What was supposed to be a routine bathroom break before a long trip turned into the biggest scare of Michael and his family’s lives.
After saying their goodbyes to a recently passed relative at the Cootamundra Cemetery, Michael thought it was wise to head for the dunny before their four-hour journey home.
To Michael’s great surprise, he was greeted by one of Australia’s most deadly creatures, a brown snake, wrapped around the cemetery’s only toilet.
Michael’s wife Dolly said his bathroom visit was surprisingly short as Michael returned ashen-faced moments later.
“He parked near the toilet and ran in – within two seconds he bolted back out the door as white as a ghost running to the car yelling, ‘There’s a snake,'” she said.
“He was in shock. As he walked in and went to lift the seat, he spotted it. I made him go back and get a photo; he was hesitant but snapped two pictures from the door and ran back to the car.
“We left as fast as we could after that as we are clearly not snake people,” Dolly joked.
The family was warned about potential snakes the day before, but Dolly admitted she didn’t take too much notice of the warnings.
“Our family travelled to Cootamundra from Sydney … Mt Druitt for the funeral of Michael’s nan Gail McDonnell. We attended Cootamundra Cemetery on Wednesday for the burial,” she said.
“My five-year-old daughter really needed to use the toilet and her aunty had said, ‘Watch out for the snake, there is usually one hanging around here’. I didn’t take it too seriously, so we continued on to the toilet and my five-year-old went; we did not see the snake on the day.”
Following Michael’s frightful run-in with the brown snake, Dolly sent the picture to Michael’s mother Allison, who posted the image to the community Facebook page Cootamundra Matters where it soon went viral.
“We sent the photo to Allison from the car not too long afterwards as she was heading to the cemetery not far behind us and had young kids in the car with her,” Dolly said.
“She posted it to the Cootamundra Matters group page to share awareness.”
As of writing, the post has received more than 350 likes, 190 comments and 148 shares. Dolly said Cootamundra had now been made aware of the snake’s presence at the cemetery.
“Within 10 minutes of the post being put up, there was a comment saying that Cootamundra Council had already taken action in removing the snake; I don’t know how true that is as Michael definitely saw it moving when he was there.
“I think it’s safe to say, we won’t be using outdoor public toilets ever again.”