A vast number of humans share a phobia called herpetophobia. That fear, for some, becomes so overwhelming that it becomes ophidiophobia.So, what is this scary thing that brings some of us to shakes and anxious shivers?
Jim Stafford once had a hit song “I Don’t Like Spiders and Snakes” and that could actually be the life-theme song for many of us. Their slithering motion, the hiss with that creepy forked tongue and those sharp fangs and teeth make it difficult for even the bravest human to keep from shuddering when one appears.
Our brains may tell us how to differentiate between the venomous snakes and the non-venomous kind…but it doesn’t matter. If it slithers, hisses and has fangs, most of us do our best to avoid them.
We are definitely in the majority if we don’t want to be in the company of snakes. But, that doesn’t mean that snakes don’t have their champions and fans around the world.
Herpetoculture (the keeping of snakes and amphibians in captivity as “pets” or for studying) is a rapidly growing hobby. Over six million people in the US now keep snakes in their home.
While that may be difficult for some of us to understand, for one 79-year-old man at least, it makes perfect sense.
In the following video, he doesn’t have a turban on his head, or a vibrating basket in front of him, but he is indeed a snake charmer.
As soon as he sits down in his chair and places his cane to the side, snakes begin appearing in the water.
One by one, they come to visit him. He brings small perch along as a snack which they take eagerly from his hands.
In one of the two videos that follow, a snake attaches itself to his pants leg. Some of us might quail at that thought, but the man laughs and then entices her away with the fish.
Later he explains that he had wiped his hands on his pants leg and it was that scent that the snake was going after. She didn’t intend him any harm, she just made a mistake.
As much as he cares about his snake friends, he does tape his pants legs up before he comes down to the dock. “I don’t want them gettin’ in my britches,” he explains with a laugh. “When you’re 79 years old and a big old snake gets in your britches you could hurt yourself.”
They are all diamondback water snakes and he explains that while they are quite large, they are harmless and usually very shy. It took some time for him to gain their trust.
Now, they come to visit him whenever he comes down to the dock. As he explains, “they are my friends.”
He helps one of the snakes back into the water, marveling at her body as it glides across his hand, her scales flickering in the sunlight. “Isn’t she beautiful?”
Friendship is a beautiful thing, wherever you may find it. Even in the water, even if it’s a big deadly looking snake.
Source: Honest To Paws