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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 9, No. 9. July, 24, 1946

[Letter from Don Marquis II to Salient Vol. 9, No. 9. July, 24, 1946]

Dear Sir,—In the learned columns of the last issue of this journal there was a disquisition on a human activity by a member of the animal kingdom which, I understand, has been received among some of our fellows with a certain degree of asperity. In view of the superlative achievements in this realm by another insect, namely, archy the cockroach, I feel that we should be more lenient, in fact particularly so in view of the conclusions I have come to concerning the particular genus of this insect.

After reading the article, I fell to considering exactly what type of beetle would be most capable of not only interesting itself in this particular activity of mankind, but also what type of beetle would treat the subject in the way it was presented in the article. I do not wish to tire readers by giving an account of my studied consideration of all the manifold genera of beetle. Suffice it to say that I found that the only type which could fittingly have devoted itself to a study of this fruitless expenditure of energy, and described a discussion of it in a way so degrading to the normal members of our race, was the Bub-family Coprides (of the family Scarabæidæ), better known as the dung-beetle. Moreover, just as archy was the incarnation of a vers-libre poet, I venture to suggest that our Beetle is a reincarnation of an earlier dungbeetle! who was probably trained to understand human discourse by Trimaichio or one of his more decadent companions. In view of the strict limitations this places on any possible literary creations of our Beetle, we cannot blame him for their worthlessness. Rather should we, out of consideration for the demand of beetles to be heard, at least lend an occasionally attentive ear, even though what we hear may cause us to impress a heavy boot on the offending insect.

Don Marquis II.

•Probably Trox dohrni, which lives in caves in the accumulated dung of bats.