A World of Turtles: A Literary Celebration by Gregory McNamee, Luis Alberto Urrea

By Gregory McNamee, Luis Alberto Urrea

We now have continually enjoyed turtles, and we now have usually suspected them of loving us. an international of Turtles, which gathers literary sightings of turtles over again and again and plenty of cultures, celebrates the long-standing position of those creatures within the human mind's eye. throughout our heritage we've attributed significantly anthropomorphic values to turtles—as this anthology will determine. clever, droll, brilliant, cautious, accountable, critical, and clever are evoked, but in addition, one way or the other, noble, steadfast, loving. Turtles are consistent symbols of energy, persistence, persistence, and lengthy existence. but, for us, from adolescence via maturity, they're perpetual resources of pleasure as good With writings from Aesop to Melville, and folklore from the Abenaki to the Wagarra, an international of Turtles is an anthology of literary, folkloric, and clinical choices approximately turtles and tortoises, compiled from old, smooth, and modern resources. It seems to be at those loved creatures from each attainable human viewpoint, revealing them (and us) of their many guises.

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If the rope is not long enough, I'll give it a single tug," Turtle said. " Page 3 Then he dove over the side. But he stayed down there under the water for six years. When he came up, he was covered with mud. He had only a little bit of earth, stuck under his claws. Earth Starter scraped this earth from Turtle's claws and rolled it in his hands. The little ball grew and grew until it was as big as the world. "Good," said Turtle. " So Earth Starter called his sister, the Sun, from the east, and his brother, the Moon, from the west.

Elsewhere in the country the situation is much the same; as Mike Bryan writes in Uneasy Rider (Knopf, 1997), his genial tour of the interstates, one fellow working a few small east Texas lakes figures to pull out 200,000 red-eared, snapper, box, and soft-shelled turtles each year to sell to the trade. Contrary to this man's business plan, turtles are not an endlessly renewable resourcebut they are, luckily for him and unluckily for them, easy to catch. The pattern holds elsewhere in the world. In Costa Rica, hundreds and thousands of olive ridley eggs disappear from nesting grounds each year, to be sold and consumed for their reputed aphrodisiac properties.

It would turn up far back under a sofa or cabinet, covered with dust and weakened by dehydration, but still able to muster a parched snap and hiss. Finally we would let it go into a drainage ditch. We never came upon a mother laying her eggs-given the heat, perhaps they did that at night down south. Up here I seem to come across one or two of them every year, and have learned to look for them along road shoulders in late June. <><><><><><><><><><><><> I backed the car up to the house to get Susan and Hannah-the older girls were still asleep-and our old pointer Jacob roused himself and walked down with us, conferring by his stiff-jointed, wheezing Nestorian solemnity an air of officialdom upon the occasion, as though we were a commission sent out to investigate an unregistered alien that had showed up in Bowdoinham.

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