Page:Australia, from Port Macquarie to Moreton Bay.djvu/228

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201
THE NATIVE DOG.

manner as hare, is undoubtedly excellent. The tails of some of the largest varieties, which I have run down with my dogs, weighed from eleven to fourteen pounds each, consisting of masses of sinew, which yield a large quantity of gelatine when boiled.

The Dingo, or Native Dog, of New South Wales, is the only beast of prey in that country, and is keenly hunted by the settlers, as it frequently worries sheep, and sometimes seizes new dropped calves, which I have myself known these dogs to do at the MacLeay river. The animals of the colony are so well known that it is scarcely necessary to describe the Dingo; it is rather more than two feet high, and about two feet and a half in length; its head nearly resembles that of the fox, with a muzzle furnished with whiskers, and short erect ears; its colour is of a light reddish brown, its tail rather brushy, resembling that of the fox. Many of these dogs have been brought to England, but no kindness seems able to conquer their savage nature, and make them assume the habits of the domestic dog. A few years ago, a friend of mine brought home with him from the colony of Van Diemen's Land, one of these wild dogs; he kept it fastened up at his residence at Clapham, but it one day broke its chain and escaped, and although it was secured again before many hours had elapsed, yet it had, in the mean time, worried a pet flock of sheep, belonging to a gentleman who resided in the vicinity, and killed several of them. A good many years