I don't really have a routine when it comes to collecting the eggs. Sometimes in the morning when I let them out to forage all day; sometimes during the day if I'm out the back; sometimes when I go to lock them up.
On my way to collect the eggs late yesterday arvo, I stopped in my tracks. You couldn't miss it. There it was in all it's glory curled around the wooden post. I couldn't see it's head. I didn't want to see it's head. I didn't want to see any of it at all actually, but she was seemingly at one with the post.
I shrieked and then retreated. How long have you been there? I wondered. I hadn't seen a snake in the chicken pen for years and years. In the olden days we used to have heaps of rats raiding the feed container and so the odd snake would attend the rat feeding party. Which by the way my Hubby thought was fantastic. They keep the rats under control he said. 'He won't hurt you', the words still resonate in my head.
But it doesn't matter. I don't care. I know it's a tree python; but it's a SNAKE!! I've had my frickin' fair share of them lately especially having not long returned from Gundy last week.
I accompany my chickens scratching about the place. I see wallabies arriving for their afternoon feed of fallen avocadoes. They spot me and they watch me warily from a distance. They do to me what I do to the snake. Watch warily from a distance.
I walk back up to the house and fetch my long metal chip strainer. I get as close to the snake as I can and then I slowly stretch out the strainer and scoop out one egg at a time. Mission accomplished. I lean over and see his body along the side of the post. Yikes. He looks big to me. I scoot outta there quick smart.
Where the hell is Hubby!!! He's usually home by now and I wanted him to come and see this creature before dark. We need an action plan because without one, I ain't ever collecting the eggs again!
Blackie is about to enter the pen. I think she suspects something.
The other two are stills rustling leaves under the mandarin tree. I think my presence is making them stay out longer than they otherwise would normally. The wallabies are still there, the bloody snake is still there and it's getting darker by the minute. No sign of my rescuer - where's a bloody man when you need one! Sorry girls, you're on your own. Good Luck.
Despite the mossie attacks I stayed with the girls for as long as I could. It's dark. Back to the house. It's almost seven o'clock. I set the table for one and heat up my long ago prepared spag bol and salad. Thank goodness I'd done that earlier.
Motorbike sounds. In comes my would-be rescuer. Checking the cows in the valley took longer than he thought. Why? He was admiring all his lovely little calves - "they're so playful in the afternoon, they're so pretty with their dark eyes and their black little noses, they butt heads with each other while some frolick around their mothers". Oh marvellous! Here I am waiting for the chicken rescuer while he's out watching the sun go down with happy cows.
He's ravenous and tucks into a huge plate. Great. Now he has the energy to deal with our little 'chicken problem'. I show him the photo and he says, "ooh I bet the chickens aren't happy about that". Ya reckon.
He gets up from the table, grabs a torch, throws one to me and I follow him out the door.
Wow he's fairly large, says Indiana. "Come over and take a look at how's he positioned himself". "I can see from here" I reply. "Looks like he's waiting for a rat, his head is very close to the ground" says Hubby who shines the torch around the pen like Indiana in a cave looking for signs (of what I'm not sure). Hubby says "I can't see any rat poo and the spider webs are all intact". We haven't kept feed in the pen for ages; all we can think of is perhaps the abundant avocadoes have been an attraction.
Indiana tells me to shine my torch in his direction. He places his torch in his pocket. With one hand he picks up the snake in the middle of it's body; as the snake lifts it's upper body into the air, Indiana grabs it just under the head and stands there holding and looking at it for a minute. 'Healthy fellow, isn't he".
I concentrate on keeping the torch shine the whole way as he carries the protesting snake out the pen and down to one of our bigger trees near the creek. He somehow coaxes the snake onto a large leafy branch. It works. Mr very long python takes a moment to 'grab his bearings' and then very slowly slithers up into the tree. "What a beautiful creature" says Hubby, I mean Indiana. It's times like this I'm reminded of how lucky I am. Being married to an adventurous man has it's moments. And benefits too.
|The bushy leafy green tree to the left of the|
photo is where Indiana released him.