Once upon a time there lived a turtle named Pan. I'll give you a hint, that's me. I'm a sea turtle but more specifically a green turtle or aka chelonia mydas. Ok, just because I'm called a green turtle doesn't mean that I'm completely green. To be honest, my shell is brown and I'm green with black polka dotted spots all over me. My species is endangered and we reside in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Well, I happen to be a 4 to 5 inch infant turtle who lives in a fish tank. How did I end up in this (20 inch by 10 inch by 9 inch) tank? I'll tell you.
It was a hot summer's day in August, the ocean's waves pounded against the sand and retreated back, repeating the 2 steps over and over again. I must say that the ocean is pretty restless, like does it ever get tired? In the sand on Green Turtle Cay (an island in the Bahamas), rather close to the ocean waves, laid 20 eggs. They were small, white, and were all a sphere like shape; so it wouldn't be mistaken for chicken eggs. Among one of those eggs, was me.
You see, a turtle isn't born in something such as a hospital similar to humans. We're born outside of the ocean, on a beach, and we're expected to hatch and wiggle our ways back into the ocean. Our mother abandoned us right after laying our eggs so I've never got to meet her. After coming to this tank, I learnt that many baby turtles don't survive long enough to visit the ocean waters. Some are eaten by animals, foxes perhaps, before they even hatch, others hatch but were unable to make it to the water for other reasons.
Dark grey clouds started rolling in fast. The nearby humans started packing up their beach supplies and getting into their cars. The adults were pulling crying children by the hands; they didn't want to leave. Rain came down slowly as a drizzle, its pace quickened and it became a down pour hitting my egg hard like a cold water gun with rapid fire. Beside me, my brother bounced around, hitting all of us other eggs.
Suddenly a little head popped out from his egg and he squirmed his way through the small opening, making it bigger. He cracked open the egg fully and was gliding through the sand using his flippers, he's my older brother, just saying. Before you knew it, all of us began to hatch too! Well, all of them except for me. I tried my hardest to crack even the tiniest opening in my shell but I couldn't. I just didn't have the energy to. I waited in my egg for my siblings to help me, but they continued onwards, using their flippers to push themselves to reach the water. I heard them shouting in awe, "It's home!" Leaving me behind. I felt forgotten, I lost track of time and I was all alone.
My story may sound sad, but it really isn't. I mean, I am enjoying life as I know it swimming around in this tank for the last 6 months! Being left behind by my brothers and sisters is probably one of the best things that ever happened to me.
It was already September, I was practically a dead egg, unable to hatch. How can a turtle not hatch? I'm alive! Something poked at me, I felt myself lifting up into the air. What was going on? Well, I was being lifted up by a human girl. She's my best friend right now for she saved my life, her name is Fry Pan.
Fry brought me to her house, her dad works as a scientist and helped examine my egg. Soon after, my egg started cracking and they pried me out of that wretched egg shell. I found myself in a dim laboratory, on a steel counter with the lighting focused on me like I'm a super star turtle or something! I strained my eggs, looking around for the ocean, my home. It was no where in sight, I knew I was lost.
These 2 strangers saved my life, if it weren't for them, I would be on the verge of death within my egg back at the beach.
"It appears to be a female and is rather weak," Dr. Pan said. He was as tall as a sky scraper from my point of view. He wore a white lab coat and light blue rubber gloves. His full name is Kurtis Pan, Kurtis with a K. He had glasses and brown hair gelled into an afro that made him look like an evil mad scientist or some next really mad person. But he's a good guy.
"Can we keep it?" Fry tugged on her dad's lab coat, "Pretty please with a cherry on top?" Fry was much shorter than her father, she had brownish orangish hair tied up into 2 pigtails and had emerald green eyes. She wore braces on her teeth with a headgear strapped around her head. She appeared to be around the age of 6.
Dr. Pan replied, "Of course, but we'll need to keep her in here for a few days to make sure she's ok. But it'll be your responsibility to look after her."
Fry jumped in joy, "Of course!" She poked me lightly, "Your name will be Pan! After our last name!" She smiled at me.
I honestly didn’t know what was happening or who these 2 strange people were at that time but all I can say is that I’m really glad they swam into my life. Everything happens for a reason. And sometimes that reason is physics, or so.
Back to present day. I'm happily swimming around in my tank; I don't mind being a pet turtle, at least I have a home and a family. My tank water is kept clean 24/7, and I'm well fed. Like, what is there not to enjoy? I love being a turtle!
I share my tank with a few other fishes though I don't talk to them much. They live in water and can't survive without it; I can visit both land and water.
The location of my tank happens to be very convenient. It's in the Pan household, of course. Dr. Pan's lab is the basement, the room next door to this one is Fry's, and this room, where my tank is, is the living room, connected to the kitchen. In front of my tank is a TV, I absolutely love watching TV on demand. After 6 months of being here in the human world, I have learnt a few of the human tongues. TV is very educational, well some of the channels.
To the left side of my tank is a window, it has a beautiful scenery of the ocean and the sun; especially when the sun rises and sun sets. To the right, is a couch or a sofa. However you'd like to call it. Pan usually sits there and watches TV, and sometimes when the channel is really boring, she dozes off. It's really cute.
Today though, it was Fry's first day of school and Dr. Pan was busy working away in his lab. Dr. Pan suggested that she'd go to summer camp, which is actually school with the word camp, before she goes to school. I don't know, is it that hard dealing with other humans? I guess I'll never know. I was really glad that they left the TV on for me, it was on this Treehouse channel with Dora the Explorer. Honestly, Dora the Explorer has got to be one of my favourite TV shows ever. Every Saturday morning, I would watch it with Fry and we would both yell at the TV, "MAP MAP!" or something. But you won't understand me for I speak turtle language.
I peered outside, looking through the window in hopes seeing Fry. Maybe Fry was home, hopefully she was. I don't know if I can stand being in the same tank as these other fish, they treat me as if I'm an outcast. Sadly, she wasn't there. In the afternoons Fry would take me on walks and we would explore the city and the beach, it's something that I look forward to everyday.
Something strange that I found out about myself, is that I have reached my maximum size. I'm about 5 inches, my species of turtles is probably like 20 inches big or so. I think it has something to do with me being a weaker turtle so Dr. Pan had to perform surgery on me. It must've taken the growth in me. Odd, I guess.
I turned back to the TV and continued watching Dora the Explorer. Sigh, I do miss Fry, I thought to myself, When will she be home? I know she'll be back, that's for sure.
I felt a shadow loom over me, I turned back to the window. Standing there was a bald, tall and slender man with a strange curly moustache. He wore a long black jacket, which was kind of strange because it was summer. His teeth were yellow and he smiled a nasty smile. Who was this man? I started to panic, at the sight of him. The other fish in the tank noticed and they all stopped and stared.
The man said something, but we couldn't hear it. I did make out what he said using lip reading, "What a rare species of turtle. A tiny Erzadelus huh?" He smirked an even wider grin, "This little fella could get me a fortune."
I was shivering, from my tail to my head, there was something about this man that I did not like. And what is an Erzadelus? I tried to swim into a hiding spot but the other fish had the same idea, they all swam to that same spot. Like really? Give me a break. They pushed me aside and I was unable to hide. I turned back to face the man, he held up his hand; he had a black glove with metal spikes on it. The glass shattered as he punched it, using the spikes mainly. No one was around, we were doomed.
The man reached into the room from outside the window and lifted up the lid of the tank, and peered at me. "Don't worry little fella, I won't hurt you," the man whispered.
Ha, like I believe you. I watched enough kidnapping shows to know where this was going. His hand dove into the water, finding his way to me and his fingers clasping around my shell. I was pulled up, into the air and put into a little brown, weaved bag. "Help me!" I screamed and shouted, but no one around here speaks turtle language. I was so very afraid. This man wants my shell doesn't he? He won't get it. And I started plotting a way out of the cursed bag.
I couldn't see what was going on, but I knew that I was inside a car now. I could hear the engine roar and pound. As the car moved forward it bounced, I did not like this. I was getting motion sickness. "Enough!" was what I wanted to tell the car, I wanted to get out and just go home. Fry might be home, who knows.
The man opened the bag and held me up, "I can already see a fortune with this Erzadelus."
Ok, I still didn't know what an Erzadelus was but I knew what I had to do to escape. I took a deep breath and bit him on his index finger. He wailed and moaned and a bit of blood came out. But at that same time, he flicked his hand and I went flying. Flying turtle? I guess that's pretty sweet. But not this time, I was being thrown across the car, cracking the window and shattering it with my shell. What can I say, I love being a turtle! Below me, was the Atlantic ocean. I plunged into the water with a small splash and conking out.
I awoke, I didn't know how much time had passed by. But I was surrounded by the deep blue waters of the Atlantic ocean, all I knew is that I'm not at home. Where was home? I felt all alone, scared and insecure. Fry and Dr. Pan are probably worried about me… Their window is broken, I'm missing… What else could possibly go wrong now? "So you're finally up," a voice behind me spoke. I turned and to my surprise I found another turtle, a green turtle and the same size as me. I replied, "Yes… Who are you?" The turtle circled me a few times like she was trying figure out where I am. She finally stopped and replied, "I'm Tin. And you are?" "Pan," I responded, "I came from the surface. Well, the Bahamas, know where it is?" "What is this Bahamas you speak of?" Tin asked, "You live with the 2 legs? Oh great turtleness of turtles." Of course, I reminded myself, wild turtles don't interact with humans so they won't know much about the human world. 2 legs, hmm. I guess that's what they call humans. I tried to explain to her, "Those 2 legs are called humans. And the Bahamas is a country of islands located in-between North America and South America." "I'm sorry, I don't understand," she said. At least she was facing me, but she wasn't looking at me. She was just floating there, seeming a bit dazed. "Hey why don't you look at me when I talk?" I know I sounded a bit frustrated but it had been a long day for me and I just want to go home. Tin didn't complain or argue, she just plainly admitted, "I can't see what you can see." Then I noticed, she was blind with grey eyes instead of black ones, "What happened?" "I was born like this, all Erzadeluses are born lacking something from what I was told." It's that Erzadelus again! What was this Erzadelus that everyone seems to keep talking about? "What's that?" "It's a magic turtle and a very rare species of turtles. You don't know because not many humans know about them," she told me, "Your born into this world different from ordinary turtles, but in return you have these powers. Erzadelus turtles also don't grow bigger than 5 or 6 inches, but they are very powerful. I know your an Erzadelus too. Your weaker than the average turtle." An Erzadelus…? I seriously didn't know what was going on anymore. I miss my TV on demand, I miss my tank with all the other fish, and most of all I miss my family, Fry and Dr. Pan. "I don't get it, but I think I'll learn it faster by reading it!" I told her, "I know some human languages called English, French, and Spanish. If you can take me to a library that would be delightful." "Hello! I'm blind! I can't see anything…" Tin used a bit of sarcasm. Oh yes, I totally forgot… Ok, now I'm officially doomed. "Where are you from?" I asked her, perhaps there's a library there. "Well, I come from Erzadan. It's up north along the borders of the Arctic and Atlantic oceans." "What are you doing so far south for?" "We were attacked by 2 legs. All of us fled, I got separated from them," she said sadly. "I'll help you find your family!" I gladly volunteered, I know what it's like to have no home or family. She giggled but at least I could bring a smile back to her face. I took hold of her flipper and guided her through the waters towards north. Hopefully I can find something to do with the kidnapping, how to get home, or this Erzadelus. We swam in silence for a while, neither of us trying to talk to each other. I felt like I was making a big mistake, but whatever has been done is done. I'm going to help Tin, and Tin will help me. Wait, will she really? I don't know. There were many schools of fish swimming around. 1 bumped into me, "Ah, I'm so sorry." "Don't worry about it," I told him. He seemed relieved, "A lot of turtles like to eat us fish. 'Cause we're small. They eat jellyfish too, we fear them." "I'm a green turtle. Green turtles are herbivores," I smiled at him. "Oh thank you!" he smiled back and swam off, "Bye now!" "Ciao," I replied. Beside me Tin asked, "What does ciao mean?" "It means see you later or bye in Spanish," I answered back. "Wow, you know a lot of the human world." "Ahaha, not really." Again, we swam in silence. Hovering above the sand not too close to the top of the water surface; swimming down here was quite relaxing. It was kind of awkward swimming beside Tin, I don't know her all too well. She was blind, I know I shouldn't look down on her though. But I was afraid, afraid of being abandoned especially in this humongous sea where I didn't know where I was. I guess she sensed my fear, "I'm not the type of turtle to just abandon some other turtle." That remark eased me a bit, and then I knew just how stiff I was and how Tin noticed how afraid I was. "Thanks Tin," I said. "No problem," she held up a flipper, "High flipper! Don't leave me hanging now." I used my opposite flipper and high fived her. It wasn't really a high five though. We don't have hands, just flippers. I didn't really know what it was, but it felt good to be around another one of my kind. I never really high flippered someone or some turtle, but it feels like an accomplishment.