Turtles hide elation well.
It’s difficult to blame the shell
Because their turtle toes go pink
When they’re delighted, but you’d think
A turtle’s normal state was sad
Or neutral, when, in fact, it’s glad.
So, why the lack of rosa toes?
Well, herpetologists suppose
The secret is the tiny shoes
Chelonians (that’s turtles) use
To keep their neon glee from leaking.
Turtles don’t like people peeking,
Prodding them to please emote;
A ‘possum or a fainting goat
Might opt to drop and just play dead,
But turtles hide their toes instead
In slippers sewn of bone and leather
(Bone pegs hold the soles together)
Which they buy from cobblemice
Who make them in exchange for rice
And confidential conversation:
Rodents know chelonielation.
Turtles don’t associate
With Kismet, or believe in Fate
Or Destiny; it won’t occur
To turtles that the way things were
Was ever not in their control.
That’s not the way that turtles roll.
Perhaps the fact of being home
No matter where your feet may roam
Supports a turtle-centric view:
You’re still; the world turns on you.
That’s why they embrace supinity
Walking, unflipped, on infinity.
Turtle mamas don’t do nurture.
One’ll scoop a hole and perch her
Bottom on the edge and squirt
Her babies in. They don’t get hurt
Because their eggs are squishy and
They’re falling into softish sand,
But Mama wouldn’t know because
She up and splits, is what she does.
She’ll plop a hundred eggs or so
And then, with no goodbye, she’ll go.
The babies lie there in a pit
With just some sand thrown over it
While Mama hauls her lazy carcass
Back to sea, so we, we park us
In a seat beside the pit
And chaperone all over it:
You gulls and varmints, move along!
Think supper’s under here? You’re wrong!
For days and days we’ll bravely toil
In our beach chairs till the “boil,”
Which is when the turtlets hatch
And up from underground they scratch
And claw their teeny, greeny way
Into our hungry world. Yay!
That ain’t just chaperones you’re hearing:
Gulls and varmints, too, are cheering.
Turtle pups is easy pickin’s!
(Tasty, too, like tiny chickens.)
That’s how come you’ll hear us cry,
Chaperones, assemble! Why,
Without our help, those loggerheads
Might perish inches from their beds
And never know the salty joys
Of also ditching girls and boys
Someday upon that very beach!
(That’s something mama turtles teach
Their babies by example: When
They’re not there, they’re still there. How Zen.)
They’ll live to leave their kids alone
Because we’re here to chaperone.
It’s tough to tell when turtles cry.
(They’re often underwater’s why.)
The carapace upon its back
Protects the turtle from attack.
Its armored underbelly, too,
Inoculates it from the flu.
That greenish, scaly skin it wears?
Anathema to grizzly bears.
The turtle’s tiny, pointy tail
Is where it stores its draft email
To keep it safe from Wikileaks.
If safety smells, the turtle reeks!
So, why so reckless with its eggs?
It dumps them on the beach and legs
It to the ocean: Later, quinks!
(Not the tortoise, though. It sinks.)
Turtles and tortoises
They’re the same
But they’re not
And one sinks
Turtles never cheer
Even if they’re overjoyed
Crickets get bad raps