The Fate of The Foolish Tortoise
The Fate of The Foolish Tortoise
Once upon a time, there was a beautiful pond at the center of a dense forest. A lot of fish, crabs and other such creatures lived in that pond.
A tortoise too lived along with them. Kamba was the name of that tortoise.
Kamba was very friendly and easy going tortoise. It behaved well with all other creatures lived in that pond and made friends of everyone.
He was very talkative. His only bad habit was that he had a bit of a short temper in character and so became angry very easily. Poor Kamba was used to get very angry at the slightest cause.
He did not realize the truth that ‘uncontrolled anger would bring disastrous consequences’.
Two cranes lived in that forest and used to visit that pond daily to drink water and to catch some fish.
They are called Sangadan and Vikatan.
As our Kamba was a very talkative fellow, he had befriended the cranes very easily and the three had indeed become very close friends. They used to sit together on the rocks at the banks of the pond to relax, talk, joke and eat together happily.
Once, it so happened that a severe summer scorched the forest. It had not rained for a long time. The summer sun was very hot and rivers, ponds, and wells situated in that area became dry without even a drop of water to drink.
The pond, where a lot of creatures lived had also dried without even a drop of water. All the fish and other small creatures which lived in that pond died of thirst.
Kamba, the tortoise also suffered. Without a drop of water to drink for many days, he looked very sad and weak.
Because they can fly further afield for water and food where they were available, the cranes were not affected.
Feeling sorry for the critical position of their friend, the cranes pitied him and wanted to help him and save his life, however. They wanted to take him to some other place where there was plenty of water.
But, the cranes had the power to fly while Tortoise could not. He was a slow walker too. So, how could those two cranes help their friend? With mush distress, they both came to visit him on their usual rock near the pond.
“Oh Kamba, dear friend, we feel very sad and distress to see you in this situation. How long could you live without water? We want to help you and save your life” both cranes told him sadly.
“Yes, my friends. The situation is very bad. When the water in this pond got dried up, all the fish and other creatures died of thirst. I am the only one surviving. I can feel my days are also numbered” the tortoise replied with much despair.
“Friend, while we were coming towards this pond to visit you, we flew over another bigger forest. At the center of that big forest, we saw a very big lake. That lake was filled with water. But, the lake is situated very far from this place. If you manage to come to that lake, you can live longer without a shortage of water and food” told Vikatan.
While his friend was speaking, Sangadan got a very bright idea.
Immediately, he addressed both Kamba and Vikatan and said, ‘Friends, I got a very good idea’… We both will hold each side of a stick in our mouths tightly and fly while you hold the center part of that stick and hang. In a few minutes, we will reach that big lake and get you down in that water’.
The other crane Vikatan too admitted that it was really a very bright idea, but warned the tortoise of one important thing.
It said, ‘Friend Kamba, you must be very careful while traveling in this way. You are a good boy, but there is a bad habit with you. You become angry very often without thinking of the consequences. The effort we are going to make is a very dangerous one. So, while we fly carrying you on the stick, you must not open your mouth for any reason. You must not speak at all. You must always hold the stick with your mouth’, he warned Kamba, the tortoise.
“Yes, I will do as you say, my dear friends” agreed Kamba the tortoise.
Sangadan and Vikatan the two cranes flew here and there and at last found a slim but strong stick and brought it to the tortoise.
While the tortoise was seizing the stick by its mouth,……………..
Both cranes held each end of the stick by their long, but strong beaks…………
and flew away and away.
The cranes flew very high in the sky. The tortoise kept its promise and hanged seizing the center of the stick by its mouth keeping its mouth shut.
Thus the three friends passed many mountains, valleys, villages, paddy fields and a few dried up ponds also.
At last, they flew over a small town.
The people of the town gathered in the streets to see the wonderful sight of a tortoise flying high in the sky.
They had never witnessed such an astounding scene of a tortoise flying in the sky with the help of cranes. They were thrilled to watch that sight and the news spread all over the town within a few minutes. People came out to the roads and high buildings to see the wonderful sight.
Some people clapped their hands in encouraging the three. Some others laughed loud; Some more people shouted,”Oho, oho, flying tortoise, flying tortoise” in mockery.
Our Kamba naturally became very angry to hear their laughter and shouts of mockery.
He tried his best but could not control his anger anymore.
He wanted to scold them with harsh words to his satisfaction. So, at one moment he forgot his dangerous position and to enable him to scold them starting with the words ‘Hey, foolish guys…’, he opened his mouth slightly.
The words did not come out of his mouth.
The moment he opened his mouth to speak…………
He missed his hold with the stick, and fell….. down and down and died pathetically.
Sangadan and Vikatan became very sad and flew away worrying about the foolishness of their friend Kamba.
The Moral of this story is that we must learn to control our anger to avoid disastrous outcomes.