Tuesday, 20 February 2007

You doity, doity rat

Me: So, mate, what did you do last weekend?

Kivak: Thought I'd slow down my rate of posting and instead head out into the bush for my fortnightly commune with Mother Earth.

Me: I guess that'll explain this picture, huh? Looks to me like a case of wanton death and destruction out there in the native forests of Aotearoa...

Kivak: Erm, these little fuckers are an introduced species out here. True, the Maori fellas brought another species of rat with them on that leisurely cruise a thousand years ago when they set out from Hawaiki, i.e. the Polynesian homeland, but they were actually a relatively benign type of rodent and are now so rare that they're actually protected themselves.

Me: So get to the point then.

Kivak: Right. These are the evil little European buggers that arrived on board early whaling and colonists' ships. They've devastated the native bird population since then by eating freshly lain eggs and killing nesting chicks.

Me: So you're a one-man paramilitary death squad, right?

Kivak: Not quite, you sarcastic twat. I assuage my middle-class consumerist conscience by working as a volunteer for the Rimutaka Forest Park Trust's Kiwi Proctection Programme. I'm responsible for a line of 20 traps on the Big Bend track and Lower Turere Stream in the Orongorongo catchment area, about 10km from Wainuiomata. There are other lines of traps all around the area to help protect about nine Kiwis rereleased into the forest last year after an absence of more than a hundred years. Here's a picture of the missus during one of the release ceremonies.

Me: So does it actually make a difference?

Kivak: Well, the traps are actually designed to kill stoats, but I must admit I've only ever caught rats so far. Amazing how quickly they decompose; often there are just the odd paw or vertebre left in the trap by the time I check them. Just doing my little bit to rescue the planet.

Me: Gosh, I think you're wonderful and I'd like you to be the father of my children.


Rotten said...

Very noble, Kivak. But you left the most important info out of your post: how do them lil' bastards taste? Ever caught a hobbit in one of those traps? And I thought it was the convicts that released rats into New Zealand...heh heh, just pulling your chain, Tree Friend. Keep up the good work.

Kivak said...

Whoa! A comment! So that's who's responsible for the extra click on the web counter. The rats dumped off the convicts in Australia - they weren't too fussed about staying there themselves. You know what they say about Christ not having been born in Oz - coz you can't find three wise men and a virgin. Ba-boom!