Theodore Roosevelt (18581919). Through the Brazilian Wilderness. 1914.
groves. The hillsides were grassy pastures or else covered with low, open forest.
A huge frog, brown above, with a light streak down each side, was found hiding under some sticks in a damp place in one of the improvised kitchens; and another frog, with disks on his toes, was caught on one of the tents. A coral-snake puzzled us. Some coral-snakes are harmless; others are poisonous, although not aggressive. The best authorities give an infallible recipe for distinguishing them by the pattern of the colors, but this particular specimen, although it corresponded exactly in color pattern with the description of the poisonous snakes, nevertheless had no poison-fangs that even after the most minute examination we could discover. Miller and one of the dogs caught a seriema, a big, long-legged, bustardlike bird, in rather a curious way. We were on the march, plodding along through as heavy a tropic downpour as it was our ill fortune to encounter. The sariema, evidently as drenched and uncomfortable as we were, was hiding under a bush to avoid the pelting rain. The dog discovered it, and after the bird valiantly repelled him, Miller was able to seize it. Its stomach contained about half a pint of grass-hoppers and beetles and young leaves. At Vilhena there was a tame sariema, much more familiar and at home than any of the poultry. It was without the least fear of man or dog. The sariema (like the screamer and the curassow) ought to be introduced into our barnyards and on our lawns, at any rate in the Southern States; it is a good-looking, friendly, and attractive bird. Another bird we met is in some places far more intimate, and domesticates itself. This is the pretty little