Friday, February 13, 2009

Bird in a box

From Auckland Evening Star, 6 August 1875.

"Some time ago a large case conveyed an emu to Ellerslie. at the top of the box was a hole large enough to allow the huge bird to put his neck through.

"It happened that at the time of the arrival of this emu there arrived also at Ellerslie an ancient sort of a lady who had travelled all the way from Howick to take a look at the gardens and to see the wonderful train. As the latter came in sight the dame put down her umbrella, and with her elbows resting on the case, held a pair of spectacles with a form grasp on her nose, and gazed earnestly at the wonderful sight.

"On came the engine, puffing and whistling, and roused the slumbering giant bird up through the hole in the box, and actually brushing the old lady's face, suddenly shot head and neck of the emu, who also gazed steadfastly at the approaching train.

"But the old lady had seen enough; she waited to see no more but flew from the spot in great affright. She was, like Mrs. Gamp, of a class who never taste a drop of drink, excepting when they "feel so disposed," and to quiet her nerves she was disposed to take a gentle stimulant, after which she departed, and has not since been known to leave those peaceful glades of Howick, where neither frightful apparitions nor the bustle of the train disturb the rural solemnity of the place."


  1. PMSL
    I can picture the old gal, fanning herself madly, whilst reclining in the station master's office and protesting loudly as she sipped her strong liquor ,
    "Oh, I wouldn't usually imbibe but my nerves...!"