Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

"Wee Tim'rous Beasties" Studies of Animal life and Character   By: (1870-1939)

Book cover

First Page:

"WEE TIM'ROUS BEASTIES"

[Illustration: THE BLACK RAT SAT BACK ON HIS HAUNCHES, PRICKED UP HIS EARS, AND LISTENED.]

"WEE TIM'ROUS BEASTIES"

STUDIES OF ANIMAL LIFE AND CHARACTER

BY DOUGLAS ENGLISH

FELLOW OF THE ROYAL PHOTOGRAPHIC SOCIETY OF GREAT BRITAIN AUTHOR OF "PHOTOGRAPHY FOR NATURALISTS"

SECOND EDITION

WITH ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY ILLUSTRATIONS FROM HIS PHOTOGRAPHS OF LIVING CREATURES

LONDON S. H. BOUSFIELD & CO., LTD 12, PORTUGAL STREET, W.C.

TO MY DEAR CHILDREN BRYAN AND WINNIE

PREFACE

For permission to include in this volume "The Awakening of the Dormouse," "The Purple Emperor," "The Harvest Mouse," and "The Trivial Fortunes of Molge," I have to thank the Editor of the Girl's Realm , and for "The Story of a Field Vole," and "The Passing of the Black Rat," I am indebted to the courtesy of the Editor of Pearson's Magazine .

DOUGLAS ENGLISH.

HAWLEY, DARTFORD, September, 1903 .

CONTENTS

MUS RIDICULUS 1

THE STORY OF A FIELD VOLE 28

THE APOLOGY OF THE HOUSE SPARROW 48

THE AWAKENING OF THE DORMOUSE 66

THE PURPLE EMPEROR 88

THE HARVEST MOUSE 118

THE TRIVIAL FORTUNES OF MOLGE 142

THE PASSING OF THE BLACK RAT 171

THE FOX'S TRICKS ARE MANY; ONE IS ENOUGH FOR THE URCHIN 192

[Illustration]

"WEE TIM'ROUS BEASTIES"

MUS RIDICULUS

Mus ridiculus! The taunt had been flung at him by a stout field vole, and, by reason of its novelty as well as of its intrinsic impertinence, had sunk deep into his memory. He had felt at the time that "Wee sleekit, cowrin', tim'rous beastie" was but a poor rejoinder. But he knew no Latin and chose what was next in obscurity. Besides, he was a young mouse then, and breathless with excitement.

The scene rose vividly before him the moon shining grimly overhead, and the mouse folk stealing from the half threshed stack across two fields into the farmstead.

Since that night he had never entered a wheat stack, for fear of the leaving of it. For there are some things which, from a mouse standpoint, will not bear repetition.

There had been a grey, slanting ghost swish above, and his brother had vanished skywards from within an inch of his side. He had turned to stone before two ice cold eyes, and realized the honest yard of snake behind them. A stoat had passed him with its mouth too full to snap and all within two fields.

[Illustration: MUS RIDICULUS!]

Mus ridiculus! The vole was not so far wrong after all, for could anything, whose intelligence was otherwise than laughable, be in his present plight? In front of him were three horizontal wires, above him were nine more, on either side an upright wooden wall, behind him a slanting one, whose lower extremity nipped his tail. On the floor lay innumerable crumbs of evil smelling cheese.

When the door of the trap had clicked behind him, he had naturally been startled. His fright, however, was due not so much to his surroundings he was used to close quarters as to the forcible restriction of his tail. Still, the cheese was within easy reach, and he had determined to enjoy it. Indeed, he ate his full. Now, cheese on an empty mouse stomach acts as an intoxicant. He had fallen into a drowsy slumber, crouched in a back corner of the trap, and so he slept for an hour... Continue reading book >>




eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book



Popular Genres
More Genres
Languages
Paid Books