Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Hiss in the Grass

In our first week here, we met the couple next door, the woman down the lane, the old bloke across the road and the owners of the general store. Our neighbours on the other side remained strangely aloof. This week, however, we finally met them. They came knocking with startling news. 

There is a snake.

I am not very good with snakes. Spiders I can handle. I don't like them, but I can get them into a jar and outside where they belong. But snakes are a different thing altogether. Rational or otherwise, my great rural dream, the one with a piece of land outside a town to grow food and raise animals, always screeches to silence in my mind when I get to the snake bit. What if they come near the house? God help me, what if one gets into the house?

I have been quietly convincing myself that there are no snakes in the Southern Highlands, and definitely none in our tiny village. It's too cool here. Too elevated. Too English-looking. We've chosen well.

As it happens, the neighbours have observed a snake on their lawn the last few mornings and believe it lives - lives?! - in the lane between our two properties. Turns out there's such a thing as a highlands copperhead. Lucky us.

I gaze out at our lovely large yard with its established fruit trees and flowering shrubs, and now all I see is a menacing jungle with dozens of dark, damp corners that would be enticing to slithering reptiles. Some therapy is in order. 

I'm going to convince myself it is a legless lizard. A harmless, legless lizard with whom I can coexist peacefully and happily.

It might eat its young but it won't eat mine!

Say it with me, people. Legless and harmless. Legless and harmless. Legless and harmless...


  1. Oh no! Hope you can locate its resting spot so that no one gets hurt. Reminds me of a short story I read about a family in Vietnam who had a snake living under their porch.

  2. I'm with you...the same dream, the same fear of snakes and tell myself the same lies! Any snake that eats its own young - I mean seriously?? Lots of venomous snakes around where I grew up and my dad always said "they're more scared of you then you are of them" this is my chant!

  3. ahahahah oh im right with you here, We have a MASSIVE diamond python around here... not cool. no, not at all!

    xo em

    good luck with the shovel lady!


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