Parents' shock as 12yo screams 'there's a snake in my bed!'
LIVING on a property on the outskirts of Mackay, the Maher family are used to the odd snake in the grass.
But finding one curled up on their 12-year-old daughter's doona was a first... and an image to send shivers down any parents' spine.
"We had taken our eldest daughter to the airport (Sunday night) ... when we returned home, my other daughter had gone into her bedroom to get ready for bed," Mrs Maher said.
"My husband and I heard her scream and she came running from her room saying there was a snake in there."
The mum said little did they realise it had actually slithered its way up and on to their daughter's bed.
"Our family has had quite a few experiences with snakes, so this was not a major thing for us," Mrs Maher said. "It was just funny and unexpected to have a snake on a bed."
"(Luckily) it was just a carpet python. We just took the snake outside and let him go," Mrs Maher said.
Having four children between the ages of five and 19, Mrs Maher taught her kids early about the dangers of snakes having just moved from Devereux Creek to Kuttabul.
"Our kids are educated enough about snakes to do the right thing by them and to keep out of harms way," she said.
"We had a dog killed by a juvenile taipan only a couple of months ago. So unfortunately that was a huge life experience for the kids to show how dangerous even small snakes can be."
Mrs Maher's tips for other parents is to educate themselves on all types of snakes.
"How to identify them, what their temperament is, venomous/non venomous etc," she said.
"I tell my kids to always be on the look out for snakes while playing outside. They are very good at hiding and moving through grass without being seen.
"I also tell them to be very still if there is a snake near them and to not freak out.
"Take notice of what colour it is, how big it is and importantly where it goes. And to tell someone, anyone as soon as it's safe to, that they've seen a snake."