from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The New Zealand flax, Phormium tenax. See Phormium.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
But another disadvantage of burning a swamp is, that there are deep holes every yard or two, into which I always tumble in my excitement, or in getting out of the way of a flax-bush which has flared up just at the wrong moment, and is threatening to set me on fire also.
The first thing done was to see to their comfort and security; the saddles were carefully deposited under a large flax-bush in case of rain, and the long tether ropes were arranged so as to ensure plenty of good feed and water for both horses, without the possibility of the ropes becoming entangled in each other or in anything else.
So the "good fellow" did catch hold, but he was too experienced an eel-fisher to try to lift a couple of dozen pounds weight of eels out of the water by a perpendicular string; so he tied it to a flax-bush near, and, stooping down in order to get some leverage over the bank, very soon drew the ball, with its slimy, wriggling captives, out of the water.
I picked out, therefore, a comfortable spot, -- that is to say, well in the centre of a young flax-bush, whose satiny leaves made the most elastic cushions around me; with my flax-stick held out over what was supposed to be a favourite haunt of the eels, and with Nettle asleep at my feet and a warm shawl close to my hand, prepared for my vigil.
Five miles from home the ground became so rough that our horses could go no further; we therefore jumped off, tied them to a flax-bush, taking off the saddles in case they broke loose, and proceeded on foot over the jungly, over-grown saddle.
All the dogs are trained to hunt these birds, as they are a great torment, sucking eggs and killing chickens; but still I could not help feeling sorry when Fly, having disposed of the mother, returned to the flax-bush out of which he had started her, and killed several baby-wekas by successive taps of his paw.
Of course I had to stop every now and then to rest, and once I chose the same flax-bush where three young wild pigs had retired for the night, having first made themselves the most beautiful bed of tussock grass bitten into short lengths; the tussocks are very much scattered here, so it must have been an afternoon's work for them; but the shepherds say these wild pigs make themselves a fresh bed every night.