Long ago there were two Geese who regularly visited a pond to eat fish. The geese always had a chat with the lonely tortoise living in the pond. They spent many days talking about different things and their acquaintance grew into a deep friendship.

One day, when the geese realized there were no more fish in the pond, they decided to migrate to a new and larger pond up north. They conveyed their decision to their friend, the lonely tortoise. The tortoise felt sad and expressed his wish to go along with the geese.

The geese thought this is a very good idea. "Why don't we take lonely tortoise along with us? Then we all can live together forever!"

The tortoise was delighted, but soon realized the problem. "How can I go with you? Because I cannot fly."

The tortoise was very disappointed that he would not be able to go with the geese but then the geese came up with a solution, "Don't worry. We have thought of a way to solve this problem. We will hold a stick between us. Hold onto the middle of the stick with your mouth. This way, we all can fly to our new location."

But, warned one goose, "Our plan is good, but you have to be very careful. At no time during our journey you should open your mouth, for, if you do, you will fall from the sky and be smashed to death on the ground."

The tortoise thought for a while and agreed to be sure to keep his mouth champed round the stick all throughout the journey," he said.

Once they were all set, the geese and the tortoise set off on their journey northwards. As they flew, they had to pass through many villages, where people came running out to see this strange sight.

"Look at the tortoise. See how the geese carry him between them." shouted the children.

The tortoise wanted to tell them that he was going with his friends to a new pond and that there was nothing strange in it, but he remembered his friends warning and kept his mouth shut.

Village after village, people ran after the strange flight. "A flying tortoise!" some shouted.

The tortoise soon began to swell with pride.

He thought to himself, "I am so great. All the villagers are running out to see me. If these geese had not come with me, no one would have ever noticed them."

Every village that they passed, the tortoise was greeted with great cheering and shouting. Finally the tortoise could contain himself no more. He opened his mouth to speak, "I am ..."

As soon as he opened his mouth, his hold on the stick was lost and he came hurtling through the air and fell on a rock with a loud crack. The poor tortoise died on the spot.

The geese flew sadly away. "If only he had not been so proud," they thought, "he would have been living happily with us."

Moral of the Story - "Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall." or simply, "Pride comes before the fall."

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