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Aristotle's history of animals declares that horses, oxen, sheep, goats, dogs, and all viviparous quadrupeds dream. Dogs show this by barking in their sleep. He says further that he is not quite certain from his observations whether animals that lay eggs, instead of producing their young alive, dream; but it is certain that they sleep. Pliny, in his natural history, specifies the same animals. Buffon describes the dreams of animals. Macnish calls attention to the fact that horses neigh and rear in their sleep, and affirms that cows and sheep, especially at the period of rearing their young, dream. Scott, in the "Lay of the Last Minstrel," says:
The stag-hounds, weary with the chase,
Lay stretched upon the rushy floor,
And urged in dreams the forest race
Prom Teviot-stone to Eskdale Moor.
Tennyson also speaks of dogs that hunt in dreams. Darwin, in the "Descent of Man," Vol. I., p. 44, says that "dogs, cats, horses, and probably all the higher animals, even birds, as is stated on good authority (Dr. Jerdon, 'Birds of India'), have vivid dreams, and this is shown by their movements and voice." George John Romanes, in his "Mental Evolution in Animals," says that the fact that dogs dream is proverbial, quotes Seneca and Lucretius, and furnishes proof from Dr. Lauder Lindsay, an eminent authority, that horses dream. Cuvier, Jerdon, Honzeau, Bechstein, Bennett, Thompson, Lindsay, and Darwin assert that birds dream; and, according to Thompson, among birds the stork, the canary, the eagle, and the parrot, and the elephant as well as the horse and the dog, are "incited" in their dreams. Bechstein holds that the bullfinch dreams, and gives a case where the dream took on the character of nightmare and the bird fell from its perch; and four great authorities say that occasionally dreaming becomes so vivid as to lead to somnambulism (sleep-walking). Guer gives a case of a somnambulistic watch-dog which prowled in search of imaginary strangers or foes, and exhibited toward them a whole series of pantomimic actions, including barking. Dryden says:
The little birds in dreams the songs repeat,
and Dendy's "Philosophy of Mystery" quotes from the "Domestic Habits of Birds" in proof of this.
We have often observed this in a wild bird. On the night of the 6th of April, 1811, about ten o'clock, a dunnock (Accentor modularis) was heard in the garden to go through its usual song more than a dozen times very faintly, but distinctly enough for the species to be recognized. The night was cold and frosty, but might it not be that the little musician was dreaming of summer and sunshine? Aristotle, indeed, proposes the question—whether animals hatched from eggs ever dream? Macgrave, in reply, expressly says that his "parrot Laura often arose in the night and prattled while half asleep."
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