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The farm-yard fowls have also a certain notion of religion; upon laying an egg they shudder all over, and then shake their feathers; after which they turn round and purify1 themselves, or else hallow2 themselves and their eggs with some stalk or other. (42.) The carduelis,3 which is the very smallest bird of any, will do what it is bid, not only with the voice but with the feet as well, and with the beak, which serves it instead of hands. There is one bird, found in the territory of Arelate, that imitates the lowing of oxen, from which circumstance it has received the name of "taurus."4 In other respects it is of small size. Another bird, called the "anthus,"5 imitates the neighing of the horse; upon being driven from the pasture by the approach of the horses, it will mimic their voices-and this is the method it takes of revenging itself.

1 By nestling in the dust. Throwing dust over the body was one of the ancient modes of purification.

2 "Lustrant," "perform a lustration." This was done by the Romans with a branch of laurel or olive, and sometimes bean-stalks were used.

3 The linnet, probably.

4 The "bull." This cannot possibly be the bittern, as some have suggested, for that is a large bird.

5 Supposed to be the Motacilla flava of Linneus, the spring wagtail.

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