THE BOA-CONSTRICTOR'S VISIT 199
I wished to preserve the brilliant-coloured skin with which it was covered.
I told Ernest meantime to make a verse that would do as an epitaph for our poor donkey, and after a few minutes thought he produced the following lines:
' Here rests a faithful ass,
Who his master once disobey'd,
And was devour'd by a snake at last,
Who of him a breakfast made.'
' Wonderful! wonderful!' cried I, and drawing a piece of red lead from my pocket, I scrawled the verses, at his dictation, on the surface of the rock.
I had scarcely finished when Fritz and his brother returned with the buffalo, and burst out laughing derisively at the effusion.
We began our work by attaching the buffalo to the head of the donkey, which yet projected from the mouth of the boa. While we held the serpent by the tail, he pulled from its stomach the disfigured remains of our unfortunate donkey. We buried him in the earth near by, and piled some pieces of rock over him for a monument.
The buffalo was then attached to the tail of the monster, and we set out for the grotto, supporting the head to prevent it from trailing on the ground.