Once, the English Great Bastard in all his magnificence roamed the land, twirling his moustaches, adjusting his top hat, making his characteristic and evocative cackling call after tying some beautiful maiden to a railway line or robbing the nest of some honest yeoman. There was, in fact, nothing more redolent of traditional England than this magnificent beast in all his glory.
No more. Hunted to extinction by tax inspectors and angry fathers, the Great Bastard breathed his last just as he was being immortalised in film by the Ealing Wildlife Studios. Some allege that his demise was brought about not only by shooting and trapping, but also by competition with the non-indigenous Little Bastard (Otis Archerensis) which has proved better able to adapt to new ecological niches such as merchant banking, tabloid journalism, football and romantic novel-writing.
Be that as it may, a small group of dedicated naturists is making a sustained attempt to reintroduce the Great Bastard to his former haunts in the so-called Clublands. The importation of juvenile Bastards from Russia has not been without difficulties (it was recently necessary to shoot a Fox) but the programme directors are determined that the Great Bastard will breed, stalk and cackle once more in England's green and pleasant land. Donations to the Great Bastard Reintroduction Programme, c/o Gran Cayman Tears, Bahamas.