A Reasoning Lobster. May 10, 1886.
By Willard Nye, Jr.

While at Bird Island, Buzzard's Bay, Massachusetts, I noticed what seemed to point at reason rather than instinct in the lobster. One had his home for the time in a hole under a rock, where the water was about 5 feet deep. Thinking to catch him, I made a noose at the end of a fishline, l and by means of a stick spread it carefully around the hole; then let down a piece of menhaden, holding it 6 or 8 inches away in front.

The lobster soon reached out to take such a nice morsel, when, by jerking the string, I had him noosed around one of his big claws near the end; but after I had him half out of his hole the string slipped off and he got back.

However, I had no doubt of catching him the next time, so, spreading the noose as carefully as before, and again letting down the piece of menhaden, I awaited results, when, instead of boldly putting out his claws as before, he first put his feelers through the noose, and, with a waving motion, felt the string all the way around, then pushed one claw under the string and grabbed the bait.

Three or four times I tried him with the same result. He first carefully felt the noose all around, then rooted one claw under the string and secured the bait. I finally had to give up all thoughts of getting him, and came away firmly believing that until this fellow dies of old age the lobster will not be exterminated in our waters.

New Bedford Massachusetts, May 10, 1886