Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence
In Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence Pilkington recalls with a searing irony one of the more farcical projects of land management in the newly federated states of Australia. In 1907 a fence 1,834 kms in length was built from the Great Southern Ocean to the coast of the top end for the purpose of preventing rabbits invading Western Australia from the eastern states. Of course it did nothing of the sort. In fact, in a kind of carnivalesque humour, Pilkington contends that there were more rabbits on the Western Australian side of the fence than on the South Australian side. In Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence, however, the fence, for three young girls, is 'a symbol of love, home and security' those most coveted and most mourned entitlements for generations of stolen people. Molly, the oldest of the three and the leader of the group, succeeded in delivering the three to their homelands as she was equipped with a range of essential survival skills, those learned from her white father, an inspector on the fence, and those learned from her step-father, 'a former nomad from the desert' and an 'expert' in bushcraft.