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Snake Destroyers

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The Indian ichneumon, a small creature in appearance between the weasel
and the mangoose, is of infinite use to the natives from its inveterate
enmity to snakes, which would otherwise render every footstep of the
traveller dangerous. This diminutive creature, on seeing a snake ever so
large, will instantly dart on it, and seize it by the throat, provided he
finds himself in an open place, where he has an opportunity of running to
a certain herb, which he knows instinctively to be an antidote against the
poison of the bite, if he should happen to receive one. A gentleman
visiting the island of Ceylon saw the experiment tried in a closed room,
where the ichneumon, instead of attacking his enemy, did all in his power
to avoid him. On being carried out of the house, however, and laid near
his antagonist in the plantation, he immediately darted at the snake, and
soon destroyed it. It then suddenly disappeared for a few minutes, and
again returned, as soon as it had found the herb and ate it.





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