Three Hundred Games & Pastimes - complete online book

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

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306             What Shall We Do Now?
this room should be a bed of hay. The natural food of mice is grain, but in captivity they are generally fed on bread and milk and slices of apple. They can be tamed to a small extent, but for the most part they do no more than run round a wheel, although if other gymnastic contrivances are offered them they will probably do something with them. Dormice (to whose food you may add nuts) sleep through the winter months, and are therefore not very interesting for more than half the year.
Tortoises and Fish
A tortoise is rather an interesting animal to keep, although he will not do much in return. Sixpence or ninepence will buy a tiny one either at a naturalist's shop or from the men who wheel barrow-loads of them through the London streets every now and then. In the summer you can usually tell where the tortoise is likely to be found—probably in a corner of the rockery—but even in summer they have a curious way of disappearing for weeks together, and in winter, of course, you see nothing of them. As a rule they can feed themselves, and they also have the happy knack of doing without food altogether for long periods, so that you need not be anxious.
Bowls of goldfish are not uncommon, but few people seem to care for fish of other kinds. And yet a little aquarium can be stocked for a few shillings and is a most interesting possession. One small tank of young bream, for example, can be a perpetual and continually fresh delight. Let the tank have cloisters of rockwork and jungles of weed, so that hiding may be possible, and then watch the smaller fish at their frolics. Young trout are hardly less beautiful, and very easy to keep healthy, in spite of general opinion to the contrary. (The important thing is to maintain a current of water through the tank. The old way was to carry the overflow down a pipe in
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