Monday, January 12, 2009

An unexpected visitor

I was making toast for my little man the other day. I reached into the cupboard to get a plate and got a surprise: This little guy was sitting on our plates!
(sorry about photo quality, I used my mobile phone, no time to get the camera.)

He hissed at me, and puffed his body up trying to look like a scary snake. It took me a second to realise he was just a scared baby blue tongue. He was only about 10 centimetres (4 inches) long, but he made me jump, that's for sure!

It took ages for me to corner him and get him into a salad bowl (the closest thing to a bucket I had within arms reach.) I was afraid the Great Black and White Hunter (our cat) might find him. (The dumb cat will calmly watch mice eat his biscuits, but he loves to chase lizards.)

Then once I had baby blue tongue safely in the salad bowl, hiding under a handful of mulch from the garden, I had to figure out what to do with him. We have huge, nearly 60 centimetre (2 feet) long blue tongues in our back yard, living in our compost. It's nice and warm there with lots of snails and worms, perfect blue tongue habitat. I just wasn't sure how friendly these big guys would be to my little guy. What if blue tongues are fiercely territorial, and by releasing him in my backyard, I was sending this baby to his doom?

I made a quick call to the RSPCA 1300 animal hotline. Even though it wasn't technically an emergency, the operator was extremely helpful. I was reassured that he would be O.K. Blue tongues are quite gentle, and very timid. The operator pointed out that the adults down the back were probably his parents. Duh, why didn't I think of that? He had to have come from somewhere! We both had a bit of a giggle about the fact that some how he had made it up two stories and into our kitchen cupboard. That's one intrepid baby blue tongue.

Two days later, Handsome Husband was moving the wheely bins, and let out a girly squeal, ahem, I mean a manly shout. I ran outside to rescue him, I mean, to see what was wrong, and there was Baby Blue Tongue. He was doing his hissing act, puffing up to his full 10 centimetres (4 inches). I laughed at HH, who was backed up against the fence, picked the lizard up in an old shirt and let it go down the back again. At least I know it hasn't been eaten yet.

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