Animal Wit Indoors and Out
PROFESSOR HAGGERTY’S article on Animal Intelligence in the May Atlantic turns out to be a discussion of animal behavior in the laboratory, in which behavior intelligence is, for the most part, conspicuous by its absence. The poor creatures, confronted by the strange conditions and the new problems, do not know what they do know, any more than men usually do under like circumstances. They are drilled into forming new habits, — the puzzlebox habit, the labyrinth habit, or some other habit, — and after many trials they come to do their little tricks in an entirely automatic way. They appear to show no understanding whatever of the whys and the wherefores of the things they do.
Professor Thorndike found that it took on an average seventy or eighty repetitions of a trick with his chicks and cats and monkeys, to stamp the process into their minds, before they could do it correctly. The monkey did not seem to learn his trick of opening the puzzlebox any more rapidly by the professor’s repeatedly taking hold of his paw and drawing the bolt for him. He seemed incapable of forming any concept on the subject. The trained animals we see at the show go through their various parts precisely as if they were machines. They don’t know what they are doing any more than a clock does when it strikes. The normal current of their activities, which activities do not spring from ideas, or any mental concepts, but from innate impulses, is turned in a new direction and is kept flowing there till a new channel is worn. Professor Thorndike found that when a chick had been drilled to escape from a box by a roundabout way, it would stick to the roundabout way after the direct and easy way had been opened to it; in this respect being less free than the natural forces or elements which, the instant a barrier is removed, resume the old easy course.
The gulf that separates the mind of man from the mind of the animals below him — if we can call that bundle of instincts, reflexes, tropisms, and senseimpressions mind — is so great that I often wonder if I am wrong in feeling that it is as misleading to discuss or describe so-called animal psychology in terms of human psychology, as it would be to discuss, say, the physiological functions of a bee or an ant in terms of our own physiology. The bee breathes, and yet it has no lungs; the oxygen of the air reaches its tissues, and yet it has no blood; it smells, and yet it has no olfactories; it sees, and yet its eye has no parts analogous to the retina, the crystalline lens, and the aqueous humor; it has form and structure, and yet it has no bones, and it is only by courtesy that the anterior ganglion to which run the nerves of the eye can be called a ‘brain’; and yet behold the wonderful intelligence of the bees and the ants! In like manner, we might say that the dog reasons, and yet he has no faculty of reason; he remembers, and yet he has no faculty of memory; he experiences shame and guilt, and yet he has no moral conscience; he is resourceful, and yet he has no free ideas. Just what he does have that stands him instead, I think the laboratory inquirer is as powerless to discover as is the outdoor observer.
Animals find their way home, they communicate with one another, they are able to act in unison, by some means of which we are strangers. In not reaching our state of reason, some compensation has been made to them; such intelligence as guided the world of animal life down the long æons before the advent of man, is theirs. Their wisdom is very old, man’s is very new. They learned how to live, how to solve their life-problems, ages ago. Man has inherited much, though not all, of their knowledge, and through his new gift of reason he has added vast stores of his own to which they arc and must always remain strangers. Through his new faculty he can go to them, and in a measure understand them, but they cannot in the same sense come to him.
I would not imply that the gulf that separates man from the higher mammals is as great as the gulf that separates him from the world of the invertebrates, high as is the intelligence that some of these forms display, but it is vastly greater than that which separates the other vertebrate orders from one another. They are all members of one family in the great house of nature, differing in traits and capacities and habits, yet all alike the beneficiaries of natural law. Man in comparison is like a visitant from another sphere; his relation to the animal world is that of a superior being. He takes the globe into his hands and changes its surface, he crosses and uses natural forces, he reverses nature’s processes. If the animals could conceive of a god, man would be that god, His might transcends theirs, not in degree only, but in kind. Their tools are parts of their own bodies, but man’s tools are the great forces of nature, and with his puny body he turns rivers, and removes mountains, or changes the face of a continent. Their life-problems are how to live and propagate their kind; his are these, and, in addition, how to master the secrets of the universe, and turn them to his own good, physical and mental.
Probably one reason why the laboratory investigator finds so little of what we call intelligence in his subjects is that he takes them out of the animal sphere and puts them in the human sphere. The problems he sets before them are human problems and not animal problems — they imply a knowledge of mechanical and artificial conditions; this places the dog, the cat, the monkey, the ’coon, in situations entirely foreign to those in which nature places them, and to which their lives have been shaped. Ideas from the human plane are introduced into the animal plane. The way the cat and the dog deal with these might be a test of their human intelligence, but not of their native intelligence. An animal out of its proper sphere is likely to prove very stupid, while in its sphere, confronted by its own life-needs, it may surprise us by its resourcefulness. We know this to be true of men; why not, in a lesser degree of course, of animals?
One need only note the misdirected fury of a robin dashing at a supposed rival — its own reflected image on the window-pane of a darkened room —to appreciate what witless machines the birds are under certain conditions ; or watch the raccoon seriously engaged in the farce of washing its food in the sand or the straw on the bottom of its cage, to reach the same conclusion. Yet in the field of their normal free activity, away from conditions imposed by man, how clever these creatures are! The animals show little wit in dealing with human problems, but their own natural problems they are fitted, both by organization and by instinct, to solve. Birds in nesting will often avail themselves of human handiwork and shelter, as when they build in our barns, or on our porches, or in our chimneys; but in so doing they are solving their own problems, and not ours. I heard of a well-authenticated case of a pair of robins building their nest under the box on the running gear of a farmer’s wagon which stood under a shed, and with which the farmer was in the habit of making two trips to the village, two miles away, each week. The robins followed him on these trips, and the mother bird went forward with her incubation while the farmer did his errands, and the birds returned with him when he drove home. And, strange to say, the brood was duly hatched and reared. But in this case the bird’s primary problem, that of nest-building, was her own; human agency came in only accidentally, furnishing the nest’s support. The incident only shows what a hustler and true American the robin is, and that he could have gone West with the farmers on a prairie schooner, and reared a family, or several of them, on the way.
I know it is hard for us to grasp the idea of a qualitative difference in intelligence, yet we seem almost forced to admit such a difference. A plant shows intelligence in getting on in life, in its many devices for scattering its seed, in securing cross-fertilization, in adapting itself to its environment; yet how this differs from human intelligence! When the curving canes of the black raspberry bend down to the earth at a certain time and take root at the end, do they not act as wisely and apparently as voluntarily as do some animals? Yet this intelligence differs in kind from that of man. The same may be said of the intelligence that pervades all nature. Man’s intelligence has arisen out of this cosmic mind through a process of creative evolution, but it is of a different order, it does not go with nature as does that of the lower orders, so much as it bends and guides, or thwarts, nature. An animal on the animal plane is one thing, on the human plane it is quite another. It is reasonable to suppose that it will show more wit in solving its own life-problems than it will show in solving those which man, in the fever of his scientific curiosity, sets for it. What could the indoor investigator learn of the cunning of the crow or the fox, of the sagacity of the dog, of the art and skill of the bird in building its nest, and caring for its young?
The laboratory investigator has animal behavior more in a nutshell, and for that very reason is cut off from all perspective, all total effects. He cannot reconstruct a complete dog or cat or monkey out of his laboratory analyses without aid from free observation outside. He could learn very little about a collie dog, or a setter dog, in his laboratory that would enable him to infer all the capacities of those creatures, any more than he could of a man. Indeed, he would fare better with a man, because he could probe his mentality, his power of thought, but not his power of action. The animal acts, it does not think; and to test its power of action is harder than to test a man’s thinking capacity.
In leading their own unrestrained lives there often is, among both wild and domesticated animals, something, some resourcefulness in meeting a new condition, some change of habit, some adaptation of new means to an old end, or old means to a new end, that looks, at least, like a gleam of free intelligence, or an attribute of true mind: as when a chipmunk cuts a groove in the side of a hole he is digging, so as to get out a stone he has struck, and then fills up the groove; or when a monkey selects a straw from the floor of his cage to poke an insect out of a crack in the side; or when wolves combine to run down a deer or a hare by relays; or a pointer dog, of his own accord, runs around a bevy of quail that will not sit, but keep moving off, and places them between himself and the sportsman; or when gulls carry shell-fish high in the air and drop them on the rocks to break their shells; or when, in Africa, a bird called the honey-guide, leads the hunter to stores of wild honey — a fact which Roosevelt verified. We have no ways in the laboratory, or out, to assay such incidents and discover how much, if any, of the gold of real thought they contain. They may contain none, but may be only phases of the animal’s instinctive activities, yet they are phases which the laboratory investigator is powerless to bring out. If there are degrees in instinct, as in judgment, then in the cases just cited we have the higher degrees.
The laboratory naturalist is hampered by the narrowness of his field: he has but one string to his bow, he has to do with only one phase or motive of animal life — the desire for food; the mainspring of the behavior of all his subjects is their hunger. Spurred on by the sight or smell of food they attack the problems he sets before them. All the rest of their varied and picturesque activities in field and wood, their multiplex life-problems for which nature has equipped them, both physically and mentally, their loves, their wars, their home-making and nest-building, their migrations, their herdings, their flockings, their rivalries, eluding their enemies, hunting their prey, their social instincts, their coöperations, — in fact, all their relations with one another, and with their natural environment, — from all this the indoor investigator is cut off; only the stimulus of food, or the fear of punishment, remains for him to work upon. His animals act only under the incentive of appetite. The greater the hunger, the greater the wit. The experimenters at times starve their subjects till they become abnormally eager and active. The food question certainly enters very largely into an animal’s life, and its resourcefulness in obtaining food may well serve as one measure of its intelligence. But it has other life-problems, several of them, which are just as important, and about which it is just as keen, but which the experimenter cannot bring to bear. His laboratory is too narrow a field for these activities, as is even the large zoölogical park. He cannot study the migratory instinct, the flocking or herding or hunting instinct, nor, with the wild creatures, the mating and breeding instinct. He can throw no light on an animal’s life-habits. He can find out how it will act under given strange conditions, but not how it behaves under its natural conditions. Hence the little interest the natural historian feels in his inferences and conclusions.
It is true that the laboratory student of animal psychology can reach his results more rapidly than can the field naturalist; he takes a short cut, he gets the bare fact, shorn of its picturesque details. But how much he misses! I sometimes think of him under the parable of a man dining on capsules that contain the chemical equivalents of the food we eat — a short cut, surely, but the pleasure and satisfaction of the dinner-table, social and gustatory, the taste of fruit and milk and meat and grain, are not his. Live natural history in the field and woods and on the shore! The uncontrolled animal going its free, picturesque ways, solving its life-problems as they come to it in the revolving seasons, using such mind as it has, without constraint or arbitrary direction, threading only the labyrinth which nature prepares for it, stimulated only by the sights and sounds and odors of its natural habitat, perplexed with no puzzles but how to get its food, avoid its enemies, rear its young, hide its nest or den, and get out of life what there is in it — how much more engaging and stimulating an animal under such conditions than the same creature being put through its paces under controlled conditions in the laboratory.
So far as an exact science of animal conduct is possible, the experimentalist has the advantage over the free observer. So far as natural history is a joy and of educational value and an introduction to the whole field of animal life, he is not to be named the same day with the outdoor observer. Welcome, thrice welcome, all the light the laboratory method of inquiry can throw upon the puzzle of animal mentality and its relation to our own; it is engaging the attention of some serious-minded men, and I would not undervalue its contributions to our knowledge of the springs of animal psychology. At the same time I am bound to say that I think it can take us but a little way into the great field of animal life. The true perspective of such life can only be given by the student and lover of the uncontrolled behavior of our dumb friends.
Anything like an exact science of animal behavior is, it seems to me, as impossible in the laboratory as out of it. If animals were perfect automata, then we might have the science of animal behavior that Professor Haggerty dreams of; but the conduct of the same animals under identical conditions is dissimilar, or contradictory, as is that of different men. There is no rigid uniformity in their behavior. ‘A loud sound,’ says Professor Thorndike ‘ may make one chick run, another crouch, another give the danger-call, and another do nothing whatever.’ It is doubtless owing to such facts as these that experimenters arrive at such different results, often contradictory results. And we are not on any more permanent ground, according to Professor James, in the case of man himself: ‘A string of raw facts; a little of gossip and wrangle about opinions; a little classification and generalization on a mere descriptive level; a strong prejudice that we have states of mind, and that our brains condition them; but not a single law, in the sense physics shows us laws, not a single proposition from which consequences can casually be deduced.’
G. Archibald Reid, speaking of the laboratory method of inquiry in biology says, in his book on The Laws of Heredity: ‘There is nothing especially magical, scientific, or accurate in data obscured to our senses till revealed by a laboratory inquiry. Such an inquiry can do no more than render them as patent, but no more patent, than the majority of facts on which our knowledge of living beings is based.... If the reader will think over the evidence on which I shall draw for the purpose of the present volume, I believe he will conclude that, if any of it bears a doubtful aspect to his mind, it is that large mass which has been furnished by laboratory inquiry; for, while some of the latter is controverted, and all of it must be accepted by most people at second-hand, nearly all the rest is indisputably true, as he will know from his own experience of life.’
Professor Haggerty has little confidence in the ability of the field naturalist to interpret correctly ‘what he supposes himself to have seen,’ even if it be only the doings of a downy woodpecker excavating his chamber in an old post. What, he asks in substance, does one know about a downy woodpecker which one has observed from one’s front porch, excavating a cavity for a winter home in the top of a chestnut post? What does he know in detail of the bird’s past experience, what of its age, what of its various sense-powers, such as its seeing, smelling, and hearing powers, what of the way its various powers have been developed, what of the number of times it has tried the same act and failed, what of the circumstances that may have enabled it to invent a new plan of action, whether it is an average bird of the species, or an unusual one, etc., etc.? What, indeed, and how better off in this respect would the experimentalist be? The naturalist is probably familiar with the life and habits of the bird, he may have seen it excavating its winter chamber many times, — not this same individual bird, but its duplicate in other specimens, — and he knows that each one of these shows exactly the same characteristics, though it is undoubtedly true that under pressure, in confinement, and in unnatural conditions, different birds would show different traits and aptitudes. Yet neither the naturalist nor the experimentalist could get at all the facts in the woodpecker’s past life — its age, its failures, its stupidities, its rate of development, its sensepowers, and the like.
The Professor would seem to imply that if he had the bird in his laboratory he could settle all these points; whereas it seems to me that the field observer knows just as much about these things as the laboratory experimenter could know. Neither can get at all the exact facts in the bird’s past history, while it is extremely doubtful if, in confinement, the bird would even attempt to excavate a chamber in a post, or exhibit any of its natural aptitudes, or give any clues to its real life-history. The acuteness of its various senses can surely be better tested in the open air than in the laboratory, because in the open it is leading a free, natural life, while in the cage it is leading a constrained, unnatural life. It might be trained to run the maze, or to pull a string to open a puzzle-box; but of its real life what would or could the bird disclose to you in rigidly-controlled experiments? If the free bird is endowed with any sensepowers of which the ‘mere observer’ can gain no first-hand knowledge, what chance has the laboratory observer of gaining a first-hand knowledge of them?
The field observer sees the woodpecker excavating a cavity in a dry limb or stub in the autumn; he sees that all birds of this species proceed in exactly the same way, because they all have the same organization, and hence the same needs; he sees how carefully the bird usually places its entrance where it will be more or less shielded from driving storms; he sees that it rarely or never selects a limb that is too rotten, or insecure; he sees where it makes many beginnings and then abandons the limb because, apparently, it is too soft or too hard; he sees the bird cautiously resorting to these retreats as night comes on; he sees him living alone in there, little hermit that he is; he sees how he is often dispossessed of his cabin by the hairy woodpecker, or by the flying squirrel, or the English sparrow; he sees him selecting a dry resonant limb for a drum in the spring, on which to drum up a mate; he sees his changed demeanor when the female appears, the curious, mincing flight, as if on the tiptoe of his wings, with which he follows her about — he sees, in short, a long series of interesting facts which reveal the real psychology of the bird, and of which the laboratory naturalist could get no inkling.
The laboratory study of the animal mind is within its proper limits worthy of all respect, but you can no more get at a complete animal psychology by this method than you can get at the beauty and character and natural history of a tree by studying a cross section of its trunk or of one of its branches. You may get at the anatomy and cell-structure of the tree by this means, but will not the real tree escape you? A little may be learned of the science of animal behavior in the laboratory, but the main, the illuminating things can be learned only from observation of the free animal.
I fear that the experimenters unduly exalt their office. The open-air naturalist arrives at most of their results, and by a much more enjoyable and picturesque route. Without all their pother and appliances and tiresome calculations, he arrives at a clear conception of the springs of animal behavior. The indoor investigator usually experiments with domestic animals, animals that have been much changed and humanized by ages of association with man, such as the cat and the dog. What important addition has he made, or can he make, to our knowledge of these animals? He has learned that the dog is probably color-blind, which one might have easily inferred, since the color-sense could be of no use to the dog, or to any other quadruped. A power to discriminate different degrees of brightness might possibly be of use, and this the animals may have. This is the gift of the color-blind man, and is of course a much older gift than the color-sense. But of the dog’s marvelous powers of scent, as displayed by the setter and the fox-hound, he can learn little. Of his real intelligence and all his various capacities and capabilities, he can learn little. We do not need laboratory experiments to prove to us that the dog’s touchstone is his nose, and not his eye; his eye is of secondor third-rate importance to him; his ear serves him more than his eye; he does not know his own master till he has got his scent, or heard his voice. For the most part he sees only objects in motion. A fox will pass to windward within a few feet of the hunter if the hunter is silent and motionless. There is little power of discrimination in the eye of any of the canine tribe; the acuteness of their other senses makes up for it. The eye of a bird, — a crow, a hawk, — how different! Sit as motionless as a statue, and you cannot escape the eye of the crow — though the eyes of all animals are especially sensitive to objects in motion. Probably none of them can discriminate a motionless object as a man can. They have not reason to aid them. A man’s seeing is backed up by his stores of knowledge. The way certain animals can be ‘flagged’ shows how superficial their seeing is. The way a hawk will allow the approach of a man on horseback shows how little speculation there is in his eye.
The thorough student of animal life knows that animals do not reason or have any mental concepts, that one can train them to form habits, but cannot develop their intelligence; that is, that they can be trained, but cannot be educated. He knows they have no self-consciousness, from such a fieldobservation as this: song-birds with a defective instrument will sing as constantly and joyously, even ecstatically, as the perfect-voiced songsters. A bobolink with only a half-articulated song will hover above the meadows and pour out his broken and asthmatic notes as joyously and persistently as any of his rivals; apparently he is as oblivious to the inadequacy of his performance as a machine would be. Last spring one of our roosters got a bad influenza, or in some way injured his vocal chords, so that only half of his crow was audible, and this half was very husky and unnatural; yet he went through with the motions of crowing just as persistently and triumphantly as ever he had. He gave his rival crow for crow day after day. It was a grotesque performance and was to me proof of how absolutely void of selfconsciousness the lower animals are.
One is convinced on general principles that an animal knows only what it has to know in order to survive; that when keenness of scent, or of hearing, or of sight, is not needed, it does not have it; that animals that are defenseless, like the rabbit, have speed and are prolific; that animals that are self-armed, like the tortoise and the porcupine and the skunk, are slow and dull of wit. One does not need elaborate experiments to prove that the pigeon would be slower in learning to run the maze than a squirrel or a rat; he knows that all animals are more or less imitative, that the young imitate the old, and the old imitate one another; that monkeys by their behavior alone are nearer man than the dog or the cat.
The work of the experimentalist may supplement that of the field observer, but it cannot take its place. ‘Experiment has an advantage over observation,’ says a German writer on logic, ‘only so far as it is capable of supplementing the usual deficiencies of the latter.’
We cannot make Darwins in the laboratory, though the laboratory may give Darwin a fact or a hint now and then that will be of service to him.
If our experimenters can now prove that birds are color-blind they will raise havoc with Darwin’s sexual selection theory. Let them experiment upon the peacock, the Argus pheasant, and other birds of brilliant plumage. The males of many of our small birds are brilliantly colored; what part does this play in their lives? If orange, crimson, yellow, blue, and the various metallic lustres and changing irises, are not discriminated by these birds, or do not give them pleasurable or exciting sensations, then we have to look for some reason for their gay plumes other than the approbation of the female. Our experimental psychologists have tested the powers of the painted turtle to discriminate white and black. But one fails to feel much interest in the result of such experimentations, be they what they may, because the facts can have little or no relation to the creature’s life-problem. But the turtle’s gay colors — can it discriminate those, and what part do they play in its life-history?
On the Darwinian hypothesis of sexual selection, the gay colors of the painted turtle have a deep significance, as do the brilliant colors of all other animals. Does the turtle or his mate discriminate these colors? is he attracted by them? do they play any part at all in the turtle’s real life? Our common box-tortoise has striking and beautiful color-patterns on its shell, often suggesting Chinese characters — can the laboratory naturalist find out their significance, or that of the brilliant markings of many of the lizards and salamanders; do these animals see and know their own decorations? Or the many brilliant beetles and butterflies — are they color-blind also? A. G. Mayer has proved conclusively that the promethea moth has no color-sense. The male of this moth has blackish wings and the female reddish-brown. Mayer caused the two sexes to change colors; he glued the wings of the male to the female and vice versa, and found that they mated just the same. The laboratory experimentalists ought to be able to throw light upon these questions.
Elaborate experiments have already been made to test the color-sense of certain birds, — the English sparrow, the cow-bird, the pigeon, and also such animals as the raccoon and the monkey, — with the result that these animals do appear to discriminate colors. But there always remains the question: Are the animals guided in such cases by a sense of color as we have it, or merely by a sense of different degrees of brightness? A person who is color-blind sees the different colors as varying shades of gray, and for aught we know it is the same with the animals: in selecting, say, blue or green, they may only be selecting different shades of gray.
I should like also to see our experimentalists test the musical sense of birds: are they tone-deaf in the sense that they are probably color-blind? Is the divinely harmonious strain of the hermit thrush, for instance, lost upon the ears of its mate and upon its own ears? Does the rollicking and hilarious strain of the bobolink count for nothing in its life? From the apparent indifference of the female song-birds to the musical performances of their mates, one would say that the strains of the males fall upon deaf ears. When the cock in the poultry-yard crows, the hens shake their heads as if the sound annoyed them. The lark pouring out his notes up in the sky seems singing from the joy of song alone. The song of a bird excites the males of its species to rivalry, but the females are as inattentive as if they had no ears. I am myself inclined to think that the songs of birds are a part of the surplusage of the male sexual principle, like their bright colors, and that to their mates they are merely noises. The males sing in the absence of the females just as joyously as in their presence, as note the caged canaries; and the harsh, raucous-voiced birds are as acceptable to their mates as are the musical-voiced to theirs. Why should it not be so? A consciousness of the pleasure of melodious sounds would seem to lift the bird out of the animal plane into the human plane.
I wish our laboratory investigators would tell me, if they can, what sense or faculty it is that enables one bird to pursue another so unerringly — a hawk in pursuit of a sparrow, or a songbird pursuing another in sport, the pursuer trimming its movement to those of the pursued as if the two were one body. When a dog pursues a squirrel or a rabbit, if the pursued darts suddenly to one side it gains time, the hunter overshoots, and has to recover itself; not so with the birds, there is no overshooting, no lost time, and no recovery. It is as if the pursuer could read the intentions of the pursued at every movement, and anticipate every dodge and turn. It is probably some analogous gift or sense that enables a flock of birds to act as a unit, without leaders or signals, and perform their astonishing aërial evolutions as if the flock were one bird, and not a hundred. All the truly gregarious birds will do this. Does the flocking instinct beget a sort of community of mind, so that the individual members share each other’s psychic or mental states to an extent quite unknown to us? This opens up the whole question of animal communication.
In the absence of language and reason, how do the animals over a wide extent of country become possessed of the same knowledge and the same impulse at the same time, and begin their movements simultaneously? The vast moving armies of the passenger pigeons in the old days, the migrating crowds of the lemmings in Norway, of reindeer in Siberia, and of caribou in New England, every spring — how do these all act in such concert? Hunted animals suddenly become wild, — even those which have had no individual experience with the hunter, — as if the tribe were a unit, and what one knew they all knew at the same time. One would like such problems cleared up. I have no doubt at all that the higher animals have some means of communication which the race of man, since it came into the gift of language and of reason, has lost, or nearly lost, and that our fitful and exceptional experience of becoming aware of what our friend or companion is thinking about, that experience which we call telepathy, is a survival of the lost power. There is something like a community of mind or of emotional states among the lower orders, to which we are strangers, except when, under extraordinary conditions, — as in the frenzy of mobs and like unreasoning bodies, —we relapse into a state of savage nature, and behave as the wild creatures do. In such cases there is really a community of mind and purpose. But birds in a flock possess this oneness of mental states as a normal and every-day condition. Fish and insects in vast numbers often show a like unity of instantaneous action.
There is so much in animal behavior that is interesting, and that throws light on our own psychology and its origin, that one begrudges the time spent in learning that dancing mice are deaf, or the numerous data as to the tactual sensations of the white rat, or ‘the relative strength of stimulus to rate of learning in the chick,’ or the psychic reaction of the cray-fish, or cockroach, or angle worm, or grasshopper, unless they yield the key to some larger problem. We do not want elaborate experiments to prove that frogs can hear, — does not every schoolboy know that they can, and see, too? Though he may not know that ‘there is some evidence that the influence of auditory stimuli is most marked when the drum is half submerged in water,’ or that ‘the influence upon tactual reactions is evident when the frog is submerged in water to a depth of four cm.,’or that ‘sounds varying in pitch from those of fifty to ten thousand vibrations a second affect the frog.’ But what of it? Who is really the wiser for this discovery? I know there is no reason why I should quarrel with men who prefer to dine on the concentrated equivalents of our meats and viands. Rather should I wish them a good appetite for their capsules. At the same time I can see no good reason why I should not extol the pleasure and the profit of taking our natural-history manna of field and wood as nature provides it for us, and with a relish that only the open air can give.