Greek Myth – How the Turtle was created

When the war between the Titans and the Gods was over, Zeus had
commanded the two conquered Titans Prometheus and Epimetheus to create a
new being, one of higher intelligence, that could rule over the animals but
be the slaves to the Gods. Prometheus and Epimetheus agreed, and
Prometheus got some dust from the Earth, mixed it with some water, and made
some clay. This he set before Epimetheus and himself, and they set to work
on how they would make this new being.

The task was not an easy one. Prometheus and Epimetheus argued
terribly, mostly over what the new being would look like. Epimetheus
wanted the new being to look like the Gods themselves, to be moulded in the
Gods image. This, Prometheus argued, would make the new being too much like
the Gods, and eventually they would overthrow them and mutiny. Prometheus
wanted the new being to be like the animals, walking on four legs, head
bowed low, in humble service to the Gods. Epimetheus argued that if this
was to happen, a new being of higher intelligence would not be created, a
smarter animal would. And so they argued, and all through their arguments
earthquakes could be felt throughout the earth. This was because the clay
that Prometheus had fashioned had continuously been changed and changed
again into many shapes during the course of their argument. In the
beginning, it was just a lump of clay. Then Epimetheus fashioned it into a
shape of a man, in the image of the Prometheus twisted it into a beast of
burden, like an animal. Then Epimetheus twisted it back, and Prometheus
back, and so on, until the lump of clay that was formless and shapeless had
taken the look of a twisted, warped, God-shaped animal. It still had its
familiar lumpy look, but the limbs of countless animals and the heads of a
different men were still there. Prometheus and Epimetheus had argued long
and hard and the warped piece of clay showed it.

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Zeus heard about this, and he confronted the two Titans.

“What is this?” Zeus thundered. “Is this to be the new being that is to
rule over the animals??? This is no more than a rock with legs! Banish it
to the sea, the land, and the watery valleys, for it is not suitable even
in the face of Pluto. Fashion yourselves a new piece of clay and make sure
you get it right this time.”
So harsh was the wrath of Zeus that Prometheus hastily agreed with
Epimetheus, and the new being was to be made in the God’s image. Prometheus
looked at the warped piece of clay, grabbed it, and breaking it into 3
pieces, sent it hurtling towards the earth. One animal shaped piece landed
in the sea, one on land, and one in the marshy, watery valleys. Then
Prometheus set out with Epimetheus to create this new being.

The pieces landed in all of their respective places, but one piece, the
one that landed on land, came into the hands of the God Eros. Eros was
fascinated by this creature, for it was wise, because of the man-like shape
and knowledge given to it by Epimetheus, and it had its own home on its
back due to the lumpy clay and the animal qualities given to it by
Prometheus. Eros breathed his life giving breath into the clay, and the
new being formed. He called it the Turtle. Eros then travelled all around
the earth and looked for the other 2 pieces. He found them, brought them
all to life, and left them to populate on the earth. This they did. The
turtle had its own home on its back, due to the lumpy clay which did not

In the case of the sea turtle, it only laid its eggs once a year. This
was because of Prometheus and how he broke the clay. The third piece was
the one that landed in the water, but this turtle had more of the lumpy
shell that the others had. The others could store their eggs in their
home, and they laid eggs more frequently because they had less space. But
the sea turtle had the more room in its shell, and she could store more
eggs, so that is why the sea turtles lay eggs once a year, and the origins
of the Turtle.


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