The Arctic Prairies By Ernest Thompson Seton


















































































































































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In some seasons the dogs catch Rabbits enough to keep them up. But
this year the Rabbits were gone. They - Page 130
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In Some Seasons The Dogs Catch Rabbits Enough To Keep Them Up.

But this year the Rabbits were gone.

They are very clever at robbing fish-nets at times, but these were far from the fort. Reduced to such desperate straits for food, what wonder that cannibalism should be common! Not only the dead, but the sick or disabled of their own kind are torn to pieces and devoured. I was told of one case where a brutal driver disabled one of his dogs with heavy blows; its companions did not wait till it was dead before they feasted. It is hard to raise pups because the mothers so often devour their own young; and this is a charge I never heard laid to the Wolf, the ancestor of these dogs, which shows how sadly the creature has been deteriorated by contact with man. There seems no length to which they will not go for food. Politeness forbids my mentioning the final diet for which they scramble around the camp. Never in my life before have I seen such utter degradation by the power of the endless hunger pinch. Nevertheless - and here I expect the reader to doubt, even as I did when first I heard it, no matter how desperate their straits-these gormandisers of unmentionable filth, these starvelings, in their dire extremity will turn away in disgust from duck or any other web-footed water-fowl.

Billy Loutit had shot a Pelican; the skin was carefully preserved and the body guarded for the dogs, thinking that this big thing, weighing 6 or 7 pounds, would furnish a feast for one or two.

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