I went to visit my Nan today, she also had another visitor while I was there. As I sat at the kitchen table reading the news on my mobile phone, she nipped outside to check if the bin man had been. Seconds later I heard a scratch, scratch noise from close to the front door, imagining that it was a sound from outside I kept on reading. When the noise was repeated a second later and plainly came from inside on the carpet, I got up to investigate. Imagine the surprise, for both of us, when I was confronted with a bob tailed goanna, inside the house!
As Nan left the front door she must have unknowingly stepped over this little home invader and having a fright, he bolted for the only opening he could see, the rapidly closing screen door. Once inside he was faced with an unfamiliar and problematic surface to negotiate, carpet, which he had never encountered before and had a nasty habit of grabbing and restraining his sharply clawed toes. Hence the scratch, scratch sound that caught my attention at the get go.
After a brief pause in which we both took stock of our options we simultaneously began to make our moves. I, with a lifetime of training at my Fathers knee, jumping out of cars and rescuing bob tails from becoming flattened road kill as they sunned themselves on the warm bitumen, lunged for the back of his neck. He, with a lifetime of experience dodging large things that have the potential to either eat him, squash him or chop him into a million pieces was more than up to the challenge of dodging an overweight, pedestrian couch potato and dashed underneath the dining table. As chairs began to move in a manner threatening to expose his hiding place, he made a dash for the lounge. That is when he miscalculated badly and instead of stopping under the lounge where I would have had trouble lifting the large and unwieldy furniture and grabbing him by the neck, he kept going and ended up bailed up in the hallway cornered by the bookshelf and the bedroom door.
Thanks to my superior knowledge of the house layout, if not my superior intelligence and/or fitness level, I managed to scramble myself into a position to rescue our clearly out of sorts guest and take him outside to a place more befitting to both his character and preference. Meanwhile he entertained ideas of eating me piecemeal and conveyed the ideas clearly through the use of some very colourful language which I am glad to say, lacking a universal translator, I did not understand. The idea came across clearly though and I think we were both considerably relieved once I found him a nice quiet spot in the garden and managed to deposit him without him twisting around and making good his threats.
I took a picture of him in his more comfortable surroundings to show my husband when I got home and thought I would share it with you. Visiting my Nan can be quite an adventure sometimes as she relives the past in our discussions that range across the years and leave me wondering if I will be as interesting to my grandchildren when I reach her age but they don’t normally include wildlife encounters inside the house. I am glad I was there, I am not sure either of them would have come out of the encounter intact if they had come to loggerheads. Hopefully the bobtail will think twice before dashing through doors in future but the number of them that I have rescued from warm roads in the past suggests that they don’t readily learn from their mistakes and that lessons that do take are almost universally fatal.
At least the two of them are now aware of each other. I am sure Nan will be putting out sliced apples for her new guest and regaling him with stories and friendly chatter if she happens to see him again.
There are worse ways to spend a warm spring day.
Here is a link if you want to know more about bobtails or blue tongue lizards as they are sometimes known.