Our Monkeys Were
Extremely Fond Of This Fruit, Which Has The Taste Of An Over-Ripe
The monkeys were placed with our baggage on the backs of the
mules, and they made great efforts to reach the clusters that hung
over their heads.
The plain was undulating from the effects of the
mirage; and when, after travelling for an hour, we reached the trunks
of the palm-trees, which appeared like masts in the horizon, we
observed with astonishment how many things are connected with the
existence of a single plant. The winds, losing their velocity when in
contact with the foliage and the branches, accumulate sand around the
trunk. The smell of the fruit and the brightness of the verdure
attract from afar the birds of passage, which love to perch on the
slender, arrow-like branches of the palm-tree. A soft murmuring is
heard around; and overpowered by the heat, and accustomed to the
melancholy silence of the plains, the traveller imagines he enjoys
some degree of coolness on hearing the slightest sound of the foliage.
If we examine the soil on the side opposite to the wind, we find it
remains humid long after the rainy season. Insects and worms,
everywhere else so rare in the Llanos, here assemble and multiply.
This one solitary and often stunted tree, which would not claim the
notice of the traveller amid the forests of the Orinoco, spreads life
around it in the desert.
On the 13th of July we arrived at the village of Cari, the first of
the Caribbee missions that are under the Observantin monks of the
college of Piritu.
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