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The Book of the Damned

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Author Topic: The Book of the Damned  (Read 3489 times)
Dusk
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« Reply #90 on: April 21, 2009, 03:09:57 pm »

streets of Memphis, Jan. 15, 1877—why, that's sensible: that's the common sense that has been against us from the first.

It is not said whether the snakes were of a known species or not, but that "when first seen, they were of a dark brown, almost black." Blacksnakes, I suppose.

If we accept that these snakes did fall, even though not seen to fall by all the persons who were out sight-seeing in a violent storm, and had not been in the streets crawling loose or in thick tangled masses, in the first place;

If we try to accept that these snakes had been raised from some other part of this earth's surface in a whirlwind;

If we try to accept that a whirlwind could segregate them—

We accept the segregation of other objects raised in that whirlwind.

Then, near the place of origin, there would have been a fall of heavier objects that had been snatched up with the snakes—stones, fence rails, limbs of trees. Say that the snakes occupied the next gradation, and would be the next to fall. Still farther would there have been separate falls of lightest objects: leaves, twigs, tufts of grass.

In the Monthly Weather Review there is no mention of other falls said to have occurred anywhere in January, 1877.

Again ours is the objection against such selectiveness by a whirlwind. Conceivably a whirlwind could scoop out a den of hibernating snakes, with stones and earth and an infinitude of other débris, snatching up dozens of snakes—I don't know how many to a den—hundreds maybe—but, according to the account of this occurrence in the New York Times, there were thousands of them; alive; from one foot to eighteen inches in length. The Scientific American, 36-86, records the fall, and says that there were thousands of them. The usual whirlwind-explanation is given—"but in what locality snakes exist in such abundance is yet a mystery."

This matter of enormousness of numbers suggests to me something of a migratory nature—but that snakes in the United States do not migrate in the month of January, if ever.

As to falls or flutterings of winged insects from the sky, prevailing notions of swarming would seem explanatory enough: nevertheless,

p. 95

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