On October 12, a photo of a snake hanging around the ‘dunny’ at the Cootamundra Cemetery was posted in the Cootamundra Matters Facebook Group with the caption, “Beware at the toilet at the cemetery just now,” a simple post that has now skyrocketed in shares and reposts. Much of the community began to speculate in the comments, some were concerned the snake would hurt children, some were concerned for the snake itself, and some were making jokes. Outside the community, however, people in snake-spotting groups and Australian groups were having a laugh with the image.

“Poor thing just wants some privacy. you can’t take a dump in peace anymore,” said one comment.

“You would s*** yourself if u saw that. Good spot for it,” said another.

All of this is because of a small bathroom trip by Michael Miller at Coota Cemetery.

Michael’s wife Dolly Miller explained to the Times the story behind the photo which she was surprised gained so much traction. “We’re from Sydney and we travelled to Cootamundra, we travel there quite often but we travelled this time because my partner’s nan passed away, so we were going to the funeral,” she said. “The day of the burial, my daughter needed to use the toilet, there was one toilet there but beforehand, my sister-in-law warned me there is a snake hanging around the cemetery. There were probably a few around there but I didn’t think much of it.”

Dolly explained that she went to the bathroom and it was fine even if a bit eerie due to the idea that a snake could be lurking, but a stop there the next day on their way back home saw their nightmares finally materialise.

“We stopped by…just to go see loved ones buried there, that’s the main reason we go to Coota. We always got to the toilet there before we go on the long trip back to Sydney and my husband needed to use it. “He ran straight back out. He was shaking and white as. He said there’s a snake. I didn’t believe him because we joke about it a lot. I told him to go get a photo, he was hesitant but I made him get a photo. “He ran back in and was taking a while and I was calling thinking he was bitten by the snake. He snapped two photos and said the snake was moving around the bowl.”

The original photo wasn’t posted as a joke or point of discussion, but rather to warn others using the toilet who may have kids.

“We put it up there and everyone started commenting on it and sharing it and whatnot. We’ve been in that group for a while and we were laughing about it, saying that it was shared by everyone in the town.

Be careful when going to the toilet as summer comes along, you’ll never know when not checking the bowl may come back to bite you on the behind.

Jack Murray