Coast woman petrified after 20 snake skins found in roof
JACQ Rutland is terrified of snakes.
So when workmen replacing the roof of her Verrierdale home began finding snake skins in the ceiling, she was freaked out.
By they time they'd found 20, she was almost catatonic.
Big ones, small ones, fat ones, thin ones - the skins are still piling up on Jacq's veranda.
She admits she's had to accept the fact that it's all part of living in a semi-rural area.
That doesn't mean she's happy about it.
"I know snakes are part of living in this sort of area but I've been in denial," she said.
"I'm petrified of snakes. I don't like them at all.
"Every time I've heard a noise in the roof, I've blamed it on the dog.
"But I can't ignore these skins. There's a big pile of them.
"One is so huge I could slide it over my forearm.
"Another one is 2.5m long."
At first, Jacq tried telling herself the skins belonged to a python she met soon after buying the home three months ago and named Prudence.
But the varying sizes of skins suggest there's been more than a few snakes of varying sizes and types in the ceiling over the years.
"When I met Prudence, I came to an agreement with her that if she left me alone, I'd leave her alone and so far it's worked well," she said.
"She was a lovely looking python about 1.5m long and I haven't seen her since.
"We've obviously come to an agreement and I'm comfortable with that but it will be a whole different story if she ever comes in my door.
"But Prudence is not as big as some of the skins we found in the roof, so I'm afraid they might belong to any number of snakes that have lived there over the past 50 years.
"I really don't want to think about that too much."