I’m Australian if you don’t know…Which means I’ve grown up surrounded by some of the worlds deadliest animals. My house is constantly covered in spiders, snakes in my paddocks and all the lovely things you could imagine. From red backs to kangaroos, I’ve seen my fair share of strange animals.
Not even the hardcore land of Oz could prepare me for England though. For the first few weeks I didn’t see any wildlife, I could leave my windows open without flies coming in, my skin had no mozzie bites and I could walk around the grass without worrying about accidentally stepping on a snake.
This was all good until I was on a walk and stumbled upon a dead animal..
For about 5 minutes I stood here and looked at this weird creature, racking my brain for what it could be. Is it a racoon? Skunk? Weasel? There was only one way I could find out.
My mum is now my designated FAARK (Foreign Animals and Ridiculously Knowledgable), If she doesn’t know, I’m screwed.
Thankfully mum could identify this creature as a Badger,
‘short-legged omnivores in the family Mustelidae, which also includes the otters, polecats, weasels and wolverines. They belong to the caniform suborder of carnivoran mammals’
I stood there for another 5 minutes trying to get my head around this new creature and trying to work out what to do. Is it offensive to take a selfie with a dead badger? Will I land myself on the front cover of boars and babes?
From that memorable walk to me, 4 months later being a total local to the English countryside, I regularly have encounters with the wildlife. Like the other day, I decided to go for a run (RARE! I KNOW). Enjoying my run as much as a person of my fitness level can like a run,but then I heard a noise… It was the sort of noise your dad makes when he wakes up in the morning (sort of a long grunt), only thing was that I was in the middle of forest and my dad on the other side of the world.. I turn around and see this massive thing, my first thought was ‘oh shit. Moose’ and ran (think speed of Usain Bolt but less attractive) like a scene on a scary movie. After I caught my breath for a moment I realised that I’m probably in the wrong part of the world to be seeing moose and it’s more likely a deer.
To say the least, English animals confuse me. The other day whilst skyping my old mate Enray I attracted ducks that thought it would be a good idea to all sit on the seat next to me and poke around my backpack.
Is it just me or are other people challenged by native weird animals whist travelling? Living for a year overseas is always going to push people out of their comfort zones but I find the small everyday things the most curious. I will never get use to a squirrel, they scamper, they eat nuts,they are everywhere, I feel slightly threatened because I’m 6 foot tall and I feel at some stage they may mistake me for a tree and one will climb right up me (a bit like my childhood holidays with Goannas climbing up people in Mackerel Beach) or think I’m a bad nut like on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Being in England makes me feel a bit like Snow White but without the 7 midget’s… (god help me when I meet the Loch Ness Monster)
Madi, the confused Australian