Stew (see scurvy)

Charles Butler hannibal at
Tue Dec 16 08:21:54 EST 2003


> Believe it or not, and I didn't when I was given this information, rabbits
> were apparently not very well able to adapt to the climate here at first,
> and when the Romans introduced them (I haven't seen the documentation but
> can accept that the people who told me this had, and had checked: they
> that sort of people), quite failed to become the amazing success story
> are today both here and in Australia.  They seem to have survived for a
> while, and then gradually died out, to be *re*-introduced by the
Normans --
> who for quite a while kept them indoors and *cherished* the little
> blighters lest they die out again.  Or so my muddy evil experts tell me.
> It's silly enough to be true.

How interesting! I wonder why that should be. The only reasons that hop to
mind are that the climate and/or terrain might have suited them less well in
Roman times. I've heard that England was even wetter than usual then -
though surely England was and remained a pretty woody place overall with a
good amount of rabbit-friendly grassland. Or were there more rabbit
predators about, perhaps - but if so what? Or could myxamatosis or some such
lurgy have wiped them out? Curiouser and curiouser - as Alice might never
have got the chance to say if Harold hadn't lost at Hastings.


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