This is a tale from the Jatakas.
Once upon a time in northern India , there was a small pond near which lived a tortoise He was a very talkative tortoise and would pick a conversation with anyone who came near the pond.
One day two beautiful young wild ducks named came to the pond. The tortoise befriended them as usual. The ducks started coming to the pond often and every time they would talk about the beautiful spot where they lived. “We live on the banks of Sweta Sarovar” one would say and the other would tease the tortoise, “Have you seen a lake like Sweta Sarovar? ha!”
As days went by, the tortoise got a strong desire to visit this famous “Sarovar”. But in his heart of hearts he knew that even if he walked at his fastest pace for years together, he would not be able to reach the place. So, the next day, when the ducks came for their usual visit, Mr. Tortoise slowly broached the subject . “Hmm.. I … I want…. Hmm.. to see ……Hmm. Swetha Sarovar” , he said to the ducks. The ducks were aghast . One said “Hey Brother, we know you cannot even walk fast. Where is the question of going to Swetha Sarovar which is miles away huh?” The other one thought for a while and said ” But wait, there is a way. What if we do like this? We shall hold a stick in our beaks and Torty can hold on to the stick with his mouth” .
“Good idea” said the tortoise. “I can come with you and go to Swetha Sarovar and see the beautiful place and swim to my heart’s content and laze around and….” “Stop” said one of the ducks. “Do not go on and on. You are too talkative!. If you keep on talking like this how can you come with us? You have to shut up till the time we reach our place”.
“OK” said the tortoise. “I shall come with mouth shut however much I am tempted to talk. I promise.” The ducks took his word for it and brought a sturdy stick which they could carry and which would bear the weight of the tortoise. They chose to fly the next day and the day had a fine weather. The ducks warned the tortoise once more “Brother Torty, Be careful and focus on holding the stick . Or else…..” ” I know, I know” , said the tortoise. “I will be careful”. And so, the journey started and the ducks lifted up into the air beautifully holding the stick with all their strength and focus. They flew over hills, rivers and lakes and the country side. Just as they were passing by the first village, there were many children playing outside their houses, and one of the kids cried out , “Hey, there is a tortoise flying!!” All the other kids joined in chorus “Flying tortoise, flying tortoise”. The elders came running out of the houses hearing the sound and they also started commenting, ” Is it not a wonder? A flying tortoise??” The tortoise who had kept mum all along could not keep his mouth shut any more. He totally forgot what would happen if he opened his mouth and started asking ,”Are they talking about me…..” Before he could complete his sentence, he crashed BAAAAM on the ground and was dead and gone. The villagers who were, a minute back wondering at the flying tortoise were scrambling to get tortoise meat!.
The ducks muttered to themselves, ” This is what happens when one is too talkative!” Poor tortoise. His dream of Swetha Sarovar was never fulfilled.
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