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manner of taking its food this little bird makes but little use of the bill itself;. its long hollow tougue, capable of being thrust out to a consi. derable distance, and made sticky by a proper gland, being the chief instrument. This it inserts between the crevices of the bark, or among the loose sandy earth of the ant-hill, thrusting it out and withdrawing it so rapidly, with the insect sticking to it, as almost to deceive the eye.
Leaving Eng in the early part of the autumn, the Wryneck passes over to the southern districts of Europe, and probably extends its journey to Asia, where it finds a kindly climate, and food still abundant.
The above plate represents the male and female of their natural size; the latter in the act of leaving the hole in the tree, in which we may suppose her to have formed a nest.
ARCHITECTURE OF THE ANT. “One rainy day,
says Huber, “ I observed an ant digging the ground near the aperture which gave entrance to the ant-hill. It placed in a heap the several fragments it had scooped up, and formed them into small pellets, which it deposited here and there upon the nest. turned constantly to the same place, and appeared to have a marked design, for it laboured with ardour and perseverance. I remarked a slight
furrow excavated in the ground in a straight line, representing the plan of a path or gallery: the labourer, the whole of whose movements fell under
immediate observation, gave it greater depth and breadth, and cleared out its borders; and I saw at length, in which I could not be deceived, that it had the intention of establishing an avenue, which was to lead from one of the stories to the under-ground chambers. This path, which was about two or three inches in length, and formed by a single ant, was opened above, and bordered on each side by a buttress of earth: its cavity was of the most perfect regularity, for the architect had not left an atom too much. The work of this ant was so well followed and understood, that I could almost to a certainty guess its next proceeding, and the very fragment it was about to remove. At the side of the opening where this path terminated, was a second opening to which it was necessary to arrive by some road. The same ant engaged in and executed alone this undertaking. It furrowed out and opened another path parallel to the first, leaving between each a little wall, of. three or four lines in height. Those ants who lay the foundation of a wall, a chamber, or gallery, from working separately, occasion now and then a want of coincidence in the parts of the same or different objects. Such examples are of no unfrequent occurrence, but they by no means embarrass them. What follows proves that the
workman, on discovering his error, knew how to rectify it. A wall had been erected with the view of sustaining a vaulted ceiling, still incomplete, that had been projected from the wall of the opposite chamber.
The workman who began constructing it, had given it too little elevation to meet the opposite partition upon which it was to rest; had it been continued on the original plan, it must have infallibly met the wall at about one half of its height, and this too it was necessary to avoid. This state of things very forcibly claimed my attention; when one of the ants arriving at the place, and visiting the works, appeared to be struck by the difficulty which presented itself; but this it as soon obviated, by taking down the ceiling, and raising the wall upon which it reposed. It then, in my presence, constructed a new ceiling with the fragments of the former one."
INSTINCT IN DOGS. In the year 1791, a person went to a house in Peptford to take lodgings, under pretence that he had just arrived from the West Indies; and after having agreed upon terms, said he would send his trunk that night, and come himself the next day. About nine o'clock at night the trunk was brought by two porters, and was carried into his bed-room. Just as the family were going to bed, their little house-dog, deserting his usual
station in the shop, placed himself close to the chamber door where the chest was deposited, and kept up an incessant barking. The moment the door was opened the dog flew to the chest, against which it barked and scratched with redoubled vehemence and fury. At first they tried to get the dog out of the room, but in vain. Calling in some neighbours, and making them eye witnesses of the circumstance, they began to move the trunk about, when they quickly discovered that it contained something alive. Suspicion being excited, they were induced to open it, when, to their utter astonishment, who should present himself but their new lodger, who had thus been conveyed in to rob the house.
One of Sir Henry Lee's servants had formed the design of assassinating his master, and rob. bing the house; but on the night he had intended to perpetrate it, the dog for the first time followed his master up-stairs, took his station under the bed, and could not be driven thence. In the dead of the night the servant, pot knowing the dog was there, entered the room to execute his diabolical purpose, but was instantly seized by the dog, and being secured, confessed his guilty intentions.
The following beautiful lines were written by Scott on the death of Charles Gough, who lost his way near the Helvellyn mountain in a fog, and fell down a precipice; at the bottom of which his bones were discovered three months
THE CHILD AND THRUSH.
after, attended all that time by his faithful dog :Dark green was that spot, 'mid the brown mountain's heather
Where the pilgrim of nature lay stretched in decay,
Till the mountain wind wasted the tenantless clay;
And chased the hill-fox and the raven away.
THE CHILD AND THE WINTER
WINTER Thrush if that's thy name,