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54   IN THE ACADIAN LAND.

creeping things, makes Jacques say in " As You Like It" :

"I can suck melancholy out of a song as a weasel sucks eggs."

And again in " Henry V " :

 

"For once the eagle England being in prey, To her unguarded nest the weasel Scot

Comes sneaking, and so sucks her princely eggs."

It is a rare find to come across a nest-full of young weasels ; the mother seeks out a place in a hollow log, or beneath stones or trees, and there gives birth to four or five young, and this occurs early in the season. They have been found when the mother was white in winter dress. She is a bold defender of her young to the utmost. In some localities more than one litter is born in a season. Such rapid multiplication of a creature like tins ought to make them very abundant, but they are not. It is a very interesting question, what keeps them in check ? So many young in a litter indicates a special danger, but I hardly know an enemy but mankind, and but few are destroyed with us by traps or guns. They are strong, hardy, acute animals favored by changing colors, and food enough and to spare, and yet not one in


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