The Tortoise, you know,
carries his house on his back. No matter how hard he tries, he
cannot leave home. They say that Jupiter punished him so,
because he was such a lazy stay-at-home that he would not go to
Jupiter's wedding, even when especially invited.
After many years,
Tortoise began to wish he had gone to that wedding. When he saw
how gaily the birds flew about and how the Hare and the Chipmunk
and all the other animals ran nimbly by, always eager to see
everything there was to be seen, the Tortoise felt very sad and
discontented. He wanted to see the world too, and there he was
with a house on his back and little short legs that could hardly
drag him along.
One day he met a pair of
Ducks and told them all his trouble. "We can help you to
see the world," said the Ducks. "Take hold of this
stick with your teeth and we will carry you far up in the air
where you can see the whole countryside. But keep quiet or you
will be sorry."
The Tortoise was very
glad indeed. He seized the stick firmly with his teeth, the two
Ducks took hold of it one at each end, and away they sailed up
toward the clouds.
Just then a Crow flew by.
He was very much astonished at the strange sight and cried:
"This must surely be
the King of Tortoises!"
certainly——" began the Tortoise.
But as he opened his
mouth to say these foolish words he lost his hold on the stick,
and down he fell to the ground, where he was dashed to pieces on