« AnteriorContinuar »
IN America have been found the bones of an animal called the mammoth; he was larger than the elephant. There are no mammoths alive now, that we know of. The elephant is the largest animal that we know any thing about. He is very strong, obedient, and sagacious. He loves rice very much. Sometimes he breaks into the rice fields of Asia, and tramples down the rice which is growing, and. destroys a great quantity of it.
The elephants are gregarious. In Africa, and in the island of Ceylon, some hundreds are seen together; the Africans are afraid of them; they kill them in order to get their teeth. The people of Asia take the wild elephant alive, and
make him work.
elephants very much; they prefer the white elephant. The king of Pegu, who lives near to the king of Siam, once made a war with him, because the king of Siam chose to keep two white elephants which the king of Pegu want ed; and a great many people belonging to both the kings were killed. For such unimportant things do men make wars.
In Siam, the king has a beautiful house for his elephants; he feeds them upon the cleanest and the whitest rice, and because it is a very hot country, he causes water to be placed in a room above that in which the elephants are, which is strained slowly through the ceiling, and drops gently upon them to keep them cool.
The elephant has a rough skin, with few hairs upon it; he has small eyes, but they are bright, and he looks kindly and gently upon his master. His great ears lie flatly, and loosely, and he sometimes moves them like a fan, to drive away dust and insects from his eyes. His hearing is good; he delights in music, and is as much pleased with the trumpet and drum as any little boy.
The trunk, or proboscis of the elephant, performs many of the offices of a man's hand; it is very strong and flexible. The trunk is properly a very long nose-there is, at the end of it, something like a finger; with this he can pick up the smallest piece of money, untie knots, open and shut gates, draw the corks of bottles, and almost any thing else that hands could do. A blow of this strong trunk kills a man instantly; it is more than two yards long. The elephant swims, and will draw heavy
loads. He loves his master very much; knows his voice, and obeys his orders. He does as much work as several horses.
Elephants appear to know more than any other brute animal; they are kind to those who treat them well; but they hurt or kill those who injure them. An elephant, which was once driven about for a show, used to eat eggs, which a man often gave him; the man in sport, gave him a spoiled egg; the elephant threw it away; the man offered him another, which was also spoiled; the elephant threw away the second, and did not seem to be angry; but he felt that the man intended to affront him, and he did not forget it. Not long after, the man came near to the elephant; the elephant seized him in his trunk, dashed him to the ceiling, and killed him.
Elephants love spirits and wine. In India, a liquor somewhat like gin, called arrack, is used; elephants are fond of this. They will draw, or push a great weight, if they are shown some arrack, and expect to get it for a reward; but if it is shown, and not given to them, they are very angry.
An elephant which was once treated in this manner, killed his master, who had deceived him. The poor man's wife saw her husband killed, and ran with her two little children to the feet of the elephant, saying, "you have slain their father, kill me, and them also." The elephant stopped-the mother and the children. had not injured him, and he would not hurt them; he embraced the eldest boy in his trunk,
placed him on his neck, and would not allow any one else to mount him.
The tame elephants have no young ones, so all tame elephants are taken wild. People carry a tame elephant out to the country where the wild ones are; they make a fence round a large space, and put the tame elephant into it. The enclosed place is something like a very large cage, with the door open, the tame elephant cries loudly, and the wild ones hear her; they come to see her, and go to her through the opening that is left for them; as soon as they get in, a bar falls, which prevents them from getting out again; at first they try very much to get out, and make a great noise; but they are fed, and treated kindly, and become quite tame in about fourteen days.
Trunk. There are different meanings of the word trunk.
The trunk is that part of a tree which rises from the root, and supports the branches.
A trunk is a box.
Look at a fly as it eats sugar, or any other substance; he does not bend his little head, he pushes from it his proboscis, or trunk, and picks up his food.
Flexible. Easily bent. The little twig of a tree is flexible-an iron bar is not flexible.
Is called the king of beasts; he is never ta med, or made useful to man; but he is some times taken, and kept in a safe place, as a show.
The lioness, or female lion, is smaller than the male. The lion is very bold and strong; he has a large mane, which he lifts when he is hungry, fiery eyes, and a terrible voice. When he roars in the night, his voice sounds like thunder.
He belongs to hot countries; to Asia and Africa. The Africans use the lion's skin to sleep upon. The lion loves his keeper, and allows him to play with him; he is not cruel to some animals. Little dogs have been put into his den, and he has given them food, and played with them. The lion has been known to live seventy years.