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Squirrels and Other Fur-Bearers   By: (1837-1921)

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First Page:




With Fifteen Illustrations in Colors after Audubon, and a Frontispiece from Life

[Illustration: RED FOX. (Page 53)]

Boston and New York Houghton, Mifflin and Company

The Riverside Press, Cambridge

Copyright 1875, 1879, 1881, 1886, 1894, and 1900, by John Burroughs All Rights Reserved


CHAP. PAGE I. Squirrels 1 II. The Chipmunk 15 III. The Woodchuck 32 IV. The Rabbit and the Hare 38 V. The Muskrat 43 VI. The Skunk 48 VII. The Fox 53 VIII. The Weasel 72 IX. The Mink 90 X. The Raccoon 94 XI. The Porcupine 98 XII. The Opossum 106 XIII. Wild Mice 111 XIV. Glimpses of Wild Life 125 XV. A Life of Fear 135


LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS PAGE Red Fox (page 53) (From a photograph by Wm. Lyman Underwood, Belmont, Mass.) Frontispiece Flying Squirrel 4 Gray Squirrel 8 Chipmunk 18 Woodchuck 34 Gray Rabbit 40 Muskrat 46 Skunk 50 Weasel 74 Mink 90 Raccoon 96 Porcupine 102 Opossum 108 White footed Mouse 112 Jumping Mouse 120 Red Squirrel 136




Walking through the early October woods one day, I came upon a place where the ground was thickly strewn with very large unopened chestnut burrs. On examination I found that every burr had been cut square off with about an inch of the stem adhering, and not one had been left on the tree. It was not accident, then, but design. Whose design? A squirrel's. The fruit was the finest I had ever seen in the woods, and some wise squirrel had marked it for his own. The burrs were ripe, and had just begun to divide. The squirrel that had taken all this pains had evidently reasoned with himself thus: "Now, these are extremely fine chestnuts, and I want them; if I wait till the burrs open on the tree, the crows and jays will be sure to carry off a great many of the nuts before they fall; then, after the wind has rattled out what remain, there are the mice, the chipmunks, the red squirrels, the raccoons, the grouse, to say nothing of the boys and the pigs, to come in for their share; so I will forestall events a little: I will cut off the burrs when they have matured, and a few days of this dry October weather will cause every one of them to open on the ground; I shall be on hand in the nick of time to gather up my nuts." The squirrel, of course, had to take the chances of a prowler like myself coming along, but he had fairly stolen a march on his neighbors. As I proceeded to collect and open the burrs, I was half prepared to hear an audible protest from the trees about, for I constantly fancied myself watched by shy but jealous eyes. It is an interesting inquiry how the squirrel knew the burrs would open if left to lie on the ground a few days. Perhaps he did not know, but thought the experiment worth trying... Continue reading book >>

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