unusual comes to New York it is traditional to hold a cocktail party for it.
The martinis, highballs and salted peanuts are broken out in honor of all sorts
of oddities. Apes have been toasted and on one occasion the hostess poured
heavily at a christening party for a dog. The snake's cocktail party was held
in the Manhattan offices of Swissair. The connection here, of course, is that
the man who brought the snake is a Swiss and furthermore Mr. Ryhiner announced
emphatically, "Wherever I go in the world with my snake we will fly
for the party were simple. There were two rooms. They had the whisky in the
first room and the snake in the second. Some guests remarked they would prefer
it the other way round; they would rather see the snake first and then drink
the whisky. Some resorted to refreshments both before and after seeing the
In the snake
room Mr. Ryhiner, who has a goatee and blond, wavy hair, stood behind a table
on which rested a wooden box. In the box were two snakes, the white one and a
normal, mottled brown rock python for contrast. The guest-of-honor snake was
all that had been claimed for it. Its skin lacked the pinkish tinge which
albinos have but was the glossy white of polished ivory. Its dark eyes also
proved that it was not a true albino, for albinos have pink eyes.
prize from the box and holding it draped across his forearms, Mr. Ryhiner told
how he had heard of a white python northeast of Khulna in eastern Pakistan.
"I put four
of my best men on the job and they waited for four months and the lucky day
came," he said. "They caught it on the rocks."
fast. Mr. Ryhiner said it was the first such snake ever seen.
thousand years and we haven't seen one like it," he said. One guest put
down his drink and reached out to touch the pallid reptile. The snake
no," Mr. Ryhiner said sternly. "No quick movements."
The guest went
back to his drink, but others came up and touched the snake with slow
movements. There was talk about Eastern superstitions concerning white
serpents, and somebody mentioned "the curse of the white python." When
Mr. Ryhiner was on his way here with his shipment of animals a young tiger tied
on the ship's deck broke his leash and jumped into the Red Sea. However, it is
highly doubtful that this was the result of any spell cast by the snake. The
insurance company is contending that tigers shouldn't be kept on leashes.
would like to sell his pale python but so far he hasn't had any luck. Before
bringing it to New York he showed it to zoo officials in other cities, but they
felt that the collector had an exalted idea of the snake's value. The zoo men
were interested in it as an oddity but not as an exhibit. They prefer normal