The mammals of the Mountain Region include the cotton-tail rabbit, red squirrel, lynx and woodchuck; and there is a considerable variety of migratory song-birds, which are common to the more northern states.
Seven-tenths of a cubic metre of animal bones were found: deer, bear, wolf, raccoon, opossum, beaver, buffalo, elk, turkey, woodchuck, tortoise and hog; all contemporary with man's occupancy.
The ordinary woodchuck measures about 18 in.
The Virginia deer is common in the bottomlands; a few beaver still frequent the remoter streams; in the higher portions are still a few black bears and pumas, besides the lynx, the Virginia varying hare, the woodchuck, the red and the fox squirrel and flying squirrels.
The black bear, wolf, catamount, wolverine, wild cat, fox, beaver, racoon, marten, sable, woodchuck, skunk, otter, mink, rabbit and squirrel are also found.
As if one were to wear any sort of coat which the tailor might cut out for him, or, gradually leaving off palm-leaf hat or cap of woodchuck skin, complain of hard times because he could not afford to buy him a crown!
I dug my cellar in the side of a hill sloping to the south, where a woodchuck had formerly dug his burrow, down through sumach and blackberry roots, and the lowest stain of vegetation, six feet square by seven deep, to a fine sand where potatoes would not freeze in any winter.
Not even rats in the wall, for they were starved out, or rather were never baited in--only squirrels on the roof and under the floor, a whip-poor-will on the ridge-pole, a blue jay screaming beneath the window, a hare or woodchuck under the house, a screech owl or a cat owl behind it, a flock of wild geese or a laughing loon on the pond, and a fox to bark in the night.
Who should come to my lodge this morning but a true Homeric or Paphlagonian man--he had so suitable and poetic a name that I am sorry I cannot print it here--a Canadian, a woodchopper and post-maker, who can hole fifty posts in a day, who made his last supper on a woodchuck which his dog caught.
Frequently he would leave his dinner in the bushes, when his dog had caught a woodchuck by the way, and go back a mile and a half to dress it and leave it in the cellar of the house where he boarded, after deliberating first for half an hour whether he could not sink it in the pond safely till nightfall--loving to dwell long upon these themes.
He was so genuine and unsophisticated that no introduction would serve to introduce him, more than if you introduced a woodchuck to your neighbor.
Before yet any woodchuck or squirrel had run across the road, or the sun had got above the shrub oaks, while all the dew was on, though the farmers warned me against it--I would advise you to do all your work if possible while the dew is on--I began to level the ranks of haughty weeds in my bean-field and throw dust upon their heads.
But sometimes it was a really noble and inspiring strain that reached these woods, and the trumpet that sings of fame, and I felt as if I could spit a Mexican with a good relish--for why should we always stand for trifles?--and looked round for a woodchuck or a skunk to exercise my chivalry upon.
The skin of a woodchuck was freshly stretched upon the back of the house, a trophy of his last Waterloo; but no warm cap or mittens would he want more.
I am on the alert for the first signs of spring, to hear the chance note of some arriving bird, or the striped squirrel's chirp, for his stores must be now nearly exhausted, or see the woodchuck venture out of his winter quarters.