When God said to the serpent, "And upon thy belly thou shalt go" (Gen.
iii. 14), the serpent replied, "Lord of the universe! if this be Thy
will, then I shall be as a fish of the sea without feet." But when God
said to him, "And dust shalt thou eat," he replied, "If fish eat dust,
then I also will eat it." Then God seized hold of the serpent and tore
his tongue in two, and said, "O thou wicked one! thou hast commenced (to
sin) with thy evil tongue; thus I will proclaim it to all that come into
the world that it was thy tongue that caused thee all this."
THE MIDRASHIM, _Letters of Rabbi Akiva._