Friday, 1 November 2013

Halloween edition


So there I was, walking down the drive way with a possum in rigor mortis on the end of a rusty shovel, scattering bush stone-curlews and hoping that the neighbours weren't enjoying breakfast in their garden. This is how I started November. I don't normally start the new month in that way. I usually kick it off with a cup of tea.

Possums had been running up and down the roof all night. I think it was possums. Last night being Halloween, it could have been something else. Then it was quiet until 2 a.m., when I was woken by a rustling noise below my window. Not the sound of ghouls, but of a small carpet python, which had killed a large coppery brushtail possum. I admired the python's ambition, but it was clear that no matter how elastic its jaws, the snake was not going to be able to swallow its prey.

The python tried three times, but each time only managed to get the possum's head into its mouth. After an hour, it gave up and climbed up onto the carport roof. To sulk, probably. It had that sort of look on its face.

Some time later, I steeled myself to relocate the dead possum. My hope that it might have turned into a zombie and relocated itself ended when I went outside. Most of it was in good condition, apart from being dead and stiff. But the head — the part that had been enclosed by the snake's not quite sufficiently capacious maw — was a mess. Take my advice, people: don't get attacked by a hungry python.

4 comments:

mick said...

How come all the interesting and unusual things happen outside your windows? But then I am glad I didn't have to find a final resting place for the Possum!

Snail said...

I could do without them happening at 2am!

Luckily the garden is big enough that I could deposit the possum in the far corner, where insects and other scavengers can make use of it, without having to worry about the whiff of decay.

I hope the python doesn't try it again.

Flabmeister said...

May I ask a technical question? Do you think it is better to be attacked by a non-hungry python?

Here on the Monaro we are a bit short of pythons. I think this is because the Brown, Red-bellied Black and Tiger Snakes have eaten them all!

Regards

Martin

Snail said...

It sounded a bit odd, didn't it! But a non-hungry python will usually just give a warning strike to frighten you off (it works!) or a bit of a bite. I haven't been bitten, but I've seen the results on other people. It's not a pretty sight.

A hungry python, if it thinks it's got a chance, is quite a different prospect.