There was a lake at the outskirts of a small village. Two swans and a turtle who were good friends lived in the lake. They would play with each other and pass time telling stories.
One year, there were no rains and the lake started drying up.
“The lake is almost dry. We have to find some other place to live," said the turtle to the swans. “We will fly around and look for a suitable place," said the swans. Both the swans flew in different directions in search of a better place to live. A little distance away, one of the swans spotted a large lake. It had plenty of water and there were many fishes in it.
He flew back to tell the others.
The three of them were very excited with the find. “Wow! Now we won’t have any problem," said the turtle.
“There is only one problem," replied one swan. “The two of us can fly there in no time. But you crawl very slowly. And it is some distance away. You will never reach there."
The turtle thought for some time. Suddenly his face lit up. “I have an idea," he said. “You bring me a stick. I will hold the center of the stick in my mouth. Both of you can hold the stick on either side. That way you can fly me with you to our new home."
“It is a very good idea, but you have to make sure you do not open your mouth for any reason. If you do, you will fall to your death," warned one of the swans.
The turtle agreed.
“Remember what we told you," reminded the swans as they got ready to fly. Soon they were flying high in the sky. They had to fly over the village to get to the lake. As they flew over the village, people ran out into the streets to look at this amazing sight.
“What clever birds. They are carrying a turtle on a stick!" exclaimed one man. Every one was excited to see such an amazing sight.
“It was my idea. I am the clever one. I need to let them know," thought the turtle. He opened his mouth to explain, but before the foolish turtle could say anything, he fell with a thud and died.
The swans looked down at their dead friend and shook their heads bitterly at his foolishness. “If he had kept his mouth shut, he would be alive and happy with us," said one swan to the other as they landed at the big lake which would be their home from then on.