Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 52.djvu/549

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531
EDUCATION IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM.

if not to render amiable, fierce animals of moderate intelligence; and the argument is of more force because the training in falconry was given to adult birds. Very little was done with birds taken from the nest. They were doubtless more readily taught, but became only indifferent hunters. The old books on falconry explain in great detail the methods of proceeding in training adult falcons or haggards; and some tell how one should keep them company and make friends with them.

When it comes to more intelligent animals, like the elephant and the dog, the process of education is much less awkward, but its nature is at bottom the same. Our dog has so long been the associate of man that we may truly say it is born domesticated, and nothing is left to be done but to train it for various useful purposes. But it is different with the elephant, which is captured wild and adult; and the processes to which recourse is had in training it are, therefore, of particular interest to us. If the education of the adult elephant can be effected without very great trouble and in a fairly short time, it is because we have to do with an intelligent and even reflecting animal, which holds an accurate recollection of events, and is capable of reasoning about them—which, in short, acts almost as a man would do.

As much might be said of some of the monkeys—of that chimpanzee, for example, which the French naval officer Grandpré saw on a ship working at the capstan, assisting in the management, stoking the furnace, etc.; or of those primates which are utilized at Sierra Leone for the performance of many labors of man. If the larger monkeys had been domesticated by man, and associated with him for thousands of years as the dog has been, it would not be unreasonable to suppose that they would have been still more modified, morally and physically, than that animal. They would probably have made a closer approach to the inferior human races; for the dog, different as he is from man, has been remarkably humanized by his contact. This mental humanization of the dog is an extremely important fact, as showing how powerful education may be; how, if time enough is taken, it may modify the organization. The domestic dog is evidently descended from one or several canidian ancestors similar to the wolf, very wild and not very intelligent, but endowed with a social instinct. Many centuries have been required to change it into the devoted companion and worshiper of man that it is, to acquire its expressive bark instead of the wolf's howling, and to assimilate the many qualities and capacities it exhibits so foreign to its nature. Its civilization has not taken place all at once. We still find half-wild dogs among the Australian hordes and other lower races, that do not know how to bark, that have no affectionate rela-