Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 22.djvu/266

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remarked that these vain animals more readily attack ragged creatures, especially if they dwell where they are unaccustomed to the sight of misery.

6. Acts or Offense committed by Animals under the Influence of the Social Instincts. Such social instincts as attachment and reverence can not be found among all animals. They evidently can not exist among animals which live isolated, or among those which mate only temporarily. It is otherwise, however, with those that live together, and between these a real marriage is established. So, when several couples or families have a common habitation, elevated social bonds are produced, quite comparable to those which are established in human societies. Examples will not be wanting, if we look at the bees and the ants, or at the republic of the rabbits. The idea of property, says Georges Leroy, certainly exists among rabbits; old age and fraternity are much respected by them.

Doves, turtle-doves, the roe, the chamois, and the mole can not support widowhood, and death generally follows the loss or absence of one of a pair of them. Some curious stories are told of the conjugal customs of storks. The males seem to be very jealous, and sometimes put to death an unfaithful companion and her betrayer. The inhabitants of Smyrna, who are well acquainted with the conjugal susceptibility of the male stork, amuse themselves by putting hens' eggs into the nests of these birds. The male becomes very angry at the sight of this unusual product, and, with the aid of other storks, tears his companion to pieces. There is certainly no need of calling up the numerous facts that show that domestication has, in certain animals, dogs, for example, developed these social instincts into a most touching devotion.

It seems to us that the review we have just made embraces a sufficiently large number of facts to permit us to establish an almost complete parallel between the criminal actions of men and those of animals. The analogy would have been closer if we had cited examples of tricks to show what combinations or means are at the disposition of an animal when it is seeking to accomplish its purposes. We can not, however, help remarking that there are authentic cases of simulation or deception which animals have worked out to save themselves from labor or to procure some advantage. A military surgeon tells of a horse which was accustomed to pretend to be lame on the days when the horses were drilled, in order to avoid that duty. Coste mentions a dog which, in the winter, when he found his comrades lying around the fire in such a way as to prevent his getting near to it, would make a great noise in the yard; at this the other dogs would run out, while he would slip into the house and, securing a good place for himself, leave his comrades to bark as long as they pleased. He tried this trick quite often, and always succeeded in it, for the other dogs had not intelligence enough to find it out.