The Flesh Is Much Relished
By The Bakalahari And Bushmen.
They carry away each his portion,
like logs of wood, over their shoulders.
* "As this snake, `Bucephalus Capensis', in our opinion, is not provided
with a poisonous fluid to instill into wounds which these fangs may inflict,
they must consequently be intended for a purpose different to those
which exist in poisonous reptiles. Their use seems to be to offer obstacles
to the retrogression of animals, such as birds, etc., while they are
only partially within the mouth; and from the circumstance of these fangs
being directed backward, and not admitting of being raised so as to form
an angle with the edge of the jaw, they are well fitted to act
as powerful holders when once they penetrate the skin and soft parts
of the prey which their possessors may be in the act of swallowing.
Without such fangs escapes would be common; with such they are rare.
"The natives of South Africa regard the `Bucephalus Capensis' as poisonous;
but in their opinion we can not concur, as we have not been able
to discover the existence of any glands manifestly organized for
the secretion of poison. The fangs are inclosed in a soft, pulpy sheath,
the inner surface of which is commonly coated with a thin glairy secretion.
This secretion possibly may have something acrid and irritating
in its qualities, which may, when it enters a wound,
cause pain and even swelling, but nothing of greater importance.
"The `Bucephalus Capensis' is generally found on trees, to which it resorts
for the purpose of catching birds, upon which it delights to feed.
The presence of a specimen in a tree is generally soon discovered
by the birds of the neighborhood, who collect around it and fly to and fro,
uttering the most piercing cries, until some one, more terror-struck
than the rest, actually scans its lips, and, almost without resistance,
becomes a meal for its enemy.
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