A UK expat discovered a giant snake coiled around the Christmas tree in her Sydney home.
Rachael Leah Jackson, who emigrated to Australia as a 19-year-old student in 1997, was shocked to find the reptile had made itself at home in the tree.
Snakes are common in Australia, but the sight of the animal was enough to send one of Rachael's neighbours "running away screaming", the Liverpool Echo reports.
It's not the first time she's had a close encounter with one of the creatures – recently she found one which slithered under her couch and hasn't been seen since.
On this occasion, it was a non-venomous green tree snake which had taken up residence in the Christmas tree.
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Mum-of-three Rachael said: "There are snakes everywhere in Sydney. We're surrounded by national parks and my house backs on to the bush. I had a snake go under my couch recently which I couldn't find afterwards.
"When I came home my daughter started shouting, I looked at the tree and the snake was standing up straight and wrapped around the tree.
"I phoned the Sydney wildlife people to come and take it away and stood watching the snake for 40 minutes. When one escapes and goes somewhere you can't get it out."
She added: "I never had to deal with anything like this in Birkenhead. I'm not sure how it got in here before escaping up the tree.
"I asked a neighbour to come and help, but she took one look at it and ran away screaming."
Although snakes are common in Australia, Rachael's unwelcome visitor was still unusual enough to make the news in Sydney.
Before moving to Australia, Rachael, 42, attended Bidston Avenue Primary School and Prenton High School for Girls and worked at the Pyramids shopping centre in Birkenhead.
She said: "I went to Australia when I was 19. Originally I was intending to only stay for a year to study after I got into acting college.
"I always intended to come back but I stayed another year, then another, then I got married, divorced, and was left with three children.
"My childhood memories of the people and going to places like Birkenhead Park and Bidston Hill are the things that have kept me sane."
Rachael's brother Martyn and mum Dorothy still live in the Wirral.
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