Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 25.djvu/542

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when he saw the ferret, in the course of his training-lessons, biting rats, and, taking him by the tail, bit him to save the rat.

The rhesus slept at first perched on the bars of his cage, but soon learned to accustom himself to easier positions. He could cover himself up with the quilt, and would finish by drawing it over his head with his teeth. He often had lively dreams. I could see him grin, and hear him utter low but distinct sounds of comfort, of desire, and sometimes of fright. In the latter case he would always awake, jump to the highest stick, and cast frightened looks around.

His obedience was complete, and was never wrecked except upon the rock of gluttony. If I left any delicacy on the table, he would never touch it when I was looking on; but, after my back was turned, nothing of it could be found. I could not contend with this fault except by stratagem; but to put a stuffed snake-skin by the side of the coveted object was always enough to secure its protection.

The feeling of the right of property is common to all monkeys. I gave a red quilt to a Java macacus and a blue one to another macacus. Each one was jealous of his own garment, and the least infringement by one on the proprietary rights of the other was followed by a battle.

Perty says that monkeys can untie knots, but can not tie them. Is this a mark of inferiority? Monkeys, like other animals, have for most of their actions a determined object. My rhesus was obliged, to get honey, to open the closet and, to be at liberty, to untie the rope. He did both. But why should he shut the door, or tie the rope again? Do we not have to teach children and boors to shut doors?

Monkeys can estimate weights. I gave the rhesus full eggs and empty shells, between which there was no difference to the eye. At first he bit both alike, but he soon learned to throw the empty shells away without biting them. I continued the egg experiments by filling the egg-shells with iron filings, lead, sawdust, and sand. After several trials, he never could be deceived except by eggs of the same density as normal ones. This faculty is not, however, equally possessed by all monkeys.

It can not be denied that monkeys have some, but a weak, notion of number. My rhesus was accustomed to get a certain number of carrots, or apples, or potatoes, and, if his ration fell short, he would always take notice of the deficiency. If he got only three apples when he was expecting four, he would not move from the grating till the fourth apple was brought him. Music had but little effect upon him; but the sound of a hunting-horn would send him under the straw, and cause him to scratch his ears as he would do when one was driving a nail near him. Nothing delighted him more than to have a lighted cigar or pipe in his mouth. He would fill his cheek-pouches with the smoke and send it out through his nostrils like any expert at the cigarette.