CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A Charlotte family had an unexpected visitor for dinner when a more than four foot rat snake crawled inside and decided to swallow an egg whole on their counter.
Laura Neff says she and her husband, Robert, were in the living room of their northwest Charlotte farm home when they heard a bottle of cinnamon fall off the shelf and land on the floor.
"I didn't have to get very far over toward the kitchen to see what was going on," Neff said. That's when the couple saw the snake, which she described as "four feet, minimum."
The snake was making its way down the spice cabinet towards a basket of fresh eggs from the couples' seven chickens.
Neff says the couple alternated between "horrified and fascinated the whole time."
Robert shot the video because her iPhone, which can be seen in the video, was about three inches away from the snake.
The video lasts less than a minute and the snake was last seen engulfing an entire egg. It has been watched nearly 200,000 times since they posted it on Facebook Sunday.
VIDEO FOR MOBILE USERS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4qokmi6MOE (**WARNING: There is some language in the video, which Neff later apologized for online)
Neff says they watched the snake eat the egg after stopping the video.
"Then it decided to fully descend onto the counter and wanted to go find a dark spot to hide and digest, which it was pretty sure was behind our fridge," she said.
But she and Robert weren't going to let that happen.
"We armed ourselves with brooms, Robert opened the window, and it took us about 15 minutes to nudge/cajole/encourage it far enough out the window that we could get its bulk under the brooms and heft it all the way out," she told WBTV.
"At the last second, it gripped my broom really tightly, trying not to fall the few feet to the ground," she said. "I had kept my cool fairly well up until that point, but there was a minute there that I completely spazzed out and whacked the broom handle on the window sill really fast, finally getting it to let go!"
The couple believes the snake got into their home through a hole in the laundry room floor, which she says is now "firmly sealed."
"We are quite emphatic that said snake will be finding its own meals - outside - from now on," she joked.
She says it took hours for her nervous system to calm down and still gets wound up thinking about it 24 hours later, but still finds the awe in the experience.
"It was a pretty cool thing to watch, and it was extremely gentle and not at all aggressive or interested in us," she said.