Once upon a time, when animals spoke human languages. There was a feast proposal between God and the birds, and the venue for the banquet was fixed in heaven and a date was scheduled.
On the very day, all the birds are in a glorious flight to heaven. As the flock hovered over the witty tortoise, who sat on his wooden chair, hypnotized by the mesmerizing beauty of their feathers.
“Oh beautiful birds” he hollered below “where do you all flight to in these stunning looks?”
“To heaven” the birds retorted in almost unison “we have a feast with God and it’s certainly going be a continuous merriment”
The tortoise fantasized on how big the party is, and deeply wish to join the host. But, so you know, tortoises have no feathers for flight. So there has to be an improvisation if he must go.
He was able to cajole them into giving him a lift, in anyway possible. They gave him a pair of wings; each bird plucked a feather from their pinions, for the odd crawling friend. So, the tortoise joined the flight.
On their way, mid heaven, the tortoise, out of his witty collection, brought a very foxy suggestion.
“Hello friends, don’t you all think it is necessary we give ourselves a nickname for the sake of this occasion?” he said
“Don’t you think that God might someday decide we refund him all we’re going to eat today?”
“What do you mean” one of the birds curiously asked. As the correlation between the “refund” and “change of names” wasn’t clear enough.
“This is it” he continued “If we change our names now, God will only get to know our fake identity, right?”
“So whenever he decides to come over for a refund he would never find us with the fake name”
” I think that’s a great idea” admitted one of the birds. And they all bought the idea.
Everyone picked a name, a new tag for the occasion.
“So what’s your own name?” the impromptu moderator asked the tortoise
“All of you” replied the tortoise
“All of what?”
” ‘All of you’ I said. Whenever you want to address me, just call me ‘All of you’ ”
The birds were at first puzzled why the tortoise would choose such funny phrase as a name. But it doesn’t matter anyway, they continued their journey.
They safely arrived heaven, and they queued into the banquet hall, as the aroma oozing from the dishes speaks much about the different delicacies. All kinds of foods and wines were served
After the table has been garnished well enough, they’re already aroused to devour what’s before them. But at that moment the tortoise indicated the he has a question.
“Who amongst us have these foods sir” he asked one of the Gods servant around.
“It is for ‘ALL OF YOU” he responded.
“Oh thank you so much!” Tortoise said.
“Dear friends, as you can see, all these are for me. So I advise you all gentleman and ladies to patiently wait for yours. I believe it will be served in a jiffy” Said the tortoise as he munched the food in his mouth.
The birds waited and waited, till it clearly dawned on them that nothing is forthcoming.
They have been played, by the little crook they picked on their way.
“He will surely pay for this” they mumbled.
Time to go.
They all furiously snatched their feathers from the ingrate to know how he would get down home.
He pleaded and pleaded but all to deaf ears. He couldn’t trick them into helping him this time around, so he gave up.
Stranded on the street of heaven, he saw a kite flying by. He begged the kite to take a message to his wife.
“Go home and tell my wife to bring out all the soft materials she could find around to the centre of my compound. Let her set up a fire once she’s done, so the smoke would be a signal to me” he pleaded.
“You must pay a price for it then” said the kite.
“Of course yes. once you’re done with delivery, you can carry any chicken of your choice in the compound”
It’s a fat price so the kite glided down to deliver the message and then pick his game.
Knowing fully well how cunning the tortoise could be, the kite wanted to inspect the compound to be sure of the chicken he would carry before delivering the message. But just as he had thought, there’s no single chicken in the compound.
The tortoise wanted to trick him also.
He wanted to fly out, but before then he decided to cut the tortoise a piece of his own cake.
He then went to the wife and told her an adulterated version of message. The very opposite.
“Your husband has a message for you” he said
“Bring all the ironclad materials around and place them at the center of the compound. Set up a fire once you’re done. It is very urgent” he concluded and flew away.
The wife being confused did as was directed.
Up there from sky the tortoise saw the smoke emanating from his compound then he knew the time is due.
He jumped off from heaven and crashed on the ironclad which shattered his once beautiful and smooth shell.
After several months of medical surgeries he regained his health though not his looks. His shell has gotten a total new structure from the fall.
That’s exactly how the tortoise got a cracked shell.