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A winsome pet is the common brown mouse; and now I fancy I hear the most vigorous protests from my readers, who, though they do not shriek and take refuge on chairs and tables like Howells's feminine characters, still have a strong feeling of distaste to him. Nothing can be imagined more dainty, graceful, and altogether captivating than the tricks and manners of this humble resident within our walls. Once allay the poor little creature's fears of his big, clumsy, human proprietors, and his delightsome qualities are apparent. Frisky in movement, droll in conceits, and eccentric of action, he is a never-ending source of entertainment. Moreover, he is as teachable as the rat, absolutely neat in his ways, and most loving to his friends.
A singing mouse — which is not so great a rarity as one would suppose from the newspaper fuss that is sometimes made over one—has an added attraction as a pet. The singing is no doubt similar to that of the marmoset, and resembles the canary song a good deal smothered.
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(Curator here) Twenty years ago I had a black pet mouse. Sadly enough, I can't remember her name, but I loved her. She was a merry, friendly thing, and liked to show off for me on her wheel. . . .I can't resist adding the bit said about squirrels:
* * *Some of the most pleasing pets are found among the rodents, the little fellows whose teeth are so troublesome and require so much looking after. There are the squirrels, to begin with. Every one is frolicsome, neat, easy to take care of, and altogether bewitching. A squirrel of any sort likes a warm bed, out of the reach of meddlesome children, plenty of nuts to eat, and liberty—for, like everybody else, he hates a cage. The gray squirrel is the most elegant of the tribe (unless we except the black, who is not so often seen), and he is intelligent and affectionate. The red squirrel is one of the most lively of a wonderfully active family, and is exceedingly inventive in pranks. The chipmonk [sp], though frisky enough, is said to be the least interesting of his race (what? No way - Curator), and the flying-squirrel is rather quiet for one of his kind, and entertaining only at night.