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both from the sea and the hills, very little rain falls. The countries under the hills of Cashmeer, and those under Hindoo Coosh, (Pukhlee, Boonere, and Swaut) have all their share of the rains; but they diminish as we go west, and at Swaut are reduced to a month of clouds, with occasional showers. In the same month (the end of July and beginning of August) the monsoon appears in some clouds and showers at Peshawer, and in the Bungush and Khuttuk countries. It is still less felt in the valley of the Caubul river, where it does not extend beyond Lughnmun; but in Bajour and Punjcora, under the southern projection, in the part of the Caufir country, which is situated on the top of the same projection, and in Teera, situated in the angle formed by Tukhti Solimaun and its eastern branches, the south-west monsoon is heavy, and forms the principal rains of the year. There is rain in this season in the country of the Jaujees and Torees, which probably is brought from the north by the eddy in the winds; but 1 have not information enough to enable me to conjecture whether that which falls in Bunnoo and the neighbouring countries is to be ascribed to this cause, or to the regular monsoon from the south-west.
The regular monsoon is felt as far west as the utmost boundary of Mekraun: it is not easy to iix its limits on the north-west with precision, but I have no accounts of it beyond a line drawn through the northern part of the table land of Kelaut and the northern parts of Shoraubuk, of Pisheen, and of Zhobe, to the source of the
Koorum; it falls, however, in very different quantities in the various countries south-east of that line. The clouds pass with little obstruction over Lower Sind, but rain more plentifully in Upper Sind and Domaun, where these rains, though not heavy, are the principal ones in the year. Oa the sea-coast of Luss and Mekraun, on the other hand, they are arrested by the mountains, and the monsoon resembles that of India. In Seweestaun the monsoon is probably the same as in Upper Sind and Domaun: in Boree it is only about a month of cloudy and showery weather: it is probably less in Zhobe: and in the other countries within the line it only appears in showers, more precarious as we advance towards the north.
("From Lichtenstein's Travels in Southern Africa, Vol. 11.)
The spotted hyena, hyana crocuta, is here called simply the wolf. It is a very common practice to call objects purely African by the name of any European object to which they have the nearest affinity. This animal is by far the most abundant of any among the beasts of prey in the colony -, even in the chasms about the Table Mountain, there are so many, that the farms nearest to the Cape Town are often extremely annoyed by them; nay, in the year 1804, it once happened that a hyena came by night absolutely into the town itself, as far as the hospital. These animals keep, in winter, about the heights of the mountains, mountains, but in summer they frequent the marshy parts of the plains, which in that season are dry. Here they lurk among the high reeds to catch hares, viverrae, ami gerboas, which in the hot season resort much to such spots for coolness, and to seek nourishment. The proprietors of the lands in the neighbourhood of the Cape Town make parties almost every year to hunt the hyenas, which are called wolfhuntings: of some of these parties I have myself partaken. There are in the plains, about the town, many low spots overgrown with large reeds: one of them is surrounded, and fire is set to the reeds in many places. When the animal becomes oppressed by the heat, and attempts to quit his retreat, the dogs which are stationed about fall upon him, and the sight of this combat forms Vie great amusement of the party. Besides the advantage of destroying these animals, another is derived from the reeds being burnt, that the ground always produces larger and stronger Teeds the following year. Indeed, if the hyenas in the neighbourhood of the town are in some respects a great annoyance, they are not without their concomitant use : they eat up the carrion, and diminish very much the thieving, mischievous apes, and the crafty genet-cats. It is seldom that we hear in this thickly inhabited country of sheep being killed by the hyenas, for they are by nature shy, and fly from mankind. No example is known of their having ever attacked a man; and often as I have myself met them by night, particularly between Constautja
and the Wynberg, I always found them take to flight immediately. A circumstance with regard to these animals, held by many to be a fable, I can from my own knowledge aver to be a fart; that they appear by night to be much larger, and of a brighter colour than they really are; they erea appear wholly white. I do not by any means pretend to account for this phenomenon, but I bate been myself convinced by my own eyes of its truth. The natural colour of tli* species is a dirty white with irregular black spots; its height is about three feet and a half, its length about four feet; its hair is stiff sad bristly, but longer and thicker on the back than in any other part i the head is less pointed thnn that of the striped hyena, but is carried in the same way, bent down, with the neck arched; and the creature is characterised by the same evil and malignant eye. It is asserted of this species of hyena, as of that in the north of Africa, that it partakes of both sexes, or changes its sex: but this idea arises solely from the circumstance, that often when very young it is extremely difficult to dettrmine of which sex it is. Mr. Frederick Kirsten had once the goodness to send me twin foetuses, taken out of the body of a female hyena which was killed at his estate, in the Wynberg. No difference whatever was to be discerned in their exterior, so that it was impossible to determine to which sex they belonged; when dissected, however, it was very evident that the one was a male, the other a female. They were both, of a dark grey colour, had perfcedy perfectly the form and appearance of little puppies; and 1 observed, that, like them, they must be born blind.
(From the Same.)
This is the largest species of antelope, and forms the next gradation to the ox. tribe: its length is commonly from seven to eight feet, and its height four feet, or somewhat more. The hair is of a light grey colour, and very thin, so that the skin, which is somewhat blackish, appears through. The whole form of the body and head is like that of the ox, only that it is more slender: its most striking distinction, however, is in the upright horns, which almost form a perpendicular with the forehead and nose: in the old animals the points even bend in a slight degree forwards. This is the only antelope that has the perfect tail of an ox. The boundary of the colony is the part principally inhabited by theelands; there they are sometimes found in groups of twenty or thirty together, but more commonly of about eight or ten, of which seldom more than one or two are males. They feed upon the same plants which, in inhabited parts, serve as food for the sheep and cattle. The aromatic properties of these plants seem highly salutary to all sorts of graminivorous animals. In (rutting up the entrails of such as feed upon them, the odour of the plants in the stomach absolutely perfumes theairaround. It is somewhat remarkable, however, that if
gathered dry, the same plants have scarcely any smell: their strength is only to be discovered by the taste. The eland runs very swiftly, nor could it be overtaken by a horse, if its powers of continuing the race were equal to its swiftness; but it is soon variedj and the peasants assert, that it is eiisier for a man to run down this animal than any other, even to hunt him to death. They add, as a very remarkable circumstance, that when killed in this way, the fat about the outer case of the heart, which, in many, weighs as much as five or six pounds, is always found in a liquefied state; and they consider this melting of the fat as' the cause of the animal's death. The flavour of the eland's flesh is essentially the same as that of the ox; but it has a sort of accessary flavour, which becomes disagreeable if a man be constrained to feed upon the fresh-killed meat for many days together: when smoked it loses this flavour entirely.
(Prom the Same.)
The habits of the ostrich are so remarkable, and have been so imperfectly described by travellers in general, that I cannot forbearbringing together here all the knowledge I acquired upon the subject both in this and subsequent journeys. I have noticed, on a former occasion, alarge flock of ostriches which we met in the neighbourhood of Komberg. Irt that country the drought and heat sometimes compel these gi
gantic birds to leave the plains, and then they pursue their course together in large flocks to heights, where they find themselves more commodiously lodged. At the time of sitting, there are seldom more than four or five seen together, of which only one is a cock, the rest are hens. These hens lay their eggs all together in the same nest, which is nothing more than a round cavity made in the clay, of such a size as that it can be covered by one of the birds when sitting upon it. A sort of wall is scraped up round with their feet, against which the eggs in the outermost circle rest. Every egg stands upon its point in the nest, that the greatest possible number may be stowed within the space. When ten or twelve eggs are laid, they begin to sit, the lie ns taking their turns, and relieving each other during the day; at night the cock alone sits, to guard the eggs against the jackals and wild cats, who will run almost any risk to procure them. Great numbers of these smaller beasts of prey have often been found crushed to death about the nests, a proof that the ostrich does not fight with them, but knows very well how to conquer them at once by her own resistless powers; for it is certain that a stroke of her large loot trampling upon them is enough to crush any such animal.
The hens continue to lay during the time they are silting, and that, not only until the nest is full, which happens when about .thirty eggs are laid, but for some time after. The eggs laid after the nest is filled, are deposited round about it, and seem design
ed by nature to satisfy the (tilings of the above-mentioned enemies, since they very much prefer the new-laid eggs to tbw which have been brooded. Ik they seem also to have a mot: important designation, that is, to assist in the nourishment of tLyoung birds. These, when firs: hatched, are as large as a common pullet, and since their leader stomachs cannot digest tw hard food eaten by the old one. the spare eggs serve as their firs' nourishment. The increase of ae ostrich race would be incalculable, had they not so mat) enemies, by whom great numbers of the young are destroyM after they quit the nest.
The ostrich is a very prudes; wary animal, who is not easil.' ensnared in the open field, sine; it sees to a very great distant. and takes to flight upon (be lei': idea of danger. For this reasc the quaggas generally attach then • selves, as it were instinctively to a troop of ostriches, and fly wit: them without the least idea tk they are followed. Xenophoa relates that the army of Cyrus «*■ ostriches and wild asses togetto iu the plains of Syria.
The ostriches are partieululj careful to conceal if possible Uk places where their nests are m»& They never go directly to them. but run round in a circle at a considerable distance before they attempt to approach the spot. Oo the contrary, they always na directly up to the springs when they drink, and the impreakw they make on the ground in the desolate places they inhabit H* often mistaken for the footsep* of men. The females, in sitting. «hu when they are to relieve each other, either both remove awhile to a distance from the nest, or change so hastily, that any one who might tiy chance be spying about, could never see both at once. In the day time they occasionally quit the nest entirely, and leave the care of warming the eggs to the sun alone. If at any time they find that the place of their nest is dicovered, that either a man or a beast of prey has been at it, and has disturbed the arrangement of the eggs, or taken any away, they immediately destroy the nest themselves, break all the eggs to pieces, and seek out some other spot to make a new one. When a colonist therefore finds a nest, he contents himself with taking one or two of the spare eggs that are lying near, observing carefully to smooth over any footsteps -which may have been made, so that they may not be perceived by the birds. Thus visits to the nest may be often repeated, and it may be converted into a storehouse of very pleasant food, where every two or three days as many eggs may be procured as are wanted to regale the whole household.
An ostrich's egg weighs commonly near three pounds, and is considered as equal in its square contents to twenty-four hen's eggs. The yolk has a very pleasant flavour, yet, it must be ownad, not the delicacy of a hen's egg. It is so nourishing and so so;>n satisfies, that no one can eat a gT«at deal at once. Four very hungry persons would be requisite to eat a whole ostrich's egg; and eight Africans, who are used
to so much harder living, might make a meal of it. These egg» will keep for a very long time: they are often brought to the Cape Town, where they are sold at the price of half a dollar each.
In the summer months of July, August, and September, the greatest number of ostriches' nests are to be found; but the feathers, which are alwavs scattered about the nest at the time of sitting, are of very little value. I have, however, at all times of the year, found nests with eggs that have been brooded; the contrasts of the seasons being much less forcible in this part of the world than in Europe, the habits of animals are consequently much less fixed and regular. The ostriches sit from thirty-six to forty days before the young are hatched.
It is well known that the'male alone furnishes the beautiful white feathers which have for so long a time been a favourite ornament in the head-dress of our European ladies. They are purchased from the people who collect them, as high as three or four shillings each; they are, however, given at a lower price in exchange for European wares and clothing. Almost all the colonists upon the borders have a little magazine of these feathers laid by, and when they would make a friendly present to a guest, it is generally an ostrich's feather. Few of them are, however, prepared in such a manner as to be wholly fit for the use of the European dealers. The female ostriches are entirely black, or rather, in their youth, of a very dark grey, but have no