The eagle was strolling beside the sea one day, intending to go fishing. She didn’t catch any fish, but she did come across a shell, and inside the shell was a tortoise.

She snatched the tortoise up in her talons and flew to a beach, where she planned to feast on her catch, turning the tortoise to good use by dint of her own efforts. But when the eagle went to eat the tortoise, the shell protected the tortoise from her talons and beak. Although the eagle struggled with the shell for some time, her efforts were in vain: she couldn’t get at the tortoise no matter how hard she tried.

A crow then happened along and saw the eagle hopelessly trying to open the shell. The eagle was on the verge of giving up when the crow approached her and said, “That is food fit for a king. By no means should it be tossed away!”

“Alas,” said the eagle, “the container which holds it cannot be breached, as you see; the sides are all smooth, and my efforts are going to waste.”

The crow then said to the eagle, “If you will agree to divide the spoils with me, I will show you the way to open it up.”

“Tell me how!” said the eagle, “then you and I will enjoy this feast together.”

The tricky crow said, “What you must do is fly up high in the sky. Then, when you find yourself far above some rocky shore, release the container from the grip of your talons so that it falls through the air and strikes against the rocks. The shell will be forced open, no longer protecting the tortoise inside, and you will be able to satisfy all your desires.”

The eagle agreed and, following the crow’s instructions, she flew up in the air and let the tortoise drop from her talons. Below, the crow was there waiting for the tortoise to fall. As soon as the tortoise reached the ground, the crow snatched it for herself and thus deceived the hungry eagle.

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