IX.–STRENGTH AND BITE.
The great strength of the ferret is in the teeth, neck, and forefeet.
One ferret can hold up eight times its own weight with its teeth. Twenty
or thirty ferrets when hungry will fasten their teeth in a piece of meat
and can be picked up in this way and swung around without ever causing
them to think of letting go. They will hang to an object which they have
been provoked against with a persistence which would make a Bill Sykes
bull-dog blush with shame. The only way to loosen their hold is to grasp
them firmly around the neck with the pressure on the skull, and to
shove them _towards_ the object, not _from_ it, for if you try the
latter way you can pull for a day and a night without any perceptible
result on the ferret.
The bite of a ferret is not dangerous; they will only bite a human being
out of mistake, because they don’t see well in the daytime. They imagine
you are kindly holding down some bit of meat for them to chew at, and
they don’t bite because they are at all viciously inclined towards you.
Of course you don’t want to tease, annoy, or step on them, or you may
find them loaded. If a ferret bites you, he will let go immediately, and
you and the ferret both will quickly realize the mistake.
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