Saturday, November 23, 2013

How The Tortoise Got Its Shell

12:29 PM

tortoise cover
Long ago, Forest gave each animal its own home —each animal, that is, except for Tortoise. He was forgotten.

Lizard was given a home between the rocks. On hot days, Lizard could be seen scampering up on the rocks to lie in the warm sun.Crab’s home was in a hole in the sand, under a coconut palm. The hole was cool and dark inside. It was the perfect home for Crab.

Snake was given a home beneath the fallen leaves of the forest. The leaves sheltered him from storms and hid him from other animals.

Owl’s home was a hole in a majestic, old tree. The hole was dark and cozy. It kept Owl hidden until night when he would come out to hunt.  

The animals thanked Forest for their homes. They were all happy, except for Tortoise. One night, a terrible storm came. The rain fell heavily, and Tortoise needed to find a home to stay warm and dry.  

Tortoise saw a hole in some rocks and tried to squeeze into it, but the rocks wouldn’t budge. Suddenly, Lizard peered out of the rocks. “Sorry, Tortoise, my house is too small for you.”

Then Tortoise tried to crawl under some fallen leaves. “I’m under here!” said Snake. Tortoise walked toward a hole under a coconut palm, but he found Crab already there.

Then Tortoise saw a large tree. He crawled along a branch toward a hole, but Owl hooted at him to go away.Tortoise could not find a home. He began to think that he would have to spend the entire storm out in the rain. Then he made a discovery. He saw a broken coconut shell lying on the ground.

Tortoise crawled under the coconut shell. It was just big enough to cover him if he tucked in his legs and pulled in his neck. At last, Tortoise was warm and dry.

The great storm raged all night, but in the morning, when Forest looked out, the rain had gone. There was Tortoise coming out from under his shell. Suddenly, Forest remembered that he had not given Tortoise a home of his own.

“Tortoise!” said Forest. Tortoise looked up at Forest in surprise.“I forgot to give you a home,” said Forest. “I am very sorry. I see you have found a wonderful home. This shell will always remain upon your back. You will never have to search for a home again. Your home will always be with you.”

Today, all tortoises carry the weight of their shells upon their backs. If you look closely, you will see that each shell looks like half of a dry, broken coconut.
tortoise's shell

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