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The Roc.

TWO herons built their nests under one of the ornaments on the roof of a temple at Tientsin. The accumulated dust of years in the shrine below concealed a huge serpent, having the diameter of a washing basin; and whenever the heron’s young were ready to fly, the reptile proceeded to the nest and swallowed every one of them, to the great distress of the bereaved parents. This took place three years consecutively, and people thought the birds would build there no more. However, the following year they came again; and when the time was drawing nigh for their young ones to take wing, away they flew, and remained absent for nearly three days. On their return, they went straight to the nest, and began amidst much noisy chattering to feed their young ones as usual. Just then the serpent crawled up to reach his prey; and as he was nearing the nest the parent birds flew out and screamed loudly in mid-air. Immediately, there was heard a mighty flapping of wings, and darkness came over the face of the earth, which the astonished spectators now perceived to be caused by a huge bird obscuring the light of the sun. Down it swooped with the speed of wind or falling rain, and, striking the serpent with its talons, tore its head off at a blow, bringing down at the same time several feet of the masonry of the temple. Then it flew away, the herons accompanying it as though escorting a guest. The nest too had come down, and of the two young birds one was killed by the fall; the other was taken by the priests and put in the bell tower, whither the old birds returned to feed it until thoroughly fledged, when it spread its wings and was gone.
禽俠
  天津某寺,鸛鳥巢於鴟尾。殿承塵上,藏大蛇如盆,每至鸛雛團翼時,輒出吞食淨盡。鸛悲鳴數日乃去。如是三年,人料其必不復至,而次歲巢如故。約雛長成,即徑去,三日始還。入巢啞啞,哺子如初。蛇又蜿蜒而上。甫近巢,兩鸛驚,飛鳴哀急,直上青冥。俄聞風聲蓬蓬,一瞬間,天地似晦。眾駭異,共視一大鳥,翼蔽天日,從空疾下,驟如風雨,以爪擊蛇,蛇首立墮,連催殿角數尺許,振翼而去。鸛從其後,若將送之。巢既傾,兩雛俱墮,一生一死。僧取生者置鐘樓上。少頃,鸛返,仍就哺之,翼成而去。
  異史氏曰:「次年復至,蓋不料其禍之復也;三年而巢不移,則報仇之計已決;三日不返,其去作秦庭之哭,可知矣。大鳥必羽族之劍仙也,飆然而來,一擊而去,妙手空空兒何以加此?」
  濟南有營卒,見鸛鳥過,射之,應弦而落。喙中啣魚,將哺子也。或勸拔矢放之,卒不聽。少頃,帶矢飛去。後往來郭間,兩年餘,貫矢如故。一日,卒坐轅門下,鸛過,矢墜地。卒拾視曰:「矢固無恙耶?」耳適癢,因以矢搔耳。忽大風催門,門驟闔,觸矢貫腦而死。

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