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Concerning Animals and Other Matters   By: (1851-1909)

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First Page:

[Illustration: Portrait of "EHA."]

CONCERNING ANIMALS AND OTHER MATTERS

BY E.H. AITKEN ("EHA")

AUTHOR OF "FIVE WINDOWS OF THE SOUL," "TRIBES ON MY FRONTIER," ETC.

WITH A MEMOIR OF THE AUTHOR BY

SURGEON GENERAL W.B. BANNERMAN I.M.S., C.S.I.

WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY J A. SHEPHERD AND A PORTRAIT

LONDON

1914

CONTENTS

"EHA"

I FEET AND HANDS II BILLS OF BIRDS III TAILS IV NOSES V EARS VI TOMMY VII THE BARN OWL VIII DOMESTIC ANIMALS IX SNAKES X THE INDIAN SNAKE CHARMER XI CURES FOR SNAKE BITE XII THE COBRA BUNGALOW XIII THE PANTHER I DID NOT SHOOT XIV THE PURBHOO XV THE COCONUT TREE XVI THE BETEL NUT XVII A HINDU FESTIVAL XVIII INDIAN POVERTY XIX BORROWED INDIAN WORDS

Special thanks are due to the Editors and Proprietors of the Strand Magazine, Pall Mall Magazine and Times of India for their courtesy in permitting the reprinting of the articles in this book which originally appeared in their columns.

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

HALF TONES

"EHA"

THE NOSE OF THE ELEPHANT BECOMING A HAND HAS REDEEMED ITS MIND

GOOD FOR ANY ROUGH JOB

HERE THE COMPETITION HAS BEEN VERY KEEN INDEED

THE RAT IS A NEAR RELATION OF THE SQUIRREL ZOOLOGICALLY BUT PERSONALLY HE IS A GUTTER SNIPE, AND YOU MAY KNOW THAT BY ONE LOOK AT THE TAIL, WHICH HE DRAGS AFTER HIM LIKE A DIRTY ROPE

A BLACKBIRD AND A STARLING THE ONE LIFTS ITS SKIRTS, WHILE THE OTHER WEARS A WALKING DRESS

THE NOSTRILS OF THE APTERYX ARE AT THE TIP OF ITS BEAK

THE LONG NOSED MONKEY

LINE BLOCKS

AN AUTHENTIC STANDARD FOOT

THESE BEASTS ARE ALL CLODHOPPERS, AND THEIR FEET ARE HOBNAILED BOOTS

IT HAS TO DOUBLE THEM UNDER AND HOBBLE ABOUT LIKE A CHINESE LADY

NO DOUBT EACH BIRD SWEARS BY ITS OWN PATTERN

ITS BILL DESERVES STUDY

AS WONDERFUL AS THE PELICAN, BUT HOW OPPOSITE!

THERE ARE SOME ECCENTRICS, SUCH AS JENNY WREN, WHICH HAVE DESPISED THEIR TAILS

AT THE SIGHT OF A RIVAL THE DOG HOLDS ITS TAIL UP STIFFLY

A SHREW CAN DO IT, BUT NOT A MAN

A BOLD ATTEMPT TO GROW IN THE CASE OF A TAPIR

I HAVE SEEN HUMAN NOSES OF A PATTERN NOT UNLIKE THIS, BUT THEY ARE NOT CONSIDERED ARISTOCRATIC

WHO CAN CONSIDER THAT NOSE SERIOUSLY?

OR PERHAPS WHEN IT WANTS TO LISTEN IT RAISES A FLIPPER TO ITS EAR

"TEAR OUT THE HOUSE LIKE THE DOGS WUZ ATTER HIM"

A GREAT CATHOLIC CONGRESS OF DISTINGUISHED EARS

THE CURLS OF A MOTHER'S DARLING

INTRODUCTION

"EHA"

Edward Hamilton Aitken, the author of the following sketches, was well known to the present generation of Anglo Indians, by his pen name of Eha, as an accurate and amusing writer on natural history subjects. Those who were privileged to know him intimately, as the writer of this sketch did, knew him as a Christian gentleman of singular simplicity and modesty and great charm of manner. He was always ready to help a fellow worker in science or philanthropy if it were possible for him to do so. Thus, indeed, began the friendship between us. For when plague first invaded India in 1896, the writer was one of those sent to Bombay to work at the problem of its causation from the scientific side, thereby becoming interested in the life history of rats, which were shown to be intimately connected with the spread of this dire disease. Having for years admired Eha's books on natural history The Tribes on my Frontier, An Indian Naturalist's Foreign Policy , and The Naturalist on the Prowl , I ventured to write to him on the subject of rats and their habits, and asked him whether he could not throw some light on the problem of plague and its spread, from the naturalist's point of view.

In response to this appeal he wrote a most informing and characteristic article for The Times of India (July 19, 1899), which threw a flood of light on the subject of the habits and characteristics of the Indian rat as found in town and country. He was the first to show that Mus rattus , the old English black rat, which is the common house rat of India outside the large seaports, has become, through centuries of contact with the Indian people, a domestic animal like the cat in Britain... Continue reading book >>




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