Among the clans of the Black Ocean, the zoological affinities of the Northernkind are reversed, such that the mammal is considered a threat and the reptile an ally.
At birth, each child is assigned a python, for companionship, protection from the depredations of monkeys and to aid in gathering fruit. The child will frolic, sleep and share food with the python and the sight of a child without one triggers the equivalent of an Amber alert.
When the python dies, its skin is read--all snakes are books and all python species of the Black Ocean Isles are biographies. The tale told determines the future caste of the child or--if it belongs to one of the Old Genders--the child's future spouse.
Oh also, check it I'm on TSR's Game School podcast along with Satine.