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Thus qualified to pursue a life of rapine possible to mend the description : “Doth and plunder, their very air and bearing the eagle mount up at thy command," correspond with their profession. They saith the inspired writer," and make her have a bold, haughty, and merciless look. nest on high? She dwelleth and abidThe description in the thirty-ninth chap- eth on the rock, upon the crag of the ter of Job, portrays the character of these rock, and the strong place. From birds in a few sentences, and it is im thence she seeketh the prey, and her
The Eagle Owl. eyes behold afar off. Her young ones, tion. In order to see at night, they also, suck up blood ; and where the need large eyes, and, accordingly, they slain are, there is she."
have large heads to accommodate these Thus, if the eagles are the open, day- organs. Their business is to steal upon light robbers, the owls are the secret their prey in the darkness and silence thieves and plunderers by night. And of the night. Accordingly, they are it is interesting to observe how well these covered with an abundance of light, creatures, also, are fitted for their voca- yielding feathers, so that they may glide
through the air on a noiseless wing, can find. He is very useful in destroyand come upon their victim unheard ing rats and mice.
Mr. Waterton says and unsuspected. If you have ever seen
have ever seen that he has seen one of these little owls an owl at evening, or during a cloudy bring a mouse to its nest of young ones, day, (for it is seldom that they venture every twelve or fifteen minutes during abroad in the sunshine,) you must have the evening. It is also stated, that this noticed, that he skims along as if he bird will sometimes take up its residence were almost as buoyant as a soap-bubble. in a pigeon-house, and live there, withHow different is this from the whistling out giving the pigeons the least disturbrush of the pigeon, or the whirring ance, or even taking their young ones. flight of the partridge !
The ancients called the owl the bird Among the owls there are at least of wisdom, because he looked so sober fifty kinds; and, taken all together, they and solemn. Many superstitious peoare a most curious and interesting fam- ple now-a-days look upon him with foolily. Among these, the largest is the ish dread. The owl is frequently mengreat eagle owl, which is found in tioned in the Bible ; but the most interEurope. Its home is among the deepesting allusion is that of Isaiah, chap. recesses of mighty forests, and the clefts xiii., in which the prophet foretells the of rocks amidst the mountains. From coming destruction and desolation of its lonely retreat, where it reposes in Babylon, then a great and powerful city. silence during the day, it issues forth, as
His words are,
“ Wild beasts of the des. the dusk of evening throws a yet deeper ert shall lie there, and their houses shall gloom over the dark pine forest or rocky be full of doleful creatures, and owls glen, to prowl in quest of prey. On shall dwell there.” This prophecy has silent wing it skims through the wood, been literally fulfilled.
Many years and marks the fawn, the hare, or the after the time of Isaiah, Babylon was rabbit nibbling the herbage. Suddenly destroyed, and the place became a scene wheeling, it sweeps upon the unsus- of desolation. Travellers tell us, that pecting victim, and, if not too large, now the place is surrounded with cavbears it off in its talons. Other and less erns, which are the refuge of jackals and noble
game is also to be reckoned as its other savage animals, and that in these prey, such as rats, mice, squirrels, and cavities there are numbers of bats and frogs. These are swallowed entire, after owls. being merely crushed into a mass by the efforts of the bill; the bones, skins, feathers, or hair, rolled into a ball, are afterwards ejected from the stomach. Origin of “The House that Jack In our American forests, we have an
Built." owl very
similar to the one I have described, both in looks, size, and habits. The following curious article shows These large owls seldom approach the that the idea of the popular legend of abodes of men ; but the little barn owl is “The House that Jack built," is of an more familiar. He often takes up his cient date, and derived from the Jews. residence in a barn, and, hiding in some That famous story is in fact modelled afnook by day, sallies forth at night, ter an ancient hymn, conceived in the making prey of such little animals as he form of a parable, sung by the Jews at
the feast of the passover, and commem- 8. Then came the Butcher, And slew orative of the principal events of the his the Ox, That drank the Water, tory of that people. The original, in the That quenched the Fire, That Chaldee language, is known to schol burned the Staff, That beat the ars; and, as it may not be uninteresting Dog, That bit the Cat, That ate the to my readers, I will furnish the literal Kid, That my Father bought for translation, which is as follows:
two pieces of money.
A Kid, a Kid. 1. A Kid, a Kid, my Father bought for 9. Then came the Angel of Death, And two pieces of money.
killed the Butcher, That slew the A Kid, a Kid.
Ox, That drank the Water, That 2. Then came the Cat, And ate the Kid, quenched the Fire, That burned the That
my Father bought for two Staff, That beat the Dog, That bit pieces of money.
the Cat, That ate the Kid, That my A Kid, a Kid. Father bought for two pieces of 3. Then came the Dog, And bit the Cat,
money. That ate the Kid, That
A Kid, a Kid. Father
my bought for two pieces of money. 10. Then came the Holy One, blessed A Kid, a Kid.
be He! 4. Then came the Staff, And beat the 9. And killed the Angel of Death, Dog, That bit the Cat, That ate the
8. That killed the Butcher, Kid, That my Father bought for
7. That slew the Ox, two pieces of money.
6. That drank the Water,
4. That burned the Staff, 5. Then came the Fire, And burned
3. That beat the Dog, the Staff, That beat the Dog, That
2. That bit the Cat, bit the Cat, That ate the Kid, That
1. That ate the Kid that
Father my Father bought for two pieces
bought for two pieces of money. of money.
A Kid, a Kid. A Kid, a Kid.
The following is the interpretation : 6. Then came the Water, And quench
1. The Kid, which was, among the ed the Fire, That burned the Staff, That beat the Dog, That bit the Hebrews. The Father by whom
Jews, one of the pure animals, denotes the Cat, That ate the Kid, That my it was purchased is Jehovah, who is Father bought for two pieces of
represented as sustaining this relation to money.
the Hebrew nation. The two pieces of A Kid, a Kid.
money, signify Moses and Aaron, 7. Then came the Ox, And drank the through whose mediation the Hebrews
Water, That quenched the Fire, were brought out of Egypt. That burned the Staff, That beat 2. The Cat denotes the ancient Asthe Dog, That bit the Cat, That ate syrians, by whom the ten tribes were the Kid, That my Father bought carried into captivity. for two pieces of money.
3. The Dog is symbolical of the anA Kid, a Kid.
4. The Staff signifies the Persians, a Holy Land was wrested out of the hands powerful nation of antiquity.
of the Saracens, for a time. 5. The Fire indicates the Grecian 9. The Angel of Death signifies the empire, under Alexander the Great. Turkish power, by which the land of
6. The Water betokens the Romans, Palestine was taken from the Crusaders, or the fourth of the great monarchies, to and to which it is still subject. whose dominion the Jews were sub 10. The commencement of the 10th jected.
stanza is designed to show, that God 7. The Ox is a symbol of the Sara- will take signal vengeance on the Turks, cens, who subdued Palestine and brought immediately after whose overthrow the it under the Caliphs of Bagdad.
Jews are to be restored to their own 8. The Butcher, that killed the Ox, land, and to live under the government denotes the Crusaders, by whom the of the long-expected Messiah.
only the single satisfaction of an imme
diate appetite. But talking is not conINTRODUCTION.
fined to self, nor is it limited to the I am inclined to think, that, among body. It exercises the mind, and exthe various pleasures of life, talking is tends alike to the speaker and the lisone of the greatest. Eating and drink- tener. ing are very good things, especially The love of talking exhibits itself in when one is hungry and thirsty, and has very infancy. The little prattler, even a good meal before him. But they are before he can speak words, tries to very
short in their duration. The hearti- amuse you with his inarticulate gabble. est supper is over in a few minutes, and And when he has learned a word, with drinking, in as many seconds. Beside, what glory does he repeat it to you! A these are selfish pleasures, and afford young soldier touches off a cannon with
less exultation than the infant pronoun- give me a good listener, and something ces his first articulate syllable.
to speak about, and I can talk from sunAnd then, look at a group of children! rise to sunset. How eager are they to speak to each I love better to talk to youth than to other! How their little tongues rattle ! others. Those who are from eight to sixSometimes all will speak at once, whether teen years old, are my chosen friends. I anybody listens or not. It is often hard always find some way of entertaining to get a word in edgewise among such them. Several bright-eyed girls and a set of orators.
boys are in the habit of coming to see Suppose some child has been away, me, and I tell them my long stories. and comes home with a piece of news. They come again and again, and I infer How does he rush into the room, scarce that they are pleased with them. I tell ly taking time to hang up his hat or cap, them sometimes of giants and fairies; and with staring eyes and ruddy cheeks, but it is curious, that, while most young set forth the wondrous tale! Suppose a people prefer these tales of fancy, I succhild has seen something new, as a lion ceed much better in pleasing my listenor an elephant; how does he talk of it ers by talking to them about things that to his companions! Or, suppose he has really exist, or have really happened. been rambling in the woods, and has Truth, after all, is more attractive than seen an eagle, or a gray squirrel, or a fiction, if it is only dressed in a proper woodchuck,-something he had never guise. seen before,--how eager is he to talk My own adventures seem to give my about it!
listeners the most pleasure ; for I have Thus it is with the young; they love been all over the United States ; have to talk of things that interest them; and been a soldier, and seen service; have thus it is with those who have passed been a pedler, and travelled thousands from the morning of life toward its set- of miles on foot; have met with strange ting sun. It may be that old people are accidents and hairbreadth escapes from less talkative than young ones; but still danger; and have had my share of what we all love to speak to others of that is called hard luck. Still, I have reason which excites our own feelings, or occu- to thank Heaven that my heart is pies our minds. Talking, then, is one happy, and my mind cheerful. I love of the great pleasures of life, and God sunshine as well as when I was a boy, has no doubt made it so for good and and see much more occasion to laugh wise purposes. How large a portion of than to cry. I have indeed my serious the happiness of life would be cut off, if moods, for there are some subjects that we were all dumb !
demand seriousness and reverence. For myself, I was a great rattler in Religion claims some of our time, and youth, and, even now that my hair is much of our thought. The Sabbath is grizzled with
years, I must confess that with me a day of solemn reflection and I am not greatly altered in this respect. prayer. I bend over the Bible, with a My life has been a varied one, and I feeling that I am listening to the voice have seen a good deal of the world. I of God. These things make me sericannot pretend to be so great a traveller ous, but not sad. As the sun seems to as Peter Parley, nor can I match him shine brighter, when it comes out from in telling stories to babies. But still, a cloud, so my heart is ever more serene