Austria’s dangerous flora and fauna: Part II
Being the adventurer I am, I decided to participate in Austria’s national summer sport: Going Up A Mountain So That You Can Drink A Beer And Then Come Down Again.
We went hiking at Hohenstein, because the internet site promised me sightings of exotic animals. I did, in fact, see a blindworm and a urinating baby goat (pictured).
I was punished, however, for wanting to make friends with a teensy baby foal (tautology is IN, people). I ran over to the fence to pat its little nuzzling nose, and it loped over on unsteady legs to say hello. It was destined to be love.
Except that suddenly, I became aware of a suspicious prickling on my shins. This prickling developed quickly into a sensation somewhat similar to an army of razor-toothed liliputians hacking at my exposed legs. Leaping out of the undergrowth, I discovered the pain was accompanied by a quick-spreading rash of raised red dots.
Panicking, I yelped and squealed and pointed at the rash, which surely meant death, or, at best, amputation. I was met with what can only be described as a cross between boredom and disdain from my two austrian hiking companions. And a curt “Yeah, that’s just a nettle sting. It goes away” by way of reassurance.
Well, NOTE TO AUSTRIANS, it itched and hurt a bit for the whole rest of the day. I wish Enid Blyton books had had more realistic illustrations. They were always getting stung by nettles, in between eating choc and drinking ginger beer and tracking down smugglers.
Today’s bonus for you, dear reader, is this Sound Of Music-esqe picture. Sure, the kids in the boat aren’t wearing curtains, and the digital camera is an anachronism, but otherwise, it has all the correct ingredients.