The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), Thursday 11 June 1936, page 20

Other Women's
Worlds.',

f

r\

WHERE

LIFE DEPENDS

ON
son

ANIMALS
my retorted assured habit cougar. the and so what beast?
a

Strange Ençoitntei;s
IN MANY
this article,

LANDS
Miss Rosila
well-known
the

uncle!" We asked him to explain. "It would have been murder," he and would say nothing more. one But of the other labourers us that the "cousin Miguel" made of wandering about in the body of a He had been robbed by an enemy, police would give him no satisfaction, could he do but lie in wait as a wild

/N
in

Forbes,

Brazil I met a cattleman who in sisted that he belonged to the family of the serpents. He had consider*?

IN

ably
traveller

more

power

over

them

than

the

and

explora, says that

different

paris of the World met people
on
a

she

has

whose
animals.

existence

depended
thai

In Brazil, she met

cattleman

who
io

insisted

he belonged

the

family

of the serpents.
there were

In
others

Sumatra, who

believed that their boundy, up
cats,

destinies

Were

with

those other

of

tigers,

and

animals.

In
a

Southern
sorceress

Abyssinia,

she mel

who

Iransfoimed

herself

into

a

hyena.

ancient snake-charmer who delights tourists For the most at Luxor. when deadly came he called, and remained to play with him or, said, I've as "to have he conversation." seen on a him seated stump, in a newly cleared paddock, with a snake a few Inches his boot, its head from reared, its tongue flickering, if it were just as hurrying out it the news wanted to tell to a friend. On another occasion, when I wanted to kill a deadly coral snake, the old man protested as if it had been a brother. "It has done you no harm and it is unlucky to kill that which has not hurt you." The reptile slid over his foot. "Look how it thanks me for saving its life." With twinkling he looked up. "On eyes, a I am feast-day," he said, "when tired of the aches In a man's body, I join my friends who are also my servants." "What do you mean?" He chuckled, and his grimace expressed a certain amount of malice. "What would you? snake." a I become Is common a near as Such statement home is often as the Hebrides, where an old woman suspected of turning into a hare, but it is as generally dismissed superstition. J__ large

number that each beast When

of native
man or

peoples bewoman

(By Rosita Forbes.)
a

lieve

has soul

familiar hidden.

in which the

his

own

SOMEBODY "Lady Into
ous

once

wrote
It

a was

book
a

called
delici-

is

animal

is killed,

affair,

Fox." especially worried

when her

the

trans-

formed

wife

dressing

jacket and

the husband
near

felt it wouldn't

be safe to trust her

chicken.

"If only it could to so-and-so," happen said Innumerable readers, thinking of the people they would rather do without. But I'm not sure that It doesn't happen. In Central America, for instance-Yucatan, is so a on-there Guatemala, and secret society of Naguales who believe they can into the forms change themselves of their to guardian beasts. be found Adepts are living normally in the villages, differentiated in no But every way from their neighbours. Christian which ceremony they attend, duly is dressed in their best clothes, cancelled as noon as possible by a ritual performed in the hut of the nearest Nagualist priest. I've heard such wizards, or witches, for women dominate all the the cult, claim of powers fakirs, the Indian Including the ability to cut off a limb and replace it without damage to the victim. In the bush, a peon once threw himself at my arm, as I was going to shoot a Jaguar, is with a cry, "It of my cousin, the son my uncle!" We asked him to explain.

Others imagine they being dies. the human external soul which possess a secondary or lives in a wild beast. I've elephant-people, in met In Africa in and owl-women, Melanesia serpent-men Malaya fish-women, and In Sumatra, among the existence depends Bataks, families whose on monkeys, cats, dogs, tigers, buffaloes, and once locusts. the even But only have I seen logical-or illogical-result of such a credence. It in the Arussi mountains, in happened Abyssinia, where Southern hyenas aro a pest. the mules used to hobble Every night we

National Library of Australia

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17242075

ÍN
within
larly,

this

the in Sumatra, article, Miss Forbes that among says tigers. existence met on families whose depended "She "At with yard." not touch he returned. night, this house a deformed foot
sorceress will

Bátales,

she

quite regutents. And reach of our be to used towards midnight, we At first wakened by a hideous commotion. we about to be slaughtered, thought we were with the alternated for screams shots and crash of animals breaking into the bush. we became accustomed to the habits of Then our following. mixed The muleteers cared about nothing but their beasts. When the stampede began, they used of with and endearment to rush out terms hold of any try to catch opprobrium and soldiers, The who added portion of any mule. difficulties, treated the to our dignity and our of whole journey as a joke, and the chance cream of the fun. a potting hyena as the pell-mell out of the They hurled themselves fired tent and at the first thing they saw. indiscriminate had the most Such enthusiasm A was muleteer hit In unexpected results. to pieces. a cock The the shoulder and blown hyenas laughed as they withdrew. to hope for a meal The hyenas continued of mule, and we waged our nightly battle at the until, one of our vocal apparatus, day, expense we carno a to a village, where slave informed me sorceress. there lived a remarkable Fora hyena. tunately for us, her familiar was I thought it would be Interesting to see the I insisted on so sorceress, camping, in spite of the protests of nagadis and soldiers. "It is an evil place," they said. "We shall not If we sleep, and we when wake who knows shall be alive?"

food
is

while

she
a

is

a

woman,"

empty, but
wanders

hyena
the

round

HPHE 1 in and

came

out horn what of
I

of
an

the
ox over

shadows hand.

with The
it

the with

her

ale brimmed

she steadied

thought

fist. me But as she handed to be a doubled spikes sticking utensil, I saw the ceremonial hand through tile back of the palm. That had been voluntarily closed, and it had been how for many knew alone held so, heaven through the grown years, until the nails had

flesh.
saw and nothing round the hut with magic. A few be connected or jars, a some two, and gourds horn hung upon the walls. left, the bent with that we woman When to the waist peculiar sudden doubling of kissed the air in the neighEthiopians, and boots. bourhood of my

I

that clay

looked could

AN side
cook

hour

or

two tent

later,

chocolate made

my and

while I sat outof eating the mess
of egg which the

white h_

when

wished

to propiti-

npjHE
cane.

village mud Some

consisted huts, broken
were

of

the

round

thatched

usual with

of them with

by

yards

surrounded walls. The

It were about to sorceress's hut looked as if the door. fall down. Its roof sagged over it resembled woman every who occupied The in her head ancient Abyssinian who's shaved it a or had forcibly cropped as widowhood, a She wore very dirty punishment for lying. which I supposed had been soaked in chamma, the colour of wet sand. tallow, for it was ate at all," I looks as If she never "She whispered to the slave. will not food while she is a touch "She

out of the dusk. a shape blundered ate me, a dog. it was Then, For a moment, I thought lanit crossed the radius of the hurricane as its I saw packing-case, a set upon tern the shoulders from body, sloping backwards As usual, it held low. head the heavy and of its paws if it were blind, and one as moved all I thought But to be malformed. seemed reI'd got hold of my the mules. of was was going to try a long shot, volver, and at me and one the slaves shrieked of when upset everything within reach, including the his yells, thinking he was lamp. I echoed going to have one of those fits to which noise to be the best antidote, but he clutched seems arm and dragged the revolver from me. my feet, sobbing, made and Then he fell at my on if "What to burrow into the earth. as for he I demanded, is the matter?" earth

as

for he I demanded, is the matter?" earth to be In the lost stages of terror. By seemed soldiers and muleteers this time, of course, a babel of exthere was gathered, and had It all sorceress, concerned the planation. "All the tame hyena. and then I remembered right, all right," I said. done."

"There's
as

no

harm

HHHAT
.*?

night
nor

we

slept

if

neither No to the

mules sound start early,

hyenas
us.

existed. meant
I

disturbed but

We'd

when

woke,

on remarked position of the sun my sloth, and I peculiar stillness a pervaded the camp. came. I peered for water, and none shouted flaps, some and saw the crumpled between obviously they'd quite where figures lying were fallen. the Indications of Beside them a ominous, several empty meal, and, more jars. out clothes, I went Hurrying into my the recumbent and shook stamped about, at them, and did other shouted muleteers, futile no things, but it was good. it an unnecessarily with and Dusk came, felt indicating that the cook large meal, I watched I ate While the men ashamed. wandering about as If neither their feet nor their heads belonged to them. a feeling or repetition, I saw With vague tlie hyena lope across and the edge appear for It must be looking of the lamplight. food, I thought. Swinging about, with the clumsiness habitual to Its breed, it passed a a within few yards of the place where lay. Moslem Presumably he woke and found fired, it almost on top of him. So he and, loaded. unfortunately, the rifle was I heard the shot as I scraped out the last spoonful of jam, and, In the unexpected silence which scream. a followed, I heard been hit in the shoulder. The animal had down, the slope, towards It struggled away, fell upon the the village, and a mound of men shot. Moslem before he could fire a second a into went trance. The rest of the camp too frightened even to scream. They were never the tents BO seen Meanwhile, I'd the luggage adjusted to quickly struck, nor little so beasts with the right argument.. Without waiting for food or drink, the caravan as hastened to put as much space possible itself and between the village of evil I repute. remained with slave. my The village appeared to be deserted. The was mud deep as ever, but no pigs wallowed It. Doors were shut. Inside the hut a In a figure lay upon couch. For the wooden I hesitated, because moment I thought the slept. woman saw on Then I the blood her chamma. I I could, did what but something had breast and passed through the body, between I thought it might shoulder. have penetrated a lung. I remembered the way Abysslnlans nicked their bullets round the nozzle to make them a shirt to make expand, while I tore up my useless. but it was bandage, Before I left I looked for any weapon which could have inflicted such a wound. I looked also for an animal shot through the shoulder. But there was nothing at all-just a woman no loss of blood-and dying from sign of she came how to be doing so. At night Nothing further happened to us. the usual hyenas made the usual amount of no noise, and When more. I told the story I to tho casual, they laughed. When repeated it to the learned, they cited so many more conclusive examples of lycanthropy that I visualised two swam head and million my surplus women turning into beasts.

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