I don't want to be the cause of undo alarm, but let's consider the fact there are nice snakes abroad on the planet. Take, for instance, those adorning the caduceus:
Caduceus â€” Symbolic staff surmounted by two wings and entwined with two snakes. Among the ancient Greeks the caduceus was carried by heralds and ambassadors as a badge of office and a mark of personal inviolability, because it was the symbol of Hermes, the messenger of the gods. According to Book IV of Virgil's Aeneid, the Greek god Apollo gave the staff to Hermes in return for the lyre. In Roman mythology the symbol is associated with the god Mercury. The staff of Asclepius, the Greek god of healing, which was entwined by a single snake, was also called a caduceus. The caduceus has been adopted as a symbol by the medical profession; it is also the emblem of the medical branches of the United States Army and Navy.
Hermes â€” In Greek mythology, messenger of the gods, the son of the god Zeus and of Maia, the daughter of the Titan Atlas. As the special servant and courier of Zeus, Hermes had winged sandals and a winged hat and bore a golden Caduceus, or magic wand, entwined with snakes and surmounted by wings.
Aesculapian Snake â€” Common name for a harmless snake that symbolizes the Greek god of medicine, Asclepius. Asclepius is often pictured with his staff, around which is entwined one of these snakes. Aesculapian snakes were kept in the combination hospital-temples built by the ancient Greeks and, later, by the Romans in honor of the god. The snakes are found not only in their original range of southern Europe, but also in the various places in Germany and Austria where Roman temples had been established. Escaped snakes survived and flourished. Smooth, glossy, and slender, the snake has a uniformly brown back with a streak of darker color behind the eyes. The snake's belly is yellowish or whitish and has ridged scales that catch easily on rough surfaces, making it especially adapted for climbing trees. Scientific classification: The Aesculapian snake belongs to the family Colubridae. It is classified as Elaphe longissima.
See? Now, aren't they nice?