Page:Babyhood of Wild Beasts.djvu/74

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When a few months old the hair and down disappears, leaving his skin naked.

He is as full of tricks as a monkey. To raise a sudden yell of alarm and bring his ever anxious mother, wild with rage, to his side seems to him a great joke. To steal some delicacy, although he is too young to eat it, fills him with amusement. To nag and worry young animals less strong than himself is indeed a pleasant pastime for baby Elephants to indulge in.

They depend on their mothers’ care for several years, for they grow slowly and are unable to fend for themselves until four or five years old.

The baby Elephant suckles with its mouth like any mammal and not with its trunk, as many suppose.

Elephants are models of domestic virtue; for the parents’ devotion to their children is as great as their love for each other. Other Elephants—who are not members of the family—treat the young calves with great kindness.

The patience of the old Elephants is severely tried, for the calves are unusually frisky. They are up to all sorts of mischief. They like to run