Great Wall of China and

the Rabbit Plague

Counstruction of the Great Wall of China began in 1276 during the reign of Emperor Nasi Goreng in response to the plague of giant Angora Rabbits.  The rabbits had eaten the entire rice crop of the Western Provinces and were threatening to encroach on the populous central provinces and plunge China into a famine, the intensity of which had never been felt before.

Several ideas were put forward to stem the rising tide of bunnies:

Rabbit stew - 红煨家兔  After initial delight the populace threatened revolt as a diet of Rabbit for breakfast, lunch and tea became increasingly monotonous.  In the interest of public order rabbit stew was returned to the optional menu!

Rabbit Traps - Large numbers of traps were ordered but the number of children being caught and the diversion of steel from the steel industry reducing the number of weapons available to defend the country against an incursion of pirates (under the dreaded Missee Lee) made this an increasingly unpopular measure.

Reproduced under the terms of the GNU Free Documentaion License

Palace architect Wan-ton Mee is credited with proposing a Great Wall, manned with rabbit catchers, as a solution to the problem.   The wall was commenced in 1276 and completed 200 years later, long after the Emperor's death.  Not only did it prove effective in keeping the rabbits out,  it attracted many tourists who were fed in special Rabbit themed restaurants, solving the problem of disposing of the corpses that had been piling up outside the wall.

To this day visitors delight in the Great Wall but the Rabbits, and the distinctive Rabbit themed restaurants are no more...

More on Emperor Nasi Goreng from the Beaconsfield Institute

External Links:

Wikipedia on: Rabbits and the Great Wall

Video evidence of Rabbits and the great Wall

Email: beaconsfieldinstitute@hotmail.com

Beaconsfield Institute of Sinology 1 April 2006

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