It’s not uncommon for students to make a fuss about the first day of school, and many parents like to capture the moment with a friendly picture at the start of the day to mark the important moment. The same was the case for Brooke, a teen from Arizona entering into her first day of the seventh grade. When her mom took a photo of her outside of their home, she spotted something in the picture which resulted in a scream of horror.
Many parents have the tradition of taking pictures on the first day back to school after the long summer break in the US. While this might be a painful experience for awkward kids, it means the world to parents who will look back on the picture fondly after they graduate. Joy, Brooke’s mom, took a photo of her children every year on the first day of school. This was a tradition that would lead to an emotive collection of incredible memories over the years.
First Day of School
For Joy, this was an important moment, not only because she couldn’t believe just how much her kids were growing up each year and this was a cool way to document it, but this was also Brooke’s first year in high school. Her child had grown up so fast, and Joy was doing her best to appreciate every milestone in their speedy developments. Many parents cannot believe how fast their kids grow up, and Joy was trying to appreciate every day with them to the fullest.
These photos were always looked forward to by both mom and daughter. Kids might not appreciate how much these pictures mean to their parents given how nervous and excited they are about their first big day at school. Kids have their friends to reunite with, new teachers to meet, and new classes to attend, after all! It was always a nice moment, and no one expected anything shocking or scary to happen to interfere with the back-to-school excitement…
The proud mom also had no idea that her single morning snap would turn into a viral sensation spreading quickly across the world! This was not your average “first day of school” picture as many people would think when looking at the picture. It seems like a few people that Joy sent the picture to noticed the shocking detail and began spreading it far and wide! The mother could never have guessed that she had instigated such a frightening sensation.
Home Sweet Home
The family lived in a small town in Alabama where there were plenty of open green spaces and lots of nature. As you can imagine from the picture of this area, given how much greenery it is surrounded by, all manner of wildlife could roam around. The perfect spot for the annual photograph was obviously in front of the beautiful big tree by the front lawn. But who else would be joining the family for a beautiful snap of a special moment?
A Good Student
Brooke was always a good student, she enjoyed school and was really looking forward to the new adventure of seventh grade, though not without nerves of course! This is a big year for all children, where they are on the verge between childhood and becoming a teenager. Many kids might feel that they are far older or more mature than they are accepted as, but in this case, Brooke was simply happy to be where she was in her development and education.
Photos Travel Fast
The picture was taken as per usual, and Joy took her beloved daughter to school. But when Brooke arrived at school that morning, there were people whispering and pointing at her. She really had no idea why or what to make of it, and at first, she felt a little insecure. She knew that school could be an unforgiving environment when it came to the meanness of kids, but she could not think of any reason why she would be the negative center of attention.
Brooke was starting to feel very alone as almost everyone around her seemed to be staring at her with amusement and curiosity. Thankfully, a good friend of Brooke’s immediately approached her but surprised her by saying “Brooke, you and your new friend are an internet sensation!”. What friend was she talking about, and how on earth was she an internet sensation? Brooke had never done anything worthy of viral fame, or so she thought. A quick look on Instagram solved the mystery!
Back to School with a Bang
Brooke’s mom had shared that morning’s picture on Instagram, and her dad shared it on his business page on Facebook. The snap was already getting a lot of attention, and fellow students were impressed by Brooke’s now-famous snap! But what was it that had caused such exciting waves on social media? And was Joy aware that she had “broken the internet” with a single innocent snap? Her daughter had become a mini-celebrity in just a few hours!
The Scene of the Crime
In today’s digital world, where people can share any moment or experience with the entire world with a press of a button, many people will unwittingly share images and videos that others will pick up incredible amounts of detail in that the original poster might not have initially noticed. In order to understand just why the snap was such a sensation, let’s go back to the “scene of the crime” so to speak – the moment the photo was taken…
A Shocking Detail
But in this case, it seemed that those involved in this particularly sensational image soon became aware of the shocking detail that was included in their scene. Brooke was by the tree on the front lawn and Joy had managed to take two snaps, when she asked Brooke to show her teeth for the picture in a big smile… At that moment, she noticed something move ever so slightly on the tree beside her daughter…
“Lord, it was scary!”
“Lord, it was scary!” – Those words were Joy’s on the moment she realized her daughter might be in danger. There was a snake slithering down the tree right beside her precious daughter! It just so happened that the snake was perfectly camouflaged against the tree thanks to its coloring. It also didn’t help that the tree trunk was deeply shaded by its many leafy branches. It took them some time to realize that a potentially deadly visitor had “photo-bombed” the otherwise joyful snap!
“Show Your Teeth!”
She asked Brooke to give a big smile showing her teeth, and just as Brooke was about to comply, Joy’s face changed completely as her eyes wandered to a movement happening just a few inches from Brooke’s left shoulder… It seemed like another visitor had taken Brooke’s suggestion to “show their teeth”, but this wasn’t the type of smile that anyone wanted to see, unless they were crazy about highly venomous reptiles! More like “bear your fangs”!
Mom Joy didn’t want to create panic which would only stress out both her daughter and possibly the snake too which could have fatal results, so she told Brooke calmly to come to her, but Brooke wasn’t done with posing for the pictures yet! We find it amazing that this courageous mother was able to keep calm when faced with the possibility that her daughter was faced with incredible danger, but anyone who knows about snake attacks would respect her for this reaction.
“My Face Said It All”
Brooke was surprised and disappointed that they were done with the morning photo tradition so soon, and when her mom asked her to “come here” she looked at her like she’s not done taking pics just yet! Her mom then said calmly “Brooke get away from the tree now”, but her face was deadly serious. Joy told WRBI news “I said it calmly, but I’m sure my face said it all”. It was essential that the young lady get away from the tree as quickly and calmly as possible.
A Sigh of Relief
Luckily, Joy knew that she had to keep calm for her daughter’s sake and so as not to upset the snake which could be a deadly move. Brooke’s arm had basically been presented to the snake for biting and was only inches away from its head and potentially deadly fangs! The moment Brooke reached her mom safely, Joy breathed a sigh of relief, it was only then that she pointed the snake out to her young daughter.
The idea that she had been so insanely close to the slithery snake made Brooke panic at first and run inside the house, and her mom came in after her, even having a little cry of relief that they were both unscathed. This was a completely understandable reaction given how long Brooke had been standing right next to the snake. Thankfully, it had not seemed disturbed by the girl’s presence and proximity, and Brooke had walked away unscathed.
Calling in the Professionals
Once safely inside the house, Joy called a local snake professional to identify the type of snake and move the snake away from the local residential area. However, by the time they arrived, the snake was nowhere to be found, making everyone nervous again. It seemed that the snake had ventured beyond the cool and shady pleasure of the large tree. What if someone else was now in danger? The family and experts were now unsure as to what to do next…
Panic and Fear
As it turned out, Brooke had an experience as a child which had left her very afraid of the slithering species. She was now terrified to leave the house. Especially since the snake had blended so well with the tree in such perfect camouflage, making her think he could pop out of nowhere at any time! The combination of the very real threat of the stealthy snake and Brooke’s historical trauma with the species left her almost paralyzed with fear.
Parent Pep Talk
Although she herself was also still nervous, Joy put on her parent hat and gave young Brooke a little pep talk, encouraging her to not be afraid and start getting into the car so they could start work and school as planned. Brooke had never expected to be so terrified within her own home, and that the otherwise mundane act of getting into her mom’s car to go to school would become such a scary ordeal.
Luckily, the photo that Joy had taken allowed the experts to identify the snake, and although some had thought at first that the snake was of a most poisonous and dangerous kind, it turns out it was a Grey Rat Snake. These are mostly harmless snakes that are non-venomous and will not attack a person or animal unless they are directly bothered. If anything, Brooke’s new “friend” probably enjoyed the impromptu photo session and made a new friend!
Grey Rat snakes are extremely skillful climbers – as demonstrated in this now-famous photo! They can grow to over 6 feet long, indicating that this one is still a youngster… Maybe he thought that he was in the 7th grade too! That could explain where the snake had gone off to, although we doubt that snakes have any kind of formal education. Was there any chance that Brooke and the young snake could be friends one day?
While everyone was calming down in the house, Joy decided to stick to tradition and upload the picture of her daughter on the first day of school, sharing it with her circle of friends on Instagram, little did she know that it would become viral! She knew that it was a crazy moment that she was sharing with just a few intimate folks in her life, but she never expected that they would share it far and wide!
Man vs. Snake
Brooke’s dad is a martial arts specialist, maybe he could have come and kicked the snake’s ass! He also shared the photo of his daughter and her slippery friend on his business page of Facebook, drawing even more views! While we doubt that the image and its subject were relevant to his business, it was a fantastic way to cheekily gain far more traffic into his website and social media presence. Not that we are going to help the crafty businessman out!
He uploaded the photo where the head of the snake is unmistakably pointed right at Brooke! He added the caption “Well 7th grade here she comes. Appears a friend wanted to go with her. Lucky for Brooke he looked like his belly was already full. CRAZY.” This was a bit of a misleading quote, as the Grey Rat snake was not an aggressive species. Still, the snake would have caused quite the scene at school if it managed to slither into Brooke’s bag!
It seems the snake totally photobombed Brooke’s back-to-school photo! Although snakes don’t actually have eyes, it definitely seems that this snake has got his eyes on Brooke! They actually sense movement rather than see, so it was really important that Joy got her daughter to come to her without any sudden movements. Although the Grey Rat snake was not venomous, being bitten by any snake is still a very painful and terrifying experience for anyone.
By the time Brooke made it to school that morning, she had already had quite an eventful couple of hours, and the photos had gone viral, and Brooke and her new “friend” were now famous thanks to their unexpected encounter! We now come full circle in our story, where the suddenly famous Brooke was struggling to understand her newfound attention. She had never been the kind of person to invite unwanted attention, and this was all a bit much for the adolescent.
An Unwanted Guest
Well, we are just happy that the young lady came out of this shocking experience unhurt. Moving over to Australia, we have another uninvited slithery friend encounter that will make your jaw drop as wide as a snake’s. A woman from Sydney was leaving the North Beaches to return home after a weekend away with her partner when she made a horrifying realization – they had picked up an unwanted hitchhiker! How did the uninvited guest enter their vehicle?
Wrapped Around Her Leg
After about five minutes of driving, the driver felt something tapping her leg. Thinking it was her phone charger, she looked under her seat, to discover a long, green, serpent! The snake started slithering towards her partner in the seat next to her, who jumped up screaming ‘stop the car!’. This was the type of terrifying situation that is bad enough without the potential of a car accident occurring! This couple needed to defuse the situation quickly.
10 Seconds that Feels Like 10 Hours!
Unfortunately, the couple was already on the highway, in the middle lane, and with nowhere to turn off, so it took another 10 or so seconds to find somewhere, which felt like forever to the couple! As you can imagine, trying to deal with a potentially deadly snake while on a fast-moving and busy highway was nothing short of a frantic experience. Highways are dangerous places without the addition of a snake! How were they going to make it out of this one?
Finally, they found a turnoff and pulled over, by which point Joe Black, they nicknamed the snake, had disappeared into the back, and the couple jumped out. They at first kept their distance from the vehicle and caught their breath and steadied their nerves. They finally saw him hiding under the spare tire, and eventually, he slithered off. He didn’t even say thanks for the free ride! The only payment this slithery hitchhiker left was a nerve-tingling memory!
A Gray Rat Snake. Not poisonous. Skillful climbers, as you can see. They can grow to over 6 feet long, so this is still a youngster. Maybe he thinks he’s in the 7th grade too.
Not a rattlesnake.