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during the day-time, they browse wherever they find herbage, and generally spend the night in chewing the cud. The llama will not travel during darkness. They take to the water readily, and swim from island to island. Their food is simply the coarse, rushy grass of their native mountains, and when they can obtain a sufficiency of this green food, they are rarely known to drink. It is supposed that the copious secretion of saliva in these animals obviates the necessity of frequent drinkings; but that they do occasionally refresh themselves with a draught there can be little doubt; and, possessing a stomach like that of the camel, peculiarly constructed, they are enabled to retain the fluid for future use. Buffon mentions one in the veterinary school at Alfort, in 1778, which had passed eighteen months without drinking; that it did not appear, from the great quantity of saliva which he always had at command, as if drink was necessary to him. Its pace, like that of the camel, is slow and sedate, neither a trot nor a gallop, but so gentle that the women prefer the llama to every other creature for riding. The increase of horses and mules in Peru and Chili has diminished the number and importance of the llamas as beasts of burden; but the value attached to their wool, and that of the kindred species, is higher than ever. The month of June is the general time for shearing the animals. The wool of the domestic vicuna, (another and smaller species of llama, of which the Peruvians possess large and valuable herds,) is esteemed the best, and is employed by these people to make stuffs, which have the lustre of silk. The native Indians also use it in the manufacture of stuffs, ropes, bags, and hats. The skin was employed of old by the Peruvians to make soles for shoes; but as they were ignorant of the art of tanning and currying, the shoes thus made were incapable of keeping out the wet. The Spaniards, however, turn it to better account, and convert it into excellent leather, which is especially valued for the making of harnesses. Captain Fitzroy (Voyages of Adventure and Beagle) mentions having met with a party of Indians near Elizabeth Island; one of the women was sitting astride upon a pile of skins, hung round with joints of fresh guanaco and dried horse-flesh. All the Indians were wrapped in mantles chiefly made of the skins of guanacos, sewed together with the sinews of the same animal. These mantles were large enough to cover the whole body. Some were made of skins of the zorillo or skunk, an animal like the polecat, but the smell ten times more offensive; and others of skins of the puma (American lion). Guanaco skins are also used as shrouds.
Captain Fitzroy, on this and many other occasions, purchased supplies of guanaco flesh and skins by bartering red baize, tobacco, scissors, beads, looking-glasses, &c. They would have readily parted with all their possessions for spirits, but these Captain Fitzroy very properly never allowed to be brought on shore. Two Patagonian Indians exchanged their guanaco mantles for white cotton shirts, which they continued to wear without complaining of the cold. In some Indian tribes, while infants are suckling, the mothers use frames or cradles in which their children are carried about; they are made of flat pieces of wood, with a few semicircular guards of lath or thin branches, whose ends are placed in the wood. In such frames, between pieces of guanaco skin, the babies are placed; and, while travelling, these cradles are hung at the mothers' saddle-bows. The widows of the dead Indians, in some parts of Patagonia, refrain from eating the flesh of the ostrich, cow, and guanaco for a year after their husbands' death. They also keep close within their huts, never wash, but blacken their faces and hands with soot, and have no communication with any one, except for the common necessaries of life. The skin of the guanaco is converted into cards, with figures painted on them, with which the Patagonians gamble, and sometimes even stake their wives and children on them. The skin is also used to cover the drums used by their sorcerers or wizards, and for the fillets worn by the men round their heads, in which, to make a show, they stick feathers, beads, &c. White feathers worn on this fillet are a sign of being prepared for war.
The alpaca is distinguished from the llama by being smaller, more like a sheep, and free from callosities on the breast and limbs; a specimen in the menagerie at Paris measured three feet nine inches from the breast to the tail. It was a female, extremely gentle, but timid, and covered with a wool so long, soft, and woolly, as to resemble greatly that of the Angora goat.
A specimen of llama, exhibited in London, showed great attachment to his keeper. He was jealous of attention being shown to other animals besides himself; would lay his ears back, spit, or rather squirt, saliva at those who gave him umbrage, or who gave potatoes or apples to other animals in his presence. He would occasionally carry his keeper, and run for a couple of miles with such velocity as to distance horses at a round trot. A proof of their speed is given in the following anecdote:—" While standing into Sea Bear Bay," says Captain Fitzroy, "we were amused by a chase of a novel description; a guanaco was observed following a fox, which had much difficulty in keeping his pursuer at a distance. As the guanaco is not carnivorous, it may