Bianca Dickinson's children are used to happening upon snakes. The family of six lives on a fully operational grain and sheep property in Western Victoria, Australia, and in the summertime, it's not uncommon to see snakes lying in the road or even around the family's beach house.
"The kids are taught from a young age what to do if they see a snake," Dickinson, 38, told TODAY Parents. "In saying that, though, I have only ever seen two others on our property before. We know they are there, but we don't go looking for them."
Dickinson was definitely not looking for snakes last week when she took her two youngest, Harry, 4, and Molly, 2, to the bus stop near their property to play and wait for her older children, Imogen, 13, and Mitchell, 9. Since it wasn't a hot day, the kids played in the area for about ten minutes. Dickinson took the opportunity to take a few pictures of her daughter for their Instagram account, where her children model clothes for brands sometimes.
She was still taking pictures of Molly when the older children hopped off their bus. Molly pointed excitedly to her siblings through the (non-electrical) fence and smiled for the camera in the bright sunlight. That's when Dickinson noticed something move from the corner of her eye, which was still looking through the eye piece of her camera.
"Because it was so windy, I assumed it was bark falling from a near by tree," said Dickinson. "I looked up to see where the bark had fallen, and then saw the snake." The snake was a large Eastern brown snake, which, according to the Australia Zoo, is the second most venomous snake in the world and likes to eat small mammals, birds, and other reptiles.
By the time Dickinson spotted the snake, its tail was near Molly's feet. "It was moving very very fast. At that point, all I wanted to do was run and grab her," Dickinson said. "However, it was still really close to her, and I thought if I did that it might turn back and bite her."
So Dickinson waited, holding her breath until the snake slithered away from her toddler, then ran and grabbed her daughter and yelled at her older kids to get in the car. "It wasn't until we were in the car and all safe and after much hysteria that Imogen asked me if I'd gotten a photo of the snake," said Dickinson. "At that point, I had no idea, but it turns out I did."
Dickinson posted the photo on both her Instagram account and her Facebook page. The photo of the large brown snake so close to her cherubic toddler is now giving parents all over the world chills.
"Molly didn't notice the snake," she said. "I think that was probably a good thing, because she may have ran screaming if she did." Dickinson's other children were horrified when they saw the picture. "They said, 'OMG, that really was a big snake, Mum!'"