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[30]

The country1 is very remarkable, and contains a vast number of large rivers, and extensive chains of mountains, with broad open valleys; and the mountains are very high. It does not appear that the grass is ever cut throughout the year. I do not think they have any winter in this part; for near Navidad (at Christmas) were found many birds'-nests, some containing the young birds, and others containing eggs. No four-footed animal has ever been seen in this or any of the other islands, except some dogs of various colors, as in our own country, but in shape like large house-dogs; and also some little animals, in color, size, and fur like a rabbit, with long tails, and feet like those of a rat. These animals climb up the trees; and many who have tasted them say they are very good to eat.2 There are not any wild beasts. There are great numbers of small snakes, and some lizards, but not many; for the Indians consider them as great a luxury as we do pheasants: they are of the same size as ours, but different in shape. In a small adjacent island, close by a harbor called Monte Christo, where we staid several days, our men saw an enormous kind of lizard,3 which they said was as large round as a calf, with a tail as long as a lance, which they often went out to kill; but, bulky as it was, it got into the sea, so that they could not catch it. There are, both in this and the other islands, an infinite number of birds like those in our own country. and many others such as we had never seen. No kind of domestic fowl has been seen here, with the exception

1 Hayti, or EspaƱola.

2 Probably a species of capromys, an animal of the rat kind.

3 Probably an alligator.

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Navidad (Texas, United States) (1)

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December 25th (1)
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