If it wcro possible for a rabbit to write a book and therein to set forth his views on the ".natural enemy," theory wo fancy that ho would describe as the very arch-enemy tho honorablo and genial member for Cheviot, Mr Lance. That gentleman — by no moans exaggerating tho case— regards tho longeared little interlopers who havo wrought such havoc m Southland and interior Otago as the greatest scourge the colony has ever known, and has devoted himself to tho task of preventing tho advance of their devastating hosts through Cantor bury. To his patient persistency, his constant unwearied efforts is mainly due tho adoption of the plan of fencing out tho invader, and he has just returned from a visit of inspection to tho rabbit fence recently erected by the Government, and which stretches acroßß country a distance of 42 miles, commencing, wo boliovo, somewhere about the Hakatcramca and skirting the base cf Mount Cook. He reports that tho lino selected for tho fence has been admirably chosen, and that the fence itself lias been erected m good and workmanlike mannor. Although during tho very severe weather of winter and part of tho early spring it was m places coyered with snow, tho fence, says Mr Lance, has not suffered m tho least, but looks as though it had been erected but yesterday, lie is delighted with it, and thinks that when the remaining 40 odd miles aro completed, all danger of a rabbit invasion from tho b.outh will bo over, and' that all that will bo noeded will bo vigilance on tho part of tho rangers, whoso duty it is to watch the line of fence, to prevent Bunny turning tho flank of tho Canterbury runholdcrs, by burrowing under their wiro defences. Ho informs us that tho invading foe is undoubtedly tho true Southland rabbit — tho wild rabbit proper— -which is infinitely more prolific, and (because wilder) more difficult of extermination than the rabbits found at Mesopotamia and elsewhere m Canterbury, which aro simply tho progeny of tamo rabbits run wild. These latter exist m moro or less numerous colonies m different localities, but can, and fcp js sure will, bo speedily exterminated, and with a thoroughly efficacious fence as against invadora from outside, Canterbury's pastures will bo nafo from the furry foes of the runholder. Wo sincerely hopp that this will bo so for upon maintaining our immunity from tho rabbit pest dopendH m largo moaaurp tho safety of our largo and growing meat export industry, and m turn m no small degree tho prosperity of tho colony. Mr Lance already deserves well of his fellow colonists for his earnest labors to that end, and wo trust that tho exceedingly spirited littlo sketch which ho showed us tho other day will prove prophetic, that iB to cay m tho main, for tho literal fulfilment of all its details would involve possible discomfort on tho part of its principal subject. The sketch referred to i/3 n really artistic work m water-colors full of motif and life. It represents bunny's arch-enemy *s a very ancient m years, with scant and enowy pi f- locks, ragged beard, and tattered garments (likothoHo of Rip van- Winkle after his awaking from his long sleep) standing on tho very jjummit of tho icy peak of Mount Cook, and bayjng m his hand an enormotiH waterpot from the rostt of which ho is pouring Homo fatal mixture into tho mojuth of '.• the lust rabbit? who is sitting up at his feet m »v attitude of woo-begone resignation to tho iaefjtfltye $af ja pomjcallv pashetio.
Permanent link to this item
Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 1984, 31 October 1888
Ashburton Guardian Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 1984, 31 October 1888
Using This Item
See our copyright guide for information on how you may use this title.