Crackle. My head feels the heat as my shell falls apart. I push my flippers to the sky, my little body breaking free. I lay on my stomach and go ‘tap tap tap’ across the gritty sand. ‘Tap tap tap’ the sound echoes among the beach. My tiny friends and siblings rush across to the foaming sea. Many hands reach down, trying to scoop us up by the dozen. Blocking the glorious sunshine, some become lost in their way. My tiny friends and siblings start to vanish as the darkness grows. ‘Splash!’ flippers kick up and down as I make my dive into the waters, thankfully escaping such hands.
“How warm the water is!” I feel the current swishing with me. “I can see!” I open my eyes in the water, surprised there is no stinging feeling. I paddle with my flippers as fast as I possibly could, now becoming fearful of what lies within the ocean. Green moss and black seaweed hold their arms out, waving in peace. The tide overpowers my delicate flippers – I lose control.
* * *
‘Swish… Swish…’ I wake up on a smooth, black rock. The sounds of a close tide kiss my ears. I wiggle my sleepy flippers, then take a good look around the area. Green Palm trees sway happily back and forth, some leaves falling from the much taller, more green trees. ‘Swish… Swish…’ The sounds of the trees and the sea mix together, like the foam and the sand. I slide down onto the cooling surface, the foam tickles my flippers. “What a lovely place the tide took me to!” In joy, I swim about, dipping my head down in the shallow waters. Coral and seahorses where in my view.
Although I was happy, I missed home. The home where mother lay her eggs and father supported her. I saw a friendly looking seahorse and asked him of my were-about. The Black seahorse, Dash, told me I was in The Seas of Taiwan. I asked him if that was in the north of Japan. He called me silly, then explained that Taiwan was close to the Land of Dragons. Dash said that there are mighty, big, red dragons that swoop along the streets, then fly high into the sky at the darkest point of night, to go back home. (That made Snappy remember his family and just how much he missed them. Usually, Turtles part from their mothers and fathers before birth, but stick with their siblings. Turtles don’t just have one, two or maybe three siblings like you may do. Turtles have about 50-110 siblings. Snappy has 82).
Dash could see in my poor, little eyes that I wanted to be with my siblings. He offered me to come travel around Taiwan with his family, but it didn’t feel the same. His siblings all spoke an odd language that I couldn’t understand, so that didn’t help. Dash told me it was Taiwanese. On our journey through the ocean, I lost my control once again. Dash and his siblings tried to help, but it was all no good.
A sharp, stinging feeling ran up my left flipper. I fully opened my eyes to see a nurse, a turtle at my aid. She wore a little nurses outfit along with a smile as she bandaged my flipper. She said hello and smiled even brighter when she saw I was awake. She asked where I was from and how I ended up here. After telling her my story and how I ever so wanted to see my siblings, she whispered into my ear: Make your way to Thailand once you are well.
I do not usually write children’s stories. I wrote this after I had two night terrors the same day. My farther and I started talking about turtles as a way to ease me back to sleep. My father came up with the name Snappy. He also was the one whom birthed the idea of Snappy going on journeys, and being from Japan. In the morning, a few days later, we looked up sea currents and the Pacific ocean water current, as I wanted Snappy to end his journeys in Spain. To me, Snappy takes a siesta in Spain was a brilliant idea for the finishing story. Maybe he goes to Portugal, too.