A Tortoise Story

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A man sets out for a walk by the river and finds surprises.

Submitted: January 27, 2017

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Submitted: January 27, 2017



I met a turtle the other day. She looked just like any other turtle that I had ever seen, at least any large turtle of the same make and model.

I would not have known that she was a girl turtle if she had not told me. And she told me her name at the same time, which was Ms. Shellah De-Lay.

Shellah said that she was a Desert Tortoise, not that I would have any clue as to the difference between a Desert Tortoise, and any other kind of turtle for that matter. I'm not all that much into turtles.

But all things being equal, I took her at her word; after all, she was a talking turtle and I was still quite surprised at that aspect of our chance meeting.


One summer’s morning I was taking a stroll down near the river when I happened to see a wooden park-bench stuck in some thickets. The bench was along the river's edge, half in and half out of the water.

As an effort towards good citizenship I decided to pull the bench from the thickets and place it next to the river access road. This, I thought, would be a good thing for two reasons; First, the bench would be out of the river completely, we didn't really need stuff like that gumming up the natural order of things, and second, it might be nice for passers-by to have a place to sit and watch the river for a spell; at least, it couldn't hurt.

After a few hearty pulls the bench finally came loose and I had the situation under full control. I dragged the bench up the bank and positioned it so that it faced the river, and so that it was not a hindrance to any sort of traffic that might need to pass by.

After all that hard work you might understand why I felt it necessary to make use of the bench for a spell. Plus, my weight would better seat the bench firmly in the soil; that is important you know.

I sat on the bench, watching the water flow by, until I noticed a turtle having a very hard time getting out of the water; that was  Shellah De-Lay, of course.

I helped her as best that I could, she is rather large, and after a few tries we managed to get her up the river-bank.

At that point she did the damnedest thing, she talked to me by saying, "Oh thank you, I was so tired that I thought that I would drowned."

"Do turtles drown?" I asked unknowingly.

She laughed and replied, "Of course, any creature can drown given the right circumstances."

So there I was, talking to a tortoise of all things.

Ms. Shellah De-Lay and I chatted for some time about a whole range of nature topics, none of which I knew much about. And I must say that she is very informed for someone who spends much of her time in a shell.

After a while we said our goodbyes, and as we did so she asked, "Do you really believe that you are talking to a talking tortoise?"

The question surprised me so much that I woke up and found that I had fallen asleep on the bench; there was no talking tortoise.



As I walked home, laughing to myself about the silly tortoise dream, a question arose that I just had to ask, "If I knew nothing about turtles before I fell asleep, then how did I know more about them after I woke up?"



D. Thurmond / JEF  ---  01-26-2017

© Copyright 2018 D. Thurmond, aka, JEF. All rights reserved.

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