A Maasai legend tells the story of the day that the undeniable king of the savanna, the elephant, decided to challenge the Rain God. He tore up the trees, the bushes and the grass with his trunk to destroy all the green of the earth that the Rain God had created. This angered the God so he stopped sending rain and soon the desert began taking over all of the lands. The elephant was desperate; he was thirsty and hungry. He repented and apologized to the Rain God and asked him to send rain so the green would grow back and he would have water to drink.
But the Rain God didn’t answer. The elephant asked the tortoise to intercede on his behalf and the tortoise was so eloquent that the Rain God finally conceded just enough water to form a large puddle in front of the elephant’s home. The elephant was hungry so he went to look for food, leaving the tortoise to guard the pool. All of the thirsty animals of the savanna came to the pool to drink but the tortoise told them “This water belongs to His Majesty the Elephant; you cannot drink it”. But when the lion came, the tortoise was so afraid that let him and all of the other animals drink.
When the elephant came back and found that the water was nearly finished, he began to take out his wrath on the tortoise. It was then that the voice of the Rain God boomed down from behind a cloud: “Don't do as the elephant did and challenge those more powerful than yourself. Cherish the things you may need in the future. Be kind to innocent servants. But above all, protect the jewels of the savanna and be ready to share their beauty and all of the beauty of the world with those you find along your journey”.