Tortoises are magic reptiles, even more mystical than are turtles. While many folks, if not most of them, have an aversion to other reptiles and to the amphibians, almost everyone likes a turtle or at least finds them less repulsive than a slithery snake or a slimy frog. Yet, some few (in the overall scale of things) find even turtles to be repugnant. Somehow though, when it comes to their dry land cousins, even most of us seem to have an open space in our hearts for tortoises. They exude a personality (or is it an animalality because they surely are not persons) that says love us because: they are responsive to those who care for them or otherwise give them love, they give everlasting hope to those who have been the targets of the abuses at the hands of others (even of time itself since they live so long), that says even though I not aggressive - I am not defenseless, that shows them to be survivors because they have survived some of the harshest climates, on land, on our planet against all odds - even including relocation to inhospitable climes, that says 'be my friend and I will reciprocate' - as they are among the most responsive reptiles known to mankind, and they have a look about them that makes them appear to hold the wisdom of the ages. They have more human-like attributes than may other creatures. My bet would be, that even if you don't love them, you find them at least somewhat fascinating.
|Jonathan, a Seychelles Tortoise living on the island of St. Helena, |
may be 182 years old. Thus, he well could be the longest lived land
animal currently surviving on the planet earth or even in the universe.
Once again, my thanks to LIHS member Deb Hope, whom I would bet loves tortoises too, for another great blog submission.
All the best,