Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 23.djvu/55

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

his foot, went to the oven and uncovered it, took out and ate the cakes, re-covered the oven with the stones and grass as before, and went back to his place. He could not fasten the chain again round his own foot, so he twisted it round and round it, in order to look the same, and when the driver returned the elephant was standing with his back to the oven. The driver went for his cakes, discovered the theft, and, looking round, caught the elephant's eye as he looked back over his shoulder out of the corner of it. Instantly he detected the culprit, and condign punishment followed.

The well-known intelligence of the dog is seldom more curiously manifested than in the cases of those who learn the use of money. A gentleman in Birmingham was acquainted with a small mongrel dog who, on being presented with a penny or a half-penny, would run with it in his mouth to a baker's, jump on to the top of the half-door leading into the shop, and ring the bell behind the door until the baker came forward and gave him a bun or a biscuit in exchange for the coin. The dog would accept any small biscuit for a half-penny, but nothing less than a bun would satisfy him for a penny. On one occasion the baker (being annoyed at the dog's too frequent visits), after receiving the coin, refused to give the dog anything in exchange, and on every future occasion the latter (who declined being taken in a second time) would put the coin on the floor, and not permit the baker to pick it up until he had received its equivalent.

In what may be called the chief pursuit of dogs—that of game—they often show great ingenuity in overcoming unusual obstacles. A little Skye terrier was once observed snuffing about on a wheat-stack which was in the course of being thrashed, when suddenly a very large rat bounced off, just from under her nose. It darted into a pit of water about a dozen yards from the stack, and tried to escape. The Skye, however, plunged after, and swam for some distance, but found she was being left behind. So she turned to the shore again, and ran round to the other side of the pit, and was ready and caught it just on landing.

Another dog, which had been sent to bring in a couple of wounded ducks from across a pretty wide stream, at first attempted to bring them both, but one always struggled out of his mouth; he then laid down one, intending to bring the other, but, whenever he attempted to cross, the bird left fluttered into the water; he immediately returned again, laid down the first on the shore, and recovered the other. The first now fluttered away, but he instantly secured it, and, standing over them both, seemed to cogitate for a moment; then, although on any other occasion he never ruffled a feather, he deliberately killed one, brought over the other, and then returned for the dead bird.

An instance of sagacity—indeed, amounting to reason—in a French poodle is told by Canon ——. Being a guest at luncheon with the dog's master, the canon fed the dog with pieces of beef. After lunch-