| ||THE SWAMP AUGER
The great woods of the North are criss-crossed with tracks, calling cards dropped by the animals for the keen eye of the tracker to read. On the edges of the swamps, where the ground sucks greedily at the feet of the hunter as though it would swallow him up for daring to intrude, these marks are often plainest.
To the tenderfoot the tracks are bewildering. The mark left by a skurrying rabit may suggest to his mind anything from a gliding silver fox to a majestic moose. The guides grin broadly as they watch a now-comer excitedly studying tracks.
“What is that?” asked the tenderfoot horsely, pointing to a webbed outline in the swampy ground.
“Hmm,” drawls the guide, pursing his lips, “look's like a swamp-auger has passed this way. Never heard of a swamp-auger? Well, he's a great big bird, kind of built on the order of a duck. And he has a bill that's like a corkscrew. It's mighty handy, too, because he uses it to get his food with. He Just bores; right down into the swamp for worms, you see. Sure enough, there's a little hole here. See it? There's where the swamp-auger was boring.”