Company For A Day: A Turtle Valentines Day Story


Once upon a time, Frankie was feeling a bit lonely. She wasn’t the alone kind of lonely, mind you: the humans certainly doted on her, and the dogbeast was interesting conversation once in a while. It was the kind of lonely where Frankie wanted another turtle to spend time with. She wanted to enjoy the company of another, and have a nice day with them.

So, in the way only turtles who aren’t being watched know how to do, Frankie left her cozy little tank and set off to find a special someone to spend the day with. 

She walked… and walked… and walked…

She came to a yard where a very large tortoise had been let out to graze. It was a sulcata tortoise, with a large sandy-colored shell rising high above the grass, powerful legs covered in thick scales hauling its body along, and a worn, wizened face.

“Excuse me, Mr. Sulcata Tortoise?” Frankie said, craning her neck as high as she could to address the much larger reptile. “It feels like today is the kind of day where a turtle should spend a nice day with another turtle, wouldn’t you agree?”

“Perhaps…” the Sulcata Tortoise mused, its worn head bending down to talk to the little three-toed box turtle.

“Then would you mind if I spent some time with you today?” she asked.

“If you wish,” replied the tortoise.

At first Frankie was happy. She was used to spending time with creatures larger than herself, but she rarely saw a reptile as big as the Sulcata Tortoise. As time went on, however, it was clear that the tortoise often forgot Frankie was there. It was no fault of his own, of course: larger things tend to forget smaller things unless they’re right in front of them. Not to mention this particular tortoise seemed very old, and memory could be a tricky thing with age.

Frankie thought maybe this wasn’t the reptile that she should spend time with today. She managed to get the Sulcata Tortoise’s attention once more, thanked him for his time, and set off once more.

She walked… and walked… and walked…

She came upon a gentle creek bubbling through the woods. The ground was soft and wet, and smelled of dead leaves and plants Frankie hasn’t seen in a while. On a log stretching over the stream, laid out in a relaxed pose, was a painted turtle. He was sleek and streamlined with a smooth, black shell (very chic). His legs were lines with a bright yellow, and a brilliant red spot marked each side of his head. He was a very nice looking turtle, all things considered.

“Excuse me, Mr. Painted Turtle,” Frankie called out from the bank, “I was wondering if I might spend some time with you today!”

The turtle perked right up. “Why of course!” he replied with great enthusiasm. “Come on up on this log and bask a while!”

Frankie smiled a little turtle smile and clambered up to the top of the log next to the painted turtle. The sun coming down from the treetops did feel very nice, though she might have preferred a nice stable rock to bask on rather than a wet log.

“Right, now for swimming!” the Painted Turtle suddenly exclaimed before launching himself straight into the creek. Frankie looked around for a moment before she saw a little black, red, and yellow head poke itself out of the water.

“Come on in friend, the water is fine!”

Frankie looked down into the water that now looked very dark and very deep. She loved soaking in water, it was true, but swimming was never quite her cup of tea. She was a walking turtle, after all.

“I… I think I might not want to,” she replied, slowly backing up off the log. “I’m not a very good swimmer. More of a soaker, really. I think I might take my leave…”

The Painted Turtle understood, of course. All turtles were different, and not every turtle liked to do what another turtle liked to do, and that was just fine. He bid Frankie farewell, and disappeared beneath the surface of the water.

“Well that was harrowing,” Frankie said to herself. “Where might I find someone to spend time with that will make me feel like I’m having fun?”

So she walked… and walked… and walked…

Frankie eventually found herself in a sandy little prairie. The air there smelled very nice, a spicy sweet kind of smell with all the grassland herbs that were scattered across the area. The ground felt very nice to walk on, very soft for her little turtle feet, especially given how long she’d been walking.

There, she came across a very nice sight: an ornate box turtle. He was covered in little yellow speckles across his shell, like golden stars across a dark night sky. His forelegs were just the right amount of spiky for a turtle, and his eyes were a lovely shade of amber. 

As it happened, he seemed to be trying with all his turtley might to reach a raspberry that was dangling so very tantalizingly close to the ground. As much as the turtle tried to stretch his legs, as much as he craned his neck to try and reach the little raspberry, each snap only grasped empty air. 

“Excuse me, would you like some help?” Frankie asked. She wanted to have some nice fun today but she wasn’t about to abandon a fellow turtle in need.

The Ornate Box Turtle turned and sheepishly pawed the sandy ground. “I… well yes, I suppose…”

He sighed. “Yes, I’d really appreciate your help, Ms…”

“Frankie” she replied.

“Frankie, yes, thank you.”

The Ornate Box Turtle craned his neck back up towards the raspberry bush. “ I’ve been trying for quite some time to reach that really tasty raspberry right there, but I can’t reach. I’ve tried going over to the bottom of the plant to lean it down closer to the ground, but by the time I get back over, the plant is right back to where it was. Plus the plant is so prickly…”

“Why don’t I get the plant to lean down, and you can get the berry off?” Frankie suggested. “There are many raspberry plants by my home, I know how to deal with them.”

And so they set their plan into action. Frankie expertly put her solid turtle weight on the stem of the plant, very careful to avoid the prickles, while the Ornate Box Turtle plucked off not just one raspberry, but several. Once the reachable raspberries were all off the stem, Frankie lifted her weight from the stem, and it returned to its normal height.

“I… got some other raspberries for us, if you want to share,” the Ornate Box Turtle said. “If you want…”

Frankie’s eyes brightened at that. “I would certainly like that.”

She thought for a moment. “You know… I’ve wanted to spend the day having fun with someone. The kind of having fun where both turtles enjoy things. Do you think I could spend the rest of the day with you?”

The Ornate Box Turtle stammered for a moment. “W… why yes, that sounds lovely! I’ve been the only turtle in this prairie for a long time, it would be great to have some company!”

And so, they had themselves a lovely dinner of sweet, sun-warmed raspberries. When they were full, they walked to a little bare patch in the middle of a patch of sweet fern and dug some nice cozy little holes to cool off in. When they were a little too cool, they went to a rock and sat side by side as the sun warmed and invigorated the both of them. When the sun got a little lower in the sky, the two had a dinner of earthworms, giggling to each other as they slurped them down one by one. Finally, as the sun dipped, the two turtles simply sat by each other, enjoying the company and fun they’d had.

The Ornate Box Turtle and Frankie both smiled at each other. It had been a very nice day, for both of them.

LIKE THI POST IF YOU THINK @turtlessuggest should write an all turtle-y awesome book of tortle stories?!  WE DO!