MEMORIES OF MY LIFE
different kinds. The stormy petrels make their nests deep in beaches of shingle. An intelligent man initiated me into the way of taking them. We crept as silently as might be to where the twitterings could be heard, and, having carefully located the spot, tossed away the shingle as fast as we could, and usually found the bird on its nest. Its oily smell is very strong and rank. The popular belief is that if you cram a wick between the beak and down the gullet of a dried-up petrel and light it, the bird will burn like a lamp.
The hardships of what was called deep-sea fishing were great. It was conducted in open whale-boats with six rowers, who were generally thirty-six hours absent, and sometimes, longer. I n bad weather they had to keep to their oars, and could get little or no sleep all the time. I was told that on returning they went half stupid to bed, and, partly awakening to feed from time to time, wlei)t for [till twenty-1 ntr hoo t end.
I could tell many tales of what I heard and saw, such as that at one lighthouse (I think in North Ronaldshay) the keeper, wishing to alleviate the solitude of his life, cast about for a suitable pet. That which he selected did credit to his genius. It was a toad in a bottle, requiring no care, little if any food, easily placed on any shelf, and always showing its bright eye.
When I finally left Shetland, which was after the grouse season, I took as a present to my brother for the large pool at Edstone, a crate full of many different kinds of sea birds, which I was assured would live in fresh water and pick up snails in the garden, as tamed gulls do. The railway people put