There was a famine in the animal
kingdom and Ijapa the tortoise was finding that food was hard to come by.
However, he found out that all the birds in the forest were preparing for the
annual bird feast in the sky and those who had been lucky enough to
attend this annual event could testify to the abundance of food at the feast.
Since the feast took place in the sky, only the birds could attend. But Ijapa
the tortoise was not one to give up so easily. He went to every bird and
borrowed a feather making up one excuse or the other. He glued all these feathers
to his back and all over his body and soon, he was the most colorful bird you
had ever seen.
On the day of the feast, Ijapa the tortoise joined the other birds to make
the trip to the great feast in the sky. The other birds could not recognize
this strange colorful bird and asked him who he was. He said his name was
?all of us?.
When it was time for the feast, all the food was laid out on a table. Ijapa
the tortoise asked, ?who does this food belong to?? and all the birds
answered ?all of us?. Ijapa the tortoise said, ?that is me, my name is ?all
of us?? and he ate all the food while the birds had none. The birds were so
angry that they grabbed ?all of us?, but as they grabbed him, his feathers
would come off until the tortoise was revealed. To punish him, the birds
decided to leave him in the sky, they would not fly him back to land.
Tortoise begged the birds to give a message to his wife. He asked his wife to
lay out as many mattresses as she could find so he could have a soft landing.
The birds who were still angry asked his wife to bring out all the furniture
in the house and that was what she did.
The tortoise jumped from the sky, but instead of landing on a soft mattress,
he landed on wood furniture and his shell broke into many pieces. His wife
collected these pieces and glued them together and that is why the tortoise
does not have a smooth shell.
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