Once upon a time, in a modest studio apartment within a semi run down neighborhood near the heart of a glamorous beachfront community, a beautiful middle aged single woman looked to the box turtle that had known her since she was a teen for comfort. “I wish you could cuddle with me,” she said, resting her forehead on the glass tank wall, holding her sweater to her lashes to keep the tears from leaking down her cheeks. She felt overworked, underappreciated, and completely alone.
The turtle stared sympathetically at her mother, tilting her head diagonally to signal the irony of her statement. It had been more than a year since their last feline companion passed away and even a reptile that struggles to interpret human behavior could tell the woman was less happy. Cats had been her primary source of affection for most of her life. The turtle tilted her head the opposite direction to ask, “Do you hear what you’re saying?”
Slumpling into her chair, the woman stretched and sighed. “If I had a fairy godmother, I’d ask her to turn you into a handsome prince so we could live happily ever after.” Peeking at the turtle’s reaction, she added, “Don’t take that the wrong way. I’ve loved you just as you are since I was 14… but I need more. It’s just… You’re all I have. You’re perfect as you are… but you’re also not enough.”
The turtle took a few steps towards her before tilting her head down and cocking it to the side diagonally to reflect the cockeyed logic her mother was spouting. They stared each other down in silence for several minutes as the woman lamented the fact she hadn’t yet found a man who’s company she enjoys more than that of her turtle. “Think about what you are saying, ma!” the reptile shouted with her unblinking gaze.
The woman shifted her eyes down and kept them low until another more easily attained source of happiness popped into her head. “Maybe it’s time to get a kitten… a tortoiseshell cat.” A smile crept on her face as the turtle perked up and put one hand on the glass. “Maybe we can all go on walks together someday – be our own version of The Tortoise and the Hare.” The turtle stretched her neck as high as it would go, making the woman giggle at her perceived interest. “Maybe a kitten is all we need to make our life turtley pawsome furever after.”
It wasn’t long before the two of them found a Tortie kitten in need of a home and began building their dream life as a threesome. The more time the woman spent smiling and laughing with her four-legged children, the less she cared about not having a man at her side. She eventually decided to accept that her life might never be like a fairytale and create a faerie like life instead, pledging to document her pets’ amazing tales in a way which would reflect the Disney highs and Grimm lows they experience, hoping to entertain, educate, and inspire the world while creating her own happy ending.
This story was inspired by real life events of the author (shown above) and her love of fairy tales and fables (i.e. Aesop’s Fables, The Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales, and Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories). Rachel Hoyt, a trained sociologist, invites you to submit your pet stories to provide inspiration for future fairy tale and fables while helping her study animal-human relationships.