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"Don't set sail using someone else's star," Tortoise's wife often cautioned him. This was her favorite proverb, and it was a good one to repeat to her husband, for he had his heart set on learning to fly and visiting his friend Osprey.
Osprey often visited his good friend Tortoise on the way back to the treetops at night. Tortoise enjoyed these visits and very much liked his friend Osprey. Osprey always insisted that Tortoise should come to visit him in the treetops some day.
Tortoise always found an excuse not to come, for he was reluctant to admit he had no way of getting up there to visit. "Why not just explain that you cannot reach the treetops?" his wife asked. "He is your friend; he will understand.""How can I let him down that way?" Tortoise asked. "I'll find a way."
And so Tortoise went on thinking about how he might learn to fly. He watched the vultures and the storks, the egrets and the swallows, and he envied them with all of his heart. "If they can fly, why can't I?" he would cry.
During the next few days, Tortoise wandered this way and that, searching his imagination and searching, too, every corner of the land. He was looking for some kind of wisdom, something that would help him learn to fly.
And then one day as he squinted up at the big ball in the sky -- the sun, that is -- he suddenly knew just what to do. He hurried home. "I've got it!" he said to his wife. "I can fly, if only you will help me."
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