Eight Years Wanderings in Ceylon

By Sir Samuel W. Baker | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XIII.

WILD DENIZENS OF FOREST AND LAKE -- DESTROYERS OF REPTILES -- THE TREE DUCK -- THE MYSTERIES OF NIGHT IN THE FOREST -- THE DEVIL -- BIRD -- THE IGUANODON IN MINIATURE -- OUTRIGGER CANOES -- THE LAST GLIMPSE OF CEYLON -- A GLANCE AT OLD TIMES.

ONE of the most interesting objects to a tourist in Ceylon is a secluded lake or tank in those jungle districts which are seldom disturbed by the white man. There is something peculiarly striking in the wonderful number of living creatures which exist upon the productions of the water. Birds of infinite variety and countless numbers -- fish in myriads -- reptiles and crocodiles -- animals that feed upon the luxuriant vegetation of the shores -- insects which sparkle in the sunshine in every gaudy hue; all these congregate in the neighborhood of these remote solitudes, and people the lakes with an incalculable host of living beings.

In such a scene there is scope for much delightful study of the habits and natures of wild animals, where they can be seen enjoying their freedom unrestrained by the fear of man.

Often have I passed a quiet hour on a calm evening when the sun has sunk low on the horizon, and the cool breeze has stolen across the water, refreshing all

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