The story opens with the drover’ s wife and her children alone in the house in the bush. One of the children discovers a snake and calls for the mother. The bush-woman reaches for her stick and rushes to her children but meanwhile the snake hides in the wood-heap. As the snake disappears the woman puts the children to sleep and waits up with her dog for the reptile to come out. As she waits, she starts to recall several dangerous situations she had to face throughout the years, when her husband was away with the sheep. She had to fight bushfire, flood, or even pleuropneumonia that spread among the cattle.
By the morning she runs out of candle and gets up to go get more wood to keep the fire burning. She seizes a stick, pulls it out and the whole pile collapses. The bush-woman gets hurt and starts to cry. She takes out a handkerchief to wipe her tears away but she pokes her eyes instead as the handkerchief is full of holes. This ridiculous situation makes her laugh.
It is near the daylight, but the bush-woman and her dog are still on the watch for the snake. Suddenly, the snake comes out of a large crack in the partition slabs. The dog starts to chase the snaked and eventually kills it. The woman lifts the reptile on the point of her stick and throws it into the fire. The eldest boy wakes up and notices the tears in the eyes of his mother. He promises not to ever go droving.