Page:John James Audubon (Burroughs).djvu/38

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JOHN JAMES AUDUBON

fields and woods, hunting birds' nests, fishing and shooting and returning home at night with his basket filled with various natural specimens and curiosities. The collecting fever is not a bad one to take possession of boys at this age.

In his autobiography Audubon relates an incident that occurred when he was a child, which he thinks first kindled his love for birds. It was an encounter between a pet parrot and a tame monkey kept by his mother. One morning the parrot, Mignonne, asked as usual for her breakfast of bread and milk, whereupon the monkey, being in a bad humour, attacked the poor defenceless bird, and killed it. Audubon screamed at the cruel sight, and implored the servant to interfere and save the bird, but without avail. The boy's piercing screams brought the mother, who succeeded in tranquillising the child. The monkey was chained, and the parrot buried, but