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LESSON 40.-THE REINDEER AND
LAPLANDERS. Struggling branching milch succession shoulder poems
gamme grazing 1. THE REINDEER is about four feet six inches in height to the top of the shoulder. Their horns are long and branching. The body is rather thick, the legs shorter than those of the stag. The color is brown above and white beneath. The hoofs are large, long, and black, and are so formed, that they will spread out so as to form a broad base, which keeps the animal from sinking into the snow.
2. The Laplanders are a very happy people, the men go out fishing, the women take care of the cattle, milk the reindeer, and make butter and cheese. They are very fond of reading, and learn poems and songs by heart, and repeat them to each other in the long winter nights.
3. It is a pretty sight to see the herds of reindeer come home to the gamme (encampment)
to be milked by the Laplanders. The dogs and men go out and drive them in from the hills around, and the reindeer bound and run, stand still and bound again, in a playful manner.
4. They trot gently on, no one can hear their feet, so lightly do they step; but, instead, a succession of little snaps or cracks, made by the knee joints in their motion.
5. When all the herd, consisting of three or four hundred, reach the gamme, they are seen to frisk about in play, or stard grazing in groups. Then the milch deer are caught by a rope thrown about their horns, and after a little struggling, suffer themselves to be milked, and the milkmaids sing many a song, and the whole scene is one of joy and happiness.
LESSON 41.—THE CAMEL. Inhabitants distinguished stomachs oasis frequently Laplander reservoir shrivelled dromedary ruminates sustenance receive
1. THE CAMEL has been called the SHIP OF THE DESERT, and is the most useful animal to the inhabitants of hot climates. It is no where found wild, but in all places where it is known, it is the patient slave of man.
2. What the reindeer is to the Laplander, the camel is to the Arab. He eats its flesh, drinks its milk, uses its skin, and also its hair,
which falls off every year, for many useful purposes. The camel is full grown at about six years old, and will live forty or fifty years.
3. The difference between the camel and the dromedary is not that the former has two humps and the latter has but one, as very frequently has been stated. The camel is heavily made, and the dromedary is distinguished from the camel only by its higher breed and finer qualities.
4. The two-humped camel is found in Central Asia, and is hardly ever seen elsewhere. He has shorter legs than the dromedary, and is able to carry heavier loads. He is about seven feet high from the ground to the top of his hump. The dromedary moves more quickly, and is used in the deserts of Arabia, and Persia, as well as in Africa, India, and China.
5. The camel ruminates or chews the cud like the ox tribe of animals, but in addition to the four stomachs which “cud-chewing” animals have, the camel has a number of small hollow spaces around one of the stomachs.
These he can fill with water, which will supply him for several days : by this provision of the CREATOR, the camel is able to traverse the burning deserts, where no water is to be found, for several days together, without feeling the pangs of thirst.
6. Besides a reservoir of water, the dromedary and camel are provided with a reserve of food. This store-house of sustenance is found in the single or double hump seen on the back of these animals. The humps are collections of fat stored up in cells : when the camel can
obtain plenty of food, these humps are plump and large, but as the animal begins to fast in his journey across the barren deserts, the humps decrease in size, and the skin over them becomes lax and shrivelled, the fat having been shed into the system of the animal for its support. Thus the camel can endure fasting for a long time, as well as thirst.
7. The camel is trained to labour when very young, and when only a few days old is taught to lie down at the word of command, and to receive a slight load, which is increased with every day's growth. To the camel, merchants and travellers entrust their property and lives. When such persons are about to travel across a desert, they do not go alone, but a great many collect together with their goods, and having hired a number of camels, they proceed in company, and thus, by uniting, are safe from the robbers of the desert.
8. The camels follow each other in long lines, each of which is often headed by a man on an ass with a bell round its neck, and many of the camels have bells on their saddles, to the music of which they proceed quietly and steadily, till they arrive at their station in the evening. This station is generally one of those little green spots in the desert, called an "oasis,' where there is a little herbage, and water.