Title: Exotic Intruders

Author: Joan Druett

Publication details: Heinemann, 1983, Auckland

Digital publication kindly authorised by: Joan Druett

Part of: New Zealand Texts Collection

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Exotic Intruders

Snakes alive!

page 234

Snakes alive!

This rather large jar contains an Australian Diamondback Snake which arrived in New Zealand in an unusual manner. In the nineteen fifties a car was shipped to New Zealand by its Australian owner. The car passed all inspections; the young man picked it up at the Wellington wharves, and proceeded to drive it northwards. As he neared Palmerston North he gradually became aware of a stealthy rustling sound behind him, so he looked over his shoulder. There was this serpent coiled up on the back seat and peering up at him.

Well. He thought it wasn't a good idea to merely dump it by the side of the road, so he took it to the Palmerston North police station. Being a fellow of humorous disposition, he opened the door of the watchhouse and tossed the snake inside, and was immediately rewarded with the sight of burly constables leaping lightly to the tops of desks and benches.

The sergeant entered to investigate the hullaballoo, and, being a sergeant, he summed up the situation at a glance; with remarkable presence of mind he trapped the snake under an upturned wire wastepaper basket. Then he wrote out the report with great deliberation, resting his foot on the top of the basket all the while. However his display of calm efficiency was completely ruined when one of the constables crept up behind him and gently ran his hand up the sergeant's propped-up leg.

Australian Diamondback snake.

Australian Diamondback snake.

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