By Raji Singh
As related by Captain Polly to Raji Singh
As she roamed her perch at the Fiction House, our South American Macaw unabashedly spun this yarn for our guests at our Sunday night dinner. She told of the magnetic draw her Lindian Woods has on creatures of the wild. I’ll eliminate her staccato squawks and whistling squeals to make her whimsy more appealing in printed form.
* * *
Once upon a time…
All the animals in the Lindian Woods bid farewell to Turt. He is giant shelled land-sea creature akin to the turtles and tortoises living on the Galapagos Islands.
Randall, the Forgetful Raccoon inquires,“Where’s he bound?”
Frer Frog says, “Turt’s always taking a trip to search for his tribesmen or tribeswomen.”
“Maybe this time he’ll find them,” Frer’s brother Brer adds excitedly. “Then he can bring them to our Woods. Wouldn’t more like Turt be a wonderful additional to our Woods family?”
Hawk, The Ten Otters, The Toad Sisters, Squirrel, and all the others agree with nods, squeals, and “ribbets”.
After a long journey, Turt comes ashore oceans away from the Lindian Woods – on the continent of Australia. He finds a pond and decides to go for a dip. When he surfaces, he is beak-snout to duck-bill with a platypus. His eyes widen. “What are you?”
“A platypus. What pray tell are you?”
Turt frowns, and thinks. ‘If he doesn’t recognize my kind, then there are no others like me here.’ Turt hides disappointment and says proudly, “I am a Trumpeter.”
“You look like some kind of turtle.”
Turt blows a jazzy rift, and then says. “I am a special kind of turtle, a Trumpeter. Could a common terrapin play such swinging tunes?”
“You got soul, Turt! From where do you hail?”
“Many places far away. I enjoy a special forest, The Lindian Woods, with my friends. Maybe you’ve been there.”
“Alas I do not travel much.” Platypus dips his beak and says sadly. “I’d like to travel as you do, but I suppose I’m destined to spend my life in this pond.”
“You can come with me,” Turt trumpets. “I can sure use some company after my lonely journey. I could show you the right and wrong things to do as a traveler. It would be an adventure you’d remember. Always. We’ll both be the better for it.”
Platypus perks up, “I’m game.”
“Crawl atop my shell. We’ll be off.”
To the ocean they go. Platypus holds tight as Turt catches the fastest ocean currents. They swim past prickly starfish, sweeps of plankton, and silvery, beautiful sights and creatures Platypus could never have imagined.
It is such a glorious trip in the ocean. Platypus wants it to last forever. And in his thoughts and memories for all the rest of his life, it will. Thanks to new friend, Turt.
“I didn’t find my tribes-people,” Turt consoles himself. “But I found a lifelong friend.”
* * *
Captain Polly squawks at Tenille, myself, the children, and the guests at our Sunday night dinner. “Hear ye! Hear ye! Platypus never traveled again. Because she found the best home ever in our Lindian Woods pond.”
Someone at the table pays tribute. “Oyez! Oyez!” We all clink glasses. Captain Polly raises her talon in bird ‘toast.’
(Join me every Sunday night at the Fiction House, your place for short story, lark, whimsy, and merriment. Meet the many residents as I archive their lives and centuries of adventures. You can read of their origins in my novel TALES OF THE FICTION HOUSE. They are completely different stories. My novel is available at Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.)
©2014 Raji Singh