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feeds upon any green herbage, and browses upon whatever may come in his way. In the winter his sole food is the lichen or moss, which he instinctively discovers under the snow by the fineness of his scent. By this peculiar property of the animal the Laplanders are chiefly directed in their choice of winter quarters, never remaining in those parts which they know, by the indifference of their deer in removing the snow, produces but little moss.
The rich Laplanders possess extensive fields, or rather deserts, covered with the lichen, which forms the winter food of his herds. The deer root for it under the snow like swine, in a pasture; their foreheads, nose, and feet, are guarded with a hard skin, closely attached to those parts, that they may not be hurt by the icy crust, which covers the surface of the snow. This moss (lichen rangiferinus) is called in Laponic "viste;" it is of a pale greenish colour, rather dry, and of a somewhat musty taste. It bears no resemblance whatever to the Iceland moss, which is rather like the dandelion when green and fresh.
"It is a singular and now well-established fact, that the rein-deer will eat with avidity the lemming or mountain rat, presenting one of the few instances of a ruminating animal being in the slightest degree carnivorous."* This rat is said to feed entirely on the reindeer moss.
When the winter is fairly set in, the peculiar value of the rein-deer is felt by the Laplanders; without his aid, communication with any other part than the vicinity of the place they occupy would be entirely cut off. He completely supplies the place of the horse, and draws sledges with amazing swiftness over the frozen lakes and rivers, or over the snow, which at that time covers the whole country. With a couple of reindeer yoked to a sledge, it is said that a Laplander is able to travel 112 English miles in a day. The general trot of the rein-deer is about ten miles an hour, and their power of enduring fatigue is such that it is not uncommon for them to perform, on an emergency, a journey of 150 miles in nineteen hours.
* Library of Entertaining Knowledge.
"There is a portrait of a rein-deer in the palace of Drotningholm (Sweden), which is represented on a pressing occasion to have drawn an officer with important despatches the incredible distance of 800 miles in forty-eight hours."* This event is said to have occurred in 1699, and the tradition adds, that the deer dropped down lifeless upon his arrival. The rein-deer requires considerable training to prepare him for sledge travelling, and also requires an experienced driver. The sledge is formed somewhat like a boat, having a backboard in it for the rider to lean against. Its bottom is rounded, and none but a person well practised in such mode of travelling can preserve himself for a moment from being overset. It is square behind, but projects to a point before. The traveller is tied in it somewhat like a child in a chair. He manages his carriage with great dexterity by means of a stick with a flattened end to remove stones or any obstructions he may meet with. To the peak in front a thong is fixed, which yokes the deer. The bit is a piece of nar• De Broke's "Winter in Lapland."
row leather tacked to the reins of the bridle over the animal's head and neck; and from the breast a leathern strap, passing under the belly, is fastened to the front of the sledge.
The driver directs the course of the deer, which is irregular and serpentine, by pulling the rein on the side he wishes him to go, arid encourages him with his voice. Many of the love songs of this rude and uncivilized nation are composed for this purpose, and among them are found some beautiful specimens of poetry. During night bells are affixed to the harness of the animals in order that they may be kept together, if travelling in company, by hearing, when they cannot see each other, after the light of their short day fails them. To guide them in their route, the Laplanders observe which way the wind blows, and at night are directed by the stars. Should the Laplander happen to lose his way, he takes advantage of the gregarious habits of his animal, who, if left to its own discretion, avails itself of the exquisite sense of smell it possesses, and by frequently holding its head close to the snow, as a dog traces the steps of his master, rarely fails in regaining the track.
The Hon. Arthur Dillon, in his "Winter in Lapland," gives a lively description of a Laplandic excursion; from it we will make a few extracts. "My host at first recommended me to proceed with horses to Kallisovando as the most agreeable mode of travelling, but I wa3 too eager to try the rein-deer to listen to his objections; a message was accordingly sent to the nearest Lap encampment, some four-and-twenty miles off, and I passed the interval in procuring the different parts of the Laponic costume, which it is customary to wear on journeys performed with rein-deer. This dress combines great warmth with the advantage of being light, and leaving sufficient freedom to the limbs. The principal piece is the 'moudda,' a fur gown, closed all round, and resembling a shirt of sufficient length to reach the calves of the legs. The skins of the young deer are chiefly used for this part of the dress, and when attention is paid to appearances, the backs only of the darkest calves are selected. The collar, and sometimes the