A PENSIONER got the shock of her life when she opened her blind – and found a snake slithering between the slats.
Jill Lovett shuddered with disbelief when she discovered the 10-inch long snake near the top of a window in her ground floor flat in Chidham Park, Wendover Road, Havant.
The 66-year-old, a retired secretary for the Roman Catholic diocese of Portsmouth, said: ‘I got up and opened the blind.
‘I opened the slats and went back in shock.
‘There was a snake laying on the slats near the top of the window.
‘It was about 10 inches long and just lying there. I immediately panicked.
‘I ran outside to see if any men were around.’
Mrs Lovett eventually found her neighbour, Adam Verne, to come and help with the creature.
And they thought of an ingenious way to get it down.
Mrs Lovett explained: ‘I just cleared my mum’s flat.
‘She has an old serving fork.
‘It’s got really sharp prongs.
‘My neighbour managed to get the snake between the two prongs and flip it into the bowl.’
Mrs Lovett thought about releasing the snake into the garden as she initially thought it could be a grass snake.
But she said its unusual markings made her think twice and she kept the snake in a washing up bowl all day on Thursday.
To be sure it wouldn’t escape, she covered the top of the bowl with cling film.
A friend of Mr Verne, a reptile collector, came in the evening and confirmed it was a baby corn snake.
He safely took the animal away.
Corn snakes are common in Texas, grow up to 6ft long, prey on rats and mice and, thankfully, are not venomous.
A knock on the door yesterday morning revealed all.
Mrs Lovett’s neighbour, Emma-Louise Thompson, 27, who lives in the flat above, said her snake, called Titan, had gone missing.
Arrangements were made for the reptile to be returned to her.
Mrs Lovett laughed: ‘I asked her to let me know if a snake goes missing again.’