Sunday, 26 September 2010

In praise of neighbours

I find myself embarrassingly beholden to other people nowadays. People in Marburg are very similar to the residents of Lake Woebegon with beautiful women, strong men and exceptionally smart children. It all leaves one feeling a little lacking sometimes.

My special area of incompetence is dealing with snakes. I go all stereotypically girly and stand on chairs (although I generally do not scream). We had a snake inside the house last week. It's the first time we've had a snake in the house although we have had snakes in the roof, the yard, the paddocks, the shed…

I picked up our recycling box to take it outside and there was a snake underneath. I didn't identify the type -- I was trying not to hyperventilate at the time. I was home with the kids so I stood on the aforementioned chair and called my neighbour. He actually was busy and declined to rescue me. I do understand that other people have commitments other than rescuing me so I was prepared to sort something out myself as long as that didn't involve going near the snake. I got a big stick and stood guard. At some point Mr Blithe would be coming home. I just didn't want the snake venturing into any other part of the house.

A few minutes later I heard a vehicle pull up in the driveway. It was my lovely neighbour. He had been in the shower when I called and did actually have a meeting to which he was already late. Nonetheless, his kindness prevailed and he took care of our visitor for me before proceeding onwards.

I don't really care if he told everyone he had to rescue me and that I was standing on a chair. At least I didn't have to deal with the snake.

Remember what I said about Marburg residents? Another neighbour told me that all I needed was a mop and a pillow case -- the mop for the snake to wind itself onto then the pillow case for transport outside. She wouldn't be standing on chairs. How can I measure up to these people?

Frivolity aside, I am deeply grateful to the kindness of my neighbours. I'm working on being a better, stronger, not-standing-on-chairs kind of person. Until then, thank you.


Dutch Wray. said...

Dear Mrs. Blithe...
Thanks for your blog. My chair standing days are quite minimized here down south as the only backyard occupant that sort of comes close to your mentioned snake, is our saved-of-the-road-from -sure death tortois, called ZOEF ("Speedy" in dutch)
Your blog does still bring vivid memories to mind from Mrs Blithe last year walking around with an ax, cheerfully greeting me with: Oh, please come in, the tea is ready, now that I am finished killing of the baby brown snakes I found under this bush!
Miss those cuppa's with you!
love, mrs. Dutchie-Wray from the southern highlands tablelands.

Blithe said...

Hey Dutch Wray,

Good to hear from you! It wasn't an ax, just a mattock. I don't go near axes as I'm sure I would cut off my own limb before anything else. And I was just looking for the snake I saw.

But isn't life simply more exciting up here in the wild north? You'll have to venture up here again sometime.