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THE RED SQUIRREL.   115

revelling in berries, and nuts, and eggs, his coat was glossy, his tail aloft, and life seemed a frolic and all the world made for him and his. No glimpse of this dreary morning clouded his day of sunshine. Now he has got down to the hard realities of life. Such a breakfast is a notice to all beholders that winter is pressing him sore, and it is at the same time an exhibition of his intelligent ability to meet an emergency. There is nothing very nourishing in fir brush however filling it may be, but enough of it will sustain life, and that is the pinch where our little " fellow-mortal " is caught. When he is driven out of a warm bed by grim hunger, and obliged to face a temperature below zero, and look out on a world covered with snow, and no pine cones in store, then he must find something that will answer for food, or die. There is plenty of fir, and porcupines and rabbits subsist, during the winter, very largely on the bark of trees, but they have inside arrangements to accommodate and digest great quantities after the fashion of cattle ; by eating a deal of crude material they extract enough to nourish their bodies. Quite otherwise with our little squirrel, his digestive organs are adapted to deal with food in concentrated forms of seeds, and berries, and eggs, and young birds. One beech-nut is worth more for


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