He said it was a hard place to find and a hard trip. The desert threw up the usual obstacles. But soon flocks of ibises found the winged serpents and destroyed them. Both the Arabs and the Egyptians agreed: thank god one of us was good to the birds. And neither could Herodotus believe his luck: "I went there to find out about the winged serpents," he said, and he arrived at Buto in time to find circular heaps of snake skeletons. The hollow, reptilian skulls petrified themselves in the desert weather, and emptied themselves with the munching birds, proof of what had happened.

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