Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 16.djvu/340

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320
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

One morning, in the middle of the fight, Jemmy forgot himself for the moment in turning round, and gave the ever-vigilant Little Jack a chance. Little Jack seized Jemmy's tail with screams of delight, and pulled him straight up to the bars. Carroty Jane then joined in, and they were getting the best of it, when suddenly Jemmy turned sharp round and made his teeth meet in Little Jack's hand. Little Jack skirmished round the cage three or four times on three legs; then, holding up his wounded hand, gazed mournfully and piteously at it, every now and then leaving off looking to make fiercer faces, and cock his ears at Jemmy. Never since has Little Jack ventured his hands outside the bars when a Jemmy-fight came on.

One of the funniest scenes that ever happened with Jemmy was as follows: Some seaside specimens had been sent me, and among the seaweed was a live shore-crab about the size of a five-shilling piece. Little "Chick-Chick," the marmoset, who will eat any quantity of meal-worms, blue-bottle flies, etc., came down at once off the mantelpiece and examined Mr. Crab, who was crawling about on the floor. None of my animals had evidently seen a live crab before. The monkeys were very much frightened, and made the same cry of alarm as when I show them a snake or the house-broom. Chick-Chick evidently thought that the crab was a huge insect. The crab put out his two nippers at full length, and gave the marmoset such a pinch that he retreated to the mantel-piece, and from this safe height gazed down upon the still threatening crab, uttering loud cries of "Chick, chick, chick!" alternated with his plaintive, bat-like, shrill note. Presently round the corner comes Mrs. Cat. The cat evidently thought that the crab, which was gently crawling about, was a mouse. She instantly crouched, head, eyes, and ears all intent, as if trying to make up her mind whether the crab was a mouse on which she ought to pounce or not, Hearing the row caused by the crab and marmoset fight, up comes Jemmy in full cry, with tail cocked well in the air. He also attacked the crab, but could not make head or tail of him. He did not like the smell, still less did he like the sundry nips in the nose that he received from the crab's claws. Jemmy has teeth half carnivorous, half insectivorous. When he is at home in Africa he lives upon mice, beetles, etc. He probably digs these creatures out of the ground, for, whenever he sees a crack in the floor, or a hole in a board, he will scratch away at it, as though much depended upon his exertions. When he is fed, it is curious to observe how he always pretends to kill his food before eating it. He invariably retreats backward while he is scratching and biting at his supposed lively food. The living food evidently is in the habit of escaping forward. Mr. Jemmy takes good care that he shall not do so, by scratching incessantly in a backward direction. A grand crab and Jemmy fight, which lasted nearly half an hour, then took place, ending in the discomfiture of the crab, whose carcass the marmoset and the cat, both coming for-