REGARDING FLEAS -
THERE are almost as many kinds of fleas as there are kinds of
beasts. Nearly every variety of animal has its own variety of
flea and the abilities of the fleas seen to vary quite
proportionately with those of their hosts. The human flea
excels all others in endurance, length of life and intelligence.
I am often
asked if fleas are not "carriers of diseases". Of course they
are. They carry the disease germs which adhere to their body
and when they feed upon their host, they inoculate him. But the
flea is not an incubator of germ life. The flea itself is never
sickly, for when one becomes ill, it loses its surface gloss.
This turnished surface is the flea's protection and when it is
lost, the flea dies. An ill flea will not feed.
Contrary to the
prevailing opinion, the flea is a seeker of cleanlines and
health. It seldom feeds upon a sick host. They are very
sensitive as to taste and smell. They will not remain on a host
after any taint is in the blood. They abhor strong odors. If
you wish to get rid of fleas, treat them to strong odors. The
flea prospers best in humid or moist air, and hot dry air is
fatal to it.
Most people will not
believe that fleas can be taught. Only seeing is believing.
But why should they not accept teaching? Because they are tiny
is no criterion of their intelligence. If their mental and
physical strength varied in proportion to the size of human
beings they would be too weak to exist, but they are a thousand
times stronger both physically and mentally then humans compared
to their size. They hear by means of vibrators instead of
ears. They feed solely upon living blood.
Fleas seem to have
as much individuality as humans and probably vary more in their
individual abilities than do humans. It is necessary to put
them through a sort of psychological test to separate the
intellectually capable from the dumb. If a flea passes this
test, he can usually be taught some particular stunt in which he
becomes more and more proficient. He learns to enjoy doing his
trick and really does it better before an appreciative audience
then he will for me alone.
One must understand
fleas to train them, must know their habits of thought and
action, must know their biology thoroughly, and above all must
have infinite patience and perseverance. The first step in
training a flea is to fasten a collar around his neck;
thereafter he always wears it and "dies in the harness".
The training of
fleas is not a new profession. Centuries ago the royal courts
of Europe were entertained by the "Flea Theatre" and the royal
trainer was hooked upon as one of the wise men of the court and
highly respected. Flea training has become almost extinct, not
because of the lack of fleas, but from lack of patience and
Many people have
tried to train fleas, but have not learned to handle them
properly. It is said that one of the late Rothchilds spent a
small fortune and years of time in the attempt but finally gave
up in despair. That I am successful is due largely to my
sympathetic understanding of the fleas. While their training is
in no sense hypnotic, it is mental more than physical. I know
fleas as you should know your children. I will be glad to
always answer intelligent questions concerning my work and my
When you came here
you were incredulous. You have seen that the "Flea Circus" is
not a fake, but an educational performance which caused you o
marvel. If you have enjoyed my humble showing. I would be
happy to have you send other unbelievers to be convinced.
If you have a question you would like
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