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THE RED SQUIRREL.   119

ments wherewith to feed the seedling pine at the outset of life. Had the squirrels waited till the seed ripened the opportunity to get any would have been lost, for then the protecting scales dry and curl up, allowing the seeds to escape ; and each one is provided with a wing, and as it falls the winds drift it away from the parent tree, where, perchance, some better condition of light or soil awaits its coming. So it turns out that the cone has been cut in the very nick of time, if it is to be had at all when the seeds in it are good. Not only that, but to store it in damp places is the right thing to do, for it never shrivels up there. The turpentine in it and on it prevents decay, and the seed hardens and will remain sound and sweet during more than one season. When the snow covers all the land these squirrels almost entirely live on the stores of cones. They will burrow down through two or three feet of snow to their treasures and come up with their breakfasts in their mouths. The cutting of these unripe cones — and they do the same by spruce and fir—and storing them in proper damp places for a winter that many of them have never experienced is a very interesting example of what is called " instinct," and by that word we generally mean an implanted sense, a natural mechanical disposi-


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