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The Adventures of Clyde the Tortoise

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This could be good or bad.

Clyde takes a chance and climbs out from under the book castle constructed in the wee hours of the night, after The Kind One had gone to bed. He likes that one. Her hands are quick and her movements are efficient, even if she’s much more sparing with food. But The Handsy One doesn’t give Clyde quite enough lettuce to make up for, say, the drum solo performed with pens on Clyde’s shell.

The floor is clear of obstruction this way, and Clyde knows better than to investigate that. That is always a trap. He starts to back into the pile of books but The Handsy One swoops in, plucking Clyde from the floor and settling him with a thunk on the countertop.

He has a big face, Clyde thinks as said face is brought level to his own. A big nose. Biteable.

“There’s nothing at all wrong with your eyes,” The Handsy One informs him petulantly. Clyde has to wonder why he thinks there was.

Plucked from the countertop and swooping through the air again; Clyde’s stomach is as durable as a tank, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t get queasy.

“Watson! There’s nothing wrong with Clyde’s eyes!”

Yes, we heard you the first time, Clyde thinks, and waggles his legs more for something to do than any sort of cry for help. Still, The Kind One must have interpreted it that way, because she snatches him from The Handsy One and places him gently on the floor, within sight of the sort of open-air terrarium The Handsy One has been constructing much more slowly than paper-lined drawers, book mazes, or Meet the Bees tortoise suits.

Clyde did not enjoy meeting the bees.

“While I’m glad to know that, that was only an example,” The Kind One says, and her voice is rough. Still early morning then. She keeps more regular hours than The Handsy One. “You should still take him to the vet, make sure he’s healthy—”

“Tortoises in the wild don’t get medicine when they have parasites; they fight through it and are consequently stronger for it.”

“Tortoises that are bred as pets aren’t made to fight through parasitical infections, Sherlock. And that, again, is only one of many things—”

“He’s energetic, he eats well, and his eyes are clear. No reason to be paranoid! Let’s not be helicopter tortoise parents.”

Clyde has to agree with that.

“And the occasional treat is not going to hurt him,” The Handsy One continues, and then there is a strawberry in front of Clyde’s nose. A beautiful, red, richly-scented strawberry. Clyde likes The Handsy One a lot more all of a sudden.