Of course, I am prepared to be denounced as cruel. I admit at once that I am. This trait is part and parcel of the barbaric tastes which caused me, 'in my earliest years, to be stigmatised as a cruel boy, by tender hearted members of the family, for my ardour in the pursuit of the harmless, necessary cat, in company with a couple of equally keen terriers, among the farmyards of the neighbourhood (though I am bound to say that the cats always escaped into trees or on the heights of inaccessible ricks). One cannot complain of the censure of kind-hearted people who object altogether to the taking of life - on the contrary, I respect them. But the attacks of such superior sportsmen as, while themselves giving us graphic accounts of their exploits in pursuit of the harmless eland, giraffe, and other defenceless creatures, write in horror of the cruelty of hunting elephants (having themselves not penetrated far enough into the wilderness to get the chance) are harder to bear. It is particularly cruel, they tell us, to hunt cow elephants (especially to the hunter, no I wish one of these gentlemen would come and show us how to shoot bulls only, in the dense cover in which elephants have to be sought in Equatorial Africa.
By all means let elephants and other wild animals be preserved as far as possible. But as, unfortunately, their continued existence is incompatible with the advance of civilisation, the only way to do so successfully is by making reserves in places where effective control can be exercised alike over natives and Europeans.
However, for those amiable sympathisers to Whom the descriptions of how I killed elephants can have no interest, my account of how one of these animals very nearly killed me may afford pleasure; and if that should be tempered by disappointment because it was not altogether successful, they may hope that vengeance may yet be consummated. Akin to the heathenish propensity of my early youth above alluded to, was an attempt I remember to have made to get out of sight of houses in a secluded part of a common and fancy myself in an uninhabited country; and among the prophecies uttered at a later period by observant Kafirs, who noticed the development of my unquenchable thirst for prying further and further into remote wastes, was one to the effect that I should end by dying in a far wilderness, inhabited only by wild beasts, where no smoke could be seen the horizon round.
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Publisher - Forgotten Books
Author(s) - Arthur H. Neumann
Published Date -
ISBN - 9780266228707
Dimensions - 22.9 x 15.2 x 2.9 cm
Page Count -
Published Date -
ISBN - 9781333547684
Dimensions - 22.9 x 15.2 x 2.6 cm
Page Count - 488
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