26 MARCH 1898, Page 15


[To THE EDITOR or THE " SPECTATOR."1 SIR,—The following may interest your readers. When farming in Manitoba, my claim was situated some sixteen miles from the nearest town. During the "fall" of the year I would draw my wheat to market with a yoke of oxen, calling at a friend's house on the way, some five miles this side of the town. Often, when passing through, he would ask me to make a few purchases for him, leaving them on my return in the evening. Occasionally I would be detained, and could not return the same day. So in order not to disappoint him, I would tie his things in a sack placed in the bottom of the waggon (or sleigh, as the case may be), drive my oxen a little way out of town, turn their heads towards his house, and set them off alone, following myself on foot next morning. My friend invariably found them chewing the cud, waiting to be unhitched, outside his stable door, with his things intact. The curious part of the thing is this, that following their trail next day, you would find they had, where feasible, taken short cuts across country, whereas horses under the same circumstances would invariably stick to the track.

Again, I recollect, close to the place where I was working as a farm hand, a railway was being laid, where a number of mules were employed. Their dinner hour was 12 noon, so was mine. I needed no chronometer, for as sure as the sun would rise, so surely, at about ten minutes to 12, would these beasts start up their most unearthly din. Very shortly afterwards their bell would ring, and my flag would go up calling us to our respective dinners.—I am, Sir, &c.,