Greetings, my dearest
poets and storytellers. Today is World Turtle Day, a time “to bring attention to, and increase knowledge of and respect
for, turtles and tortoises, and encourage human action to help them survive and
Go ahead, read that sentence three times fast. I triple-turtle dare you.
haven’t seen a turtle in ages. I used to visit a bale of turtles that lived in
the park where my Piano Man and I had our first date. But we haven’t been there
since the pandemic started. I hope they are doing well, having fun (and many healthy babies).
To celebrate World Turtle Day, I wish to share the beginning of Terry Pratchett’s Equal Rites (the book where I first glimpsed my favorite turtle in the whole wide universe):
“This is a story about magic and where
it goes and perhaps more importantly where it comes from and why, although
it doesn’t pretend to answer all or any of these questions.
It may, however, help to explain why Gandalf never got married and why Merlin was a man. Because this is also a story about sex, although probably not in the athletic, tumbling, count-the-legs-and-divide-by-two sense unless the characters get totally beyond the author’s control. They might.
However, it is primarily a story about
a world. Here it comes now. Watch closely, the special effects are quite
A bass note sounds. It is a deep,
vibrating chord that hints that the brass section may break in at any moment with
a fanfare for the cosmos, because the scene is the blackness of deep space
with a few stars glittering like the dandruff on the shoulders of God.
Then it comes into view overhead,
bigger than the biggest, most unpleasantly armed starcruiser in the
imagination of a three-ring filmmaker: a turtle, ten thousand miles long. It is
Great A’Tuin, one of the rare astrochelonians from a universe where things are less
as they are and more like people imagine them to be, and it carries on its
meteor-pocked shell four giant elephants who bear on their enormous shoulders the
great round wheel of the Discworld.
As the viewpoint swings around, the
whole of the world can be seen by the light of its tiny orbiting sun. There
are continents, archipelagos, seas, deserts, mountain ranges and even a tiny central
ice cap. The inhabitants of this place, it is obvious, won’t have any truck with
global theories. Their world, bounded by an encircling ocean that falls forever
into space in one long waterfall, is as round and flat as a geological pizza, although
without the anchovies.
A world like that, which exists only because the gods enjoy a joke, must be a place where magic can survive. And sex too, of course.”
passage always makes me laugh aloud, so I hope that it brewed at least one
chuckle out of you. If not, then I hope something else makes you smile today.
let us open the Pantry! Share poetry or prose that is old or new,
fiction or nonfiction. Let your contributions be short or longish (if you choose prose, let the word count be 369 words or
One link per participant, por favor. This prompt shall remain open for a
week. Write, share, read, comment... And if you get a chance, help a turtle.
- for our next Weekly Scribblings, our Rosemary will invite us to write about waiting.
The Turtle Moves, by Joanna Johnen
- the title is a quote from Small Gods, by Terry Pratchett.