Page:Life in Java Volume 1.djvu/247

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EICE-FIELD SERPEXT. 229

When we visited this hospital we were shown an enormous Sawah, or rice-field serpent, measur- ing twenty feet in length, with a girth of eighteen inches. I believe it was the doctor's intention to send it to Amsterdam.

These serpents are by nature shy and timid, and, unless very ravenous, seldom attack human beings. A native of Malang, fatigued with his day's work, was indulging in a nap on a plot of meadow-land adjoining that on which the serpent we saw was found. He had not slept long when he was awoke by a curious sensation in his right leg — a warm, moist, creeping feeling. Opening his eyes, and looking down, he beheld, to his horror, the whole of his foot and the calf of his leg in the mouth of a huge serpent. For some moments he remained motionless, too terrified to make any exertion for his own deliverance, or even to cry out ; but find- ing his leg gradually disappearing within the jaws of the monster, he was roused to a sense of his

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