After a little strangeness the companionship between the two became as perfect as the utterly diverse nature of their squirrelships would permit. Billy was social and as friendly as a little dog, Hans always a little morose and not overready to accept familiarities; Billy always making friendly advances to his companion, which were at first unnoticed, and afterwards only submitted to with equanimity. It was as if Billy had assumed the position of the spoiled child of the family, and Hans reluctantly taken that of an elder brother who is always expected to make way for the pet and baby of the house. Billy was full of fun, and delighted to tease Hans when he was sleeping, by nibbling at his toes and ears, biting him playfully anywhere he could get at him; and Hans, after a little indignant bark, used to bolt away and find another place to sleep in. As they both had the freedom of my large bedroom—the door of which was carefully guarded, as Hans was always on the look-out for a chance to bolt out into the unknown—they had plenty of room for climbing, and comparative freedom; and after a little time Hans adopted Billy’s habit of passing the night in the fold of my bed-rug, and even of nestling with Billy near my head. Billy was from the beginning a bad sleeper, probably owing to the tea, and in his waking moments his standing amusement was nibbling at Hans, who would finally break out of his sleep and go to the foot to the bed to lie—but never for long, for he always worked his way back to Billy and nestled down again. When I gave Hans a nut, Billy would wait for him to crack it, and deliberately take it out of his jaws and eat it, an aggression to which Hans submitted without a fight, or a snarl even, though at first he held to the nut a little; but the good humour and caressing ways of Billy were as irresistible with Hans as with us, and I never knew him to retaliate in any way.

No two animals of the most domesticated species could have differed in disposition more than these. During the first phase of Hans’s life he never lost his repugnance to being handled, while Billy delighted in being fondled. The European squirrel is by nature one of the most timid of animals, even more so than the hare, being equalled in this respect only by the exquisite flying-squirrel of America; and when it is frightened, as, for instance, when held fast in any way, or in a manner that alarms it, it will generally bite even the most familiar hand, the feeling being apparently that it is necessary to gnaw away the ligature which holds it. Of course, considering the irreconcilability of Hans to captivity, I was obliged, much against my will, to get a cage for him to travel in; and I made a little dark chamber in the upper part of a wire bird-cage in which the two squirrels were put for travelling. During the first journeys the motion of the carriage or railway train made Hans quite frantic, while Billy took it with absolute unconcern. On stopping at a hotel, they were invariably released in my room, where they raced about at will, climbing the highest pieces of furniture and the window-curtain, but always coming to sleep in the familiar fur railway-rug which was my bedcover. At this stage of his career Hans was perfectly familiarised—came to me for his food and drink, and climbed on me, getting on my hand when held out to him; but always resisting being grasped round the body, and always watching diligently for a door left ajar.

Arriving at Rome, I fitted up a deep window recess for their home; but they always had the run of the study, and Hans, while watching the chance-opened door, and often escaping into the adjoining rooms, made himself apparently happy in his new quarters, climbing the high curtains, racing along the curtain- poles, and at intervals making excursions to the top of the bookcase, though to both the table at which I was at work soon became the favourite resort, and their antics there were as amusing as those of a monkey. Toward the end of the year Billy developed an indolent habit, which I now can trace to the disease that finally took him us; but he never lost his love for my writing-table, where he used to lie and watch me at my work by the hour. Hans soon learned to climb down from their window-bench, and up my legs and arms to the writing-table, and down again by the same road when he was tired of his exercise with the pencils or penholders he found there; or of hunting out the nuts which he had hidden the day before among the books and papers; but I never could induce him to stay in my pocket with Billy, who on cold days preferred sleeping there, as the warmth of my body was more agreeable than that of their fur-lined nest. There was something uncanny in Billy—a preternatural animal intelligence which one sees generally only in animals that have had training and heredity to work on. He used his little gesture-language with great volubility and on every occasion, insisting imperiously on my obeying his summons; and one of the things which will never fade from my memory was the pretty was in which he used to come to the edge of the window-bench and nod his head to me to show that he wished to be taken; for he soon learned that it was easier to call to me and be taken than it was to climb down the

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