I was relaxed and all was right with the world until I heard loud shrieks. Coming from the patio. From the bird cage.
Luckily I had the presence of mind to pause my show as I went out to investigate. Little did I know that what I found was going to take a good half hour chunk of viewing time and I was sure to miss something important in thirty minutes.
Our patio light isn't working so when I went out I really couldn't see any reason that the lorikeet should be carrying on but my night vision isn't as good as my dogs'. There's a structure in the dog's eye which helps with that called the tapetum lucidum. And yes, you should be impressed that I can still remember that 34 years after graduating.
My dogs could see that there was good reason for the bird to be shrieking and it was their reaction that made me take a second look. There was something on the cage and I was pretty sure it was a snake.
So I yelled snake. As you do. A couple of times. With the right amount of panic in my voice so I'd maybe attract the attention of the two adult males in the house. And then I went to grab my phone so I'd at least be able to see what I was up against.
#2 son, Josh showed up with Serena just as I was throwing some light on this dilemma. And it really was a dilemma - the snake was half in the cage and wrapped around the bird. So the question was - how do we manage to extricate the bird from the grasp of the snake without getting bitten?
Josh's instincts kicked in. He grabbed the snake's tail - perfectly safe to do because it was just a carpet snake (non-venomous) and its head was trapped in the cage. The snake sensed the threat and dropped the bird to the base of the cage. The base of the cage is detachable so I decided that I'd detach it but it took me a couple of flustered minutes to remember how that was done.
Once I got the base off the cage I went to grab the bird but the poor thing was in such a state of panic that it saw my hand as a threat and flew up the cage back towards the snake. Luckily a few shakes and whacks of the cage got it back down so I could pick it up without having snake fangs sink into my hand.
I grabbed the poor still-screeching lorikeet and rushed it inside the house. It tried to bite me so I dropped it (instinct is a powerful thing - both his and mine) and as soon as it hit the floor it was in Toby's mouth. But luckily Toby, being a retriever, has a soft mouth and he's been trained to drop things when I tell him to so the bird survived its second near miss of the night.
Meanwhile Josh was still on the patio holding the snake's tail while trying to work out what to do with it.
In the end he decided to take it over to the school next door and let it loose there. Why the school? Because it's surrounded by a lot of bushland and I'm pretty sure that's where it came from in the first place. School kids = food scraps = rats and mice = snakes.
The snake was pretty happy when Josh finally let go of his tail. Happy enough to slither off without his evening meal. And Josh was pretty happy to wash his hands. Because apparently snakes smell like rotting stuff. And I was happy to go back to my TV program and finish it off. And I can't remember what I was watching after all that so it obviously wasn't that important after all.
The bird comes inside to sleep every night now. But I'm not entirely sure that the snakes won't just follow him. I'm pretty sure if they are determined enough they'll find a way. Shudder!!!