Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

The Kia ora coo-ee : the magazine for the ANZACS in the Middle East, 1918



To the sum total of the "creeping things that creepeth upon the earth" Palestine contributes a goodly quota, and among the many "undesirables" are scorpions. In the Jordan Valley some of the fellows of our Brigade captured a giant scorpion. From head to tail he measures six inches, and his girth is in proportion. He has pugilistic abilities which have spread far and wide his name and fame. In accordance with a desire to attach to him a name in connection with the annals of this country, he was, by common consent, christened "Nebuchadnezzar".

Every kind of crawling thing—the bigger-the better—has been introduced to "Nebuchadnezzar", who instinctively challenges them to mortal combat. It has never been necessary for "Nebuchadnezzar" to "engage" a foe for very long, for the fell clutch of his jaw-like "nippers," plus the agility with which he wields his black, scaly tail, and stings with its thorn-like tip, are generally too much for his opponent; and to! the victim lies dead at his feet ere time allows it to parry or think about tactics.

Recently a snake was captured and placed in "Nebuchadnezzar's" stadium. Thesnake wasn't a large one, but still, it's proportions were several times greater than his. The two combatants faced each other for a while, both pausing for an opportunity. Suddenly "Neb" made a bound and got a vice-like grip with his front "nippers", and held the serpent at legs' length. "Neb" then, by an encircling movement, got to the "rear" of the snake's head and repeatedly inserted hissting into the reptile, which struggled and writhed, all to no avail. The snake went "West," and "Nebuchadnezzar'' released his grip and retired with all the assurance of victory, his pointed tail, ugly and black as night, curled up in a defiant mannerand "in position" for any further purposes, offensive or defensive. "Nebuchadnezzar" has not emerged from every combat unscathed; in one deadly affray he lost a "foot". This, however, places him at no disadvantage, for he has many more, and it also makes no difference to his locomotion. For one of his species, he is comparatively fleet. He can turn round in a minimum of space, and walk backwards or sideways should his adversary deliver an attack from an unexpected quarter.

At the present time "Nebuchadnezzar" reclines on his laurels. He is kept in an empty biscuit-tin, the bottom of which is strewn with his slaughtered hosts, including beetles, centipedes, scorpions, and spiders His record is 3-2 encounters and 32 wins.