Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 23.djvu/737

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gees, or priests, are supposed to be, as is their duty, particularly diligent in teaching the wickedness of eating fish, but they like to eat them; this is illustrated by the story of a fisherman on the Irrawaddy, who built a monastery in the hope of earning the highly prized title of founder of a religious home. Many poongees came to visit him, but none of them staid long, until at last one came who seemed to find the quarters and the fare to his liking. The fisherman one day asked this holy man anxiously the question, "Why, my father, do not the poongees approve my monastery, for none but yourself have remained over the going down of two suns?" The poongee told him it was because he broke the law by depriving fish of life. "True," answered the fisherman) "but, were I not to do so, how could I supply your table with fish, or how could I live were I to give up my employment?" The only reply he could obtain was, "Better to fast while keeping the law than to feast while breaking it!" The disciple took the priest at his word, and refrained from fishing for three days, giving his guest in the mean time only vegetables for his meals. On the fourth morning, when the same fare appeared, the poongee said, "My son, when you fish the river, does your net extend all across, permitting no fish to escape, or is a portion of the river free for those which select to pass to one side?" "Not all across, but only one third of the way," he answered. "Well, then, my son," said the priest, "I have been seriously considering the subject, and have arrived at the conclusion that, if you leave room for the fish to ascend or descend the stream, and they will not avail themselves of it, but rush headlong into the net, the fault is theirs, and not yours. Even Gautama blessed the hunter who met him when he was hungry, and supplied him with venison. This was accounted as a meritorious act, although he must have killed a deer to obtain it. So go, my son, and procure me some fish, for I am hungry." From that day the priest consumed his fish in quietness, and refrained from inquiring whence it had been procured.


Some Newly Remarked Instincts.—Mr. Charles S. Clarke, of Peoria, Illinois, recently related, in a lecture before the Scientific Association of that city, an incident, the key to which, if it is found to be of general application, may disclose a hitherto unnoticed principle of our organization. A child had been lost in the hazel-bushes near its home, and, after all the neighbors had failed to find it in the course of a day's search, an old trapper was called in to assist. He marked out with flags a rough circle of about two miles in diameter, starting from the bushes and bearing to the left toward the house; then set the company he had collected in a line along the radius of the circle, and moved them so as to examine the ground all over. The child was soon found. When asked the reason of his proceeding, he replied: "It was very simple. Probably you know that lost people always go round in a circle, but may be you don't know that they always circle agin the sun (from right to left)." "No," replied the speaker, "I have never heard that." "Well, they do," the hunter said, "and every Indian and trapper from here to the mouth of the Columbia will tell you so. Lost men or women will always make the circle within three miles in diameter, and children in two, unless they are led away by a trail or stopped by a stream." In the course of the same address, Mr. Clark also gave the following example, illustrating how much the senses can be cultivated: "While we were talking, two young dogs had gone to a small eminence, a few rods from the old man's cabin, and, with their noses in the air, would at short intervals utter a low, warning cry. The trapper soon noticed it, and, calling to an old dog in the cabin, he said, 'Dave, go up yonder and see what those youngsters are making a fuss about.' The dog, after reaching the place and standing a moment with outstretched neck and distended nostrils, gave a clear but low warning notice, such as I had never heard from a dog before. 'Is that so, Dave?' said the old man. He immediately went to the same place and began to sniff the air, much after the manner of the dogs. 'Sure enough, Dave,' he said, 'you are right.' 'What is it?' I asked. 'The prairie is on fire,' he said,' some thirty or forty miles northwest from here! I must set a back-fire on the other side of the creek, or my cabin and bees will be in ashes before morning, should