Thoughts from the Tank

Yawn. Ooo it’s cold. I see the light coming in. (twitches) Is it day yet? (stretches neck lazily out of shell and blinks) Ah, almost. (rests head outside of shell) Good. Hope they will change the water soon. (eyes the dusky water) Ugh, it smells.

I wonder about these humans sometimes. They’re so much more complicated to understand compared to the others, the ants or the lizards. (sluggishly shifts into another corner) I like the lizards.

There is one word that all the humans say though, when they come around my little pond. It’s funny. I don’t quite know what it means. They say it differently that I think it must mean different things but it’s the same sound anyhow.

Oh, it isn’t day. It’s only the house sun. It’s strange and cool. It comes on whenever the people flick a switch. Preposterous! If the plants knew, the people would never hear the end of it. Honestly. Ridiculous.

Ohh this is too bright. (retracts back into shell) Oh someone is coming in. (listens intently in dark shell) I think he’s friendly. (Peeks from shell. Spies a pair of black socks walking over)

Oh, it’s Black Socks! (Excitedly scrambles to the plastic wall and claws) Black Socks, Black Socks! (Clatters and claws the plastic wall)

(Black Socks pads over and booms) “Hello, Jerry! Hungry aren’t you?” (Lid clunks open and a stream of pellets fall into the water)

Black Socks doesn’t always feed me but he feeds. (chews on a food pellet) The water is taking out the flavour of these. (Chews some more) Ugh. (Lets a little bit go astray) Anyway, that’s the funny word. Jerry. What’s it mean?

Oh, ok ok, now the real sun is coming in. Where’s Hands? (splashes in water) Ugh, my water!

(A pair of hands lift the lid off the tank and picks it up) Eeek! It’s Hands! (retracts its limbs and head into the shell until it is settled) Oooh, I’m in Red now. (explores the dry red plastic pail) Hands is scary. But Hands treats me nice. After Hands brings me into Red and then back into my private pond, the water is all nice and clean. Then she’ll feed me pellets too! (Scratches the red pail contentedly) Here she comes!

(The hands lift it from the pail into the newly cleaned tank) Oohh… flight always makes me queasy. (stretches out and notices the water) Clean water! (splashes happily) Where’s the food? (Pellets stream in. Lid clunks shut) Yay food! Om nom nom. It’s funny. I like Hands the best but she never says the word.

Bored bored bored bored BORED. I think I’m going to have a go at my freedom by attempting to climb out of my little plastic pond. (Scratches and claws determinedly at the lid. Falls. Tries again.) 

“Jerry! Be Quiet!”

(clunks to the plastic floor and stops) It’s that Voice that comes from nowhere. Much higher pitched than Black Socks, and very pertinent. (Sulks in the water) You see how she said the strange word? What’s it mean?

(paddles) I think she’s gone away. (peeps cautiously) Freedom! (Claws the lid with renewed vigour and manages to pop the lid open) Oh my gosh, it’s happening, it’s really happening! (wrestles to get the front claws out of tank) Oh, the air up here is so beautiful! I could cry.

“Eww, Jerry!”

Oh, no no no. It’s Fingers! (Shrinks back as fingers reach to push it back in) Why does Fingers always come when I try to escape??? (Stubbornly tries to stay out of the tank) Go away, Fingers! Go play your piano or something and make yourself useful!

“Ugh, Jerry’s not going back in!” (Fingers wave frantically to shoo it in) “Do something!”

Egad, it’s Brother Fingers! (shrinks back from another set of fingers. It reluctantly clunks to the floor, defeated.)

“There. Stay there, Jerry!” (Brother Fingers flips the lid shut. Fingers secure its lock) 

Ugh, humans. Ugly, strange creatures. (Retreats into a corner) Always chanting the same meaningless sounds around. What is a Jerry? (Makes ripples with an overgrown claw) 

They say it so often and it means so many things…a Jerry must be very very important.

(Retracts its limbs and head into the its shell tiredly) 

Maybe I am Jerry. Hahaha. (Yawns) Ha. (sleeps)


Yes, that was a short piece on What My Terrapin Might Have Thought and I was writing through the eyes of my own terrapin, Jerry. No, I do not know what I am doing with my life. No, do not judge me.

No, that’s not my Jerry. My Jerry isn’t a Google famous terrapin. Still I picked this one because it’s about as fat as Jerry is.
I basically just self-imposed a fiction writing ban because I’m in the middle of the semester, essays are up, presentations are due and readings are endless as always. And if I started writing fiction now, I’d never stop and I’d probably turn in shoddy work or something.

Having said that, I’m a bit of a cold turkey now and this short idea just hit me and I figured, as long as I finished it at once and not drag it out, it wouldn’t take too much time and it wouldn’t affect my homework. So. Tadah.

Ok, fine, it can be taken as a sort of penance. I’m a terrible pet owner. I get nightmares every once in a while that Jerry grew to be human-sized and ate me up. If that isn’t the guilt talking, maybe I’ve officially gone nuts. If you were curious though, I was Fingers. I don’t feed Jerry or clean him. I don’t admittedly know if it is a ‘him’. That’s basically all you have to know regarding my devotion to Jerry.

Still, if he died, I would miss his little splashy noises whenever I play the piano. And I do love ruining his various unimaginative escapes.

I am a horrible pet owner.

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