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Panchatantra Stories – The Foolish Tortoise

Read how one’s own brilliant idea can be their death, owing to foolishness.

Once upon a time, two ducks and a tortoise lived in a lake. They were very close friends and always played with each other. They had a lot of fun and soon many days went by. One day however, they suddenly realised that the water in the lake was drying up fast and soon there won’t be a lake there anymore.

So, the 2 ducks decided to migrate to another lake which was far away. The tortoise heard this and asked them whether they would leave him alone. The ducks had no other choice but to say yes as they could fly and the tortoise could not. The tortoise then said that he had an idea which would help him fly with them.

The tortoise said that the two ducks would hold both ends of a single stick in their mouth, while he would grab onto the middle of the stick with his mouth. Both the ducks agreed, but they also warned him that if he opened his mouth, he would fall down from a great height and die. The tortoise remarked boldly that he would not endanger his own life.

Soon, they set off into the air, with the two ducks holding a stick and the tortoise hanging from the middle of it. After they had flown for a certain distance, there was a group of children on the ground who were cheering after seeing this remarkable sight. The tortoise was filled with joy and in his foolishness, he opened his mouth to talk. The tortoise fell to the ground and died instantly.

Moral – One’s foolishness is enough to destroy one’s own genius.

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