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The Wily Tortoise Post by :milette Category :Short Stories Author :W.h.d. Rouse Date :November 2011 Read :3462

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The Wily Tortoise

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.


(The Wily Tortoise:

Told by BRIJ MOHAN LÁL, second master, High School, Manipuri,
N.W.P. The bird is a Hansa. N.I.N.Q., iii. § 295.

(The end)
W.H.D. Rouse's short story: Wily Tortoise

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