Yesterday I put on a barbecue for the kids after a sports session and the party was crashed by Sadie the camel.
Like Emu, she is a community pet raised here since she was young. She is very curious about whatever is going on, especially barbecues. She is not keen on sausages, it turns out, but is quite fond of bread. Try persuading a two metre camel to bugger off while you are trying to cook. She is not easily put off when she is determined to check something out. She tolerates the rough treatment the kids give her with admirable equanimity. She munches away at whatever vegetation takes her fancy while they clamber all over her. Mostly she just ignores them unless they are holding food.
She seems to have taken a shine to me. She follows me around and nuzzles my ear or pulls my hair to get my attention. The kids even commented on it, saying I had two wives now; Sally the Goat and Sadie the Camel. I think they find my fondness for animals quite amusing. But not in a weird way I hope.
Earlier in the day one of the community elders came for a visit. A friendly elderly gentleman, he came for a chat about the children and to borrow some curry powder. As we sat on the deck drinking icy cold lime cordial, he pointed to a hole in the ground near the fence. I had not noticed it until he drew it to my attention.
It is a King Brown burrow, he told me. He then told me how to catch the occupant, using a live mouse on a string as bait. Not keen on doing that. I have my own snake-catching equipment.
It is the cooler dry season now. My neighbour should be hibernating and will not be a problem until November. Not that I think it will be a problem anyway. I am not the sort of meal a snake would want to eat. I am not at all concerned at having such a dangerous creature nearby. I merely need to be careful not to accidentally surprise it. And to that end I’ll need Sally to keep my grass short.
Rather than show a boring photo of a hole in the ground, here is a picture of a KB that I borrowed from the Internet:
I suspect I shall eventually have to capture my neighbour and remove it to a safe place out in the bush. People are likely to kill it. No one else seems as fond of snakes as I am.
I really don’t understand why that is.