BACK-WORM, or FILANDER. A disease incident to hawks. These worms are about half a yard long; they lie wrapped up in a thin skin about the reins, and proceed from gross and viscous humours in the bowels, occasioned by ill digestion and want of natural heat. This distemper is easily discerned by the following symptoms, viz. by the hawk's stinking breath, casting her gorge, croaking in the night, trembling, ruffling, and writhing her tail; and by the muting, which is small and unclean.
The back-worm is rarely quite killed, but a careful falconer giving her cloves of garhc, steeped in wormwood, once a month, and once a fortnight, against his putting her into the mew, which will qualify the worm; without this care she will . be suddenly spoiled.
There is another sort of filander, which lies in the gut or pannel, being long, small, white, and red worms—for cure take aloes hepatic, filings of iron, nutmeg, and as much honey as will serve to make them into a pill, which give her in the morning as soon as she has cast; of the tail, which is about six inches long; its eyes are small, and are placed in a black stripe, which begins behind the ears, and runs tapering towards the nose : the throat and legs are black; the back, sides, and tail are of a dirty gray, mixed with black; the legs are very short, strong, and thick ; each foot consists of five toes; those on the fore feet are armed with strong claws, well adapted for digging its subterraneous habitation.
The badger retires to the most secret recesses, where it digs its hole, and forms its habitation under ground. Its food consists chiefly of roots, fruits, grass, insects, and frogs. It is accused of destroying lambs and rabbits; but there seems to be no other reason for considering it as a beast of prey, than the analogy between its teeth, and those of Tarnivorous animals.
Few creatures defend themselves better, or bite with greater keenness than the badger : on that account it isfrequently baited with dogs trained for that purpose, and defends itself from their attacks with astonishing agility and success. Its motions are so quick, that a dog is often desperately wounded in the moment of assault, and obliged to fly. The thickness of the badger's skin and the length arid coarseness of its hair are an excellent defence against the bites of the dogs : its skin is so loose as to resist the impression of their teeth, and gives the animal an opportunity of turning itself round, and wounding its adversaries in their tenderest parts. In this manner this singular creature is able to resist repeated attacks both of men and dogs, from all quarters ; till, being overpoivered with numbers, and enfeebled by many desperate wounds, it is at last obliged to yield.
Harewood, Harry. A Dictionary of Sports. London: T. Tegg and son, 1835.
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