Talking Thrush, The: And Other Tales from India | Annotated Tale

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Wily Tortoise, The

A FOWLER was bird-catching in the jungle, and snared a wild goose. As he was carrying home his goose, he sat down by a pond. In this pond lived a Tortoise, and the Tortoise put up his nose out of the pond to sniff the air. He saw the Fowler and the Goose, and being a very innocent Tortoise, he feared no harm, but began to waddle towards them.

               "Take care, friend!" said the Goose. "This Fowler has caught me, and he will catch you!"

               The Tortoise waddled into the water again. "Many thanks, friend," said he. "One good turn deserves another." So saying, he dived down into the pond, and brought up a ruby.

               "Here, Mr. Fowler," said he, "take this ruby, and let my friend the Goose go."

               The Fowler took the ruby, but he was very greedy, so he said--

               "If you will bring me a pair to this, I will let the Goose go."

               The Tortoise dived down, and brought up another ruby. Then the Fowler let go the Goose, and said to the Tortoise, "Now hand over that ruby."

               The Tortoise said, "Forgive me, I have made a mistake, and brought up the wrong ruby. Let me see the first, and if it does not match, I will try again."

               The Fowler gave back the first ruby. "As I thought," said the Tortoise. Down he dived into the pond.

The Fowler waited a good long time, but nothing           
was seen of the Tortoise. As you have guessed, when           
the Tortoise found himself safe at the bottom           
of the pond, he stayed there. The Fowler           
tore his hair, and went home,           
wishing he had not been           
so greedy.           


Told by Brij Mohan Lál, second master, High School, Manipuri, N.W.P. The bird is a Hansa. N.I.N.Q., iii. § 295.

Bibliographic Information

Tale Title: Wily Tortoise, The
Tale Author/Editor: Crooke, W. & Rouse, W. H. D.
Book Title: Talking Thrush, The: And Other Tales from India
Book Author/Editor: Crooke, W. & Rouse, W. H. D.
Publisher: E. P. Dutton & Co.
Publication City: New York
Year of Publication: 1922
Country of Origin: India
Classification: unclassified

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