Once upon a time, a boy was flouncing through a park when he literally stumbled across a tortoise. How it got there he didn’t know, and after a line of questioning met with silence, he concluded the tortoise didn’t know either. So he brought the tortoise home as a pet and plopped it in his backyard. He kept it there all the time, as the backyard was fenced in—and it’s a tortoise, where’s it going to go?
Now, this boy had a certain flair for, well, flair (hence the flouncing), so a few days later he held his pet tortoise on his shoulder and sashayed down to a nearby lake. With his small hand, he retrieved some weeds—a small handful of them—from the water. He placed the clump of weeds on the tortoise’s head and styled it fun and fresh. The tortoise got a look at itself in the water and liked what it saw. In fact, the tortoise grew vain, and it began to feel superior to the boy and to all other humans as well.
In the backyard over the next few days, the tortoise continued to reflect on his superiority. Murderously slow and deadly steady, the tortoise dug its way under the fence over days, weeks, months. When it finally got out, it led the tortoise revolt, and, predictably, not before but painfully long after they knew what hit them, every person on Earth was dead—except for those with rare conditions that forced them to live in plastic bubbles, who were relatable enough to be kept as pets.
And the moral of the story is that tortoises may be slow and steady, but they can destroy the human race!
-Brendan Mooney ’14