Friday, 16 September 2011

Of Banjo, Brenna and Blue Tongued Wizards

It's been a crazy week. One which I will try and describe in images. There are creatures everywhere in Australia, and I have no idea what most of them are. My 16-year-old step-daughter in her infinite wisdom however, took the time and trouble to give me the basics when I first arrived here.
"If it has blue on it, it's toxic and will kill you slowly. If it has red, it'll just kill you quickly."

Armed with this knowledge, my faithful friend and I (Banjo my black Labrador), stroll around the garden and I have little fear of what we may encounter, apart from anything else, I have Banjo to protect me. Australia is a tough place to be a dog, it costs over $100 a year for a license just to have one, and the restrictions on their movements in public are pretty tight. At most times they must be on a lead, and rarely are they allowed to run free even in bushland. The penalties for non-compliance are pretty harsh. So if we're not out together somewhere, or my stepdaughter hasn't taken him away to the local dog park, you'll find us in the garden. Ordinarily I ensure the large wooden gate in the garden is locked tight. I have no idea why it was open but it happened to be so earlier in the week when some kind of creature was lurking in the grass at night. I didn't see it, Banjo did and took off like a greyhound after it. Somewhere out there in the darkness he met something fast, heavy and with four wheels. I'm relieved he's alive but damn he's expensive to glue back together again - $700 and that was with a discount for knowing the Vet's Assistant.

Anyway, he is recovering well, not as well as I would hope, but recovering nonetheless. So my wee strolls around the garden have pretty much been on my own.

Two days ago, I left the house via the front door and made my way around the back intending to come in through there - only to find the back door locked.
' No problem ', thinks I, ' I'll go round the front again'. I turned and was met by the most horrifying guttural hiss. There just a few feet from me was some kind of large reptile which at first I thought was a snake. It reared up and I realised it was as long as a cat but half the height. But anyway, the main focus of my attention was the "kill you slowly" blue tongue - which it flashed every time it hissed. I was trapped between it and a locked door. I picked up a small twig and jabbed it in its direction but it only served to make it angrier. I picked up a small pebble and threw it hoping to scare it away but that only made it rush a few more steps towards me angrily. So this was it then, Rory D Grant was about to be despatched by means of toxic poisoning injected by Godzilla's midget nephew. I slumped down onto my ass with my back against the door so as not to appear too intimidating. I felt the glass door slide open and I tumbled inside.

"Watcha doing?" My Stepdaughter asked.
"Thank God Brenna - I was about to be killed slowly by that THING!" I pointed.
"Aww a Blue tongued wizard." (She has a lisp).
She rushed toward it, picked it up and cuddled it.
"No!" I roared "It's dangerous, it's been attacking me!"
"Rory," she said, stroking it in her arms, "They only attack if you are aggressive. Were you throwing sticks or stones at it?"
I thought about that for a second - "Maybe".

We took it to a secluded tropical area of the garden where I photographed it and let it go.

I need Banjo back on his feet - and soon. Life without him is just too dangerous.



  1. lol this was a great read!!
    I was told the same thing in Mexico, the blue ones are poisonous and will kill you slowly! of course, one runs over my feet in the loo!! in the middle of the jungle!.
    (yes, in the loo!!) I heard everyone laughing after I stopped screaming. and ran out of there.... then heard the man say, she must have seen the lizard, it comes out every day at this time! BTW the lizard was about 2 foot long!!

  2. totally forgot! sending Banjo healthy hugs and puppy kisses to get better soon!!!
    poor pup!

  3. Thanks Callie :) Oh being trapped in the loo with any kind of creature is traumatic lol - I soooo sympathise with you.

    I'll let Banjy Boy know you send him well wishes. My wife thinks I'm nuts cause I talk to him like I would a human. But I swear he understands.


  4. I would have screamed like a little gir! Hope your cutie pie Banjo heals quickly so you can feel safer in your own backyard.


  5. Poor lil' Banjo! :( I hope the fella recovers quickly. As for you, my dear, you're about as lucky with the Aussie fauna as I am. It's a mad world out there, mate. Stay safe! ;)

  6. (popping in from Delores' feathered nest - nice to meet you. :-))

    That lizard would have scared me too!

  7. That is some adventure and all in the garden...all the best tae Banjo..
    Cheers, Sausage.

  8. What a lovely read! I thoroughly enjoyed your post - but, gawd, what a terrible thing to have roaming around your garden, friendly or not. I don't think I'd ever leave the house if I were you. And poor Banjo, looking so forlorn. Get well soon buddy!
    Love your blog - thanks for the follow and thanks to Delores for showing me another great writer.

  9. OMG poor Banjo .... thank goodness he survived the encounter with the big heavy thing with four cylnders ... I lost one of our cats to that beast. Hope he recovers quickly.
    The lizard, poisonous or not, would have given me a heart attack and killed me quickly.

  10. "Godzilla's midget nephew" ... what a great description! Only you can make us laugh over an encounter with such a scary beast. Get well wishes to Banjo. (And of COURSE he understands what you say to him!)

  11. Hope Banjo gets well soon.
    Just remember that there is nothing to fear but fear itself ... ... and spiders.

  12. Yes siree, that is a creature I would not like to encounter. I would have run up a tree, but who knows what might be up there.

    The cruelest animal though was the fast, large, 4 wheeled one that left poor Banjo out here hurt.

  13. Nope, life in Tillsonburg just can't compare! Holy heck. And I LOLed too over "godzilla's midget nephew". Crikey mate. And Banjo... awwwwwww! It's like large 4-wheeled monsters wait for gates to be accidentally left open.

  14. Poor Banjo! Glad he's okay but jeez what a week you've had! Freakin blue tongued wizards! Only you, Rory, only you.

  15. Rory, I so enjoy your blog. You make me laugh. Esp. with the critter containing stories. As I am physically unable to scream girlie or otherwise, my family gets a kick out of scarying the poo right out of me as often as possible just to hear the noise I make or dont make for that matter. This critter right there would have done it. Gaw, what a beast. Yeeee.

  16. This is in response to your America post...yes, things here are terribly wrong. I am afraid of what’s going to happen. Jobs are gone..why? people
    wanted more stuff and they wanted it in price and cheap in quality. Every Saturday I go to yard sales filled with crap that people have bought over the years...junk. they work their whole lives and rather than save they spoil their children with crap toys, computers ,gadgets and eveything else. junk clothes, shoes,cheap plastic crap. alot of people are in trouble cause they didn’t save, they had children when they
    shouldn’t have because they couldn’t afford them. I see people waiting in food lines, 70lbs overweight , smoking cigarettes with their fat children eating candy and drinking soda. They don’t look starving to me. alot of people got themselves in trouble by being greedy, spending beyond their means...

  17. Accidental Somebody - He's definitely looking brighter this morning. Even trying to put some weight on his damaged leg!

    Creative Soul - I'm beginning to ghink the scary looking critters are the safe ones - the cuddly, sweet looking ones are the killers!

    K.C. Woolf - It's jolly nice to meet you too!

    Sausage - what can you say to a sausage lol? Thank you for your comment and your good wishes for Banjo!

    Cathy - you're too kind!I'll be reading more of your blog this week!

    Lawless - It really was 'no contest' and he got a thorough bashing. No broken bones but his hip was displaced by a mile. He was anaesthetised and had it put back into place. Now he just needs to stay off it till it heals.

    Susan - I'm sure he understands! I just told him what you said and he said 'Grumph' - it's sad that he can understand English but his Dad can't understand Dog or I'd tell you what that means.

    Amanda! Spiders! I opened the door once and one leapt from the door onto my t-shirt and I swear it was larger than a dinner plate - A Huntsman spider. It was so big it hit my chest with a 'thud' - fortunately it then jumped off and scurried out through the open door again. Scared the hell out of me.

    Starting over - I agree with you - funny thing is most of the comments are from Americans or Canadians and I always thought you had heaps of lizards over there?

    Carrie - with your writing style you could make Dullsville sound like the centre of the Universe!

    Laura - Great to hear from you - I hope things are getting better for you. Only me? Ha! It's now the school holidays and I have the kids for the next two weeks at home - watch this space!

    Oh Courtney that sounds so cruel! Maybe you should buy a tazer or something lol?

    Beatnheart - Good to hear from you but I'll respond to your comment separately as it might need a bit of training my speech to text thingy!

    Thanks everyone!