The Turtle Story

by Brenda Arbeláez

Coahuilan Box TurtleWhen I was four years old, my aunt gave me a turtle. Like a dutiful “Mom” I fed the turtle long green onions and leftovers every day and kept the water dish full. The turtle, a dear member of my family, was free to roam about the house as it pleased.

One day I noticed that the turtle was missing. My mother informed me that she’d given the turtle to neighbors. I don’t recall crying or getting upset. I had suffered a bigger loss with the death of my baby brother and already knew that those hardships were a part of life. Many years later my mother explained that the family had to move, traveling by bus, to another city and she was forced to give the turtle away.

Later, as an adult, I discovered the famous fable of the Tortoise and the Hare. After hearing the story, and recalling my beloved pet turtle from childhood, I believed the turtle’s attitudes resembled my own, and I came to adopt the turtle’s approach to life; take things as they come, do your best every day, be patient, honest and persistent. Empowered with this philosophy, I believe anyone can have a long and rewarding life and it can be surprising how far a person can travel one step at a time.