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The Swallow's Cowrie  was one of the mythical artifacts Kaguya sent her suitors to find, as part of a test of their worthiness.  The fourth suitor was sent to fetch the shell, said to reside in the nest of swallows high up in the trees.

The prince was a proud man, and immediately delegated the task of finding the shell to his men, who asked far and wide.  No one had heard of this shell in the nests of swallows, but a small kitchen boy piped up and claimed that he had caught a glimpse of a shell in a nest when he was on the kitchen roof,  trying to catch a bird.  The prince demanded that the men be sent to fetch this nest from the roof, but the roof was high, and though the men drew up a basket on a rope, the shell was nowhere to be found in the nest. 

Angered by this incompetence, the proud prince demanded that he himself be drawn up in the basket, as obviously his men were too stupid to find a simple shell, and though his men protested at the danger, the prince went forth, and had himself raised up to the level of the nest. 

His men pulled and pulled, and when the prince was finally in place to peer into the bird nest, the swallows within, startled, pecked furiously at the prince's eyes, and he flailed about and toppled to the ground, nest, basket, and all.  His men quickly pulled him up from the ground, and indeed in the prince's hand was a shell, but not of a cowrie, but of a mere eggshell.  Angry and bruised, the prince vowed to have nothing else to do with this swallow's shell, and the princess who desired it so much.