The Animal Story Book - online children's book

Edited By Andrew Lang And With Numerous Illustrations By H. J. Ford

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194
HOW THE CAYMAN WAS KILLED1
In the year 1782 there was born in the old house of Walton, near Pontefract, in Yorkshire, a boy named Charles Waterton, who afterwards became very famous as a traveller and a naturalist. As soon as he could walk, he was always to be found poking about among trees, or playing with animals, and both at home and at school he got into many a scrape through his love of adventure. He was only about ten when some other boys dared him to ride on a cow, and of course he was not going to be beaten. So up he got while the cow was only thinking how good the grass tasted, but the moment she felt ? strange weight on her back, she flung her heels straight into the air, and off flew Master Waterton over her head.
Many years after this, Waterton was travelling in South America, seeing and doing many curious things. For a long time he had set his heart on catching a cay­man, a kind of alligator that is found in the rivers of Guiana. For this purpose he took some Indians with him to the Essequibo, which falls into the sea not far from Demerara, and was known to be a famous place for caymans, It was no good attempting to go after them during the long, bright day. They were safely in hiding, and never thought of coming out till the sun was below the horizon.
So Waterton and his Indians waited in patience till the moon rose, and everything was still, except that now and then a huge fish would leap into the air and
1 Waterton's Wanderings in S. America.
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