A Tortoise Named Allowishous

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

There is danger in the desert after the ROAD was put in. An ever present danger to anything crossing it.

Submitted: September 04, 2018

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Submitted: September 04, 2018




The fingers of the morning sun slid between the mountain peaks and clawed at the valley below.

In the shadows of the cracks and crevasses, things began to move.

A Red-tailed Hawk stretched each wing and then began preening its feathers. Apparently flight was not an immediate thought.

And that was a good thing for a rather large and somewhat plump Horn-Toad. For at that very moment it just happened to scurry from beneath the sand to snatch some sort of flying bug that had just landed on a blue and white desert flower.

The Horn-Toad swallowed, blinked twice, chomped, and then swallowed again. --- Ah, success!

High in the sky a mother Buzzard is already at work teaching her offspring the fine art of soaring. They are doing well at mastering the up-drafts, but not so well with the ones that go down.

And then there is the Tortoise, I believe his name is Allowishous, but they call him Al.

This area belongs to Al, given that there is no other Tortoises residing here. Well, none that anyone knows about. And that is just fine with Al because sharing is not his thing. 

But it wasn't always like that; I'm referring to this as being a one Tortoise wonderland. No, once there were hundreds of Tortoise in this area, but that was before the road was put in place.

You see, years ago some people decided that they needed a paved road from somewhere to somewhere else. And in order to do that the road would have to be laid right through this desert valley. Yep, right down the middle she went.

And the fact is, with just about everything humans do in natural landscapes, death follows; and so it was with the road.

All sorts of critters were killed on that road by fast moving vehicles and drivers not prepared to stop.

It would have been a case of wasted life if it weren't for the fact that the Buzzards, and other critters, benefited from the easy meals. 

But I am getting off track so let's get back to the Tortoises.

Tortoises may be slow moving, but you would be surprised how quickly they get around. So it was for sure that every day there was at least one Tortoise crossing that road in pursuit of better grazing areas.

For the most part and for some reason people seemed to see the Tortoises when they were on that blacktopped road; so very few were killed by speeding vehicles.

Many of the people that saw the Tortoises would stop to get a better look. Then, for some reason, they would put them in their vehicles and drive away.

But Al didn't get taken away, no, he stayed away from that nasty old road.

"Didn't you, Al?"

Al does his grazing where the grazing is good; at this miner's camp where fresh fruit and leftover salads are readily available.



D. Thurmond / JEF


© Copyright 2019 D. Thurmond, aka, JEF. All rights reserved.

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