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I remember but two places in the Bible where this animal is mentioned. One is in Leviticus, where it is named among the unclean animals which the Israelites were forbidden to eat; and the other is this verse in the second chapter of Isaiah: "In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats." Have you read about the first missionaries who went to the Sandwich Islands? And do you remember that although the people had always been worshippers of idols, they had cast them all away just before the missionaries came? That was a very wonderful thing to hap pen; and it seems as though God was making these poor people ready to hear about the Savior, when the missionaries should come. Well, this verse in Isaiah declares that the same thing will happen by and by over the whole earth You know that there are now millions and millions of poor heathen who worship nothing but images of gold, or brass, or stone; but the day is
coming when not an idol shall be seen, and no being shall be worshipped but the true God. The mole lives under ground, and the bat in gloomy, dark caves where nobody thinks of going; so when it is said that the idols shall be ९९ cast to the moles and to the bats," it means that they shall be thrown away in dark and neglected places, just as we throw away old shoes, or any thing that we care nothing about. Will you try to remember this verse about the idols? Perhaps you may live to see the near approach of that day.
The mole is a very curious animal in its appearance and in its manner of living. It is almost always under ground, and we should think that the little creature could not be very happy; but its skin is as smooth and handsome as that of any animal, and it seems very well contented with its dark home. God made it to live there, and he has given it just such a body at it needs. It is covered with fine, short, silky hair, almost like soft velvet, so that the earth does not stick to it; and its legs are very short, so as not to be in the way. If its legs were long it could not get through the ground very well, you know. Its eyes are very small, because it does not
need to see much, and they are almost buried too under its soft fur, which keeps out all the dust and dirt. The opening of the ear is covered in the same way, so that nothing can hurt it.
Its fore-paws are made broad like a shovel, and are very strong; each one, too, has five short fingers with which the earth can be removed. The nose is sharp and bony, and this helps the mole to work its way through the earth. They throw up the earth when they make their houses under ground, and in this way mole-hills are made. They like to work at morning and evening, and also after a shower, when the earth is damp and soft, and easily moved.
The mole is larger than a mouse, but not as large as a rat. It eats insects and worms, and sometimes the roots of plants.
I believe this is the only animal of any kind mentioned in the Bible, the name of which begins with N. It is named in the 11th chapter of Leviticus, among other birds, such as the owl, the cuckoo and the raven, which the children of Israel were not allowed to eat.
It is somewhat like the owl in its shape, and in its large, full, round eyes. It flies at evening, and hides itself during the day from the bright light of the sun. It likes to live in lonely, dark woods, and when it comes out at twilight to get the insects that it lives upon, you could hardly hear the sound of its wings, it flies so very gently. It has a very wide, gaping mouth, which helps it to seize upon moths and flies, and its mouth is bordered with a row of stiff bristles, so that the insects may not escape again after they have been caught.
The night-hawk belongs to the same family with the whip-poor-will; and, like that bird, it places its eggs on the ground in the shade of some thicket, with only a layer of withered leaves under them instead of making a nest.
THE OS TRICH.
The ostrich is sometimes called the
camelbird," because it is so very large, because it can go a long time without water, and because it lives in desert and sandy places, as the camel does. It is often taller than the tallest man you ever saw, and its neck alone is more than a yard in length.
Each of the wings is a yard long when the feathers are spread out; but although the wings are so large, the bird cannot fly at all. One reason of this is, because it is so very heavy, and another is that its wings are not of the right sort for flying. They are made of what we call ostrich-plumes, and if you have ever noticed these beautiful feathers, you will remember that they are very different from others that you have seen. If you take a quill from the wing of a goose, you will find that the parts of the feather lie close together, so that you cannot very easily separate them; but in an ostrich plume they are all loose and open, and would not support the bird at all in flying. The feathers are generally