Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Raven


Many birds seek the protection which the presence of man affords against furred and feathered foes when the breeding season approaches. Not so the raven. Its distrust of us is profound, and its nest is placed in some wild spot far out of reach of our possible attack or succor. But there are other enemies.

I know of a pair that built on one side of a projecting crag high up on the cliffs of Rathlin island. Some fierce peregrine falcons occupied the other side of the crag, and when one day their eggs were taken by an adventurous collector they, sharing the popular opinion of a raven's blackness, concluded that their neighbors were the offenders and wreaked their grief and vengeance upon them.

When, on their return from a foraging expedition, the falcons found their nest despoiled, they were seen to hold a consultation, and after much deliberation they suddenly arose, and both with one accord flew at the raven's nest and sacked it, tearing it in their rage and indignation until not one stick was left upon another. — London Quiver.

Too Much to Expect

A too hasty generalization is that accredited to Pelissier, once marshal of France. It was during the last empire that he was reviewing a regiment of cavalry when this conversation took place between him and a captain:

"Well, captain, how many men have you in your squadron?"

"One hundred and twenty, marshal." "And how many horses have you?" "A hundred and ten."

"And all devoted to the emperor, I hope!" — Youth's Companion.

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