This is the last in a miniseries.
Tortoises are demanding animate boulders. That’s all I really have to say on the subject, but this is a blog post not a facebook quip, so I’ll have to expound.
Let’s take boulders first. Basically, they don’t move (but see animate below). You can watch one for hours before it proves it’s alive by sticking its head out to see if there’s anything green within reach. If there is, it’ll eat it; if not, it’ll stick its head back in and revert to boulderdome. If you catch one in the act, feel honoured. It’s almost interesting.
As I hinted though, they can be animate, in the sense of actually moving. When this mood takes them, they can be surprisingly sprightly. We caught the older one halfway across the lawn a few weeks ago, it having somehow scaled a brick barricade five times its height and sprinted the equivalent of two or three of our miles, before pausing for whatever is the tortoise version of breath and looking around for something acceptably green to eat, the basic lawn grass of course not fitting its strict dietary regime.
Which brings me to demanding. I mustn’t say too much under this heading, because after all, once you’ve taken responsibility you have to discharge it, don’t you? But really. Who needs three custom-built palaces? Especially ones you spend most of your energy trying to break out of?