| Jataka Tales|
|by Ellen C. Babbitt|
|Eighteen fables from the Jatakas of India, skillfully retold and attractively illustrated. Includes The Monkey and the Crocodile, The Merchant of Seri, The Turtle Who Wouldn’t Stop Talking, The Foolish Timid Rabbit, The Banyan Deer, and others. Ages 7-10 |
THE TURTLE WHO COULD N'T STOP TALKING
TURTLE lived in a pond at the foot of a hill. Two young
wild Geese, looking for food, saw the Turtle, and talked
with him. The next day the Geese came again to visit the
Turtle and they became very well acquainted. Soon they
were great friends.
"Friend Turtle," the Geese said one day, "we have a
beautiful home far away. We are going to fly back to it
to-morrow. It will be a long but pleasant journey.
Will you go with us?"
"How could I? I have no wings," said the Turtle.
"How could I go with you?" said the Turtle.
will take you, if only you can keep your mouth shut, and say
not a word to anybody," they said.
"I can do that," said the Turtle. "Do take me with
you. I will do exactly as you wish."
 So the next day the Geese brought a stick and they held the
ends of it. "Now take the middle of this in
your mouth, and don't say a word until we reach home," they
The Geese sprang into the air.
The Geese then sprang into the air, with the Turtle between
them, holding fast to the stick.
The village children saw the two Geese flying along
with the Turtle and cried out: "Oh, see the Turtle
up in the air! Look at the Geese carrying a Turtle
by a stick! Did you ever see anything more ridiculous
in your life!"
The Turtle looked down and began to say, "Well, and if my
friends carry me, what business is that of yours?" when he
let go, and fell dead at the feet of the children.
As the two Geese flew on, they heard the people say, when
they came to see the poor Turtle, "That fellow could not
keep his mouth shut. He had to talk, and so lost his life."
"Oh, see the Turtle up in the air."
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