ONCE upon a time a peacock and a tortoise became great friends. The peacock lived on a tree by the banks of the stream in which the tortoise had his home. Everyday, after he had a drink of water, the peacock will dance near the stream to the amusement of his tortoise friend.
One unfortunate day, a bird-catcher caught the peacock and was about to take him away to the market. The unhappy bird begged his captor to allow him to bid his friend, the tortoise good-bye.
The bird-catcher allowed him his request and took him to the tortoise. The tortoise was greatly disturbed to see his friend a captive.
The tortoise asked the bird-catcher to let the peacock go in return for an expensive present. The bird-catcher agreed. The tortoise then, dived into the water and in a few seconds came up with a handsome pearl, to the great astonishment of the bird-catcher. As this was beyond his exceptions, he let the peacock go immediately.
A short time after, the greedy man came back and told the tortoise that he had not paid enough for the release of his friend, and threatened to catch the peacock again unless an exact match of the pearl is given to him. The tortoise, who had already advised his friend, the peacock, to leave the place to a distant jungle upon being set free, was greatly enraged at the greed of this man.
“Well,” said the tortoise, “if you insist on having another pearl like it, give it to me and I will fish you out an exact match for it.” Due to his greed, the bird-catcher gave the pearl to the tortoise, who swam away with it saying, “I am no fool to take one and give two!” The tortoise then disappeared into the water, leaving the bird-catcher without a single pearl.