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The Hoopo

( Originally Published 1884 )

The vulgar in our country formerly esteemed it a forerunner of some calamity. Pennant, however, says it visits these islands frequently ; but not at stated seasons. It is found in many parts of Europe, in Egypt, and even as remote as Ceylon. The Turks call it Tir Chaos, or the messenger bird, from the resemblance its crest has to the plumes worn by the Chaous, or Turkish couriers.

Ovid says that Tereus was changed into this bird :

" Vertitur in volucrem, cui stant in vertice cristae,
Prominet immodicum pro longa cuspide rostrum;
Nomen Epops volucri."

(Metam., lib. vi., 1. 672.)

" Tereus, thro' grief, and haste to be revenged,
Shares the like fate, and to a bird is changed,
Fix'd on his head the crested plumes appear,
Long is his beak, and sharpen'd as a spear."



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