A few days ago I had yet another bat in my living room. I heard a noise behind me and found it lying quite calmly on a tread half-way up my stairs. It was quite large – quite a lot bigger than the one that woke me up in the middle of the night a week or so ago by flying in circles in the darkness around my bedroom.

It was about the same size as the bat that came into my house a year or so ago but luckily nothing like as mad. That one had angry red eyes and made a constant clicking sound by snapping its teeth together. I think it might have been rabied and was quite nervous about scooping it up in a thick towel and freeing it outside.

This last one was much more docile, however, and I scooped it up quite easily from my stairs after it briefly tried to hide behind a decorative brass warming pan that’s there and it happily flew off when I dropped it onto the little glass-topped table in the garden.

But today takes the biscuit. I went into the kitchen to dump my lunch things in the sink and… there was a small snake on the worktop! It was trying to climb up and hide itself in a towel that is hanging on the wall and before I could grab it, it dropped down and shot into a gap between the (unfinished) worktop and the wall. I pulled the dishwasher out and all of the cabinet kick-panels but could find no sign of it, so it may still be there.

It was quite thin, brownish-green in colour and about 20 cms long. I think that it was probably a grass snake and have no idea what can possibly have possessed it to come into my house. For the time being I’ve just left the doors wide open, which is how they must have been when it found its way in, in the hope that when it finds that there’s nothing for it inside it’ll just find its own way out. If that doesn’t work and I catch sight of it again, I’ll just have to take up a new career as a snake-charmer in the hope of mesmerising the ruddy thing 😕

I’ve just come back to say that I’ve had another thought about this. Domino, the cat belonging to one of my neighbours, is an avid hunter of the lizards that climb up the stone walls of my house and sunbathe on the paving slabs. She was over just before I found the snake and I’m wondering whether she caught it and left it as a little ‘gift’ the way that cats do?

I didn’t realise that living in the country would be quite so wild…

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