The Cony

A Cony

It is an esoteric doctrine of society, that a little wickedness is good to make muscle; as if conscience were not good for hands and legs, as if poor decayed formalists of law and order cannot run like wild goats, wolves, and conies; that, as there is a use in medicine for poisons, so the world cannot move without rogues; that public spirit and the ready hand are as well found among the malignants. 'Tis not very rare, the coincidence of sharp private and political practice, with public spirit, and good neighborhood.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Conduct of Life (1860; rev. 1876),
Part II: Power


The pika (or cony)

A mammal of the family Ochotonidae in the order Lagomorpha, which otherwise includes only rabbits and hares. They resemble rabbits in their dentition and in the habit of eating their night-time droppings. Unlike the rabbits, however, they have short ears, hind-legs that are not much longer than the front ones, and they lack a tail. They are unique among mammals in making hay in the late summer for use in the winter, for they do not hibernate. Grasses and other vegetation are carried to rocks exposed to the Sun and, when dry, they are stored in piles at the entrance of their burrows or under rock overhangs. The 14 species range from the Urals to Japan in temperate Asia and there are two North American species, the collared pika, Ochotona collaris, and the North American pika, O. princeps.

Oxford Paperback Encyclopedia, © Oxford University Press 1998


From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) : 

  Chief hare \Chief" hare`\ (Zo["o]l.)
     A small rodent ({Lagamys princeps) inhabiting the summits of
     the Rocky Mountains; -- also called crying hare, calling
     hare, cony, American pika, and little chief hare.
     Note: It is not a true hare or rabbit, but belongs to the
           curious family Lagomyid[ae].

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) : 

  Cony \Co"ny\ (? or ?; 277), n. [OE. coning, conig, coni, OF.
     connin, conin, connil, fr. L. cuniculus a rabbit, cony, prob.
     an Hispanic word.] [Written also coney.]
     1. (Zo["o]l.)
        (a) A rabbit, esp., the European rabbit ({Lepus
        (b) The chief hare.
     Note: The cony of Scripture is thought to be Hyrax
           Syriacus, called also daman, and cherogril. See
     2. A simpleton. [Obs.]
              It is a most simple animal; whence are derived our
              usual phrases of cony and cony catcher.
	          --Diet's Dry Dinner (1599).
     3. (Zo["o]l.)
        (a) An important edible West Indian fish ({Epinephelus
            apua); the hind of Bermuda.
        (b) A local name of the burbot. [Eng.]

From WordNet (r) 1.6 : 

       n 1: any of several small ungulate mammals of Africa and Asia
            with rodent-like incisors and feet with hooflike toes
            [syn: hyrax, coney, dassie, das]
         2: small short-eared burrowing mammal of rocky uplands of Asia
            and western North America [syn: pika, mouse hare, rock
            rabbit, coney]
         3: any of various burrowing animals of the family Leporidae
            having long ears and short tails; some domesticated and
            raised for pets or food [syn: rabbit, coney]