246 THE FATE OF THE TURTLE
ploughing and women their weaving in order to add their voices to their friends'.
The ducks flew steadily on, heeding nothing of the commotion below ; but not so the turtle. At first he kept-silence, as he had been bidden to do, but at length the clamour below proved too much for him, and he began to think that everyone was envying him the power of travelling through the air. In an evil moment he forgot the promises he had made so solemnly, and opened his. mouth to reply, but, before he could utter a word, he was rushing so swiftly through the air that he quickly became unconscious, and in this state was dashed to pieces against the side of a house. Then the ducks let fall after him the stick that had held up their friend, and which was of no further use. Sadly they looked at each other and shook their heads.
' We feared it would end so,' said they, ' yet, perhaps, he was right after all. Certainly this death was better than the one which awaited him.'
[From Les Contes et Fables Indiennes. Par M. Galland, 1724.]