We’d left the doors open all morning to let the breeze flow through the house. That’s how the snake got in. I saw it disappear under the lounger I was lazing on but I never felt the bite. I saw it, though, as soon as I looked down at my bare foot: two little strike marks. Next thing, I was stumbling into the kitchen yelling for Mum. She kept telling me to calm down. After all, the faster my heart was beating, the faster it’d pump the venom around my body. But how could I be calm? I knew how fast a snake bite could kill. I knew the clock was ticking.

Mum knew what to do. She fixed me a compression bandage – out of garden bags – and a splint to help stop it spreading. I passed out, but the sound of the flying doctor’s plane coming in over the house woke me up. I remember Mum driving me to the airstrip and boarding the plane, then I passed out again on the two-hour flight. I woke up in hospital, where they told me I’d be in for a week.

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