Author: R. L. Spittel
Publisher: Sooriya Publishers
Third Edition 2001
Living in the Ceylon Jungle
This is a story about Hans van der Meer, a Dutch boy, who at fourteen is shipwrecked on the island of Ceylon, and whose remarkable gift for making friends with wild animals leads him into captivity at the Court of the King of Kandy. It was a time when Dutch were battling for supremacy over Portuguese, and when the Veddas, the aboriginal tribesmen, lived there own life in the dense jungle much as they do today.
There is incident and excitement in this story of adventure, but outstanding are the vivid descriptions of bird, animal and aboriginal life as it was lived under the savage law of the jungle: an attack by an infuriated mother bear with cubs, the trapping of as elusive leopard, a battle to the death between python and crocodile.
The author R. L. Spittel C.M.G., C.B.E., F.R.C.S., was a surgeon by profession and a descendant of the Dutch pioneers who established themselves in Ceylon under the Dutch East India Company in the 17th century. He has travelled extensively in the remote jungles of the island in the company of last remnants of the Vedda aborigines, of whom he made a special study. Whatever he says of the life of the Ceylon jungle has personal experience behind it.
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