Last week Charles Wooley interviewed me from Tasmania for his radio show, which goes out to 50 regional stations across Australia.
Clearly a discerning and intelligent man, since he loved my book – he proved to be warm, funny and empathetic as well. He especially loved the stories about the Spotted-tailed Quoll who lives and breeds in my shed.
When I put the phone down I was still chuckling at his offer to play the quoll in the unlikely event of a TV show of the book.
Not two hours later a movement about a metre inside the sunlit open doorway of the cabin caught my eye. There she was, as bold and spotty as you please, walking into my kitchen in the middle of the day!
I uttered a small squeal – not the clichéd mouse-sighting kind – just a shocked involuntary ‘What-the …!’ She glanced at me, turned, and unhurriedly waddled back out the door, her long tail held straight out behind. I got up from the desk and followed her, grabbing the camera as I went.
She hadn’t gone far. From the doorway I watched as she jumped into my ‘burnables’ bin, fossicked about, then leapt back out on to the verandah with a potential but unproductive piece of scrunched up printer paper.
I could have told her that story was no good, but it must have smelt of the buttered slice of pumpkin and walnut loaf that had sat on my desk papers at morning tea.
Abandoning that, she walked to the steps and jumped through the railings. I followed. Right next to the steps is a large cement dish, vaguely intended for birds to drink from but currently full of fallen and soggy vine leaves.
As she lapped the brackish water, I clicked several pictures of her, the flash going off each time. She didn’t even deign to look around until she’d finished. One brief blank stare and she ambled off to her halfway house, a tin-covered pile of timber, plopping down beside it for a sun soak before entering.
I’d said to Charles W that she’d been pushing the boundaries of her/my territory, taking over my verandah as well as the shed. She ensures I know it by leaving her curled or knobby scats. Now it looks like she has designs on the interior of the cabin as well.
I obviously need to think about how to mark my territory better.