Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 2.djvu/150

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.
138
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

sneezing was genuine, because it was involuntary. Both hartshorn and nicotine had signally failed to get up any thing respectable in that line; but that cat-nip, pure and simple, did the business finely.

Quite pretty was the pattern of the animal's ears—they were so clean, trim, soft, and small. Though rather pert, they had an air about them that was really amiable, and such as the canine fancier would pronounce elegant. She was not averse to a little fondling, and I well remember the first time she climbed upon my lap. Those pretty ears suddenly quivered. The ticking of my watch had excited her. Down goes that ubiquitous utilitarian organ into the watch-pocket. Failing with the nose, she makes a desperate effort with that and both fore-feet all at once. Still unable to evict that case of mystery, she thrusts her nose down by its side, and for several minutes, with simian quaintness, listens to the ticking of mortal Time.

Fig. 2.
PSM V02 D150 Coati mondi asleep.jpg

Coati-Mondi asleep. (Original) Compare the snout with those of the three pachyderms, Figs. 5, 6, and 7. It agrees functionally, and, in the main, structurally, with that of the Swine Fig. 6, and with that of the Peccary. Fig. 5. The Peccary snout, too, approaches it in flexibility. But the Tapir, Fig. 7, surpasses it in this particular. In the cut, which is excessively foreshortened, the sleeping animal is using its tail as a cushion for the head.

On the above occasion Coati was allowed the liberty often taken by the little dog, of going to sleep on my lap, while I gave myself up to the enjoyment of my book. Her nap finished, I did not notice when she left my lap. Soon a noise was heard like the tearing of paper. The wonderful little beast had abstracted my pocket-diary, and in violation of all propriety was making heavy extracts in a litter-ary way. Those keen incisors were scissoring away—a full leaf at a time! She had even filched a five-dollar note out of the pouch of the book, and, by way of change, had converted it into fractional currency.