BULLGOOSE: Wes and Alice learn that a religious revival can be worse than snakebite

Wes and Alice play paddock sleuths:

“What did she die of, Wes?”

“Dunno yet. Let’s take a look. Hmm, what do you notice, Allie?”

“A god-awful smell.”


“No calf.”

“So, she didn’t die calving.”


“And, eeyu! That stench. I don’t suppose she died of shame on account of she smelt so bad.”

“Unlikely. I doubt it, She-lock.”

“OK, well I’m all out then. Over to you, Inspector Lestrade of the Scottish Fowl Yard.”

“Well, notice the grass and dirt are pretty much intact and undisturbed?”


“Remember how the Three Stooges would lie on their sides and run around in circles, Woop Woop Woop?”

Curly, Larry, Moe or is it Larry, Moe, Curly.

“She was murdered by Moe, Larry and Curly?”

“That’s right. Not! The ground’s not kicked up, so no struggle. So, no sickness, no dingo attack. She went down, bang. And died pretty quick.”

“So… a sniper?”

“No, you goof! Lightning or a brown snake. My money’s on the snake.”

“Snake? I hate them. If I ever die of a heart attack …”

“Yes, I know, Look for a snake: there will be one.”

“That’s right. (shudders) And it could still be here.”

“This poor girl’s been dead for a while. You think the snake hung around for five days to gloat?”

“Nothing’s beneath a snake.”

“You worry too much. People really don’t die from snake bite very often, Allie.”

“Yeah, but once is more than enough.”

Next morning

“Hey Allie, check this. My left eye won’t open.”


“I woke up this way. It’s closed over.”

“Like your brain.”


“Your brain. It closed over some time ago.”

“Thank you, Alice.”

“Paralysis. Snake bite. You’re doomed.”

“Check out my eyelid. There’s a tiny lump.”

“Hmm. It’s black.”

“A tick. Can you grab those kickass tweezers?”

“Aren’t we gonna freeze it off with Aerostart?”

“You know I trust you, Allie… pretty much, but I’m not having you spraying my eyelid. You’ll deflict my eyeball and I’ll lose my looks.”

“You think?”

“Right then. Probe away. Dig boldly, Lass, and never fear the spills.”



“Baby! Hold still… ah, got it.”

“Nice. Thanks. You get the lot?”

“Yep. It’s tiny.”

“A 1.5 metre brown snake might kill you dead, but a semi-microscopic tick can sure work you over.”

“I hate them all, Wes.”

“No doubt. It’s weird when you think about it. Insects and arachnids have been around for, like, 400 million years, and we’ve only been around for 2 million.”

“Yawn. Fascinating! Mansplain me some more.”

“They must’ve thought it was Christmas when humans turned up. Three hundred and ninety-eight million years of trying to gnaw and sting through scales, fur and feathers and suddenly there’s all this beautiful, unprotected skin.”

“Yes, Wes. It’s almost enough to make you think. Me? I’m just so happy that I’ve been able to bring some joy into their relentless, remorseless, vicious and venomous little lives.”

“I blame the bandicoots for spreading the ticks.”

(Alice reminisces) “Remember when Big Minch was scared of bandicoots because he got them mixed up with bunyips and thought they were the size of grizzly bears? Come and look, Minchie. There’s a bandicoot scoffing the dog’s food. Aaaaagh! Waaaah!”

(Wes joins in) “Remember when that scorpion bit him? Man, that must’ve hurt! He went pale as cappuccino froth and whispered, “It’s OK, Dad. Just make sure I don’t go into Anna Felafel shock.” Hahaha.

“I couldn’t believe that scorpion was only 2cm long. I thought they were big as lobsters.”

“What about that other time, Allie?”

That Other Time

The Piddenses were doing cattle work in the yards, the boys goosing cattle up the race. Suddenly Big Minch bolts off, hurdles the rails, jumps on the Ag 200 and roars out of sight.

Wes: “What’s he up to?”

Little Minch: “Hey.”

Cow: Moo.

Alice: “Do you think he’s gone completely mad?”

Wes: “Time will tell. Next cow, please.”

Little Minch looks up: “Hey.”

Alice: “Here he comes.”

John the Baptist roars up on the bike. Closer inspection reveals it to be Big Minch clad only in a wet, white bed sheet poncho, covered in red lumps and slathered with lotion.

Big Minch: “Ants. Millions of them. I jumped in the dam then used all the Stingose. It hurts too much with clothes on.”

The ants are on the march to Big Minch.

Little Minch: “He’s spooking the cattle.”

Cattle: Mooooo.

Big Minch: “Sorry about the sheet, Mum.”

Wes: “That’s all right. We were just worried you’d got religion.”

A lesson to us all.


Scroll to Top
Like an alert when we add a story? Yes please No thanks