cas-
tle Frank. I was walking in these woods a few
days afterward when I chanced upon the track
of a rabbit that had been running at full speed
over the snow and dodging about among the
trees as though pursued. Strange to tell, I
could see no track of the pursuer. I followed
the trail and presently saw a drop of blood on
the snow, and a little farther on found the part-
ly devoured remains of a little brown bunny.
What had killed him was a mystery until a care-
ful search showed in the snow a great double-
toed track and a beautifully pencilled brown
feather. Then all was clear-a horned owl.
Half an hour later, in passing again by the place,
there, in a tree, within ten feet of the bones of
his victim, was the fierce-eyed owl himself. The
murderer still hung about the scene of his crime.
For once circumstantial evidence had not lied.


y^'a~nr wI

The track of the murderer.

| /'

, .


At my approach he gave a guttural 'grrr-oo'
and flew off with low flagging flight to haunt
the distant sombre woods.
Two days afterward, at dawn, there was a great
uproar among the crows. I went out early to
see, and found some black feathers drifting over
the snow. I followed up the wind in the direc-
tion from which they came and soon saw the
bloody remains of a crow and the great double-
toed track which again told me that the mur-
derer was the owl. All around were signs of the
struggle, but the fell destroyer was too strong.
The poor crow had been dragged from his perch
at night, when the darkness had put him at a
hopeless disadvantage.
I turned over the remains, and by chance
unburied the head-then started with an ex-
clamation of sorrow. Alas! It was the head
of old Silverspot. His long life of usefulness
to his tribe was over-slain at last by the owl
that he had taught so many hundreds of young
crows to beware of.
The old nest on the Sugar Loaf is abandoned
now. The crows still come in spring-time to
Castle Frank, but without their famous leader


their numbers are dwindling, and soon they will
be seen no more about the old pine-grove in
which they and their forefathers had lived and
learned for ages.

The death of Silverspot.


The Story of a
Cottontail Rabbit


The Story of a Cottontail Rabbit

RAGGYLUG, or Rag, was the name of a young
cottontail rabbit. It was given him from his
torn and ragged ear, a life-mark that he got
in his first adventure. He lived with his mother
in Olifant's swamp, where I made their acquaint-
ance and gathered, in a hundred different ways,
the little bits of proof and scraps of truth that at
length enabled me to write this history.
Those who do not know the animals well
may think I have humanized them, but those
who have lived so near them as to know some-
what of their ways and their minds will not
think so.
Truly rabbits have no speech as we under-
stand it, but they have a way of conveying ideas
by a system of sounds, signs, scents, whisker-


touches, movements, and example that answers
the purpose of speech; and it must be remem-
bered that though in telling this story I free-
ly translate from rabbit into English, I repeat
nothing that they did not say.

The rank swamp grass bent over and con-
cealed the snug nest where Raggylug's mother
had hidden him. She had partly covered him
with some of the bedding, and, as always, her
last warning was to lay low and say nothing,
whatever happens.' Though tucked in bed,
he was wide awake and his bright eyes were


taking in that part of his little green world that
was straight above. A bluejay and a red-
squirrel, two notorious thieves, were loudly be-
rating each other for stealing, and at one time
Rag's home bush was the centre of their fight;
a yellow warbler caught a blue butterfly but six
inches from his nose, and a scarlet and black
ladybug, serenely waving her knobbed feelers,
took a long walk up one grassblade, down
another, and across the nest and over Rag's
face-and yet he never moved nor even winked.
After a while he heard a strange rustling of
the leaves in the near thicket. It was an odd,
continuous sound, and though it went this way
and that way and came ever nearer, there was
no patter of feet with it. Rag had lived his
whole life in the Swamp (he was three weeks
old) and yet had never heard anything like
this. Of course his curiosity was greatly
aroused. His mother had cautioned him to
lay low, but that was understood to be in case
of danger, and this strange sound without foot-
falls could not be anything to fear.
The low rasping went past close at hand,
then to the right, then back, and seemed going


away. Rag felt he knew what he was about;
he wasn't a baby; it was his duty to learn
what it was. He slowly raised his roly-poly
body on his short fluffy legs, lifted his little
round head above the covering of his nest and
peeped out into the woods. The sound had
ceased as soon as he moved. He saw nothing,
so took one step forward to a clear view, and
instantly found himself face to face with an
enormous Black Serpent.
Mammy," he screamed in mortal terror as
the monster darted at him. With all the strength
of his tiny limbs he tried to run. But in a
flash the Snake had him by one ear and whipped
around him with his coils to gloat over the
helpless little baby bunny he had secured for
Mam-my-Mam-my," gasped poor little
Raggylug as the cruel monster began slowly
choking him to death. Very soon the little
one's cry would have ceased, but bounding
through the woods straight as an arrow came
Mammy. No longer a shy, helpless little Molly
Cottontail, ready to fly from a shadow: the
mother's love was strong in her. The cry of

"Mammy, Mammy he screamed, in mortal terror.

;r ~ d

-t I



35 4 .1




her baby had filled her with the courage of a
hero, and-hop, she went over that horrible
reptile. Whack, she struck down at him with
her sharp hind claws as she passed, giving him
such a stinging blow that he squirmed with
pain and hissed with anger.
M-a-m-m-y," came feebly from the little
one. And Mammy came leaping again and
again and struck harder and fiercer until the
loathsome reptile let go the little one's ear
and tried to bite the old one as she leaped over.
But all he got was a mouthful of wool each
time, and Molly's fierce blows began to tell,
as long bloody rips were torn in the Black
Snake's scaly armor.
Things were now looking bad for the Snake;
and bracing himself for the next charge, he
lost his tight hold on Baby Bunny, who at
once wriggled out of the coils and away into
the underbrush, breathless and terribly fright-
ened, but unhurt save that his left ear was much
torn by the teeth of that dreadful Serpent.
Molly now had gained all she wanted. She
had no notion of fighting for glory or revenge.
Away she went into the woods and the little

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