The Animal Story Book - online children's book

Edited By Andrew Lang And With Numerous Illustrations By H. J. Ford

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DOLPHINS, TURTLES, AND COD
up from behind by a man on his knee, pushing with all his might against her shoulder; but this has to be done with great caution, or else the hunter may get badly bitten. When the turtle is fully raised up, she is thrown over on her back, and, like a sheep in a similar position, can seldom recover herself without help. The turtles, when caught, are put into an enclosure of logs with a sandy or muddy bottom through which the tide flows, and here they are kept and fed by their captors till they are ready for the market. Unlike most creatures, their price is out of all proportion to their weight, and a loggerhead turtle weigh­ing seven hundred pounds has been known to cost no more than a green turtle of thirty.
Early in May, and well into June, the seas extending northwards from Maine to Labrador are alive with ships just starting for the cod fishing. Their vessels are mostly small but well stocked, and a large part of the space below is filled with casks, some full of salt and others empty. These empty ones are reserved for the oil that is procured from the cod.
Every morning, as soon as it is light, some of the crew of each ship enters a small boat, which can be sailed or rowed as is found necessary. When they reach the cod banks every man boards up part of his boat for the fish when caught, and then takes his stand at the end with two lines, baited at the opening of the season with salted mussels, and later with gannets or capelings. These lines are dropped into the sea on either side of the boat, and when the gunwale is almost touching the water and it is danger­ous to put in any more fish, they give up work for the morning and return to the harbour. In general, fishing is a silent occupation, but cod fishers are rather a talkative race, and have bets with each other as to the amount of the ' takes' of the respective crews. When they get back to their vessels, often anchored eight or ten miles away, they find that the men who have been left behind have set
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