Country News

The wrong sort of Tiger...

By The General

The Boss reckons I had it coming. Ever since I tore that eastern brown in half last summer and hurled its head high into the air - I mean, who could forget that piece of canine brilliance? 

You don't mess with snakes, he kept saying - as if I'm going to be afraid of something wriggling along the ground.

As it happened, I didn't even see this one. It was one of those warm early mornings last month when it hadn't cooled down much overnight and The Boss was edgy as we headed on our morning walk for the river.

He said we'd go straight for the sandbar and take a few long swims and that would be enough.

And that's what I was doing, heading back from across the river - but I naturally took a short cut through a bunch of sedge on the river bank to beat my Mum, Queenie, who can swim as fast as me but she can't run as fast.

And that's where the Tiger Snake was lying, I guess - sort of smacked me on the chops as I was climbing out of the river.

By the time I got to the Boss 30 seconds later I was spitting and coughing and shaking my head, so he twigged straight away and walked me back to the car. I was feeling a bit crook, I can tell you, like the stuffing had been taken out of me. I wasn't even trying to get ahead of him, possibly for the first time in my life.

Now, I can normally leap into the back of the car like the superb athlete I am in a single bound, off one leg and looking the other way - but I collapsed and fell back down on the garage floor, which was embarrassing to say the least. 

He had to lift me in and I'm a bit of a lump.

The Boss rang the Vet and headed into town in his grubby farm clothes, which is never a pretty sight.

Now, being the physical specimen I am, I naturally regained my composure on the way in and was strutting about as best I could when we arrived. It took the Boss quite a while - and a blood test - to convince the Vet it was a snake bite, and even then he wasn't convinced.

The Boss was, though and I could see he was getting irritated. He told the Vet I had to have the antivenin right away and a good thing he did, too, because my back end started to slide around and pretty soon I was cactus. I was in there for a couple of days.

The Boss reckons the vets have got a bit gun shy about the antivenin injection because it's expensive and maybe some people won't pay for it if their pet dies - and other people won't pay for it, anyway. But we're half an hour from the vet's and he reckons it was more than an hour before I had the jab.

"You're lucky to be here, General," he said, like it was a near thing. But I think he's pleased I am.

The Boss says he's invested so much in my health and well-being already I've become the most expensive toy he has. I'm not sure I liked being compared to a toy, although he treats me like it sometimes. Like here, for instance:

These are the only Tigers he says I should get close to - and that being a Tigers fan is a lot cheaper than playing with Tiger Snakes. You can see how much fun I think that is. Woof!