Three Hundred Games & Pastimes - complete online book

A Book Of Suggestions For Children's Games And Employments.

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What Shall We Do Now?              173
below him for mice or little birds. Then, when he sees some­thing, his body suddenly seems to be made of lead and he drops like a stone on his prey. A hawk can climb the sky by leaning with outspread wings against the breeze and cork-screwing up in a beautiful spiral.
The time to see squirrels is September and October, when the beech nuts and hazel nuts are ripe. In the pictures he sits up, with his tail resting on his back, holding nuts in his little fore-paws ; but one does not often see him like this in real life. He is either scampering over the ground with his tail spread out behind him or chattering among the branches and scrambling from one to another. The squirrel is not seen at his best when he goes nutting. His beautiful swift movements are checked by the thickness of the hazels. In a beech grove he has more liberty to run and leap. Sometimes you will see twenty at once all nibbling the beech nuts on the ground. On hearing you they make for a tree trunk, and, rushing up it for a yard or two, stop suddenly, absolutely still, with fearful eyes, and ears intently and intensely cocked. If you stand equally still the squirrel will stay there, motionless, like a piece of the tree, for a minute or so, and then, in a very bad temper, disappear from view on the other side of the trunk, and probably, though you run round the tree quickly several times and search every branch with your eyes, never come into sight again. It is a good thing to sit under a tree some distance from the beech trees, making as little movement as possible ; and by and by you will cease to be considered as anything but a regular part of the landscape and the squirrels may come quite close to you. This is also the way to treat rabbits. One must get close to the warren and then take up a motionless position and wait. In May and June, when young and inexperienced rabbits abound, one can get very near to them.
If you are fond of writing you might find a good deal of interest in keeping a country diary : that is to say, a small note-
Squirrels
Rabbits.
A country diary.
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