how turtles got their shells

long time ago, in the very distant past when birds could talk, snakes walk, asses talk, lions ate grass, and all animals lived together in friendly communes, turtles had a soft smooth shell.

One day news reached the commune of a party that was to be had high up in the sky, near the sun so to speak. Even back then, only birds could fly so when the turtle heard of this plot, he asked his bird friend if he could join the party. A committee of birds was selected to see how to make this possible. Among the options proposed was to have the largest bird haul the turtle to the party and back. The hawk said, hell no. The vulture said not on backyard, the eagle made no comments but there was no doubt the answer was no. A second plot was needed and real fast. It is here that it was decided they would donate feathers to the turtle and do a crash course in flying. This was done in no time and the whole party left for feast.

As was the custom in those days, whenever animals or people went to a feast, they used nicknames. So all the birds had their nicknames some flattering some not so much. The turtle for its nickname said it would be called all of us. And it is here that the rain started beating the turtle.

You see, when they got to the feast, every time food was served, the animals would ask for whom it was meant and the response, you guessed it right, was all of us- the turtle. And so the turtle ate while the rest of the birds watched in dismay. It went on like this till it was time to return and the birds held a quick meeting to exact their revenge. As soon as they left the venue, and had been told their goodbyes, they each and all plucked their feathers from the turtle who without this aid came a tumbling down landing on a rock with it shell cracking it in the process and since then all turtles have had hard shells.

If you have read up to this point, I will tell you the story of bats. where did they come from? When, where, why and how the first bats become airborne is another mystery buried by Deep Time.

About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

17 thoughts on “how turtles got their shells

  1. what is the fable trying to tell us?


    • makagutu says:

      Unlike in Aesop fable where the crafty one wins, in this, gratitude, fairness are the lessons but it was also a prelude to a very interesting article on bats, what we do know & don’t know about them.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. ladysighs says:

    I am glad I still have my PJ’s on. I love hearing bedtime stories. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Except it is morning. I will probably stay in my PJ’s all day. I did find the bat. That picture was scary.


  3. renudepride says:

    The turtle/shell story was very entertaining and enlightening! A great way to set the pace for the “soon-to-be-here” weekend. Thank you for your advanced anatomical lesson, my Kenyan brother! Naked hugs!


  4. Ark says:

    The origin of bats? It’s enough to drive you Onychonycteris,


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