Sounds like your clutch is sssslip­ping

Snake es­capes on mo­tor­way trip

The Sunday Post (Newcastle) - - NEWS - By Janet Boyle JBOYLE@SUNDAYPOST.COM

Think mov­ing house is tricky enough?

Try it when your pet snake es­capes as you’re driv­ing one of Scot­land’s busiest roads.

Re­tired IT spe­cial­ist Jim Pater­son was help­ing his son Martin move when Magic the corn snake slith­ered out of her box.

Jim, 63, from South Queens­ferry, had promised to drive Magic to In­ver­ness.

“I se­cured her in the tank and set off along the M90,” said Jim.

“But en route to Perth I could feel some­thing at my feet,” said Jim.

“I thought that the floor mat had worked lose and moved it aside with my feet.

“I must have been trav­el­ling about 50mph.”

It wasn’t a floor mat, though, it was Magic.

Jim only re­alised that she was on the loose when he no­ticed her tail dis­ap­pear be­hind the dash­board.

He thought the best op­tion was to stop as soon as pos­si­ble and pulled his Honda CRV in at Perth.

But there was no sign of her un­der the bon­net or else­where.

“I called the SSPCA but they ad­vised me to get the help of a me­chanic,” he said.

“So I drove back to South Queens­ferry and tried again to carry out thor­ough search for Martin’s snake.

“It was then that I called our lo­cal garage, Hawes.”

Me­chanic Ian MacKay says he was stunned at a re­quest to find a snake in a car in Jim’s Honda.

By chance, he had two corn snakes of his own and wasn’t fazed by the hunt.

“To be hon­est, I thought Jim was kid­ding at first,” said Ian, 40.

“We have had a few in­ter­est­ing cus­tomer re­quests over the years.

“They in­cluded un­lock­ing a car for a tear­ful mum with her

baby trapped in the back. But this was our first snake search… and it was to last three days.”

The il­lu­sive rep­tile had hid­den her­self in a cor­ner be­hind the dash­board.

And her pow­ers of hide and seek were prov­ing hard to beat.

Ian left food out for her but even that failed to coax her out.

Af­ter fail­ing to lo­cate her, Ian called Snap-On tool hire spe­cial­ist, Thomas Irvine.

He sup­plied a mi­cro in­spec­tion de­vice called a bore­sope … thin as a lol­lipop stick, with a tiny cam­era at the end.

It was teased and flexed into tiny crevices un­der the bon­net.

Af­ter three days of prob­ing, search­ing and scop­ing the il­lu­sive Magic was found curled up in a sealed box in the car’s ven­ti­la­tion sys­tem.

Ian then man­aged to coax her out with some food.

She was cold and ter­ri­fied af­ter four nights in the car.

The hunt for Magic had seen the car’s con­sul, glove box, lower dash­board, in­stru­ment clus­ter, car­pet and heater blower mo­tor re­moved.

Jim Pater­son with pet snake Magic af­ter me­chanic Ian MacKay, left, finds it hid­ing be­hind the car’s dash­board

Jim spent four days look­ing for Magic the snake

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