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Wood Folk at School   By: (1867-1952)

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Wood Folk at School

[Illustration]

[Illustration: "THERE AT A TURN IN THE PATH, NOT TEN YARDS AHEAD, STOOD A HUGE BEAR."]

WOOD FOLK AT SCHOOL

BY

WILLIAM J. LONG

WOOD FOLK SERIES BOOK FOUR

GINN & COMPANY BOSTON · NEW YORK · CHICAGO · LONDON

ENTERED AT STATIONERS' HALL

COPYRIGHT, 1902, 1903 BY WILLIAM J. LONG

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

The Athenæum Press GINN & COMPANY · CAMBRIDGE · MASSACHUSETTS

PREFACE

It may surprise many, whose knowledge of wild animals is gained from rare, fleeting glimpses of frightened hoof or wing in the woods, to consider that there can be such a thing as a school for the Wood Folk; or that instruction has any place in the life of the wild things. Nevertheless it is probably true that education among the higher order of animals has its distinct place and value. Their knowledge, however simple, is still the result of three factors: instinct, training, and experience. Instinct only begins the work; the mother's training develops and supplements the instinct; and contact with the world, with its sudden dangers and unknown forces, finishes the process.

For many years the writer has been watching animals and recording his observations with the idea of determining, if possible, which of these three is the governing factor in the animal's life. Some of the results of this study were published last year in a book called "School of the Woods," which consisted of certain studies of animals from life, and certain theories in the form of essays to account for what the writer's eyes had seen and his own ears heard in the great wilderness among the animals.

A school reader is no place for theories; therefore that part of the book is not given here. The animal studies alone are reproduced in answer to the requests from many teachers that these be added to the Wood Folk books. From these the reader can form his own conclusions as to the relative importance of instinct and training, if he will. But there is another and a better way open: watch the purple martins for a few days when the young birds first leave the house; find a crow's nest, and watch secretly while the old birds are teaching their little ones to fly; follow a fox, or any other wild mother animal, patiently as she leaves the den and leads the cubs out into the world of unknown sights and sounds and smells, and you will learn more in a week of what education means to the animals than anybody's theories can ever teach you.

These are largely studies of individual animals and birds. They do not attempt to give the habits of a class or species, for the animals of the same class are alike only in a general way; they differ in interest and intelligence quite as widely as men and women of the same class, if you but watch them closely enough. The names here given are those of the Milicete Indians, as nearly as I can remember them; and the incidents have all passed under my own eyes and were recorded in the woods, from my tent or canoe, just as I saw them.

WILLIAM J. LONG.

STAMFORD, CONN., March, 1903.

CONTENTS

PAGE WHAT THE FAWNS MUST KNOW 1

A CRY IN THE NIGHT 11

ISMAQUES THE FISHHAWK 31

A SCHOOL FOR LITTLE FISHERMEN 48

WHEN YOU MEET A BEAR 58

QUOSKH THE KEEN EYED 75

UNK WUNK THE PORCUPINE 111

A LAZY FELLOW'S FUN 124

THE PARTRIDGES' ROLL CALL 134

UMQUENAWIS THE MIGHTY 151

AT THE SOUND OF THE TRUMPET 175

GLOSSARY OF INDIAN NAMES 187

FULL PAGE ILLUSTRATIONS

"THERE AT A TURN IN THE PATH, NOT TEN YARDS AHEAD, STOOD A HUGE BEAR" Frontispiece

FACING PAGE "THE WHITE FLAG SHOWING LIKE A BEACON LIGHT AS SHE JUMPED AWAY" 9

"HER EYES ALL ABLAZE WITH THE WONDER OF THE LIGHT" 24

"PRESENTLY THEY BEGAN TO SWOOP FIERCELY AT SOME ANIMAL" 43

"GRIPPING HIS FISH AND pip pipping HIS EXULTATION" 53

"A DOZEN TIMES THE FISHER JUMPED, FILLING THE AIR WITH FEATHERS" 104

"BOTHERS AND IRRITATES THE PORCUPINE BY FLIPPING EARTH AT HIM" 118

"THEY WOULD TURN THEIR HEADS AND LISTEN INTENTLY" 145

"PLUNGING LIKE A GREAT ENGINE THROUGH UNDERBRUSH AND OVER WINDFALLS" 152

"A MIGHTY SPRING OF HIS CROUCHING HAUNCHES FINISHED THE WORK" 183

What the Fawns Must Know

[Illustration]

To this day it is hard to understand how any eyes could have found them, they were so perfectly hidden... Continue reading book >>




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