Jun 2, 2015 - News

4-foot black snake descends from couple’s spice cabinet, eats an egg off the counter, acts like this is no big deal

Charlotte spice cabinet snake

Charlotte spice cabinet snake

[This piece was originally published in June 2015.]

Sunday afternoon, Laura Neff and her husband Robert Hildreth were hanging around their northwest Charlotte home (halfway between Uptown and Mountain Island Lake) when they heard a loud bang from the kitchen. Since they have cats and dogs they didn’t think much of the noise but went to investigate anyway. What they found was the stuff of nightmares.

The couple watched in stunned horror and eerily calm awe as 4-foot black rat snake descended from their spice cabinet and ate an egg out of a basket on the counter. Just like that. Like, “Hey guys, just dropping by for an egg. Nothing to see here.”

snake in spice cabinet Charlotte

“We knew immediately that it was a non-venomous rat snake,” said Laura, “so we got all fascinated amidst the total freakouts we were both trying really hard not to have. Neither of us were going to do anything to the snake while it was going to town on that egg, but we definitely wanted it to be OUTSIDE ASAP.”

snake eats egg Charlotte

Perhaps the only thing more fascinating than a snake stealing your eggs is the fact that the polite and graceful lady managed to knock just one cinnamon shaker from the cabinet. Everything else went untouched. That is somehow even more horrifying, that she’s so stealthy.

spice cabinet snake steals egg

Once the snake had her fill of stolen egg, Laura and Robert called her brother, two pest control services and 311 before deciding to take matters into their own hands. They weren’t confident anyone else would arrive before she settled in to digest her meal and both were strongly opposed to killing her.

Using brooms and rakes (“like a damn broom-wielding martial artist,” according to Laura) the couple managed to coax the snake back outside through a kitchen window. They watched her slither away to a pile of leaves and wood, unharmed and adequately fed.

Their best bet is that the snake intruder entered through a hole in the tile in their laundry room from when they moved the washer/dryer years ago. It is currently barricaded with a cement block and will be promptly permanently sealed.

Kudos to this couple for keeping their cool, respecting a wild animal’s space (even though it invaded theirs) and returning it to its rightful home.

“I’m so glad that we were able to have some moments of calm and fascination during the whole thing,” said Laura. “She really was beautiful and so gentle, and the whole egg-eating thing was INSANE.”

Speak for yourself, Laura. That “beautiful and so gentle” creature will haunt me for the rest of my life.

Here’s a video of the trespassing spice cabinet snake stealing an egg off the counter (if you can handle it)… The now viral video has been viewed more than 200,000 times on Facebook.


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