Reader's Digest Asia Pacific

Priceless Pooch


It was a hot summer day during the millennium drought and the grass on the farm crunched like macaroni under my feet. By the time I had seen my husband go off to work, my children to school and finished my chores, it was midday before I managed to get out to the far paddock to see the cows.

After I loaded the ute with hay to coax the herd through a gate into another paddock, I hopped into the driver’s seat only to find Coco, my little red-brown kelpie-cross, lying asleep on the passenger seat. She opened one eye when I got out, leaving the driver’s door open.

As I walked across to open the paddock gate, I didn’t see what was lurking in the shadows. But just as I unlatched the gate, I saw a blur of rust-red and brown fur race past me and leap onto a brown snake. Seconds later, I looked down to see a long, thin brown body, now headless, wriggling violently around my feet.

The Eastern Brown snake is one of the most venomous snakes on Earth and you do not want to get bitten – but I’d come dangerousl­y close. My heart was pounding as I realised my husband was an hour away at work and I was two kilometres from the nearest phone.

Shaken, I slowly regained my composure and returned to the ute. I’d driven it into the paddock before I realised that the cattle had already been rounded up by Coco and were ready to come through the gate. Little Coco made it all look so easy.

I dished out the hay and checked the cows over. All were present and accounted for. I called Coco back into the ute and as we drove slowly home, she put her head in my lap and let out a contented sigh. I couldn’t help but smile. My ‘worthless’ dog, free to a good home, had just proved she was priceless.

 ?? ??
 ?? ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia