A LOCAL mum was petrified when her dog found a rare snake in her garden.

Mum-of-four Amanda Smith, who lives in Galashiels, walked into her garden one day after hearing her six-year-old rottweiler Marli snarling at something- and was shocked to find a yellow and brown snake with red glowing eyes lying in the grass.

She was afraid that Marli would be bitten by the snake so she shut him inside before tackling the exotic serpent with a bamboo stick.

Amanda's 10-year-old daughter Madison explained: "My mum couldn't believe what she saw. She tried to lift it up with a bamboo stick but every time she tried to pick it up it kept sliding off."

Unable to catch the scaly reptile, Amanda picked up the phone and decided to call her friend Andy. He rushed round quickly to investigate the creature before getting in touch with his friend who is involved with an animal rescue centre.

The snake, which is believed to be a rare South American breed, was taken to the rescue centre. It is thought to have been an escaped exotic pet.

Meanwhile, Amanda and her family are waiting to hear if their scaly visitor finds a new home.

And they are hoping that Marli doesn't encounter any more unusual visitors!

GALASHIELS PUPIL SHORTLISTED FOR NATIONAL JOURNALISM AWARD A GALASHIELS pupil has been shortlisted in a national journalism competition.

Ten-year-old Caris Brus, who is in primary six at the Burgh Primary School, is down to the final four in the Daily What School Journalist of the Year Competition.

Caris' story (above), which is about a rare snake found by a pet dog in a garden in Galashiels, was shortlisted from hundreds of entries.

The four finalist's entries have been published on the Daily What website and the winning story will be the one which receives the most hits during the Easter holidays.

The winner will be crowned School Journalist of the Year 2012 and have their article published in The Herald. They will also win a Kindle for their school and a family pass to Edinburgh Zoo.

Caris, who lives in Manse Street, said: "I was really stunned when I found out I was one of the final four. I didn't expect it at all.

"I hope as many people as possible can help me by reading my article on the website. I would be really pleased if I won."