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Printed from https://shop.writing.com/main/books/entry_id/754754
by Rhyssa
Rated: 18+ · Book · Writing · #1871894
a place to rest my thoughts
#754754 added June 18, 2012 at 1:36am
Restrictions: None
Turtle
In days of old, when gods walked the earth and called her good, there was a turtle. Now, turtles have been given many gifts—of wisdom and longevity, of strength and protection, and their words can unfold the mysteries of the universe, but no turtle can sing.

This made our turtle very sad, for deep in his soul, he felt the music of the ocean. Oh, how he longed to be a whale or a gull, so that he could cry out the music of his heart, but when he opened his mouth to sing, nothing emerged but a croak and a moan. And so, ashamed and grieved that the songs in his soul would never be shared, the turtle grew silent and withdrawn, shedding silent tears into the ocean, turning it to salt.

Now, it so happened that the great Sea was troubled that her domain had become salt, and called together all her subjects so that she might know the reason. One by one, they came and spoke with her, and last of all came the turtle.

She was tall and beautiful and dressed in all the colors of the sea, and her skin was foam and her hair was the sunset and her eyes held the power of the storm. “My turtle, the sea is turning to teardrops, and I am puzzled, for I thought all of my people were happy. Do you, who were given to know the mysteries of the universe, know why?”

The turtle spoke, and his voice grated on the ear. “Majesty, I am grateful for all that you have given me. My shell is strong and I may swim long distances. I know much, and will have a long and peaceful life. I have no right to be sorrowful, and yet I am, for I know there is music within the confines of my heart that I will never be able to share, for I cannot sing.”

The Sea tried to comfort the turtle. “My turtle, I know the songs of your soul, for every day they sing without voice and without words and my soul is glad. Therefore, be content.”

“My heart leaps to know that you know the contents of my soul, but I cannot be content. The whale can sing, and the dolphin squeaks a cheerful melody. Even the gull is blessed with a constant call. And yet, I cannot sing.”

“You have been given many gifts. The whale must wend his way through treacherous currents without a shell to protect him. The dolphin laughs his way through life without your dignity and wisdom. Your life will far outstrip the lives of a hundred generations of gulls. Therefore be content.”

“And yet, I cannot sing.”

“Do not ask this thing of me.” The Sea wept for she knew the future and grieved for her turtle. “I cannot give you a voice to sing. That gift is given. But the song of your heart could be heard by the world.”

The turtle’s eyes dried and he pled, “I beg you, please let me share. I think the world would be the greater for my song.”

“It will mean your life, and the lives of many of your kindred.”

But the turtle was certain.

And so, the Sea breathed in, and the turtle died. With reverent hands, she hollowed out his shell and strung it with seven hairs from her own head to make a lyre. And then she played, and the whole ocean heard the turtle’s song.

And while the world was greater for it, since that time, many turtles have died for the sake of their shells.

© Copyright 2012 Rhyssa (UN: sadilou at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
Rhyssa has granted Writing.Com, its affiliates and its syndicates non-exclusive rights to display this work.
Printed from https://shop.writing.com/main/books/entry_id/754754