An Aussie that woke to the feeling of something clamped to her face was in for a shock when she realised a snake had sunk its teeth into her forehead.
Emily Hinds, 42, was dozing at her home in Coolalinga, in Australia's Northern Territory, when the reptile gave her a rude awakening.
"I'm fast asleep in bed and I feel what I think is a hair clip attached to my face beside my right eye," she said.
"In my half drowsy state my mind obviously starts to debate how a hair clip got into my bed, and how it opened and closed on my face.
"So I then register that it must be something biting me – a bug perhaps – when I reach up still in a half-asleep state and feel the unmistakable smooth, cool body of a snake."
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Emily's husband, 49-year-old Jason, didn't believe her at first, but when they switched on the light they saw a 24-inch snake slithering across the pillows.
"I looked in the mirror and saw four bloodied puncture marks on the area above and next to my right eye," said Emily.
"It wasn't painful, more like a scratchy clamp on my face, but I think because I was asleep at the time I didn't gauge the full feeling."
Thankfully, the snake appeared to be a nonvenomous Children's python.
"They have heat sensing pits and I either rolled on him – though I don't remember – or he thought I was 'hot' and that's why he bit me," said Emily.
Because her skin had been punctured – and even nonvenomous snakes can carry harmful bacteria in their mouths – Emily was prescribed antibiotics.
She said: "There was a moment after I saw the puncture marks and blood that I thought I better recheck my snake ID skills. Because I'll be dead in a matter of minutes if that's not a python and is something more like a Taipan or King Brown."
Jason soon carried the snake out of the house after hooking it with a golf club handle, though it has returned a couple of times since.
For Emily, a horticulture lecturer at Charles Darwin University, it was the first time she's been bitten by a snake.
She said: "They are quite common and we encourage wildlife by maintaining a native bush habitat on our five-acre property. There's always snakes about, but I prefer them outside!"
She added: "Once I realised it was a python I was like 'okay this is actually pretty cool and I'm going to have a great story to tell'. I should get some street cred around the place!"
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