Wednesday December 12th, 2012

The exercise:

Write a little something about: the turtle.

Have an idea for this year's countdown to Christmas running around in my head. Not sure if it's workable yet, but I think it has promise.

Went for coffee with Max this morning, leaving Kat some peace and quiet to attend her online class at home. I enjoyed my coffee while getting some writing done, and Max enjoyed... sleeping through pretty much the whole thing.

I am not complaining.

Mine:

Terry the turtle was not like the other turtles who lived in his pond. All of his friends loved the warmth of summer and hid from winter's icy grasp.

Not Terry, though. He found the heat of July and August very uncomfortable. Sweat would collect under his shell, his sensitive skin would burn. It was, in his opinion, a very unpleasant time of year.

Winter, on the other hand, was much more his style. It was cool, quiet, and he had a real talent for making snowturtles. Snowmen, sadly, were beyond his abilities (it was a height thing... mostly).

Plus, winter was home to his favorite holiday of all: Christmas.

Terry had a lovely, deep voice and he liked nothing better than to wander through the nearby woods while singing carols with the deer and birds who lived there. His duets with Charlie the chickadee were always a smash hit.

He did miss his friends though, and he wished he could share the holiday season with them. But he understood that he couldn't change their opinions of the cold and snow.

Until, that is, the Christmas day he decided to do just that.

8 comments:

Greg said...

You're getting Max started on the coffee from an early age then? Or just getting him into the coffee-house vibe? :)
Hmm, well, I completely agree with Terry's opinion of the seasons. I also rather like the image of the turtle carolling duets in the woods with other animals and missing his friends. I can see that Max is going to be growing up with a set of stories written especially for him!

The turtle
"George? The police are here to see you."
"Alre–? I mean, what you do mean, Mabel? The police?"
"A burly gentleman with a Poirot-moustache, a badge and the demeanour of a testy badger would like to talk to you, George. Oh, hang on... ah, he says it's a Clouseau moustache."
"Well, have they said why they want to see me?"
"Why is the door to your office, locked? And no, he hasn't said and I didn't feel it was my place to ask."
"Damnit Mabel, you're my secretary! Find out!"
"Is Miss Manners not at home today, George? Please hold...."
"Sorry Mabel."
"The policeman asserts that he is here because you were throwing turtles off a bridge this morning, George."
"Returning them to the wild!"
"A motorway bridge, George. The policeman is going to break your door down now. Oh! He's put a– Oh! There's a turtle on my desk!"

morganna said...

Timid and shy
Underground living
Racing she does not
Torpid and slow
Little turtle loves
Eggplant and lettuce.

Marc said...

Greg - ah yes, I should hope that I manage to write a few stories for the little guy along the way. Seems silly not to, really :)

The moustache clarification cracked me up :D

Morganna - eggplant? Really? Huh, we'd definitely have a use for all our extra eggplants if we decide to get me... er, Max a pet turtle.

Aholiab said...

Left-front.
Right-rear.
Right-front.
Left-rear.
Pause.
Sniff the air.
Bite a blade of grass.
Left-front.
Right-rear.
What’s that sound? I’ve heard it before. Feet pounding. Voices shouting.
Legs in. Head in. Tail in.
Jostled. Lifted. Carried. Bumped on the ground.
Receding noises. Feet pounding. Voices fading.
Tail out. Head out. Legs out.
Left-front.
Right-rear...

“Mom, is breakfast ready? We’re supposed to be at school early this morning!”

“Almost. Go wash your hands. Tell your father that his coffee is ready.”

“Dad! Coffee’s ready!”

“Ok, I’m coming. How was Methuselah this morning?”

“He was almost halfway across the field! Most days he never gets that far. We put him back at the fence though.”

“All right, finish washing.”

“They sure love harassing that turtle. I wonder how old it is.”

“I don’t know but sometimes I wish they’d just leave it alone. Here’s your coffee.”

“Thanks. I’ll drink it in the car.”

“How’s the project coming?”

“I made a lot of progress yesterday, but Larry called this morning and said they met with the client. Seems like he completely changed the specs on everything. Looks like we’re back to square one. Again.”

Marc said...

Aholiab - very subtle, I like it :)

Poor turtle though!

writebite said...

better late than never...

The Turtle

We went along to the turtle rookery with great expectations of seeing hatchlings burst through their sand enclosures after months of incubation and race, albeit in slow, turtle fashion, to the sea from which their mothers had emerged to lay their eggs as they do every season, repeating an ancient script.
Alas, it was too late in the season. There were none left.
We had to content ourselves with a video presentation instead. The little one was disappointed but, what can you do? Nothing. Nature could not be forced to fulfil a whim.

I returned home to the seemingly endless job of packing up the house. How many moves was it, now? I’d lost count. No matter, it was just my way.
I removed delicate it ems from their glass enclosure and wrapped each piece in bubble-wrap ready for storage and transport to their new home. There were crystals of all colours, pieces of meteorite (mind-blowing when you think about it), bits of coral washed up on the shore, a sea urchin and some assorted shells he gathered for me after a recent swim. 
And there was the turtle. Actually, two turtles. A mother carrying her baby on her back. They were made of pottery, hand sculpted and glazed yellow and green so many years ago by his then-younger hands when he was in grade school. I recall the day he brought them home. He was so young. He had some talent and some heart. 
It was my gift for Mothers’ Day.
I smiled.

A month or so later it was time to unpack. I eagerly unwrapped each piece and yet again it felt like I was going through my own private Christmas ritual, unwrapping copious amounts of gifts. I placed them in their new crystal cabinet, each wonderful item on proud display, but the centre-piece was the humble turtle pair. 

Along he came, the new little one, just learning to talk (and that’s mind-blowing, too). He pointed to each piece and said “rocks”, “shell” and, finally, “turt-too” in his baby way.
It took me back a few decades, to when they were first made. 

Marc said...

Writebite - indeed, and how turtle-like to boot :D

Absolutely lovely little tale. Warmed my heart reading it, so I thank you for sharing it :)

writebite said...

u r most welcome :)