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Title: The Book of Beasts, For Young Persons

Date of first publication:

Author: Anonymous

Date first posted: Nov. 5, 2013

Date last updated: Nov. 5, 2013

Faded Page eBook #20131105

This ebook was produced by: David Edwards, Dianne Nolan & the online Distributed Proofreaders Canada team at http://www.pgdpcanada.net




The Elephant, largest of all,

And strongest of quadruped race,

Draws more than six horses could move;

Large ears, little eyes, and long face:


His trunk is the organ of breath,

Through which he can drink and can smell,

Tear up trees, or pick up a pin;

With his tusks all assailants repel.





The Tiger, most savage and fierce,

His body is marked with dark streaks;

His sudden ferocious attacks

Bear down all the prey which he seeks:


The Indians hunt these wild beasts,

A fav'rite diversion, with care;

The prince and the hunters take horse,

And dogs turn him out of his lair.


Is much prettier than the wild, will feed from our hands, and run in and out of his hutch as he pleases. Rabbits are kept in warrens, where they make holes or burrows. It is amusing to see these active animals dart from and into their hiding places in great numbers, appearing something like a moving hill. They are pleasant and sweet food, and their skins make warm trimming for ladies' dresses. Their fur is used in making hats.

The Cow gives us butter and cheese,

Nice milk, and for tea gives us cream;

Her beef is most excellent food,

All pure from the mead and the stream:


Her skin serves for boots and for shoes,

Vaccination comes from her aid;

Her blood is for sugar refined,

Her horns into combs too are made.


Is frequently hunted by huntsmen and hounds. The skin of the stag is made into soft leather, the bones make harts-horn; the flesh is dainty food, called venison; knife-handles are made of the horns. Herds of deer are kept in large parks. In Lapland the Raindeer will draw a sledge over the snow.

The Ass is of burden the beast,

And useful extremely to man;

Contented with plainest of food,

But renders all service he can:


With treatment most cruel he's mild,

Asses milk the sick's cordial's been;

For various uses their skin,

Converted to leather shagreen.


Is a most useful animal, its flesh is excellent food, and its wool supplies us with warm clothing: is very gentle, and lives by grazing. Their skin, when tanned, becomes leather, or is made into parchment, which are used by book-binders and others. The entrails of the sheep are made into strings for violins, and their bones into knife-handles. The wool of Merino sheep is of fine texture.

The Zebra from African clime,

A beautiful quadruped kind;

Smooth hair, is most pleasingly striped,

If we view him before or behind:


Ferocious, untractable, wild,

So shy, that from man takes his flight;

The female is streaked white and black,

The male alternate brown and white.

The Lion from Africa came,

Of great strength, and height full five feet;

His roaring exceedingly loud,

All beasts of the forests could beat:


In anger, erects his rough mane,

His eyes appear fiery and bright;

He springs on the beasts he would slay,

Can bear off an ox in his flight.

For Pigs we must look in the sty,

Devouring voraciously all

The food that comes in their way,

From parlour, and kitchen, and hall.


While living, the pig's of no use,

But killed, all his carcase is good;

The bacon, the sparib, raised pie,

And griskin is savory food:


The bristles are made into brushes,

Shoe-bristles for needles instead;

The skin is converted to leather,


Is a very useful animal to mankind, to carry persons or burthens, or to draw a carriage from one place to another. The English hunter and the Arabian horses are noble animals. An Arab refused a large price offered for his horse, to be presented to the king, because it might not be used well by other persons. Horses should be treated with kindness, and never be over-driven beyond their strength.

The Cat's much attach'd to her home,

The guard of the kitchen and house;

From attic to cellar will roam,

In search of the rat and the mouse.


The kitten, for play and for fun,

Will run after marble or ball;

The cat, like the tiger, is fierce,

And puss is well known to us all.


The head and whiskers and the fore paws are like a mouse, the hind legs are long, and it has a very long tail; lives in caverns and dark places, is playful and alert, and seeks its food by night; it is a native of Africa and Siberia, and in Egypt is used as food.

The Dog's the companion of man,

With faithful attachment is found;

Guards houses and hunts for our game;

Is lurcher, or terrier, grey-hound:


And who has not heard of their fame,

In regions of snow, or in strife,

Where dogs, or by water or land,

Have oft by their care preserv'd life?


Appears like a clumsy creature, his body thick, legs strong, neck short, covered with long thick fur; he is solitary and ferocious, lives in unfrequented deserts and precipices, in hollow trees, or amid or near to polar seas of ice; he sleeps much during the winter, and climbs trees with facility in chase of prey or escape from danger.

[The end of The Book of Beasts, For Young Persons by Anonymous]