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The Snake - by Bill Stent

One thing to be aware of, however, is snakes around the grubby pool.

I was there last Sunday, and was searching the pool for the snipe, when there was a bit of a commotion behind me. I turned around to see a red wattle bird hassling something on the ground. I couldn't see what it was for the long grass. The bird's behaviour was quite intriguing, so I crept a bit closer, watching through my binoculars. The bird was trying to scare off a tiger snake, which had come out onto the path beaten by birders. The snake, for its part, was having an athletic swipe at the bird every time it came over. Unfortunately, the path was my only way out, and I wasn't wearing my hiking boots, but rather some sneakers which could pretty easily be bitten through by an ornery varmint. I thought I'd probably better keep an eye on the snake, rather than find the snipe for the time being. Of course, the snake eventually decided to scarper, but the problem was that it began to advance down the path towards me. Bummer.

Bugger the snipe, I thought, and began jumping up and down on the ground, in an attempt to scare the snake so it would go off into the grass. This it dutifully did, so I took my scope and binoculars and hurried past, before wandering around the bike path to get a different view from the far side of the pool. This angle, it turned out, was a much better view of the snipe anyway.