It was a cold November day in 2021 when a 15-year-old boy had a moment’s lapse… he opened the door of his snake Midnight’s tank to play with him.
But when he put him back he did something he’d never done before and will never do again – he forgot to lock the door.
The next morning Brandon went to check on Midnight.
But to his horror was no longer there… Midnight it seemed to have slithered through the lock and disappeared. His family searched the house high and low but nothing. Not a sniff of snakes anywhere.
Fast forward a year and a half and Brandon had not forgotten Midnight but he had parked the painful memory of his lost snake.
Until last Wednesday when the family went to their Nan’s for a birthday tea. The local ITV News was bubbling away in the background… occasional words coming through. One of which was “snake”.
Their attention was instantly drawn to the TV with the words: “Coming up the snake discovered on the streets of Essex”
“That looks just like Midnight” Someone squealed… “Surely it can’t be… can it?… “Let’s watch…”
The report came on.
And there was one word that swung it: “Chingford… Snake found in Chingford”. Screams of “No way!” and “Oh my goodness!” other things came thick and fast.
Brimming with excitement and unable to rewind Nan’s TV they were straight on the internet.
They quickly found the contact for the National Center for Reptile Welfare and called them.
Unfortunately so had two others. But their stories matched.
The fact that Midnight had been found on the next street. The fact that they had photos of him which were the same. The fact that they just knew it was him.
The next day came the reunion. No fireworks just a simmering joy and huge relief. Midnight isn’t one for a big show of affection but he was happy to be held. And happy to be warm.
The NCRW noticed a scratch on the snake and thought it might have been from a cat. He was also blowing bubbles – not in a cute way, he was ill. But he’s now on the mend. They found him just in time.
A few months more and Midnight might not have made it.
The family doesn’t know the person who found the snake and kindly called the police. At first his rescuers thought Midnight might have been a Black Mamba but it turned out he’s a Mexican Black Kingsnake.
The family are grateful to everyone who helped including the NCRW. They own a cake company called The Cake Club London and are having a flash sale on Saturday in Chingford to raise money as a thank you to the Centre.
Midnight, however, will probably stick to mice.
For more info on the cake sale click here