A Balinese Folktale: Foolish Turtle
Once upon a time there was a turtle called Empas lived in a pond on the slope of Mount Batur. Unfortunately a long draught occurred and the water of the pond reduced considerably day by day until one day the water completely disappeared from the pond, the water plant dried up and turned to dust in no time. The poor Empas was short of food and water but the draught showed no sign of coming to an end. He was terribly malnourished and unable too walk. He realized that his end is near and tried his best to calm his mind so he could die peacefully.
While he was calming his mind, two geese arrived at the dried pond. They looked weary and disheveled a sign of long flight from unknown place. The geese were busily preening themselves, and did not notice the presence of Empas. Empas used all of his remaining energy to shout for help. The geese heard his cry of help and came to the source of the cry and found Empas in miserable condition. One of the geese asked, what seems to be the problem my friend?” With all his might and of course with much heaving and sobbing, Empas told the geese his pitiful condition; the geese listened attentively and understood his unfortunate condition.
“I think we can help”, said one of the geese, “I have an idea, just wait here” and he jump into the bush and came back a moment later with a large and sturdy stick in his beaks. “Now listen”, he said “I want you to clamp your jaws tightly on the middle of this stick, my friend and I will take each end in our beaks and with our combined strength we should be able to get you airborne”, he added, “but you must not open your mouth or speak under any circumstances, that could cause you to lose your grip and you will fall down”.
Without any hesitation, Empas took the stick firmly in his jaws and the geese did likewise in theirs. It was hard, at first, for the geese to take off, but they managed to ascend and flew toward the east. They had flown all night long, and right after dawn they flew over a skinny dog, the scrawny cur was cunning. He looked up slyly, and noticed the curious trio and he instantly understood what to do to get a tasty meal. “Oh my Lord!” he cried loudly, “what do I see here? Why, if it is not two geese carrying a cow-crud?” “Stop…!” snapped Empas and he fell down.