Monday, June 9, 2008

All Kinds of Queer Pets


Frogs, Owls and Cockroaches Trained by a Maryland Scientist.

Harry C. Hopkins, one of the youngest members of The Maryland Academy of Science, has a special fondness for animals. Among his earliest pets were three frogs, which he raised from tadpoles. They became so tame that they would recognize his voice and hop eagerly to him whenever they heard him speak. His next pets were five screech owls, which he kept in the garret of his home. One of the owls, which he called Bob, became so accustomed to his voice that it would screech back a reply when he called and would haste to join Mr. Hopkins in the lower rooms of the house.

Mr. Hopkins had at other times raccoons, opossums, foxes, white mice and white rats for pets. The latest pet in his collection was the most unique of them all and was perhaps the only pet of the kind ever heard of. It was a roach — an ordinary brown roach — that ran out of his desk one day and took a sip from a drop of ink that had fallen on the desk. Mr. Hopkins let the little creature indulge itself undisturbed and one day induced it to take a sip from the point of his pen. After that to tame the roach was an easy matter, and he soon had it so tame that it would come from its hiding place when called and would follow the pen over the paper while Mr. Hopkins wrote.

Mr. Hopkins did not enjoy the society of his little pet long. A new servant, with a mania for "cleaning up" and antipathy to roaches, saw the pet on the desk one day and killed it. — Baltimore Sun.

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