BE THE SMALLER TORTOISE


BE THE SMALLER TORTOISE

 

Miss Zheng kept two tortoises as pets at home when she was a middle school student. One was a lot bigger than the other. The two creatures, cute and lively, brought loads of joy to her life. She fed them on fresh meat on a regular basis, and in time the two creatures seemed to be able to recognise her.

 

When feeding was going on, Miss Zheng was sometimes sad to find that the bigger tortoise bullied the smaller one. He often pushed the smaller one aside so that he could have the meal to himself. When it happened, Miss Zheng made sure that the smaller pet could have some meat to eat.

 

One day when Miss Zheng went to check on the pets, she found that the smaller one was missing. She was worried. She, as well as her mother, searched the house thoroughly for the pet. To their chagrin, the creature was nowhere to be found. Miss Zheng reckoned that the bigger tortoise might have swallowed the smaller brother.

 

When winter came one year, the bigger tortoise went into hibernation in the aquarium. Throughout the winter months, though, the smaller tortoise was on Miss Zheng’s mind.

 

When spring returned and the temperature was up, Miss Zheng added some water to the aquarium. To her sorrow, the bigger pet did not come back to life. Instead, it floated on the water, the white belly up, dead. Mrs Zheng told the daughter that the creature might have died from dehydration or hypothermia.

 

That year when summer was upon the family, Miss Zheng noticed something stirring in a corner of the room where the shades touched the floor. She went over and found that it was the smaller tortoise. It was still alive! Amazing.

 

Miss Zheng put the creature back into the aquarium and looked after him very well indeed. However, after some weeks, the creature went missing again.

 

This time Miss Zheng did not bother to look for the pet. Anyway, being free would enable the creature to grow independently.

 

The two creatures’ fates enlightened Miss Zheng. Being well fed in the aquarium did not help the bigger tortoise survive. Independence saw the smaller one exploring the world on his own.

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