There’s a python living in my rain gutter.
Or maybe inside my ceiling. We’re not quite sure. We haven’t seen the snake yet, but we know it’s up there, slithering amid drying eucalyptus leaves and basking in the radiant heat from the tin roof.
I saw the snake about a month ago, on the first warm day as winter fades into spring here in Australia. I went out to check the mail in the early afternoon. My mailbox was empty, but there was a 7-foot-long carpet python basking on the warm asphalt on the driveway. Hello, snake!
We stared at each other for a few minutes, and then it slithered into the neighbor’s storm drain.
Fast forward to last week, when I found a large hunk of snakeskin in my front yard. About 10 inches long, it was thick as my wrist and mottled with dark and light patches. Thrilled that the python was still around, I turned back to the house to shout for my partner, Troy.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw something fluttering in the breeze above me. It was another piece of snakeskin, caught on the power line that runs from within reach of a low tree to our roof. Oh.
Apparently, this isn’t the first time a python has taken up residence in the house. Our neighbor confirmed that another large python — perhaps even the same snake — used to hide in the rain gutter before we moved in, laying in wait for the parrots who like to bathe in the water after storms.
I have a bad feeling that we may end up feeding more than just the birds.