The Ruff, p.197.

[Three Hundred Animals Contents]

   IT is curious to see, in our observations upon natural objects, how the creative power of Providence seems to have tryed all forms and shapes in the composition of species. In the cock bird a circle or collar of long feathers, somewhat resembling a ruff, encompasses the neck under the head, whence the bird took the name of Ruff. There is a wonderful and almost infinite variety in the colours of the feathers of the males; so that in spring there can scarcely be found any two exactly alike. After moulting time they become all alike again. The hens are smaller than the cocks and their feathers undergo no change. This small creature has been endowed with great natural courage. Spurred by love the males fight desperately for the females, and the strongest often destroy many of their sex. The female is called Reeve, and the flesh of this bird affords a very luscious meat. 

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