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THE NARBONNE LYCOSA: THE BURROW




Michelet {23} has told us how, as a printer's apprentice in a cellar, he
established amicable relations with a Spider. At a certain hour of the
day, a ray of sunlight would glint through the window of the gloomy
workshop and light up the little compositor's case. Then his
eight-legged neighbour would come down from her web and take her share of
the sunshine on the edge of the case. The boy did not interfere with
her; he welcomed the trusting visitor as a friend and as a pleasant
diversion from the long monotony. When we lack the society of our fellow-
men, we take refuge in that of animals, without always losing by the
change.

I do not, thank God, suffer from the melancholy of a cellar: my solitude
is gay with light and verdure; I attend, whenever I please, the fields'
high festival, the Thrushes' concert, the Crickets' symphony; and yet my
friendly commerce with the Spider is marked by an even greater devotion
than the young typesetter's. I admit her to the intimacy of my study, I
make room for her among my books, I set her in the sun on my
window-ledge, I visit her assiduously at her home, in the country. The
object of our relations is not to create a means of escape from the petty
worries of life, pin-pricks whereof I have my share like other men, a
very large share, indeed; I propose to submit to the Spider a host of
questions whereto, at times, she condescends to reply.

To what fair problems does not the habit of frequenting her give rise! To
set them forth worthily, the marvellous art which the little printer was
to acquire were not too much. One needs the pen of a Michelet; and I
have but a rough, blunt pencil. Let us try, nevertheless: even when
poorly clad, truth is still beautiful.

I will therefore once more take up the story of the Spider's instinct, a
story of which the preceding chapters have given but a very rough idea.
Since I wrote those earlier essays, my field of observation has been
greatly extended. My notes have been enriched by new and most remarkable
facts. It is right that I should employ them for the purpose of a more
detailed biography.

The exigencies of order and clearness expose me, it is true, to
occasional repetitions. This is inevitable when one has to marshal in an
harmonious whole a thousand items culled from day to day, often
unexpectedly, and bearing no relation one to the other. The observer is
not master of his time; opportunity leads him and by unsuspected ways. A
certain question suggested by an earlier fact finds no reply until many
years after. Its scope, moreover, is amplified and completed with views
collected on the road. In a work, therefore, of this fragmentary
character, repetitions, necessary for the due co-ordination of ideas, are
inevitable. I shall be as sparing of them as I can.

Let us once more introduce our old friends the Epeira and the Lycosa, who
are the most important Spiders in my district. The Narbonne Lycosa, or
Black-bellied Tarantula, chooses her domicile in the waste, pebbly lands
beloved of the thyme. Her dwelling, a fortress rather than a villa, is a
burrow about nine inches deep and as wide as the neck of a claret-bottle.
The direction is perpendicular, in so far as obstacles, frequent in a
soil of this kind, permit. A bit of gravel can be extracted and hoisted
outside; but a flint is an immovable boulder which the Spider avoids by
giving a bend to her gallery. If more such are met with, the residence
becomes a winding cave, with stone vaults, with lobbies communicating by
means of sharp passages.

This lack of plan has no attendant drawbacks, so well does the owner,
from long habit, know every corner and storey of her mansion. If any
interesting buzz occur overhead, the Lycosa climbs up from her rugged
manor with the same speed as from a vertical shaft. Perhaps she even
finds the windings and turnings an advantage, when she has to drag into
her den a prey that happens to defend itself.

As a rule, the end of the burrow widens into a side-chamber, a lounge or
resting-place where the Spider meditates at length and is content to lead
a life of quiet when her belly is full.

A silk coating, but a scanty one, for the Lycosa has not the wealth of
silk possessed by the Weaving Spiders, lines the walls of the tube and
keeps the loose earth from falling. This plaster, which cements the
incohesive and smooths the rugged parts, is reserved more particularly
for the top of the gallery, near the mouth. Here, in the daytime, if
things be peaceful all around, the Lycosa stations herself, either to
enjoy the warmth of the sun, her great delight, or to lie in wait for
game. The threads of the silk lining afford a firm hold to the claws on
every side, whether the object be to sit motionless for hours, revelling
in the light and heat, or to pounce upon the passing prey.

Around the orifice of the burrow rises, to a greater or lesser height, a
circular parapet, formed of tiny pebbles, twigs and straps borrowed from
the dry leaves of the neighbouring grasses, all more or less dexterously
tied together and cemented with silk. This work of rustic architecture
is never missing, even though it be no more than a mere pad.

When she reaches maturity and is once settled, the Lycosa becomes
eminently domesticated. I have been living in close communion with her
for the last three years. I have installed her in large earthen pans on
the window-sills of my study and I have her daily under my eyes. Well,
it is very rarely that I happen on her outside, a few inches from her
hole, back to which she bolts at the least alarm.

We may take it, then, that, when not in captivity, the Lycosa does not go
far afield to gather the wherewithal to build her parapet and that she
makes shift with what she finds upon her threshold. In these conditions,
the building-stones are soon exhausted and the masonry ceases for lack of
materials.

The wish came over me to see what dimensions the circular edifice would
assume, if the Spider were given an unlimited supply. With captives to
whom I myself act as purveyor the thing is easy enough. Were it only
with a view to helping whoso may one day care to continue these relations
with the big Spider of the waste-lands, let me describe how my subjects
are housed.

A good-sized earthenware pan, some nine inches deep, is filled with a
red, clayey earth, rich in pebbles, similar, in short, to that of the
places haunted by the Lycosa. Properly moistened into a paste, the
artificial soil is heaped, layer by layer, around a central reed, of a
bore equal to that of the animal's natural burrow. When the receptacle
is filled to the top, I withdraw the reed, which leaves a yawning,
perpendicular shaft. I thus obtain the abode which shall replace that of
the fields.

To find the hermit to inhabit it is merely the matter of a walk in the
neighbourhood. When removed from her own dwelling, which is turned topsy-
turvy by my trowel, and placed in possession of the den produced by my
art, the Lycosa at once disappears into that den. She does not come out
again, seeks nothing better elsewhere. A large wire-gauze cover rests on
the soil in the pan and prevents escape.

In any case, the watch, in this respect, makes no demands upon my
diligence. The prisoner is satisfied with her new abode and manifests no
regret for her natural burrow. There is no attempt at flight on her
part. Let me not omit to add that each pan must receive not more than
one inhabitant. The Lycosa is very intolerant. To her, a neighbour is
fair game, to be eaten without scruple when one has might on one's side.
Time was when, unaware of this fierce intolerance, which is more savage
still at breeding-time, I saw hideous orgies perpetrated in my
overstocked cages. I shall have occasion to describe those tragedies
later.

Let us meanwhile consider the isolated Lycosae. They do not touch up the
dwelling which I have moulded for them with a bit of reed; at most, now
and again, perhaps with the object of forming a lounge or bedroom at the
bottom, they fling out a few loads of rubbish. But all, little by
little, build the kerb that is to edge the mouth.

I have given them plenty of first-rate materials, far superior to those
which they use when left to their own resources. These consist, first,
for the foundations, of little smooth stones, some of which are as large
as an almond. With this road-metal are mingled short strips of raphia,
or palm-fibre, flexible ribbons, easily bent. These stand for the
Spider's usual basket-work, consisting of slender stalks and dry blades
of grass. Lastly, by way of an unprecedented treasure, never yet
employed by a Lycosa, I place at my captives' disposal some thick threads
of wool, cut into inch lengths.

As I wish, at the same time, to find out whether my animals, with the
magnificent lenses of their eyes, are able to distinguish colours and
prefer one colour to another, I mix up bits of wool of different hues:
there are red, green, white and yellow pieces. If the Spider have any
preference, she can choose where she pleases.

The Lycosa always works at night, a regrettable circumstance, which does
not allow me to follow the worker's methods. I see the result; and that
is all. Were I to visit the building-yard by the light of a lantern, I
should be no wiser. The animal, which is very shy, would at once dive
into her lair; and I should have lost my sleep for nothing. Furthermore,
she is not a very diligent labourer; she likes to take her time. Two or
three bits of wool or raphia placed in position represent a whole night's
work. And to this slowness we must add long spells of utter idleness.

Two months pass; and the result of my liberality surpasses my
expectations. Possessing more windfalls than they know what to do with,
all picked up in their immediate neighbourhood, my Lycosae have built
themselves donjon-keeps the like of which their race has not yet known.
Around the orifice, on a slightly sloping bank, small, flat, smooth
stones have been laid to form a broken, flagged pavement. The larger
stones, which are Cyclopean blocks compared with the size of the animal
that has shifted them, are employed as abundantly as the others.

On this rockwork stands the donjon. It is an interlacing of raphia and
bits of wool, picked up at random, without distinction of shade. Red and
white, green and yellow are mixed without any attempt at order. The
Lycosa is indifferent to the joys of colour.

The ultimate result is a sort of muff, a couple of inches high. Bands of
silk, supplied by the spinnerets, unite the pieces, so that the whole
resembles a coarse fabric. Without being absolutely faultless, for there
are always awkward pieces on the outside, which the worker could not
handle, the gaudy building is not devoid of merit. The bird lining its
nest would do no better. Whoso sees the curious, many-coloured
productions in my pans takes them for an outcome of my industry,
contrived with a view to some experimental mischief; and his surprise is
great when I confess who the real author is. No one would ever believe
the Spider capable of constructing such a monument.

It goes without saying that, in a state of liberty, on our barren waste-
lands, the Lycosa does not indulge in such sumptuous architecture. I
have given the reason: she is too great a stay-at-home to go in search of
materials and she makes use of the limited resources which she finds
around her. Bits of earth, small chips of stone, a few twigs, a few
withered grasses: that is all, or nearly all. Wherefore the work is
generally quite modest and reduced to a parapet that hardly attracts
attention.

My captives teach us that, when materials are plentiful, especially
textile materials that remove all fears of landslip, the Lycosa delights
in tall turrets. She understands the art of donjon-building and puts it
into practice as often as she possesses the means.

This art is akin to another, from which it is apparently derived. If the
sun be fierce or if rain threaten, the Lycosa closes the entrance to her
dwelling with a silken trellis-work, wherein she embeds different
matters, often the remnants of victims which she has devoured. The
ancient Gael nailed the heads of his vanquished enemies to the door of
his hut. In the same way, the fierce Spider sticks the skulls of her
prey into the lid of her cave. These lumps look very well on the ogre's
roof; but we must be careful not to mistake them for warlike trophies.
The animal knows nothing of our barbarous bravado. Everything at the
threshold of the burrow is used indiscriminately: fragments of Locust,
vegetable remains and especially particles of earth. A Dragon-fly's head
baked by the sun is as good as a bit of gravel and no better.

And so, with silk and all sorts of tiny materials, the Lycosa builds a
lidded cap to the entrance of her home. I am not well acquainted with
the reasons that prompt her to barricade herself indoors, particularly as
the seclusion is only temporary and varies greatly in duration. I obtain
precise details from a tribe of Lycosae wherewith the enclosure, as will
be seen later, happens to be thronged in consequence of my investigations
into the dispersal of the family.

At the time of the tropical August heat, I see my Lycosae, now this
batch, now that, building, at the entrance to the burrow, a convex
ceiling, which is difficult to distinguish from the surrounding soil. Can
it be to protect themselves from the too-vivid light? This is doubtful;
for, a few days later, though the power of the sun remain the same, the
roof is broken open and the Spider reappears at her door, where she
revels in the torrid heat of the dog-days.

Later, when October comes, if it be rainy weather, she retires once more
under a roof, as though she were guarding herself against the damp. Let
us not be too positive of anything, however: often, when it is raining
hard, the Spider bursts her ceiling and leaves her house open to the
skies.

Perhaps the lid is only put on for serious domestic events, notably for
the laying. I do, in fact, perceive young Lycosae who shut themselves in
before they have attained the dignity of motherhood and who reappear,
some time later, with the bag containing the eggs hung to their stern.
The inference that they close the door with the object of securing
greater quiet while spinning the maternal cocoon would not be in keeping
with the unconcern displayed by the majority. I find some who lay their
eggs in an open burrow; I come upon some who weave their cocoon and cram
it with eggs in the open air, before they even own a residence. In
short, I do not succeed in fathoming the reasons that cause the burrow to
be closed, no matter what the weather, hot or cold, wet or dry.

The fact remains that the lid is broken and repaired repeatedly,
sometimes on the same day. In spite of the earthy casing, the silk woof
gives it the requisite pliancy to cleave when pushed by the anchorite and
to rip open without falling into ruins. Swept back to the circumference
of the mouth and increased by the wreckage of further ceilings, it
becomes a parapet, which the Lycosa raises by degrees in her long moments
of leisure. The bastion which surmounts the burrow, therefore, takes its
origin from the temporary lid. The turret derives from the split
ceiling.

What is the purpose of this turret? My pans will tell us that. An
enthusiastic votary of the chase, so long as she is not permanently
fixed, the Lycosa, once she has set up house, prefers to lie in ambush
and wait for the quarry. Every day, when the heat is greatest, I see my
captives come up slowly from under ground and lean upon the battlements
of their woolly castle-keep. They are then really magnificent in their
stately gravity. With their swelling belly contained within the
aperture, their head outside, their glassy eyes staring, their legs
gathered for a spring, for hours and hours they wait, motionless, bathing
voluptuously in the sun.

Should a tit-bit to her liking happen to pass, forthwith the watcher
darts from her tall tower, swift as an arrow from the bow. With a dagger-
thrust in the neck, she stabs the jugular of the Locust, Dragon-fly or
other prey whereof I am the purveyor; and she as quickly scales the
donjon and retires with her capture. The performance is a wonderful
exhibition of skill and speed.

Very seldom is a quarry missed, provided that it pass at a convenient
distance, within the range of the huntress' bound. But, if the prey be
at some distance, for instance on the wire of the cage, the Lycosa takes
no notice of it. Scorning to go in pursuit, she allows it to roam at
will. She never strikes except when sure of her stroke. She achieves
this by means of her tower. Hiding behind the wall, she sees the
stranger advancing, keeps her eyes on him and suddenly pounces when he
comes within reach. These abrupt tactics make the thing a certainty.
Though he were winged and swift of flight, the unwary one who approaches
the ambush is lost.

This presumes, it is true, an exemplary patience on the Lycosa's part;
for the burrow has naught that can serve to entice victims. At best, the
ledge provided by the turret may, at rare intervals, tempt some weary
wayfarer to use it as a resting-place. But, if the quarry do not come to-
day, it is sure to come to-morrow, the next day, or later, for the
Locusts hop innumerable in the waste-land, nor are they always able to
regulate their leaps. Some day or other, chance is bound to bring one of
them within the purlieus of the burrow. This is the moment to spring
upon the pilgrim from the ramparts. Until then, we maintain a stoical
vigilance. We shall dine when we can; but we shall end by dining.

The Lycosa, therefore, well aware of these lingering eventualities, waits
and is not unduly distressed by a prolonged abstinence. She has an
accommodating stomach, which is satisfied to be gorged to-day and to
remain empty afterwards for goodness knows how long. I have sometimes
neglected my catering-duties for weeks at a time; and my boarders have
been none the worse for it. After a more or less protracted fast, they
do not pine away, but are smitten with a wolf-like hunger. All these
ravenous eaters are alike: they guzzle to excess to-day, in anticipation
of to-morrow's dearth.

In her youth, before she has a burrow, the Lycosa earns her living in
another manner. Clad in grey like her elders, but without the
black-velvet apron which she receives on attaining the marriageable age,
she roams among the scrubby grass. This is true hunting. Should a
suitable quarry heave in sight, the Spider pursues it, drives it from its
shelters, follows it hot-foot. The fugitive gains the heights, makes as
though to fly away. He has not the time. With an upward leap, the
Lycosa grabs him before he can rise.

I am charmed with the agility wherewith my yearling boarders seize the
Flies which I provide for them. In vain does the Fly take refuge a
couple of inches up, on some blade of grass. With a sudden spring into
the air, the Spider pounces on the prey. No Cat is quicker in catching
her Mouse.

But these are the feats of youth not handicapped by obesity. Later, when
a heavy paunch, dilated with eggs and silk, has to be trailed along,
those gymnastic performances become impracticable. The Lycosa then digs
herself a settled abode, a hunting-box, and sits in her watch-tower, on
the look-out for game.

When and how is the burrow obtained wherein the Lycosa, once a vagrant,
now a stay-at-home, is to spend the remainder of her long life? We are
in autumn, the weather is already turning cool. This is how the Field
Cricket sets to work: as long as the days are fine and the nights not too
cold, the future chorister of spring rambles over the fallows, careless
of a local habitation. At critical moments, the cover of a dead leaf
provides him with a temporary shelter. In the end, the burrow, the
permanent dwelling, is dug as the inclement season draws nigh.

The Lycosa shares the Cricket's views: like him, she finds a thousand
pleasures in the vagabond life. With September comes the nuptial badge,
the black-velvet bib. The Spiders meet at night, by the soft moonlight:
they romp together, they eat the beloved shortly after the wedding; by
day, they scour the country, they track the game on the short-pile,
grassy carpet, they take their fill of the joys of the sun. That is much
better than solitary meditation at the bottom of a well. And so it is
not rare to see young mothers dragging their bag of eggs, or even already
carrying their family, and as yet without a home.

In October, it is time to settle down. We then, in fact, find two sorts
of burrows, which differ in diameter. The larger, bottle-neck burrows
belong to the old matrons, who have owned their house for two years at
least. The smaller, of the width of a thick lead-pencil, contain the
young mothers, born that year. By dint of long and leisurely
alterations, the novice's earths will increase in depth as well as in
diameter and become roomy abodes, similar to those of the grandmothers.
In both, we find the owner and her family, the latter sometimes already
hatched and sometimes still enclosed in the satin wallet.

Seeing no digging-tools, such as the excavation of the dwelling seemed to
me to require, I wondered whether the Lycosa might not avail herself of
some chance gallery, the work of the Cicada or the Earth-worm. This
ready-made tunnel, thought I, must shorten the labours of the Spider, who
appears to be so badly off for tools; she would only have to enlarge it
and put it in order. I was wrong: the burrow is excavated, from start to
finish, by her unaided labour.

Then where are the digging-implements? We think of the legs, of the
claws. We think of them, but reflection tells us that tools such as
these would not do: they are too long and too difficult to wield in a
confined space. What is required is the miner's short-handled pick,
wherewith to drive hard, to insert, to lever and to extract; what is
required is the sharp point that enters the earth and crumbles it into
fragments. There remain the Lycosa's fangs, delicate weapons which we at
first hesitate to associate with such work, so illogical does it seem to
dig a pit with surgeon's scalpels.

The fangs are a pair of sharp, curved points, which, when at rest, crook
like a finger and take shelter between two strong pillars. The Cat
sheathes her claws under the velvet of the paw, to preserve their edge
and sharpness. In the same way, the Lycosa protects her poisoned daggers
by folding them within the case of two powerful columns, which come plumb
on the surface and contain the muscles that work them.

Well, this surgical outfit, intended for stabbing the jugular artery of
the prey, suddenly becomes a pick-axe and does rough navvy's work. To
witness the underground digging is impossible; but we can, at least, with
the exercise of a little patience, see the rubbish carted away. If I
watch my captives, without tiring, at a very early hour--for the work
takes place mostly at night and at long intervals--in the end I catch
them coming up with a load. Contrary to what I expected, the legs take
no part in the carting. It is the mouth that acts as the barrow. A tiny
ball of earth is held between the fangs and is supported by the palpi, or
feelers, which are little arms employed in the service of the
mouth-parts. The Lycosa descends cautiously from her turret, goes to
some distance to get rid of her burden and quickly dives down again to
bring up more.

We have seen enough: we know that the Lycosa's fangs, those lethal
weapons, are not afraid to bite into clay and gravel. They knead the
excavated rubbish into pellets, take up the mass of earth and carry it
outside. The rest follows naturally; it is the fangs that dig, delve and
extract. How finely-tempered they must be, not to be blunted by this
well-sinker's work and to do duty presently in the surgical operation of
stabbing the neck!

I have said that the repairs and extensions of the burrow are made at
long intervals. From time to time, the circular parapet receives
additions and becomes a little higher; less frequently still, the
dwelling is enlarged and deepened. As a rule, the mansion remains as it
was for a whole season. Towards the end of winter, in March more than at
any other period, the Lycosa seems to wish to give herself a little more
space. This is the moment to subject her to certain tests.

We know that the Field Cricket, when removed from his burrow and caged
under conditions that would allow him to dig himself a new home should
the fit seize him, prefers to tramp from one casual shelter to another,
or rather abandons every idea of creating a permanent residence. There
is a short season whereat the instinct for building a subterranean
gallery is imperatively aroused. When this season is past, the
excavating artist, if accidentally deprived of his abode, becomes a
wandering Bohemian, careless of a lodging. He has forgotten his talents
and he sleeps out.

That the bird, the nest-builder, should neglect its art when it has no
brood to care for is perfectly logical: it builds for its family, not for
itself. But what shall we say of the Cricket, who is exposed to a
thousand mishaps when away from home? The protection of a roof would be
of great use to him; and the giddy-pate does not give it a thought,
though he is very strong and more capable than ever of digging with his
powerful jaws.

What reason can we allege for this neglect? None, unless it be that the
season of strenuous burrowing is past. The instincts have a calendar of
their own. At the given hour, suddenly they awaken; as suddenly,
afterwards, they fall asleep. The ingenious become incompetent when the
prescribed period is ended.

On a subject of this kind, we can consult the Spider of the waste-lands.
I catch an old Lycosa in the fields and house her, that same day, under
wire, in a burrow where I have prepared a soil to her liking. If, by my
contrivances and with a bit of reed, I have previously moulded a burrow
roughly representing the one from which I took her, the Spider enters it
forthwith and seems pleased with her new residence. The product of my
art is accepted as her lawful property and undergoes hardly any
alterations. In course of time, a bastion is erected around the orifice;
the top of the gallery is cemented with silk; and that is all. In this
establishment of my building, the animal's behaviour remains what it
would be under natural conditions.

But place the Lycosa on the surface of the ground, without first shaping
a burrow. What will the homeless Spider do? Dig herself a dwelling, one
would think. She has the strength to do so; she is in the prime of life.
Besides, the soil is similar to that whence I ousted her and suits the
operation perfectly. We therefore expect to see the Spider settled
before long in a shaft of her own construction.

We are disappointed. Weeks pass and not an effort is made, not one.
Demoralized by the absence of an ambush, the Lycosa hardly vouchsafes a
glance at the game which I serve up. The Crickets pass within her reach
in vain; most often she scorns them. She slowly wastes away with fasting
and boredom. At length, she dies.

Take up your miner's trade again, poor fool! Make yourself a home, since
you know how to, and life will be sweet to you for many a long day yet:
the weather is fine and victuals plentiful. Dig, delve, go underground,
where safety lies. Like an idiot, you refrain; and you perish. Why?

Because the craft which you were wont to ply is forgotten; because the
days of patient digging are past and your poor brain is unable to work
back. To do a second time what has been done already is beyond your wit.
For all your meditative air, you cannot solve the problem of how to
reconstruct that which is vanished and gone.

Let us now see what we can do with younger Lycosae, who are at the
burrowing-stage. I dig out five or six at the end of February. They are
half the size of the old ones; their burrows are equal in diameter to my
little finger. Rubbish quite fresh-spread around the pit bears witness
to the recent date of the excavations.

Relegated to their wire cages, these young Lycosae behave differently
according as the soil placed at their disposal is or is not already
provided with a burrow made by me. A burrow is hardly the word: I give
them but the nucleus of a shaft, about an inch deep, to lure them on.
When in possession of this rudimentary lair, the Spider does not hesitate
to pursue the work which I have interrupted in the fields. At night, she
digs with a will. I can see this by the heap of rubbish flung aside. She
at last obtains a house to suit her, a house surmounted by the usual
turret.

The others, on the contrary, those Spiders for whom the thrust of my
pencil has not contrived an entrance-hall representing, to a certain
extent, the natural gallery whence I dislodged them, absolutely refuse to
work; and they die, notwithstanding the abundance of provisions.

The first pursue the season's task. They were digging when I caught
them; and, carried away by the enthusiasm of their activity, they go on
digging inside my cages. Taken in by my decoy-shaft, they deepen the
imprint of the pencil as though they were deepening their real vestibule.
They do not begin their labours over again; they continue them.

The second, not having this inducement, this semblance of a burrow
mistaken for their own work, forsake the idea of digging and allow
themselves to die, because they would have to travel back along the chain
of actions and to resume the pick-strokes of the start. To begin all
over again requires reflection, a quality wherewith they are not endowed.

To the insect--and we have seen this in many earlier cases--what is done
is done and cannot be taken up again. The hands of a watch do not move
backwards. The insect behaves in much the same way. Its activity urges
it in one direction, ever forwards, without allowing it to retrace its
steps, even when an accident makes this necessary.

What the Mason-bees and the others taught us erewhile the Lycosa now
confirms in her manner. Incapable of taking fresh pains to build herself
a second dwelling, when the first is done for, she will go on the tramp,
she will break into a neighbour's house, she will run the risk of being
eaten should she not prove the stronger, but she will never think of
making herself a home by starting afresh.

What a strange intellect is that of the animal, a mixture of mechanical
routine and subtle brain-power! Does it contain gleams that contrive,
wishes that pursue a definite object? Following in the wake of so many
others, the Lycosa warrants us in entertaining a doubt.





Next: THE NARBONNE LYCOSA: THE FAMILY

Previous: THE NARBONNE LYCOSA



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