That moment when your heart skips a beat…


Every so often things go slightly crazy around here.

I’ve written a few blogs about when it happens. One is here and another one, here. They always seem to involve snakes, frogs, chooks, kids and the Jack Russell.

Today was one of moments.

Teenagers seem to like their music up loud. We have a new car and it has a pretty impressive sound system in it. Daughter number one was cleaning the car. The music was very loud.

I was folding clothes in the spare room and saw the glimpse of a Jack Russell fly by the window. He shouldn’t have been outside.

It’s the perfect day for snakes. Warm, humid and I’d said today was NOT the day to have the Jack Russell outside unless he was on the lead, preferably with a human holding the other end.

I made my way to the laundry door (that’s where the extension lead runs out so the car can be vacuumed.) I found this door open. About ten centimetres open. Enough for a Jack Russell to worm his way outside, of his own accord and enough for a snake to come into the house, it if felt that way inclined. (As I’ve seen dugite snake coming out of a crevice in the wall right next to that door, I always insist it’s shut. In fact because we live in a snake pit, every single door has to be shut every second of the day. You have one moment to get through the doors in our house before I start yelling “shut the door!’.)

Muttering soothing about kids and not shutting doors, I walked out to give daughter number one a mouthful… and promptly saw a snake.

Froze. There was nothing else to do. Yelled at daughter. She didn’t hear. One Direction was warbling something about the ‘best song ever’, which wasn’t a suitable sound track to what we were about to experience.


In desperation I banged on the bonnet of the car and thankfully she heard me.

‘Snake,’ I yelled. ‘Snake! Where’s Rocket?’ (that’s the Jack Russell.)

‘Huh?’ Blank look.


She still didn’t hear, but finally killed the music and promptly got out of the car.

‘There’s a bloody snake,’ I yelled again.

She heard me this time, looked down and realised she was about to step on it, the same time as the Jack Russell came SCREAMING around the corner, barking it’s little head off. That bloody dog just have to be involved in EVERYTHING!

I can’t tell you what went through my head, but I think I re-wrote the dictionary when it came to swear words.

I managed to grab the dog by the tail and yank him back as he came within a foot of the snake. At the same time daughter screamed and scrambled back into the car. I threw the dog at her and told her to stay put.

By this stage son number one, who had been out spraying the weeds, came around the corner shovel in hand (I’d been yelling for one) and the work dog, Weasel, came to see what the carry on was all about. The snake, much to it’s credit was just lying there, watching everything that was going on.



Being only in thongs, I told Number One Son to get me some boots. The snake had had enough and it took off in between the car, Weasel (who took a step towards it, wanting to sniff it, and promptly got a whack in the head from me and told to ‘go and get up’ on the back of the ute). Without a backwards glance, the snake headed towards the wood pile.

I followed, shovel in hand, but without boots and not wanting to do anything until I had something substantial on my feet.

Now, later, as I related this story to The Boss, I hadn’t even finished when he said: ‘You didn’t get it did you?’

I rolled my eyes. How the hell did he know that?

‘No,’ I answered.

So the snake lives another day and we all came inside to settle our heart beats. What a way to spend the Australia Day public holiday!

Tell me, was yours a lot more calmer than mine?

Comments 9

  1. Oh Fleur! What a crappy day. Was rather cool and windy out here so no snakes thank goodness as we have a new work pup. I have been in many snake situations with no thongs and have seen hubby bolt after one in nothing but his jocks. Mind you I reckon I could’ve helped re-write the dictionary with the amount of expletives I flung at him!

  2. Oh Fleur , must be the day for it . I am at Surat Western QLD had a friend over for coffee, walked her out to the car. Here are my 2 Jacks where going silly. Well we said ” wonder what they are chasing must be a goanna” the way they were carrying on . Then she said it was too quick for a snake any way we talked for a while at the car and then she headed off . As I headed back inside through the gate here are 2 Jack Russells shaking the be jeebers out of a snake ,( a little one but still a snake ). So I roused at them , to get them away from it so I could dispose of it and my female has blood all over her, so needless to say they are both now locked inside on watch and so far so good …. oh they certainly test you !!!!

  3. This was perhaps the most terrifying story you’ve ever written. When I saw the picture of the dog, I immediately thought your dog had had a go around. To discover that your daughter nearly stepped on it, my gosh, I nearly had a heartattack half a world away. Off to google dugite snake.

  4. Wow you could say you’ve had an eventful public holiday, Fleur. We have had many sightings of snakes this year, but snake wrangling in the dark armed with 1 torch and a wabbly handled hoe is a whole new ball game my mother and I soon discovered, outcome was luckily mother/daughter =1 snake= 0…. So fingers crossed you get him on his next appearance.

  5. Snakes-fear of snakes is a Human Universal; and for dang good reasons. You did good getting the daughter and the pupper to safety. I am no good around snakes, I lose it and start to scream like a little girl. Can’t control it either-mighty embarrassing sometimes. Good you are all ok. We have had calm days one following another for quite a while now. I like it that way.

    1. that Jennifer…now there’s a woman who’s using her head! Of course, I could tell you the story here about how a woman used a aerosol can and a blow torch to try to kill a snake in her wood pile. The only problem was that the woodpile was in close proximity to the house and the snake set the house afire when he slithered beneath it.

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