An Australian volunteer who was doing whatever volunteers do in PNG.
I was there for 2 years until Dec 2005 .. I hope I made the most of it.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Shadowy Movement

Picture yourself in the semi-darkness of your lounge room. It is closing in on 11 o?clock. You are tired. The movie you are watching is in the final stages. Bed beckons.

From the corner of your eye you see movement. A shadowy thing is moving on the opposite side of the room. Weaving in between the legs of your dining table and chairs. You cannot make it out. It keeps moving, following the wall. It looks like nothing you have seen before. A shape not unlike a pint glass on legs. Moving in a bizarre way.

What could it be? Your brain tries to think. Is it a turtle? No they wouldn?t walk like that.

You need to illuminate this thing. You cannot discern what it is from the shape alone. Unfortunately the light switches are on the other side of the room as well.

It has stopped against the wall. You get up and slowly move towards the switches, continually watching the shape. It does not move. You keep going being ever alert. The switches are reached, and then flicked on. First one, then another, and another, until the room is ablaze with light.

The shape is not a shadow anymore it is .. it is .. ahh it is a toad giving a piggyback to another toad. The one on its back must have a sore leg or something.

A bit of cane toad lovin'

The scenerio described is what happen to me a couple of nights ago. I had left the backdoor open with screen closed. Patches entry hole is there. My toady lovers must have hopped on through and thought they had found a love nest. Well all they found was my umbrella whacking them.

It took a bit for the big fella underneath to head on out. A few whacks and no movement. A harder whack and then a hop. A poke and two hops. It had got the message just waving the umbrella near it now and it was heading to the door.

Bloody ugly things whatever they are. They look like the infamous cane toads of Queensland, but seeing as I grew up in NSW, I have no idea when it comes to these golf balls with legs. Anyone care to elaborate?

It is not the first time one has ventured inside but it is the first time one has brought a guest as well. In terms of other houseguests I have had a couple. A mouse was in my house not too long ago. I even managed to capture it MacGyver style by rigging up a trap consisting of a bucket, a mug, a piece of string and some cheese. The best bit is that I captured the whole event on Wendy?s video camera, as the Salamaua girls were staying at the time.

I released the little fella outside, but he must have found his way back in because there he was running around again not much time later. He was or a gang of them were terrorising the block I live on, so Vivenne from next door put some poison out and not long after I found one dead mouse in my pantry.

I tried to tell Kila my haus meri this but the pidgin I was using wasn?t quite right. I was saying ?mi pianim wanpela mouse gone pinis antap? (I found one mouse dead on top - while pointing to the shelf in the pantry). The problem was that mouse or maus in pidgin means mouth. This made her a bit confused. I then had to look up mouse in the dictionary and discovered that it is actually liklik rat!

My other houseguest who briefly stayed was a house spider. Coming down the stairs early one morning I got a shock to see this fella. He was massive. If he was to stretch out his spindly legs I am sure he would be the size of your hand. Luckily he was at the time munching on a cockroach, so I decided to let him go and name him Insy. Unfortunately that was the only time I saw Insy. He must have been discovered by Kila and a broom.

Insy during my brief sighting of him