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

 -  Birds certainly gave me
more pleasure than other animals, and this too is no doubt common with
children, and I - Page 220
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Birds Certainly Gave Me More Pleasure Than Other Animals, And This Too Is No Doubt Common With Children, And I

Take the reason of it to be not only because birds exceed in beauty, but also on account of the

Intensity of life they exhibit - a life so vivid, so brilliant, as to make that of other beings, such as reptiles and mammals, seem a rather poor thing by comparison. But while birds were more than all other beings to me, mammals too had a great attraction. I have already spoken of rats, opossums, and armadillos; also of the vizcacha, the big burrowing rodent that made his villages all over the plain. One of my early experiences is of the tremendous outcry these animals would make at night when suddenly startled by a very loud noise, as by a clap of thunder. When we had visitors from town, especially persons new to the country who did not know the vizcacha, they would be taken out after supper, a little distance from the house, when the plain was all dark and profoundly silent, and after standing still for a few minutes to give them time to feel the silence, a gun would be discharged, and after two or three seconds the report would be followed by an extraordinary hullabaloo, a wild outcry of hundreds and thousands of voices, from all over the plain for miles round, voices that seemed to come from hundreds of different species of animals, so varied they were, from the deepest booming sounds to the high shrieks and squeals of shrill-voiced birds.

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