Mack the Tortoise

My childhood family pet died last week.

In 1991 we took in a teeny tiny tortoise. We did not buy him from a pet store, he came to us. I was in the first grade and my classmates cat, or maybe it was her dog, had been discovered playing with a baby tortoise who was still partially in his egg. I do specifically remember that their pet (be a cat or a dog) was playing with and hiding the baby tortoise behind the toilet, a little piece of reptilian treasure, his precious. 

I imagine he looked a little like this in 1991, but this is not actually a picture of our tortoise, just the same kind!

This is basically what our family tortoise looks like, minus the egg. 

Poor little buddy was forced out of his egg before he was ready. That dog or cat carried our little tortoise into that house and behind the toilet while the little guy was still unhatched. Our family pet was bitten out of his shell, teeny teeny tiny and too soon.

My classmate’s mom asked if we wanted the tortoise because she knew we had no dogs or cats (my brother is allergic). We took him in and because he was teeny, teeny tiny, we named him Mack, a reference to Yertle the Turtle, by Dr. Suess.

Mack is a little turtle at the bottom of the stack. He stands up to Yertle and topples his throne, freeing the turtles from their servitude to Yertle.

Because he came out of his egg too soon, Mack had some developmental issues. Namely, his skin did not shed as quickly as it should, so his body was inhibited from growing as quickly and as much as it should. But he was cute and liked his chin scritched and loved Cream of Wheat. He was 24 years old and still a tiny tortoise when he passed away.

Miss you, little guy.

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