When Maria Boxall found a snake in her luggage following a holiday in Australia, she thought it had been placed there by a member of her family.
But the Scottish grandmother quickly realised it was not a practical joke - when she touched it, it moved.
She had inadvertently transported the reptile in her suitcase on a flight from Queensland to Glasgow.
Mrs Boxall only discovered it hiding in a shoe - complete with shed skin - as she unpacked at her Stirlingshire home.
The snake was taken outside in the shoe and contained by a relative until Scottish SPCA staff arrived in Bridge of Allan.
It turned out to be a python, which is not dangerous.
Mrs Boxall's son-in-law Paul Airlie told the story of the international-travelling snake to an Australian radio station.
He said she had mentioned thinking she had seen a snake in her room over there before she left but had thought it was gone.
Scottish SPCA animal rescue officer Taylor Johnstone said: "I can confirm that we removed a snake from a property in Bridge of Allan.
"I responded to a call from a woman who had just returned from a holiday in Australia who had found a small snake inside her shoe in her suitcase.
"When I arrived, the snake had been contained by the caller, so I safely removed the snake from the property. Upon examination, the snake was found to be a spotted python which is not venomous.
The snake is in quarantine at our animal rescue and rehoming centre in Edinburgh."
It is thought the snake may be given to a zoo after it passes quarantine.