Viticulture

Snakes alive - but not for long!

by
October 26, 2017

The Boss looked grumpy this morning - he was croaky too, and shaking his head at us. A dog has to look away when he does that because, chances are, a dog has done something wrong.

I looked at Queenie and she looked the other way too. Then I remembered that big brown snake I monstered yesterday - that's why he's hoarse, I thought. He was screaming at us to get back from the snake - and lost his voice!

I tried wagging my tail but it didn't do any good. You'd reckon he'd be pleased the way I tore this thing in half but he isn't. He says I'm stupid. But he doesn't appreciate how quick I am.

He was walking Queenie and me down to the dog run late Sunday morning and we spotted it before he did - an Eastern Brown, Pseudonaja textilis, a little over four feet long, caught up between the chicken wire and the fine mesh. Queenie dived in to nip it on the tail and it took off like a rocket across the lawn so we were both onto it in a flash.

The Boss was yelling his head off but you can't let a chance go by can you?  The Golden Leave-it-There had seen it too and was making a bee-line for the wriggling reptile and we couldn't let him get there before us. Queenie grabbed the snake somewhere towards its head, I reckon,  and I took a big bite down the back and bit it clean in half, flicking the back end high in the air over The Boss's head. 

He wasn't as impressed as I thought he'd be - he grabbed us by the scruff and hurled us into the dog run, then went looking for a shovel to finish off the front half, which was sneaking off through the grass. Not showing much pace by now, mind you.

The Boss was red in the face. Smoking, really. He's been trying to tell us to back away from snakes - reckons these browns are the second-most venomous snake in the world and strike high and fast when they're riled. Says a lot of dogs die from brown snake bites and 60% of people who die from snake bite cop it from a brown.

It's Latin name, the textilis bit, comes from the patterns on its skin. The French chappie, Jules Verreaux, who recorded the first one in detail back in 1846, said the fine meshed patterns reminded him of elegant French stockings.

They're a handsome snake, The Boss says, and he usually tries to shoo them away if he sees them around the house. He'll walk around behind them slowly and likes the way they lift their head to watch, then slither off in the other direction.

Unless we're around, in which case he gets edgy. Real edgy. Queenie and I reckon we'd be okay even if a brown sunk its fangs in, though. The Boss would run us into town to the Vet and get some of that anti-venom into us. We might be low key for a day or so but hey, $1200 later we'd be back to normal.

And what's money to The Boss when he's got such a useful hound, like me? Woof!

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