The older generation of Australians have the strongest objection to consuming the flesh of the kangaroo, in any shape or form, a prejudice for which I could only account by supposing that they must have suffered from a surfeit of this form of diet in their youth; for the younger generation are rather partial to kangaroo flesh than otherwise, and I found it excellent myself in every way. It has a delicate, gamey flavor, something between that of vension and grouse; and, like vension, it is the better for a week's hanging before going to the spit. The best part of the animal — the especial delicacy —is the great fleshy tail. This is delicious prepared in any one of the various styles that are known to the art of cookery, either roast, or boiled, or braised, or potted, or stewed; but it is more especially to be recommended in the form of soup. Kangaroo-tail soup is a sort of glorified ox-tail that would tickle the jaded palate of the veriest old epicure.
Kangaroos make delightful pets. They are very easily domesticated, and when tamed are full of pretty, affectionate ways. I knew of one, belonging to some Australian ladies, which came regularly into the drawing-room every afternoon to partake daintily of five-o'clock tea; and of another which got into the habit of accompanying its master in all his shooting expeditions, often covering twenty-five or thirty miles of country in the course of a day's sport. Although not especially clever in the way of tricks, they are possessed of retentive memories, and are very quick to recognize a friend or to resent an injury. While preparing the illustrations which accompany this article, I went frequently to the Melbourne Royal Park, where the magnificent collection of Mac-ropidae afforded me peculiar facilities for observing and sketching.
In one of the paddocks there was a splendid "old man," who seemed to me to epitomize all the strange peculiarities of his kind; and I chose him as my especial model. In order to study exhaustively all their eccentricities of motion, I got into the habit of stirring this old fellow up with pebbles, small clods of earth, or anything else which came to my hand. He soon began to resent this treatment; and finally, the moment I appeared upon the grounds, he would rush up to the barrier and stand at bay, spitting at me savagely, and exhibiting every sign of the most furious rage. In another paddock were some very pretty does, with great, soft, liquid eyes like those of an antelope. These I tried to make friends with, feeding them regularly with buns and sweets, of which they are very fond. The result was that one of them soon came to know me well, and always came up to be stroked and petted.
If the colonization of Australia continues at the same rapid pace at which it is now proceeding, it is hardly too much to say that, fifty years from date, the kangaroo will only be known as a domestic pet, or preserved perhaps upon some gentleman's private estate, like the deer in the royal park at Windsor. Their places will then be taken by the deer and the foxes, which have, during the past few years, increased so enormously as to indicate that transportation to the southern hemisphere has augmented their vitality and increased their procreative energy.