When the war between the Titans and the Gods ended, Zeus commanded the two conquered Titans, Prometheus and Epimetheus, to create a new being with higher intelligence that could rule over the animals but be slaves to the Gods. Prometheus and Epimetheus agreed, and Prometheus mixed some dust from the Earth with water to make clay. They set to work on creating 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 molded 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 were to happen, a new being of higher intelligence would not be created; a smarter animal would instead. They argued throughout, and earthquakes could be felt throughout the earth. This was because the clay that Prometheus had fashioned had continuously been changed into many shapes during the course of their argument. In the beginning, it was just a lump of clay. Then Epimetheus fashioned it into the shape of a man, in the image of Prometheus. He twisted it into a beast of burden, like an animal. Then they twisted it back and forth until the formless and shapeless lump of clay took on 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 different men were still there. Prometheus and Epimetheus had argued long and hard, and the warped piece of clay showed it. Zeus heard about this and 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 yourself 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 broke it into three pieces, sending them hurtling towards the earth. One piece landed in the sea, one on land, and one in the marshy, watery valleys.
Then Prometheus and Epimetheus set out to create a new being. The pieces landed in their respective places, but the piece that landed on land was taken by the God Eros. Eros was fascinated by this wise creature, with its man-like shape and knowledge given by Epimetheus, and its own home on its back due to the lumpy clay and animal qualities given by Prometheus. Eros breathed life into the clay, and the new being was formed. He named it the Turtle and traveled the earth to find the other two pieces.
He found them, brought them all to life, and left them to populate the earth. The turtle had its own home on its back due to the lumpy clay that did not form. The sea turtle only laid its eggs once a year because of Prometheus and how he broke the clay. The third piece landed in the water, but this turtle had more of the lumpy shell that the others had.
The other turtles could store their eggs in their homes and lay eggs more frequently due to having less space. However, the sea turtle has more room in its shell and can store more eggs. This is why sea turtles lay eggs only once a year, and it is the origin of the turtle.