196 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON
Whale Island, quacking loudly. Our food grew less and no outlet for escape presented itself.
The fodder that we happened to have in the grotto had also diminished ; it was necessary to feed the cow, but I resolved to set the other animals at liberty to do for themselves. The donkey had grown very lively after his three days' rest and good food, and he no sooner saw a ray of light than he shot out of the door like an arrow, and was away in the open plain before we could stop him. It was a comical sight to see him kicking his heels in the air. But our mirth changed to horror when, suddenly, we saw the boa emerging from the rushes ! He raised his head ten feet above the ground, darted out his forked tongue, and raced toward the donkey. The poor fellow saw his danger and began to run, braying with all his might; but neither his cries nor his legs could save him from his terrible enemy, and in a moment he was seized, enveloped, and crushed in the monstrous rings that the serpent threw around him.
We could hear his last bray, half stifled by the pressure of the boa, and then the cracking of his bones, for the boa, according to his nature, wound himself in great coils round his prey,