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CATCHING A GEIZZLY.
Novel Trap Improvised
Xanky Bill Loh His Month's Wages aad
the Seat of His Pants, but Is Re
Baton to Casap.
HE majority of
people who have
caught or killed a
bear, in relating
usually mix a cer
tain amount of
gore and gun
powder in to lend
tone to their nar
ratives and give
the public a great
impression In re
gard to their
JjjjKS jB s valor. I, for one,
ATSisBL '"-"' am no aicte
n m visBsM"' to varnishing the
uuiu, uu am
willing to admit
J2 ard, and though
IJIf UUk OIIiUU Ul IUC
have been the
last person on earth to have thought
of catching a bear had circumstances
not forced uic to turn trapper. Now, as I
have frankly acknowledged my weakness,
I will ask the indulgence of the reader, and
hope that I will not be censured for any
cowardice shown in the adventure I am
about to relate, which is as follows:
I was engaged, along with several others,
in putting up a telegraph line through a
wild part of Arizona. The day of which I
am about to speak was our monthly pay
day, and after receiving our money one of
the boys Bdl Johnson by name and my
self were detailed to go back on the line
about four miles to a deserted mining town
to put up somo wires that had been blown
Bill was a great gawk of a fellow who had
the reputation of being the biggest coward
in the gang, but as neither he nor I saw any
danger ahead, we took a little lunch in our
pockets and started out, thinking only of
the money in our pockets and the glorious
"blowout" we would have when we reached
We arrived at our destination and soon
had ourwork completed, and were just about
to start for capip, when suddenly, not ten
yards from us, a monstrous grizzly came out
from among the bushes, and as soon as he
saw us gave chase.
Our only show was to reach a hut about s
hundred yards away, and both of us in
stinctively turned in that direction and ran
I reached the hut first and to my infinite
delight saw that it had a good solid door,
which was open.
I plunged in, grabbed the door and held
it ready to closo as soon as Bill could land
his lanky form inside, but as soon as i
turned around I saw that if he managed tc
I SLIMMED THE DOOR IS THE BEAK3 FACE.
get in thcrewou!d surely be some part of
3iis anatomy missing, as the bear was right
on his heels.
Just as ho reached the threshold bruin
made a grab for the .'region of Hill's hip
pocket, and in an instant his lean form fell
-on the dirt floor, while greenbacks and
silver dollars flew in all directions outside.
J slammed tho door In the bear's face,
"and, dropping the slender latch into place,
braced niyself against it and yelled for
Bill, who was feeling around to "find how
much of his anatomy ho had left outside, to
get a brace for the door.
He got up after satisfying himself that he
had only lost his month's pay and the bulk
of the posterior portion of his nether gar
ments, and found a plank, with which wc
soon had the door secured.
Tho next trouble which stared us in the
faco was the length of the bear's patience
and the shortness of our supply of pro
visions. We had both heard of bruin's sagacity,
staying qualities and ability to endure
hunger, and Bill, whowas a veritable belly
god, began to turn blue at the prospect of
"being deprived of three square meals a day
until we should either bo rescued or die.
I tried to cheer him up, but it was a hope
less task, and I soon gave it up and com
menced to deviso a means of escape.
About ten o'clock in tho evening I hit
upon a scheme which I proceeded at once to
After lighting an old piece of candle,
which Bill insisted it would be wiser to save
for eating purposes, I proceeded to cut a
iiole in the widest plankln the door with my
Bill thought that I was going crazy, but
when iTinfoldcd my plan which was noth
ing less than the capture of tho brute he
agreed to assist, and casually mentioned
that ho might find his last month's pay, and
may bo wo might get to camp in time for
In about two hours I had managed to cut
about a five-inch hole in the plank in spite
of the ropeated interruptions of the grizzly
and was ready for business.
We both had several pieces of wire hang
ing on our belts, and Bill had a large pair of
pincers which ho used m cutting wire.
These, along with a pair of climbing irons,
were the weapons with which we were to
make bruin a prisoner.
The flan was to get him to poke his nose
through the hole, and then grab his lower
jaw with the pincers, put tho straight por--tion
of the climbing iron into his month
istok of the tusks, and then wire his jaws so
lately togetaer that the teeth could not slip
aver. This scheme struck Bill as being ex
?eadlngly fcacy, and tho prospects of get
ticg his tegs 'under ths festal board at the
camp again pus aim in an excellent humor
ud ready for the fray.
chance for action soon case, for as
"I held my hand close to the hole, the bear
attempted to seize it, and BUI closed the
pincers on his jaw like arise. Ithea put
the iron in alace, aad in five minutes had
the tnfurlzted crate so securely fastened as
to aaWe ascaps impossible. He made a
jgrsat man attempts to free hiraself, tat
finding them of no avail along toward
morning he ceased his struggles, and Bill,
who was as good a sleeper as eater, con
cluded that it would be advisable jto take a
snooze; accordingly he stretched himself
out on a plank in front of the door, and was
soon sound asleep. The excitement and ex
ertions of the night also had their effect on
me, and, after listening to Bill's snoring for
some time, I also fell asleep.
A crash and a blood-curdling yell awak
ened me, and when I opened my eyes I saw
a sight at which I couldanot refrain from
laughing. Tho door opened toward a cor
ner of the cabin, and Bill, who evidently in
his sleep had kicked the brace from it, was
securely imprisoned in the corner, with the
infuriated bear slamming the door up
against him in a vain attempt to either es
cape or finish amputating the big fellow's
pants. Bill was yelling as loud as his lungs
would permit, when, with a mighty effort,
the bear threw the door off its hinges, and
made a break for the open air. To escape
was out of the question, as the door barred
f his passage. Then, after a few f utile at
tempts to get out, he commenced to circus
around in Bill's direction again, and the
poor fellow flew Irom one corner to another
a few times, and then bolted for the door
way. He hovered around about a quarter of a
mile from the hut for some time, when I
finally induced him to return and hunt up
his last month's pay, and after much coax
ing managed to get him to take hold of one
end of the door, while I took the other and
led omr captive into camp. After we got
our prize out of the hut we found very little
difficulty in leading him along, and when
we finally landed in camp that afternoon
we were considered heroes, and the boss
sent a man to the next town (about twenty
miles distant) with strict instructions not
to bring less than five gallons of the best
REMINDED OF HOME.
A Smell That Made a Chicago Girl Think
of Her Native City.
BEAT SCOTT!" said
the Chicago girl, as
she strode alongPenn
"what a sleepy old
town your Washing
ton is 1"
the Washington girl,
who was strolling a
pace behind her vigor
ous guest. "Yes.
Washington is quie
but not dull, and w
think it very beautiful."
"Do you, nowl" said the other, halting to
take breath. "Why, the people here just
puttter along. They don't walk as we do in
Chicago. The street cars run as if they
were greased; there are no carts or cobble
stones; there is no business, and the
streets are so wide they make me lone
some." "But, dear, look up the avenue," plead
ed tho soft-voiced Washington girl. "Could
anything be finer than that view of the
capitol? Somehow, that great white dome,
whether bathed in the golden light of morn
ing or tho red flame of sunset, or bared in
the white light of noon, is the stateliest
picture in the world. And there, too, notice
the Washington monument ! With its sum
mit touched by the sunset, it is turned to a
great jewel of shifting opalescent tints.
Seo the rosy lights and transparent mists
that soften the outlines of this wonderful
shaft Notice, too"
"Yes, yes, dear," shrilled the Chicago
girl,, impatiently, "that's all fine enough,
but you ought to see the Chicago water
tower or the belfry of the Polk street
depot," and she sniffed disdainfully. Then
she keeps on sniffing, at first suspiciously,
then eagerly and at last delightedly.
"Oh I oh! what's that? Whore does that
come from? Why, now, it seems I'm home,"
and the now eager wanderer in a strange
land darted in zig-zag lines in front of her
hostess, trying to locate the dear, but in
tangible, reminder of home.
"Why, dear, I don't understand what
odor you mean. There is nothing here but
that dreadful sewer gas, where they are
tsaring up the concrete. "
"Well, that's it," smiled the other, de
lightedly; "that's what I mean; only, of
course, the smell here isn't any thing com
pared to Chicago," and the now reconciled
visitor trotted along, her eager, yearning,
longing expression giving way to one of
dreamy retrospection. Washington Post
A GREAT MISTAKE.
Bingly It was unfortunate your wife
should have opened that business letter.
You told me, too, that she never meddled
with your mail.
Bangly So I did; but you made a great
Bingly How was that?
Bangly You marked the letter "Per
Mons. Higlif (parachute serosaat) Break
away, there! They ain't ao to o where
I'm fcln1 t'drofl-Pack. " '
'4SBBEclLBanSBBBBa A- v
Its Value to the Breeder aad the Necessity
for Using It.
"There is no use in talking about it,
no man'can succeed as a breeder without
the most liberal use of printer's ink."
That is what we heard fall from the lips
of an old and successful breeder the
other day. This is truly one of the oc
cupations where it will not do to hide
your light under a bushel. The reason
for all this is simple enough. Suppose
for a number of years you have been
assiduously attending to your breeding
business on your farm, saying nothing
to any one through the press, attending
fairs and sales perhaps, but not giving
any one to understand that you possess
the spirit of a leader in your line of busi
ness, and what is the result? You become
overloaded with live stock and, being
forced to advertise, no one knows who
you are, and those who are in need of
the very animal you have to sell con
clude that, as they never heard of you
before, the chances are that you are a
mere adventurer in the business, one
who has bought up a lot of animals to
sell again. Such we say is the very
natural conclusion, from tho fact that
you were not known to tho community
of which you are a part
Perhaps you are not a writing man and
know nothing of the art of quill-driving.
That amounts to nothing. If you have
any ideas of your own. and it is a poor
man that has none, they can readily
be put in form by the editor of a good
journal. But if you so much dislike
writing as to refuse to do it under any
and all circumstances, then you must
advertise the more, tor the lack of this.
Advertise you should do any way; even
if it be but a small one, it should be in
several journals, and stay there year in
and year out. Keep yourself before the
One good way to court public atten
tion is showing stock at fairs. It mat
ters very little who gets the premium,
your gain comes from the notico you
got from every journal that mentions
the fair. All such scribblers praise you,
no matter what you have on exhibition.
Then there is the advertisement of pub
lic sales; of course the better the ani
mals you have in the sales tho more they
advertise you, but you should get into
those sales even if you come in at the
tail end. We know a number of men
who have been handling fino stock for
twenty to thirty years, always breeding
and buying the best, but who have never
succeeded in selling to a great advan
tage, simply because they have neglected
the proper use of printer's ink. Amer
More sheep are lost by dogs in all of
the older States than by all other
causes. This is an unnecessary tax.
A few days ago a Montana flock
master received a draft for a little over
$48,000 for his wool clip of this year.
Oats is a better grain feed than corn
for cv. cs. It is not so heating and con
tains more of the nitrogenous element
so essential in building up the system
of the young.
Every flock-master must know by this
time that it is a constant diet on dry
food in winter that plays the mischief
with the flock. If you have neither en
silage nor roots, feed some oil meal.
Corn must be fed to sheep very spar
ingly. Not over a pound and a half of
corn should be given daily to a good
sized wether. But in addition it must
hr ve plenty of nutritious grass or hay.
Many farmers in Western New York
gave up the wool business as unprofit
able long ago, but still keep sheep, and
say that keeping tho mutton breeds is
one of the best-paying branches of farm
ing. Sheep should not be compelled to feed
at the same rack with cattle. They are
liable to be hooked, and a vicious ram
may sometimes do injury to cattle.
Separate yards and separate racks are
6afest and best.
Successful gardening means a plenti
ful application of fertilizers, and, in
deed, there should be more attention
given to saving manure on the farm
than is now bestowed. Our land is
mostly very fertile naturally, but
manure does not hurt any land, and the
time will come when either we or those
who come after us must fertilize the
land. But the garden needs manure,
and we would raise the best garden
crops. In the first place, we should have
a barnyard that is fitted for saving the
manure. If the yard is one that per
mits all the drainage to run to waste we
shall lose a good deal. The drainage
should be taken care of somehow, it
being left to the individual judgment in
each case as how best to do that Then
in piling up manure it is much better to
put it into a flat heap. If you pile horse
manure on to a high, loose place fer
mentation will be excessive and a vast
deal of ammonia will be wasted. If it
is put into a flat pile the process of fer
mentation can be regulated, for when
it is too great the pile can be trodden
down. That will check fermentation.
A Practical Success.
The Spreckles beet sugar enterprise in
Santa Cruz County, says the San Fran
cisco Call, has proved a practical suc
cess, and the world is thereby furnished
with another illustration of Claus
Spreckles' sagacity. This latest suc
cess increases the business prestige of
Spreckles to an enormous extent He
said the enterprise would succeed and
was sanguine in the face of failures. He
held that previous experiments had not
been properly made and could not be
considered as true tests. The beet sugar
factory at Watsonville has been running
two weeks, and a crushing of 350 tons of
beet a day has yielded forty tons of
sugar. The enterprise is highly appre
ciated by the farmers of the Watsonville
region and the people of the town, for
the very excellent reason that it has de
veloped one season of prosperity and in-
r sured more. It is to be hoped that Mr.
Spreckles will look into other industries
after he has finished "With sugar. A man
of his intelligence and force should mot
confine his attention to as; one protest.
I Sugar BowL-
Their Manufacture from Planting the Pole
to Shaving the Hoop.
Assuming that the poles have been
artificially grown, the first cutting will
probably be made the fourth or fifth year
from time of planting. If grown thick
ly, as directed, there will be from 20,000
to 30,000 poles on an acre. Perhaps not
more than one-fourth of these will be of
sufficient size to cut this first time. The
lengths required are as follows. For mo
lasses barrels, eight-foot poles; for pork
barrels, seven-foot; for smaller-sized bar
rels, four-foot six inches, five-foot six
inches andsix-foot Thegrea test demand
is for the two longest mentioned. The
poles to be manufactured into these
lengths must bo at least one inch in
diameter at tho top end. The smallest
size mentioned need not be over five
eighths of an inch in diameter at the top
end. As a rule it will not pay to cut
the poles until they have attained the
larger size named, as tho price is so low
for these small sizes that it will be more
profitable to give the timber another
season's growth before cutting.
The cutting should be done in late
autumn and winter, so that new sprouts
will spring up to
take tho places of
trees removed. A
constant supply is
thus kept up. Care
should be used not
to injure the smaller
poles in taking out
the large ones
wanted for immedi
ate use. A small
shop may be built
at little cost ex
pressly for making
tho hoops, as it may
be wholly of rough
lumber of a cheap
grade. It should
be made tolerably
tight, not to protect
the workmen from
the cold, for if ho is
-the split- industrious he will
TB not suffer at this
work, even with his coat off; but ho
must have a room warm enough to thaw
the frost from his poles. They can not
well bo worked when full of frost, as the
splitter will not follow the grain, and
the knife works great havoc in shaving.
A section of an old smoke-stack, four or
five feet long, makes a good heater for
this purpose. Set ono end in a sand
bed, as a precaution against fire on the
floor. Fit a top to it of sheet iron, in
which a hole is made for the pipe to bo
attached. Cut a huge door in ono side,
through which may be crammed whole
FIG. 2. SHAVTXG HORSE.
armfuls of the shavings and other refuse
from the manufacture. Nothing is too
green to burn in one of these heaters.
Stand tho poles up around the heater
and against the walls near by, where
they will get the full benefit of the heat.
Put as many poles into the room in the
morning as can be manufactured
through the day, that they may all be
thawed. Fig. 1 shows the splitter. The
largest portion is a log or post about a
foot in diameter and three feet long.
This is placed within eighteen inches of
the side of the room, firmly spiked to
the floor and braced by a stiff stage from
near the top of the post diagonally to
the studding of tho wall.
Fig. 2 shows tho shaving-horse; 6 is in
the bed-piece, or seat for workman; 3,
table over which the hoop passes in
shaving. It is supported by a block, 2,
which holds it six or eight inches above
the bed-piece. It is rounded at the
lower end and firmly spiked at both
bearings. The slot must be large
FIG. 3. THE TYIXG-RACK.
enough to allow the arm, 4, to play
easily. One is a three-fourths-inch iron
rod, eight inches long, to which an iron
plate is welded, by which it may be at
tached to the top front side of arm, 4.
When the foot is placed against tho
treadle, 5, this rod or jaw is thrown
down on the hoop, which may run the
length of the table on either side of the
arm. Use a smooth round rod for
this jaw. The hoop may then be slipped
back and forth rapidly in shaving. The
arm is swung on a three-fourths-inch
bolt at 7.
The construction of the tying-rack is
plainly shown in Fig. 3. It has a
head-piece, against which the but ends
of the hoops are placed. The middle up
right piece can be moved to suit the
length of the hoop to be tied. The
binder represented in Fig. 4 is placed
with the rope across the rack, a lever
hanging down on either side. After the
hoops are placed in, this rppe will be
FIG. 4. THE BDfDEB.
under them, but on top of the side hori
zontal pieces. When ready to bind
swing the short ends of the levers up
over the bundle; then lift up on the long
and outer ends. This encircles the
bundle. Lift up until the long ends
stand up straight and together. Now
cross and bring down with full weight;
ti' . change ends with bundle, and do the
A stout tarred twine is made purposely
for this work. The tie should be made
about two feet from the end of the bun
dle of the long hoops. Pat fifty in a
bundle of the greatest lengths, and one
hundred of the short onei Americas
INSECTS OF ABILITY.
A Discourse on the Peculiar Habits of the
Ordinary Honey Bee.
The honey bee differs from the major
ity of beasts and insects inasmuch as it
has considerable sense and business
ability. While others are flying about
and having a good time the honey bee is
getting in its work.
"How does the busy little bee
Improve each shining hour!'
How it doth is very simple:
It gets a movement on itself
And works tha early flower.
The honey bee shows considerable in
genuity in the management of its af
fairs. They are bossed by a queen, and
If by any chance there should happen to
be two queens in one hive, a part of
them will immediately vacate; they
know better than to put up at any es
tablishment run by two females.
The honey bees are rather hard on the
men folks of their kind. While every
thing is lively and honey is plen
ty, the gentlemen honey bees sit
out on the front portico and tell
stories and have a good time. When
summer begins to wane there are hints
thrown out that the gentlemen had bet
ter go hire a flat for tho winter; they
take this all good-naturedly and think
it is all a humbug. When cold weather
comes, however, they aro escorted to tho
front door and pushed off the perch
without so much as a honey comb with
which to dress their whiskers.
A lesson in thrift is taught by the
honey bee, and they also teach the fool
ishness of working and laying by more
than is needed, for some ono else to
come along and make merry over, as
the man who so kindly provides them
with a nice little hive and takes tho
lion's share of the honey. Alas! in this
world it is often tho case, that the man
who lives in a nice houso is working for
the benefit of tho mortgagee. E. K.
Collins, in Texas Sittings.
GAVE HIMSELF AWAY. .
Bob Burdette Criticises the Critical Sir
Sir Edwin Arnold, among somo other
very pleasantly spoken criticisms of the
biggest land on earth, censured our
"snake fences," the crooked old rail
fence, which he says, "wastes land and
tortures the eye of an artist." That was
a bad break, to use in an inartistic ex-
pression. bir isawin has ionouea nam-
: , r
ilton Gibson to little purpose alone
"Tho Highway of the Squirrel" indeed
he hasn't followed him at all, or he
would .. never have made such a state
ment. Some of the prettiest, daintiest,
charming pictures that can be found in
all out of doors Gibson has found for us
in the corners of this very old rail fence:
more than that, he has taught us where
to look for them. Tho snake fence may
waste land; that doesn't matter when
wo have the land to waste, but it is a
feature of the landscape. A trim and
close cropped hedge can no more replace
it, can no more be compared to its end
less variety, its angular willfulness, its
weather beaten ruggedness, its shelter
ing nooks for weed and wild flower, its
ready convenience as a perch upon
which to climb and talk politics or look
for the cows, than an English caricature
of a horse, with mutilated mane and ab
breviated tail can be compared with a
real horse with plumy tail sweeping his
fetlocks and a flowing mane that is
tossed upon the wind like a banner.
Nature with her hair combed looks neat
and trim and clean, I grant you. So
does a turkey when he is plucked and
dressed or rather undressed, and made
ready for the oven. But, he doesn't look
much like a turkey. Burdette, in
A Story With a Moral for men who Talk
Before They Think.
A clerk in a ware-house near the foot
of Griswold street was struck for a quar
ter the other day by a seedy-looking old
chap who told a pitiful story.
"How was it last year?" queried the
"Same as now."
"How will it bo next year?"
"Don't expect any improvement"
"Say, if I were you I'd end this. You
are no good on earth."
"No, not much."
"You can do some good by going to
the bottom of the river, however. Tho
coroner can make several dollars out of
the inquest, tho undertaker will bo
ahead and the grave-digger will get an
"I see. That's your candid opinion,
"Very well," replied the man, as he
turned away, and he went straight to
the edge of the wharf and jumped off.
The clerk was the only one near by, and
he had to run for the life preserver, yell
for help, assist to draw him out, and
then, in obedience to the voice of tho
crowd, take him into the office to dry
his clothes and buy him a big drink of
"Well?" queried the man, as he got
"Well, replied the clerk, "I've been
thinking it over. Here's your quarter.
I guess you had better live on." De
troit Free Press.
No Chance for Him.
Mrs. Vainproud (whose husband is a
lawyer) Here is something that you
would do well to remember, my dear,
for you are so impulsive.
Mr. Vainproud Well, what is it?
Mrs. Vainproud A quotation from
Coleridge "There is an art of which
every man should be master, the art of
Mr. Vainproud I'd like to know what
chance I ever get for reflection when
you are always before the mirror your
self. Munsey's Weekly.
A Common Ailment.
Frappe Say, Scribbler! Did you ever
have writer's cramp?
Scribbler Yes, I have it nearly all
"Is that so? Isn't there any thing that
will care it?"
"Yes, about $10 would ease it consid
erably." Tim e.
One of the remarkable things said
so be in Utah is a mountain near Salt
Lake City completely covered by oyster
hells. This mountain is nearly 9,000
!at above the level of the sea.
USEFUL AND SUGGESTIVE.
Paraffin oil will soften boots or shoes
that have been hardened by water, and
render them as pliable as new.
The repeated application of oil of
cinnamon will cause those ugly excres
cences warts to disappear. Rubbing
them with salt is also recommended.
The woman who does her work to
the best of her ability, trying to im
prove where she sees need of it and en
deavoring to make those around her
happy, will be happier and loved more
than the one who makes a working ma
chine of herself.
Celery is not unfrequently cooked,
and is both appetizing and healthfuL
Cut the stalks and root into small
pieces and stew till tender in as littlo
water as will suffice. Then add a littlo
milk and butter, and thicken with flour
to make a nice sauce.
The diet needs to be rigidly watched
through convalescence, and long after
the doctor has ceased to prescribe tho
articles to bo eaten at each meal. Moro
variety is of courso allowed, and your
physician will doubtless make you a list
of desirable foods if you ask him. Milk,
eggs, meat and fish givo greatest nour
ishment. Ladies' Homo Journal.
Caramel Filling for Cake. Three
cups sugar, ono cup sweet milk, one cup
butter. Brown one cup of tho sugar on
a pie-plate, then add it to tho other in
gredients and boil hard until it begins
to candy. Flavor with a teaspoonful of
vanilla when almost cold, and spread
thick between layers of any good cup
cake, pouring what remains over tho
To hold bunches of grass, buy a
large stone jar of pretty shape, paint it
a cream- white, using several coats of
paint and smoothing each coat with
finest sand-paper. Take largo sheets of
coarse sand-paper and cut from itprays
of flow ers and leaves, of a largo size,
gild them and then glue them onto tho
vase, either in sprays or a border may
be formed, at tho top and bottom, either
way it will be found verj' rich and hand
some looking. Good Housekeeping.
In grating lemons begin at tho top
and turn the lemon on the grater, nover
grating below the yellow surface. Onco
you have obtained the yellow oil from it
tho white pith is no advantage, it has no
flavor, but is bitter anil curdles milk if
I ' " " """ "".
grated into it, vet it is quite common to
seo lemons grated in spots through tho
yellow and white till tho pulp is
reached. Another trifle to bo observed
is to use as small a space of the grater
as you can; so much of the lemon ve
mains on it that if a large surfaco is
used very little lemon remains for fla
voring. A very good way to givo castor oil to
children is in the form of castor oil bis
cuit and gingerbread. Here is a recipe
that I have found good: Take one-fourth
pound of flour, two ounces moist feugar,
a small quantity of spice and an ounce
and a half of castor oil. Mix all to
gether, roll it out and cut it into ten
cakes. Bake them quickly. Each cake
will contain rather more than a tea
spoonful of oil, and ono or more may be
given according to the ago of tho child.
By adding ginger and using molasses in
stead of sugar, castol oil ginger-nuts
may be made. The children cat them
readily, not perceiving tho taste of tho
THE WOODCOCK'S BEAK.
Something About One of the Oldest Mem
bers of the Bird Family.
These long-beaked, migratory birds,
which are as interesting to the gour
mand as to the hunter, are in Germany
only for a short time in the spring and
fall, during their passage through tho
country. The woodcocks remain con
cealed in tho darkness of tho woods all
da' and do not leave their hiding placo
until it begins to grow dark; then, in
the spring, they fly in zig zags around
the edges of the woods, often in twos or
threes, finally coming to tho open, damp
places of the woods, to the pastures, or
to the edges of water lying near tho
woods, in search of food, which prefera
bly consists of different kinds of worms
and insect larva?. In tho morning twi
light tho woodcock repeats this zig-zag
flight and searching for worms. At
their breeding places they fly in tho
same way again as soon as the young
brood is able to take care of itself, but
in the late fall the birds seldom move
in this wav. They then generally hurry
to the feeding places.
In theso places where tho ground is
perforated by numerous small holes,
each having a diameter about equal to
that of a thin lead pencil, which aro
formed by the continuous pushing in and
pulling out of the woodcock's long bill.
The sensitive soft point of the upper
bill forms a feeling apparatus with tho
help of which the bird discovers tho
worm under the surface of tho ground.
He possesses tho pow er of arching the
upper part of the bill from the middle of
its length and then closing the points so
as to grasp the worm. This curving is
caused by the displacement of a part of
the jaw bones and the elasticity of the
long upper jaw brings it back into place.
This peculiarity was known to hunters
as early as the seventeenth and
eighteenth centuries. Von Gochhausen
Nat. Venat, 1710) wrote as follows on
the subject: "This bird can (when
searching with his long beak in a
swamp and finding a worm) press the
points of his bill together for about a
finger's width, and then separate it be
yond like nippers," etc.
This and other writings have been
forgotten, because the curving of tho
bill generally occurs while working un
der the surface of the ground, and con
sequently tame birds are seldom seen to
do it Long years ago the writer had
the good fortune to see this movement
made by a tame bird, and published an
account of his observations in 1865. As
already stated, the birds sometimes
curve their bills when not working in
the ground, particularly when devour
ing large worms.
The woodcock does not live long in
captivity, his inclination to migrate
showB itself continually, but he is not
afraid of men and never fails to eat the
worm which is thrown to him. In spite
of his voracity, however, the woodcock
generally grows thin, when in captivity,
and finally dies. Illustrirte Zeitung