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WEASELS.   53

 

fer the brains and next the blood. When neither of these dainties are to be had they will take the next best. Young birds in their nests, mice and rats and insects, all are appreciated. Squirrels fall victims to their rapacity, especially the striped squirrel, for he dives into a hole, and there his pursuer will finish him. He can also climb a tree, and swim a stream. When he is in especial good luck, and kills several mice and birds within a small space, he drags them together, perhaps to better guard them, perhaps to make a better showing and please his pride. When his larder is full, and he has a bit to spare, he buries it out of sight — a very common and wide-spread instinct. Sometimes a mousing hawk or owl seizes a weasel in his claws, and flies away to make a meal of him ; unless he has been careful about securing his head and neck, he will get even by eating into the vitals of his captor and bring hint to the ground in a death struggle, while he gets off with a few scratches and lives to feast on the brains of his big enemy. If revenge is sweet, then the little fellow has his morsel well sauced with it.

Among the delicacies of weasels, one must not forget to mention eggs of birds and fowl. Shakespeare, who was once a country boy, and knew all the beasts and birds and plants and


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