An alphabet of animals


Material Information

An alphabet of animals
Physical Description:
1 v. (unpaged) : chiefly ill. ; 34 cm.
Moore-Park, Carton, b. 1877
Blackie & Son ( Publisher )
Blackie and Son, Ltd.
Place of Publication:
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Animals -- Pictorial works -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Natural history -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Picture books for children -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Initial teaching alphabet -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
English language -- Alphabet -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Alphabet books -- 1899   ( rbgenr )
Juvenile literature -- 1899   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1899
Alphabet books   ( rbgenr )
Juvenile literature   ( rbgenr )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
England -- London


Introduces the letter of the alphabet through illustrations and descriptions of a variety of animals from armadillo to zabras.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Carton Moore-Park.
General Note:
Title page engraved.
General Note:
Pictorial cover.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 002223477
notis - ALG3726
oclc - 12139790
System ID:

This item is only available as the following downloads:

Full Text

The Baldwin Library
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The ARMADILLO is like a knight of the olden days, clad
in mail from head to foot. But he is not exactly a fighter,
in fact he always prefers to run away. When he is caught,
he curls up into a ball like the hedgehog, and lies snug until
the enemy is tired of waiting. Then he unrolls himself
and digs for his dinner, which consists of many courses,
for nothing eatable comes amiss to him. The Armadillo
himself is not musical, but the Brazilians among whom he
lives turn his shell into a guitar and his tail into a trumpet.


The SLOTH BEAR shown on the opposite page is never
so happy as when he is climbing-trees in the forests of
India or Ceylon. He is especially fond of fruit, honey,
and insects, his favourite dish being a few thousand white
ants, which he gobbles up at a single mouthful. Both he
and his cousin the Brown Bear may be tamed and taught
many amusing tricks. It is usually safest to keep him
muzzled, for his temper is rather short; but, as a rule,
his hug is worse than his bite.


The CAT was one of the first animals to be tamed by
man. There are still a great many wild cats in this
country and in other parts of the world, but our family
puss is believed to be descended from the tame cats who
lived in Egypt thousands of years ago. She has, too,
some very distinguished relations, among whom are the
Leopard and the Tiger, whom we shall meet later on.
Before she was tamed she used to do most of her hunting
after nightfall, for she can see almost as well in the dark
as by day. She still remembers this, and that is why she
stays up to catch mice after all the rest of the family have
gone to bed.


The DROMEDARY is far more useful than beautiful. He
has a stout body, long legs, a crooked neck, and a hump;
and is very like his cousin the Camel, who has all these
and an extra hump. Both live in the deserts of Asia and
Africa, where very little water is to be found. So they
take a long drink whenever they get the chance, and
store away enough water to last them for a week. They
are, in fact, a kind of living water tank; and without their
aid no traveller would be able to cross the vast wilder-
nesses of sand and rock that are to be found in their
native land.


The ELEPHANT is the largest and strongest animal on
the face of the earth. When tamed and kindly treated he
is also one of the gentlest and most affectionate. With
his big ears and little eyes, huge tusks and tiny tail, long
trunk and short legs, he seems at first sight very clumsy
and ungainly, but those who have hunted him in his
native forests of India and Africa tell astonishing stories
of his speed and skill. The African has longer legs and
bigger ears than his Indian cousin, and is less easy to
tame. The most valuable possession of the Elephant is
his trunk, which serves all kinds of purposes. He uses
it as a nose to smell with, as a hand to feel with, as a
knife and fork to eat with, and as a bath sponge to
wash with.






The FOX is sly, very sly. If he were not sly there
would soon be no foxes, for Reynard, as he is called, has
many enemies and no friends. He is the most cunning
thief in the world, and the poultry-yard is never safe
while he is in the neighbourhood. Even his den is often
stolen from the Badger; but the Fox usually takes care to
have a back-door, through which he can slip out when
his enemies come in at the front.


The GUINEA-PIG is not a pig, and he does not come
from Guinea. His native land is South America, but he
can make himself at home in any country that is not
extremely cold.- Ages ago he had, no doubt, a tail, but
to-day only a very short stump is left. The Guinea-pig
is one of_ the most help1'ess of animals, for if he is
attacked he. is unable to dehdil himself, and he moves
so slowly that he cannot .ge1away.


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The HIPPOPOTAMUS does not make a pretty picture,
but he leads a happy life in the lakes and rivers of Africa.
He can paddle in the mud all day, with nobody to tell
him that he must keep his feet dry. The greater part of
his time is spent in the middle of the river, where he
swims about with only his nose showing above the
water; but he waddles ashore for his meals, browsing
on the coarse grass and weeds that grow on the banks.
The baby Hippopotamus is not able to stay under water
so long as his parents, so when Mrs. Hippopotamus takes
him for a swim she carries him pickaback until he is
able to take care of himself.



The IBEX is a wild goat that lives high up in the Alps and
other great mountains. He is very shy, and in order to
avoid being seen changes his coat according to the season.
In summer he is a reddish-gray, like the rocks around him,
but he is dead gray in winter, when the mountains are
covered with snow. The Ibex does not know what it is
like to feel giddy. When the hunter is chasing him he
can climb the most extraordinary precipices, and as he can
generally see his foe long before his foe can see him, he
is not at all easy to catch.



The JACKAL is a small fox-like animal found in India and
other parts of Asia. He is more often heard than seen, for
the Jackal does not love the light. When dusk is falling he
creeps out from his den, and with several .companions goes
prowling round the villages, howling in the most weird and
dismal manner, and picking up scraps of food which most
other animals refuse to eat. He will also eat any rniim,]
smaller and weaker than himself; but he is a terrible coward,
and is so much afraid of being seen, that at dawn he slinks
back again to his den and remains hidden throughout the


The KANGAROO lives only in Australia, and is very dif-
ferent from most other four-footed creatures. It does not
walk or run, but with its immensely long hind legs hops
over the ground in huge jumps of fifteen or twenty feet.
When it wishes to sit down it makes a kind of camp-stool
of its tail and the two hind legs. The mother Kangaroo
carries her family shut up in a big pouch, but when they are
old enough the little ones are allowed to put their heads out
to see what is going on around.


The LEOPARD is like a huge yellow cat marked all over
with dark spots. His home is in the forests of Africa and
Asia, where he is nearly as much feared as the grim tiger
himself. The poor monkeys live in constant dread of this
savage foe, for he can climb trees nearly as quickly as they
can, and is very cunning in taking them by surprise. He
will also climb up on to a branch, and drop down upon any
unsuspecting deer or antelope that happens to pass beneath.
One would sooner not meet the Leopard, except at the Zoo.



Wherever a man may build his house, the little brown
MOUSE is sure, sooner or later, to find him out. She does
not say If you please or By your leave ", but builds her
nest in some out-of-the-way corner and begins to gnaw a
way into the pantry. Then the man calls in the cat, and
one night the little brown Mouse does not return to her
nest. But by this time her children are growing up, and
there are soon eight or ten other little mice to make nests
and rear families and provide suppers for the cat.


Far away in the great forests of India lives the NYLGHAU.
He is one of the largest and finest of the antelope family.
In colour he is dark gray, with a mane of black hair on the
neck, and a tuft of the same colour on the breast. In places
where he is not disturbed he becomes extremely tame; but
if he is frequently hunted he grows very clever in keeping
himself well out of sight.


The OTTER makes his living by catching fish, and no
fisherman who stands on the river bank at the end of a rod
and a long line is half so clever as he. With his long thin
body, short legs, and webbed feet, he can swim and dive
with the greatest ease, and a fish must be very quick in-
deed to escape him. When free the Otter is very wild and
fierce, but if caught young he may be tamed and taught to
fish for his master.




The PORCUPINE has a back like a pin-cushion, stuck full
of sharp quills.- When only his friends are near, these
quills lie flat upon his back, but as soon as he sees an enemy
he raises them up on end and shakes them about in the
most alarming way. Like the Hedgehog and the Armadillo,
he can curl himself into a ball, and no foe is able to pierce
the forest of spears that protects him. at all points. The
Porcupine is found in most warm countries, and no doubt
has ample use for his quills in scaring away his many
powerful enemies in the forests of India and Africa.


The QUAGGA looks like a Zebra which the painter has
forgotten to finish. He has the same stripes on the neck,
but few or none on the body and legs. Both the Quagga
and Zebra live in the southern parts of Africa, but although
they are very nearly related they are not on speaking terms.
In his wild state the Quagga is very fierce and not easy to
catch, but he can be more easily tamed than the- Zebra. His
curious name was given to him by the natives of Africa on
account of his voice, which is something like the bark of
a dog.



The RABBIT belongs to the same the Hare, but
he has smaller ears and shorter legs. Both are very timid,
and when pursued the Rabbit; who cannot run so fast. as
the Hare, dives underground into his burrow, which is
always close at hand.. The tame Rabbit has a larger body
than his cousin in. the woods, and his ears are generally
very much longer.

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The -SHEEP does more for his master than any other animal
that has been tamed by man. He can pick up a living in
places where most other, creatures of his size would starve,
-and in return for very little attention supplies us with both
food and clothing. In this country he is not extraordinary
in shape; but he has some strange relations in foreign lands.
In the mountains of Asia, for instance, there are Sheep
with horns five or six feet in length, while in Arabia there
is another kind whose tails are so long and heavy that
they. have to be carried on little sledges.


Mr..Stripes, as the Bengal TIGER is often called, is the
fiercest and most terrible of four-footed creatures. With a
single blow of his huge paw he can kill a buffalo, and can
then carry it off in his mouth. Even the boldest of his
enemies is afraid to attack him alone, and the hunter who
pursues him into his lair in the jungle is usually perched
high up on the back of a, specially-trained elephant. When
wounded the Tiger will spring on to the elephant, and
attempt to drag the hunter down. Then, if the hunter does
not shoot straight he will hunt no more Tigers.


There never was a UNICORN. If there were such an
animal, he would have the body of a horse, the tail of a lion,
and a single horn, like the curl of the little girl in the nursery
rhyme, right in the middle of his forehead. In olden times
it was supposed that a patchwork animal of this kind lived
in India; but of course we are much wiser than our
ancestors, and nowadays the Unicorn is put in the make-
believe Zoo, together with the Fiery Dragon, the Hippogriff,
and other strange animals that never existed.


The VAMPIRE belongs to the same family as the bats,
who may be seen in this country flitting about at dusk. He
is very like a mouse in shape, but at a little distance
his two great wings give him the appearance of a bird.
Most bats are content to live on fruits and insects, but the
Vampire prefers to draw blood from horses or cattle, or even
from man himself. His home is far away in South America,
and it is to be hoped he will stay there.





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It is very difficult to catch the WEASEL asleep. He is
extremely wide-awake, and although only a few inches
long is full of courage, and will fight to the last gasp.
Woe betide the unlucky hawk or kite that attempts to carry
him off. While in mid-air he will gnaw his way into the'
body of his enemy, and bird and weasel will both come
tumbling to the ground. The Weasel is of great use in
protecting the farmer against field-mice, but every now and
again he requires to be paid for his services, so he helps
himself to a duckling or a chicken.

ThE ANT/\TEt, ER '


The two EXTRAORDINARY animals are not often seen
together as on the opposite page, for the home of the
ANT-EATER is in the forests of South America, while the
ORNITHORHYNCHUS lives on the banks of Australian
rivers. The Ant-eater is a big animal with a slender
head, a thick bushy tail, and a very long thin tongue with
which it catches the ants that form its food. The Orni-
thorhynchus, on the other hand, is a small animal that
appears to be partly bird and partly beast. Its body, legs,
and tail are like those of an animal, but, strange though it
may seem, it lays eggs, and has a bill like a duck.



The YAK is a cousin of the Ox, and lives far away in the
mountains of Tibet. With his thick shaggy coat he has no
fear of cold, but he is unable to bear even moderate heat,
and therefore remains high up on the hill-sides throughout
the year. His long bushy tail serves him as a capital fly-
whisk, and when he is finished with it the Tibetans cut
it off and use it for the same purpose.


The ZEBRA looks like a white pony painted all over with
black stripes. He is extremely shy, and makes his home in
the most out-of-the-way parts of South Africa. To every
herd of Zebras there is always a sentinel, who gives
warning of the approach of danger. When they are unable
to. run away, the Zebras form a circle with their heads
pointing inwards, and kick out at their enemies with their