Going back to school after a break is often quite special. Summer is over, and it marks the start of a new academic term and often a new grade level or new classes. Going back to school can be a special day for parents as well. For parents of older children, it’s an emotional and significant thing to see your babies take on more responsibility and become more independent.

When I was young, my mom always took a picture of me when entering a new class. There and then, it was annoying and sometimes embarrassing. But looking back on it now, I understand why she did it. It’s a great way to commemorate your children’s growth and achievements. It can also be an excellent way to remember their first day of school and to look back on the memories in the future.

But when mother Shane snapped a back-to-school photo of her middle schooler Brooke, she got a little more than she wished for… First, she didn’t notice something wrong or out of the ordinary. At first glance, the back-to-school picture of 7th grader Brooke Mills looks especially cute. But when her mother looked closer at one of the photos, she couldn’t believe her eyes. “Lord, it was scary! I got two pictures and said ‘show your teeth please, baby!’ Then I saw the snake,” Mills told WRBL. 

“I said ‘Brooke come here’ and she looked at me like I’m not done taking pics! So I said ‘Brooke get away from the tree now.’ I said it calmly, but I’m sure my face said it all.” The snake, apparently freshly fed, blended in perfectly with the bark and could barely be seen. It was not immediately identifiable. Commenters have labeled it as a rat snake on the Facebook post of the event. The post has been shared hundreds of times. Thank God the only thing this snake wanted to “strike” was a pose in this unexpected back-to-school picture!