The most famous and well-known account of snakes in history has to be the account of the snake in the garden of Eden. This account is often ridiculed by skeptics today because of the fact that the snake speaks. However, I don’t see what the problem is considering it is in a pre-fall world where everything was “very good”.
When God first created the earth it was without sin and everything was “very good”. In this pre-fall world there is absolutely no reason animals couldn’t have talked. After the fall, however, there was a curse issued out on all animals and that curse included death as can plainly be seen today.
Speech, along with other effects, might have drifted away from animals. I propose that most of the speech in animals was gone before Abraham and well before Balaam (there are some very interesting things about the curse issued on the beasts of the earth to be studied and we shall discuss that on a later date).
It is also possible that Satan, when indwelling the snake, spoke through it and that animals couldn’t really speak. We don’t know for sure.
But, if the snake really could talk wouldn’t have Eve been a little bit surprised? Imagine this. Eve is made and has probably never seen a snake before and when one speaks to her she is not surprised because she has no reason to think that snakes can’t talk. There is no presumption in her mind that says animals or even snakes specifically cannot talk.
Just because it seems unnatural for us today, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.