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Walking Fred

By Richie Ann Ashcraft

I have some pet regret when it comes to Fred. Don't ge me wrong, I love him as much as one can love a turtle I guess or else I wouldn't feed him. But, a turtle is a hard pet to love and if it weren't for me Fred II would be dead.

Nobody cares about Fred anymore. All he does is bury down in his tank, sleep, and occasionally he comes out to eat then quickly retreats underground. You can't even see him. It looks like an empty tank.

A really big empty tank because Fred's house is a turtle mega-mansion that sits on a wooden base. It's a rather large piece of furniture in my living room. And, I'm over that too. Sorry Fred, your tank is ruining my fung shui.

I feel bad that this is Fred's life. And the more I think about it, the more I realize that turtles should not be pets. There's no point in it. But, I also don't give pets away so we're in for the long haul which could be a very, very long time. So, I decided that Fred deserves the best kind of life we can give him and took him outside for a walk.

I remember getting off this bus in Cairo and trying to cross Tahrir Square. It was terrifying and exhilerating and somewhere along the way I remember thinking that this was the way to really get out and experience the world.

So I've been setting Fred in the grass every night hoping he would find an exhilerating experience, his Tahrir Square if you will.

He closes up in his shell. I sit on the porch and watch him. His feet won't touch the grass. He won't taste the mint. He won't experience the world.

Damn it Fred! I'm trying to give you a good life here. Walk Fred. WALK!!!

Guess I'll keep trying.

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