Battle lines drawn in fight for Vinegar Hill supremacy

BROOKVALE Downs is a somewhat flat piece of ground except for a small compost and dirt mound I call Vinegar Hill.

As in the famous convict uprising of 1798, the colonial forces (in this case, me) lost control of the hill to a dirty big black snake I have labelled Cunningham (after the convict leader). Vinegar Hill is home to my pumpkin patch and some of the best cucumbers on the Southern Downs. I was harvesting some white delights on Friday when Cunningham decided I was too close and came out for a look.

With shovel in hand and my best snake-chasing thongs on, I went after him, only to be way too slow again.

Being the brave bloke I am, I jumped back 80 foot and ran for a shovel. By the time I got back, the snake had done a runner and couldn't be found.

Later that afternoon, I had to change tanks and the main pump for the house is just off to the left of Vinegar Hill so off I went .

The chooks and the dogs had been scratching around the hill all day so, surely, the snake had left the area or gone hiding in his hole .

The second I stepped in towards the pump, bang out came Cunningham - straight in front of me back towards the hill.

With shovel in hand and my best snake-chasing thongs on, I went after him, only to be way too slow again.

By this time, my very unsupportive wife had decided to come out and laugh at my efforts and rub it in by bringing out pressure bandages and the phone to call 000.

So the war began. I started by bringing out the ride-on to limit the battle front and, in the mean time, sacrifice half of the pumpkin crop.

Then I took all the snake repellers from around the house and placed them in the garden to urge the snake to leave.

Yesterday morning I got up early to gloat over my success only to find Cunny sunning himself on the hill he still owns.

I think I may have hemmed in Cunningham with the snake repellers and it just made him angrier and more determined to hold his ground.

As the battle continues, Cunningham is now the proud owner of Vinegar Hill but the war continues.

I am looking for reinforcements if anyone has a spare week or two.



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