Yowler and His Cousin Tufty
J UMPER the Hare arrived at school a little late and quite out of breath from hurrying. His big soft eyes were shining with excitement. "You look as though you had had an adventure, Jumper," said Old Mother Nature.
"I have," replied Jumper. "It is a wonder I am here at all; I came
so near furnishing Yowler the
"Tell us all about it," demanded Old Mother Nature.
"Seeing Black Pussy over here yesterday, and knowing that to-day's
lesson was to be about Yowler, I couldn't get cats out of my mind
all day yesterday," began Jumper. "Black Pussy doesn't worry me,
but I must confess that if there is any one I fear, it is Yowler
"Of course, seeing those footprints made me more nervous than ever, and every time I saw a leaf move I jumped inside. My heart felt as if it were up in my throat most of the time. I had a feeling that Yowler wasn't far away. I hate that Cat! I hate the way he hunts! He goes sneaking about, without making a sound, or else he lies in wait, ready to spring without warning on the first one who happens along. A fellow never knows where to watch out for Yowler.
"I spent nearly all night sitting under a little hemlock tree with branches very close to the ground. I sat there because I didn't dare do anything else. As long as I stayed there I felt reasonably safe, because Yowler would have to find me, and to do that he would have to cross an open place where I could see him. I knew that if I went roaming about I might walk right into his clutches.
"It was lucky I had sense enough to stay there. You know the moon was very bright last night. It made that open place in front of where I was hiding almost as light as day. Once I closed my eyes for just a minute. When I opened them, there was Yowler sneaking across that open place. Where he had come from, I don't know. He hadn't made a sound. Not a leaf rustled under his big feet. Right in the middle of that open place, where the moonlight was brightest, he stopped to listen, and I simply held my breath."
"Tell us how he looked," prompted Old Mother Nature.
"He looked just like what he is—a big Cat with a short tail," replied Jumper. "Just to look at him any one would know he was own cousin to Black Pussy. He had a round head, rather long legs, and was about twice as big as Black Pussy. His feet looked big, even for him. On the tips of his ears were a few long black hairs. His coat was yellowish to reddish-brown, with dark spots on it. His chin and throat were white, and underneath he was white spotted with black. There were spots all down his legs. He didn't have enough of a tail to call it a tail. It was whitish on the under side and had black stripes on the upper side, and all the time he kept twitching it just the way Black Pussy twitches her tail when she is out hunting. All of a sudden he opened his mouth and gave such a yell that it is a wonder I didn't jump out of my skin. It frightened me so that I couldn't have moved if I had wanted to, which was a lucky thing for me. The instant he yelled he cocked his head on one side and listened. That yell must have wakened somebody and caused them to move, for Yowler turned suddenly and crept swiftly and without a sound out of sight. A minute later I heard a jump, and then I heard a fluttering. I think he caught one of the Grouse family."
"Yelling that way is one of Yowler's tricks," explained Old Mother Nature. "He does it for the same reason Hooty the Owl hoots. He hopes that it will startle some sleeper so that they will move. If they do, his keen ears are sure to hear it. Was that all of your adventure, Jumper?"
"No," replied Jumper. "I remained right where I was for the rest
of the night. Just as daylight was beginning to steal through the
Green Forest, I decided that it was safe to leave my hiding place
and come over here.
"That was a splendid account of Yowler and his way of hunting," said Old Mother Nature. "He does most of his hunting in just that way, sneaking about on the chance of surprising a Rabbit, Bird or Mouse, or else patiently watching and waiting beside a hole in which he knows some one has taken refuge. He hunts in the Green Forest exactly as Black Pussy, Farmer Brown's Cat, hunts Mice in the barn or Birds in the Old Orchard. In the spring Yowler destroys many eggs and young birds, not only those found in nests on the ground, but also those in nests in trees, for he is a splendid climber.
"Yowler is found in nearly all of the swampy,
brushy and wooded
parts of the whole country, excepting in the great forests of the
Far North, where his cousin Tufty the Lynx lives. Yowler is
himself a Lynx, the
"In the great forests of the Far North lives Yowler's cousin, Tufty
the Canada Lynx, also called Loup Cervier and Lucivee. He is nearly
a third larger than Yowler. From the tip of each ear long tufts of
black hair stand up. On each side of his face is a ruff of long
hair. His tail is
even shorter than Yowler's, and the tip of it is
always wholly black. His general color is gray, mottled with brown.
His face ruff is white with black border. Yowler's feet are large,
but Tufty's are immense for his size. This is because Tufty lives
where the snow lies deep for many months, and these big, broad feet
enable him to travel about on the snow without breaking through. He
can travel with ease where
"There is no fiercer looking animal in all the Green Forest than
Tufty the Lynx, but despite this he is, like most Cats, cowardly.
Only when cornered will he fight. He is possessed of a
curiosity, and often he will stealthily follow a hunter or trapper
for miles. The fur of his coat is very long and handsome, and he
is hunted and trapped for this. As he lives for the most part far
from the homes of men, he does less damage to man than does his
cousin, Yowler the
"The darker and deeper the Green Forest, the better Tufty likes
it. He makes his den under great tangles of fallen trees or
similar places. Mr. and
"Yowler and Tufty are the only members of the Cat family now found
in the eastern part of the country. Formerly, their big cousin,
Puma the Panther, lived in the East, but he has been so hunted by
man that now he is found only in the mountains of the