Monday 23 December 2013

And the Summer you rode in on!!

Me too, bear. Me too.

I've never really liked summer. It's hot, and you get burnt for wanting milk and things from the shops. Plus, snakes. I hate snakes. I've been lead to believe that there are more snakes around in summer. Is this a real thing, or just one of those things I have been carrying around in my head since I was a child?

One summer my mother and I were at my aunty's house down the South Coast. My aunt had one of those infinity pools where it looks like you are losing a lot of water, but it goes off the edge into a catchment thingy and then gets pumped back into the pool. This summer the was this little black snake in the catchment thing, and it looked like it was trapped. I hate snakes. They are the worst things in the world, and I hoped that this one would get sucked into the pump and get turned into paste. My mum at the time said that I should rescue the poor snake from the Paste-Maker 5000, and insisted that it was probably some harmless variety of snake.

"It's black", I said.


"Well, this is Australia. Our snakes are shit. We have a lot of the shittest snakes. I don't know heaps about snakes, but I think that the black ones and the brown ones are the really shitty snakes."

"I'm sure it's fine. It's probably just a tree snake."

"I don't think there are black tree snakes. I think there are black murder snakes that are sometimes in trees, but are far better known for their murder."

"Just grab it really quickly and throw it out."

"I don't want to touch it. I don't think you should touch it either. No one should touch it. Ever."

"Use a stick then."

"What if it comes after me?"

"I don't think they do that."

"Can't I just poke it into the filter?"

"No. Don't do that. It's a living thing."

At this point I realised whose side mum was on. Not mine. Not humanity's. Not the side of reason. She had seen some movie in which snakes sang heart warming songs about being misunderstood and had become sympathetic to their cause. She was too far gone. There was no reason left in her.

In the end we called WIRES, so that they could have the snake. When the WIRES lady turned up she had a look at our snake and said, "It's a juvenile red-bellied black snake. They're really dangerous. They haven't learned to control their venom output yet, so they just inject everything they've got." I was incredibly glad at this point that I hadn't listened to my mother and fetched it out myself.

I explained to the WIRES lady that I didn't like snakes, and that I was terrified of them, to which she replied "I don't understand people's irrational fear of snakes." I was confused. Were we part of the same conversation? Did she not less than a minute ago finish telling how I could be dead right now? I felt like her previous statement had reinforced the sanity and rationality of my fear of snakes. Had we just called a crazy person around to collect a dangerous thing? What was this clearly insane person going to do with a juvenile red-bellied black snake with poor venom control? Was she going to invite it to a tea party? I was standing far to close to this person, who was now in possession of the snake for my own comfort. Eventually she left, and took the wretched thing with her.

I don't know what kind of checks they do at WIRES before hiring people to go and fetch snakes and things, but they clearly aren't the right sort of checks. This is good for the rest of us, because in situations like this you need someone who thinks that self-preservation is irrational. You can help keep these people up to their thighs in our snakes by donating.

That's how my mum almost killed me with animal rescue chores. Don't ever rescue snakes, and don't listen to your mum. Call WIRES. Have a happy Christmas!

No comments :