A pensioner got the fright of her life when a four-foot SNAKE slithered along her bathroom floor just as she was about to have a soak.
Pauline Breame, 71, had run the water for a relaxing lunchtime dip when the reptile with striking markings appeared from nowhere.
The mother-of-three said: “I just screamed and went mad for a minute or two. I don’t like anything that slithers. I couldn’t believe it, it was just right there in front of me.
“Snakes make me feel sick if I see them on the TV and I can’t stand big spiders or anything like that. For all I knew it could have been poisonous.”
Pauline screamed for husband David but the snake had wriggled away under the bath.
She added: “Things like that don’t bother my husband, he’d have grabbed hold of it if he could.
“But it had crawled into a cavity under the bath and there was nothing we could do.”
David phoned police who said they couldn’t do anything and advised him to contact the RSPCA.
The couple waited more than an hour for the animal rescue van to arrive at their home in Swindon, Wilts.
They lifted floorboards and removed the bath panel and eventually found the snake hiding in a cavity underneath the bath.
David, 69, said: “Now there’s a great big hole in the floor under the bath because they had to take the floor boards up.”
The RSPCA identified the reptile as a corn snake, which is not poisonous or venomous but does have a nasty bite.
Chris James, the RSPCA’s animal collection officer, said: “This sort of thing is very rare but it does happen.
“It’s the sort of animal that people keep as a pet and sometimes they do have a tendency to wander off if they’re not properly kept, especially when the weather gets a bit warmer.
“They’re not dangerous but they will bite if provoked.”
Relieved Pauline said: “Now I know they have got rid of it I’m alright. I wouldn’t have been able to sleep if they hadn’t have found it. It was very frightening.
“All the neighbours are worried they’ll have snakes coming into their homes now.”
The RSPCA is now trying to find the owner of the snake.
Corn Snakes are usually kept as pets and can grow up to five foot long and live up to 15 years. They commonly feed on mice.