I'm not hungry.
For the first time in three months, I'm not hungry. It is the best feeling ever.
I'm serious - you know how when you've been out hiking all day in the cold, and you come back indoors, and you think you're really hungry for a good dinner, and then you smell the really awesome stew that's cooking on the stove, and suddenly you're starving? That's the level of hunger I've been dealing with all the time. On Wednesday, when I was home sick - sick, when one should be not hungry at all! - I was lying on the sofa crying because the hunger wouldn't go away.
I am not really ashamed in the least bit for taking the Slimquick - just like I take pills (yes I take a couple of different ones and also slap on antiinflammatory and/or pain-killing patches on my arms from time to time) for the pain, I am taking pills for the hunger, and while the pain pills (unfairly) don't make me euphoric, the absence of hunger is actually making me giddy.
I don't even care if I don't lose much weight - I've shed the water I was retaining (I can see my ankles again!), and I'm not hungry.
But that wasn't what I was going to write about today - the turtle has made progress. His story continues...
The turtle has, in his roundabout way (because frequently, the best way forward is not always the straightest), has made it to where the Wild Animals are gathered. The Wild Animals are not here by choice, they are kept by The Man, who has decided that they are better off in captivity, where people cannot touch them, instead of running wild, where they might hurt someone.
(The turtle is staying out of sight, in case The Man decides that a Small Brown Turtle would make an awesome exhibit.)
The turtle is sure that the Wild Animals are not like ordinary animals, because they keep changing, ever so slightly, as they talk to him. Every now and then, the skunk has three ears, or the polar bear turns a delicate shade of lavender not attributable to motion sickness (the cages wobble a bit as they move, and the turtle is feeling a bit green himself).
So he asked.
The Animals agreed that they were not what they seemed; they were really books. Each animal was a book that The Man and other people like him (The-Men-and-Women-In-Charge) did not approve of, and so had caged so that other people would not see it.
The turtle was confused.
"But you are just books", he said. "Books cannot harm anyone, can they?"
"You'd be surprised at what The-Men-and-Women-In-Charge think", said the polar bear, now a delightful shade of rose pink. "Throughout the ages, The-Men-and-Women-In-Charge have decided that certain books cannot be read. Books contain ideas, and ideas encourage ordinary people to think for themselves and not listen to what The-Men-and-Women-In-Charge are telling them. The-Men-and-Women-In-Charge are afraid that if the people read us, they will start to ask Awkward Questions." He sighed. "It's sad, but we have been considered Too Dangerous for a long time".
"Yes", said the skunk, now adorned with three stripes instead of one, giving him a rather rakish air, "and the irony of it is, many of us played with children before we were caged".
"Some of us have managed to stay free", said the armadillo, "but are at risk of being caught all the time."
"Whereas some of us have always been dangerous", said the elephant standing in the back, silent until now, "but our ideas should be talked about, not hidden until someone gets in trouble because they didn't know what was happening".
The turtle looked thoughtful. "so what you're saying is, The-Men-and-Women-In-Charge are so damned stupid that they think keeping books hidden or banned from the general public will somehow stop people thinking for themselves?"
"Yup, that's it in a nutshell", agreed the giraffe.
"And The Man thinks that he can come to the stable, and that he will make money from showing how he has captured you all?"
"Yes", said the raccoon.
"I think", said the turtle, "that the child we are all going to see will have some objections to that idea", and with that, he slipped through the bars of the cages and helped all the Wild Animals get free, with the assistance of the raccoon (because raccoons have opposable thumbs, and can pick locks, as well as get nachos).*
"Will you come with us?" the Wild Animals asked. "We can carry you on our backs".
"No thank you", the turtle said, "I think I have a different path to walk than you. But we will meet again at the stable, I am sure".
And he bade the Wild Animals farewell, and continued on his journey.
Okay, yes, it's a bit obvious. But turtles are slow. I'm not usually one for Jesus quotes, but I like this one:
"Hearken to the word; understand knowledge; love life, and no one will persecute you, nor will anyone oppress you, other than you yourselves".
And, just to lighten the mood a little, here is another of my creche favourites - the little animal band:
These little guys were once a prize in a cereal box, or a candy box - they were originally part of a much larger circus set, and two of them have lost their instruments, but I find them totally delightful. I think they're celluloid.
*(in-joke - basically, the theory is that some animals get nachos and some don't, because to get nachos, you have to be able to hold them to dip them in the cheese dip. What can I say? We were drinking heavily at the time.)