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THE RED SQUIRREL.   117

or boys he will take refuge in a tree, but he is uneasy and soon makes a dash for liberty down the trunk, in the maddest defiance of danger that often ends in death. Only in his den or some dark hole does he feel safe. On the branches he is clumsy and easily shaken down. Not so our red squirrel : he loves the trees. Just watch him as he makes his way from limb to limb in the forests, swiftly and surely, till one must run to keep up with his movements. On the ground he is quick and sprightly, and on a fence next to a tree he can show to advantage all his best points. He fearlessly and swiftly swims a river, and makes use of a chip or any bit of floating wood for a raft if it comes in his reach. I have paddled my birch canoe across the course of a swimming squirrel ; quick as a flash he sprang into it and over it and made for the shore again. Thus we see that be is an all-round fellow, — on the ground, in the water, on the trees he is at home. He looks the bright, smart chap that he is. He challenges me in the forest from a lofty perch with a saucy call, and then begins to jerk himself down the tree to make a nearer acquaintance, till of a sudden he turns with a cry of alarm and scurries back to his perch, only to repeat that performance as long as one likes to watch him. His


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