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46   IN THE ACADIAN LAND.

posed to kill and eat them. Nature takes many plans to preserve her various species as long as possible. In the case of the rabbit Nature decided that he shall not fight. She made a non-combatant of him, and " his table is always pre-pared in the presence of his enemies," and this fact is never forgotten by him. He depends upon his eyes and ears to warn him of danger, and then he depends on his hinder legs to take him away from it. It is not often he is caught in a race for life, but he is still-hunted and pounced upon suddenly. Nature has provided another protection in their changing color with the seasons. Doubtless brown is the true color, and white is a seasonal accommodation answering protective purposes. Where there is no snow to speak of they do not become white. In fact our rabbits are only white on the tips of the hairs. I have seen one kept in confinement turn white on all the hinder parts in one night. In the grouse family the ptarmigans change color in the same way. In the Arctic regions, where they live, their greatest enemies are the foxes, but they, too, become white in winter from bluish in summer, and this becomes a very favorable feature, enabling them to creep unperceived on their prey. Arctic wolves and bears and owls are also white. Ravens are com-


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