Sunday, December 25, 2005

The Christmas Turtle

Once, in a land far away, lived a turtle named Edgar. He was a happy turtle. He lived in a pond. He spent his days as turtles do, sunning himself on a rock to get warm, then sliding into the water to cool down and to catch fish and other water dwellers. He had a favorite rock that he used most of the time, except for when a particularly stubborn goose wouldn't budge from it, but then Edgar had a second-favorite rock that did just fine. Edgar wanted for nothing, and grew and grew for years and years. In time, he grew so big that the pond could no longer provide him with enough fish and other water dwellers to eat. Edgar had to move.

Moving day is quite perilous for turtles. They have to leave the only place they've ever known and move, slowly, to try and find another, bigger pond or swamp or stream. Even if they find one, it may be already inhabited by another turtle or something even bigger and stronger, like a crocodile or snake that might like to have a turtle for a snack. So it was with a heavy heart and a timid spirit that Edgar made his move. He lumbered on and on for what seemed like days, not quite finding what he felt he could call home. He grew tired. And weak. He even thought that his old pond might do just fine if he could just slow down his eating a little. But he knew, deep inside his reptilian brain, that his old pond really wouldn't suffice. So he ambled on.

Finally, Edgar came upon a lake, with lots of trees around and many rocks and muddy piles that were perfect for a turtle to sun himself upon. He stopped and waited. And waited, to see if there was anything already in the lake that might not want him there and that could stop him from living there. One hour, two hours (although turtles don't really keep time that way) he waited. Then he inched slowy into the water, and waited some more. Nothing came to eat him. Edgar could hear fish jumping and frogs calling out, and he thought to himself that he could stay here for a long time and get even bigger without worrying about eating too much.

As he slid into the water, Edgar looked up at the sky, which was turning dark. He saw two, strange animals looking at him. He had never seen their likes. They stood on two legs, had huge heads in proportion to their bodies and had long, gangly arms. Edgar did not know what to do.

"Shit," he thought, sinking further into the water. "If these freaking things live here, I've got to find another place to live." He decided to hide for a while, then move out when it was darker.

Two people, a man and woman, happened to be strolling by the lake on what happened to be Christmas day. "Honey," the man asked the woman. "Did you just see that big turtle? He just slid into the water."

"No, why?" the woman asked.

"It was the damnedest thing," said the man. "It looked like he looked at us."

"Yeah, right," said the woman. "Why would he care about us?"

"I don't know, but he looked pissed."

"Maybe he was mad that you didn't wish him a Merry Christmas," she teased. Then, to the middle of the lake. "Sorry, Mr. Turtle. Merry Christmas."


Post a Comment

<< Home