Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 52.djvu/548

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53 o POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

theoretically, and it is made probable by numerous experiments, that there are few among the superior species that would resist a method- ical and persistent training. It should be remarked that except the cat, which is largely indocile, most of our really domestic animals belong to social species which in the natural state lived in larger or smaller hordes or companies, and whose communal life had taught them to submit to the more or less despotic will of their stronger companions. But there are social species which man has not domesticated, and there are other species which only require a longer education. In fact, various solitary and ferocious animals, as the wolf, bear, lion, panther, etc., have more than once been tamed or broken in by special education; and during the prevalence of the amorous passion the females of the wildest animals permit themselves to be approached by man, and even ask to be caressed. Experience has shown that all training is relatively easy when addressed to the young. By judicious application to the business, by being severe or kind upon occasion, animals of the most ferocious species have been tamed. A panther has been taught to use its paws gently as a cat, simply by rewarding it with a little lavender water, the odor of which is delicious to it. But it should be said by way of caution that with animals as well as with man, a too brutal education destroys the character by developing a malicious cunning, only partly dissimulated by an apparent submission.

Vicious horses are generally the result of a violent, barbarous training, and when the greater number of the horses in any country are tricky and hard to manage, it means that they belong to a brutal population. From time immemorial the contrary has been the case among the Arabs, where colts are brought up and exercised with almost maternal solicitude. The child amuses itself by petting and playing with the colt of which he is some day to be the rider, and the horse and his cavalier grow up together. The earliest education of the young animal begins in the family, in the same tent. The colt is constantly looked after and caressed, and is never chastised except for acts of malice or disobedience. He is given the choicest dainties of food, and is gradually accustomed to make himself useful. When the bit is put in his mouth the iron is covered with wool, so that it shall not bruise his lips, the wool having been dipped in salt water to give it a pleasant flavor and make him like it. The animal's education is thus always carried on with constant discretion, and even after it is completed the trainers never indulge in blows or hard words. By such association a real bond of friendship is formed be- tween the beast and his rider.

The art of falconry alone is enough to prove that it is possible by a proper mixture of severity and kindness to tame to a certain extent,

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