Animal Stories With Morals - The Most Charming Creature

The Most Charming Creature

It happened at the holy confluence of the White Nile and the Blue Nile rivers. A fish from the White Nile and a fish from the Blue Nile met and became friends. The first one spoke about the many great towns and sacred seats of gods situated along the bank of White Nile and the second one did the same. The first one then said, "The fish folk in the White Nile are as swift as they are beautiful. Look at me. Am I not really charming?" The second one said, "I don't deny that, but that does not mean that the fish folk of the Blue Nile are inferior to you in any way. Now, look at me. Am I not more charming than you are?"  The fish from the White Nile looked crestfallen. "How can you honestly say that you are more charming than I? A look at both of us together should convince anyone that between we two I am certainly the charming one!" it asserted. They disputed each other more and more vehemently.

At last, they decided to refer their dispute to a third party. On the brink of the water lay relaxing a tortoise. The two fish swam up to it and asked it to decide who between them was more charming. The tortoise smiled and kept smiling for long. "I must say that both of you are wise," it said. "You are wise because you came to me, the most charming of all creatures. Ah, when I look at my four wondrous feet, I feel pity for the lotus, for what poor things its petals are when compared to my feet! When I look at my glorious belly, I wonder why God created the sky after creating me, for in smoothness and color the sky can never beat my belly. And look at my neck. Is it not a hundred times more beautiful than the bejeweled neck of the princess who came to bathe here the other day?" The tortoise became more and more fluent in praise of its own beauty. The two fish, embarrassed, retreated, and went away in opposite directions without exchanging any word. They realized how ridiculous it was to boast of oneself when even the ugly tortoise thought itself to be the most charming creature in the world!

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