The Best And Fattest Time Would Come When The Hardening Plant Was No
Longer Fit To Eat And The Flowers Began To Shed Their Seed.
flower, in size like a small coffee-cup, would open out in a white
mass and shed its
Scores of silvery balls, and these when freed of
heavy seed would float aloft in the wind, and the whole air as far as
one could see would be filled with millions and myriads of floating
balls. The fallen seed was so abundant as to cover the ground under
the dead but still standing plants. It is a long, slender seed, about
the size of a grain of Carolina rice, of a greenish or bluish-grey
colour, spotted with black. The sheep feasted on it, using their
mobile and extensible upper lips like a crumb-brush to gather it into
their mouths. Horses gathered it in the same way, but the cattle were
out of it, either because they could not learn the trick, or because
their lips and tongues cannot be used to gather a crumb-like food.
Pigs, however, flourished on it, and to birds, domestic and wild, it
was even more than to the mammals.
In conclusion of this chapter I will return for a page or two to the
subject of the _pampero_, the south-west wind of the Argentine pampas,
to describe the greatest of all the great _pampero_ storms I have
witnessed. This was when I was in my seventh year.
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