I used to keep snakes and lizards as pets when I lived in Arnhem Land, which is the arse end of northern Australia. Or the best part, depending on how you view both snakes and homo sapiens.
A few things you should know about snakes, especially if you're phobic:
- They're not angry. Generally speaking, snakes are extremely laid back and difficult to rile- far more so than people. You get the odd maladjusted individual, but they're outliers. For the vast majority of snake species biting people represents a great peril to themselves and the failure of all their other defensive mechanisms. It's generally the last thing they do to let you know you're being a clueless dickhead, not the first. You're probably more likely to be bitten by the dog or cat you're handling carelessly than a snake given the same treatment. We lived in a region heaving with some of the world's most poisonous species, but over twelve years I can count the number I saw in the wild on one hand; that's because they go out of their way to avoid people and mind their own business.
When I was about twelve, I went to a friend's house straight from school to pick up a snake that had broken into her chicken pen (or guinea pig house, I can't remember which) and eaten one of the inmates. It turned out to be a 2.5-3metre Water Python, Liasis fuscus. I'd never handled a big snake before and since this one had just fed, I picked it up and wound it into my school bag and went home with it. Slowly, because it was fucking heavy. Olive lived in our neighbours' caravan for a year or so, eating chicken eggs and other tidbits, before release and was an extremely chill companion. I think she bit someone once, but they got over it (pythons are non-venomous).
- They're not slimy or moist, at all. Snakes are the driest, silkiest things ever. A good snake feels like the best patent leather and the skin of a living, healthy snake is one of life's greatest tactile pleasures. The iridescence you see in this python is only very slightly exaggerated and many species display this quality to one degree or another. There is nothing objectively ugly about a snake, and on that basis it could be argued that they rank among the most beautiful of all organisms to grace our spectacular biome. You're missing out on a lot by overlooking their many positive attributes.
- Our negative serpentine associations spring from christianity's revilement of the snake. Almost all pre/non-christian societies view snakes positively or at least reverentially as creators, immortals and conveyors of wisdom (hence the serpent's involvement with the tree of knowledge in Eden etc etc.). Humans do display an innate caution response to snakes, but your irrational horror of them is the product of dumbarse religious and psychosexual conflation, not their organic reality. So don't blame snakes for your bullshit phobia- we have far more to fear from fundamentalists than we do from Ophidia.
Just saying 🐍