Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 22.djvu/622

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PSM V22 D622 Strange mess mates exotic pets.jpg
Fig. 8.—Strange Messmates.

ping expeditions to the hills, at a time of the year when the mountain macaques were rather hard up for provisions and could be baited with "fuddle-cakes"—i. e., rice-bread soaked in a mixture of sugar-and-rum. The trapper used to hide behind a tree, and let the monkey assemblage enjoy his bounty till their antics suggested that it was time for him to rush in, like Cyrus into the banquet-hall of Belshazzar. Experience, however, soon taught the little mountaineers to change their tactics. Instead of devouring the fuddle-cakes on the spot, they learned to gather them up and defer the feast till they reached a retreat where they could hope to be left alone in their glory. But the trappers, too, have since changed their plan. They manufacture a sort of narrow-necked jars, about the size of sarsaparilla bottles, and, after filling them with a mélange of sirup and alcohol, they tie them firmly to the root of a tree and withdraw out of sight. The monkeys come down and sip the nectar, a little at a time, till many a mickle has muddled their perceptives to the degree which the founder of Buddhism would have called the first stage of Nirvana—indifference to earthly concernments in general. The trapper then approaches and collects his guests, whose