MONSIEUR DUMAS AND HIS BEASTS 109
ranna, otherwise called the blue macaw, produces young at Caen ?'
' No, Michel, it does not say that here.'
' What a dictionary! Just wait till I fetch you mine and you will see.'
Michel returned in a few minutes with his book of Natural History.
'You will soon see, sir,' he said, opening his dictionary in his turn. ' Parrot—here itis — parrots are monogamous.'
' As you know Latin, Michel, of course you know what monogamous means.'
' That means that they can sing scales — gamut, I suppose ?'
' Well, no, Michel, not exactly. It means that they have only one "wife."'
' Indeed, sir? That is because they talk like us most likely. Now, I have found the place: "It was long believed that parrots were incapable of breeding in Europe, but the contrary has been proved on a pair of blue macaws which lived at Caen. M. Lamouroux furnishes the details of these results."'
' Let us hear the details which M. Lamouroux furnishes.'
' " These macaws, from March 1818 until August 1822, including a period of four years and a half, laid, in all, sixty-two eggs."'
' Michel, I never said they did not lay eggs; what I said was —'
'"Out of this number,'" continued Michel in a loud voice, '"twenty-five young macaws were hatched, of which only ten died. The others lived and continued perfectly healthy."'
' Michel, I confess to having entertained false ideas on the subject of macaws.'
' " They laid at all seasons of the year,"' continued Michel, ' " and more eggs were hatched in the latter than in the former years."'