The Neck And Fore-Legs Were Very
Long; The Head Was Furnished With Two Short Black Horns, Turning
Backwards; The Tail, Which Reached Down To The Ham Joint, Had A Tuft
Of Hair At The End.
The animal was of a mouse colour, and it
trotted away from us in a very sluggish manner - moving its head from
side to side, to see if we were pursuing it.
Shortly after this, as
we were crossing a large open plain, where there were a few
scattered bushes, my guide, who was a little way before me, wheeled
his horse round in a moment, calling out something in the Foulah
language which I did not understand. I inquired in Mandingo what he
meant; "Wara billi billi!" ("A very large lion!") said he, and made
signs for me to ride away. But my horse was too much fatigued; so
we rode slowly past the bush from which the animal had given us the
alarm. Not seeing anything myself, however, I thought my guide had
been mistaken, when the Foulah suddenly put his hand to his mouth,
exclaiming, "Soubah an allahi!" ("God preserve us!") and, to my
great surprise, I then perceived a large red lion, at a short
distance from the bush, with his head couched between his forepaws.
I expected he would instantly spring upon me, and instinctively
pulled my feet from my stirrups to throw myself on the ground, that
my horse might become the victim rather than myself. But it is
probable the lion was not hungry; for he quietly suffered us to
pass, though we were fairly within his reach.
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