THE LAME TORTOISE
 
Everyone knows the tortoise story, where the tortoise won the race against the rabbit. But do you know the story of the “Lame Tortoise-Tutu”  who lived happily.

Tutu and his  parents lived in a lake beside the hill. They were lake farmers maintaining the lake water clean and fresh. Tutu’s father and other family members were assigned this duty by the Crocodile, who was King of the Lake.

Crocodile, King of the Lake, lived with its small family, for generations they were ruling the lake. All the animals listened to  the King’s order & followed the same. Even the animals that came to the lake obeyed the Crocodile King, because of water. But Tutu the tortoise could not accept this………...even as a little one his mind did not accept the crocodile as King of Lake. He was adamant, his parents cautioned him not to voice  his views & react against the King. 

Tutu my dear…..…..  the present King is mean & cruel, said his mother. Be careful and don't  annoy the King with your pranks. But Tutu was Tutu, neither his friends nor his parents could stop his pranks, he was his usual self playful. Whenever he got the chance he played his pranks on other  animals and those that came to the lake.

One day The King called all for a meeting, the same was arranged near the lake shore besides a big banyan tree. All came, including the deers,  goats, wolfs, rabbits, elephants, horses which used to come regularly for drinking water. The King welcomed all and announced that the meeting was called to discuss about the coming summer when the lake would have shortage of water.

They discussed the different ways to replenish the lake, some said that water usage has to be rationed out, some others said water to be used on alternate days, a few others said that rain water to be stored in  a  catchment and used only during the summer………...alas all these ideas were tried earlier but then every  time they faced the water shortage.

The King Crocodile told “every year we have been following, then the result was only  water shortage and difficult times”. So tell me some other means of overcoming this difficulty. The little ones who accompanied their parents voiced their ideas one by one. The King listened to all of them. He was surprised to hear new ideas , never thought of by the elders before, from the little ones.

Of all the ideas, Tutu’s  was accepted because it was simple, practical and cost effective. 

The idea given by Tutu….“there is a small stream running down from  the hill nearby the lake. The water is to flow towards the wasteland where tall trees were growing. No animals lived in the wasteland except the birds living in the trees. This stream has to be diverted to the lake, before it flowed down the hill into the wasteland.”

The King Crocodile appreciated Tutu’s idea by making him In Charge of the project. He asked Tutu’s parents to supervise the same. Everyone  felt happy with this decesion of their King. The King left them to discuss other things and prepare themselves for implementing the same. The decision was made that from next Monday they had to start. 

There was 5days for Monday to come, Tutu started preparing a plan. He made a list of things required for completing the project. He formed a team to get all the equipments. Monday came and they started, the King had come with his family, he was the first to dig with the spade.

It was a laborious task, very hard,  lot of boulders had to be removed. There was a huge dead tree in their path, it had to be removed, they decided to remove that on the last day. Meanwhile they finished digging the culvert and conected It to the lake. It took them about  25days and there was the dead tree to be removed for the stream to run into the lake. They decided to take a break for two days and informed the King. The King inspected the work, was happy to see the work finished.

After two days with more help  Tutu & his team came to remove the tree. All the little ones including Tutu was asked to stand afar from the the huge dead tree. The team  with the extra help started chopping of the branches,  they finished with the branches & started cutting the trunk at the bottom near the roots. Suddenly one of the branch fell on Tutu & other little ones. It came flying & knocked them down……...a few of them got hurt, Tutu was one among them.

Tutu’s father & two others rushed the little ones to the doctor. The doctor checked the little ones and treated them. He told them that there was nothing to worry and told Tutus father to come after 3 days. But Tutus father was worried with the doctors advice. 

Since the work was pending they went back. By then half of the work was over, they were having their lunch beside the stream. After having lunch all went to complete the work. They removed the dead tree and cleared the culvert. Now only breaking the bund in between the stream and the culvert was required. It was getting dark, the Sun had set already so all them went back to the village.

Next day the King came to oversee the work. They broke the bund and water gushed into the culvert. All jumped into the water with joy. The King also jumped into the water and swam down to the lake. He was happy with the connecting culvert. He praised Tutu and others for their work.

Three days passed by, Tutus father took him to the doctor. The doctor checked Tutu’s leg, he found that the bone joint was not joined properly. He told Tutu’s father that his son will walk with difficulty, asked him to consult the senior, experienced forest doctor. Tutu’s father   was worried, they went home, hearing this his mother became sad. They talked  about Tutu &  how to  get him  back to normal. Next day they met the forest doctor, he checked Tutu, took some tests & told Tutu’s  parents that he can be cured but not totally. His son can be cured only 90% and he will find little difficulty in walking. 

They were troubled to hear but had to accept the reality, the doctor assured them that their son can be like other 

normal childrens. Days passed into months & years, little Tutu grew up and lived his life happily. This is how Tutu became lame.