The Singing Tortoise
Long ago, in a lush green valley surrounded by mountains called Kenlenke, there lived a tribe of animals. They were ruled by a mighty lion, who was proud of his strength and courage. He often roared to show his dominance over the other animals.
Among the animals, there was a tortoise named Timba. He was small and slow, but he had a special gift. He could sing beautifully, with a voice that was sweet and soothing. He loved to sing to himself, as he wandered around the valley, looking for fruits and flowers.
One day, the lion announced that he was going to host a grand feast for all the animals. He invited everyone to come and enjoy the food and drinks. He also said that there would be a singing contest, and the winner would receive a prize from him.
Timba was very excited. He had always wanted to share his singing with others, but he was too shy and afraid. He thought this was his chance to show his talent and make some friends. He decided to join the contest and practice his best songs.
The lion heard about Timba's decision. He was curious and amused. He thought that the tortoise was foolish and overconfident. He didn't believe that such a small and weak creature could have any singing skills. He decided to challenge Timba and humiliate him in front of everyone.
He went to Timba and said, "So, you think you can sing better than me? I doubt it. You are nothing but a slow and clumsy shell. You have no voice, no power, no grace. You are a joke."
Timba was hurt by the lion's words, but he didn't show it. He smiled and said, "Maybe you are right, maybe you are wrong. Why don't we find out at the feast? I accept your challenge. Let the animals judge who is the better singer."
The lion laughed and said, "Very well. I will prove to you and everyone that I am the king of singers, as well as the king of the jungle. Prepare to lose, tortoise."
The day of the feast arrived. The animals gathered in a large clearing, where the lion had prepared a table full of delicious food and drinks. There were fruits, nuts, honey, milk, and meat. The animals ate and drank to their hearts' content, and then settled down to watch the singing contest.
The lion went first. He stood on a rock and roared loudly. His roar was powerful and fierce, but it was also harsh and unpleasant. It hurt the ears of the animals and made them feel afraid and uneasy. They clapped politely, but they were not impressed.
Then it was Timba's turn. He climbed on a log and looked at the animals with a gentle smile. He opened his mouth and began to sing. His voice was soft and clear, but it was also rich and warm. He sang a song about the beauty of the valley, the joy of life, and the harmony of nature. His song was like a breeze that caressed the fur of the animals and made them feel calm and happy. They listened with rapt attention, and then cheered and applauded with enthusiasm.
It was obvious who had won the contest. The animals praised Timba for his wonderful singing and thanked him for his gift. They asked him to sing more songs, and he gladly obliged. He sang songs of love, friendship, courage, and wisdom. He sang songs that made the animals laugh, cry, and dance. He sang songs that touched their hearts and souls.
The lion was stunned and ashamed. He realized that he had underestimated Timba, and that he had been arrogant and rude. He admitted that Timba was the better singer, and that he deserved the prize. He gave Timba a bag full of the finest fruits in the valley and apologized for his behavior.
Timba accepted the lion's apology and the prize. He thanked the lion for his generosity and said that he bore no grudge against him. He then shared his fruits with the other animals and invited them to join him in singing. The animals agreed, and soon the valley was filled with music and laughter.
So, the singing tortoise, Timba, became a hero and a friend to all the animals. He taught them that true strength lies not in power, but in one's unique talents. He also taught them that everyone has something to offer, and that everyone deserves respect and kindness.
And he never stopped singing, for singing was his joy and his gift.