This morning my fox terrier dog Billy and I went out for our daily walk. We usually take the path at the back of our house then walk up the covered steps where the council have thoughtfully placed a bench for us walkers, but today I decided on a different route. We have a flooded plain area at the end of our street for the local wildlife; a conservation patch that is a favoured haunt for the local wildlife. On more than one occasion I have heard sounds and movements through the tall eucalyptus trees and lemongrass bushes; cracking twigs, chirping and rustling. My psyche is very calm when it comes to local wild life, but this IS Australia, the land that has the most poisonous wild life in the world.
This morning I’m happily strolling along the outskirts of the flooded plain area when a screeching and a flapping appears on my nearside. A magpie, perched on the lowest branches of the tree, watches us intently through orange eyes; a clear indication that it was a juvenile bird. I step back onto a twig, just as a butterfly flies into my vision. I muffle a scream, startling my dog at the same time.
Have you ever felt silly? I have, just this morning…..
Slinking away as quietly as I could, a sudden movement on the path ahead indicates that a large black lizard has heard my clumsy movements. He flicks his tail at me, running into the bushes.
My dog goes bananas, barking frantically, hackles raised. I nearly lose hold of his lead, which would be disastrous as he;
1) has no road sense; and
2) would run into thick bushes which lead to the Aussie outback and never be seen again!
Disaster abated, I walk quickly down the road, dragging Billy with me, who was still barking and pulling himself towards the bushes. No sign of the lizard of course, he was halfway up the mountains by now….
A glutton for punishment, Billy and I take our evening stroll after dinner. Before we had even got past my front door porch, Billy had grabbed a massive cane toad into his mouth. He shook the knobby lump, legs flailing around his mouth and spit hitting my legs, the wall, everywhere. I scream into the hallway and my hubby ran out, holding a broom in his hand, ready to swipe the thing onto the lawn.
What a drama! I frantically wipe the foam off my dog’s mouth with a damp cloth before we continue our walk – we hadn’t left the front door yet!
I think the next time we go for one of our lovely, leisurely, and relaxing walks again – I will ensure that I am properly prepared, with a cover over my head, a stick to shoo away the wildlife, and boots to protect my feet.
After all, what will I encounter next?
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