On her phone screen, she saw the number of reactions to the photograph she had posted on Instagram increase rapidly within a short time. She was pleasantly surprised by the high number of reactions, as she hadn't anticipated the photograph would receive that much attention.
Feeling confused, she turned to look at her daughter, who was still happily posing for the camera. However, when she looked at the comments on the photo, she became highly concerned.
The Ideal Place
Spring had arrived at Bianca Dickinson's large ranch in Western Victoria, Australia. The trees were starting to sprout new leaves, and the clear blue sky was a beautiful contrast to the dry, brown landscape.
Bianca believed the weather was ideal for taking some photographs on a hot afternoon. However, after everything that happened, she no longer wanted to take any more pictures.
The mother of four was at the bus stop at the end of the driveway of the large ranch, waiting for the school bus to bring her two older children home. It was a typical day, but the bus had stopped a long distance away from the house because the property was so large.
Every day, she would get into her SUV and drive down the dirt road to the bus stop to pick up her children and drive them back home. However, today, she decided to deviate from her usual routine.
Bianca put her younger children, Harry and Molly, in the car. She had a plan and some time to spare before the bus carrying Imogen and Mitchell arrived.
The weather was excellent, and she had a new iPhone with a high-quality camera that she wanted to use. However, she had no idea that circumstances were conspiring against her.
She drove slowly down the dirt driveway, searching for the ideal location. She stopped by a Bluegum tree that had been twisted by the wind over the years, right at the boundary of her property.
As she pulled the car into the shade, Molly, her youngest child, asked from the back seat, "What are we doing?" Bianca replied in a soothing voice, "We're going to take some pictures, sweetie."
The Perfect Setting
As the bus stop came into view, Bianca took Molly out of the car and asked her to pose for a picture. She instructed Molly to stand next to the fence with her face turned towards the wind. It was perfect.
The waving wheat field and expansive Australian sky made the perfect setting for a picture of her adorable young child. However, there was something in the background that she didn't notice.
Posing For Instagram
Bianca took the picture and felt it was good enough to share on Instagram. She appreciated the quick connection her new phone provided. She didn’t have to do much technically, and it wasn’t long before she shared the happy photos with others.
Molly stood patiently, waiting for more directions from her affectionate mother, and was enjoying all the attention.
Bianca, aware that it would be difficult to get her toddler to remain still again, raised her hand and said, "Stay there, honey... just a few more." She focused on Molly through the camera lens once more. In the periphery of her vision, she noticed something moving.
Initially, she had thought it was something from a tree that had blown off, but she had no idea how wrong she was.
She quickly uploaded a batch of new pictures to her phone, but as soon as she did, it started to receive a lot of notifications and began vibrating rapidly in her hand.
She was initially happy as she quickly browsed through the pictures, but when she saw the comments on the photo of Molly, her smile disappeared. It seemed that other people had noticed something as well.
Something In The Distance
Bianca was shocked when she turned to find Molly and that something was moving just inches away from her daughter's feet. Molly was unaware of this and was looking off into the distance.
Bianca's instincts told her that she needed to get Molly's attention as quickly as possible, as her daughter's life was in danger.
A Brave Response
Bianca was scared and asked Molly to stay very still. Fortunately, the toddler understood and remained still, but she didn't realize that her mother was not playing a game.
Bianca felt like she wanted to scream, but she controlled herself and didn't let Molly see her fear. She saw that an Eastern brown snake was close enough to touch Molly's boots.
Eastern brown snakes are found in Western Victoria, and Bianca had only seen two on her farm in the past. She had never before been in such a dangerous situation. These snakes are powerful and can knock out 20 adult men, so Bianca had to act fast.
She locked her eyes with Molly’s and willed herself to be as still as a statue.
Frozen In Place
Bianca knew that if she or Molly moved, the snake might attack. They were stuck in a dangerous situation and needed to be careful. She was relieved that Molly remained still, just like her.
But would Bianca’s two-year-old remain as still as she was? She hoped that she would but had no idea what would happen next.
Bianca said she wanted to run, pick up Molly, and scream and run away, but she had to control herself and not give in to the adrenaline coursing through her veins. The snake then started to move again, causing Bianca to shiver.
Bianca was relieved to see the snake slither away into the tall grass from which it had come. At that moment, she heard a commotion behind her.
Making An Escape
The bus arrived, and her other children were walking towards her, but they stopped when they saw that Bianca looked panicked. She began shouting at them to get into the car, clearly feeling panicked.
She managed to safely get her children into the SUV, but that wasn’t enough to calm her down. As she started the engine, her hands still shook.