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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 35.djvu/601

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THE

POPULAR SCIENCE

MONTHLY.

 

SEPTEMBER, 1889.


 

A STUDY FROM LIFE.
By OLIVE THORNE MILLER.

MANY a strange little beast from far-off quarters of the globe may be picked up in New York, in places where sailors are wont to dispose of their pets. In this way I came into possession of a rare and interesting animal, a black-beaded lemur, or Lemur brunneus, native of Madagascar. He was a member of my household for nearly a year, and during that time the family circle was never dull. The whole of Barnum's menagerie next door could not afford more entertainment than did this one droll little fellow.

He was about the size of a small cat, or, to be exact, from the tip of his pointed nose to the root of the tail he measured sixteen inches; of that length, three inches were face and thirteen body and neck. His girth back of the fore-legs was nine inches.

The manners of the little stranger were extremely odd. His home was a cage in the parlor, where he was generally alone all day, and spent the time, it is to be supposed, in sleeping, although I must admit I rarely found him so. At about four in the afternoon I went into the room and let him out. The moment I appeared he came to the front of the cage, pressed his weird little black face with its clear topaz eyes to the wires, and then began to call and "weave" impatiently. The latter was a singular movement. Planting his hind-legs far apart in a half-sitting position, he held up and outward his short arms, and swayed his whole body from side to side—at each end of his swing bringing his hands down almost to the floor. This he did very rapidly, uttering every moment a short, quick sort of double grunt, with an occasional explosion or "snort," in the exact tone of a pig.

Of course, I instantly opened his door, from that time till ten o'clock being his regular daily outing. Like a flash he bounced