Archives de Catégorie: 2000 headwords (intermediate)

India – The Talkative Tortoise

A year of drought

dry cracked land

Photo de Carolyn sur

A long time ago, there was a tortoise.  He knew he wasn’t a turtle, because he couldn’t swim.

The tortoise lived in an area of India where there was usually a wet and a dry season. But that particular year, the dry season was very long, and the monsoon still hadn’t come.  The animals were getting very thirsty and some of them were starting to die of thirst.

The tortoise lived by a pond, but the pond had dried up completely.  All the water had evaporated.

Friends with a rescue plan

The tortoise was very friendly with two geese.  The geese would come and drink from the tortoise’s pond.

The tortoise often chatted to the geese, because the tortoise loved talking.  The tortoise talked all day long.  He never stopped talking. He talked from sunrise till sunset.

coconut trees on brown sand

Photo de Jean Frenna sur

The geese knew where the animals could get water.  They often flew over an oasis.  But the oasis was a long way from where they lived.  It was a long distance away.  It was too far for the tortoise to walk.  He would die of thirst before they arrived.

The geese thought about the problem. “We need to get our friend the tortoise to the oasis before he dies.  We need to take him there.  Perhaps we could fly him there.  He could bite a stick and keep the stick in his mouth.  We could do the same on each side of him while we are flying.”

So, the geese explained their plan to the tortoise and the tortoise agreed.

But the geese warned the tortoise, « If we fly you to the oasis, you mustn’t talk while we are flying.  If you start talking, you will fall to your death!”

“I don’t want to die!” said the tortoise. “I want to live to be one hundred!  So I won’t talk!  don’t worry!”

A flight over the desert

The three friends took off and flew higher and higher into the sky.  They flew over the dry plains of India.  Just as they arrived at the oasis, the tortoise saw the people of the village watching him.  They were pointing at him.

The people were saying, “Look! A flying tortoise!  I have never seen a flying tortoise before!  How funny!”

men s white button up dress shirt

Photo de Helena Lopes sur

And the people started laughing at the strange sight.

The tortoise was very proud.  He really didn’t appreciate people laughing at him.  He looked down at the people and couldn’t stop himself opening his mouth to say something…


How do you think the story ended?

Let me know in the comments box below!