Tortoise The Strong

Long time ago when cowries were used as money, tortoise a cunny animal had no food in his house. He thought of what to do but he could not think of where to get money from because he was idle, just then an idea struck his head.

He went to meet Elephant and said to him, “You see my little arm, I will tie a vine to it but you cannot pull me.” The elephant laughed and said, “How can a small animal like you say a big animal like me can’t pull you?” Tortoise told the elephant that if he cannot pull him, the elephant will pay him 1 bag of cowries but if the elephant pulls him, he will in turn pay him 1 bag of cowries. The elephant agreed and they set a date for the competition.

On the day of the competition, tortoise told the elephant to stay beside the river while he stay in the forest and the elephant accepted the tortoise offer. Tortoise tied a long vine to the one of the elephant’s leg and told the elephant that if he hears, “GO!” he should start pulling the vine. The elephant agreed and tortoise ran into the forest to look for a big tree that even four elephants cannot pull down and tied the vine round the tree and yelled, “GO!” and immediately the elephant started pulling the vine.

He pulled and pulled and pulled till the vine divided into two pieces. As soon as the vine cut, the elephant stumble and landed on his tail. He was very surprised that a big animal like him could not pull a small animal like tortoise. By the time tortoise came out from the forest, he saw the elephant on the floor. When the elephant managed to stand on his feet, tortoise asked the elephant if he remembered their deal and the elephant gave him the bag of cowries.

Tortoise took the bag of cowries home very happily while the elephant went back home very sad. He was ashamed of himself but for tortoise, it was like a dream come true because he now had the money he needed to take good care of himself and his family.


Benedict Adams


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