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bureau at Botzen, a short, stout figure clad she would have tried harder to bear up through in black broadcloth stood widely and firmly their hasty, headlong flight; and the Governor, planted in the doorway; a fat, round, smooth with a complicated smile, which was crowded face flashed a look of grim triumph upon the with too many elements to allow much room dismounting Governor, and Saitoutetplus for that of sincerity, expressed himself overstood confessed. The Chatelaine greeted him joyed that after all these perils, and delays, and with all the cordiality of an old friend ; Au- accidents, and endeavors, a relenting fortune relia declared that had she but understood had permitted him to meet his dear colleague with whom the appointment had been made at last.
(To be continued.)
Henry B. Fuller.
GLIMPSES OF WILD LIFE.
attracted by a marsh-hawk industriously work
ing the fields about me. Time after time he NY glimpse of the wild and made the circuit, varying but little in his course savage in nature, especially each time; dropping into the grass here and after long confinement in- there, beating low over the bogs and bushes, doors or in town, always and then disappearing in the distance. This gives a little fillip to my was his domain, his preserve, and doubtless he mind. Thus, when in my had his favorite perch not far off. walk from the city the other All our permanent residents among the birds,
day I paused, after a half- both large and small, are comparatively limited hour, in a thick clump of red cedars crowning in their ranges. The crow is nearly as local as a little hill that arose amid a marshy and bushy the woodchuck. He goes farther from home in bit of landscape, and found myself in the ban- quest of food, but his territory is well defined, queting-hall of a hawk, something more than both winter and summer. His place of roostmy natural-history tastes stirred within me. ing remains the same year after year. Once,
No hawk was there then, but the marks of while spending a few days at a mountain his nightly presence were very obvious. The lake nearly surrounded by deep woods, my branch of a cedar about fifteen feet from the attention was attracted each night, just at sunground was his perch. It was worn smooth, down, by an osprey that always came from with a feather or two adhering to it. The the same direction, dipped into the lake as he ground beneath was covered with large pellets passed over it for a sip of its pure water, and and wads of mouse-hair; the leaves were white disappeared in the woods beyond. The rouwith his droppings, while the dried entrails of tine of his life was probably as marked as that his victims clung here and there to the bushes. of any of ours. He fished the waters of the The bird evidently came here nightly to devour Delaware all day, probably never going beyond and digest its prey. This was its den, its re- a certain limit, and returned each night at suntreat; all about lay its feeding-grounds. It re- down, as punctual as a day-laborer, to his retreat vealed to me a new trait in the hawk — its local in the forest. The sip of water, too, from the attachments and habits; that it, too, had a home, lake he never failed to take. and did not wander about like a vagabond. It All the facts we possess in regard to the had its domain, which it no doubt assiduously habits of the song-birds in this respect point cultivated. Here it came to dine and meditate, to the conclusion that the same individuals and a most attractive spot it had chosen, a kind return to the same localities year after year, to of pillared cave amid the cedars. It was such nest and to rear their young. I am convinced a spot as the pedestrian would be sure to di- that the same woodpecker occupies the same rect his steps to, and, having reached it, would cavity in a tree winter after winter, and drums be equally sure to tarry and eat his own lunch upon the same dry limb spring after spring. there.
I like to think of all these creatures as capable The winged creatures are probably quite as of local attachments, and not insensible to the local as the four-footed. Sitting one night on sentiment of home. a broad, gently rising hill, to see the darkness But I set out to give some glimpses of the close in upon the landscape, my attention was wild life which one gets about the farm. Not
of a startling nature are they, certainly, but very and calf were probably not killed at all, and welcome for all that. The domestic animals the big dogs had had a fight among themselves. require their lick of salt every week or so, and So the panther legend faded out, and our woods the farmer, I think, is equally glad to get a became as tame and humdrum as before. We taste now and then of the wild life that has so cannot get up anything exciting that will hold, nearly disappeared from the older and more and have to make the most of such small deer thickly settled parts of the country.
as coons, foxes, and woodchucks. Glimpses of Last winter a couple of bears, an old one these and of the birds are all I have to report. and a young one, passed through our neighborhood. Their tracks were seen upon the snow in the woods, and the news created great excitement among the Nimrods. It was like the com- The day on which I have any adventure with motion in the water along shore after a steamer a wild creature, no matter how trivial, has a lithad passed. The bears were probably safely tle different flavor from the rest; as when, one in the Catskills by the time the hunters got morning in early summer, I put my head out dogs and guns ready and set forth. Country of the back window and returned the challenge people are as eager to accept any rumor of a of a quail that sent forth his clear call from a strange and dangerous creature in the woods fence-rail one hundred yards away. Instantly as they are to believe in a ghost-story. They he came sailing over the field of raspberries want it to be true; it gives them something to straight toward me. When about fifteen yards think about and talk about. It is to their minds away he dropped into the cover and repeated like strong drink to their palates. It gives a his challenge. I responded, when in an instant new interest to the woods, as the ghost-story he was almost within reach of me. He alighted gives a new interest to the old house. under the window, and looked quickly around
A few years ago the belief became current in for his rival. How his eyes shone, how his form our neighborhood that a dangerous wild animal dilated, how dapper and polished and brisk lurked in the woods about, now here, now there. he looked! He turned his eye up to me and It had been seen in the dusk. Some big dogs seemed to say, “ Is it you, then, who are mockhad encountered it in the night, and one of them ing me?" and ran quickly around the corner was nearly killed. Then a calf and a sheep were of the house. Here he lingered some time amid reported killed and partly devoured. Women the rose-bushes, half persuaded that the call, and children became afraid to go through the which I still repeated, came from his rival. Ah, woods, and men avoided them after sundown. I thought, if with his mate and young he would One day as I passed an Irishman's shanty that only make my field his home! The call of the stood in an opening in the woods, his wife came quail is a country sound that is becoming all out with a pail
, and begged leave to accompany too infrequent. me as far as the spring, which lay beside the road So fond am I of seeing nature reassert hersome distance into the woods. She was afraid self that I even found some compensation in to go alone for water on account of the “ wild the loss of my chickens that bright November baste." Then, to cap the climax of wild ru- night when some wild creature, coon or fox, mors, a horse was killed. One of my neighbors, swept two of them out of the evergreens, and an intelligent man and a good observer, went up their squawking as they were hurried across the to see the horse. He reported that a great gash lawn called me from my bed to shout good-by had been eaten in the top of the horse's neck, after them. It gave a new interest to the henthat its back was bitten and scratched, and that roost, this sudden incursion of wild nature. I he was convinced it was the work of some wild feel bound to caution the boys about disturbanimal like a panther, which had landed upon ing the wild rabbits that in summer breed in the horse's back and fairly devoured it alive. my currant-patch, and in autumn seek refuge The horse had run up and down the field try- under my study floor. The occasional glimpses ing to escape, and finally, in its desperation, had I get of them about the lawn in the dusk, their plunged headlong off a high stone wall by the cotton tails twinkling in the dimness, afford me barn and been killed. I was compelled to ac- a genuine pleasure. I have seen the time when cept his story, but I pooh-poohed the conclu- I would go a good way to shoot a partridge, sions. It was impossible that we should have a but I would not have killed, if I could, the one panther in the midst of us, or, if we had, that it that started out of the vines that cover my rustic would attack and killa horse. But how eagerly porch, as I approached that side of the house the people believed it! It tasted good. It tasted one autumn morning. How much of the woods, good to me too, but I could not believe it. It and of the untamable spirit of wild nature, she soon turned out that the horse was killed by brought to my very door! It was tonic and another horse, a vicious beast that had fits of exhilarating to see her whirl away toward the murderous hatred toward its kind. The sheep vineyard. I also owe a moment's pleasure to the gray squirrel that, finding my summer- my little boy and I anticipated with him. He house in the line of his travels one summer day, partook of food that same day, and on the secran through it and almost over my feet as I ond day would eat the chestnuts in our presence. sat idling with a book.
Never did he show the slightest fear of us or of I am sure my power of digestion was im- anything, but he was unwearied in his efforts proved that cold winter morning when, just as to regain his freedom. After a few days we put we were sitting down to breakfast about sunrise, a strap upon his neck and kept him tethered by a red fox loped along in front of the window, a chain. But in the night, by dint of some hocuslooking neither to the right nor to the left, and pocus, he got the chain unsnapped and made disappeared amid the currant bushes. What off, and is now, I trust, a patriarch of his tribe, of the wild and the cunning did he not bring! wearing a leather necktie. His graceful form and motion were in my mind's The skunk visits every farm sooner or later. eye all day. When you have seen a fox loping One night I came near shaking hands with one along in that way you have seen the poetry there on my very door-stone. I thought it was the is in the canine tribe. It is to the eye what a cat, and put down my hand to stroke it, when flowing measure is to the mind, so easy, so the creature, probably appreciating my misbuoyant; the furry creature drifting along like take, moved off up the bank, revealing to me a large red thistledown, or like a plume borne the white stripe on its body and the kind of cat by the wind. It is something to remember with I had saluted. The skunk is not easily ruffled, pleasure that a muskrat sought my door one and seems to employ excellent judgment in the December night when a cold wave was swoop- use of its terrible weapon. ing down upon us. Was he seeking shelter, or Several times I have had calls from woodhad he lost his reckoning? The dogs cornered chucks. One looked in at the open door of my him in the very doorway, and set up a great hub- study one day, and, after sniffing a while, and bub. In the darkness, thinking it was a cat, I put not liking the smell of such clover as I was my hand down to feel it. The creature skipped compelled to nibble there, moved on to better to the other corner of the doorway, hitting my pastures. Another one invaded the kitchen hand with its cold, rope-like tail. Lighting a door' while we were at dinner. The dogs match, I had a glimpse of him sitting up on his promptly challenged him, and there was a lively haunches like a woodchuck,confronting his ene- scrimmage upon the door-stone. I thought the mies. I rushed in for the lantern, with the hope dogs were fighting, and rushed to part them. of capturing him alive, but before I returned The incident broke in upon the drowsy sumthe dogs, growing bold, had finished him. mer noon, as did the appearance of the muskrat
I have had but one call from a coon, that I upon the frigid December night. The woodam aware of, and I fear we did not treat him chuck episode that afforded us the most amusewith due hospitality. He took up his quarters ment occurred last summer. We were at work for the day in a Norway spruce, the branches in a newly planted vineyard, when the man with of which nearly brushed the house. I had no- the cultivator saw, a few yards in front of him, ticed that the dog was very curious about that some large gray object that at first puzzled him. tree all the forenoon. After dinner his curios. He approached it, and found it to be an old ity culminated in repeated loud and confident woodchuck with a young one in its mouth. She barking. Then I began an investigation, ex- was carrying her kitten as does a cat, by the pecting to find a strange cat, or at most a red nape of the neck. Evidently she was moving squirrel. But a moment's scrutiny revealed his her family to pastures new. As the man was in coonship. Then how to capture him became the line of her march, she stopped and considthe problem. A long pole was procured, and ered what was to be done. He called to me, I sought to dislodge him from his hold. The and I approached slowly. As the mother saw skill with which he maintained himself amid me closing in on her flank, she was suddenly the branches excited our admiration. But after seized with a panic, and, dropping her young, a time he dropped lightly to the ground, not fed precipitately for the cover of a large pile in the least disconcerted, and at once on his of grape-posts some ten or twelve rods disguard against both man and beast. The dog tant. We pursued hotly, and overhauled her was a coward, and dared not face him. When as she was within one jump of the house of the coon's attention was diverted the dog would refuge. Taking her by the tail, I carried her rush in; then one of us would attempt to seize back to her baby; but she heeded it not. It was the coon's tail, but he faced about so quickly, only her own bacon now that she was solici his black eyes gleaming, that the hand was tous about. The young one remained where timid about seizing him. But finally in his it had been dropped, keeping up a brave, reskirmishing with the dog I caught him by the assuring whistle that was in ludicrous contrast tail, and bore him safely to an open four-bar- to its exposed and helpless condition. It was rel, and he was our prisoner. Much amusement the smallest woodchuck I had ever seen, not much larger than a large rat. Its head and day the dog, who had all along looked upon shoulders were so large in proportion to the him with a jealous eye, encountered him too body as to give it a comical look. It could not far from cover, and his career ended then and walk about yet, and had never before been there. above ground. Every moment or two it would In July the woodchuck was forgotten in our whistle cheerily, as the old one does when safe interest in a little gray rabbit which we found in its den and the farm dog is fiercely baying nearly famished. It was so small that it could outside. We took the youngster home, and my sit in the hollow of one's hand. Some accident little boy was delighted over the prospect of had probably befallen its mother. The tiny creaa tame woodchuck. Not till the next day ture looked spiritless and forlorn. We had to would it eat. Then, getting a taste of the milk, force the milk into its mouth. But in a day or it clutched the spoon that held it with great two it began to revive, and would lap the milk eagerness, and sucked away like a little pig. eagerly. Soon it took to grass and clover, and We were all immensely diverted by it. It ate then to nibbling sweet apples and early pears. eagerly, grew rapidly, and was soon able to run It grew rapidly, and was one of the softest and about. As the old one had been killed, we be- most harmless-looking pets I had ever seen. came curious as to the fate of the rest of her As my family was away for a month or more, family, for no doubt there were more. Had the little rabbit was the only company I had, she moved them, or had we intercepted her on and it helped to beguile the time immensely. her first trip? We knew where the old den In coming in from the field or from my work, was, but not the new. So we would keep a I seldom failed to bring it a handful of red clolookout. Near the end of the week, on pass- ver blossoms, of which it became very fond. ing by the old den, there were three young One day it fell slyly to licking my hand, and I ones creeping about a few feet from its mouth. discovered it wanted salt. I would then moisten They were starved out, and had come forth to my fingers, dip them into the salt, and offer see what could be found. We captured them them to the rabbit. How rapidly the delicate all, and the young family was again united. little tongue would play upon them, darting out How these poor half-famished creatures did lay to the right and left of the large front incisors, hold of the spoon when they got a taste of the the slender paws being pressed against my hand milk! One could not help laughing. Their lit- as if to detain it! But the rabbit proved really tle shining black paws were so handy and untamable; its wild nature could not be overso smooth ; they seemed as if incased in kid come. In its large box-cage or prison, where gloves. They throve well upon milk, and then it could see nothing but the tree above it, it upon milk and clover. But after the novelty was tame, and would at times frisk playfully of the thing had worn off, the boy found he had about my hand and strike it gently with its fore encumbered himself with serious duties in as- feet; but the moment it was liberated in a room suming the position of foster-mother to this or let down in the grass with a string about its large family; so he gave them all away but one, neck, all its wild nature came forth. In the the first one captured, which had outstripped room it would run and hide; in the open it all the others in growth. This soon became a would make desperate efforts to escape, and very amusing pet, but it always protested when leap and bound as you drew in the string that handled, and always objected to confinement. held it. At night, too, it never failed to try to I should mention that the cat had a kitten make its escape from the cage, and finally, about the age of the chuck, and as she had when two thirds grown, succeeded, and we saw more milk than the kitten could dispose of, the it no more. chuck, when we first got him, was often placed in the nest with the kitten, and was regarded by the cat as tenderly as her own, and allowed How completely the life of a bird revolves to nurse freely. Thus a friendship sprang up about its nest
, its home! In the case of the between the kitten and the woodchuck, which wood-thrush, its life and joy seem to mount lasted as long as the latter lived. They would higher and higher as the nest prospers. The play together precisely like two kittens ; clinch male becomes a fountain of melody; his happiand tumble about and roll upon the grass in ness waxes day by day; he makes little triuma very amusing way. Finally the woodchuck phal tours about the neighborhood, and pours took up his abode under the floor of the kit- out his pride and gladness in the ears of all. chen, and gradually relapsed into a half-wild How sweet, how well-bred, is his demonstrastate. He would permit no familiarities from tion! But let any accident befall that precious any one save the kitten, but each day they nest, and what a sudden silence falls upon him! would have a turn or two at their old games of Last summer a pair of wood-thrushes built their rough-and-tumble. The chuck was now over nest within a few rods of my house, and when hall-grown, and procured his own living. One the enterprise was fairly launched and the
mother-bird was sitting upon her four blue he would say, “this is a likely place for a nest." eggs, the male was in the height of his song. The birds then moved over the hill a hundred How he poured forth his rich melody, never rods or more, much nearer the house, and in in the immediate vicinity of the nest, but al- some rather open bushes tried again. But again ways within easy hearing-distance! Every they came to grief. Then, after some delay, the morning, as promptly as the morning came, bé mother-bird made a bold stroke. She seemed tween five and six, he would sing for half an to reason with herself thus: “Since I have hour from the top of a locust-tree that shaded fared so disastrously in seeking seclusion for my roof. I came to expect him as much as I my nest, I will now adopt the opposite tactics, expected my breakfast, and I was not disap- and come out fairly in the open. What hides pointed till one morning I seemed to miss me hides my enemies : let us try greater pubsomething. What was it? Oh, the thrush has licity.” So she came out and built her nest not sung this morning. Something is the matter; by a few small shoots that grew beside the and recollecting that yesterday I had seen a path that divides the two vineyards, and where red squirrel in the trees not far from the nest, we passed to and fro many times daily. I disI at once inferred that the nest had been har- covered her by chance early in the morning ried. Going to the spot, I found my fears were as I proceeded to my work. She started up well grounded; every egg was gone. The joy at my feet and fitted quickly along above the of the thrush was laid low. No more songs plowed ground, almost as red as the soil. I from the tree-top, and no more songs from any admired her audacity. Surely no prowler by point, till nearly a week had elapsed, when I night or day would suspect a nest in this open heard him again under the hill, where the pair and exposed place. There was no cover by had started a new nest, cautiously tuning up, which they could approach, and no concealand apparently with his recent bitter experi- ment anywhere. The nest was a hasty affair, ence still weighing upon him.
as if the birds' patience at nest-building had After a pair of birds have been broken up been about exhausted. Presently an egg aponce or twice during the season, they become peared, and then the next day another, and almost desperate, and will make great efforts the fourth day a third. No doubt the bird to outwit their enemies. The past season my would have succeeded this time had not man attention was attracted by a pair of brown interfered. In cultivating the vineyards the thrashers. They first built their nest in a pas- horse and cultivator had to pass over this ture-field under a low, scrubby apple-tree which very spot. Upon this the bird had not calcuthe cattle had browsed down till it spread a lated. I determined to assist her. I called my thick, wide mass of thorny twigs only a few man, and told him there was one spot in that inches above the ground. Some blackberry vineyard, no bigger than his hand, where the briers had also grown there, so that the screen horse's foot must not be allowed to fall, nor was perfect. My dog first started the bird, as I tooth of cultivator to touch. Then I showed him was passing by. By stooping low and peering the nest, and charged him to avoid it. Probintently I could make out the nest and eggs. ably if I had kept the secret to myself and let Two or three times a week, as I passed by, I the bird run her own risk the nest would have would pause to see how the nest was pros- escaped. But the result was that the man, in pering. The mother-bird would keep her place, elaborately trying to avoid the nest, overdid the her yellow eyes never blinking. One morning matter; the horse plunged, and set his foot as I looked into her tent I found the nest empty. squarely upon it. Such a little spot, the chances Some night-prowler, probably a skunk or fox, were few that the horse's foot would fall exor maybe a black snake or red squirrel by day, actly there; and yet it did, and the birds' had plundered it. It would seem as if it was hopes were again dashed. The pair then distoo well screened: it was in such a spot as any appeared from my vicinity, and I saw them no depredator would be apt to explore. “Surely," more.