« PreviousContinue »
extent of the elephant's chain, he would quietly lift it with his trunk, and replace it in the spot where it was first left. They formerly went to the battle-field with the Burmans to help them carry on their war. When an extra task was to be performed, some favorite dainty was held out to the elephant before the time ; and he, as if aware that his success would be rewarded, made double exertions to earn it, and please his master.
29. The beaver is also a very remarkable animal. In countries where they abound, they gather together in large companies, and in the summer make excursions into the woods to choose the trees they wish to use in building their huts. They select a spot in a lake or river, and then gnaw down the trees; and they always gnaw them in such a manner that the trees will fall into the river.
30. They build their houses large enough to contain from fifteen to thirty beavers. Each cabin has two doors-one on the side of the land, and one leading to the water, so that they can either go ashore or swim in the water. They plaster their cabins with a strong cement of mud, using their flat tails to smooth it. Their houses are very strongly built, and can resist strong winds, and currents in the streams. Sometimes they have paths under the ground, where they can retreat when any danger approaches.
28. What care will they take of children? Of what assistance were they to the Burmans? In what way can they be incited to make exertions ? 29. What remarkable traits has the beaver? In what way do they gnaw the trees for their huts? 30. How large are their houses ? How many doors do their cabins have? What is the design of having two ? How do they plaster their cabins ? For what purpose do they have paths under the ground ?
31. The ostrich is the tallest and swiftest of all animals. When it is chased it throws stones and gravel with its feet at its pursuer.
32. Oysters throw water out of their shells when they are attacked, as if to vent their spite against their enemy.
33. A certain pony would open the latch of the stable door, and raise the lid of the corn-crib, which he learned to do himself.
34. Monkeys possess a high degree of instinct, and resemble man more than any other animal. The teeth and paws are very much like our teeth, hands, and feet. In their wild state they live in the woods, on the trees, and feed on fruits, leaves, and insects. They live together in companies, and never go alone when they wish to rob an orchard, or find their food. It seems as if they laid regular plans; for, as has been remarked, part of them stand to watch the approach of enemies, and part enter the field. They form a straight line, reaching from those within, to some place beyond which is a retreat for them.
35. When they are all arranged in due order, those in the orchard, near the trees, throw the fruit to those outside as fast as they can gather it. These pass it over to those nearest to them till the fruit is all nicely lodged in their hut or retreat. If the one who acts as
31. How does the ostrich compare with other animals? How does it defend itself when chased ? 32. How do oysters defend themselves when attacked ? 33. What is related of a certain pony? 34. What do monkeys possess? In what do they resemble man? How do they live when in a wild state? What course do they take when they wish to rob an orchard? Do they live alone or in companies ? 35. How do they proÇeed when they are all arranged in the orchard ? How are they warned of the approach of danger ?
sentinel perceives any one coming, he makes a loud noise, and they all run away ; yet, even then, they will take some fruit under each of their arnts or fore-paws, and also in their mouths.
36. They are mischievous animals, and annoy travellers exceedingly by throwing stones and sticks at them ; and they will frequently follow them for some distance, when they are passing through the woods, by leaping from tree to tree. They are capable of forming strong attachments even with other animals, and then exhibit mildness, affection, and docility.
37. Monkeys and orang-outangs can be taught to do almost anything that we can. They ride on ponies, feed themselves with a spoon, and appear to understand what is said to them. The great naturalist, Buffon, speaks of one orang-outang which would present his hand when any one came to see him, and would walk along with great composure. He would sit down at the table, unfold his napkin, wipe his lips, and use a spoon or a fork to convey the food to his mouth.
38. When he was asked to drink tea, he took a cup and saucer, placed them on the table, put in the sugar, poured out the tea, and allowed it to cool before he drank it; all of which he performed by the signs or orders of his master. Another would, by signs, make the servant understand what he desired ; if his wishes were not granted, he would bite him and throw him
35. What effect does the warning have? Do they run and leave all their fruit behind ? 36. How do monkeys annoy travellers? What is said of their attachments ? 37. What are some of the things that monkeys and orang-outangs can be taught to do? What interesting facts does Buffon relate about an orang-outang? 38. How did this animal drink his tea ? In what way did he understand his master's wishes ? What other facts can you relate about these animals ?
down. When he was sick he was bled, and ever after· ward, when at all unwell, would hold out his arm to be bled, just as if he understood that he had been relieved by such an operation before. They sometimes carry water from the river in pitchers placed on their heads. Frequently when the pitchers are not taken off, they fall and break, at which the orang-outang moans greatly.
39. I might tell you many more interesting facts and anecdotes about the habits of animals. We find they seem almost to possess the intellect of human beings. This appearance of intelligence has been called, by nearly all physiologists, instinct. Yet when I speak of the elements of our own minds, you will see that animals possess some of these same elements; and I will then attempt to explain from what they arise.
39. What do animals seem to possess? What is this called by physiologists ?