The new trend amongst students in Christchurch was taking selfies with snakes. Nobody asked how the snakes came to New Zealand or why so many were comfortable with one sitting on their shoulders.
As students graduated the snakes spread. Hospital departments competed over who had the largest constrictor, law firms adopted serpentine logos, public libraries proudly displayed a different species every month and every barista in town had something wrapped around their arm like a living tattoo.
When the danger of these animals was finally raised the question of were they came from still was thought of. Farmers felt snake lovers couldn’t be trusted around live stock. Skin heads showing uncharacteristic economic environmental concern, vowed to defend native birds from the foreign predators. The prime minister boasted of having a snake free party while petting a viper and the opposition proposed mandatory classes in herpetology.
After years of heated arguments it came to two enormous demonstrations converging on Hagley park. People of all convictions from across New Zealand came to join one side or the other.
The two sides formed lines on opposite sides of the junior rugby fields. They charged. They wrestled. They slithered as they fought. They vomited. Snakes came forward from their mouths.