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

 -   The first impression one receives is, that the little
creature has swallowed a great deal of sand, and is getting - Page 290
A Popular Account Of Dr. Livingstone's Expedition To The Zambesi By David Livingston - Page 290 of 505 - First - Home

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The First Impression One Receives Is, That The Little Creature Has Swallowed A Great Deal Of Sand, And Is Getting Rid Of It As Speedily As Possible:

A habit he indulges in of darting into his hole at intervals, as if for fresh supplies, tends to

Strengthen this idea; but the size of the heaps formed in a few seconds shows that this cannot be the case, and leads to the impression that, although not readily seen, at the distance at which he chooses to keep the observer, yet that possibly he raises the sand to his mouth, where whatever animalcule it may contain is sifted out of it, and the remainder rejected in the manner described. At times the larger species of crabs perform a sort of concert; and from each subterranean abode strange sounds arise, as if, in imitation of the songsters of the groves, for very joy they sang!

We found some natives pounding the woody stems of a poisonous climbing-plant (Dirca palustris) called Busungu, or poison, which grows abundantly in the swamps. When a good quantity was bruised, it was tied up in bundles. The stream above and below was obstructed with bushes, and with a sort of rinsing motion the poison was diffused through the water. Many fish were soon affected, swain in shore, and died, others were only stupefied. The plant has pink, pea-shaped blossoms, and smooth, pointed, glossy leaves, and the brown bark is covered with minute white points. The knowledge of it might prove of use to a shipwrecked party by enabling them to catch the fish.

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