A, place for storing hay. B, stairs leading from below. C, room for young rabbits. D, trapdoor into trunk leading to manure cellar. E, partition four feet high. This allows of ventilation between the two windows, in summer, which would be cut off, were the partition carried all the way up.
A, manure cellar. B, root cellar. C, stairs leading to first, or main floor. D, stairs leading outside. E, window—lighting both rooms of cellar.
(326) front of rabbit hutch
No. 5 is a front section of rabbit hutches, eight in number, two in a line, four tiers high, one above another, with wire-screened doors, hinges, and buttons for fastening. A, the grain trough, is at the bottom.
No. 6 is the floor section of the hutches, falling, as before mentioned, two inches from front to rear.
A, is the door to lift up, for cleaning out the floors. B, is the zinc plate, to carry off the urine and running 327 wash of the floors. C, is the trough for carrying off this offal into the manure cellars, through the trunk, as seen in No. 2.
No. 7 is a rear section of hutches, same as in No. 5, with the waste trough at the bottom leading into the trench before described, with the cross section, No. 8, before described in No. 6.
A, a grated door at the back of the hutch, for ventilation in summer, and covered with a thin board in winter. B, a flap-door, four inches wide, which is raised for cleaning out the floor; under this door is a space of one inch, for passing out the urine of the rabbits. C, are buttons for fastening the doors. D, the backs of the bedrooms, without any passage out on back side.
This matter of the rabbitry, and its various explanations, may be considered by the plain, matter-of-fact man, as below the dignity of people pursuing the useful and money-making business of life. Very possible. But many boys—for whose benefit they are chiefly introduced—and men, even, may do worse than to spend their time in such apparent trifles. It is better than going to a horse-race. It is better even than going to a trotting match, where fast men, as well as fast horses congregate. It is better, too, than a thousand other places where boys want to go, when they have nothing to interest them at home.
One half of the farmer's boys, who, discontented at home, leave it for something more congenial to their feelings and tastes, do so simply because of the excessive dullness, and want of interest in objects to attract them there, and keep them contented. Boys, in 328 America at least, are apt to be smart. So their parents think, at all events; and too smart they prove, to stay at home, and follow the beaten track of their fathers, as their continual migration from the paternal roof too plainly testifies. This, in many cases, is the fault of the parents themselves, because they neglect those little objects of interest to which the minds and tastes of their sons are inclined, and for want of which they imagine more attractive objects abroad, although in the search they often fail in finding them. We are a progressive people. Our children are not always content to be what their fathers are; and parents must yield a little to the spirit of the age in which they live. And boys pay too, as they go along, if properly treated. They should be made companions, not servants. Many a joyous, hearty spirit, who, when properly encouraged, comes out a whole man at one-and-twenty, if kept in curb, and harnessed down by a hard parent, leaves the homestead, with a curse and a kick, determined, whether in weal or in woe, never to return. Under a different course of treatment, he would have fixed his home either at his birthplace, or in its immediate vicinity, and in a life of frugality, usefulness, and comparative ease, blessed his parents, his neighborhood, and possibly the world, with a useful example—all, perhaps, grown out of his youthful indulgence in the possession of a rabbit-warren, or some like trifling matter.
This may appear to be small morals, as well as small business. We admit it. But those who have been well, and indulgently, as well as methodically trained, 329 may look back and see the influence which all such little things had upon their early thoughts and inclinations; and thus realize the importance of providing for the amusements and pleasures of children in their early years. The dovecote, the rabbitry, the poultry-yard, the sheep-fold, the calf-pen, the piggery, the young colt of a favorite mare, the yoke of yearling steers, or a fruit tree which they have planted, and nursed, and called it, or the fruit it bears, their own,—anything, in fact, which they can call theirs—are so many objects to bind boys to their homes, and hallow it with a thousand nameless blessings and associations, known only to those who have been its recipients. Heaven's blessings be on the family homestead!
Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home!
sung the imaginary maid of Milan, the beautiful creation of John Howard Payne, when returning from the glare and pomp of the world, to her native cottage in the mountains of Switzerland. And, although all out of date, and conventionally vulgar this sentiment may be now considered, such is, or should be the subdued, unsophisticated feeling of all natives of the farm house, and the country cottage. We may leave the quiet roof of our childhood; we may mix in the bustling contentions of the open world; we may gain its treasures; we may enjoy its greatness, its honors, and its applause; but there are times when they will all fade into nothing, in comparison with the peace, and quietude, and tranquil happiness of a few acres of land, a comfortable roof, and contentment therewith!