Growing up in warm, rural northern New South Wales meant that snakes were always going to be part of my reality, as indeed they are for many of us, especially out in the scrub or even in the suburbs. When we visited my grandparents’ farm red-bellied and brown snakes were most common, although there were also tiger snakes and death adders around. There were non venomous kinds, too, like carpet pythons and tree snakes. They all made me profoundly uncomfortable and… well… scared.

There is a story that is legend in my family of my pushing my grandmother aside to get away from a red-belly that was coiled up (asleep) just outside our front door. When I was a child I often jumped as far off my grandparent’s verandah as possible because I was afraid a reptilian boogeyman would snap out and bite my ankle if I kept too close. This was on top of having to be careful when lifting wood, reaching into the nest when collecting eggs, shaking out your shoes, and looking twice at a hose to see if it really was a hose. Basically, I always worried about them (still am).


I hosted a morning tea for bloggers the other morning who came to have a chat about blogging and our goals for next year or the future in general (although we only really touched on that towards the end). Wild Action came to entertain the children and at the end I decided to do something I’d put down on my list, to try and conquer that fear: I would hold the brown python. The long, heavy python.

Holding a brown python
The ever present danger of a nasty nipple cripple... hence the flinching

And do you know what? It wasn’t so bad. Partially because it was such a hot day and the snake (I can’t remember his name) had absorbed the temperature a little, so wasn’t ‘cold’ as I was expecting. Feeling the muscles shift and contract and twist as it moved across my shoulders was fascinating. Incredible, really.

I had a terrific time.

Some people couldn’t make it at the last minute and some people couldn’t manage to come as much as they would’ve loved to. I still tried to include them in the day.

Kim is a ceramic artist and I turned her gift of some beads into a welcome decoration to hang by the front door.

Close upCeramic Beads

And I got a picture of Kelley with some pretty flowers:


I’d like to thank Clint, Nathalie, Yvette, Kathy, Shae, Helena, Megan (my snake photographer!), Marita, Amanda and Dorothy for coming. Hope you had a lovely time.

Thanks also to Digital Parents for your support of the day.



Karen Andrews is the creator of this website, one of the most established and well-respected parenting blogs in the country. She is also an author, award-winning writer, poet, editor and publisher at Miscellaneous Press. Her latest book is Crying in the Car: Reflections on Life and Motherhood.