This story originally ran on May 8, 2009. It’s much different than most of my other stories – because nobody dies.

It was a beautiful spring day, but Ferdinand the Turtle was in a grumpy mood.  The kids at school were making fun of him again.  All the other turtles had normal names such as Bill, Tom, and Ann.  Ferdinand had a long name, and it sounded funny.  The other kids made fun of him and told him that his name was too big for such a small turtle.  Ferdinand felt sad and left the playground.

Ferdinand walked by the old warehouse.  The workers were unloading a truck.  There seemed to be some excitement with one of the crates.  Suddenly, something popped out of the box and came racing across the grass toward Ferdinand.  Ferdinand was amazed at the sight.  It was an animal, but it was not like any animal he had every seen on Turtle Island.  This animal was covered in fur and had a big, bushy tail.  The animal seemed to be a bit stunned, so Ferdinand talked to it.

“Hello?  Hello?  Are you OK?”

The furry animal scratched his head and looked toward Ferdinand.

“I’m OK, I gue – whoa!  What the heck are you?  You’re the funniest looking animal I’ve ever seen.”

“Hrumph,” said Ferdinand.  “I could say the same thing about you.  At least I don’t have a big tail like you.”

“That’s very true,” admitted the mysterious stranger, “but you do have that thing on your back.  What is that?”

“It’s my shell,” replied Ferdinand.  “I can pull my body inside my shell when it rains.”

“Oh, I see.  That’s pretty clever.  I should introduce myself.  I’m Bob the Squirrel.”

“Hello, Bob,” said Ferdinand.  “I am Ferdinand the Turtle.”

“Well, Ferdinand, I somehow got myself packed up in one of those crates and my legs are stiff.  I need to take a walk.  Maybe you could show me around town.”

Ferdinand agreed, and they started walking toward main street.  Ferdinand saw a rock on the groud and gave it a kick with his foot.

“Ferdinand,” gasped Bob.  “What are you doing?”

“I’m kicking the little rock down the street.  It’s fun.  You should try it.”

“That’s not a rock, Ferdinand.  That’s an acorn.”

“A what?”

“An acorn is a type of nut,” explained Bob.  “You can eat it.  Acorns are yummy for your tummy.  Try one.”

Ferdinand didn’t think he would like an acorn, but he decided to try it anyway.  He bit into the acorn and it tasted awful.  He spit the acorn onto the street.

Bob furrowed his brow.  “Pehaps,” he speculated “it is an acquired taste.”

“Ugh,” replied Ferdinand.  “If it’s an acquired taste, I have no plans to acquire it.”

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Kosmo is the founder of The Soap Boxers and writes on a variety of topics. Many of his short stories have been collected into Kindle books.

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