In The Dense Jungles The Ringing Sound Is Heard, As The Answering
Females Return The Salute And Slowly Approach The Place Of
One by one their dark forms emerge from the thorny
coverts and loom large upon the green but distant shores, and
they increase their pace when they view the coveted water, and
belly-deep enjoy their evening draught.
The graceful axis in dense herds quit the screening jungle and
also seek the plain. The short, shrill barks of answering bucks
sound clearly across the surface of the lake, and indistinct
specks begin to appear on the edge of the more distant forests.
Now black patches are clotted about the plain; now larger
objects, some single and some in herds, make toward the water.
The telescope distinguishes the vast herds of hogs busy in
upturning the soil in search of roots, and the ungainly
buffaloes, some in herds and others single bulls, all gathering
at the hour of sunset toward the water. Peacocks spread their
gaudy plumage to the cool evening air as they strut over the
green plain; the giant crane stands statue-like among the
shallows; the pelican floats like a ball of snow upon the dark
water; and ducks and waterfowl of all kinds splash, and dive, and
scream in a confused noise, the volume of which explains their
Foremost among the waterfowl for beauty is the water-pheasant.
He is generally seen standing upon the broad leaf of a lotus,
pecking at the ripe seeds and continually uttering his plaintive
cry, like the very distant note of a hound.
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