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DOMESTIC ANIMALS. For an account of neat cattle, horses, sheep, and swine, together with the proper mode of rearing and managing them, &c., see Part V. Sec. Il. Art. Agriculture.
In respect to other animals, it will not comport with the design of this work to give a minute and extended account. Yet, as it might otherwise be thought quite incomplete, we shall proceed to notice a few of the most interesting animals found on the globe, without confining ourselves exclusively to those which are used as aliments. We begin with the
LION. This noble animal is far from being as large in size, as many others. His ordinary height is between three and four feet, and his length six feet. Some are still larger. His head, neck, and shoulders are large ; while his hinder parts are comparatively thin, and small. His strength and courage are such, as to entitle him to the appellation of “King of Beasts.” The only animals which ever, seriously, pretend to cope with him, are the elephant, tiger, and rhinoceros. The color of the lion is a reddish yellow ; his mane is somewhat darker, and often approaches to black. He is found in most parts of Africa, and the southern parts of Asia ; but is more common in the former, than in the latter.' The lioness is one third smaller than the male ; but in disposition is more ferocious. The lion requires from twelve to twenty pounds of food every day. He lives chiefly upon the flesh of animals; and, in a wild state, generally takes his prey by night.
Many interesting anecdotes are related of the lion. The following is an account of an engagement which recently took place between a lion and two tigers in the tower of London :
“ Between eleven and twelve o'clock yesterday morning, as the man whose duty it is to clean the wild beasts at the Tower was in the execution of that office, he inadvertently raised a door in the upper tier of cells, which separated the den of a huge lion from one in which there were a Bengal royal tiger and tigress. At sight of each other the eyes of the animals sparkled with rage. The lion instantly erected his mane, and, with a tremendous roar, sprang at the tiger. The tiger was equally eager for the combat, and, in a paroxysm of fury, flew at his assailant, whilst the tigress fiercely seconded her mate. The roaring and yelling of the combatants resounded through the yards, and excited in all the various animals the most lively demonstrations of fear or rage. The timid tribes shivered with dread, and ran round their cages shrieking with terror, whilst the other lions and tigers, with the bears, leopards, panthers, wolves, and hyenas, flew round their dens, shaking the bars with their utmost strength, and uttering the most terrific cries. The lion fought most bravely, but was evidently overmatched, having to contend with two adversaries not more than a year from the woods, whilst he had been upwards of seven years in confinement. Still the battle raged with doubtful success, until the tiger seized the lion by the throat, and flung him on his back, when, after rolling over each other several times, the exasperated tigress pinned her enemy against the veranda. In that situation the prostrate lord of the forest still struggled with an indomitable spirit, roaring with agony and rage. By this time, however, some iron rods had been heated, the red-hot ends of which were now applied to the mouths and nostrils of the infuriated tigers,
who were by this means forced to relinquish their grasp ; but no sooner was the separation effected than the lion and tiger seized in their mouths, the one the upper, and the other the lower jaw of his antagonist, biting and tugging at each other with deadly fury. So excited was their animosity, that it was with great difficulty, by the insertion into their nostrils of the glowing iron, they could be disengaged, and the lion driven back to his cell, the door of which was instantly closed upon him. The battle lasted full half an hour. The tiger in the last onset lost one of his tusks, but the poor lion was very severely punished.
In a work entitled, “Researches in South Africa,” published by the Rev. Dr. Philip, is given an account of an adventure with a lion, so curious, that we extract it without abridgement.
“ Our waggons, which were obliged to take a circuitous route, arrived at last, and we pitched our tent a musket shot from the kraal; and after having arranged every thing, went to rest, but were soon disturbed ; for about midnight the cattle and horses, which were standing between the wagons, began to start and run, and one of the drivers to shout, on which every one ran out of the tent with his gun. Aboạt thirty paces from the tent stood a lion, which, on seeing us, walked very deliberately about thirty paces farther, behind a small thorn-bush, carrying something with him, which I took to be a young ox.
We fired more than sixty shots at that bush, and pierced it stoutly, without perceiving any movement. The southeast wind blew strong, the sky was clear, and the moun shone very bright, so that we could perceive every thing at that distance. After the cattle had been quieted again, and I had looked over every thing, I missed the sentry from before the tent, Jan Smit, from Antwerp, belonging to the Groene Kloof. We called as loudly as possible, but in vain,-nobody answered; from which I concluded that the lion had carried him off. Three or four men then advanced very cautiously to the bush, which stood right opposite the door of the tent, to see if they could discover any thing of the’man, but returned helter-skelter, for the lion, who was there still, rose up, and began to roar. They found there the musket of the sentry, which was cocked, and also his cap and shoes.
“We fired again about a hundred shots at the bush, (which was sixty paces from the tent and only thirty paces from the wagons, and at which we were able to point as at a target,) without perceiving any thing of the lion, from which we concluded that he was killed or had run away. This induced the marksman, Jan Stamansz, to go and see if he was there still or not, taking with him a firebrand. But as soon as he approached the bush the lion roared terribly and leaped at him ; on which he threw the fire-brand at him, and the other people having fired about ten shots, he retired direclty to his former place behind that bush.
“ The firebrand which he had thrown at the lion had fallen in the midst of the bush, and, favored by the strong south-east wind, it began to burit with a great fame, so that we could see very clearly into and through it. We continued our firing into it; the night passed away, and the day began to break, which animated every one to aim at the lion, because he could not go from thence without exposing himself entirely, as the bush stood directly against a steep kloof, Seven men,
posted at the farthest wagons, watched him, to take aim at him if he should come out.
" At last, before it became quite light, he walked up the hill with the man in his mouth, when about forty shots were fired at him without hitting him, although some were very near, Every time this happened, he turned round towards the tent, and came roaring towards us ; and I am of opinion, that if he had been hit, he would have rushed on the people and the tent.
u When it became broad day-light, we perceived, by the blood and a piece of the clothes of the man, that the lion had taken him away and carried him with him. Wo also found behind the bush, the place where the lion had been keeping the man, and it appeared impossible that no ball should have hit him, as we found in that place several balls beaten flat. We concluded that he was wounded, and not far from this. The people therefore requested permission to go in search of the man's corpse in order to bury it, supposing, that, by our continual firing, the lion would not have had time to devour much of it. I gave permission to some, on condition that they should take a good party of armed Hottentots with them, and made them promise that they would not run into danger, but keep a good look-out, and be circumspect. On this seven of them, assisted by forty-three armed Hottentots, followed the track, and found the lion about half a league farther on, lying behind a little bush. On the shout of the Hottentots, he sprang up and ran away, on which they all pursued him. At last the beast turned round, and rushed, roaring terribly, amongst the crowd. The people, fatigued and out of breath with their running, fired and missed him, on which he made directly towards them. The captain, or chief head of the kraal, here did a brave act, in aid of two of the people whom the lion attacked. The gun of one of them missed fire, and the other missed his aim, on which the captain threw himself between the lion and the people so close, that the lion struck his claws into the caross (mantle) of the Hottentot. But he was too agile for him, doffed his caross, and stabbed him with an assagai. Instantly the other Hottentots hastened on, and adorned him with all their assagais, so that he looked like a porcupine. Notwithstanding this he did not leave off roaring and leaping, and bit off some of the assagais, till the marksman, Jan Stamansz fired a ball into his eye, which made him turn over, and he was then shot dead by the other people. He was a tremendously large beast, and had but a short time before carried off a Hottentot from the kraal and devoured him."
TIGER. The Tiger, commonly called the Royal Tiger, is a native of Bengal, of the kingdoms of Siam and Tonquin, of China, of Sumatra, and, indeed, of all the countries of Southern Asia, situated beyond the Indus, and extending to the north of China. This species of ani. mal has long abounded in the above countries, while the Asiatic lion, on the contrary, has only been known, within a few years. The average height of the tiger is about three feet, and the length nearly six feet. The species, however, varies considerably in size, and individuals have often been found, much taller and longer than the lion. The peculiar markings of the tiger's skin, are well known. On a ground of yellow, of various shades in different specimens, there is a series of black trans
PUMA OR COUGAR.—DOMESTIC CAT.
verse bars, varying in number, from twenty to thirty, and becoming black rings on the tail, the number of which is, almost invariably fifteen. There are oblique bands, also, on the legs. The pupils of the
eye are circular.
The tiger, like the lion, springs upon its prey, from an ambush ; and, in most cases, he is easily terrified by any sudden opposition from human beings. A party in India was once saved from a tiger, by a lady, who suddenly opened an umbrella, as she saw him about to spring. Our readers may remember the attack of a tigress upon the horses of the mail, on Salisbury plain, in England, a few years ago. The creature had escaped from a travelling menagerie; and, not forgetting her natural habits, sprung upon the leaders as they passed her. The guard would have shot her; but her keepers drove her off, and she escaped to a haystack, under which she crept, and was retaken without difficulty, In narrow passages in Hindoestan, travellers have often been seized by tigers ; or a bullock, or horse has fallen a victim to the ferocity of this prowling beast. Horses have such a dread of the tiger, that they can scarcely ever be brought to face him. Hunting him, therefore, on horseback, is a service of great danger. The elepliant, on the contrary, though considerably agitated, will stand more steadily, while his rider anticipates the fatal spring, by a shot which levels the tiger to the earth. One peculiarity of the tiger, is his willingness to take to the water, either when pursued, or in search of the prey, which he espies on the opposite bank of a river.
The PUMA or COUGAR is a native of the American continent, and is principally found in Paraguay, Brazil, and Guiana. He is sometimes seen in the United States, where he is called panther or painter. He resembles the lion, both in color and voice ; but is not as large, and has no mane. Capt. Head, in his “ Journey across the Pampas,” relates the following interview between a man and a puma.
“ The man was trying to shoot some wild ducks; and, in order to approach them unperceived, he put the corner of his poncho (which is a sort of long, narrow blanket) over his head, and crawling along the ground upon his hands and knees, the poncho not only covered his body, but trailed along the ground behind him. As he was thus creeping by a large bush of reeds, he heard a loud, sudden noise, between a bark and a roar: he felt something heavy strike his feet, and instantly jumping up, he saw, to his astonishment, a large puma, actually standing on his poncho; and perhaps the animal was equally astonished, to find himself in the immediate presence of so athletic a man. told me he was unwilling to fire, as his gun was loaded with very small shot; and therefore remained motionless, the puma standing on his poncho for many seconds ; at last the creature turned his head, and walking very slowly away about ten yards, he stopped and turned again : the man still maintained his ground, upon which the animal tacitly acknowledged his supremacy, and walked off.”
The DOMESTIC CAT is found in almost every country on the globe. It is probably a domesticated variety of the wild cat, for when suffered to retire to the woods, it soon becomes wild. A tame cat generally attains the age of twelve years. The food most agreeable to cats is the flesh of animals, or fish ; they eat vegetable aliment only
The man DOMESTIC CAT. -DOG.
from necessity. There are, however, some plants of which they are very fond; of this nature is the valerian root, and the herb called nep, or cat-mint. On the other hand, they shun the common rue, as a poison, and any substance rubbed with the leaves of this plant, is said to be perfectly secure from their depredations.
Cats delight in a warm temperature, and a soft couch ; moisture and filth, as well as water and cold are equally repugnant to their nature; hence they are continually cleaning themselves with their paws. and tongue. Another peculiarity is, the purring of these animals, when they are cajoled or flattered, by passing the hand over their backs: this singular noise is performed by means of two elastic membranes in the larynx, or upper part of the wind-pipe. Their hair is 80 electric, that the expanded skin of a cat makes an excellent cushion for the glass cylinder, or globe, of an electrifying machine.
The flesh of cats is eaten by several nations; but the substance of the brain is said to be poisonous. From the intestines of these animals is manufactured the celebrated Roman chords, for covering the violin. They are manufactured out of the guts of rabbits and sheep also : they are cleaned, soaked in water, stretched by a machine, and dried. The name of cat-gut comes from the circumstance of cats being used as food in many parts of Italy, and their guts applied to the making of strings.
With respect to their peculiarities, we shall remark, that cats possess a very acute sense of both smell and sight. By the structure of their eyes, which sparkle in the dark, they are better enabled to discover objects of prey, such as mice and rats, at night, than in the day time; hence, they ought not to be luxuriously fed, if kept for the destruction of these vermin. It is, however, to be regretted, that this useful domestic creature is one of the most deceitful companions, being constantly bent on theft and rapine.
Many persons have so invincible an antipathy against these creatures, that they have been known to faint in rooms where cats were concealed, and no arguments were sufficient to efface the impression.
DOG. Animals of the dog kind are distinguished by their claws, which have no sheath, like those of the cat kind; but adhere to the point of each toe, without the power of being extended, or drawn back. Their eyes, also, are not formed for seeing clearly in the dark. By comparing the habits and propensities of the two classes, we shall find, that while the savage selfishness of the cat’s disposition, prevents it from deriving any pleasure from society, the dog seems to find its gratification increased, by associating with the species to which he belongs; and in countries where they are permitted to range with freedom, they are always observed to hunt in packs.
The dog is allowed to be the most intelligent of all quadrupeds; and one that, doubtless, is most deserving of admiration; for, independent of his beauty, his vivacity and swiftness, he gives the most manifest proofs of his attachment to mankind. In his savage state, he may have been a formidable enemy; but to view him at present, he seems only anxious to please; he willingly crouches before his master, and is ready to lick the dust from his feet; he waits his orders, consults his looks, and is more faithful than half the human race. He is constant