Sunday, November 27, 2011

Just another typical weekend in the life of a Territorian Couchsurfing host.

Well, I just got home from Maningrida a remote indigenous community about 1.5 hour plane ride from Darwin. It was hot & dusty and I stood in the bathroom about to take a shower and wash the day off. Suddenly there was the loudest cracking sound I have ever heard and all the hairs on my arm stood on end as this strange feeling swept through my body. Instantly the power exploded and it was dark.

I went outside my chest feeling a little hollow from events wondering what the hell happened when I realised we had just been hit by lightning. Go figure, we were the only house on the block to be hit and it destroyed our phone line, cable TV & knocked out the main fuse. I had two young german surfers who told me how they had seen what looked like an explosion of electricity running through the pillars. Another surfer (also German go figure) described a feeling similar to mine.

The power was not restored until the following morning so we spent a relatively sleepless night in 30+ degree heat with 90% humidity. It was basically lying in your own sweat. Ugh.

Saturday morning after getting power restored I pulled out on of my Black-Headed Pythons (wrath) who hadn’t eaten in about 2 months. He was feeling quite thin but still semi-active. Off I went over to my dads house to attempt to feed him something. Dad tried a live mouse first which seconds later ended up dead as Wrath seemed completely uninterested in the meal. I took a beer from the fridge and sat and watched as my dad threw the mouse on the ground killing it instantly. Much to the disgust of his fiancĂ©e considering we were in the living room at the time.

Attempting to shove the freshly killed morsel into its mouth Wrath was still not amused so we ended up resorting to force feeding. Killing a couple of little fuzzy baby mice dad prised open Wraths mouth and I shoved the mice far enough down that the snake was forced to swallow or have an annoying fuzzy thing forever in its throat. That’s what HE said

So as far as Saturday morning father-daughter bonding sessions go force-feeding a python has to be a bit of an anomaly.

Sunday I was gifted from my friend & neighbour a bunch of baby rats that had been discovered in someones house. Find a rat – Call Amanda. Which makes sense. They were still alive and I wasn’t about to feed them to my snake because they could have all kinds of parasites also I couldn’t let them starve to death or freeze them as that’s really painful. So the end result was I would have to give them a quick painless death of smashing them into a hard surface. I called my dad for some advice on insta-kill and he just said I should be fine which did nothing to really calm my murderous nerves.

I picked one up by the tail and stood on the concrete lifting my arm to smash it down. But it squeaked at that moment and its little legs tickled mine so I’m not going to lie I chickened out big time. My german surfer Anja said she would kill one for me which brought my hopes up a little then she walked over and saw they were cute little babies and suddenly retracted her offer.
Three beers later I was ready for it and stood on the balcony throwing the rat to the ground with all my force. On going down the stairs and finding the baby rat I was dismayed to see its back legs twitching. Not killing them instantly is basically my worst fear so I quickly picked it up and smashed down again.

1 Down 3 to go.

I tried a different technique of being closer to the ground this time and threw down with such force the rat bounced far away and when Anja and I finally found it, it was dead.

Number three I did the same technique but once again back legs twitching trying not to cry I quickly smashed it again killing it

Number four same techniques but died instantly.

After a small mourning period I gathered all the dead rats and placed them in the freezer where they would become sustenance for one of my many pythons. Those rats are the biggest thing I have ever killed and I had a really tough time doing it but as a snake handler killing their food is part of the job and I need to take that step.

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