This story is about two reptiles given to me a few months ago, on my birthday. Initially, I thought it was a gift, but now I believe it was more like a death sentence, an accidental one. Let me tell you why, but first, let’s talk about reptiles.
Reptiles are those little cold-blooded fellas that live among us, either as prisoners in their own little cages eating our food or in the wild, eating their food or whatever comes in their way. Some people love them, some hate them, and I know a couple of guys who throw up at the sight of a tiny gecko on the wall. Some people believe there are human-like species living underground, preparing to take over the world, or maybe they’ll rise to protect us from a gang of evil ninjas, but I digress…
Turtles are also reptiles, with their cute little shells and tiny paws to the side, stealing our hearts with their acrobatic maneuvers and adorable faces. I have two of those little jerks at home, watching my every move. I see them sticking their faces out of the water, following me with their bubbling eyes, and then they hide in the bushes every time I stand up from my computer.
I think they’re planning my murder if the opportunity arises.
I care about them but don’t care enough to give them names. I feed them, clean their cage… I mean, their protected and cozy habitat, and I even watched many videos on YouTube on how to take care of them, but still, they seem to hate me.
I feed them three times a day. I’ve chosen fish sticks for turtles because they are conveniently stored on a self-sealing package, and it also says “premium” on the side. I don’t know if this is true, but they like them. When the time comes, those fellas swim to the front of the aquarium and make this funny dance from side to side. I almost hear them singing, “Hey, big dum-dumb, bring your fingers in here so we can show you a magic trick.”
For the next part, I need you to imagine this in a slow-motion camera.
I get close to the aquarium and present my fish sticks for baby turtles package as a tribute. These guys swim violently, trying to stay afloat. I take some food out and let it fall into the aquarium, careful not to hit them in the eye. The sticks gloriously fall into the water, splashing micro-droplets of water my eyes can’t see, but they’re there, and I have faith in them. The little bastards get to the sticks and rip them apart, one after the other, like the beast they are. No stick survives; it’s carnage. Then, everything stops, and the feast is over.
You can return to a regular camera now.
When their bellies are full, they retreat to the bushes to hide and plan the prison break.
I tried to talk to them, tell them I’m a cool guy, and my intentions are pure, but they won’t listen. In their defense, if I was trapped and forced to live in an aquarium for the rest of my life, I would be as angry as they are.
The other day, I thought that the mirror effect on the aquarium walls might be messing with their little brains. I say this because sometimes they swim and swim against the aquarium wall, but the stupid thing won’t notice that there’s glass in front of it, so it’s the end of the road. I had a dream once; I tried to run but got nowhere, no matter how fast I moved my legs. Those kinds of things mess you up, for sure.
I was thinking this morning that maybe I can outlive those little fellas, but some articles online said these kinds of turtles can live for up to fifty years, and given my current age and stress level, they will outlive me.
This may be for the better. I just need to hold on. I need to survive. I’ll write my will so I’ll pass the problem on to my brother when I die. God bless his soul.