From W. D. Fox 11 June 1
My dear Darwin
I have never thanked you for the loan of Dr Lanes little Book which I liked much, & will return soon.2 I am so glad you have a place of retreat to flee to when you get unbearably unwell, but I think you a very bad Husband & Father to let yourself get into such a state.
I have two little lots of Turkeys ready to try your experiment.3 They have been kept in a room & never seen any thing to alarm them. I hope to tell you the result of the trial at end of this. By way of a little example upon same subject. I hatched some Call Ducks under a hen & they were not wilder than other young Ducks are.
Soon after a wild Duck hatched some eggs (of the same Parents) and I never saw any little wretches so wild from the moment they were out of shell. They were just as real wild ducks young are—as wild as possible—& this before they even were out of the nest, which was in the common Hen house.— Now this must have been caused by the Wild Ducks notes of alarm stimulating their organ of caution. The eggs were the same in both instances. Another sitting under Call-Ducks were quite tame
I have this week been paying a visit to Worsley at Platt.4 He married one of Sir F Darwins daughters, & I there met Mrs Wilmot, Violetta, & Millicent. 5
Did you ever hear the history of our old friend Tiger (at Sydnope when we were there)6 getting loose & biting off a great part of a Sows cheek?— She was in pig, & all her little ones were deficient in one cheek. Mrs Wilmot said she remembered the fact perfectly—& when the pigs were grown up & salted, she could remember Sir Francis shewing the deficient cheek at Table.
I shall probably be in Town next week. If I can get away for a night I will write you word & offer myself possibly abt 5 or 6th 7
Ever yours W D Fox
Discusses instinct in ducks and turkeys.
Reports a case of the inheritance of an acquired characteristic in a pig.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7815,” accessed on 19 January 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-7815