254 HYENAS AND CHILDBEN
so softly, that the child had never opened his eyes till it was too late, and then he saw the face of his deadly enemy above him. It really seems almost as if hyenas had indeed the power of casting a spell over their prey.
Made bold by this success, the hyena prowled nightly round the house till he thought he could safely venture in. This time, the child lying nearest the door was a boy of about ten, and therefore not so easy to deal with as the other two. In spite of this, the monster managed to get him outside the hut, and then dropping him for a moment, seized him again by the shoulder. The child, now fully awake, gave him such a blow on the nose that the hyena let go his shoulder, but grasping his collarbone firmly with his teeth, broke it in two. The boy still hit out, though his right arm was disabled, and again the hyena shifted his hold to the thigh, and ran off with his victim just as the father, roused from sleep by the boy's cries, rushed to the spot. For a quarter of a mile the chase continued, and then a fierce blow forced the animal to drop the boy. When brought to the camp of the Englishmen to be doctored, his thigh was found to be half-bitten through, though fortunately the bone was not broken. Every possible care was given to him, and in a few months his leg was quite cured.
A little girl, two years younger, did not escape so easily. One very hot morning, she was lying under the shade of a tree, when four hyenas suddenly appeared before her, and carried her off between them. One took hold of her head, a second seized her shoulder, and the other two grasped her thighs. The child's shrieks brought the village people flying to her help, and they soon managed to beat off the hyenas, but not before the child was dreadfully injured. Savage nations have not much patience with sick or deformed people, even when part of their own family; and after trying all their medicines on her for a few days without making her any better, they got tired of the whole affair. A choice was given the