2. Listen to old Herodotus:
When Heracles reached the country which is now Scythia, the weather was bad and it was bitterly cold, so he drew his lion's skin over him and went to sleep. While he slept, the horses which he had unharnessed from his chariot and turned loose to graze mysteriously disappeared. As soon as he awoke Heracles began to look for them, and roamed all over the country until he came at last to a place called Hylaea, or the Woodland, where in a cave he found a viper-maiden - a creature which from the buttocks upwards was a woman, but below them was a snake.
Can you guess who he is talking about here?
For a moment he looked at her in astonishment; then asked if she had seen his mares straying around. She replied that they were in her own keeping, and promised to return them to him on condition that he lay with her.
Utter rubbish. I didn't have to use any extortion methods whatsoever!
Heracles complied. The viper-woman, however, did not at once give him back the mares, but put off the fulfilment of her bargain in order to keep Heracles as long as possible for her lover, though all he wanted himself was to get the horses and go.
All he wanted was to get the horses and go. Right! And pigs do fly. Herodotos got it all wrong, and it gets even worse after this bit. Lies, all lies. Why Herodotos calls his book The Histories is one of those eternal mysteries, in the same class as the Fox News' slogan "Fair and Balanced". Come to think of it, the two sources have a lot in common, though Herodotos is considerably more entertaining.