another one somewhere, and this one will be less dangerous when it
has company of its own species. I will go straightway; but I will
muzzle this one first.
THREE MONTHS LATER.–It has been a weary, weary hunt, yet I have
had no success. In the mean time, without stirring from the
home estate, she has caught another one! I never saw such luck.
I might have hunted these woods a hundred years, I never would
have run across that thing.
NEXT DAY.–I have been comparing the new one with the old one,
and it is perfectly plain that they are of the same breed.
I was going to stuff one of them for my collection, but she
is prejudiced against it for some reason or other; so I have
relinquished the idea, though I think it is a mistake. It would
be an irreparable loss to science if they should get away.
The old one is tamer than it was and can laugh and talk like a parrot,
having learned this, no doubt, from being with the parrot so much,
and having the imitative faculty in a high developed degree.
I shall be astonished if it turns out to be a new kind of parrot;
and yet I ought not to be astonished, for it has already been
everything else it could think of since those first days when it
was a fish. The new one is as ugly as the old one was at first;
has the same sulphur-and-raw-meat complexion and the same singular
head without any fur on it. She calls it Abel.
TEN YEARS LATER.–They are BOYS; we found it out long ago.
It was their coming in that small immature shape that puzzled us;
we were not used to it. There are some girls now. Abel is a good boy,
but if Cain had stayed a bear it would have improved him. After all
these years, I see that I was mistaken about Eve in the beginning;
it is better to live outside the Garden with her than inside it
without her. At first I thought she talked too much; but now I should
be sorry to have that voice fall silent and pass out of my life.
Blessed be the chestnut that brought us near together and taught me
to know the goodness of her heart and the sweetness of her spirit!
Translated from the Original
SATURDAY.–I am almost a whole day old, now. I arrived yesterday.
That is as it seems to me. And it must be so, for if there was
a day-before-yesterday I was not there when it happened, or I
should remember it. It could be, of course, that it did happen,
and that I was not noticing. Very well; I will be very watchful now,
and if any day-before-yesterdays happen I will make a note of it.
It will be best to start right and not let the record get confused,
for some instinct tells me that these details are going to be
important to the historian some day. For I feel like an experiment,
I feel exactly like an experiment; it would be impossible for a person
to feel more like an experiment than I do, and so I am coming to feel
convinced that that is what I AM–an experiment; just an experiment,
and nothing more.
Then if I am an experiment, am I the whole of it? No, I think not;
I think the rest of it is part of it. I am the main part of it,
but I think the rest of it has its share in the matter. Is my
position assured, or do I have to watch it and take care of it?
The latter, perhaps. Some instinct tells me that eternal vigilance
is the price of supremacy. [That is a good phrase, I think, for one
Everything looks better today than it did yesterday. In the rush of
finishing up yesterday, the mountains were left in a ragged condition,
and some of the plains were so cluttered with rubbish and remnants
that the aspects were quite distressing. Noble and beautiful works
of art should not be subjected to haste; and this majestic new world
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