This story is about the angst of the tortoise after he won the race because no one paid any attention to him. The media frenzy was for the fair and funny bunny who was glamorous and lived in a mansion. The boring, brown turtle was quite ignored. We are all about looks nowadays, aren’t we ?

Once upon a time there was a tortoise. His name was Me-Too-Slow because, you guessed it, he walked very slowly, so slowly that the other animals left him far behind. They always laughed behind his back which is, of course,not a very nice thing to do. In fact, it is quite rude.

Me-Too-Slow knew about this and he was very hurt. He went to Banana-Drama, his friend and told him his problem. Banana-Drama said, “Dude, what’s the problem? I’ll just get you roller skates, four of them and you are going to leave everyone far behind!”

So they both went to MallWart and tried on some roller skates for Me-Too-Slow who tied them to his tiny feet and walked daintily forward. But when he tried to go faster all his four legs flew out from under him and he fell flat on his stomach which really hurt. “Ow! Ow!Ow! “ he yelled and tried to get up but his roller skates would not let him so Banana-Drama went to his help.

He tried to lift him but Me-Too-Slow’s shell was really heavy so Banana-Drama took out the skates, put a plank under him and jumped on the other side, just like a see-saw and Me-Too-Slow shot up to the roof with great force. Luckily he fell down on some cushions which were on sale, $2 for 4 which saved his shell from breaking into little bits. Banana-Drama put his hands on his hips and heaved a sigh of relief, “Dude,” he said, “that was a lucky escape or you would have been in a soup, turtle soup !”

Me-Too-Slow shuddered in fear and said, “Banana-Drama you have a good heart but you are not very good at solving problems. You just tend to go too fast.”

“But that’s what you wanted to do, dude, go fast so I was just trying to help you !” Banana-Drama said, annoyed at being scolded by Me-Too-Slow who none of the animals took very seriously.

“At least I tried to help unlike the others who only make fun of him, especially that Hare, what was her name? Oh yes ! Happy Hare.” Banana-Drama thought to himself, “ Ever since Me-Too-Slow won the race from Happy Hare because she had gone to sleep Me-Too-Slow is obsessed with speed because in the next race she may not go to sleep and he”ll lose the race.

To be continued

Shipra Shukla


EXCERPT TWO ( from a different book of the same series ) The turtle who wanted to race the bunny

Once upon a time Me-Too-Slow, the turtle and Boo-Tee-Ful Bun-Nee met in the woods. Boo-Tee-Ful BunNee looked at Me-Too-Slow Turtle walking slowly towards his friend, Peek-a-Boo’s house and started laughing. He yelled at Me-Too-Slow, “Hey slow coach, by the time you reach Peek-a-Boo’s place he’ll be dead and gone. Maybe you can tell some stories to his grand children. Ha ! Ha! Ha !”

Banana-Drama who was swinging on a nearby tree heard him and got annoyed because he liked Me-Too-Slow . He said, “Cool it Booty ! That’s not funny, bunny.

Me-Too-Slow said, “It’s not her fault, she’s always been too fast for her own good, talks too fast, mostly without thinking, walks too fast, mostly without looking, eats too fast, mostly without tasting and one day she’ll trip and I hope she’ll not eat her medicines too fast because then she’ll choke and then the doctors will have to thump her on her back and she’ll…”

The turtle would have gone forever but Banana-Drama who had fallen asleep listening to his talk fell on the ground on his head with a big thump. “Ow ! Ow ! Ow !” he said, “What happened ?”

Boo-Tee-Ful Bun-Nee started giggling, “ Oh ! you had gone to sleep listening to Me-Too-Slow talking. Not only does he walk slowly but he also talks slowly and by the time he’s finished we’ll all be dead and gone and, maybe, he can tell his boring stories to our grand children.”

Me-Too-Slow frowned and said, “ I don’t have to listen to this brash, boring bunny. I’m going on my way, Peek-a-Boo is waiting for me and we are going to discuss many matters over a cup of tea. Besides I don’t have time to listen to the silly talk of a silly bunny who thinks she is funny but actually she’s not, she’s just very empty and full of herself….”

“Whoa ! Whoa ! Whoa ! Stop, stop dude ! What are you saying ? Is she empty or is she full, make up your mind. This is getting very confusing.” said Banana-Drama

Boo-Tee-Ful Bun-Nee giggled, “Oo la la, as the French say, Mr. Me-Too-Slow is very confusing, he’s always going around in circles and on and on and on and that’s why he never gets anywhere.”

Me-Too-Slow closed his eyes and opened them slowly. Banana-Drama was aghast to see that he had tears in them. He jumped down from the tree and patted Me-Too-Slow on his shell, “Dude chill,” he said, “Don’t get hurt by the talks of a certain foolish, furry bunny. You know she’s no match to you.” Me-Too-Slow shook his head sadly, “I know, I know but it still hurts.”

Banana-Drama looked angrily at Boo-Tee-Ful Bun-Nee, “Look what you have gone and done, you furry fashionista ! You have hurt the old one’s feelings.” Boo-Tee-Ful Bun-Nee tossed her head and hopped away. As she hopped she turned around and said, “ I don’t care. He’s just a boring old fossil and his time is up. There is no place for him in our brave, new world.

To be continued

Shipra Shukla

Published by Collected Tails of Jungle Land

Collected Tails of Jungle Land Alphabet Stories OH MY DOG series

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