I’ve blogged about snakes before. My complete fear of them and how they freak me the fuck out.
Warm weather is here and so are the snakes. Hand in hand they go, we all know that, but unless you live in the country, you don’t generally get touched by their presence.
We were headed up the river over the weekend for the ‘new’ Victorian Long Weekend thanks to the Grand Final Public Holiday. What a bloody shocker that game turned out to be and thank fuck I didn’t waste a great weekend of weather sitting at home watching the Hawks flog the Weagles! Amen to that.
Dropping off my finches was the start of what was to be, an eventful weekend. Walking up my finch-sitter’s driveway I was greeted by her son, who was in a bit of a flap because their dog had been in a fight with a Tiger Snake. Mind you the dog pretty well mauled the tiger snake, evidence of it was laying in the shopping bag… I couldn’t bring myself to look inside the bag. My skin was crawling. Little tiger snakes mean MORE little tiger snakes! That’s a fucking fact! So that was snake warning one, heard loud and fucking clear!
Snake warning two arrived when we were driving along one of the dirt tracks a few kilometres from camp. A Black Snake (aka red belly black) slithering up onto the track, unfortunately Ben ran over it… He couldn’t swerve to miss it while towing a chock a block boat full of camping gear. Skittled snake. I won’t say I’m sorry. Tootleoo Red Belly Black…
By this point I had snake on my fucking mind, and it was high topic at camp. I guess the fact that we had two extra youths who had never camped with us before, kind of made the whole snake thing more of a priority. We discussed the ‘watching out for them’ numerous times, like, EVERY time the kids moved! Yup, probably over kill, but for me it’s just a verbal reflex, “watch for snakes!” is like saying pass me the salt please? All the kids heard me, and they also heard Lea, the other ‘camp mother’.
So, chillaxing away, everything is unpacked and we are kicking back around the camp. Kids go for a walk and Colby comes back with snake warning three… a whopping great fucking snake-skin. UGH! Man, I cannot handle anything remotely looking like a snake. Just too much for my heart. I stayed clear from Colby, while he burnt the skin piece by piece in the fire… weird kid! So then again, snakes were the choice conversation. The word snake was being thrown around the camp prolifically. I guess in a sense desensitising me to the word. You hear it, but not hear it at the same time.
We have been going camping for near on fifteen years. Going away at least four times a year, when most of those trips are in the warmer months, it’s rare that we see any snake. Really, if I am honest, we might have seen three all up, and they have all been snakes in the water, crossing the river… far enough away to not create a drama or camp panic.
Anyway not long after the snake-skin warning most of us were milled around the kitchen area. I was standing at the table, cleaning one of the ‘newbies’ newly skun knee from a scrap he had with a stump and the dirt. A gust of wind picked up and blew the Band-Aid I was holding out of my hand, so the other “newbie” raced to get it…all just as Bailey my “other-son” says calmly “SNAKE”…
Snake warning FOUR!!!!
Colby yells RUUUUN!!! (totally what you shouldn’t do, right?)
My heart falls out of my arse as I look down to my left foot and watch a red belly black snake almost touch my foot as it clambered across the shade-cloth floor, right through the kitchen, flicking its shiny black body around; in between feet and legs of chairs and tables and my fucking feet. I SCREAMED like I have never screamed in all my life. My eyes were about to pop out of my head. I don’t scream, I can’t scream, mainly because I am really shit at it, and it’s more like an adolescents voice breaking. I screamed, and I screamed and my poor heart almost popped out of my chest. I completely lost my shit. All of my shit. Gone. My dignity. Gone too. Holy fucking shitballs! Did that really just happen? And, how did I get on this bench seat?
The dogs were after it then, the camp was in full drive panic, “get the fucking dogs!” and I am still screaming, because screaming works, clearly! That snake was scared! Yup. I was shaking and stiff all at the same time. Wanting to run, but trying to stay calm, my arms and hand shaking violently. I completely lost my mind. I don’t know how I didn’t pass out because I was clearly out of breath from screaming.
Ben and Barry, calmly got rid of it after the kids caught the dogs while I screaming from the safety of the seat, watching from a distance, completely out of control.
After the ‘Jo-Blake” was moved and I got down off the seat, I finished patching up the newbies knee while everyone rehashed me squealing and Colby yelling “run”. We all learned a valuable lesson, and I guess we were over due for a snake in the camp. We have expected it, but never actually discussed what we should do if it happened. We all new about 5 minutes after the fact.
So, knowing that now (and all along) here’s what you SHOULD do if a snake comes into camp:
- Don’t run. Or yell run!
- Don’t panic.
- Slowly move the opposite way if you are a distance from it, or repeat number 1.
- Don’t squeal, snakes are deaf!
- Do listen to the snake warnings!
All along, the universe was trying to tell me it was snake time. Three warnings it presented, and I failed to listen… that showed me didn’t it? I always listen… dumb arse!
Make sure you turn the teapot twice clockwise and once anticlockwise!