Yesterday I was back in the groove. I had spent the morning writing for my book and I was pretty pleased with myself. Everything was going great until about 12:30pm when out of the corner of my eye I saw movement.
I don’t have a dedicated room set aside for work. Usually I work on my lap top from my kitchen table. Sometimes I even sit on a cushion beside my dog, typing away out on the deck adjoining the kitchen. Luckily I was sitting at the table inside with a clear view of the entire deck from my sliding glass doors. Hardly a breeze could be felt through the screens and the day was still heating up.
Linus, was oblivious to the world, feet hanging out of his raised bed in complete relaxed slumber as he attempted to save energy for his evening run. Behind his peaceful doggy abode lie something much more sinister.
My mouth gaped open. I’ve lived in Aus for a few years now but this was the first time I’d ever seen one. I looked at my furry baby blissfully unaware of the danger and quietly said to myself repeatedly, “Oh my God!” My brain reeled. If I make a noise now and wake the dog he might hop up and there could be a confrontation. By now I had shifted quietly to my feet and was watching every move.
It had no fear and had every intention of taking its time swaying to the beat of its own drum, unlike my heart which was pounding in my chest. I tiptoed to the other room for the camera and the phone. My hands shaking as I re-entered the kitchen and thumbed through the numbers for someone to call.
The grey mass, at least a metre long, was by now sunning itself happily at the end of the deck. My God, was it planning to stay?!!! What the heck was I going to do? The dog could wake and mayhem might break out at any moment. I snapped off a few photos with the idea that if I or the dog was to get bit I at least had some way of identifying the type of snake to either the vet or the doctor. Hopefully not both…
All of a sudden it decided to move toward the house. I froze. I was safe behind the screen but if it got to the wall and then decided to go right instead of left it would be on a path toward my dog.
Luckily, after heart stopping moments that seemed like minutes, it turned left and for a moment it looked as though it had made its way into the pool area.
By this point I had my neighbour on the phone and was detailing the situation. A calm man by nature, he made me feel somewhat at ease as he told me to make lots of noise now that the creature had moved off some distance and then when safe get the dog inside. Sadly he was not at home to help but I was just glad to have someone on the other end of the phone.
Under the rental agreement I’m not to have my dog inside but I wasn’t taking any chances. Hanging up the phone I picked up a metal bowl and a colander and clanged them together as well as rattled the screen door as loudly as I could to create some vibration to hopefully keep the unwanted intruder at bay, if only for a few minutes while I called my dog, now looking at me in groggy surprise, wondering why I was making such a racket.
I told him to stay while I continued to make random vibrations and looked anxiously around the door to make sure my slithery acquaintance was not stuck up against the wall where I could not see him. Seeing no motion near the door I tentatively opened it and with nothing there I called for Linus to come. He did but when I told him to come into the house he hesitated. I had to encourage him to enter. This was something new to him. He was well aware that putting his feet in the doorway usually came with a gruff,“Out!” Today however, it was encourage with an anxious high pitched, “Come!” With that he was in and safe.
I then began to relax. We were both okay and in one piece with no harm done. I decided to call my mum for moral support and was telling her what had happened when it reappeared! Okay, this was just a step too far for me. I quickly hung up to call a number of snake catchers non of which were able to come straight away and some who were asking an exorbitant amount of cash for their trouble and with no guarantee that there would be one less dangerous snake roaming my lawn. I was not impressed.
My anger made me realise one very odd but true fact. Having grown up in the backwoods of Canada I would have been less afraid and a down right more happy to have had a black bear on my back deck than an eastern brown snake. I could somehow fathom dealing with a big old bear. We had a number who use to frequent our yard on their trek to and from the apple trees. Dangerous as they were I could at least see them and often times smell them but the snake was a creature entirely void of such strong features.
In my rummaging to and fro to the computer in the other room which was hooked up to the outside world I lost contact with the snake. It had gone somewhere else I suppose, looking for food or on a merry stroll through semi rural surrounds. Maybe it was just tucked up in the shrubbery, I don’t know, but I was not taking a chance on letting the dog back outside and into harms way.
Its impact on my day was complete. I wrote nothing more as the dog spent several hours between standing, lying, staring wide eyed and looking ill at ease in his new surrounds while I looked up various poisonous snakes and tried to verify its identity. It is, as far as I can tell, an eastern brown and it is still out there somewhere probably waiting for a quiet moment so it can reappear again in the heat of the day to sun itself or meander through to wherever it has the inclination to explore.
I’m now as shifty eyed as a mother duck with several precious ducklings.