The Turtle and Geese

In a certain lake lived a turtle named Kambugriva. He had as friends two geese whose names were Sankat and Vikat. Once there was a twelve-year drought, which forced the geese to think: “This lake is getting dry. Let us seek another water body. However, we must first say farewell to Kambugriva, our dear and long proved friend.”

When they did so, the turtle said: “Why do you bid me farewell? I am a water-dweller, and here I should perish very quickly from the scant supply of water. All good people should come to the rescue of friends and relatives in times of need.”

But they replied: “We are unable to take you with us since you are a water-creature without wings.” Yet the turtle continued: “There is a possible device. Bring a stick of wood.” This they did, whereupon the turtle gripped the middle of the stick between his teeth, and said: “Now take firm hold with your bills, one on each side, fly up, and travel with even flight through the sky, until we discover another desirable body of water.”

But they objected: “There is a hitch in this fine plan. If you happen to indulge in the smallest conversation, then you will lose your hold on the stick, will fall from a great height, and will be dashed to bits.” Looking at his current options, Kambugriva agreed to keep his mouth shut during the entire journey.

So they carried out the plan, but while the two geese were painfully carrying the turtle over a neighbouring city, the people below noticed the spectacle, and there arose a confused buzz of talk as they asked: “What is this cart like object that two birds are carrying through the atmosphere?”

Hearing this, the doomed turtle was stupid enough to ask: “What are these people chattering about?” The moment he spoke, the poor simpleton lost his grip and fell to the ground and the people at once killed him.