Sunday, September 26, 2010

Give in your words the story of 'Tortoise and the birds as introduced in Chapter 11 of the novel "Things Fall Apart". What lesson do you learn from the story?

'One who digs pit for others will fall into it' truly applies is the case of Tortoise who plays cunning trick with the birds. In practical life, harm done to others is paid back in terms of harm. Let us examine how the tortoise is penalised for his cunningness with the birds. Once, all the birds were invited to a feast in the sky.
Birds began to prepare for the great day. Tortoise saw all the preparations. There was a famine in those days. He had been hungry for two moons. He was reduced to skelton. He went to the birds and asked to be allowed to go with them. They refused to take him saying he was cunning. Tortoise promised them not to play any trick with them. At this they each gave him a feather, with which he made two feathers. According to the custom, they took a new name and tortoise was to be called, "All of you". At last, Party reached the sky where they were given a warm reception by the hosts. Tortoise made an eloquent speech and was praised highly by all. When all sorts of delicious dishes were set before the guests, Tortoise turned to the birds and said, you remember that my name is "all of you". They will serve you when I have eaten. Tortoise ate the best part of the food and then drank two parts of palm wine. Little worth eating was left for the birds to eat. They chose to fly home with empty stomach. But before they left, they took back their feathers from the tortoise. He said to the parrot, tell my wife to bring out all soft things in my house and cover the compound with them so that "I can jump down from the sky without a great danger." This message was conveyed to his wife by the angry parrot in a different way. He asked his wife to pile hard things instead of soft ones. He fell on the heap of hard things and his shell was broken into pieces. The medicine man gathered all the bits and stuck them together. That is why Tortoise shell is not smooth.

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