Page:Life in Java Volume 1.djvu/247

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When we visited this hospital we were shown an enormous Sawah, or rice-field serpent, measuring 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 finding his leg gradually disappearing within the jaws of the monster, he was roused to a sense of his