Once a tortoise and two swans lived on a lake. They were very good friends. They spent many hours happily together.
To their bad luck, there was no rain that year. The lake became dry. So the three friends had to leave the lake in search of another one to make their living.
But how to go?
The two swans could fly easily.
But for the tortoise it was difficult. Three of them began to wonder. They did not know what to do.
At last, the two swans had an idea. They said to the tortoise, “We will place a stick in your mouth. We will carry the stick in our beaks one either side. This will make us fly together. But remember, you must not open your mouth. If you do, you will fall down and die."
The tortoise was sad to leave the lake. But it agreed to the idea happily.
One fine morning they flew. After some distance they were flying over a large town. The people of the town were surprised to see the sight.
It was a strange one tortoise hanging on to a stick carried by two swans. Men, women and children came out to see the sight. They started shouting.
The noise attracted the tortoise. It wanted to know where the noise came from and what it is about. It forgot its promise. It opened its mouth to ask, “Why are you shouting? What is this strange sound you are making?"
Alas, down fell the tortoise and instantly died.
The swans could not save it. They became sad but flew away in search of a new lake.