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The badger, when alarmed, shows its fear by a different kind of artifice; inflating the skin, it distends it to such a degree, as to repel equally the blows of men and the bite of dogs.1 The squirrel, also, has the power of foreseeing storms, and so, stopping up its hole at the side from which the wind blows, it leaves the other side open; besides which, the tail, which is furnished with longer hair than the rest of the body, serves as a covering for it. It appears, therefore,2 that some animals lay up a store of food for the winter, while others pass the time in sleep, which serves them instead of food.

1 This statement respecting the "meles," or badger, as well as what is said of the prescience of the squirrel, is without foundation. There has been some difference of opinion respecting the identity of the animal, which Pliny calls "meles;" by some it has been supposed to be the polecat, or else the weasel.—B.

2 This bears reference to what is said of bears in c. 54, and of Alpine mice and hedgehogs.

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  • Cross-references to this page (3):
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), HISPA´NIA
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), MAESIA SILVA
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), SERI´PHOS
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