Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 2.djvu/149

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137
THE COATI-MONDI AND ITS COUSINS.

stop. The man opened the box for her. She was in rapture. In went the nose, also both front paws. Very soon that wonderfully mobile organ had separated every fibre, so that the mass seemed trebly increased. The same man let her have his dirty pipe, when her velvety nose was instantly squeezed into the rank nicotian bowl.

It would be wrong to infer that Nasua's prying propensity never got her into trouble. In the following instance, speaking metaphorically, she put her foot into it: The old cat had just finished her nap, and was stretching herself, an operation which means that she stood with her four feet close together, the limbs elongated, the back rounded up like that of a camel, the head erect and drawn back, and the mouth yawning widely. Such a sight Nosie had never seen, hence it must

Fig. 1.
PSM V02 D149 Coati mondi.jpg
Coati-Mondi (Nasua fusca) A native of South America. The full-grown animal is about the size of the domestic cat. Compare its bear-like step with Fig. 4.

be looked into. So in a trice, erect, and resting flatly on her hind-feet like a little bear, she put her arms round Tabbie's neck, and, reeking with nicotine, down went that inquisitive nose into the depths of the feline fauces. This unwarrantable intrusion was met by a reception more feeling than felicitous, judging from the haste in which Nasua withdrew to a corner of the room to ruminate on the untoward incident. Her method of relieving the injured member was itself original. She placed it between her paws, holding it tightly, then jerked it through them, giving a violent sneeze every time it came out. That