Long long ago a turtle lived in a pond at the foot of a hill. One day two young wild geese came to the pond and saw the turtle. They soon became great friends.
“Friend turtle”, the geese said one day. “We have a beautiful home far away. We shall go home tomorrow. We wish to take you along with us. We can tell you that it will be a very pleasant journey. Won’t you like to go with us?”
“I would certainly like to go. But how could I? I have no wings,” said the turtle.
“Oh, that is no matter. We shall carry you. All that you have to do is to keep your mouth shut. You must not say a word to anybody,” the geese said.
“I agree,” said the turtle. “Do take me with you to your beautiful home. I shall do exactly as you wish.”
The next day, the geese brought a stick. They explained to the turtle what he had to do. Then the geese held the stick in their beaks between them. The turtle caught hold of the stick in his mouth in the middle. Thus he remained hanging in the air. When everything was ready the geese flew into the sky. The turtle held fast to the stick.
It was, indeed, a very funny sight. When the children saw it they jumped and shouted. They cried out, “O sees the turtle hanging in the air! Look at the geese carrying a turtle by a stick! Did you ever see anything more funnily in your life?”
The turtle was greatly annoyed when he heard the words of the children. He wanted to give a reply. In his anger he had forgot the advice of his friends. As he opened his mouth he lost hold of the stick. So down he fell at the feet of the children and was killed.
As the geese flew on, they heard the children saying, “That foolish turtle could not keep his mouth shut. He talked and so lost his life.”