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Sport and Work on the Nepaul Frontier
Chapter XIX

The tiger's mode of attack—The food he prefers—Varieties of prey— Examples—What he eats first—How to tell the kill of a tiger— Appetite fierce—Tiger choked by a bone—Two varieties of tiger— The Royal Bengal—Description—The Hill tiger—His description—The two compared—Length of the tiger—How to measure tigers—Measurements—Comparison between male and female—Number of young at a birth—The young cubs—Mother teaching cubs to kill—Education and progress of the young tiger—Wariness and cunning of the tiger— Hunting incidents showing their powers of concealment—Tigers taking to water—Examples—Swimming powers—Caught by floods—Story of the Soonderbund tigers.

The tiger's mode of attack is very characteristic of his whole nature. To see him stealthily crouching, or crawling silently and sneakingly after a herd of cattle, dodging behind every clump of bushes or tuft of grass, running swiftly along the high bank of a watercourse, and sneaking under the shadowing border of a belt of jungle, is to understand his cunning and craftiness. His attitude, when he is crouching for the final bound, is the embodiment of suppleness and strength. All his actions are graceful, and half display and half conceal beneath their symmetry and elegance, the tremendous power and deadly ferocity that lurks beneath. For a short distance he is possessed of great speed, and with a few short agile bounds he generally manages to overtake his prey. If baffled in his first attack, he retires growling to lie in wait for a less fortunate victim. His onset being so fierce and sudden, the animal he selects for his prey is generally taken at a great disadvantage, and is seldom in a position to make any strenuous or availing resistance.

Delivering the numbing blow with his mighty fore paw, be fastens on the throat of the animal he has felled, and invariably tries to tear open the jugular vein. This is his practice in nearly every case, and it shows a wonderful instinct for selecting the most deadly spot in the whole body of his luckless prey. When he has got hold of his victim by the throat, he lies down, holding on to the bleeding carcase, snarling and growling, and fastening and withdrawing his claws, much as a cat does with a rat or mouse. Some writers say he then proceeds to drink the blood, but this is just one of those broad general assertions which require proof. In some cases he may quench his thirst and gratify his appetite for blood by drinking it from the gushing veil s of his quivering victim, but in many cases I know from observation that the blood is not drunk. If the tiger is very hungry he then begins his feast, tearing huge fragments of flesh from the dead body, and not unusually swallowing them whole. If he is not particularly hungry, he drags the carcase away and hides it in some well-known spot. This is to preserve it from the hungry talons and teeth of vultures and jackals. He commonly remains on guard near his cache until he has acquired an appetite. If be cannot conveniently carry away his quarry, because of its bulk, or the nature of the ground, or from being disturbed, he returns to the place at night and satisfies his appetite.

Tigers can sneak crouchingly along as fast as they can trot, and it is wonderful how silently they can steal on their prey. They seem to have some stray provident fits, and on occasions make provision for future wants. There are instances on record of a tiger dragging a kill after him for miles, over water and through slush and weeds, and feasting on the carcase days after he has killed it. It is a fact, now established beyond a doubt, that he will eat carrion and putrid flesh, but only from necessity and not from choice.

On one occasion my friends put up a tigress during the rains, when there are few cattle in the dyarahs or plains near the river. She had killed a pig, and was eagerly devouring the carcase when she was disturbed. Snarling and grow ling, she made off with a leg of pork in her mouth, when a bullet ended her career. They seemed to prefer pork and venison to almost any other kind of food, and no doubt pig and deer are their natural and usual prey. The influx, however, of vast herds of cattle, and the consequent presence of man, drive away the wild animals, and at all events make- them more wary and more difficult to kill. Finding domestic cattle unsuspicious, and not very formidable foes, the tiger contents himself at a p inch with beef, and judging from his ravages he comes to like it. Getting bolder by impunity, he ventures in some straits to attack man. He finds him a very easy prey; he finds the flesh too, perhaps, not unlike his favourite pig. Henceforth he becomes a "man-eater," the most dreaded scourge and pestilent plague of the district. He sometimes finds an old boar a tough customer, and never ventures to attack a buffalo unless it be grazing alone, and away from the rest of the herd. When buffaloes are attacked, they make common cause against their crafty and powerful foe, and uniting together in a crescent-shaped line, their horns all directed in a living chevaux-de-frist against the tiger, they rush tumultuously at him, and fairly hunt him from the jungle. The pig, having a short thick neck, and being tremendously muscular, is hard to kill: but the poor inoffensive cow, with her long neck, is generally killed at the first blow, or so disabled that it requires little further effort to complete the work of slaughter.

Two friends of mine once shot an enormous old tiger on a small island in the middle of the river, during the height of the annual rains. The brute, had lost nearly all its hair from mange, and was an emaciated, sorry-looking object. From the remains on the island—the skin, scales, and bones— they found that he must have slain and eaten several alligators during his enforced imprisonment on the island. They will eat alligators when pressed by hunger, and they have been known to subsist on turtles, tortoises, iguanas, and even jackals. Only the other day in Assam a son of Dr. B. was severely mauled by a tiger which sprang into the verandah after a dog. There were three gentlemen in the verandah, and, as you may imagine, they were taken not a little by surprise. They succeeded in bagging the tiger, but not until poor B. was very severely hurt.

After tearing the throat open, they walk round the prostrate carcase of their prey, growling and spitting like "tabby" cats. They begin their operations in earnest, invariably on the buttock. A leopard generally eats the inner portion of the thigh first. A wolf tears open the belly, and eats the intestines first. A vulture, hawk, or kite, begins on the eyes; but a tiger invariably begins on the buttocks, whether of buffalo, cow, deer, or pig. He then eats the fatty covering round the intestines, follows that up with the liver and udder, and works his way round systematically to the fore-quarters, leaving the head to the last. It is frequently the only part of an animal that they do not eat.

A "man-eater" eats the buttocks, shoulders, and breasts first. So many carcases are found in the jungle of animals that have died from disease or old age, or succumbed to hurts and accidents, that the whitened skeletons meet the eye. in hundreds. But one can always tell the, kill of a tiger, and distinguish between it and the other bleached heaps. The large bones of a tiger's kill are always broken. The broad massive rib bones are crunched In two as easily as a dog would snap the drumstick of a fowl. Vultures and jackals, the scavengers of the jungle, are incapable of doing this; and when you see the fractured large bones, you can always tell that the whiskered monarch has been on the war-path. George S. writes me:—

"I have known a tiger devour a whole bullock to his own cheek in one day. Early in the morning a man came to inform me he had seen a tiger pull down a bullock. I went after the fellow late in the afternoon, and found him in a bush not more than twenty feet square, the only jungle he had to hide in for some distance round, and in this he had polished off the bullock, nothing remaining save the head. The jungle being so very small, and he having lain the whole day in it, nothing in the way of vultures or jackals could have assisted him in finishing off the bullock."

"When hungry they appear to bolt large masses of flesh without masticating it. The same correspondent writes:—

"We cut out regular 'fids' once from a tiger's stomach, also large pieces of bone. Joe heard a tremendous roaring through the night, which continued till near morning, not far from Kipunneah. He went out at dawn to look for the tiger, which he found was dead. The brute had tried to swallow the knee-joint of a bullock, and it had stuck in his gullet. This made him roar from pain, and eventually choked him."

As there are two distinct varieties of wild pig in India, so there seems to be little doubt that there are two distinct kinds of tigers. As these have frequently crossed we find many hybrids. I cannot do better than again quote from my obliging and observant friend George. The two kinds he designates as "The Royal Bengal," and "The Hill Tiger," and goes on to say:—

"As a rule, the stripes of a Royal Bengal are single and dark. The skull is widely different from that of his brother the Hill tiger, being low in the crown, wider in the jaws, rather flat in comparison, and the brain-pan longer with a sloping curve at the end, the rest of the brain-pan being a concave curve.

"The Hill tiger is much more massively built; squat and thick-set, heavier in weight and larger in bulk, with shorter tail, and very large and powerful neck, head, and shoulders. The stripes generally are double, and of a more brownish tinge, with fawn colour between the double stripes. The skull is high in the crown, and not quite so wide. The brain-pan is shorter, and the crest slightly convex or nearly straight, and the curve at the end of the skull rather abrupt. They never grow so long as the 'Bengal,' yet look twice as big.

"The crosses are very numerous, and vary according to pedigree, in stripes, skulls, form, weight, bulk, and tail. This I find most remarkable when I look at my collection of over 100 skulls.

"The difference is better marked 'n tigers than in tigresses. The Bengal variety are not as a rule as ferocious as the Hill tiger. Being more supple and cunning, they can easier evade their pursuers by flight and maneuver than their less agile brothers. The former, owing to deficiency of strength, oftener meet with discomfiture, and consequently are more wary and cunning; while the latter, prone to carry everything before them, trust more to their strength and courage, anticipating victory as certain.

"In some the stripes are doubled throughout, in others only partially so, while in some they are single throughout, and some have manes to a slight extent."

I have no doubt this classification is correct. The tigers I have seen in Nepaul near the hills, were sometimes almost a dull red, arid at a distance looked like a huge dun cow, while those I have seen in the plains during our annual hunts, were of a bright tawny yellow, longer, more lanky, and not showing half such a bold front as their bulkier and bolder brethren of the hills.

The length of the tiger has often given rise to fierce discussions among sportsmen. The fertile imagination of the slayer of a solitary "stripes," has frequently invested the brut*1 he has himself shot, or seen shot, or perchance heard of as having been shot by a friend, or the friend of a friend, with a fabulous length, inches swelling to feet, and dimensions growing at each repetition of the yarn, till, as in the case of boars, the twenty-eight incher becomes a forty-inch tusker, and the eight-foot tiger stretches to twelve or fourteen feet.

Purists again, sticklers for stern truth, haters of bounce or exaggeration, have perhaps erred as much on the other side; and in their eagerness to give the exact measurement, and avoid the very appearance of exaggeration, they actually stretch their tape line and refuse to measure the curves of the body, taking it in straight lines. This I think is manifestly unfair.

Our mode of measurement in Purneah was to take the tiger as he lay before he was put on the elephant, and measure from the tip of the nose, over the crest of the skull, along the undulations of the body, to the tip of the taiL That is, we followed the curvature of the spine along the dividing ridge of the back, and always were careful and fair in our attempts. I am of opinion that a tiger over ten feet long is an exceptionally long one, but when I read of sportsmen denying altogether that even that length can be attained, I can but pity the dogmatic scepticism that refuses credence to well-ascertained and authenticated facts. I believe also that tigers are not got nearly so large as in former days. I believe that much longer and heavier tigers - animals larger in every way—were shot some twenty years ago than those we can get now, but I account for this by the fact that there is less land left waste and uncultivated, There are more roads, ferries, and bridges, more improved communications, and in consequence more travelling. Population and cultivation have increased; fire-arms are more numerous; sport is more generally followed; shooting is much more frequent and deadly; and, in a word, tigers have not the same chances as they had some twenty years ago of attaining a ripe old age, and reaching the extremest limit of their growth. The largest tigers being also the most suspicions and wary, are only found in the remotest recesses of the impenetrable jungles of Nepaul and the Terai. or in those parts of the Indian wilds where the crack of the European rifle is seldom or never heard.

It has been so loudly asserted, and so boldly maintained that no tiger was ever shot reaching, when fairly measured (that is, measured with the skin on, as he lay), ten feet, that I will let Mr. George again speak for himself, Referring to the Royal Bengal, he says:—

"These grow to great lengths. They have been shot as long as twelve feet seven inches (my father shot one that length) or longer; twelve feet seven inches, twelve feet six inches, twelve feet three inches, twelve feet one inch, and twelve feet, have been shot and recorded in the old sporting magazines by gentlemen of undoubted veracity in Purneah.

"I have seen the skin of one twelve feet one inch, compared with which the skin of one I have by me that measured as he lay (the italics are mine) eleven feet one inch, looks like the skin of a cub. The old skin looks more like that of a huge antediluvian species in comparison with the other.

"The twelve-footer was so heavy that my uncle (C. A. S.) tells me no number of mahouts could lift it. Several men, if they could have approached at one and the same time, might have been able to do so, but a sufficient number of men could not lay hold simultaneously to move the body from the ground.

Eventually a. number of bamboos had to be cut and placed in an incline from the ground to the elephant's saddle while the elephant knelt down, and up this incline the tiger had to be regularly hauled and shoved, and so fastened on the elephant.

"He (the tiger) mauled four elephants, one of whom died the same day, and one other had a narrow butch, i.e. escape, of its life."

In another communication to me, my friend goes over the same ground, but as the matter is one of interest to sportsmen and naturalists, I will give the extract entire. It proceeds as follows:—

'Tigers grow to great lengths, some assert to even fourteen feet. I do not say they do not, but such cases are very rare, and require authentication. The longest I have seen, measured as he lay, eleven feet one inch (see 'Oriental Sporting Magazine,' for July, 1871, p. 308). He was seven feet nine inches from tip of nose to root of tail; root of tail one foot three inches in circumference ; round chest four feet six inches; length of head one foot two inches; forearm two feet two inches; round the head two feet ten inches; length of tail three feet four inches.

"Besides this, I have shot another eleven feet, and one ten feet eleven inches.

"The largest tigress I have shot was at Sahareah, which measured ten feet two inches. I shot another ten feet exactly " (see O. S. M. Aug., 1871, p. 358).

"I have got the head of a tiger, shot by Joe, which measured eleven feet live inches. It was shot at Baraila.

"The male is much bigger built in every way—length, weight, size, &c., than the female. The males are more savage, the females more cunning and agile. The arms, body, paws, head, skull, claws, teeth, &c., of the female, are smaller. The tad of tigress longer; hind legs more lanky; the prints look smaller and more contracted, and the toes nearer together. It is said that though a large tiger may venture to attack a buffalo, the tigress refrains from doing so, but I have found this otherwise in my experience.

"I have kept a regular log of all tigers shot by me. The average length of fifty-two tigers recorded in my journal is nine feet six and a half inches (cubs excluded), and of sixty-eight tigresses (cubs excluded), eight feet four inches.

"The average of tigers and tigresses is eight feet ten and a quarter inches. This is excluding cubs I have taken alive."

As to measurements, he goes on to make a few remarks, and as I cannot improve on them I reproduce the original passage:—

"Several methods have been recommended for measuring tigers. I measure them on the ground, or when brought to camp before skinning, and run the tape tight along the line, beginning at the tip of the nose, along the middle of the skull, between the ears and neck, then along the spine to the end of the tail, taking any curves of the body.

"No doubt measurements of skull, body, tail, legs, &c., ought all to be taken, to give an adequate idea of the tiger, and for comparing them with one another, but this is not always feasible."

Most of the leading sportsmen in India now-a-days are very particular in taking the dimensions of e\ ery limb of the dead tiger. They take his girth, length, and different proportions. Many even weigh the tiger when it gets into camp, and no doubt this test is one of the best that can be given for a comparison of the sizes of the different animals slain.

Another much disputed point in the natural history of the animal, a point on which there has been much acrimonious discussion, is the number of young that are given at a birth. Some writers have asserted, and stoutly maintained, that two cubs, or at the most three, is the extreme number of young brought forth at one time.

This may be the ordinary number, but the two gentlemen I have already alluded to have assured me, that on frequent occasions they have picked up four actually born, and have cut out five several times, and on one occasion six, from the womb of a tigress.

I have myself picked up four male cubs, all in one spot, with their eyes just beginning to open, and none of their teeth through the gums. One had been trampled to death by buffaloes, the other three were alive and scatheless, huddled into a bush, like three immense kittens. I kept the three for a considerable time, and eventually took them to Calcutta and sold them for a very satisfactory price.

It seems clear, however, that the tigress frequently has four and even five cubs. It is rare, indeed, to find her accompanied by more than two well-grown cubs, very seldom three; and the inference is, that one or two of the young tigers succumb in very early life.

The young ones do not appear to grow very quickly; they are about a foot long when they are born; they are born blind, with very minute hair, almost none in fact, but with the stripes already perfectly marked on the soft supple skin; they open their eyes when they are eight or ten days old, at which time they measure about a foot and a half. At the age of nine months they have attained to five feet in length, and are waxing mischievous. Tiger cubs a year old average about five feet eight inches, tigresses some three inches or so less. In two years they grow respectively to—the male seven feet six inches, and the female seven feet. At about this time they leave the mother, if they have not already done so, and commence depredations on their own account. In fact, their education has been well attended to. The mother teaches them to kill when they are about a year old. A young cub that measured only six feet, and whose mother had been shot in one of the annual beats, was killed while attacking a full-grown cow in the Government pound at Dumdaha police-station. When they reach the length of six feet six inches they can kill pretty easily, and numbers have been shot by George and other Turneah sportsmen close to their "kills."

They are most daring and courageous when they have just left their mother's care, and are cast forth to fight the battle of life for themselves. While with the old tigress their lines have been cast in not unpleasant places, they have seldom known hunger, and have experienced no reverses. Accustomed to see every animal succumb to her well-planned and audacious attacks, they fancy that nothing will withstand their onslaught. They have been known to attack a line of elephants, and to charge most determinedly, even in this adolescent stage.

Bye-and-bye, however, as they receive a few rude shocks from buffaloes, or are worsted in a hand-to-hand encounter with some tough old bull, or savage old grey boar, more especially if they get an ugly rip or two from the sharp tusks of an infuriated fighting tusker, they begin to be less aggressive, they learn that discretion may be the better part of valour, and their cunning instincts are roused. In fact, their education is progressing, and in time they instinctively discover every wile and dodge and cunning stratagem, and display all the wondrous subtlety of their race in procuring their prey.

Old tigers are invariably more wary, cautious, and suspicious than young ones, and till they are fairly put to it by hunger, hurt, or compulsion, they endeavour to keep their stripes concealed. When brought to bay, however, there is little to reproach them with on the score of cowardice, and it will be a matter of rejoicing if you or your elephants do not come off second best in the encounter. Even in the last desperate case, a cunning old tiger will often make a feint, or sham rush, or pretended charge, when his whole object is flight. If he succeed in demoralising the line of elephants, roaring and dashing furiously about, he will then try in the confusion to double through, unless he is too badly wounded to be able to travel fast, in which case he will fight to the end.

Old fellows are well acquainted with every maze and thicket in the jungles, and they no sooner hear the elephants enter the "bush" or "cover" than they make off for some distant shelter. If there is no apparent chance of this being successful, they try to steal out laterally and outflank the iine, or if that also is impossible, they hide in some secret recess like a fox, or crouch low in some clumpy hush, and trust to you or your elephant passing by without noticing their presence.

It is marvellous in what sparse cover they will manage, to lie up. So admirably do their stripes mingle with the withered and charred grass-stems and dried-up stalks, that it-is very difficult to detect the dreaded robber when he is lying flat, extended close to the ground, so still and motionless that you cannot distinguish a tremor or even a vibration of the grass in which he is crouching.

On one occasion George followed an old tiger through some stubble about three feet high. It had been well trampled down too by tame buffaloes. The tiger had been tracked into the. field, and was known to be in it. George was within ten yards of the cunning brute, and although mounted on a tall elephant, and eagerly scanning the thin cover with his •sharpest glance, he could not discern the concealed monster. His elephant was within four paces of it, when it sprang up at the charge, giving a mighty roar, which however also served as its death yell, as a bullet from George's trusty gun crashed through its ribs and heart.

Tigers can lay themselves so flat on the ground, and lie so perfectly motionless, that it is often a very easy thing to overlook them. On another occasion, when the Purneah Hunt were out, a tigress that had been shot got under some cover that was trampled down by a line of about twenty elephants. The sportsmen knew that she had been severely wounded, as they could tell by the gouts of blood, but there was no sign of the body. She had disappeared. After a long search, beating the same ground over and over again, an elephant trod on the dead body lying under the trampled canes, and the mahout got down and discovered her lying quite dead. She was a large animal and full grown.

On another occasion George was after a fine male tiger. He was following up fast, hut coming to a broad nullah, full of water, he suddenly lost sight of his game. He looked up and down the bank, and on the opposite bank, but could see no traces of the tiger. Looking down, he saw in the water what at first he took to be a large bull-frog. There was not a ripple on the placid stagnant surface of the pool. He marvelled much, and just then his mahout pointed to the supposed bull-frog, and in an excited whisper implored George to fire. A keener look convinced George that it really was the tiger. It was totally immersed all but the face, and lying so still that not the faintest motion or ripple was perceptible. He fired and indicted a terrible wound. The tiger bounded madly forward, and George gave it its quietus through the spine as it tried to spring up the opposite bank.

A nearly similar case occurred to old Mr. C., one of the veteran sportsmen of Purneah. A tiger had bolted towards a small tank or pond, and although the line followed up in hot pursuit, the brute disappeared. Old C., keener than the others, was loth to give up the pursuit, and presently discerned a yellowish reflection in the clear water. Peering more intently, he could discover the yellowish tawny outline of the cunning animal, totally immersed in the water, save its eyes, ears, and nose. He shot the tiger dead, and it sank to the bottom like a stone. So perfectly had it concealed itself, that the other sportsmen could not for the life of them imagine what old C. had fired at, till his mahout got down and began to haul the dead animal out of the water.

Tigers are not at all afraid of water, and are fast and powerful swimmers. They swim much after the fashion of a horse, only the head out of the water, and they make scarcely any ripple.

"In another case," writes George, "though not five yards from the elephant, and right under me, a tiger was swimming with so slight a ripple that I mistook it for a rat, until I saw the stripes emerge, when I perforated his jacket with a bullet."

Only their head remaining out of water when they are swimming, they are very hard to hit, as shooting at an object on water is very deceptive work as to judging distance, and a tiger's head is but a small object to aim at when some little way off.

Old C. had another adventure with a cunning rogue, which all but ended disastrously, lie was in hot pursuit of the tiger, and, finding no safety on land, it took to swimming in a broad unfordable piece of water, a sort of deep lagoon. Old C. procured a boat that was handy, and got a coolie to paddle him out after the tiger. He fired several shots at the exposed head of the brute, but missed. He thought he would wait till he got nearer and make a sure shot, as he had only one bullet left in the heat. Suddenly the tiger turned round and made straight for the boat. Here was a quandary. Even if he killed the tiger with his single bullet it might upset the boat; the lagoon was full of alligators, to say nothing of weeds, and there, was no time to get his heavy boots off. He felt his life might depend on the accuracy of his aim. He fired, and killed the tiger stone dead within four or five yards of the boat.

On one occasion, when out with our worthy district magistrate, Mr. S., I came on the tracks of what to all appearance was a very large tiger. They led over the sand close to the water's edge, and were very distinct I could see no returning marks, so I judged that the tiger must have taken to the water. The stream was rapid and deep, and midway to the further bank was a big, oblong-shaped, sandy islet, some five or six hundred yards long, and having a few scrubby bushes growing sparsely on it. We put our elephants into the rapid current, and got across. The river here was nearly a quarter of a mile wide on each side of the islet. As we emerged from the stream on to the island we found fresh tracks of the tiger. They led us completely round the circumference of the islet. The tiger had evidently been in quest of food. The prints were fresh and very well defined. Finding that all was barren on the sandy shore, he entered the current again, and following up we found his imprint once more on the further bank, several hundred yards down the stream.

One tiger was killed stone dead by a single bullet during one of our annual hunts, and falling back into the water, it sank to the bottom like lead. Being unable to find the animal, we beat all round the place, till I suggested it might have been hit and fallen into the river. One of the men was ordered to dive down, and ascertain if the tiger was at the bottom. The river water is generally muddy, so that the bottom cannot be seen. Divesting himself of puggree, and girding up his loins, the diver sank gently to the bottom, but presently reappeared in a palpable funk, puffing and blowing, and declaring that the tiger was certainly at the bottom. The foolish fellow thought it might be still alive. We soon disabused his mind of that idea, and had the dead tiger hauled up to dry land.

Surprised by floods, a tiger has been known to remain for days on an ant-hill, and even to take refuge on the branch of some large tree, but he takes to water readily, and can swim for over a mile, and he has been known to remain for days in from two to three feet depth of water.

A time-honoured tiger story with old hands, used to tell how the Soonderbund tigers got carried out to sea. If the listener was a new arrival, or a gobe mouche, they would explain that the tigers in the Soonderbunds often get carried out to sea by the retiring tide. It would sweep them off as they were swimming from island to island in the vast delta of Father Ganges. Only the young ones, however, suffered this lamentable fate. The older and more wary fellows, taught perhaps by sad experience, used always to dip their tails in, before starting on a swim, so as to ascertain which way the tide was flowing. If it was the flow of the tide they would boldly venture in, but if it was ebb tide, and there was the slightest chance of their being carried out to sea, they would patiently lie down, meditate on the fleeting vanity of life, and like the hero of the song—

"Wait for the turn of the tide."

Without venturing an opinion on this story, I may confidently assert, that the tiger, unlike his humble prototype the domestic cat, is not really afraid of water, but will take to it readily to escape a threatened danger, or if he can achieve any object by "paddling his own canoe."

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