A snake and a tortoise lived in a small cave on the hillside. Each went about his own way and had not bothered to make friends with the other. One day as the tortoise was sitting on a grassy slope outside the cave; it suddenly occurred to him that he had no friends. He looked around and saw birds hopping on the grass and a family of hares sunning themselves around their burrow. Sheep grazed little way off and their lambs jumped and played with each other. The tortoise felt left out sad and lonely.
As he sat brooding, the snake returned home after his night out. Seeing his cave mate alone the snake went up to him and asked “hey you look sad, what is the matter?” “Yes, I am,” said the tortoise.” I just realized that I have no friends and I was wondering why.” The tortoises’ answer startled the snake and got him thinking. He realized that he too did not have any friends. Though both of them lived in the same cave they felt aloof and friendless. So they decided to ask their neighbor, the rat to sort out the problem and help them break the ice.
The rat decided to facilitate a discussion between both. “ I am short tempered”, said the snake. And am suspicious and strike out without thinking who I hurt.” “I, On the other hand, do not care for anyone’s’ feelings and do not allow anyone to touch me .” I just withdraw into my shell, before anyone can come too close to me.” “Is that true, now do you want people touching you?” “Actually not, said the tortoise. “if that were true then why I want friends and why do I feel sad that I do not have any?” “I too feel good the way I am, said the snake, but am happy and feel lighter after talking things out. “Maybe, Now that both of you have begun to talk and express your feeling it can be the beginning of a friendship. Perhaps you can learn more about each other and learn from one another,” said the wise and rat and went on his way