"I'm just going up to Nicole's place. She's seen a snake just outside of her shanty and wants me to get rid of it" declared the Machinist.
"Do you want me to go with you?"
"It's alright, I won't be long" (what help would I be anyway, other than the vocals?)
"I don't mind. I'll keep watch for you ..."
Nicole was standing in the doorway of her settler's hut, not wanting to venture onto the front verandah, nevermind the grass, which would lead to the main family home. And safety. The Machinist climbed out of the ute and grabbed the long handled spade which was on the back tray and proceeded to the front gate. Suddenly, he halted in his tracks.
"Will this ram go for me, Nicole?"
"It shouldn't. If it does, just grab it's horns"
"I'm not going anywhere near him. If he comes for me, I'm off"
With this, the Machinist darted behind a couple of broken down cars and stood cautiously, waiting for the ram to disappear. The ram decided he wasn't going anywhere. I called to the ram ...
"Come here, boy. Come on, then. There's a good boy..."
I stood stroking the rams nose and talking gently and calmly to him. "You're a good boy, aren't you? There's a good boy..."
The Machinist ran to the gate, lifted the bent wire over the post and pushed it open. The snake was nowhere to be found.
"Sorry to have to call you. I'm terrified of snakes. I'm really paranoid"
"So am I, Nicole...."
The ram was moving around me, pushing his hot woolly body against me, "It's allright, laddie". I continued stroking his nose, while heavy breathing, occasional snorting and exhaling noises came from his nostrils. Thoughts of my own pet rams back in South Africa came to mind. I would talk to them in the same manner and they would follow me, wherever I roamed. I would hide from them, and they would bleat until they could sight me.
"C'mon, Babe. That snake could be anywhere. Let's go"
I was keeping the ram entertained, while the Machinist made his getaway to the safety of the ute. I stopped stroking the ram's nose and as I suspected, he decided he wanted me to continue and nudged me (gently rammed me?) each time I stopped.
The Machinist started the engine. I took a sprint to the ute. The ram chased me. The Machinist held the passenger side door open to let me in. The ram tried to get in, too.
He didn't make it.