Sunday, August 8, 2010

A Visit from Gretel and Jeanette

Gretchen’s sisters, Gretel and Jeanette have arrived at Kowhai Corner for a holiday with a purpose.
Gretel is an archaeologist, the study of man’s past by scientific analysis of the material remains of his cultures. Jeanette is an ornithologist, the study of birds.

Pat has invited the sisters to be the guest speakers at the August Helping Hands Meeting. Jeanette is going to speak about the moa, a large extinct flightless bird of New Zealand.

Jeanette has bought her posters with her and Gretel tapes them to the walls of Kowhai Corner Hall so the Hitty girls can look at them while she speaks. The largest moa, Dinornis giganteus weighed about 200 kilograms and with its head up almost measured three metres in height.The biggest birds of the species lived in the South Island, mostly on the lowland areas in the east.

Jeanette tells the girls she has found information about this area where a moa bone was found in 1874. She produces a bone from her bag which she says is the moa bone found in this area which she has borrowed from the museum to show at this meeting.

The Hitty girls exclaim in surprise and Jeanette passes the moa bone to Edna and she passes it around so all the Hitty girls can examine it more closely. Jeanette and Gretal end their talk by saying they are hoping to get permission from the Sunshine brothers to camp on Kowhai Tree Farm , by the river, to do an archaeological dig for moa bones.

That evening at Kowhai Corner Hall a meeting with Gretal, Jeanette and the Sunshine brothers, Steve, Harold and John takes place .The sisters ask for permission to set up a camp at the back of their land, by the river and to do a dig for moa bones. The brothers cannot give their permission because it is near the area where K.C. Bunnyborough sanctuary has become established . The Sunshine brothers would get into trouble if the authorities knew  they are protecting rabbits. Farmers want to eradicate all the rabbits on their farms.

The sisters ask why they can’t have access to the back of their farm. The Sunshine brothers say that the land is in use at the moment and the matter is private and confidential. The sisters leave the meeting very disappointed. Tomorrow they will go and visit Ruby's Bird Sanctuary.

To be continued...   Part 2 Is titled A Moa Dig

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