It was at Manangoora, a brumby breeding property at the bottom western corner of the Gulf of Carpentaria, when I experienced a day that will stay long in my memory. The men went off in the morning to fill the water containers from a nearby billabong. I was sitting under the van awning, legs crossed, reading a juicy, murder mystery when a movement nearby attracted my attention. Oh, dear, oh, dear, three metres to my left across the grass was a snake slithering quite quickly in my direction.
It was well over a metre in length and more than 2cms thick, dark, dark grey, with a small paler head and a lighter underbelly. Shit, shit, shit! It kept coming towards me. Nuh, I told myself, it’ll turn off when it gets to the matting. No such luck, across the mat it came. I absolutely froze, which was probably a good thing. Not only did it come across the mat towards me, it actually slithered over my foot (Nooooooo!!) and continued under the table, the towel rack, through the water hoses and into the nearest tussock of grass. I lost it – as my closest family and friends would expect.