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Fable 2: The Talkative Turtle

Story: The Talkative Turtle

Turtle could not stop talking. Early in the morning he slid his long neck out from under his shell and started talking. He sat on the river bank and talked and talked and talked. In the evening the other animals wanted to watch the sun set in peace and quiet, but Turtle talked and talked.

What Turtle talked about most of all was flying! He wanted to fly. He was jealous of the birds that flew through the sky way up high. Turtle wanted to fly just like them.

“Turtles can’t fly,” said Frog. “Please be quiet.”

But Turtle talked and talked.

“Turtles can’t fly,” said Lizard. “Please be quiet.”

But Turtle talked and talked.

“Turtles can’t fly,” said the black swans. “Please be quiet.”

“It’s not fair,” Turtle said to the swans. “You can fly, so why can’t I?”

The swans tried to explain to Turtle that they had wings to help them fly but creatures without wings could not fly. Still Turtle wanted to fly. He talked about it all day long. He talked and talked and talked.

Finally, the swans said they would help him to fly, on one condition.

“Anything,” said Turtle.

The swans said if he promised to stop talking all day long they would help him fly.

Turtle promised.

The two swans took hold of a long stick with their beaks, one at each end and told turtle to grab the middle of the stick with his mouth.

Before he knew it Turtle was in the air. The swans flapped their wings and flew toward the clouds. Turtle was so happy. At last he was flying. Down on the riverbank he saw Frog and Lizard.

He called out to them, “Hey, look at me. I’m flying.”

But when he opened his mouth, he lost his hold on the stick. Turtle fell down, down, down to the ground.

And that was the end of Turtle.

That evening his friends sat on the riverbank and watched the sun set in peace and quiet.

“Poor Turtle,” they said. “He never learned when to keep his mouth shut.”

* * *

A retelling of the Aesop’s fable The Turtle and the Ducks by JB Rowley. Free for others to use except for commercial publication.

Song, rhyme and craft activity here:

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