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After slamming his shell into the glass countless times, the turtle gained freedom. That will teach the pet shop owner to not take eternity to clean the cages. He took in the last view of the largest pet shop in San Francisco before heading towards the back door. The time was correct to obtain more than a solitary life inside a cage. He gazed upon the parakeets squawking on clinging branches and dogs barking in small cages, the smell of dog food and hamster urine, and the cold, smooth floor underneath his paws.
The pet shop is mediocre habitation, but the turtle wanted a better life. As he slowly made his way to the door, he thought of what lied ahead for him. He wondered what kind of place a turtle could have in this world. Finally, he squirmed his way through the doggie door and commenced his journey to find a pond. The pond he envisioned was the key to turtle heaven—he could already feel the spiritual enlightenment.
Out of nowhere, a large, brown beast came charging toward him.
“Ah! I have an owner okay? Hey little Tortuga. I’ll save you from this crazy man,” he exclaimed.
The turtle noticed a man with shaggy blonde hair chasing the Chihuahua while holding a stick that had a loop on the end. Before the turtle could tuck his body into his shell, his place of safety, the Chihuahua had already scooped him up and held him in his mouth. The turtle—now coated in drool-- was too shocked to plead for his return to the ground as the Chihuahua ran, as quickly as a rabbit escaping a hunter, for two more blocks. After what seems to be eternity, the turtle held ransom in the clutches of sharp teeth threatening the turtle’s safety, he placed the turtle gently on the ground.
Through squinted eyes, the turtle managed to gaze upon the large brown Beast, while conflicting with the horrors that may come. The Beast is going to eat me. The Beast is going to eat me… I didn’t even have a chance to reach the pond. Shaking nervously, he was unable to tuck his body into his fortress, his shell. The turtle commanded his brain to tuck his shaking legs and head into his shell, but it was useless. As if his brain and body were disconnected in ways he could not comprehend. After all, this was a natural stimulus that all turtles had hard-wired in their instincts. Convinced that Mother Nature had betrayed him, the turtle, prepared for the end.
“¡Hola! My name is Rico! What is your name?” the Chihuahua asked as he jumped up and down.
“Twinkie,” he replied after swallowing saliva with the melancholy taste of hesitation and the immense quantity of fear.
After a few greetings, Twinkie sensed that the Beast, Rico, no longer a threat, was a vital ally to find a pond. After all, Rico was most likely to know San Francisco more so than Twinkie.
After agreeing upon the thought, Twinkie interrupted Rico’s ramble about the noodles downtown and something about his owner named Carl.
“Do you have a pond?!” Twinkie asked with acing eagerness.
“Why yes, of course! Carl has many fish name Cod that swim in the pond,” he informed with a thick accent, “In fact, He has so many Cod that he do not spent enough time with me…”
As Rico continued with his story, Twinkie was lost in a dream. His neck stuck out as far as the clouds in order to witness the pond he envisioned.
“Come!” Rico shouted behind him. Twinkie, despite his excitement, trudged his way toward Rico’s pond and Twinkie’s paradise.
After about three blocks and two streets, they reached their destination. Rico’s yellow brick house was the first home firmly planted on the corner of Paradise Street. Without further ado, Twinkie dragged his elderly-like body with the tugging hands of his animated soul.
After Rico dismissed himself to play fetch with Carl, Twinkie, baffled by the dream and reality he was confronted with, soaked in the pleasure of the pond enchanted with bliss. The cool, relaxing water sprinkled with emerald lily pads that seemed to replicate until fading into the horizon. The dragonflies buzzed around the pond, gently kissing the algae covered surface. This must be like the environment his ancestor turtles lived in.
After the blazing sun was masked behind the sloping hills, Rico and Twinkie headed towards Rico’s dog house. Rico rolled up his smallest blanket, as a bed for Twinkie, and then Twinkie climbed up to the acme. After a long day, Twinkie was glad to have a pond right next to a shelter. The two companions soundly, slowly fell asleep.
The next morning, Rico asked if Twinkie would care to join him on his morning trip to the market. Twinkie, eager for an adventure, hopped out of bed.
Rico was practically running on his way to the market. “Why are you going so fast?” Twinkie questioned.
“I want to get there as soon as I can.” Rico itched, “The sooner the better.”
“No not really. I think going to places is more important than the place itself. You might as well slow down; otherwise you can pass by life’s greatest blessings.” Twinkie offered.
Rico was silent as he pondered, trying to comprehend exactly what Twinkie was saying. Was he passing by life’s greatest blessings?
On the way back from the market, Rico, for first time in his life, walked slowly back home. Rico considered slowing down; after all, perhaps Twinkie’s point may be accurate.
Years later, Rico and Twinkie continue their companionship. Now, their trips to the market were an opportunity to encounter life’s greatest blessings. Twinkie not only discovered a precious pond, but a loyal friend to share his paradise with.