A fable for an old world.

Below is something I found in “The Complete and expurgated Book of Australian Tales and Stories and Lies. Never dared to be published by Simone and Shyster.”

1859 could easily have gone down in history as the year that nearly destroyed Australia. It was also the year that saw the beginning of the America Civil War with the attack by John Brown on the Harper’s Ferry.

But of more relevance was the introduction into Australia of the Oryctolagus cuniculus commonly known by the inteligencia as the European Bunny Rabbit. A landed gentleman, wishing for some entertainment in the form English style hunting for his weak jawed upper class twits, imported 13 wild rabbits and let them roam free.

These 13 imported animals began to breed like rabbits and their progeny spread across the land eating every blade of grass and destroying the soil and with it the livelihood of thousands of small farmers who could not make a profit. As well as eating all the grass they caused massive erosion because of the way they dug their burrows

Now there were many stories of brave farmers trying to win against this plague. They tried many things and here I found in one of the three sections of the book mentioned above the story of one previously productive valley where a goodly bunch of farmers worked to build their own special world.

The government launched a programme to eradicate the rabbits.

But they needed to know how many rabbits there were. If there were no rabbits on a particular farm – maybe the farmer had built a fantastic fence and had well trained dogs and enthusiastic sons – there were very few rabbits then the Government would not need to outlay any funds.

If on the other hand there were so many rabbits nothing could be done about it the Government would take the farm away from the farmer who had obviously not tried to help himself. For as everybody knows , Govts help those who help themselves.

There was one farmer in this valley, about which I will refer, who had the biggest and bestest ever farm in the area. When any competition was held this fellow trumped the lot. Sadly he wasn’t as clever as his father, although he told everybody that when it come to farming he was probably the bestest mostes ever farmer that there ever was. Anyway, ignoring full stops and commas and all the other conventions of the written word, the old bloke had built the farm from nothing with just hard work and brains but when he died his rather strange son inherited the whole lot. He, the son that is, also thought that he was much better than all his neighbours.

He declared in the local pub – ie the local meeting hall – that he had no rabbits on his farm. And anyway if there were any rabbits they must have come from the neighbours. So the Govt sent out people to count the rabbits. Bloody Government – fascist anarchists. (Contradiction of terminology but we’ll let that one go.)

They found that he had quite a lot of rabbits. In fact the people who counted rabbits on his property found more rabbits than in all the other properties. He got up on a stool in the local pub and swore and ranted and raged against the Government for sending the rabbit counters.

“Before those left wing rabbit counters came I had no rabbits. Since they came there are more and more every day. It is clear that the Government Scientific rabbit counters brought the rabbits into our valley.”

He seemed to have forgotten that rabbits breed like rabbits. He therefore declared as follows.

“I have ordered all the rabbit counters to stop counting rabbits.  Somebody told me that the rabbit problem was caused by the chicken farmers. As soon as the dastardly rabbit counters have left the valley there will be a disappearance of rabbits like you have never seen before.”

“How will that happen, Cletus?” some ignorant neighbour called out.

“I have just purchased a truck load of marshmallow sweeties from the Marshmallow Sweetie Co. and some people say that rabbits disappear when ever they see a Marshmallow Sweetie.”

Now, my dear readers, as you all know I have never been known to tell fibs, untruths, falsehoods, cock and bull stories, whoppers, falsehoods or in fact any type of terminological inexactitude so I know you will be totally flabbergasted when I tell you this. 

The people stopped counting rabbits and like a miracle in ancient Galilee the rabbits just disappeared. As if the wind had blown them away. And all the people in the valley, and all the people in all the valleys went around wearing rabbit skin hats with the slogan on the crown that said as clearly as if it was written there, “Bloody Hell Mates. Cletus is a Champ.”

What very few people know is that the manufacturer had a slight typographical aberration and the last word came out as “Chump”. But nobody cared much. They just borrowed a Texta colour pen from their little kids Kindergarten box and changed the ‘u’ into an ‘a’.

And that is why there are no rabbits in Australia. Or feral cats or feral pigs or feral camels or cane toads or feral foxes or goats or deer or water buffalo or any other of the stupid idiotic things that people have brought into this country because they like them and it made them feel at home.

17 thoughts on “A fable for an old world.

  1. Incredibly cheeky and right on target! I laughed and cried my way through the entire fiasco….having practiced a bit here at home. But that’s another story which I’m sure you would find boringly familiar. Yes indeed, a fine metaphor.

    Liked by 2 people

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