Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Snake stories!

Since moving to Australia as a young Iowan still green behind the ears, at the bright age of 23, I have experienced so many fascinating things. This is an amazing country and I am in love with so many facets of it--its animals for instance are amazing--but then there are snakes (and spiders---but that's another story!)---lots of them.

As I write this I am wondering which snake story to start with in this snake saga ...there really are so many!

Since living here, I have learned to always walk with caution while out in the bush, and to always be alert, even in my own backyard, as poisonous snakes like the brown snake, king brown or even taipan may be in my environment.

But no one warned me that they might be in my bedroom!

To understand this story or rather dilemma, you have to know that I am virtually blind in my left eye, and without glasses I have somewhat blurred vision, and it can be distorted. Anyway, about 15 years ago, I was still laying in bed early one morning--I had the day off from work, and was enjoying the peace of the early morning. John, (my husband at the time, was upstairs in the kitchen, my two older girls were getting ready for school, and my youngest baby, Maddie, was laying beside me in bed - something she was in the habit of doing at that stage.) Anyway I looked up and on the wall hanging from the air-conditioner I saw with my blurred vision, what looked like an extra cord hanging from the air-conditioner, just above my head and to the right. I turned to Madison and tried to calmly ask her what that image was. In reply, she calmy stated: "It's a snake." "It's a what?" I more nervously replied--from what I could see of it there was about 2 feet of it hanging out of the air-conditioner!

I asked her to calmly get out of bed on the other side and run upstairs to get 'Daddy' to help me. Which she calmly did. Meanwhile I just laid there, watching the snake and not wanting to disturb it. It's tail was hanging from the bottom vent of the air conditioner, and it was hard to determine what kind of snake it was..

John arrived, and I jumped out of bed as Maddie had just moments before. It was an awkward few moments as we tried to determine what to do, then John took a firm grip on the snake's tail, yanked it out of the air-conditioner and cracked the snake like a bull-whip- breaking it's back and killing it. In the process, blood from the snake flew across the room landing on the ceiling, the walls, the bed, and the newly cleaned cream carpet and left its fish like smell everywhere.

We looked around and sighed--I said good-bye to my day off, as it was going to now have to be devoted to cleaning the entire room to get rid of the terrible smell.

John disposed of the snake--it had been a brown snake - very poisonous. I shuddered at how close it had been to my head just moments before. That's the sub-tropics for you!

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