Here is the myth:
Mr. Snake approaches Mr. Turtle on a river bank and asks Mr. Turtle for a ride across the water since he can't swim the river himself. Mr. Turtle politely refuses to oblige, reasoning that if he were to give Mr. Snake a ride across the river, he would surely be bitten. Mr. Snake protests saying that it would be foolish for him to bite the one carrying him, since it would result in him perishing also. Mr. Turtle considers the argument, then agrees to ferry Mr. Snake over the broad river. When they are half-way across the river Mr. Turtle feels a sharp pain and realizes he has been bitten by Mr. Snake. As the venom is beginning to take effect, Mr. Turtle sadly and resolutely asks Mr. Snake why he bit him, since the biting will also result in Mr. Snake's demise. A wry smile came upon Mr. Snake's face. "I bit you because I am a snake Mr. Turtle; that is my nature."
Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta) and a Northern Water Snake (Nerodia sipedon)
What a bunch of hooy! Snakes and other animals live sustainable lives and would never do such a thing. It is so amazing how nature is used to justify our agressive destructive natures. These two are just sunning themselves because they are cold blooded reptiles, that is their true nature. What is our true nature?
I've also heard the myth using a turtle and a scorpion and that version isn't any better. I have been watching David Attenborough's "Life In Cold Blood" a BBC documentary about reptiles and amphibians and it is very good in my opinion.
See more Watery Wednesday here.