OUR ISLANDS AND THEIR PEOPLE.
NATIVE HOUSE AND FRUIT-STAND.
receive more boiled rice, and it was bat or nothing. I regret that I cannot say that the creatures were good, but the fact is, they tasted very much as they smell. One who has ever been near them when alive needs no further description of their flavor, and one who has been spared that misfortune could not possibly form an idea of the taste. At all events, they were fat, and doubtless nourishing, and after we had learned to keep them down we got on very well.a
Bat fur has some commercial value, and the guano deposits are very rich; but the bats are so destructive to fruits as to be a nuisance and a pest.
These islands abound with insects and reptilia, such as lizards, snakes, iguanas, frogs, land-crabs, tarantulas, scorpions, huge spiders, hornets, wasps, beetles, centipedes, etc. It is said that an effective cure for centipede bite is a poultice of garlic mashed untH the juice flows, and renewed every hour until the poison is neutralized. The common purslane, which grows in profusion all over the Mississippi Valley, and is greatly relished by pigs as feed, is likewise a specific for snakebite, if applied immediately and renewed frequently until the danger is past. Its efficacy was well known to the Indians of our continent, and the writer remembers hearing his father tell about an old Indian who haunted the neighborhood when he was a boy, who would cheerfully allow the most venomous rattlesnake to bite him in exchange for a drink of whisky. It was his invariable practice to apply a poultice of mashed purslane to the wound as soon as it was inflicted, and then demand and absorb his pint of whisky, escaping with no more inconvenience than the slight pain caused
Boa constrictors are the most harmless of all snakes in the Philippines. They are also rare, and are seldom seen in their wild state. They are sometimes kept in cages in the houses of the natives, as pets. Small pythons are numerous, but they are also non-poisonous, and are frequently kept in the houses as rat catchers. The larger specimens devour monkeys, hogs and deer, and have been known even to attack men, but only when driven to it by hunger or in self-defense.
Snakes are numerous, and many species are of the most deadly character. The Cobra is found in Samar, Mindanao, and the Calamianes Islands, southwest of Mindoro; but the loss of life from snakebite is not very great, except in the island of Luban, north of Mindoro and near the entrance to Manila Bay. This island is so infested with snakes of deadly species as to be dreaded and avoided by all who are familiar with the conditions. The serpents most feared by the natives are called, in the Tagalog dialect, alupong and daghong-palay.
SPANISH GUNS ON THE LUNETA.
These guns were used in firing on Deweya s ships on the 1st of May, 1898.
TWO GUNS OF THE 6th (AMERICAN) ARTILLERY, NEAR SAN PEDRO MASCATI, LUZON.
The latter is found in the deep mud of the rice fields, and among the tall rice blades. The bite administered by either ot these species is fatal if not instantly and thoroughly cauterized.
There are about 530 different species of birds in the Philippine Islands, and many of them possess very remarkable characteristics. Notable among the birds are beautiful little parokeets, cockatoos, mound-builders, hornbills and jungle fowls. The last named are the principal game birds of the group. The natives tame the hornbills and keep them as pets. One of,the most curious specimens is the snake-bird, so called because in swimming they sink their entire body under the water, leaving only the head and neck exposed, the latter writhing like a snake in their forward progress. So strong is the resemblance to a serpent that one not accustomed to the habits of these birds, and, seeing a