I expected to see quite a varied range of wildlife cross my path now that we live here in Australia. But my next two intruders were probably the strangest and most unexpected guests I have seen.
I was working in my study a short while ago as a thunderstorm was gathering outside. As the rumbles got louder and flashes more frequent I was aware of a jangly sound coming from somewhere behind me. To hear any kind of sound close by tends to indicate something is on my property. And this sound was getting progressively louder and faster. It sounded like rattling chains and was so loud it could have been in my garage.
It was! My study has a door which enters straight into the garage and as I peered through the insect repelling netting, there she was. Huge, frightened and nervous. She was obviously too strong for the chain that was intended to hold her, which had now been revealed as the source of the noise.
I decided to let her in.
She was, I have since been told by somebody who knows, a Rhodesian Ridgeback. Yes, I should have guessed. It’s a pretty distinctive marking isn’t it?
Bless her, as big as she was, she was so scared of the storm. My dog, on the other hand, a very laid-back Chocolate Labrador, has been known walk past firework displays without batting an eyelid. He wasn’t the sort of dog to let an attempted government coup spoil his evening walk. So the storms had no impact on him whatsoever.
But this poor Rhodesian Ridgeback, she’d just wouldn’t leave my side. Wherever I went, she went. The storms subsided so I decided to take her out into the streets to look for her owner. She walked happily by my side for about 10 yards but then decided that was to far away from the security of the house. So she stopped. And I tugged, and tugged, and tugged some more on that lead, but I never made it to the street.
If she didn’t want to go somewhere, she wasn’t going to go. So much for “wherever I went, she went”. She was a strong dog! We eventually managed to get her into the car and down to the vets, where they checked their records and gave us the address of her owner. She was returned safely that evening.
I was equally surprised when I walked into the garden and met these three having a nose around….
You will of course be forgiven for thinking they are chickens, when in fact they are chooks. Everybody here calls them chooks, unless you are a Pom like me. Picking up a new language at my age isn’t all that easy. But I am working on it.
I had a good idea they came from the house that backs on to the back of ours, (they did) but I was quite keen to hold them hostage until they laid fresh eggs. But my wife thought it was more neighbourly to return them. So returned they were, safely that evening.
Disappointed as I know you are, I still have quite a few cute intruders to get through before we start on the creepy crawly scary stuff. I hope that any of you wary of coming here to live because of our “snakes and spiders problem” will be able to put that “problem” into perspective after reading these posts about some of our wonderful wildlife.
If you can’t – let me know. I can think of plenty in the UK far more scary than Australia’s wildlife.