You were warned as a kid about deadly Australian bush predators; spiders, snakes, drop-bears. There was a book you could purchase through book club in primary school that had photographs of redbacks in dunnies, brown snakes and information pages on first aid techniques if you came into strife. I was fascinated by this book (can’t recall the name) but my mother never bought it for me, probably because we were city slickers and the thought never crossed her mind that one day I might give up the bitumen and lush courtyard for a dirt road and dry EVERYTHING.
And here we are on a 42 degree day in February 2016. At this point I was still a stay home mum, killing the hours of early parenthood with Google doctor and online window shopping. It was a scorcher and the babe and I were hiding in the dark of the cottage with fans blowing in all directions, donning wet flannies. We have a small atrium that joins our two houses together (it’s fancier than it sounds, trust me). I was walking to and from the houses filling up water bottles and adding new ice to our face washers. On maybe my third trip I saw my cat, being her lazy blob self, staring past me with content, too hot to move. I looked in the direction she was staring. At first I saw a skink, minding its own business. Beyond the skink….a F#$%*#&! BROWN SNAKE. We locked eyes and it slid, so bloody quickly, through the hole from whence it came. I immediately ran back into the cottage grabbed the baby, ran through the atrium, dragged the cat by the tail into the main house, stuffed towels under every single door and blocked up every nook and cranny with a packet of Chux. Then I crawled around the house on all fours looking under the furniture because if there was one snake, as if it didn’t have its family with it, right?
I called Paul in a panic. He told me to call the local snake catcher but I was too proud to go down that path, plus I didn’t want to sound like an idiot; “Hello, I’d like someone to come over and catch the brown snake that isn’t here anymore, ta.” I had flashbacks of a photo I saw on Castlemainia of a mum-to-be brown snake that had made a nest behind someone’s fridge with all her lovely eggs gathered around her, so yes, I checked the back of the fridge. I madly texted to all my mates just for a little added support, I needed to know that others were as terrified by my situation as I was. I peeked out the curtains every ten minutes waiting to see the brown snake slither by, giving me a wave with its nonexistent hand.
I spent the next four hours in lockdown until Paul came home and saved the day by filling all the holes with Expandafoam, even the holes up in the ceiling, because you never know.
A few weeks ago we had a man with a digger come and pull up our backyard, he managed to sever a brown snake dead in half, accidentally of course, with his machinery. Paul asked him what other snakes lurk around this neck of the woods. He said tiger snakes, (“the brown snakes are shy and will slither away when they hear footsteps approaching, but a tiger snake will jump at you.”) JUMP AT YOU! Great, so not only do I have to fear ‘shy’ brown snakes on my daily walk to the bus stop, I have to keep an eye out for snakes that look like tigers that launch at you from out of the bushes.
Damn mum! You should have bought that book all those years ago because I might have turned out less of a twit and a little more country!
Tickets on sale now to our first Get Outta Town Dinner event!