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Mice As Navigators

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Although there are few who would dispute the cleverness and sagacity of
the larger animals, it is doubtful if there are many who credit the mouse
with even average intelligence. The following instance may go far to raise
our humble friend in the popular estimation; more especially as it has
been vouched for by eye-witnesses. In countries where berries are but
thinly dispersed, these little animals are obliged to cross rivers to make
their distant forages. In returning with their booty to their magazines,
they are obliged to recross the stream; in doing which they show an
ingenuity little short of marvellous. The party, which consists of from
six to ten, select a water-lily leaf, or some other floating substance, on
which they place the berries on a heap in the middle; then, by their
united force, bring it to the water's edge, and after launching it, embark
and place themselves round the heap, with their heads joined over it, and
their backs to the water. In this manner they drift down the stream, until
they reach the opposite shore, when they unload their cargo, which they
store away for the proverbial rainy day.





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