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LUNCH BY THE BROOKSIDE.   81

low pebbles, and works his shining gill-plates, that maintain a current through the red net-work of gills by which he breathes. This is no other than our common yellow perch, Perca fiuviatilis by his Latin name. If he were not so common he would be thought a marvel of beautiful colors. If one is to see hint in all the glory of tints and shades, he must jerk him out of his element with a hook. lie will come under a sturdy protest, with his spiny fins spread angrily abroad, like a full-rigged man-of-war with all sail set. We underrate this perch as a food fish. Good judges of such matters declare him to be an excellent pan fish. One perch lays about twenty-eight thousand eggs as large as small poppy seeds. They hatch in a few days, and in two or three years will reach an average size. The great number of eggs indicates great danger to eggs and young, and one of the most serious is from the parent fish. They will devour their own young, and would not leave one alive if they could capture them all. They know young fish make good food, but they do not know they have any young ones. Very different is this from some fish, that carry their eggs in their gills, or others, that make a nest of sticks and grass and web of their own making, and guard the eggs till they hatch, and the


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