« PreviousContinue »
IF you could be, as I think you are,
I should not muse, as I gaze to-night, Seeking that distant red-rayed star:
Another were less bright.
THE following clever parody has been going the rounds of New York City for some time. We do not know where it originated. It is called
For when two mingle their beams for aye,
As stars oft have a way.
Well-one star less-were a somewhat more;
(You note where yon crimson traitor fell) Is their light forever o'er ?
And you, if you could (as I think you might),
Be another person, as others be, Would your present being, with all its light, Go out?-be utterly lost for me?What is?-and what is right?
"WHAT will you give me for this dog-skin, sir?" "My boy!" the man replied,-" was your dog fat?"
will in time, no doubt, find it to their advantage to lay two mains and to manufacture both luminous and heating gases, and to sell the non-luminous gas at a low rate that will make it commercially available. It is reported that such a gas can be sold at a profit at from 50 cents to $1 per 315 meters (1,000 feet), and if this can be done, gas will ultimately replace coal as a domestic fuel.
"Yes sir!" "So very fat?" "Indeed he were! If ever dog were fleshy, he were that." "Well, then, my son! I'm sorry-for the fur Of such fat dogs is valueless." Thereat The boy exclaimed,-" Now that I do recall That dog, he wan't so blamed fat after all!" D. S. FOSTER.
The Whispered Secret.
A SERVIAN SONG.
Two fond lovers in the meadows meeting
Who in turn becomes the soft tale-bearer;
Flocks! may cruel dogs and wolves invade you!Shepherd! thee may Moslem anger vanquish!Wanderer! may you walk in constant anguish. Sailor! soon may ocean's billows wreathe you !Ship! may fire unquenchable insheathe you !And thou-to tell a mother of her daughterSink deep in earth, O tattling, treacherous water!" JOEL BENTON.
WHERE is the hill-side climber whose heart has not leaped at the burst of the ruffed grouse ?
Autumn leaves are golden; the woodland carpet is sodden, and damp with dew and frost; the dank odors of decay and the aromatic balsam bring reveries to the mind; the patch of sunshine through the opening glade warms the body; a listless thought of some by-gone face is fixing your eye; your hand lingers on the polished trunk of the white-birch tree by which you are steadying yourself to swing over the lichened bowlder that bars your way, when whir, whir, whir-r, whir-r-r, whir-r-r-r from your VOL. XIV.-27.
very feet bursts out the cock-bird. The bright leaves fly in spangles, the sharp twigs crackle, and the leafy boughs spatter to his beating wings, as, swerving to the right and left, he dashes away through bush and open glade, and over the ravine, and out of sight, leaving the spectator with a flush on his brow and a prickle in his back, with his mouth half open, looking the way he went. No lady's bird is he. His retreat is the roughest hill-side, where rock and ravine make walking difficult and noisy, or swamps, where fallen trees and moss cover the ground knee-deep, and hemlock and spruce afford covert and buds for food. Some
[Copyright, Scribner & Co., 1877.]
times, in pairs, they are found wandering away through the open woods in search of insects or beech-nuts; and again they will travel along the edges of grain-fields that adjoin swamp-land, to glean the wheat. When snows are deep, they visit old orchards and pick the ungleaned apples; and if the winter is severe, they can live on sprucebuds or laurel-berries, thus making the taste of their winter flesh bitter, or even poisonous.
The ruffed grouse lives abundantly from New Brunswick to the prairies of the West, from Canada to the southern states,keeping in the South to the high or mountainous lands. It is the most noble and alert of all the grouse family. The shape of its body and the pose of its head indicate robustness, both in walking and flying, and wonderful quickness in observation. Its small, crested head turns with constant vigilance, and its full brown eye is expressive of great power of vision, and seems to reflect the landscape immediately after death. Its wings are short and curved, beating the air with great rapidity and giving it an exceedingly rapid flight. Once,break
fasting above Newburgh, on the Hudson, at a country house where heavy plate glass windows extended to the floor, we heard a heavy blow on the window. Running out we found a cock grouse lying dead on the lawn. A glance at the window revealed the cause; the room was dark within and the window reflected all the landscape, and the bird crossing over to its covert flew into the mirrored copse with such speed as to kill it instantly.
The length of the bird is about eighteen inches,-its full weight twenty-two ounces. Its color is light brown, mottled with darker brown or black. It wears a slight crest, which it can elevate at pleasure. Its tail is short and rounded, with a nearly continuous black bar crossing it near the tip. Its legs are feathered with a hairy feather, and are well proportioned, so that the bird stands high, and runs with speed and endurance. It wears a ruff on its neck, made by the elongation of a half dozen glossy black feathers on each side of the neck, which it can elevate or depress at pleasure, and from which it takes its name of ruffed grouse. These feathers, as well as its other exterior feathers, are dark brown or chestnut, or ashy gray, varying much with individuals in different localities, those in countries farthest north and east being the darkest and most ashy. In the western birds, the color is more rufous. These differences of color have induced some writers to note three varieties of ruffed grouse; but it would seem as if these differences of color are produced by local causes, for we often find the same bird on the Pacific coast having a marked variety of color. Authors have named one variety as the Sabines grouse of Oregon, and another as the Arctic ruffed grouse of the Arctic regions. In that beautiful monograph of the "Tetraonidæ," by Elliott, we find illustrations of both these so-called varieties. Without intending to dispute their existence, a reference to the description of the Arctic grouse will
show from what slight variations a new variety is named. That author specifies the marks that distinguish it as a different variety from the ruffed grouse, and mentions as the principal mark its size, it being onethird smaller, claiming also that the black band on the end of the tail is not continuous, but skips the three middle feathers. reading this description, the writer looked over a game-bag of ruffed grouse killed in the northern part of the state of New York, containing twenty rufous-colored and ashen
grouse of many shades; in two instances the band was scarcely visible in the middle feathers, and in three instances it did not exist. The diminished size in the Arctic region would be an effect of nature generally recognized.
In the breeding season, the cocks select some hollow fallen tree, and strutting up and down, beat it with their wings, making a muffled, drumming sound, that can be heard for half a mile. The beat is at irregular intervals, beginning slowly and measuredly, and gradually increasing in quickness, until it ends in a roll. If the bird suc
ceeds in finding a dry log, perfectly hollow and well placed, his tattoo of welcome can be heard a mile, and is one of the pleasantest of woodland sounds. It has the same accelerated pace, and is about the same duration as the call of the raccoon, and is only heard in the day-time, as the raccoon's is only heard at night. When its mate hears the drumming, she slowly approaches, and, coquettishly picking at seeds she does not want, comes within sight of the drumming-log. No maiden is seemingly more
unconscious of the man she desires to attract than is this russet dame of her gallant musician. A snail is on the May-apple plant right before her; she pecks at it three times before hitting it, and then scratches negligently at imaginary seeds. The cock raises his ruff till it looks like Queen Elizabeth's; the yellow skin beneath flushes with pride; he spreads his tail like a fan; he thrums his guitar, clucks an introductory welcome or two, and launches himself out and flies to his bride. If, however, another cock hears the drumming, he feels insulted at the sound on what he considers his own