That Poor Turtle by Donnie Boman




Prose


 


Photo courtesy of the author's sister, Emily Boman-Baker
Photo courtesy of the author’s sister, Emily Boman-Baker

That poor turtle. He was endangered, you know. There were only, like, five of them left in the world. And you ran over him. He had a little house made for him; one different than the home that he carried around with him on his back. It was a cute, little, endangered-species turtle house. It was made to look like it was two stories tall. Why he would need all that room you will never know. It also occurs to you to wonder if the turtle ever went into his home. It seemed kind of pointless, especially since he might not have even known it was for him. He wasn’t forcibly kept in the house. There were no fences for him. He could just roam around. That is the reason you ran over him in the first place.

There was a 10,000 dollar fine on killing Apollo the turtle. You’ll never be able to pay that. You’ll just have to be on the run now. And you’ll forever live with the memory of killing that little endangered turtle.
 

What the turtle felt about his house

I love this beautiful house. I don’t know what I have done to deserve this beautiful house. It is so huge. There are so many things that I can do here. I can have guests over, have dinner parties with them, have a beautiful female stay with me after the charades that the guests will play. All of these things can happen because I own this house. It was just given to me. I woke up one day and here I was in this wonderful abode.

I have never had guests over. I don’t make many friends in this part of the world. But one day they will come. There will be houses all over for my friends, but not as nice as this one. I even have vaulted ceilings.
 

Little turtle story

This is a little story about a little turtle. He was so cute and precious, but he was endangered. He didn’t really live a dangerous life, nor did he really want to be daring and courageous. All he wanted to do was to live as a normal turtle and do what normal turtles do. This couldn’t happen though because he was endangered. There were only a few known members of this species alive. The nice university people that found him one day while surveying some military swampland knew right away that he was special. They would do everything they could to make sure he stayed alive and had more than the normal turtle amenities.

So, they told the scientific community about his existence in the wild and everyone who cared about such things was happy. They took him out of the wild and into their lab for a little while to see what they could see. There was nothing really that special about this turtle except that he was rare. Well, that is pretty special, actually.

The scientists named the turtle Apollo and built him a house so that they could keep track of him. They wanted to take him back outside so that he could be in “the wild,” but they also wanted to make sure he was doing okay. And, if they ever found a little girl turtle, then they could bring her over to his house and they could make some more turtles.

They put his house near the swampland where he was originally found. He seemed to be doing very fine in his new surroundings. Everyone on the military base eventually heard about Apollo and they all loved him. He was the base mascot. They all felt special to have him around because he was so rare and therefore special. He lived a good life on the base and got to see some joggers every now and again. He mainly stayed in his little house or by the little lake that the scientists dug for him. It was a very pleasant atmosphere for Apollo. He was full of love, probably.
 

Statement by a vagabond caught near the base where the body of the turtle was found

I didn’t kill the turtle. It’s a ploy to keep me incarcerated. I am not in league with the white man or the black man. I am not trying to keep anyone down, much less the turtle. That would be very rude of me, and I am not a rude person, man. I am trying to keep it real, you know? I didn’t do it. I don’t know who did it. I didn’t do it, though. I don’t even have a car, so how could I run over the turtle?
 

Statement from photojournalist Dennis Hopper from Apocalypse Now concerning the turtle

What are they gonna say about him? What are they gonna say? That he was a kind turtle? That he was a wise turtle? That he had plans? That he had wisdom? Bullshit, man!
 

What Dennis Hopper would say to the turtle as Frank Booth in Blue Velvet

Frank Booth: Suave! Goddamn, you’re one suave fucking turtle!
 

What you have to say to Dennis Hopper

You killed the turtle didn’t you? You have to endanger the endangered. You have to kill things that you don’t understand. You shouldn’t do that. You shouldn’t have to be like that. What is wrong with you?

I am sorry that you have to be that way, but aren’t you sorry for killing that turtle? You ran over him, didn’t you? Did you do it because you couldn’t have the turtle? Because you hate what the turtle stands for? Because you couldn’t be the turtle? Why? There are no answers, are there? You’re in prison now because you couldn’t stay away from the turtle’s house, isn’t that right? You had to find out if they filled the house with another turtle, didn’t you? You were all heroined-out and just had to wander around that army base like a vagrant because you kept thinking about that poor turtle in your two-week long, drug-induced stupor? You know you smelled really bad? You have the money for the fine and the money to help research Apollo’s species, but can you revive that poor turtle? NO!!
 

Who is Dennis Hopper?

I am Dennis Hopper. You are Dennis Hopper. You are Dennis Hopper.

 
 
Donnie Boman is the Consigliere at Ohio Edit.