THE BOA-CONSTRICTORS VISIT 201
got it off, the skin was washed, dried, and prepared as I had directed; and I could not help laughing to see the strange method they adopted in stuffing it. They hoisted the snake up to the branch of a tree, and Jack, in his swimming costume, jumped into the long hollow skin, and trampled down the hay, moss, and cotton that his brothers threw to him with their pitchforks. When the skin was full, we saw him sticking his head out of the hole, and hurrahing with all his might.
When this work, which had occupied a whole day, was finished, we mended the holes that our shot had made in the skin; and, with a piece of cochineal, gave to the tongue that blood-red colour of which death had deprived it; then we elevated it on a wooden stand, arranging its body as gracefully as possible around the pole, and fixing the jaws half open. Our dogs began to bark as soon as they saw it: and our animals recoiled from it as if it were a living boa. So arranged, it was solemnly installed in our library, where it took the first rank among our curiosities; at the same time Ernest wrote over the door the following legend: ' Asses cannot enter here.'
We had nothing more to fear from the boa ; but