A long time ago, there lived a tortoise. The tortoise lived among other animals in the forest. The tortoise was very cunning and all the animals hated him.
One day the birds were invited for a party in heaven.
When the Tortoise heard about this, he devised a plan so that he would accompany the birds. He told the birds, “I hear you have been invited for a party in heaven”, “Yes”, said the birds. “Do you have a leader who is going to speak on your behalf at the party?”. The birds replied, “No we don’t”. At this the Tortoise quickly suggested, “Take me with you as your leader and I will speak on your behalf”.
After consulting with each other the birds agreed to let the Tortoise come with them. They then gave the Tortoise a feather, which he stuck onto the shell so that he could fly. “One little thing”, the Tortoise said before they left, “people in heaven are going to ask for our names. Choose your own names but for me my name will be ‘All of you’.
The bird and the Tortoise flew up to heaven. The party got underway and the Tortoise gave the speech. The hosts were very impressed and a great feast was laid out for them.
At this point, Tortoise asked the host, “Whose food is this?”.
“It’s for all of you”, the host replied. So the tortoise was given all the food while the birds waited in anticipation for their turn. Nothing was brought. By the evening, the birds were tired and angry and realized what the cunning Tortoise had done.
Each of them plucked off their feathers from the Tortoise and started flying back to earth. The Tortoise tried to plead with the birds to help him fly back to his house but none would hear him out. “Please would give my wife a message?” he begged. “What’s the message?” The parrot asked.
“Tell my wife to bring out all the soft cushions and mattresses so that I have a comfortable landing”. However, the parrot told his wife to lay out every sharp object they could find.
The Tortoise was given the signal and he fell down on the axes, hammers, knives and all the sharp objects the wife had put out. His shell cracked on impact.
Tortoise’s wife took him to the doctor who tried to stick his shell back together. It was never smooth like it was before. That’s why all Tortoises have cracked shells.