Living List Tick – Hold a Snake

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.


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Karen Andrews is the creator of Karen Andrews. This is one of the most established and well-respected parenting blogs in the country and is a two-time finalist in the Best Australian Blogs competition. She is also an author, award-winning writer, poet, editor and publisher at Miscellaneous Press. Is an exercise junkie (when she finds the time).


  1. says

    Great photos, hope it was a lot of fun! I have the feeling it was.

    Now I’m pondering where you might have grown up, for I grew up in a Mid North rural town on the coast… And now as I once again live rurally, we deal with the snakes. Yesterday’s sightings: one black one, and one 2.5 metre diamond python. Who hopefully chased the black away.
    Madmother recently posted..Our name is legion for we are many…My Profile

  2. says

    The beads look nice hanging up like that Karen, it makes me happy to see them there. I like snakes and often go looking for them with the camera but I still have to consciously subdue that primal fear I have of them.
    Next time, I will be there. With bells on.
    kim (frog ponds rock) recently posted..Sunday Selections #42My Profile

  3. says

    Arghh I am petrified of snakes too! I grew up in Northern NSW in the New England area and snakes were everywhere. I wish I had if known about your meet up as I would have loved to come along. Next time! Congrats on facing your fear :)
    Fee @ oh gorgeous baby recently posted..Are You Loud?My Profile

  4. D. Paul says

    The fact that you grew up around adders makes you absolutely badass in my humble estimation, Karen. Wow, holy shit.

    And that is one large snake, by the way. Yowzah.

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