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The Talkative Tortoise

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When they were above the treetops, the Tortoise wanted to say, “How high we are!” But she remembered, and kept still. When they passed the church steeple she wanted to say, “What is that which shines?” But she remembered, and held her peace. Then they came over the village square, and the people looked up and saw them. “Look at the Ducks carrying a Tortoise!” they shouted; and every one ran to look. The Tortoise wanted to say, “What business is it of yours?” But she didn’t. Then she heard the people shout, “Isn’t it strange! Look at it! Look!”

The Tortoise forgot everything except that she wanted to say, “Hush, you foolish people!” She opened her mouth,—and fell to the ground. And that was the end of the Tortoise.

It is a very good thing to be able to hold one’s tongue!

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