The determination of a tortoise.

by Larry Chamberlain
(London, England.)

Many long moons ago when my two sons were around four and five, they had a little tortoise friend whom they called Flash.

Flash was a great friend to the two little chaps and I believe it was through Flash's influence that they both have grown up with a healthy respect for all living things.

The little tortoise had the run of our small back garden and, as I was never much of a gardener, there was a plentiful supply of dandelion leaves for Flash. His diet was also supplemented by various salad things as available.

Someone, I forget who, gave my sons an old tricycle. This trike was sturdy, a well constructed machine which could have been made as long ago as the fifties when they still built things to last. It was heavy. It also squeaked. You would think that I'd have oiled that squeak wouldn't you. Well I was as much an enthusiastic handyman as I was an enthusiastic gardener.

But squeak or no squeak the boys enjoyed that trike. You didn't have to see the trike to know that one of them was riding it. You could hear that it was being ridden, squeak, squeak, squeak.

One time when the family was seated eating dinner we all at once became aware of that squeak, squeak, squeak, coming from the garden. The boys were both at the dining table. Who was riding that trike?

A quick investigation revealed who the mystery rider was. Flash had obviously set off along the garden path to sample some dandelion leaves. One of the boys had left that trike on the garden path, right in the way of the tortoise.

Flash had got stuck underneath the rear axle, but did that small matter hinder him in his journey? No way! That sturdy old tricycle weighed many, many times the weight of the tortoise but Flash just kept marching onwards, squeak, squeak, squeak.

Never underestimate the determination of a tortoise.

Hi Uncle Larry,

That's a good story. Instead of The Tortoise and the Hare, it's The Tortoise and the Trike.

I have never ridden on or under a trike. It sounds like fun.

My human said your story reminded her of Toad and Frog and their adventures, except they went really, really fast.

Thank you for sharing such a good story.

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