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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/370

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354
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

find something for them to eat, and whenever Eichkao saw anybody coming he would go clin-n-n-g, cling-g-g, and his voice was high and sharp, just like the voice of a buzz saw.

One day he walked out on the rocks over the water and began to talk to the black sea parrot, whose name is Epatka, and who sits erect on his carelessly built nest with one egg in it, and wears a great big bill made of red sealing wax. He has a long white quill pen stuck over each ear, and over his face is a white mask, so that nobody can know what kind of a face he has, and all you can see behind the mask is a pair of little foolish twinkling white glass eyes. What the two said to each other I don't know, but they did not talk very long, for in a few minutes when I came back to his house among the rocks Eichkao was gone, and there lay out on the bank a bill made of red sealing wax, a white mask, and two little white quill pens. There were a few bones and claws and some feathers, but they did not seem to belong to anything in particular, and the little foxes in the rocks went gurgle, gurgle, gurgle.

One day I lay down on the moss out by the old fox walk on the Mist Island, and Eichkao saw me there and thought I was some new kind of walrus which might be good to eat, and would feed all the little foxes for a month. So he ran around me in a circle, and then he ran around again, then again and again, always making the circle smaller, until finally the circle was so narrow that I could reach him with my hand. As he went around and around, all the time he looked at me with his cold, gray, selfish eye, and not one of all the beasts has an eye as cruel-cold as his. When he thought that he was near enough, he gave a snap with his jaws, and tried to bite out a morsel to take home to the little foxes; but all I offered him was a piece of rubber boot. And when I turned around to look at him he was running away as fast as he could, calling klin-n-g-g, klin-n-g, klin-n-g, like a scared buzz saw all the time as he went out of sight. And I think that he is running yet, while the little foxes still go gurgle, gurgle under the rocks.

 

III.—HOW THE RED FOX WENT HUNTING.
{With acknowledgment to Mr. A. C. Bassett, of Menlo Park, California.)

Once on a time there was a great tall rabbit, the kind the miners call a "narrow-gauge mule"; but he was not a mule at all, and his real name was "Jack Rabbit." His home was in Montana, and he lived by the river they call the Silver Bow. He could run faster than any of the other beasts, and he went lickety-clip, lickety-clip, bounding over the tops of the sagebrush, for he had no brush of his own to carry.