Jupiter and the Tortoise

By Aesop

It was always the custom that whenever the gods had a reason to celebrate they would invite all and sundry to the party. So it was when one day Jupiter decided that he would get married, he invited all the animals to the wedding feast. All the animals were delighted to accept the invitation, they all loved a party, and Jupiter was always a very generous and genial host. All the animals that is, except the tortoise. He was feeling a bit grumpy and decided to stay at home. “I don’t care much for parties anyway, he told his neighbour. I never enjoy myself and I don’t go for all that dancing and singing.”

The wedding was a great success, and everybody had a great time. Of course, it didn’t escape Jupiter’s attention that tortoise had not turned up. So the next time the great god came upon tortoise, he stopped and asked him why he had not come to join in the wedding celebrations. “Dear Jupiter, said Tortoise, I really don’t like parties. I much rather stay home. There’s no place like home, after all.”

Now Jupiter was really annoyed with Tortoise. “If you like your home so much, he thundered, I decree that from now on you shall forever carry yours on your back!” And so it is that ever since that day, tortoises have to carry their home on their backs, wherever they go!