Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 2.djvu/156

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.
144
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

at an early hour before the child was awake, have we found Jack self-ensconced in the arms of his little master. Of course, prudence dictated that this should not be permitted; but Jack would steal upstairs so noiselessly that the thing was often done before we had time to suspect.

Fig. 8.
PSM V02 D156 Asiatic elephant.jpg
Asiatic Elephant (Elephas Indicus). Here the snout (proboscis) has attained the perfection of flexibility and prehensility.

A word is necessary as to the peculiar temerity of this animal. From two points it was liable to give way to extreme impulsiveness—the excitement of opposition, or of inquisitiveness. If any thing attacked her, whatever the object or the odds might be, she would face the assailant, and close in with her shrill little squeaks of rage, and in a wild sort of dash. If one slapped her, whatever might be her terror, she would rush upon and snap at the hand. The dog-like sagacity of running under the table or chair was not her way. Hers was the peccary instinct of running upon danger. No monkey could be a more importunate or impertinent teaser than was our coati; but Jocko shows sagacity with his jokes—for he always adroitly leaps aside of consequences. I have watched our pet tease the cat with imperturbable persistency, until Tabbie, unable to tolerate matters any longer, has struck her sharp claws into that soft proboscis, then moved away, leav-