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rally stand motionless, intently gazing at him. What is the cause," says Mr. Darwin, "of this difference in their shyness? Do they mistake a man in the distance for their chief enemy, the puma, or does curiosity overcome their timidity? That they are curious is certain; for if a person lies on the ground, and plays strange antics, such as throwing up his feet in the air, they will almost always approach, by degrees, to take a view of him. It was an artifice that was frequently practised by our sportsmen with success; and it had, moreover, the advantage of allowing several shots to be fired, which were all taken as parts of the performance. On the mountains of Terra-delFuego, and in other places, I have more than once seen a guanaco, on being approached, not only neigh and squeal, but prance and leap about in the most ridiculous manner, apparently in defiance, as a challenge." Though not disposed to be pugnacious, the guanaco can well defend itself, by giving very severe blows with the fore-feet. The hunters follow them with dogs, but the old ones are so swift and vigorous, that it is only the
young and feeble that can be captured; they soon become reconciled to captivity. The herds of domestic llamas are pastured in the open fields, and never make any attempt to escape.
The natives of Chili take the guanaco alive with a lasso, which is a band of leather five or six feet long; at each end is fastened a stone weighing about two pounds. The hunter, who is on horseback, holds one of these stones in his hand, and dexterously throws the other round the animal he wishes to secure, thus catching him in a loop. The hunter will sometimes throw this so adroitly, as merely to encircle the legs of the animal, and throw him down.*
Cuvier says, that one method of entrapping them is by stretching ropes, to which bunches of feathers are attached, across the passes of the valleys below their abodes, and driving the herds down in the required direction till they came upon these objects, when (similar to the fallow deer of Europe) they would stop in terror at the fluttering of the feathers, and wait to be slain or * Nouveau Dictionnaire d'Histoire Naturelle.
noosed with the lasso, or even taken by the hand, unless an alpaca were among them, who, not intimidated by this contrivance, would leap over, and the whole party would follow his example.
In the winter, when snow lies deep on the ground, the Tekeenica people assemble to hunt the guanaco, which then comes down from the high lands to seek for pasture near the sea. The long legs of the animal stick deeply into the snow and soft boggy ground, disabling him from escape, while the men and their dogs hem him in on every side, and quickly make him their prey.
In the Spanish settlements of South America, before the introduction of mules, the llama was employed in the ploughing of land, and it is still used to convey the rich ore from the mines of Potosi, and in the conveyance of goods. Acosta speaks of their employment in conveying silver from Potosi, and observes, "that he has often wondered how droves of these animals, not unfrequently laden with 3,000 bars or plates of silver, worth 3,000 ducats, should make their way, accompanied by a few barbarians only, who direct them, load and unload their burdens, and, attended by merely one or two Spaniards, pass the night in the open air, and without a guard, and that so safely, that a bar is scarcely ever missed such is the security of travelling in Peru." A Peruvian drawing was lately brought to England, in which an Indian cavalcade is represented. It exhibits two figures of these animals laden with bars of silver; each llama bears two bars, which are suspended in a sort of saddle, one on each side the animal. Bolivar states, that in his time above three hundred thousand of these animals were kept in constant employment: that there was no necessity for shoeing them, guiding them by a rein, or feeding them with oats, for these animals served their masters gratuitously, being content with the wild herbs that came in their way.
In many of their habits the llamas resemble a flock of sheep. If they are suddenly terrified, they will run off to the mountains, and it is sometimes necessary to shoot them, in order to save the load they carry. Like the camel, they lie down to be loaded; but they are self-willed, for when tired with labour, or overloaded, no severity will make them proceed; kindness and caresses may induce them to rise, but the load must be first removed. If, after they are determined not to arise, their masters continue to ill-treat them, they discharge a quantity of spittle in his face, which they have the power of doing to a considerable distance. Sometimes, if much enraged, they will beat their heads right and left on the ground until they are killed.
The Indians have a great dread of this saliva, which they fancy causes dangerous eruptions on the skin, but it is perfectly harmless, though of a very disagreeable smell. In their journeys they will sometimes travel four or five days following; and when desirous of repose, rest of their own accord twenty or thirty hours before they resume their toil. When they are inclined to rest a few minutes only, they bend their knees and lower their bodies with great care, to prevent their load from falling off: when, however, they hear their conductors whistle, they rise with equal caution, and proceed on their journey. In going along,