The Turtle That Ran Away

October 1, 2008
By Supriya Kapur, Portland, OR

Turtles are faster than you may think. I would know because my turtle ran away. Me and my two siblings Sameer and Neena had wanted a pet for a long time. We had gotten fish before usually they ended up getting flushed down the toilet. After many long debates, finally my parents had agreed to get a pet other than a fish; we had to choose something low maintenance after all three little kids would be taking care of it. This is the story of how my turtle ran away.

We all ran into the pet store eagerly the next day intent on finding the perfect pet. We saw lots of mice, hamsters, snakes, lizards, and all the other small animals that were packed into the tiny store. I was afraid of snakes, lizards, and mice so we didn't get those. My mom said that having a hamster would smell a lot so we weren’t allowed to get that either. My Dad saw a turtle in a box and showed it to us and we all liked it. The lady working at the store let us pick it up and told us all about having a turtle and within an hour we at home admiring our turtle.

All three of us were so excited to have a turtle. He lived in a box near the living room. The box had a bowl of water, and lots of vegetables for him to eat. There wasn’t much we had to do for Greenie (that's what we named him) except feeding him and taking him outside every so often, that way he could get some fresh air. Every day we would fight to hold him and Sameer, Neena and I would all sit around and stare at him when we took him outside. Greenie was obviously green, he was a pretty large turtle, and he seemed to be pretty lazy. He never moved much, just the occasional jog around his box. Having a turtle seemed to be the best thing in the world.

After a couple of days the excitement wore off and it became less fun to hold Greenie and take him outside. One sunny day we took Greenie outside. We left him in the middle of the grass while the three of us ran around and started to play outside. Every five minutes or so we would check on Greenie to make sure he was still there. We ended up playing outside for longer than we thought, and in all the fun we were having we forgot to check on Greenie for a long time. After about thirty minutes we checked on Greenie to see if he was still in the middle of the grass, where we left him. But he was gone when we checked. I started to panic and I yelled for my parent to come help us look for him. We were outside for what seemed like hours until we concluded that he was gone. We went around the neighborhood to see if we could find him but he was small and blended in the grass so there was no hope for finding him.

At first I was sad that we had lost our turtle and wanted to make signs that said missing turtle, but I was too lazy to do that. Every time we entered or left our house we would keep an eye out for Greenie, but we never found him. I was sad but we only had him for a week.

Weeks after we lost him I still thought he would come back, but I was wrong. After that I was too afraid to get another turtle, I thought it might get lost again. I still miss Greenie, and still have hope that maybe, someone nice found him and took care of him. Who knows, maybe he found a great home in the wilderness. But I still wonder, after having read all those story books of how slow a turtle is, how he could have runaway in such a short period of time. So that's the story of when my turtle wondered away. And a word of advice, don't under estimate the speed of a turtle.

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