Yesterday, with rain imminent, I pulled up the cardboard mulch I put on my garden bed. I reasoned that the topsoil was not worth preserving, being full of rocks and would need to be removed, sieved and enriched with humus before it would be any use to anybody, so the cardboard was returned to the shed and the ground opened to the heavens.
Under the cardboard I found two things – ANT HEAVEN and this little guy.
My fellow townsperson Debbie, of Ubuntu Crafters and a wonderful source of local knowledge gave me the bad news. There are three snakes fitting this description, two benign and one which is a miniature cobra. A cobra. No hood or anything to give away its malign intent, but pretty poisonous even at this size, which is about a foot in length and a pencil width.
Need less to say we shall watch where we put our tender little fingers in future.