Family Finds Slithering Surprise in Christmas Tree: a Snake!

12/20/2011 at 12:00 PM EST

A North Carolina family almost got a new pet for Christmas, and it certainly wasn't one they were expecting.

As her family was putting the final decorations on their tree, which had been stored in their garage, 6-year-old Rachel Baine noticed a piece of tinsel moving, reports NBC-17 in North Carolina. A closer peek revealed that it was a foot-long corn snake taking refuge among the ornaments.

"Daddy, there's a snake on the Christmas tree," she said to her father, Tony.

"I thought Rachel was teasing me," Tony Baine told the local news.

Mom Casey Baine posted a video on YouTube of her husband plucking the snake from the tree's branches later that night.

"Don't let it touch me," she says in the clip, screaming as her braver husband removed the writhing creature.

"He's cool," Tony said, as the snake lay still in his hand. "He's scared."

Rachel and her brother Eli eventually warmed up to the reptile as well, wanting to keep him as a pet and name him Tinsel.

But mom had the final say.

"The snake wasn't poisonous and was probably harmless but it was still uninvited and unwelcome in our home," she told Britain's Daily Mail.

Since then, the snake has been moved to a new home in the woods outside the Baines' home, according to reports.

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