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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 90.djvu/399

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Popular Science Monthly


��Loaned Mothers and Borrowed Off- spring in the Animal World

IF the wolf that mothered Romulus and Remus had reaHzed that the two little waifs belonged to the tribe of her enemy, man, and would doubtless grow up to kill thousands of wolves and probably her- self, would she have nourished them and cared for them so faithfully?

Likewise the hen in the picture. She has taken under her wings a litter of pups and is as happy brooding over them as if they were a hatching of blue ribbon chicks. Yet those same puppies will in an inconceivably short time forget the warmth of the sheltering wings and tease and tor- ment the hen to the limit of her endurance, kill her legitimate chicks and make life in general miserable for her unless a kind providence in the person of the farmer with a stick teaches them to do otherwise than they would if left to instinct.

The question which inevitably arises is "Does the mothering instinct put reason to flight?" In this case the answer might be that no one ever accused the hen of having reasoning powers. -In Virginia, where this photograph was taken, instances are numerous of animosities between differ- ent branches of the animal family being buried for a time in order that much-needed pro- tection might be given to helpless young. TuKaym!^r\

Perhaps the most "'""'"^" ^ unusual instance, though, of loaned ma- ternal affection and nur- ture is that of a snake which came regularly to a certain pasture where a friendly cow looked eagerly for it and will- ingly gave of her milk, completely mystifying the farmer who was on the look-out for the milk thief. When the snake was found and killed the cow seemed to grieve as though for her calf.

��The motherless pups and the chickenless hen are equally satisfied for the time being by the temporary adoption

��The Russian Cow Protects Her Eyes with Spectacles

THE latest news from the animal king- dom is that ten thousand cows on the Steppes of Russia have been provided with dark glasses to protect their eyes from the glare of the sun on the snow. The only food obtainable in winter is meager supply of grass which crops above the snow in places where the ground is less deeply covered. I The sun shining on the snow issufficiently daz- zling to cause snow- blindness and great suf- fering among the ani- mals. An enterprising and sympathetic man designed smoked glasses which could be worn with com fort and safety. These are ver>' similar in design to those worn by the mules in mines where sulphurous gases abound. The cows, however, have a curious grandmotherly appearance in their spectacles.

����The comedian will dance to any perforated record you play whether it be a waltz, a minuet or a fox-trot

��Try This on Your Piano. It's a New Idea, But Not in Music

THE mechanical dancing comedian is familiar to everyone. You wind him up and he does his little best to amuse you by jigging around for a specified time. But the dancer in the illustration below is not limited in any such way. He stands on a platform on top of the player- piano and dances just as long as the music keeps up. He will dance anything for which you have a per- forated record, keeping excellent time and step. The secret of the perfect rhythm which he keeps with the mjusic is his con- nection with the bellows (if the piano. The rod which supports him is attached to a spring which is in turn fasten- ed to one arm of the bel- lows. When the piano is "pumped" thebellows move up and down. This causes the come- dian to dance in time with the music.

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