THE STORY OF A WEASEL1
Weasels are so sharp and clever and untiring, that their activity has been made into a proverb; and, like many other sharp and clever creatures, they are very mischievous, and fond of killing rabbits and chickens, and even of sucking their eggs, which they do so carefully that they hardly ever break one.
A French lady, called Mademoiselle de Laistre, a friend of the great naturalist, Monsieur de Buffon, once found a weasel when he was very young indeed, and, as she was fond of pets, she thought she would bring him up. Now a weasel is a little creature, and very pretty. It has short legs and a long tail, and its skin is reddish brown above and white below. Its eyes are black and its ears are small, and its body is about seven inches in length. But this weasel was much smaller than that when it went to live with Mademoiselle de Laistre.
Of course it had to be taught: all young things have, and this weasel knew nothing. The good lady first began with pouring some milk into the hollow of her hand and letting it drink from it. Very soon, being a weasel of polite instincts, it would not take milk in any other way. After its dinner, when a little fresh meat was added to the milk, it would run to a soft quilt that was spread in its mistress's bedroom, and, having soon discovered that it could get inside the quilt at a place where the stitches had given way, it proceeded to tuck itself up comfortably for an hour or two. This was all very well in the day,
1 Bingley's Animal Biography.