Imagine walking into the kitchen of your home and seeing a somewhat large snake descending from your spice cabinet into the carefully arranged basket of eggs on your kitchen counter. What would you do?
(Warning: The video has some language, because of course it does.)
"We were in our living room, when we heard a loud 'bang!' from the kitchen," Neff said in an e-mail to The Washington Post. "We have an open floor plan, so as I walked from the living room through the dining room toward the kitchen, I noticed a cinnamon jar on the floor. That caused my gaze to go up to the spice cabinet, which is when I was VERY shocked to see the [four-foot] black rat snake descending toward the basket of eggs!"
"It was very graceful, actually," she said. "We knew immediately that it was non-venomous and a 'safe' snake, so we weren't concerned for our wellbeing physically," Neff said, "which helped a great deal in being able to watch it, be in a bit of awe and curiosity."
A rat snake is a species of harmless, albeit startlingly large, black snake that is common to many regions of North Carolina. Rat snakes constrict their prey, and are "beneficial due to their penchant for eating rodents and (OUTSIDE) eggs," Neff wrote in the YouTube description of her video. She added that the snake could also be a black racer, another non-venomous snake common to the area that looks very similar to a rat snake.
Fun fact: Rat snakes are also very abundant in other states. Like Maryland. That's where one unfortunate family of humans found a nest of at least eight living in the home they recently purchased.
Neff believes that the snake came in through a hole in their laundry room, "which is now covered by a VERY heavy concrete block and which will soon be permanently plugged," Neff wrote.
After it ate -- a process that took about four or five minutes -- the snake "descended all the way onto the counter," Neff told The Post. "I guess it was looking for a dark corner to curl up in and digest, because it kept trying to go behind our refrigerator."
Neff and her husband Robert decided to stop the snake from crawling there, out of their reach.
"My husband (Robert) had grabbed our brooms, so armed with one each, we kept gently but firmly encouraging it away from the fridge," Neff said. "I had no idea what we were going to do with it, unless it went down to the floor and (if we could keep our cool enough) we got it out the door."
At that point, Neff said, her husband suggested sending the snake out a nearby window instead. "Since the snake was being very gentle, slow and non-aggressive," Neff said, "we felt comfortable opening the window and slowly removing all the knick knacks and counter items away from the sill, and eventually were able to get its bulk on top of our brooms enough to heft it out the window and outside."
[This post has been updated.]