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The Wolf

THE WOLF.

The wolf is rather larger than our largest dogs, and looks somewhat like
them; but he seems more wild, savage and cruel. The wolves go in large
companies, making a terrible howling noise; and though they are in
general cowardly, yet when they are very hungry they attack large
animals, and even men. They almost always go out by night, and the
Bible refers to this when it says, "Their horses are more fierce than
the evening wolves." Jacob, just before his death, said of one of his
sons, "Benjamin shall raven as a wolf; in the morning he shall devour
the prey, and at evening he shall divide the spoil."

There were once a great many wolves in New England and in other parts of
the United States, and some are left yet, although many have been killed
or driven away. There are still great numbers of them in some
countries. In England the month of January used to be called Wolf-
monat, or wolf-month; "because," as an old book says, "people are wont
in that moneth to be more in danger to be devoured of wolves than in any
season els of the yeare, for that through the extremity of cold and snow
those ravenous creatures could not find other beasts sufficient to feed
upon."

A sad story is told of something that happened in Russia a few years
since. A woman was one day riding on a sledge with her three children
over a lonely road, when suddenly she heard the noise of wolves behind
her. She was not very far from home, and tried to urge her horse on, to
get out of their reach; but they gained upon her every moment, and were
just on the point of rushing on the sledge, when the poor woman, to save
the lives of the rest, caught up one of the children and threw it to the
wolves. This stopped them but a short time; they devoured it at once
and again ran howling after the sledge. The mother threw out a second
child, hoping to escape with the other; but in vain. Again the cruel
animals were close behind her, and to save her own life, hardly knowing
what she did, she threw over her only remaining child. She succeeded in
reaching home herself, in safety, but where were her children? She told
the terrible story; but while she was endeavoring to excuse herself by
telling of her exceeding fright and danger, a man who stood by struck
her on the head with an axe and killed her at one blow-saying that a
woman who would thus give up her children to save her life, was not fit
to live.

The Bible tells us of a time yet to come, when "The wolf shall feed with
the lamb." Perhaps this will be exactly true of the animals in those
days, though it now seems so unlikely; but I suppose it means also that
wicked and cruel men shall become holy and Christ-like. Then all will
be peace on earth, and "none shall hurt or destroy in all" God's "holy
mountain."

I do not find the names of any animals mentioned in the Bible, beginning
with X, Y, or Z. If you can find one, I should like to know it. And no
I hope that whenever you see the names of any of these animals in your
Bible, you will take pleasure in noticing what is said about them, and
will remember what I have told you. I have been very happy in talking
to you about them.