Once upon a time, there were three best of friends. They were a rabbit, a goat and a tortoise. They have been good friends since they were young. The rabbit had a pair of sharp teeth, the goat had a pair of long pointed horns, while the tortoise did not have any specialty at all. He was only a reptile, which could move fast, like a monitor lizard. Hence, the rabbit and the goat grew arrogant of their specialties. "Look at my sharp and nice teeth,"
said the rabbit. "Nobody can beat me," he said. "But you must admit that my horn is also great," the goat interrupted. The rabbit and the goat glanced at the tortoise.
"Well guys your teeth and horns sure are fantastic, I'm glad to have friends like you, but don't look down on me, maybe one day, I will also have something special just like you guys are," the tortoise replied. They laughed at the tortoise,
"What specialty do you have, even at this time you have asked so much for our help?" said the goat. A few days later, a long drought came. There was no rainfall and not enough food. Many animals died of starvation.
"My friends, if the drought persists, we must look for food in some other places, before it's too late while we still have the energy!" the tortoise suggested. The rabbit and the goat agreed. Without delay, they started to wander everywhere looking for food. Finally, they came to what it seemed to be an old abandoned big wooden house. As they were so tired and hungry, they all agreed to enter the house. When they reached the balcony, they found out that the door was tightly shut and locked. "We can't go inside, my friends!" the goat shouted.
"My dear friend, goat, use your horns to break the door open so we can go inside!" the tortoise suggested. On hearing that, the goat then charged and gored the door with all his might. After several attempts, the door finally
broke open. They entered the house. They found a big tied sack just right to the corner from their position. "There is food in the sack, but how do
we open it?" asked the rabbit to his friends while sniffing on the sack. The tortoise suggested again,
“My dear friends, rabbit, use your sharp teeth to cut the ropes!” The rabbit then gnawed on the ropes until it broke. Cabbages, cucumbers, peas, carrots and potatoes poured out of the sack. The rabbit and the goat ate greedily. The tortoise just looked on and said, “My dear friends, do not eat so greedily, calm down!”
“Why do you say that, isn’t this what we’ve been looking for?!” said the the rabbit angrily as he chewed on a carrot.
“I know but we must be cautious because we never know who owns the food, maybe it’s a trick,” said the tortoise. “Maybe we should go now and leave”,
“Hey, tortoise, we think you’re too much!” the goat interrupted. “If it wasn’t for my horns and the rabbit’s teeth , you would never have tasted these delicious foods. If we depended on you, we would have died of starvation. So you better keep quiet,” he added. The tortoise stopped eating he felt very disappointed with his friends and turned sideways. Suddenly, the tortoise heard footsteps heading towards them. Apparently, the house belonged to a giant. The giant purposely put the vegetables in the sack as trap.
“Oh, so it is you who stole my vegetables!” shouted the giant as he caught the rabbit and the goat that could not move because of satiety.
Fortunately, the tortoise got away and hid in a hollow gourd. From there, the tortoise could see the giant ate his two helpless friends. The
tortoise felt sorry for them as they did not listen to his advice. The giant fell asleep. He did not know that the tortoise was hiding. The
tortoise struggled to get out of the gourd but his body was stuck. Nevertheless, the tortoise did not lose hope; he tried to make a hole in the gourd skin with his four feet. At last, he managed to get out of the gourd and left the house. He was very thankful to be saved. Hearsay, the tortoise could not move as fast as he used to be because of the gourd
skin stuck to his body. Eventually the gourd harderned. It is what we have all known today as tortoise shell.