General Fiction posted October 17, 2011

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Thaddeus Turtle

by livelylinda

Thaddeus Turtle Journal Entry 08/02/08

Hello! My name is Thaddeus and today I begin writing in my new journal. This journal will detail my daily life of basic survival and always looking to find where the grass is greener. . .not unlike you folks who will read about these adventures.

I decided to take a brisk walk this morning. I had been informed by my neighbor and friend, Otto, a know-it-all otter, that exercise is good for ones heart. Otto is an avid reader and shares news with those of us who tend to be more interested in nature than science. He often bores me with lengthy details, but, he is cute and is always up for having fun. If I'm having a gloomy day, Otto is sure to bring my spirits back up and put a smile on my face. He is always the one who organizes our neighborhood water play days at the pond. I am actually lucky to have such a good friend.

My walk was brisk as I crossed the clearing to the pond. There were enough long grasses in the clearing that I could easily hide except from short enemies like snakes or large lizards. It is a scary situation coming face to face with these creatures! Only my advanced size has saved me from these face-offs. But, crossing the clearing today was uneventful.

I swam across the pond to the other side. It was a joyous swim! I always feel so free and at peace with my world while I'm in the water. My pond is usually free of alligators; but, if one should wander in, my pond friends warn me and let me know where it is sunning itself, sleeping or lurking about.

As soon as I was on dry land again, I stopped to check my heart rate; a recommendation from Otto. I waved to him as he was cavorting downstream, then I nibbled on some young grass shoots that I discovered under an old banyon tree. Need to keep nutrients going into my body while I exercise. After relieving myself, I headed into the thick jungle of sawgrass; a dangerous place where snakes, a lost alligator or two, occasionally a Florida Black Panther or wild boar and other of nature's hungry beasts, would find me to be a tasty treat. . .the angst of being near the bottom of the food chain! I decided that a jogging gait was appropriate here. Maybe my dexterity, size and swiftness would surprise the potential enemies so much that they would forget to make me their lunch!

After about an hour of jogging, I arrived at what humans call a road. But, in my neighborhood, it is known as The Great Wide Way. It has many perils to consider before you cross it. But, the grass over there is always greener and tastier than what is in my immediate neighborhood. So, according to just how lucky I am feeling on any given day, determines whether or not I cross The Great Wide Way. Today, I am feeling strong, lucky and athletic. Crossing today is a "Go".

But, I must remember that by noon, The Way has sticky, black, foul smelling goo, quite hot to the touch, which sticks to my flippers. I spend what seems
like an eternity scraping this off every night after crosssing this road. And, then my poor flippers are tender for several days, eased only by floating in my cool, spring fed pond. But, then I have to listen to Otto's boring lectures. . .maybe I will invent "flipper slippers" for protection.

Once you reach about the middle of The Great Wide Way, you find yourself particularly vulnerable to attack by vultures. Vultures in my neighborhood are as big as humans with eight feet wide wingspans. They kill you and eat you immediately or grab you in their talons and fly off with you. Of course, my excessive girth gives the vultures a moment of hesitation before attempting to lift me! I am quite proud of my rotund size.

The worst threat of The Great Wide Way, however, are the large, smelly monsters that race down it. At nighttime, they have great shiny eyes. I believe that they must be the fire-breathing dragons of mythology because I have seen them during the day, sitting at the side of the road with their mouths open and steam shooting out of them. I have also witnessed humans fixing their apparent broken legs. I believe that humans must be their slaves as I often see them tending to those monsters. . .

Now I ponder; is it worth the risk to trek across The Great Wide Way, with all of its dangers? Yes, I say, with bloated confidence. A no risk life is a terribly boring life and if you don't try, you never get anywhere and will never know if you could have. I take a deep breath and leap out onto The Great Wide Way.

08/09/08 Otto otter makes a note.

Hi ya'll, I'm Otto. You probably heard about me from Thaddeus because I'm his best friend and all. Just to let you know. . .Thaddeus successfully crossed The Great Wide Way yesterday and on his travels over on that side of the world, he met a fine female specimen named Thelma. He left early this morning to help her pack and is bringing her home with him later today. Look forward to meeting the little filly. Thaddeus will continue writing about his adventures in a few days once he has acclimated his woman to her new surroundings. He deserves a fine mate. Well, back to the pond and splishin' and splashin'.



"Thaddeus Turtle" is written from the turtle's point of view. Thaddeus is telling this story and he is a real turtle. I met him in and around the woods near where my daughter lives between Crystal River and Dunnellon, Florida.
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