Platinum Tortoise Club
- Nov 13, 2016
- Location (City and/or State)
Hello tortoise friends.
Only a few days and we celebrate Christmas.
I had the idea to write for you a little Tortoise / Christmas related story, give it to you as a little gift and dedicate it to TFO. Thanks for this wonderful place and forum.
I hope you enjoy my little story. But most of all I want for all people peace, health and freedom. This is my wish for you.
and here is the little story:
The Christmas Tortoise
written by Sabine Lebensieg, December 2018
"I want a new pet for Christmas!" the young boy yelled out loud.
His father shook his head, wearily. "No, please, no living animal."
"But I want a new pet! A new pet! I want it so much!!!!! " screamed the boy, stomping his right foot on the floor with tears welling up in his eyes. Tears of rage.
"Okay, okay, I'll get you a new pet," said his father who just wanted a quiet life.
The family was very rich and the boy was an only child. His father couldn't say no whenever his son wanted anything. Even though he hated animals. He hated all animals. The noise they made and the smell. The space they took up in his nice house. Terrible! Luckily, the father knew from experience that his son would very quickly lose interest in a new pet and the animal would be given way or die.........
The last pet had been a guinea pig. Only three days after the purchase, the poor animal lay stiff and dead in his cage. Starved and dehydrated. The little boy hadn't shed a tear over the dead pet. He had been far more interested in the new toy car he'd received to replace the pet.
A few hours later, the father and his little son drove to a small pet shop. It was early on Christmas Eve. They entered the shop and the shopkeeper inquired what they were searching for.
"A pet! A new pet!" yelled the little boy again.
"But a pet that doesn't make any noise, doesn't smell, doesn't take up a lot of space and doesn't live very long," added the father quickly.
"Hmmmmm," pondered the shopkeeper. "That isn't easy. I have the perfect pet for you, but they live a very long time. It's a tortoise."
"Yeah, I want a tortoise. They are cool. They have a hard shell. I can play with a tortoise and my cars. Driving around together," said the boy.
" But tortoises don't want to be played with," said the shopkeeper and he shook his head.
"We'll take the tortoise," the father said.
"Okay..........." said the shopkeeper reluctantly, but a sale was a sale and he's spent so much on Christmas.
A few minutes later, the father and his son were driving home with a Hermann's tortoise in a box and the box stuck in a plastic carrier bag. When the father's big Bentley approached the huge, iron security entrance gate to the driveway, the little boy saw his grandmother and grandfather waiting inside the gate. As the gate swung slowly open the boy jumped out of his father's car and taking no care of or notice of the box and the bag with the tortoise inside, which fell unnoticed into the snow , he ran excitedly to greet his grandparents who always gave him lots of nice presents. The Bentley drove on into the property and the big iron gate closed behind it. In the snow on the pavement lay the box in the bag with the tortoise in it. The boy had completely forgotten all about it.
A quarter of an hour later, an elderly man walked out of the supermarket for which he worked part-time stocking shelves. He felt the cold winter wind on his face and through the thin coat he wore. I his hand he clutched a bag with some groceries that the supermarket owner had given him as a Christmas gift ; a bottle of wine, half a dozen eggs, bread, butter, a little cheese and a small lettuce. The man carried the bag as if it contained a valuable treasure, which to him it did. He was a poor man. He worked hard at several little jobs to earn enough money to pay the rent on his tiny one room flat. There was never much money left over to buy food or new clothes but the man was content with his life. Five minutes later, on his long walk home, he passed the house of the rich man and his son. The man saw the bag lying in the snow on the pavement and stopped to take a look inside. He saw the small closed box and, overwhelmed with curiosity, he opened it. Just for a moment he was scared as he found himself gazing into the tiny, dark eyes of a small living creature. Then he realized it was a tortoise!
" Well, I'll be darned! What are you doing here in the cold and snow, little 'un?" said the man to the tortoise and the cute little animal made a noise rather like a sneeze in order to make the complaint that he was not at all happy being in this position.
The man looked around. There was nobody else out on the street in this weather. Lights were glowing warmly in the windows of the houses on the street. The people were celebrating Christmas in the warmth of their own homes. Everybody was too busy to think or care about a lonely tortoise.
"I can't leave you here all alone, you would soon die in this cold," said the man to the tiny reptile. So he took the box with the tortoise and put it safely under his coat. When he was a young boy, many, many years ago, he had owned a pet tortoise whom he had called,"Buddy". He had loved Buddy very much. But one day, a stray dog had got into the backyard where Buddy lived and killed him.
The boy never wanted a new tortoise and had never got another one but now it seemed that a new tortoise had got him.
With a last look around, the old man continued on his way home. He hurried as he felt that the little animal was getting too cold under his thin coat.
Once home, he placed the box with the tortoise under his old wood stove and quickly lit a warm fire. When he opened the box he saw that the tortoise was looking up at him once again. The man took the tortoise in his big, wrinkled hand and smiled warmly down at the little creature. "I think I will name you "Buddy". I need a buddy and you do too! Will you be my Buddy?" The tortoise stretched her head and neck as if she wanted to say, "I agree."
"And a Buddy needs a home, let's see what we can find." The man found big cardboard box full of old shoes which he emptied onto the floor. "You will need something to make you comfortable in your new home," said the man. He searched again in his wardrobe and came back with a cozy pair of pyjamas. He put them in the cardboard box and placed the tortoise on top.
"Wait, you must be hungry and thisty, my friend." The man took the lettuce out of his bag and washed a few of the green outer leaves very carefully under fresh tap water. The he laid the lettuce leaves in front of the tortoise and watched the small animal. The tortoise cautiously smelled the leaves and then immediately took some bites. "Yeah, that's good," whispered the kind old man.
The wood stove crackled and the heat from the fire kept the old man and the tortoise nicely warm.
"Merry Christmas, little Buddy" murmured the man softly and gently touched the head of the eating tortoise.
Buddy stopped eating and stretched his neck for being rubbed there.
That was the beginning of a long lasting and happy friendship between the old man and his tortoise - Buddy.