#FolktalesWednesday: Why The Tortoise Has A Rough and Cracked Shell


Hello folks, Welcome to our edition of #FolktalesWednesday for this week. Today we have a folktale that talks about the evils of greed. We hope you enjoy it

Once upon a time in the land of the animals, all the birds had a great party to celebrate in heaven. Tortoise wanted to go to the party too as he knew there was going to be plenty to eat and drink and he loved food. However, he had no wings so he couldn’t go to the party. So he decided to appeal to all the birds to give him a feather each so that he would get the required amount of wings to fly to the party. At first, some of the birds were reluctant to give the tortoise their feathers, because he had the reputation for being a greedy and cunning animal, but Tortoise also had a persuasive tongue and in the end, he convinced the birds to allow him to go to the party with them.

 On the day of the party, as they flew to the venue of the event, Tortoise told the other birds “I think we should all have names to identify ourselves at this party so that it can be easy for our hosts to identify us individually. I have already chosen my own name; I will be called “All of you”. The birds not suspect a trick and they agreed to Tortoise’s plan.

At the party, the hosts served the birds plenty of food and drink, but every time they brought a particular delicacy, the birds would ask who it was for. The hosts would say “All of You”. Since the tortoise had chosen that name, the birds had no option but to give all the food to Tortoise, who ate everything greedily and left only remnants for the birds to peck at. That made the birds very angry and each of them collected the feathers He had given to Tortoise, leaving him completely full of food and drink and with no way to return home. However he begged the birds to allow one of them to fly to his house and tell his wife to bring out all the soft items in his house and arrange them so that they can cushion his fall if he jumps down from heaven. Initially every one of them refused, but the Eagle, who was angrier than the rest, thought he should teach the Tortoise a lesson. He agreed to fly to the Tortoise’s house and deliver his message. However when the Eagle got to the Tortoise’s house, he told  Tortoise’s wife to bring out all the hard items like the mortar and pestle, Tortoise’s cannon and all the hard things in the house.

 Tortoise peered out of heaven, but it was too far to see what his wife was bringing out. But he jumped all the same and fell all the way from heaven and landed with a bang. Unfortunately he hit one of the hard objects that his wife had brought out and his shell broke into many pieces. In panic, his wife ran to call the best doctor in the town, Shrew. However as  Shrew started to rearrange his shell,  Tortoise kept complaining about Shrew’s terrible odour, so  Shrew got angry and left the job half done. Then his wife called in another good doctor, Mosquito, again the Tortoise kept complaining about his buzzing, so he left in anger as well. So his wife went and called Cat who wasn’t much good as a doctor. It was Cat who finally repaired Tortoise’s shell but he did not do it very well, and Tortoise’s shell became rough and cracked. It has remained so to this day.

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