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(supposing that the trees are reasonably prison even for one hour I cannot think. near your house) that these little creatures Subsequently, one happy morning I will come and call on you in the cold heard a rustle, and, looking up into the winter days, when you are 'shut up in the tree, spied two bright black eyes and a
furry little brown face looking down at me.
One autumn day I was sitting reading in the garden when a squirrel began bringing beechnuts off a neighbouring beech tree and burying them all around my feet. Another day I was in the little wood reading, and a squirrel sat overhead and talked to me in squirrel language (a sort of chattering noise), then he climbed down and came near to me, and by degrees every fine hot day that summer the little squirrel came to talk to me as I sat under the trees.
My squirrels love me and I love them ; they climb on to my shoulders and rub their soft, furry cheeks against mine.
“ Coming! Did you Call ?” house. My first squirrel acquaintance began in this way. I had never fed or spoken to a squirrel, and knew not these folk, when one day strolling across my lawn a little brown squirrel startled me by running from a tree to meet me and climbed hastily up my dress and on to my shoulder. I put up my hand and caught the pretty creature, it did not bite, and I carried it indoors and put it in a basket with a cover over it. I kept it there an hour, and then, it seemed so wild and frightened, I carried it out into the garden
“Now we SHAN'T BE LONG." and let it go. It scampered gleefully up They are so happy in the trees and swinging a tree. Why I was so extremely silly as from branch to branch. They often come to put the poor confiding little being in into the house and look round and go out
again to tell their friends what they have Christmas Day. : My husband, seeing my seen. I feed them every morning, summer grief, and the squirrel's suffering, has and winter. The one with whom I first ordered the keepers that no more traps are made friends now brings friends, so that to be set on any part of the estate. I have a large party visits
not inquired, but me.
I suppose that the I have been told
"keeping down" that squirrels sleep
of rabbits and rats in their nests for
will be done in weeks during the
future by ferrets. winter months.
If so, the cruelty Mine come frisk
is nothing coming to the windows
pared to the and doors always
horrors of steel by eight a.m.,
traps, with their cold
living victims snowy mornings,
writhing in torture and I have to
for hours. Ferrets give them almonds
are Nature's own from my dressing
engines of destrucroom window. Can
tion. If man did anyone, learned in
not kill weasels squirrel ways, tell
and stoats, and so me, do they really
interfere with the hibernate in
balance of Nature, England ? I should
would not be greatly in
require to constiterested to know.
tute himself uni. One poor squir
versal murderer rel spoilt my
and executioner, Christmas Day
for the rats and BOUND FOR THE PROMISED LAND, this year by
rabbits would not coming in a very suffering state to the swarm in such overwhelming numbers. library. He had evidently been caught in In the Times (London), has appeared a steel-toothed trap. Poor little maimed the following appeal from “K. C. B." thing, he was a piteous sight. One front who, writing from Florence, under date paw all crushed and
January 22nd last, puts broken, up to the elbow
forward the following plea joint. He could not clasp
for making the New his nuts,and he fell off the
Forest a sanctuary for window sill, only having
squirrels :one little hand to use. I
May I intrude on your still feel very sad about
valuable space and say with him. He comes every
what interest I have read day for some food. Now
your two correspondents' two months after his hurt,
views on the protection of
such wild animals and plants he is getting more skilful
as are still left to us in the in the use of his one hand,
New Forest, and how much -the broken has
I wish some steps could be dropped off, or been torn
taken to insure it? No one away. It is gone, and the
living in Italy, as I do, can stump is healing. But
fail to realize the ultimate
result of such wholesale what a misery for the poor little creature,
slaughter of all creatures, be
they birds or beasts (except handsome and agile, hav
game). Not only is the inexing to go through life
pressible charm of wild nature with only one hand to use! It is gone, but it is thought by many that serious marvellous how he can climb at all. Any
harm is done by the lack of small wild birds. one who sets, or orders to be set, these
Will you allow me to say a few words of pleadinventions of the Evil One (steel traps),
ing for one special inhabitant of the woods-i.e. should have seen
the squirrel ? I know there is a theory that my poor friend on
they should be classed as “ destructive vermin,"
and that they are supposed to hurt the trees. destroy a happy little life for no reason ? ... Now I truly believe if this supposition is My suggestion, therefore, is that the guardians really tested, it will be found to be almost and rulers of the New Forest should set the entirely without weight-as a letter in this good example by a strict prohibition against week's Spectator points out. And if this is so, killing the squirrels or molesting their nests in what a pity it seems to kill off, by hundreds, the sanctuaries."
you powerful owners of forests to listen to this plea for the poor little brown folk of your woods.
You have all that the world
give; every sort of comfort, food and amusement. Do not de. prive these gentle, amusing little beings of their one short life. Remember that you are to them as gods. What should we do if our God treated us as we, so many of us, treat the animals given into our keeping. Let us
look to it, that, as Wild NATURE WON BY KINDNESS.
we hope and pray
for mercy, we shall these pretty, graceful, merry little dwellers of show mercy towards our fellow creatures. the woods; they are no good as food, so why
ELEANOR Pike. code
Do Squirrels Hibernate ? A TOWN and a country house, so to a
out that selfish human robbers are not so speak, are needful for the squirrel's easily frightened-she will take her babies comfort ; he builds a winter and summer one by one in her mouth and carry them nest. The latter is a light and airy cradle to a safer place as a cat carries her kitwhere his babies rock on the tree top ; tens. the former is a snug retreat, where, a Much more care is taken by the squirrel family squirrel no longer, he may dream to hide his winter castle, within the thick the cold dreary months away.
warm walls of which he must sleep, a Like many a British workman, this helpless torpid ball of fur. This nest is shrewd little fellow is not fond of doing almost always placed in the fork of some more than he can avoid. He makes the tree, where two branches start from the same nest serve year after year till it is trunk. Who teaches the squirrel that the worn out. As if aware that its high higher boughs will soon be bare of leaves, situation makes it sase, the little pair and thus afford no shelter ? take no special pains to hide their frail Beside or near this winter nest the wise summer abode. So slightly is it con- creature lays up a hoard of nuts, acorns, structed as to seem hardly fit to bear the chestnuts, etc., and if he should wake up weight of three or four young ones with hungry, as he does if a mild day or two the parents. It is firmly knit, however, of .
breaks his long cold night, there is his twigs, leaves, moss and dry grass, woven larder ready stocked. The rich ripe glow into a sort of rounded basket.
of autumn is his festival time, his table Should any danger threaten her nursery, in the wilderness is then fully spread, he the mother squirrel tries first what scold- feasts and puts by for a rainy day. In ing will do ; if that does not drive away eating his nut the squirrel sits up, the enemy-and the poor little soul finds holds it between his fore paws with the small end next his mouth, and they run races with each other round and splits the shell into two equal halves round the 'boughs in pure glee, it is a real with his chisel-shaped front teeth, neatly game at hide and seek, mixed with pretty as a boy would do it with a knife. He staccato talk, little grunts of question and thoroughly enjoys the sweet kernel, but reply, and sounds like inward laughter. pricks his delicate ears to listen all the Some man greedy of gain grabs and sells while. He is startled ! away he goes, one them, that somebody away in the town might almost say, flies. The little figure may buy. Some of us go through the disappears like a brown flash of lightning. world with sore hearts enough-others are A distant shaking of the boughs alone happy. In either case shall we better our tells where he pauses, at a safe distance, condition by making innocent things with tiny beating breast and bright eyes suffer ? Drugged with strychnine to make to peep out and see what the matter is. them quiet and “ tame,” their front teeth
Shut up such a creature as this in a cage ? drawn maybe to prevent them from biting Ah ! what a hard, cold, unmerciful person in their first misery and rage at being must have first planned such a remorseless caught, these unfortunate
pets act, what unthinking or unfeeling people doomed to a whirligig treadmill, to a cage, they must be who can do it now! No to solitary confinement for life. If such squirrel is born in a cage ; all that are deeds as these “ brighten many a human bought have been either caught or stolen life," as folk say, then the noble, the kind, from the nest-taken from the fun and the generous will prefer the sadder road. frolic and freedom of the wild wood. There
AN OPEN LETTER. MY DEAR GABRIELLE,
has the greatest significance for the future I have received the following progress of the Society. May the public from the German S.P.C.A., accompanied in the future also take a livelier interest in by a request for its insertion :
the work of the Society than has hitherto The two presidents of the Society, been the case." Superintendent Wegener and Mr. Borman, The chief feature of the past month to cashier of the National Bank, together many humanitarians has been the inwith the secretary of the Society, Major auguration of the Prince of Wales's Wegener, have had, by order of Hier Hospital Fund for celebrating the Queen's Majesty the Empress Frederick, the great Diamond Jubilee. You want to know the honour of being received in special audience. exact connection between animal protecThe distinguished lady permitted them, in tion and hospitals ? Let us put it this the course of a long conversation, to way
the exact connection
between inform her as to the affairs in general of humanitarianism and hospitals. It is obthe S.P.C.A. in Berlin, and announced vious, is it not? The provision of in the kindest manner Her Majesty's hospitals is the work of a large-hearted interest in all the efforts made for beneficence, of humanitarianism writ the protection of animals. Her Majesty large; their maintenance is the care of deplored the sufferings of draught animals the public at large. What the humanicaused by ill-usage, and expressed an tarians who are animal lovers as well earnest wish for the construction of drink
want to guard against is the
use of ing troughs in the streets, for the use of hospitals as places of illegitimate experihorses and dogs. Her Majesty also mentation on patients. And for this expressed the liveliest interest in the reason :— They notice that the pseudoquestion of the protection of birds. After scientific experimenters on living animals the three gentlemen had presented to Her largely attach themselves to hospital Majesty a copy of the rules, the calendar, staffs. Why? Many of the text books and the journal of the Society (the Ibis), physiology will tell you—that the they left the Imperial Palace highly satis- results obtained in the physiological fied with the result of the audience granted laboratories from experiments on animals them.
are tested on the patients in the adjoining - This declaration of Her Majesty's hospitals. The Lancet, I think it was, said interest, which later found expression in a that hospitals existed primarily for the traingraciously-worded
acceptance of the
the ing of medical students and nurses, and next position of patron of the German S.P.C.A., for the treatment of patients. Animal
experimentation is the thin end of the In very many seaport towns donkeys are wedge. Many such experiments are, no
cruelly used, overloaded, and beaten excesdoubt, interesting in themselves without
sively. As soon as vessels, particularly large
liners, arrive, and passengers land, a gay being in any way applicable to human
saddle and trappings are put on the poor beings; but others are only interesting
little animals, and a big hulking fellow, far when there is some supposed connection better able to carry the donkey, is persuaded between them and human diseases.
to get astride the small, patient beast and go That experiments have taken place on for a country ride. The poor creature is human beings in hospitals is undoubted. remorselessly over-ridden for the gratification Mr. Mark Thornhill, J.P., formerly Judge
of this thoughtless person. A journey over, of Sakarumpore, India, has written and
another commences, and the donkey's life is
one of bitter drudgery and abuse. Donkeys do published a most careful and exhaustive
not live long in Teneriffe. pamphlet on the question, giving chapter
So far my correspondent on this point. and verse with deadly accuracy, the medical journals being largely drawn upon for the
Evidently the legend about never seeing a material. Hatchards, of Piccadilly, for
dead donkey does not apply to these sum
But the writer goes on to merly published this, but it can now be
another matter :obtained (by sending 3.d. in stamps) from the Secretary of the Victoria Street Society, The Graphic of December 12th had a refer20, Victoria Street, Westminster, S.W. ence to the cruelty at Teneriffe, etc., I am glad This is no mere prejudiced compilation; it
to say ; but very little can be done in the is the production of an old and experienced
islands, public opinion, such opinion as there is, being absolutely indifferent.
The only lawyer, trained in the collection and dis
thing to do is to keep hammering away in the section of evidence, and it is a paper to English and American press, and for this which the experimenting school have never reason : such articles as those in the Graphic attempted an answer, nor have they been make the Spaniards, both in the islands and in able to point to a single flaw in it. That London, grind their teeth with anger. Their many medical men are absolutely incapable
whole salvation in the former is to stand well of treating patients otherwise than for their
with the English and Americans ; it is British
capital which has been the salvation of the benefit no reasonable person denies, but
islands. They never knew what prosperity the fingers of the experimenter have often meant until within the last seven years, when itched, and will itch again, when he finds British capital began to pour into the place. the human material at hand. It is desir- They know that every word said against their able to protect the patient from all hideous cruelty to animals hurts them finan.
cially, and helps to keep visitors away. experiments, unless they are for the
hotels in the Canaries have never yet paid a benefit of the person on whom they are
dividend. Much of the hotel stocks and shares tried, and not performed merely in the
is held by Spaniards, who are the supporters interest of contingent rich patients outside,
of all kinds of cruelty-bull fights, cock fights, to whom the experimenter may be looking dog fights, sea-gull shooting, etc., and they as profitable and probable private clients literally foam at the mouth with wrath when of the future. If we protect the lesser (the
attacked. They counted upon animals) we shall also protect the greater
England and America pouring crowds of
visitors into the island, and that Madeira (the human), but if we are treacherous in
would be ruined. small things and to animals, we shall find
The jealousy between
Teneriffe and Grand Canary is very great, and it hard not to be treacherous and cruel in
although the people are very cruel at the latter, large things-particularly in dealing with they will not have bull fights because Teneriffe our fellow humans who may be too weak will, and they are Republicans in politics and helpless to defend themselves.
because Teneriffe is Conservative. subscribing to the Prince's Fund it would Is it too much to hope that so gallant a be well to say that the money is sent on race as the Spanish will in time come to condition that not a penny of it is given to see that the world is growing out of the hospitals which have animal torturers on barbaric customs of the past, and that it their stails.
behoves a nation, with so great a past as Over a year ago a great deal of attention that of Spain, not to be behind in the was attracted towards Teneriffe and the march of a higher and a more humane cruelty perpetrated there, particularly in civilization ? connection with the bull fights. A cor- There is quite a collection of other respondent who has recently been visiting matters with which I should have liked there, has called on me twice and drawn to deal, but I am almost swept out of my my attention to several matters needing usual space this month by the torrent of eform. My correspondent says :
correspondence. If evidence is needed of the