Toby the Turtle

May 20, 2008
By Emma Sadowski, Commack, NY

“Mom! Mom! Mom! Carly is not allowed to keep her turtle,” I yelled as I ran in from the bus stop, “she is looking for someone to give it too, Please can we take it? Please, Please, Please!”

“Come on, please mom.” Abby and Jake chimed in.

“I don’t know about that one. I’ll have to check with your father,” She replied.
Abby, Jake, and I moped away because we knew that in other words “we’ll discuss it,” means no. We had never had a pet before, (unless three goldfish that died within a week count) and when this opportunity came around we planed on taking full advantage of it. When we heard the “D” word our dreams of having a pet were crushed, at least that’s what we thought. To our surprise our parents agreed to let us take the turtle into our home. Toby was his name; he was an African species with very little personality. The first couple of weeks, he was the best thing that ever happened to us. Toby stayed in my room until the odor got too strong. Then he relocated to the hallway, the hallway would be his permanent residence for the rest of his life. Here he spent his days doing what most turtles do, absolutely nothing. This became our problem. Who wants a pet that sits around and sleeps all day? The only time he was the slightest bit active was when he was outside in the sun. It was Jake’s job to take him out for his “walk” on the front lawn so that he could get some exercise and fresh air.

One hot August afternoon, my brother was fulfilling his duties and brought Toby outside. While watching the turtle mosey around the lawn, Jake decided he needed a bathroom break. (For those who don’t know my brother I should probably add that a bathroom break for him could take a good half hour.) Jake is nine, and he finds it difficult to concentrate on most things never mind the responsibility of watching a turtle move gradually and deliberately around the front lawn. After Jake finished in the bathroom he moved on to cleaning his room, and looking at his baseball cards. By this time the entire family had forgotten about poor Toby. The sun was beginning to set; we did not have much time to find him. We searched and searched, but there was no sign of him anywhere. When the sun had disappeared into the summer sky we turned in for the night. If any other family had lost their pet they would have stayed up all night looking for it, but not the Sadowski family. Toby was the most unexciting pet one could ever have. As sad as it may sound because we did not enjoy being with the lazy old turtle we did not care that he had ran away. The irony of it all is that of course turtles do not run, but perhaps this one did because his feelings for us were reciprocated.

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