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William C.F. Cowan p4

Snakebite in the outback…

When Mrs K. was bitten by a brown snake, she couldn’t just go to the phone because they didn’t have the phone connected at their homestead. The nearest phone was at the neighbouring property.

But she also didn’t have a horse, so she walked nine kilometres across country (more direct than by track) to the neighbour’s homestead. (She said she had read that it was better to walk than lie down when bitten by a snake.)

As she walked, it started raining heavily. But she reached the property and they phoned the doctor.

He came and asked her a few questions and told her to stay there a few days in case she had to reach him. A few days later the neighbour took her home in a sulky (a one-horse-drawn, small carriage).

He reports her as saying: “Well the finger soon healed up but I was crooked about me being silly enough to put me finger in the bag without havin’ a squint in it first. But I suppose it’s all in a day’s work and anyhow, I didn’t snuff it did I, so what’s to worry about?”

-see Rollin’ yer swag by William C. F. Cowan for more stories about life in the bush in years gone by. It was published by Boolarong, Brisbane, which still publishes non-fiction.