The Tortoise And The Eagle

The Tortoise and the Eagle

A small tortoise sat on the edge of the sea, gazing longingly at the birds flying effortlessly overhead. They floated elegantly amidst the clouds. 

“It must be wonderful to look at the world from above and fly carefree through the air,” the tortoise thought. “I, on the other hand, am trapped in my heavy shell, crawling laboriously through the sand. How unfair life is!” 

An eagle flying by noticed the sad tortoise and landed next to her. 

“Hello, little tortoise!” he said. “Why do you look so sad? Is something wrong?” 

“I don’t think you’d understand,” she replied. “You are such a proud bird, soaring high into the sky without effort and gliding through the air with your powerful wings. Meanwhile, I can barely walk a meter without a whole day passing by. Could you teach me to fly so I too can soar through the air and see the world from above?”

The eagle was skeptical. “That will never work,” he said. “You don’t have any wings. And you can’t fly without wings.” 

“Don’t be a spoilsport!” said the tortoise. “Maybe it’s only because I’ve never been taught how to fly. I’m sure it will work!” 

She looked at the eagle with wide eyes that the eagle could not refuse. He took the little tortoise in his claws, spread his wings, and soared up into the sky.

The tortoise was beside herself with joy. “It’s even more beautiful up here than I had imagined!” she said. “Now let me go so I can fly by myself.”

“Come on, be reasonable!” the eagle began. “You don’t have any…” 

Just then, the eagle was interrupted by the tortoise screaming loudly. “Do it!” 

He was so startled he let go of the little tortoise and she fell like a wet sack, hitting the water with a big splash. Fortunately, she had retreated into her shell so that she resurfaced unscathed after a short while.

The eagle rushed to her side and landed in the water next to her. He was relieved that she had not been injured in the fall.

“Just as well,” the little tortoise puffed with relief. “You were right, wise eagle. Some things probably shouldn’t be true, no matter how much I want them to be.” 

What is the moral of The Tortoise And The Eagle?
The story teaches us to think carefully in advance about what we want and not to make foolhardy demands. It also illustrates that some things are the way they are and cannot be changed.
What do you think?
From your point of view, what is the moral of this fable? Let us know in the comments!

Note: This story is based on Aesop’s fable, written around 600 BC. It was modernized and illustrated by us.

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