6 Our Dumb Animals 1 (1873-1874)

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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
                                            Vho needlessly sets foot upon a worm. - Cowtper.

Vol.   6.                                            BOSTON, JUNE, 1873.                                                                 . No. 1.

Our Dumb Animals.

Published on the first Tuesday of each Month by the


46 Washinaton  Street

.   .  Boston.

         TERMS.- $1.00 per annum, in advance.
  Postage in the city, FREE. To all parts of the United States,
outside of Boston, TWELVE CENTS PER ANNUM for each pack-
age of two ounces, payable in advance, at the office where
received, or at our office.
  Articles for the paper, and subscriptions, may be sent to the
   GEORGE T. ANGELL . . . . . . . President.
   HENRY SALTONSTALL  . . . . . . Treasurer.
   FRANK B. FAY . . . . . . . . . Secretary.
   CHARLES A. CURRIER . . . . . . Special Agent.

   HE was not our dog. . . . We had been terribly
frightened about mad dogs when  we were children,
and  so had  grown  up with a  most unreasonable
dread of the whole canine race. . . . Bruno was a
great, shaggy, black dog, as big as a calf of six
weeks  old. He was  kept as a watch-dog in a large
store; and when our home fell to us in the rooms over
said store, he seemed to think that he had us also in
his charge. The  people before us had made much
of him, inviting him up stairs, letting the baby ride
on his back, or go to sleep with him on the floor,
and  treating him to a taste of all the nice tidbits
that were brought into the house. Of course he soon
concluded that he had the freedom of the place.
  He  had such large, pleasant eyes, so full of be-
nevolence, and of fun too, that it is a mystery how I
could help liking him. But if he had been a lion or
a  big bear, I could not have  been more  nearly
scared to death than I was the  day of our arrival,
when, looking up from a basket of dishes that I was
unpacking, I saw  his huge form  in the doorway.
Over went the basket, and,-with a marvellous spring,
I went  over the basket, clear into an  adjoining
room, where I shut the door with a bang, locked it,
and  then screamed for dear life. Just then some
one out of doors whistled cheerily, and the monstrous
fellow went bouncing down  the stairs, to my great

  I saw no  more of him  that day; but  the next
morning he paid me a visit. I had just placed the
gridiron over a nice bed of coals, and held in my
hand  a plateful of juicy steak cut ready for broil-
ing, when I heard a panting sound close by me, and,
looking round, there stood Bruno, with his great
open  mouth nearly on a level with my shoulder. I
was  too frightened to scream or to run away. My
first thought was the necessity of coaxing rather than
fighting, if haply I might  escape with my   life.
Trembling, I held out to him a bit of the raw meat.
The  immense jaw gave  one snap, and the bit van-
isbed.  Another and another followed, until only a
tiny morsel remained  for my husband's breakfast.
Could I not, in some way, save that? I made sev-
eral steps backward  towards the door, and  hope
began  to spring up in my heart. But Bruno, alas I
had been  taught to speak for what he wanted; and
now, with one eye on  the remnant in the dish, he
tipped  his head  back, and -  spoke.  That  was
enough.  I threw him the meat in despair, just man-
aging, as I did so, to get out of the room. I don't
think my husband  particularly enjoyed breakfasting
on dry toast alone; but he had taken an unaccounta-
ble fancy to the dog, and I remember that I thought
the scanty fare a. suitable punishment for such a
taste.  He'll run mad, and bite you; and then you
will have the hydrophobia, and  bite me, I said,
when, manlike, he tried to reason with me. As if a
woman's fears could ever be made amenable to rea-
son I .
   If you really do not like to have him come up
stairs, said Bruno's master,  you have only to tell
him so.  He will understand, and take the hint.
  I had  never yet spoken to him, except to coax
him hypocritically when his presence frightened me.
 Poor Bruno  ! Good fellow!  was all I had ven-
tured to utter.
  But  I had little faith in the remarkable intelli-
gence that would enable him to take a hint that was
sometimes thrown away upon  my own species. Nev-
ertheless, I thought the experiment worth trying.
That  very noon Bruno appeared about dinner-time,
just dropping in a moment to see what I was up to.
He  had a habit of doing thi*s at meal times; and, if he
was hungry, it was a particularly inconvenient time
to receive him.  So, without even the politeness of
saying good-morning, I began:-
   He looked up, and opened his mouth expectantly.
    Bruno, said I, speaking slowly but impressively,
you  must go  down  stairs directly; and don't you
ever show your face up here again.

  Poor Bruno!   He had  been wagging his tail ever
since he came in, out of pure good will. He looked
up at me  wistfully, just a moment, to be sure that I
was  in earnest. I can't say that there were not
tears in his eyes: I am sure the happy liht went
out of them; but, with only the mute pretest of a
look, he turned away, and went out of the room.
  At first I could not believe he so well understood
me;  but no persuasion of my husband's, not even the
promise of the nicest beefsteak, could induce him to
enter our doors. Neither could he be coaxed to ap-
proach me.  He never seemed to be aware of my pres-
ence; and if I met him anywhere about the premises,
and stopped to speak to him, he passed on as compos-
edly as if I had been invisible. Somehow I got the
better of my cowardice when I found that he would
have nothing to do with me; and I actually sought an
intimacy with him, but in vain.  He  would guard
most faithfully any thing that I intrusted to his care,
-magnanimously returning   good for evil, and heap-
ing coals of fire on my head; but I had rejected the
affection he offered me, and lost it forever. - Mrs.
H.  C. Gardner, in Unitarian Herald.

          THE   WHALE'S COMPASS.
  THE   unerring exactness with which  the sperm
whale  will pursue his way   across the  trackless
ocean for a whole  day without deviating from his
course a single point of the compass, as whalemen
have often remarked them to do, is truly astonishing.
The  manner in which their reason or instinct guides
them  on such an unvarying  course must needs be a
matter of conjecture. May it not be that their vis-
ual organs being as well adapted to the watery ele-
ments  in which they move as ours are  to the air,
they  are able to penetrate the watery depths and
recesses, and are guided by the visible objects be-
neath them?   Without  some such guidance no ani-
mal, not even that reasoning creature, man himself,
can long pursue an unvarying course. Instinct may
urge  an animal when  to move, but something  dis-
cernible must  aid its way through  the deep with
such precision. He -

                 Whose creating hand
         Nothing imperfect or deficient left
         Of all that he created 

 has made  the hidden highways of the seas they in-
 habit as clear to their perceptions as are the high-
 ways of the land to ours.


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