A Popular Account Of Dr. Livingstone's Expedition To The Zambesi By David Livingston

 -   He flies on in
the proper direction, perches on a tree, and looks back to see if you
are following - Page 180
A Popular Account Of Dr. Livingstone's Expedition To The Zambesi By David Livingston - Page 180 of 505 - First - Home

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He Flies On In The Proper Direction, Perches On A Tree, And Looks Back To See If You Are Following; Then On To Another And Another, Until He Guides You To The Spot.

If you do not accept his first invitation he follows you with pressing importunities, quite as anxious to lure the stranger to the bees' hive as other birds are to draw him away from their own nest.

Except while on the march, our men were sure to accept the invitation, and manifested the same by a peculiar responsive whistle, meaning, as they said, "All right, go ahead; we are coming." The bird never deceived them, but always guided them to a hive of bees, though some had but little honey in store. Has this peculiar habit of the honey-guide its origin, as the attachment of dogs, in friendship for man, or in love for the sweet pickings of the plunder left on the ground? Self-interest aiding in preservation from danger seems to be the rule in most cases, as, for instance, in the bird that guards the buffalo and rhinoceros. The grass is often so tall and dense that one could go close up to these animals quite unperceived; but the guardian bird, sitting on the beast, sees the approach of danger, flaps its wings and screams, which causes its bulky charge to rush off from a foe he has neither seen nor heard; for his reward the vigilant little watcher has the pick of the parasites on his fat friend.

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