« PreviousContinue »
to make himself highly disagreeable when the fancy ally taking a sly observation to discover whether he seized him. These accomplishments he still pos- is attracting attention. He knows that this wonsesses. He loves to torment the dogs and cats, derful feat will greatly interest the servant, and, whose natural enemy he is, by the most provoking although quite well aware that he is doing wrong, barking or mewing. As a song-bird, it must be he cannot resist the temptation to have a little admitted that “ Joe" is a total failure.
lively fun at the expense of somebody else. When his pranks lead to a well-merited punish- When discovered and dragged ignominiously ment, he assumes an air of injured innocence, and from the scuttle, he is a sorry sight indeed. Going calmly inquires, “What 's the matter?” When into it a very white bird, he comes out as black and hungry, he declares over and over again, “Break- unrecognizable as the hardest-working coal-heaver. fast ought to be ready!" If thirsty, he cries out, Such a feat once performed successfully enables “ Joe wants a drink!” And when sick from over- him to remain quietly upon his perch for an hour
eating, as is not unfrequently the case, he says or two, apparently lost in thought. Nature, howvery plaintively, “Poor Joe!” and begs to be ever, has provided the White Cockatoo with a very coddled.
fine white powder which is plentifully supplied, apAfter he had destroyed a number of cages pro- parently from some portion of its feathers; so that vided for him he was finally given a standing perch in an hour after a coal frolic, “ Joe" is as cleanly in the kitchen, and there he spends his time invent- and white as ever. ing all sorts of plans and devices, by which to while He is a social bird, and can not bear to be alone. away his somewhat monotonous existence.
He is fond of being on one's knees. From the Cautiously leaving his perch, he scurries away to chair-back, or your shoulders, he will kiss you, the coal scuttle, and, clambering up its side, he or will whisper pretty nothings in your ear. He is plunges into it, if he finds it only partially filled; greatly given to whisper g, indeed ; and he is, and then he proceeds energetically to unload the after his own fashion, much of a flatterer. Apcoal, throwing it out, to the right and left, occasion- proaching you carefully, saying in a subdued tone,
“Come on, Joe,” he loiters around until he has the cry of “whoop!” when he quickly uncovers attracted your attention; and at the first encour- his head, only to replunge it out of sight for aging word or glance, he starts up the chair-back, another trial. An empty paper bag furnishes him or perhaps climbs upon your knee. If, on the with much amusement in this way. It is only fair contrary, he is greeted with a testy “Get out!” he to observe that his occupancy of the work-basket does not admit that he is disconcerted by his dis- is generally attended with serious derangement of missal. He simply has business elsewhere ; his at- spools and needles; indeed “ Joe" often withdraws tention is immediately attracted along the floor to the needles and pins from the cushion and sticks minute fragments of nothing, which he proceeds them into the carpet, one by one. apparently to dine upon with great relish, mean- The strumming of a guitar or piano will set him
while moving gradually toward the door. This wild with glee, and he will dance, after a fashion, once gained, he turns, and, looking up at you, which, if not the most graceful in the world, is makes two or three bandy-legged bounds, lets fly evidently highly enjoyable to himself. He can a little satirical chuckle as if to say, “I have my waltz, too, and his favorite airs are in 2-4 or polka opinion of you," and, with this Parthian shot, dis- time. Whatever sport he chooses to engage in, appears.
he always obtains his full share of the enjoyment. Among the accomplishments of this rather re- “Joe” is not only amusing and ornamental, but markable bird may be mentioned "scratch-cradle,” he is also an excellent guardian, as he barks loudly dancing, and an insatiable desire to play “Hide- at all strangers, and has an instinctive aversion to and-seek.” Concealing his head in a corner, under beggars and tramps. He has his full amount of a newspaper, or in a lady's work-basket,- if one vanity, too. Decorate him with some pretty little happens to be on the floor,— he will await patiently head-gear, and he will permit it to remain, undisturbed, upon his top-knot, and will be highly now managed to escape, with much trepidation pleased with the admiration of his friends, and from one side ; but gradually the entire collection very proud of his fine looks and his decoration. of manikins was placed around his perch, so that
A tragic episode in “ Joe's ” career will serve to close this account of my queer little waif from Australia. It was really a massacre of the Punch family — who were ruthlessly sacrificed to the bird's dislikes.
He always showed great dread of dolls or manikins, and this led us to tease him by placing our pet Punchinello at the foot of his perch. Fear of the uncanny thing kept him a close prisoner for some time; but one day he came tiously down the up
“ JOE" CAN DANCE — AFTER A FASHION. right pole, and backed judiciously away from the rear of the hated mon- they laid siege to him. At this "Joe" became strosity. This provoked a new device; another greatly incensed. His crest rose and fell every min
grinning figure was placed back of the stand. ute in the day. (It is a curious fact that it never After long contemplation of the situation “ Joe” seemed to occur to him that he might Ay from the perch. He has never attempted to reach it or for the remainder of the day, during which he sat upleave it in that way, but invariably climbs up or on his perch with his feathers ruffled and trembling. down by means of his feet and beak.)
So, one by one, the members of that unfortunate And now “ Joe's” life began to have a shade of family fell victims to his hatred. For a long time, anxiety in it, until at last he became quite unhappy. he did not dare to attack Punch himself; but he One memorable day, stealthily descending from finally muștered courage sufficient to attempt the aloft, he dashed suddenly into the charmed circle, capture of his arch-enemy, and, a few minutes and seized Mrs. Punch by her wonderful frilled cap. later, the terrible toy, stripped of his gilt and tinThen, with crest erect and eyes flashing,- his form seled bravery, lay hopelessly broken and disfigured, trembling with rage and excitement, – he rushed upon the floor. On the wall, at the back of up the pole, and, once more safely aloft, he tore the “ Joe's ” perch, now hang the mangled remains of offending Judy into pieces, with an energy border- his victims- - an eloquent and pathetic proof of his ing on insanity. This tremendous effort sufficed prowess as a fighting cockatoo.
TO A SQUIRREL.
BY HENRY S. CORNWALL.
SAUCEBOX, in your hickory high,
What odd fancy, I would know,
Makes you chatter at me so?
Neither let thy instinct fine
Under banks of frozen furze,
And the wedges of the frost
Ah, what pleasure should be ours,
To the ground in ivory showers !
Would I, too, could leave the fret
And could say to care farewell !
So with you a year to dwell !
Not a sunshine-checkered dell,
Haunted of the speckled trout,
Sometimes, on a floating chip
(Woodsmen say), your breezy tail
Serves you as a kind of sail ;
Reaching safe the farther shore,
Not more confidently brave
Sailed Columbus o'er the wave
Under clump of briar and birch,
Ah, what joy can mortals feel
Who would shut you in a wheel? For what kindness can assuage Captive conscious of his cage?
Something 't is to be a pet,
Loved of humankind; but yet,
Were I you, in such a plight,
I should lie awake at night,
--But, as all discourse must end,
When November, gray and chill,
And the streamlet's song is lost
AMONG THE LAW-MAKERS.*
(Recollections of a Page in the United States Senate.)
By EDMUND ALTON.
ers. They seized on everything that they could
pull apart. At General Grant's first inauguration, LOOKERS-ON-IN-VENICE.
the President had scarcely retired from the grand
stand, when a crowd of citizens clambered up the The rush of “reigning monarchs” to the Capitol sides from the ground below, and, within a minute, was incessant. Indeed, I have many a time been the chair which the Chief Magistrate had occupied actually hindered in the performance of my duties was split into a score of fragments,- one man as a page by the crowd of “Sov
capturing a leg of it, another an arm, anereigns" who surged through the
other a part of a rung, and all marchcorridors of the building !
ing away with them as trophies I met scores of them ev
of the event! After the funery day, - monarchs,
eral ceremonies over
untitled and uncrowned, yet wielding the scepter Senator Sumner, the relic-hunters sought to obof authority! You never heard of them, do you tain pieces of the mourning emblems around his vasay? Why, I have been addressing some of them cant chair. The crape was cut into bits by a score all this while,– I mean yourselves and the rest of of knives. Indeed, the jack-knives even attacked the American people !
the mahogany of the desk itself, and I remember Ah! these “sovereigns !” Some of them, I that a policeman had to be stationed at the chair regret to say, had no respect for the sanctity of to prevent further sacrilege ! the place. This was especially true of relic-hunt- I have seen these relic-hunters at their work on
Copyright, 1884, by Edmund Alton. All rights reserved.