A Texas mother who jumped into action and wrangled a snake away from her daughter’s car engine described her own bravery as just another day on the job.
Nicole Graham, a mother and business owner, was cleaning a chicken coop for a client in Burton when she found the snake on the premises. The slithering creature was in the coop but then found its way into a vehicle belonging to her daughter, Haylie, according to FOX 26 Houston.
Haylie capture the moment on camera — “as any teen would,” she later said — and uploaded it to social media. In the video, Graham can be seen safely apprehending the snake using a ruler, gloves and her expertise.
“Don’t try this at home,” Graham later told FOX 26, noting she knew the snake was non-venomous so that is why she acted without hesitation to remove it. “Picking snakes up, it’s not for everybody. Obviously, you always need to be cautious because it may not always be a nonvenomous snake, it could definitely be poisonous. So just be careful and do what you feel comfortable with.”
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Nicole Graham, a mother and business owner, removed a snake from her daughter’s car while cleaning a chicken coop for a client in Burton. (FOX 26)
The video shows Graham, wearing a short-sleeved t-shirt, leggings, flip-flops and gloves, grabbing the snake in one hand while using a stick in the other to lift it from the engine of her daughter’s Mini Cooper.
“[My mom] came running over to my car, I roll down my window. She’s like, ‘Haylie, there’s a snake in the chicken coop,” Haylie, who recorded the video, told FOX 26. “So I run over, I immediately as any teen would do start filming.”
Graham runs an educational service through her business, The Garden Hen, which teaches life skills that include the construction of backyard chicken coops and “everything under the sun,” she told FOX 26 Houston.
“I own a company called The Garden Hen, we are educationally based, meaning we teach lifecycle and skills in schools,” Nicole said. “We build backyard chicken coops, we kind of do everything under the sun cleaning is a big part of our business, cleaning chicken coops for clients.”
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She also occasionally encounters snakes, including the rat snake or chicken snake, as it is often called.
“Rat snakes, also known as Chicken Snakes, like to go into chicken coops and eat the eggs of the chickens,” Nicole continued. “They don’t typically go after the birds or the poultry unless they’re relatively small, but the reality is, eggs are a big part of their diet just like small rodents, small birds, things of that nature.”
Burton, Texas, is located just northeast of Houston, in Washington County.
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“It was crazy!” Haylie told FOX 26, highlighting her mother’s bravery. “And so my mom, she picked it up on like the stick, and then we brought it out. And then it ended up falling off the stick and then running under my car and then going up into the engine.”
Rat snakes, also known as Chicken Snakes, are often found in chicken coops, Graham explained. (Instagram/Nicole Graham)
Graham said she only proceeded because she knew how to professionally approach the situation.
“If you noticed, I was wearing gloves and I had a long stick with me,” she noted. “I’m not asking anybody or anybody that comes across it to ever do anything that does not feel right to them. Because obviously, safety is key.”
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Graham uploaded a pair of photos and a video of the “sneaky little devil” to her Instagram.
“Making new friends today lol just add snake wrangler to my resume,” she wrote.
Graham and her husband, who she calls Chicken Mike, have been married since 2004. They have three daughters: Haylie, Harper, and Harley-Rose.