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42   TN THE ACADIAN LAND.

 

temptation to take his life, and the average boy has no «bowels of compassion" for wild animals. The boys seem .to have all had the apostolic vision, and keard the command, " Rise Peter, kill and eat."

Hares are not very intelligent creatures any-where, and our species is no exception to the rule. The fact is that his manner of life is against him. For hundreds of thousands of years he has not done anything to add a brain cell to his slender outfit. The fossil remains of this family are found in ancient rocks of the Tertiary Time, in Dacotah and elsewhere. He has changed somewhat in structure since then, but his teeth indicate that his feeding habits have not changed. In the many divisions and subdivisions of the quadruped mammalian life, that come about largely through struggle for existence, the hare family was evolved, or slowly formed, with adaptations to eat and thrive upon food that existed in plenty, and for which it would not have to dispute with other animals. Tender twigs and leaves, and wild grasses and barks of trees, all of them the products of waste places, were things he desired for food. To secure them no planning was needed, no demand was made for intelligence. A few leaps here and there, and he could fill himself like an ox


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