This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V23", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
It has long been a matter of popular belief that the great kingfisher was an enemy of the snake, perpetually warring upon the tribe in general, and never happier than when dining on serpent au naturel. It is not often, however, that even persons habitually residing in the bush have so good an opportunity as that afforded a few days since to Mr. Christian Westendorff, of Jindera, for observing the laughing jackass when in the act of bagging the game referred to. Mr. Westendorff was engaged with another man in clearing some land, and in the course of the day's operations it became necessary to shift a large log. For this purpose levers were applied to each end, and after some straining the log was rolled from its resting-place. The very moment it commenced to move a laughing jackass, which had hitherto been taking a deep but unobtrusive interest in the proceedings, made a swoop down from the limb of an adjacent tree and seized a large snake which had been lying under the log. The snake was gripped by the back of the neck (if snakes can be said to have necks) and borne away to the bird's previous perch, where the unfortunate reptile was banged against the bough until the body separated from the head and fell to the ground.
The jackass then dropped the head, and, seizing the body, sailed away in triumph with his prize. Whether the bird had seen the snake go under the log and was watching for it to come forth again, or whether it knew by instinct that the reptile was there, is a question that may be left for naturalists to determine; but we are credibly informed that as soon as the log was shifted, and before Mr. West-erndorff or his companion had any idea of a snake being in their neighborhood, the jackass was down and made good his seizure. - Albury Banner (New South Wales).