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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 10, Issue 5 (August 1, 1935)

The Pellmellican

The Pellmellican.

On the other hand, the pelican, in spite of his fuss of feathers and carpet - bag beak, seems to be a chummy kind of bird even if the parts south of his bill are built to the specifications of a goose whose grandmother was a sawn-
“The Mongoose is a Rail Sitter.”

“The Mongoose is a Rail Sitter.”

off ostrich. His eye has a gallant roll and his voice has the cheerily wheezy quality of an ancient sea-dog calling for grog; but, as a drinking partner, the cost of his company might prove prohibitive for, when he said, “Just a mouthful, captain,” one can easily imagine the consequent consternation on the quarter-deck. But he is air-minded, as he proved when we paused at his enclosure, by “wooshing” his wings up and down in a manner suggesting a rusty old umbrella being opened and shut with violence. Naturalists, we believe, refer to “a flock of pigeons,” “a flight of periwinkles,” “a gaggle of geese,” etc., etc., and no doubt they also refer to “a stagger of pelicans.”

When the pelican lunches the sight is remindful of a fish-ladder operating in reverse.

It's amazing when viewing the pelican,
To notice, in passing, how well he can
Dispose of a gurnet—
And barely discern it—
His beak and his manner
Both tell he can.