Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Cherokee: The Turtle's Whistle

Long ago, the turtle had a whistle which he carried with him always, whistling a happy tune. The partridge did not have a whistle and was jealous of the turtle, who was always bragging about the whistle and showing it to all the other animals.

One day the partridge met the turtle walking along a path in the woods and said, "Turtle, would you loan me that whistle so I can try it?"

At first the turtle was reluctant to surrender the whistle even for a moment, but the partridge was insistent. "I'll give it back right away," the partridge promised. "I just want to hear what the whistle sounds like when I use it. You'll be right here next to me, so there's nothing to worry about."

The turtle agree and handed the whistle to the partridge, and the partridge blew the whistle loudly. "How do I sound?" the partridge asked.

"You play very well," said the turtle, expecting that the partridge would now give back the whistle.

"How does it sound now?" asked the partridge, running ahead and whistling even faster than before.

"Very nice," said the turtle, who could barely keep up with the partridge. "But you need to slow down. I cannot walk so fast!"

"And how about now?" asked the partridge as he spread his wings, whistled loudly, and soared up into the top of a tree.

The poor turtle was left behind on the ground, unable to chase the partridge who was whistling up in the tree. That is why, even today, the turtle does not whistle. He is also ashamed of having been tricked, so he sometimes hides inside his shell and won't come out.

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