Submitted July 25, 2011

Faced with an eastern brown snake

My survival story was in Australia during my year working as a stud hand. While I was there I was taken in by the fact that there was easy access to fishing at a nearby river that ran through the center of the farm. However it was in a very bushy area which is riddled with kangaroos, spiders, bullet ants, and of course, snakes.

It was a Saturday on my weekend off when I decided to go fishing on my own, so I jumped a fence and headed across the field. It had very high grass at the time but I had figured out that if I walked towards where the horses were grazing it would be safer than walking randomly cause snakes and horses don't mix.

As I trudged along, I was listening to music which was a mistake in and of itself. I started to veer off course for the river and needed up jumping a fence in front of a wombat settlement. nothing happened to my relief. The next was to get by the reeds without getting bit or scaring any poisonous animals.

A the waters edge I finally relaxed, but that was when I realized I had bought very little water and no food apart from a can of sweet corn as bait for the fish. So I sat there on my chair for the next few hours rationing my water to the bare minimum so I could last the day. As I was still listening to my music on my iPod I saw something splash in the water. Having a basic knowledge of Fish in Ireland I thought it was probably just a trout and ignored it. Then after casting my line out again and sitting down I got the fright of my life when I came face to face with an eastern brown snake, one of the most highly venomous snakes in Australia. "Just my luck!" I thought to myself, then froze. Thinking back to a comment passed by one of the Aussie lads he said "they get fair dinkum sluggish afta a swim mate so you better be careful!" Hadn't taken much heed on it till that day. This snake slowly moved towards me and crawled between my legs, thankfully I was off the ground on a deck chair. While he was there I rang the guys who swiftly told me not to move until the snake was out of sight and reach of me because if it qwarmed up and chased me I was in big trouble. I waited an hour and thankfully the snake left and went about its business elsewhere. This has taught me to be aware of your surroundings, be more prepared, and most of all make sure you know what to do if the wildlife cross your path!

- Eoin Mitchell

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