The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 11, Issue 3 (June 1, 1936)
The Cray At Play
The Cray At Play.
The British pet-lover is not very venturesome. He is satisfied with dogs and cats and birds and mice. He is a petty petter. Seldom do we hear of him harbouring a giraffe or a muskox in his yard, or a dolphin in the bath. More imagination is required if piquancy is to be added to domesticity. A clutch of bats—ding or plain—would help. A brace of carpetsnakes or lounge lizards would add zest to afternoon tea-parties. A pet platypus would lend a pre-historic, and post-hysteric, colour to the antique furniture. A wallaby would keep things on the hop, and a conger eel clambering up and down the table legs would be sort of chummy.
Personally I favour a pet cray. I have always craved a cray to tell my troubles to. Its eyes are so sympathetic; they seem to reach out towards you. They have the same seeking sublimity as a pair of toffee apples, the same questing questioning as a couple of asparagus stalks. They swivel so sweetly, they convex so neatly, their periscopic protruberance is so submarinely satisfying.
I have always longed to own a cray who would recognise my step—and breath—when I returned to the inglenook at eventide; to hear him gallop down the hall to meet me with a noise like a sack of dog-biscuits going through a chaff-cutter. I would call him Nip or Boozo, and he would clamber onto my knee with eyes brimming with affection, as only a cray's eyes can brim. I can imagine him playfully pinching my toes in the morning, the while he flapped his tail and capered on the bed rail. I would take him for a scamper along the beach, making sure that he didn't fall in the water and drown. I would train him to pull corks and pickled onions out of bottles, to nip undesirable visitors under the table, to shin up and fix the aerial, to find my collar studs and socks under the duchesse in the morning, and to weed the garden on Saturday afternoons. And what a “wow” he'd be at smoke concerts— provided he could keep sober! Dogs and cats are loyal but, for sheer craylike devotion, give me a cray.page 24