Just came across a nice short story that shows how ancient Vedic Indians have described the periodical shedding and recurrence of a snake's skin. MaharishiKashyap had 2 wives - Kadru and Vinita. Vinita was the mother of the great eagle Garuda (Lord Vishnu'sVahanaor vehicle), while Kadru was the mother of Serpants/Snakes. There was always a great rivalry between the two of them. One day, Kadru won a wager, and seizing the oppurtunity, asked Vinita to work as her slave. Kadru wanted the nectar, orAmrit,in return for Vinita's freedom so that all her children, the serpants, could become immortal. Garuda, unable to bear his mother's plight, went to procure the Amrit for Kadru. While bringing back the pot full ofAmrit, Lord Indra, the King of the Devas, stole it back from him. In the struggle that ensued, a few drops of the divine potion fell on the grass on which the serpants were slithering... Thus, the serpants/snakes are endowed with the capacity to cast off their old skin and grow a new one in place of it !