Of the Porcupine

About Batavia, and in the woods of Java are abundance of Iron Pigs or Porcupines. They grunt like hogs, and are covered with certain painted pens or pegs like iron, whence they got their name. They are of many different sizes, some of the bigness of a good large dog, but somewhat longer, and more short legged. They are generally brown, with a gray tuft on the head, and a mouth like a hare, with two great teeth both below and above, like those of a deer, and the hind most like a bear. The pins or pegs are very sharp, a foot long and checkered with black and white. When they are at rest, they lay them close to the body, but if they are vexed, they can by contracting themselves, cast them forth with such strength, that they kill man or beast.(...) In the stomaches of some of these animals grows a certain stone, which by reason of its sudorifick quality is accounted very good in pestilential fevers.

Johannes Nieuhof, 1703


From: Voyages and travels, into Brasil, and the East-Indies: containing, an exact description of the Dutch Brasil, and divers parts of the East-Indies; their provinces, cities, living creatures, and products; the manners, customs, habits, and religion of the inhabitants: with a most particular account of all the remarkable passages that happened during the author's stay of nine years in Brasil; especially, in relation to the revolt of the Portugueses, and the intestine war carried on there from 1640. to 1649. As also, a most ample description of the most famous city of Batavia, in the East-Indies
by Johannes Nieuhof (1703)
Page 362
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