Far Away And Long Ago A History Of My Early Life By W. H. Hudson

 -  I rode at him
again, putting my pony to a trot, and when within two yards of him he
all - Page 100
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I Rode At Him Again, Putting My Pony To A Trot, And When Within Two Yards Of Him He All At Once Swung His Body Round In A Quaint Way Towards Me, And Breaking Into A Sort Of Dancing Trot Brushed Past Me.

Pulling up again and looking back I found he was ten or twelve yards behind me, once more quietly engaged in cropping clover leaves!

Again and again this bird, and one of the others I rode at, practised the same pretty trick, first appearing perfectly unconcerned at my presence and then, when I made a charge at them, with just one little careless movement placing themselves a dozen yards behind me.

But this same trick of the rhea is wonderful to see when the hunted bird is spent with running and is finally overtaken by one of the hunters who has perhaps lost the bolas with which he captures his quarry, and who endeavours to place himself side by side with it so as to reach it with his knife. It seems an easy thing to do: the bird is plainly exhausted, panting, his wings hanging, as he lopes on, yet no sooner is the man within striking distance than the sudden motion comes into play, and the bird as by a miracle is now behind instead of at the side of the horse. And before the horse going at top speed can be reined in and turned round, the rhea has had time to recover his wind and get a hundred yards away or more.

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