Seppo’s Turtle-nosed Snake
     

Have you ever noticed that a turtle's nose looks a whole lot like a snake's nose? Here's an old Zen story that might be about how we like to "look for golden birds" (as Wallace Stevens says in Thirteen ways of Looking at a Blackbird):

Hsueh-Feng taught the assembly saying, “On South Mountain there’s a turtle-nosed snake. All of you people must take a good look.”
Ch’an Ch’ing said, “In the hall today there certainly are people who are losing their bodies and their lives.”


[A monk related to Hsuan Sha] said, “It takes [Ch’an Ch’ing] to be like this. Nevertheless, I am not this way.” The monk asked, “What about you, Teacher?” Hsuan Sha said, “Why make use of South Mountain?”

Yun Men took his staff and threw it down in front of Hsueh Feng, making a gesture of fright.

Thomas and J.C. Cleary, transl. Blue Cliff Record, Case 22.