I was considering adopting a milk snake. She's 5 ft. long and the first time I held her she was very friendly, wrapping herself around both my arms, and mostly staying in that position. I held her for several minutes, slowly wrapping her around the other arm as she gradually moved around and uncoiled herself.
The second time I met her though, she moved much faster, and made two sudden movements of jabbing. But she was jabbing away from me (at no one). (What does that mean?) As she was moving faster, it was harder to keep her coiled around my arms, so I brought her closer to my chest, at which point she wrapped herself around my neck. This was fine, until I felt a sharp pain in my cheek just under my ear. My friend had to pry the snake's jaws open with her fingers, and she was very upset, saying she's had the snake since it hatched and had never seen her bite anyone. She also said the snake was supposed to be fed yesterday and was probably very hungry.
Today I ventured to hold the snake again. Almost immediately though, the snake started jabbing again in random directions. I quickly gave the snake back to my friend, and she quickly and tightly coiled herself around my friend's arms. Then my friend tried holding the snake close to my arm for a few minutes to let her get my scent. The snake however burrowed into my friend's sweater.
If the snake feels threatened by me, how should I proceed to make her feel safe? Is it possible? Why was she so friendly the first time, but not the others? Are snakes (or milksnakes) very unpredictable or moody?