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How the Tortoise Got its Shell!


Tortoise - Picture taken by Adrian Pingstone
  • How the Tortoise Got its Shell!

Long, long ago when the world was still being shaped and muddled there lived a tortoise. He lived in the most beautiful land, with lush green grass and little crystal clear streams and exotic plants, it was always sunny apart from the long cold winters when all the animals hibernated.

It was christmas, the night before everyone went to hibernate for the bitter cold winters. This day was filled with happiness and joy, but tortoise was not happy. He was cold. All his friends had lovely warm feathers and fur or little shells to tuck into. He became very jealous of his friends.

Tonight his friends, Snail and Pelly were coming for dinner! Snail finally arrived.
"hello Tortoise how are you?" bellowed Snail joyfully.
"fine thanks if it's any of your business."
Grunted Tortoise rudely.
Snail was very hurt by Tortoise's horrid words, Snail left the house, slamming the door.

Almost immediately after snail left, Pelly arrived. Pelly handed tortoise a present. Tortoise garbed the peasent, ripped the rapping paper of and threw it on the floor!
"I've already got that!" Said tortoise griddily.
In disgrace Pelly left the house, also slamming the door.

Tortoise sat on the floor and wept.
"I wished I hadn't been so mean to my dear friends. I just wanted to have a shell to tuck into to keep me warm

The mud spirit looked through the window, feeling sorry for Tortoise.
"Maybe there's something I can do," the mud spirit thought.

Later that day Tortoise went for a walk through the thick oozy mud. The tree spirit crept out of the mud, and when Tortoise wasn't looking he poured mud all over the tortoise's back.

And when Tortoise awoke in spring after hibernating he was left with a think shell were the mud had hardened!
He said sorry to his friends and they lived happily ever after.

So to this day all Tortoises have borne the shell. And it keeps them very warm.

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