flying tortoise

The Flying Tortoise – Children’s Treasures

the flying tortoise – children’s treasures

Nazneen Mukhtar GulamhusseinThe columnist Nazneen Gulamhussein Mukhtar (Arusha, Tanzania) is the headmistress of Yaadgare Murtazawi Madressa, She is a mother to five children and loves writing and reading. She always wanted to inspire children – her favourite audience. Writing has been her passion for as long as she can remember and believes that effective learning takes place through storytelling.


Long ago there were two Geese who regularly visited a pond to eat fish.

The Geese always chatted with the lonely tortoise living in the pond. They spent many days talking about different things and their acquaintance grew into friendship. One day, when the Geese realized there were no more Fish in the pond, they decided to migrate to a new and larger pond up north.

They conveyed their decision to their friend, the lonely Tortoise. The Tortoise felt sad and expressed his wish to go along with the Geese. The Geese thought this is an excellent idea. “Why don’t we take lonely Tortoise along with us? Then we all can live together forever!”The Tortoise was delighted but soon realized the problem.

“How can I go with you? You see, I cannot fly. “The Tortoise was very disappointed, that he would not be able to go with the Geese. Then the tortoise, who was a smart fellow thought of an idea. He told the 2 birds, “Don’t worry. I have thought of a way to solve this problem. It would help if you held a stick with your beaks on both sides. I will Hold onto the middle of the stick with my mouth. This way, we all can fly to our new location.

“But one Goose warned him, “Your plan is good, but you have to be very careful. At no time during our journey, should you open your mouth, for, if you do, you will fall from the sky and fall to death on the ground.”The Tortoise thought for a while- and agreed to keep his mouth clamped round the stick throughout the journey. Thus, the Geese and the Tortoise set off on their journey northwards. As they flew, they had to pass through many villages, where people came running out to see this strange sight.”Look at the Tortoise! See how the Geese carry him between them. I wonder who thought of this wonderful idea?” Shouted a group of children.

The Tortoise wanted to tell them, that it was “his” idea of course, but he remembered his friend’s warning and kept his mouth shut. Village after village, people ran after the strange flight. “A flying Tortoise! -how wonderful! It must have been the idea of the birds surely! ”

Some of them shouted. The Tortoise began to swell with pride, but he also wanted to make sure everyone knew it was “his” idea and not the birds! He thought to himself, “I am so great. All the villagers are running out to see me. If only I could tell them, this was all my great idea! In every village that they passed, the Tortoise was greeted with cheering and shouting. Finally, the Tortoise could not control himself any more.

He opened his mouth to speak, “Listen! it was my idea! …”As soon as he opened his mouth, he left the hold on the stick! and he came hurtling through the air and fell on a rock with a loud crack. The poor Tortoise was very hurt and bleeding – he was no longer able to travel to live with his friends. The birds were very sad-. “If only he had not been so proud,” they thought, “he would have been living happily with us.”

Wala tamshi fil ardhi maraha  -Lukman- a part of verse 18…don’t walk proudly in this earth. So pride is not a good thing.

What is pride? It’s thinking you are so great! You are the best! No one is better than are the are the strongest…or you are the kindest..

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