Here is the first of what I hope will be a regular sort of short story – the personal experience sort.

In this alarming tale of the way life is around here, Richard Carroll describes his unnerving encounter with a large King Brown snake in his chook hut,, and how it all ended up.

If you feel moved to write a short story based on an experience you have had (It can be good, bad, funny or anything…) , please give it a go and send it to me for publishing in our website here.

Of course you retain the copyright of any stories of yours we publish here.

So, here we go……….

The King’s Visit

I got a bit of a fright one day when I went to investigate the sudden alarmed squawking and wing beating coming from the chook pen. A large family of rats had set up camp and built a nest of leaves and grass in a corner of the shed in order to enjoy the abundance of food on offer. They were fat and content. I was looking around inside the shed when I heard this sort of swishing noise but I didn’t have time to register what it was when a snake the colour of dark corrugated iron and not much short of two metres slid from under the chicken box and out the door to the great consternation of our five hens. Clamped in the snake’s mouth was a rat. The chickens pecked the reptile’s tail and as I came out the door the snake made a U-turn and came straight at me. I was glad the creature had a mouthful and seemed reluctant to drop its prey. It had a wide head that was lighter in colour than the body. Its belly was a dirty white. My brain examined the evidence before me and decided that the snake was venomous and highly excited, and that I should get out of there.

Before I could run to the gate, the snake curved away from me, leaving a bit more room between us. I felt a lot safer when I got outside the pen and was able to watch from a distance as the hens continued making their unwanted visitor’s life difficult. Finally the snake curled into a corner where he found peace and swallowed the rat. I tried to figure out how I was going to get the thing out of the pen. I was convinced by now that I had no desire to tangle with what was possibly, no probably, a King Brown (the colour can vary a lot), one of the deadliest snakes in the world. It started moving through a hole in the wall back into the shed and there was no way I was going in after it. Sometime later it came out through the door and, to my relief, made a beeline straight towards the far end of the pen, the unhappy chooks on his tail. Then it was gone and peace was restored.

A couple of days after this incident I was sitting on the back deck when my son arrived home and parked his car at the side of the house. I heard the door slam and just as he arrived on the deck a small bandicoot flew past followed by our friend, the King Brown. The bandicoot disappeared off the edge of the deck into a thick tangle of bushes and vines. The snake stopped on seeing my son who backed away to a safe distance. By this time the bandicoot had long disappeared and the snake searched in vain to pick up the trail. It slithered around the side of the house and went across the front yard towards the road. Good riddance, I thought.

Later, I was working in the office when I heard a funny noise behind me. Sure enough, the King was back. With the help of a very long broom I managed to persuade him to turn around and go back out the door, which I shut as soon as he departed. He went around to the rear of the house again and I could hear him going back and forth, still searching for the bandicoot in the tangle below the deck. And then he was gone. But will he return?

Should you want to know more about such snakes, here are a coupe of links to that information which you might find of interest.

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