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a board,-poor little creature ! One tribe, the Flatheads, make a rude sort of box of bark or willow-work, and wrap the baby—"little man, they call him-in a piece of blanket, strap him tightly to the box, and hang it across two sticks. Besides this, the unfortunate little fellow has a board bound over his forehead to make him a Flathead.
In India the funny little black babies either sit on their mother's hips and hold on by clasping their hands over her shoulder, or they take airy rides in a basket on her head. These babies are elegantly adorned with armlets, bracelets, anklets, fingerrings, toe-rings, ear-rings, and nose-rings. They wear very little clothing—frequently none at all. 5 Chinese babies are sadly in the way among
the poor. Sometimes they are cradled in a bag on their mother's back, and sometimes they are tied to the back of older children, who go about as though they had no such load.
Many poor Chinese live in boats on the river, and the baby that comes to such a family is tied by a long rope to the mast. It is long enough to let the child creep around, but not long enough to let him fall overboard.
There is another curious custom regarding babies which prevails in some parts of China. If a baby dies it is thrown out carelessly, and crackers are fired off at the door. Here and there, at the corners of streets, charitable people build small houses with openings to drop the neglected little bodies in, and that is all the burial they get. V.-Moffatt's Ex. Reader.
Guinea, a contry in West Africa, bordering the Gulf of Guinea. 2 Lapps, Laplanders, living in Lapland, a country in the north-west of Russia in Europe. 3 Esquimaux, the name of a nation inhabiting the coasts of all the seas, bays, inlets, and islands of the north of North America, from the eastern coast of Greenland on the east, to the Strait of Behring on the west, * India, or Hindostan, a large country in South Asia. 5 Chinese, inhabitants of China, a large country in East Asia.
THE OLD FOX.
con-tri-bu-tion ma-rau-ders par-tial-ly in-tol'-er-a-ble stren'-u-ous
ju'-ven-ile a-ban'-don-ing ab-duc-tion a-quato-io cas'-u-al-ties oc-ca'-sions chron'-ic
As foxes grow old they gradually narrow their range.
Instead of running over a whole country, they confine their trips to a single neighbourhood.
Some years since, a neighbouring hillside became the residence of a lady fox. She could be very easily distinguished from all others, not only on account of her superior size, but from her peculiar colour. From the usual yellowish-red her fur had turned almost white; for the same reason, I suppose, that a person's hair turns gray.
For more than six years she lived steadily at the den in the hillside, and gave all the people of the neighbourhood a chance to know something of her habits, and of the manner in which she supplied her larder. Nothing was more common than to see the “old lady” trotting across the fields at nightfall, or to catch a glimpse of her turning the corner of the barn or shed in the early morning. For,
? abandoning the shyness usual to foxes, this one seemed to get tamer on acquaintance, and to make a regular business of picking up old bones and 3 refuse matter about the farmhouses, together with whatever poultry she could handily come upon.
On account of depredations of this latter sort, the old creature was repeatedly shot at, and, on several occasions, chased to her den. Two 5 strenuous attempts were even made to unearth her; once with smoke, and once with shovels. The shovelling party reported that, after digging in eight or nine feet, they came to the entrance of a hole between two large rocks which stopped their further progress.
Traps were next resorted to ; but no skill in baiting, or ? insidiousness in placing them, proved of the least avail. This mother of all the foxes," as the folks came to call her, was fully up to anything and everything of this sort. And so it came to be generally understood that the old fox” was something to be accepted and endured, like droughts and floods. As time passed, the old creature waxed bolder
Obedient to her 8 traditions, my grandmother kept geese in those days. They had their
aquatic accommodations in the shape of a small pond a little distance from the stable. For the space of three summers the dear old lady scarcely got a chance to take a single long breath in comfort for the 10 chronic anxiety occasioned by " that fox." Her list of 11 casualties—carefully and correctly
kept, I have no doubt-amounted to seven geese and eleven goslings.
During the seventh spring of the fox's residence among us, she began to cause her neighbours still heavier losses. The flocks of sheep with their young lambs were pastured upon the bare knolls. Numbers of the lambkins began to be missed. Madame Reynard had developed a taste for 12 juvenile mutton.
This was intolerable. A neighbourhood that had borne the loss of its chickens with a grin, and merely scowled when its Christmas turkeys were missing, or scolded but moderately at the abduction of its geese, would never stand this treatment of its lambs.
I well remember the bright, frosty April morning when seven of us boys sallied out to storm the old fox in her lair. We had no need of hounds; the den was well known to us all. We went prepared for hard work, and provided with crowbars, picks, and shovels. A glimpse of the great marauder's head in the mouth of the hole told us that she was at home.
We set to work, and soon cleared away the loose earth which had fallen in since the last party had carried on their 13 excavations. The rocks which had stopped them were no 14 myth. We were all the morning digging round and under one of them, which we 15 mined and blew partially aside with the contents of our powder-horns.
The explosion opened a large gap into the den
behind the rocks ; and before the smoke had fairly cleared, the fox leaped out, and, 16 dodging our blows, cleared the whole crowd of us. But one of the boys caught up a gun that had been laid in readiness, and by a lucky shot laid the old creature low before she had got a hundred feet away. She was by far the largest fox I have ever seen; though 17 gaunt from poorness of flesh, the bones were of very unusual size. Her teeth were almost entirely gone ; and her fur, as stated above, bleached nearly to whiteness.
But the den disclosed a greater surprise. On opening it we espied fourteen cubs (pups would be a more correct name) in a nice little nest in the farther corner. They were not over a fortnight old seemingly. Some of them had scarcely got their eyes open. That they all belonged to one family, and to one 18 litter, there could be no doubt.
Eight of them were red ; three were mixed greys.
range, here means a region of country in which animals wander seeking for food. ' abandoning, giving up for ever ; relinquishing. 3 refuse, that which is refused or rejected as useless. * depredations, excursions or inroads, made for the purpose of plunder. 5 strenuous, very vigorous. 6 baiting, using any substance to catch fish and other creatures. ?insidiousness, craftiness ; wiliness ; deception. 8 traditions, stories or customs handed down orally (by word of mouth) from parents to children, or from generation to generation. aquatic, water. chronic, continuing for a long time. 1 casualties, accidents; misfortunes ; deaths. 12 juvenile, young ; generally applied to boys and girls. 13 excavations, holes or cavities made in the earth. I myth, imaginary or fabulous thing. 15 mined, made a passage under and filled it with powder. 16 dodging, escaping by starting on one side. " gaunt, pinched and grim-looking. litter, number of small brutes brought forth at one birth,