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The Tortoise and the Eagle

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It was not often that the tortoise and the eagle metfor the one spent his days in the clouds and the other in the under a bush. Howeverwhen the eagle heard what a warm-hearted little fellow the tortoise washe went to pay a call on him. The tortoise family showed such pleasure in his company and fed him so lavishly that the eagle returned again and againwhile every time as he flew away he laughedHaha! I can enjoy the hospitality of the tortoise on the ground but he can never reach my eyrie in the tree-top!

The eagle's frequent visitshis selfishness and ingratitude became the talk of the forest animals. The eagle and the frog were never on speaking termsfor the eagle was accustomed to swooping down to carry a frog home for supper. So the frog called from the stream bankfriend tortoisegive me beans and I will give you wisdom. After enjoying the bowl of beans the frog saidfriend tortoisethe eagle is abusing your kindnessfor after every visit he flies away laughing'Ha ha! I can enjoy the hospitality of the tortoise on the ground but he can never enjoy minefor my eyrie is in the tree-tops.' Next time the eagle visits yousay'Give me a gourdand I will send food to your wife and children too'. The eagle brought a gourdenjoyed a feastand as he left he called back"I will call later for the present for my wife.

The eagle flew away laughing to himself as usualHa ha! I have enjoyed the tortoise's foodbut he can never come to my eyrie to taste of mine. The frog arrived and saidNowtortoiseget into the gourd. Your wife will cover you over with fresh food and the eagle will carry you to his home in the treetops. Presently the eagle returned. The tortoise's wife told himMy husband is away but he left this gourd filled with food for your family. The eagle flew away with the gourdlittle suspecting that the tortoise was inside. The tortoise could hear every word as he laughedHa! ha! I share the tortoise's food but he can never visit my eyrie to share mine.

As the gourd was emptied out onto the eagle's eyriethe tortoise crawled from it and saidfriend eagleyou have so often visited my home that I thought it would be nice to enjoy the hospitality of yours. The eagle was furious. I will peck the flesh from your boneshe said. But he only hurt his beak against the tortoise's hard back. I see what sort of friendship you offer mesaid the tortoisewhen you threaten to tear me limb from limb. He continuedUnder the circumstancesplease take me homefor our pact of friendship is at an end. Take you homeindeed! shrieked the eagle. I will fling you to the ground and you will be smashed to bits in your fall. The tortoise bit hold of the eagle's leg. Let me golet go of my leglet go of my leggroaned the great bird. I will gladly do so when you set me down at my own homesaid the tortoiseand he tightened his hold on the eagle's leg.

The eagle flew high into the clouds and darted down with the speed of an arrow. He shook his leg. He turned and twirledbut it was to no use. He could not rid himself of the tortoise until he set him down safely in his own home. As the eagle flew away the tortoise called after himFriendship requires the contribution of two parties. I welcome you and you welcome me. Sincehoweveryou have chosen to make a mockery of itlaughing at me for my hospitalityyou need not call again.




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