Diary of trip up Waiatoto River
Friday 20th Feb. 1891
Heavy rain all day. Filled in sketches and philosophising.
A few pages back I said something about the Mosquito, wondering why he didn't remain in the Grub stage & otherwise abusing those cheerful buzzing Insects.
Science says that the Trunk of those interesting bloodsuckers is the remains of an organ, of no use now. But in a past age when the huge crawling reptiles & Mamals, the Ossarosse's the Mastadon, the Glytadon - the - the pentagon - the Octagon & others of awfull appearance & still more awfull names walked the earth the Mosquito feasted on, yea perhaps nagged & finally destroyed, those monsters. Now when they are gone Kitto still retains his trunk an emblem of past greatness, as it is only one in the million who ever get a chance to use it in these degenerate days. That is one Theory, but I have another much more probable: the Trunk instead of being a survival is in reality an after thought of nature's given to the insect for a noble purpose. After a profound study I have come to the conclusion that the Mosquito & also its cousin the Sandfly have been great moral engines in advancing the Human race. This is how it was.
Away in the early ages of the Earth, man lived in warm countries & ran about naked. His food was easy to get, & although his brain contained the germs of progress, that progress was dormant, as man was awfully lazy. Nature seeing this man, this paragon of Animals who was destined for better things, sprawling under a Cocoa Nut tree waiting for the fruit to tumble into his mouth, determined to alter things. She developed the page 34Mosquito, sharpened his proboscis, explained to him his high mission, & one night she introduced a few Million into the Camp of Pre-Adamite Jones Smith & Co. Gracious! hadn't both parties lively times of it. It is more than probable that the introduction of profanity into human speech dates from that eventful night.
It is impossable to imagine what would have been the result had not Pre Adamite Brown conceived the idea of stitching Palm Leaves together and putting them over him. Seraphic Bliss. He slept that night in comparative comfort. Mans dormant brain had started into activity. Clothes were invented. The Mosquito did it.
Brown who developed a genius for Tayloring was a bad hand at climbing Trees. So he agreed with Robinson to make him a coat, payment to be made in nuts. Robinson had no more idea of Tayloring than a Cat has of its Grandfather, but his climbing and fossicking abilities stood high. Barter & the division of Labour had commenced. The Mosquito did it.
Pre Adamite Buggins in a Claw-Hammer Coat & sea weed neck tie gained thereby the smiles of the lovely Miss Pre Adamite Jones, completely crushing, Robinson, M'Pherson & a host of others who were only togged in Palm leaf Monkey Jackets. Decorative Art in Dress had commenced & Love on the civilized modern basis; admiration for the Garments, not the being inside was soon in full swing. The Mosquito did it. But there was soon something awanting. Nature had another look at the Paragon & found he was still addicted to lying in bed of a morning, & still given to sprawling under trees during the day. So the Sandfly was invented; an Insect whose ceaseless activity & fiendish skill in discovering holes & other weak spots in Garments amounts to Absolute Genius. There was no more sleeping in of a morning after this, & man, once up found he had to fly round and work at something to gain relief. Regular work and industry had commenced: the Sandfly did it. In future I will always look with respect on those usefull Insects and never injure them so long as they will skirmish in reason.
Taken from Pascoe's Book "Mister Explorer Douglas" Original papers in Turnbull Library
Note: Original spelling has been used.