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pitiable condition. Good treatment quickly restored it to health, and kindness made it familiar. When called by its name "Binny," it generally answered with a little cry, and came to its owner. The hearth-rug was its favourite haunt, and thereon it would lie, stretched out, sometimes on its back, sometimes on its side, and sometimes flat on its belly, but always near its master. The building instinct showed itself immediately it was let out of its cage, and materials were placed in its way, and this before it had been even a week in its new quarters. Its strength, even before it was half grown, was great. It would drag along a large sweeping brush, or a warming-pan, grasping the handle with its teeth, so that the load came over its shoulder, and advancing it in an oblique direction till it arrived at the point where it wished to place it. The long and large materials were taken first, and two of the longest were generally laid crosswise, with one of the ends of each touching the wall, and the other ends projecting into the room. The area formed by the crossed brushes and the wall he would fill up with hand brushes,
rush baskets, books, boots, sticks, clothes, dried turf, or any thing portable. As the work grew high, he supported himself on his tail, which propped him up admirably, and he would often, after laying on one of his building materials, sit up over against it, appearing to consider his work, or, as the country people say, to "judge it." This pause was sometimes followed by changing the position of the material "judged," and sometimes it was left in its place. After he had piled up his materials in one part of the room (for he generally chose the same place), he proceeded to wall up the space between the feet of a chest of drawers which stood at a little distance from it, high enough on its legs to make the bottom a roof for him; using for this purpose dried turf and sticks, which he laid very even, and filling up the interstices with bits of coal, hay, cloth, or anything he could pick up. This last place he seemed to appropriate for his dwelling; the former work seemed to be intended for a dam. When he had walled up the space between the feet of the chest of drawers, he proceeded to carry in sticks, cloths, hay, cotton, &c. to make a nest, and when he had done, he would sit up under the drawers, and comb himself with the nails of his hind-feet. Binny generally carried small and light articles between his right fore-leg and his chin, walking on the other three legs; and large masses which he could not grasp readily with his teeth, he pushed forwards, leaning against them with his right forepaw and his chin. He never carried anything on his tail, which he liked to dip in water, but he was not fond of plunging in the whole body. If his tail was kept moist, he never cared to drink; but if it was kept dry, it became hot, and the animal appeared distressed, and would drink a great deal. Bread, and bread and milk, and sugar, formed the chief part of Binny's food; but he was very fond of succulent fruits and roots. He was a most entertaining creature, and some highly comic scenes occurred between the worthy but slow beaver, and a light and airy macauco that was kept in the same apartment.
This account of the instinctive efforts made by the imprisoned Beaver to carry out the purpose of his creation reminds one of the touching manner in which a caged bird will sometimes take every opportunity of gathering materials, and building a nest for the offspring she is never to know.
In the "NewEdinburgh Philosophical Journal" for 1829, there is a remarkably interesting letter, containing a notice of two living specimens of the beaver, at present in this country, some portions of which we will extract:—
"The arrival of two beavers at the garden of the Zoological Society (of which I am a member) has afforded me an opportunity of paying some little attention to the habits and structure of these interesting animals. On a visit to the garden during the very hard frost which occurred in the latter part of January, I happened to find the keeper busily occupied in clearing away a quantity of mud from the door of the beavers' house. On inquiry," I found that the industrious animals, finding themselves inconvenienced by the cold air forcing its way through the keyhole and chinks of the door, had employed themselves in stopping up
all the interstices on the outside, so that it was only after some considerable trouble that the keeper was enabled to turn the key in the lock. Being on the spot some days after, I was amused to perceive that the beavers, nothing discouraged by the destruction of their architectural labours in the first instance, had again set to work, and covered the whole surface of the door with a thick coating of plaster, which had been hardened by the frost into a solid cement. Though these outworks were repeatedly destroyed, the creatures continued with undiminished perseverance to fortify their dwellings against the cold; and so late as the month of March, I found the doors completely blocked up. Indeed, those who had the charge of them found it an unprofitable labour to persist in clearing away the accumulated mud, as no sooner was aportion removed, than the breach was instantly repaired anew. The habitation allotted to the beavers is a low oven-shaped hut, divided into two apartments, with a view that the two individuals might live apart. They have, however, preferred living together, in one of the divisions of the