he following sketches, like the "Ways of Wood Folk," are the result of many years of personal observation in the woods and fields. They are studies of animals, pure and simple, not of animals with human motives and imaginations.Indeed, it is hardly necessary for genuine interest to give human traits to the beasts. Any animal is interesting enough as an animal, and has character enough of his own, without borrowing anything from man--as one may easily find out by watching long enough.
snows, wanders at will, while other deer are prisoners in their yards. It is the snapping of these loose hoofs and ankle joints that makes the merry clacking sound as caribou run.
Sometimes, however, they overestimate their abilities, and their wandering disposition brings them into trouble. Once I found a herd of seven up to their backs in soft snow, and tired out,--a strange condition for a caribou to be in. They were taking the affair philosophically, resting till they should gather strength to flounder to some spruce tops where moss was plenty. When I approached gently on snowshoes (I had been hunting them diligently the week before to kill them; but this put a different face on the matter) they gave a bound or two, then settled deep in the snow, and turned their heads and said with their great soft eyes: "You have hunted us. Here we are, at your mercy."
They were very much frightened at first; then I thought they grew a bit curious, as I sat down peaceably in the snow to watch them. One--a doe, mor