That night, Chocolate was sniffing and playing around at the back porch. We couldn't figure out what she was doing, but then started poking under a storage shelf, and felt something, relatively soft. We then started pulling things off the cabinet to try to move it. Only after getting a few things off the cabinet, did we discover that the stick that we had been poking under the shelf had blood on the ends.
Unfortunately, we had also had a rat in our house the previous week. I thought that it seemed too soft to be a snake, that it might be a rat, but that did not explain why it was not running away. When we finally got the shelf away, we discovered a small python wrapped around a very dead rat. The python had yet to eat the rat, but was certainly not eager to let go of his prey.
Deciding the snake in our house was not a good mix, we took the obvious route: Doug kept an eye on the snake while the kids ran to get the guard and a stick. A few minutes later, the snake was pinned and then dead.
Hooray for the snake getting rid of the rat! And how did we repay the snake? With death. A sad life.
The postscript the next morning was that the girls came running over saying the guard had killed another snake in the night. Another python was near the guard house and this, much bigger snake (about 8 - 10 ft), also met its demise. A bit sad considering the snake should be allowed to live freely in nature.