Sunday, May 29, 2016

slow escape

We had a pet turtle when I was a child. I don't remember his arrival nor really his departure. Easy come, easy go, like a cowboy in an old western. I can see him climbing out of the tepid water of his shallow bowl, to perch on a flat stone. And I can still see the blinking eyes and tiny yellow striped head and feet. And the patterned shell. And feel the scratchy feet. Tiny, tiny feet with teeny tiny toe nails. He fit so neatly on our hot little palms. And he didn't seem to mind being gripped by the shell and suspended over vast nothingness while he peddled and paddled the air.
He loved to explore. Well, we thought it was exploring when he launched off across the lino and disappeared under the great squat armchair but it may have been a slow escape. Head for the hills!! Keep heading, keep heading....
I don't remember his eventual, inevitable disappearance. Wanted Dead or Alive. It can't have been too traumatic. But i do clearly remember, when we were packing up for our big move to the city, and the World Book Encyclopedia were boxed up, and the shelf lifted and born off to the moving truck, the amazement at finding a turtle shell.
It seemed no one was home, no little occupant.
Just a shell.

'Oh bury me not, on the lone prair-ie.......'
 A lone tumble weed rolls by.

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