This weekend was getting back into town life after a few days away. I say this but almost fall about laughing as where we live seems remarkably un-town like ... I was making a banana bread in the kitchen with the french doors open when suddenly out of the corner of my eye I saw this fairly sizeable carpet python slithering onto the deck - note the distance from the kitchen to the deck is a few metres - slithering through my chairs, and out the other side, round the side of the deck for a drink from the flower pot before disappearing under the deck, to wait for dinner. Dinner is a juicy ratlette or a mouse that we have heard scurrying up and down the lilly pilly tree late at night.
I slept badly that night and felt intimidated about hanging out my washing. The snake had made itself comfortable in a rafter just under the deck and its coils could be seen clearly from inside the house but also literally just where I hang my washing. I know they are harmless but I felt this one's proximity to the house was just a little too close for comfort and so bright and early on a Monday I rang around to see if someone could, for a price, relocate him to a friendlier neighbourhood.
My google search produced just the outfit -SNAKE CATCHERS - so I called. The phone was answered by a woman who took down my details, told me about the cost and said that I would be liable to pay even if the snake moved off in the meantime. Well I didn't see how I was going to persuade it to stay or even hold it against its will so I decided this was a risk I just had to accept. She arrived in about 45 mins. A young woman with sensible boots and a safari shirt carrying a metal hook and a cloth bag, similar to what you would put your dirty washing in.
In the evening I had to break the news to my husband who is fond of them, that the snake had been relocated. We both, unbelievably, felt sad. I was curious why a young girl like her would do a job like that so kept asking her lots of questions and I guess talking to her made me realise that it is I who have to change my mind set about the snake not the snake about us. She reckoned it was about 20 years old, about 2.5 metres, had probably lived in this neighbourhood all its life, never eaten a child, but probably lots of rats, never spread a disease which of course both rats and birds do, and had no nasty droppings or ever made a mess, other than to occasionally shed its skin which is beautiful anyway.
So I am a little humbled, a little less inclined to feed the birds, which get fat and make a terrible mess, and which bring the rats and mice, which attract the snakes. It is nature's pecking order and as with most things natural there are good reasons for it and I felt that at the end of the day I had disturbed that balance.
Relocating one is not going to mean that there wont be more -but perhaps next time I will choose to live with it and spend my $105 in town!