Tiptoeing down to the bottom of the garden through the midwinter gloom (or, to be precise the astronomical twilight) for some last-minute salad greens, I hear a sudden clang in the chook yard.
According to the manufacturers, Grandpa’s are vermin proof, requiring the heft of a chook to access the munchies inside. And we carefully checked the skies before training our girls, since apparently cockies, despite being lightweights, comparatively speaking, have be known to figure out to jump mob-handed on the foot-pedal to get to the goodies. And it’s not a brush turkey, for all their proprietorial air. It’s after their bedtime.
In my fantasy life, my garden, as well as being effortlessly fecund with nature’s edible bounty, is an ideal habitat for rare and exciting native creatures. The clang, in this universe, would be a shy and endangered Long-Nosed bandicoot, taking a detour from its usual diet of grubs and tubers to snatch a mouthful of scratch mix, as if to assure me, through this moment of dietary eccentricity, that I am walking lightly on this earth.
In fact, I’m pretty sure we do have bandicoots in the back yard, but I’ve only once had a fleeting glimpse a white bum disappearing into a disorderly pile of prunings (or “habitat” as I like to think of it). If they are attempting to communicate with me through the medium of conical nose-holes disturbingly close to my seedlings, I’m not quite sure what the message might be.
In my nightmares, on the other hand, the visitor at dusk is a Liverpudlian Super Rat, that somehow sneaked into the shipping crate when we left the UK seven years ago and has been loitering in the bottom of the garden ever since, disembowelling cats and swallowing brush turkey eggs whole. Okay, the Super Rat may be not all bad.
I could hide behind the generous leaves of the custard apple and try to catch the interloper in the act. But since there’s a sharp westerly blowing and further research is bound to disappoint, one way or another, I think I’ll allow the Clanger to remain a mystery.