but they bleed their cattle periodically, and boil the blood for food. Driving a lance into a vein in the neck, they bleed the animal copiously, which operation is repeated about once a month." (Sir S. Baker.)
Flesh from Live animals.-The truth of Bruce's well-known tale of the Abyssinians and others occasionally slicing out a piece of a live ox for food is sufficiently confirmed. Thus Dr. Beke observes, "There could be no doubt of the fact. He had questioned hundreds of natives on the subject, and though at first they positively declared the statement to be a lie, many, on being more closely questioned, admitted the possibility of its truth, for they could not deny that cattle are frequently attacked by hymnas, whose practice is to leap on the animals from behind and at once begin devouring the hind quarters; and yet, if driven off in time, the cattle have still lived."-Times, Jan. 16, 1867.
It is reasonable enough that a small worn-out party should adopt this plan, when they are travelling in a desert where the absence of water makes it impossible to delay, and when they are sinking for want of food. If the ox were killed outright there would be material for one meal only, because a worn-out party would be incapable of carrying a load of flesh. By the Abyssinian plan the wounded beast continues to travel with the party, carrying his carcase that is destined to be turned into butcher's meat for their use at a further stage. Of course the idea is very revolting, for the animal must suffer as much as the average of the tens or hundreds of wounded hares and pheasants that are always left among the bushes after an ordinary English battue. To be sure, the Abyssinian plan should only be adopted to save human life.
When I travelled in South-West Africa, at one part of my journey a plague of bush-ticks attacked the roots of my oxen's tails. Their bites made festering sores, which ended in some of the tails dropping bodily off. I heard such accidents were not at all uncommon. The animals did not travel the worse for it. Now ox-tail soup is proverbially nutritious.
Insects.-'Most kinds of creeping things are eatable, and are used by the Chinese. Locusts and grasshoppers are not at all bad. To prepare them, pull off the legs and wings and