12 Our Dumb Animals 1 (1879-1880)

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                                        I  would   not  enter  on  my   list of  friends,
                                        Though graced with polished manners and fine sense,
                                        Yet wanting sensibility, the man
                                        'Who needlessly sets foot upon a worm. - ownper.


Vol.   12.                                       BOSTON, JUNE, 1879.                                                                  No. 1.


                    Song.
          Hark, how sweet the thrushes sing!
          Hark, how clear the rohins call!
          Chorus of the happy spring,
          Summer's  madrigal!
          Flood the world with joy and cheer,
          O   e birds, and pour your song
          Till the farthest distance hear
          Notes so glad and strong!
          Storm the earth with odors sweet,
          O  ye flowers, that blaze in light!
          Crowd about June's shining feet,
          All ye blossoms bright.
          Shout, ye waters, to the sun
          Back  are winter's fetters hurled;
          Summer's glory is begun;
          Beauty holds the world!
                               - Celia Thaxter.
                 The Elephant.
  A splendid race, second only to man in intelli-
gence, and capable of some of the noblest senti-
ments, are slaughtered for the beauty  of their
ivory teeth. Such a frame as that of the elephant,
so majestic and finely-constructed by his Maker
and ours, made to writhe every fibre of it in death,
and left to decay, just for his tooth: it seems as if
there must be some mistake about it. And whole
tribes of large and small creatures destroyed by
the ruthless hunter, and their forsaken young left
to perish, in order that gentle Christian women
may  have their soft furs to wear to church to wor-
ship the God who made them and  us, and watches
over them with the same careful providence, giv-
ing them  homes, and  nurture, and young,  and
social affections. I will not call it criminal, for it
is not so meant. But I trust it is not quite absurd
faintly to hope, that the various inhabitants of the
hospitable earth may one day be so thoughtful for
one another, and come into such friendly relations
with each other, as not to feel it necessary or pleas-
ant to rob, torment and kill one another so savage-
ly for finery, or even for luxury or comfort.-Rev.
Dr. Putnam.
Rev. Dr. James Walker on Cruelty to Animals and
                  Sportsmen.
  Cruelty to animals is essentially the same feel-
ing with cruelty to a fellow creature, and in some
respects it is more unbecoming. Man is a god to
the inferior races. To  abuse the power which
this gives us over the helpless beings that Provi-
dence has placed at our mercy, is as mean as it is
inhuman.  If we  would listen to the pleadings of


what is noble and generous in our natures, it would
be as impossible for us needlessly to harm an un-
offending animal, as it would be to strike an infant
or an idiot. Shame on the craven who quails before
his equals, and then goes away  and wreaks his
unmanly  resentments  on a creature  which  he
knows  can neither retaliate nor speak!
  Besides, we may suppose that there are orders
of beings above us, as well as below us. Lcok,
then, at our treatment of the lower animals, and
then ask yourselves what  should we think, if a
superior order of beings should mete out to us
the same measure?   What if in mere wantonness,
or to pamper unnatural tastes, they should subject
us to  every imaginable hardship  and  wrong ?
What  if they should make a show, a public recre-
ation, of our foolish contests and dying agonies ?
Nay  more; what  if it should come to this, that in
their language a man-killer should be  called a
sportsman by way of distinction ?
                   Wild FAfe.
  From  a new hook published by Roberts Brothers,
called  Wild Life in a Southern  County, we
give a few extracts.
  The writer is supposed to be a son of Mr. Jesse,
the naturalist, and the book is of the small class,
to which belongs White's Selborne.
  The  county is in the South of England. It is
a book  of thoughtful observations upon all that
meets  the eye in an out-door life; and especially
of the habits of birds and animals.
  It is for the summer time, and for the older chil-
dren of the family, and their elders.
               THE JOY  OF LIFE.
  The  joy in life of these animals-indeed,  of
almost all animals and birds in freedom-is very
great.  You may  see it in every motion: in the
lissom bound of the hare, the playful leap o the
rabbit, the song that the lark and the finch must
sing: the solt, loving coo of the dove in the haw-
thorn; the blackbird ruffling out his feathers on a
rail. The  sense of living-the consciousness of
seeing and feeling-is manifestly intense in them
all, and is in itself an exquisite pleasure. Their
appetites seem ever fresh: they rush to the ban-
quet spread by  Mother Earth  with a gusto that
Lucullus never knew  in the midst of his artistic
gluttony; the, drink from the stream with dainty
sips as though it were richest wine. Watch  the


birds in the spring; the pairs dance from bough
to bough, and know not how to express their wild
happiness.  The bare rejoices in the swiftness of
his limbs: his nostrils sniff the air, his strong
sinews spurn the earth; like an arrow from a bow
he shoots up the steep hill that we must clamber
slowly, halting halt-way to breathe.   On  out-
spread  wings  the swallow  floats above, then
slants downwards  with a rapid swoop, and with
the impetus of the motion rises easily. - p. 10.
            SONG OF  THE STARLING.
  A  starling is on the chimney-top; yonder on
the ash tree are four or five oi his acquaintance.
Suddenly be begins to pour forth a flood or elo-
quence-lacing  them  as  be speaks:  Will they
come  with him down  to the field where the cows
are grazing ? There  will be sure to be plenty of
insects settling on the grass round the cows, and
every now and  then they tear up the herbage by
the roots and expose creeping things.  Come,
you  may here him  say, modulating his tones to
persuasion, come quickly; you see it is a fresh
piece of grass into which  the cows have  been
turned only a few hours since; it was too long for
us before, but where they have eaten we can get
at the ground comfortably. The water-wagtafiis
there already; he always  accompanies the herd,
and will have the pick and choice of every thing.
Or what  do you say to the meadow by the brook ?
The  mowers   have begun,  and  the swathe has
fallen before their scythes; there are acres of
ground  there which we could not touch for weeks;
now  it is open, and the place is teeming with good
fbod.  The  finches are there as busy as may be
between  the swathes-chnffinch  and greenfinch,
hedge-sparrow, thrushes, and blackbirds too. Are
you  afraid? Why,  no one shoots in the middle of
a summer's  day.  Still irresolute? (with an angry
shrillness). Will you or will you not? (a sharp
short whistle of interrogation). You are simply
idiots (finishing with a scream of abuse).  Im
off. -pp. 133 34.
           JACKDAWS   AND  INSTINCT.
   When  nesting time is over, jackdaws seem to
leave the church and  roost with the rooks; they
use  the tower much  as the rooks do their heredi-
tary group  of trees at a distance from the wood
they  sleep in at other seasons. How  came  the
jackdaw  to make  its nest on church towers in the
first place? The  bird has become  so associated
with  churches that it is difficult to separate the
two;  yet it is certain that the bird preceded the
building.  Archeologists tell us that stone build-


tc  -VO'Ft Irvo   , _1fJ

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