Lucy the Tortoise

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Children's book, illustrated and edited by Taillefer Long

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Lucy the Tortoise

  1. 1. Lucy the Turtle Tortoise My Big Adventure (Based on a true story, as told by Lucy) by Sheila Rockley, PhD Cover and Book Design by: Taillefer LongAll rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form by any electronic or mechanical means in-cluding photocopying, recording, or information storage and retrieval without permission in writing from the author. www.LucytheTortoise.com Email: Lucy@Lucythetortoise.com Printed in U.S.A
  2. 2. Lucy the Turtle Tortoise My Big Adventure(Based on a true story, as told by Lucy) by Sheila Rockley, PhD Illustrated by Taillefer Long
  3. 3. DEDICATIONThis book is dedicated to everyone that’s ever wanted to makethe world a better place. To everyone that cares deeply aboutour planet and the animals that share it with us. And lastly toLucy, for being brought back home safely and for now being arole model to our youth. Thank you!
  4. 4. Lucy the TortoiseWell, hello there! My name is Lucy and I’m going to tell you astory about how I wandered away from home and almost didn’tmake it back! Let me start by telling you that I’m a tortoise, nota turtle. What’s the main difference between me and a turtle?Swimming. Turtles are great swimmers and spend most of theirtime in ponds, lakes, and other water habitats. But tortoises, likeme, can’t swim and like to stay in grassy areas far away from deepwater. So you can imagine how scared I was when I was thrownin a lake! 1
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  6. 6. Lucy the TortoiseBut I’m going to back up and tell you the story from the begin-ning, which starts with my family. Oh boy do I have great family! Ilive with my human mom and dad, my brother Neptune the dog,and my brother Rizzo, a funny-looking cat with no hair! We playtogether all the time.On the morning of my great adventure I woke up, shrugged offmy blankie, and stretch my short legs. Then I got ready for myday with a big breakfast of grass, lettuce, and lots of vegetables.Doesn’t that sound yummy? Well, you may not eat that everymorning, but I like it! Vegetables make me big and strong. 3
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  8. 8. Lucy the TortoiseDid you know, I live in a house that looks just like a castle and haslots of rooms where I play with my brothers? I love to pretendI’m a princess and Neptune and Rizzo are my castle guards. Andit’s a great place to play my favorite game: hide-and-seek. SinceI’m so short, I’m great at hiding. I can crawl under all sorts of stuffwhere my brothers can’t find me.I also love to play outside in the backyard! There is grass I canwalk through, hills I can climb over, and big pine trees that I digholes under and hide inside so nobody can find me. 5
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  10. 10. Lucy the TortoiseBut most days, like the day of my adventure, I love to just lie inthe sun and feel its warmth on my shell. Oh, it feels so nice. Icould lie outside all day. On the day of my great adventure I waslaying in the sun when my frog buddies, Hopper and Lump cameover to talk to me.“Hi, Hopper. Hi, Lump. What are you guys up to today?” I asked.“We were swimming in the river, playing leapfrog. Hopper washopping over me and then I’d hop over him. And then he’d hopover me and then I’d hop over him again. It was lots of fun!” saidLump.“That sounds like a great game. I wish I could swim in the river!But I think my legs are too short for leapfrog,” I said. “What areyou guys going to do now?”“We are going over to the pond to catch bugs,” said Lump.“Well, have fun,” I told them. “I hop, I mean hope, to see youboth later.” 7
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  12. 12. Lucy the TortoiseAfter they left, I spied some pretty flowers that had newly sprungin the garden. So many colors! Purple, my favorite, and yellowand red! And they smelled so nice, just like honey.Suddenly, a strange looking bug appeared from behind the flower.“Hey, get your nose out of the way,” said the bug.“Oh excuse me,” I said. “Who are you? WHAT are you?”“My name is Matilda. I’m a praying mantis” she said. “Be carefulwith your nose, you could hurt me.”“I am sorry. I didn’t want to hurt you. I was just getting a goodsniff of the flowers. My name is Lucy and I’m a tortoise,” I said.“What is a praying mantis?”“I’m a bug,” said Matilda. “I help to keep pests away so they don’tbite you. And I can blend in to my surroundings, like this flower,so that other creatures can’t see me.”“Wow! I wish I could disguise myself. You must be great at hide-and-seek!” I said.Then, Matilda’s eyes got really big and she said, “I see a yummygrasshopper,” and she buzzed away.“Bye, Matilda!” I called after her. 9
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  14. 14. Lucy the TortoiseAfter Matilda left I saw a bunny doing flips in the air. Boy was hea good jumper! After a perfect flip, he looked at me and said, “Hi.I’m Bunny.”“Hi, Bunny, I’m Lucy and I’m a tortoise,” I said.“You mean you’re a turtle,” said Bunny.“Nope, I’m a tortoise, and I’m different from a turtle because tur-tles like the water. Tortoises, like me, don’t like water, and wecan’t swim!” I explained. “So, Bunny, what are you doing?”“Oh, I’m learning how to do running flips in the air. Can you do aflip, Lucy?” Bunny asked.“No,” I said. “I’m a tortoise, and I have really short legs. Plus, myshell would get in the way.”“Well, how about I do the running flips and you follow me?” askedBunny. 11
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  16. 16. Lucy the TortoiseNow, Mom and Dad said that I should NEVER leave the backyardwithout them. But, Bunny’s jumps and flips were so amazing andI wanted to play more with him. So when he hopped over thefence, I followed him. I grunted and pushed my way through thefence behind him for what I THOUGHT would be just a little while.Just on the other side of the fence, I met the bunny.“Wow, it’s pretty neat out here, but it’s so big! Where should wego Bunny?” I asked. But when I looked around I did not see Bun-ny anywhere.“Bunny, where did you go?” I asked. I looked this way and thatway. “Is that you hopping over there?”“Lucy continues to look for Bunny but just can’t seem to find him…” 13
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  18. 18. Lucy the TortoiseI walked forever and still saw no sign of Bunny. I didn’t know whatto do! It was getting pretty dark, and I was getting sleepy, so I de-cided to sleep under a nearby tree and hoped Bunny would findme.Wow, was it dark! It was the first time I ever slept outside. Therewere noises that sounded like monsters, and weird eyes shiningout of the dark from every direction. I thought they were comingto get me, so I hid in my shell and did not come out until morning.I sure wish I had my blankie to cover me up.When the sun came up, there was still no sign of Bunny. And Ididn’t know how to get back home. So I walked over to a big stackof hay in the field. 15
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  20. 20. Lucy the TortoiseBy the haystack, I saw a furry creature. I hoped it was Bunny, buthe turned out to be another fella. “Hi…I’m Lucy. Are you a niceanimal?” I asked.“Oh yes, my name is Lil’ Squirt and I’m a prairie dog. We live out-side in fields,” said Lil’ Squirt. “What kind of animal are you?”“Oh, I’m a tortoise. I was following a bunny, but I lost him. Is thisyour home?” “Yes, this is my home and my family is all around usin the field,” said Lil’ Squirt. “I have over one hundred relativeswho live with me. I have brothers and sisters and cousins, and mymom, dad, grandma, and grandpa too.”“Wow!” I said. “You sure have a really big family.”“Yes, I sure do, and we do everything together. We make dinnerand clean. We play hide-and-seek. And we love to play Protectthe Colony. Lucy, did you know we have our own secret language?Yep, we sure do,” said Lil’ Squirt. “So when you see us standing onour back legs and barking. We are all talking to each other.”“Do you live nearby? I don’t see a house,” I said.“Oh sure, Lucy. Our houses are underground, I’d show you, butyour shell wouldn’t fit,” said Lil’ Squirt. 17
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  22. 22. Lucy the Tortoise“An underground house, how cool! You must be really good athide-and-seek if you can dig underground. I love hide and seek,it’s one of my favorite games. Speaking of hide-and-seek, haveyou seen a bunny?” I asked“Sorry, I haven’t seen a bunny,” replied Lil’ Squirt.“I don’t know where he went! Oh well, I should really walk homenow. I know my mom and dad must be very worried,” I said.So I continued my journey and saw a big red building on the otherside of the haystack.“Maybe there’s someone there who can help me,” I said.I walked toward it and saw the field stop. A black road lay in be-tween me and the red building. I had never crossed a road be-fore, but I carefully looked both ways and stepped out onto thehot, black surface.“Lucy walks carefully across the road and makes it safely to thebuilding on the other side.”“Hello? Is anyone here?” I asked. 19
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  24. 24. Lucy the Tortoise“Hi, my name is Keno, and I’m the firehouse dog,” said Keno.“Wow!” I said. “This is really neat. What’s a firehouse? Do youlive here?”“Yes, I help the firefighters put out fires and this is where we keepthe fire trucks,” said Keno.“Can I see the fire truck?” I asked.Keno and I walked over to the fire truck. The stairs were tall, so hegave me a boost up them. There were buttons all over the dash-board, a siren, and even a very big water hose.“See that water hose, Lucy? That’s for putting out fires,” Keno said.“Sometimes people aren’t careful and they start a fire, which isvery dangerous. Then the fire truck comes and puts out the fire.”Keno has such a cool place to live and I loved seeing the fire en-gine. But I knew I needed to head home. I didn’t want to spendanother night outside. “Keno, I really had a lot of fun seeing your fire truck! Thank you!”I said and then left. 21
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  26. 26. Lucy the TortoiseRemember the first time I crossed that road? Well, I had to crossit again. It was so scary the first time. I just need to make sure Ilook both ways and be very, very careful.I looked left, I looked right, and then I looked left again. And in-stead of a clear road I saw a car stop. Before I knew what washappening, a lady got out of her car and picked me up!“Please put me down. I don’t want to go in your car!” I told her,but she seemed not to hear me. I didn’t know what to do. Howwould I ever escape?I was so scared as she drove me away from the firehouse, Lil’Squirt’s field, and the fence around my backyard.The lady eventually stopped her car and carried me through afield to a lake.“No! I don’t like the water,” I shouted. “I’m a tortoise and I can’tswim!”But she couldn’t hear me and threw me into the lake! 23
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  28. 28. Lucy the TortoiseI hit the water with a huge SPLASH! “Help!” I yelled. “Please help me!”Just as I went underwater, I felt something below me. I openedmy eyes and saw a nose and two big eyes. It was a turtle. A reallyBIG turtle, almost as big as me.“Mr. Turtle, please help me. I can’t swim,” I said.“I can see that,” said Mr. Turtle. “You were sinking like a rock!Here, just stay on my back and I’ll swim you over to shore.”“Thank you, Mr. Turtle. You saved my life,” I said, happy to beback on the land.“No problem, little tortoise,” said Mr. Turtle. “Just remember tostay on dry land and leave the swimming to us turtles.”I promised him to be more careful and wandered up into the field.I was glad I met so many nice, helpful animals on my journey.As I shook the lake water off my shell I heard someone calling myname. “LUCY… LUCY…. LUCY!” A voice called. 25
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  30. 30. Lucy the TortoiseI followed the voice and saw a news cameraman!“I’m right here!” I yelled. “I’m right here. Look this way! No …Don’t walk that way! Please don’t walk away from me!But he didn’t see me and he didn’t seem to hear me yelling ei-ther. I felt so alone and so much farther from home. But I justkept walking. Surely, I would meet someone who would help me.Boy was my tummy growling at that point. No dinner, no break-fast. I hadn’t eaten any vegetables in over a day!By the lake I saw a big farm house and smelled something yum-my. Right beside the farm house was a field of corn. CORN! I loveto eat corn.I was gnawing on a fallen corncob, when a man came out of thefarm house. He spotted me and picked me up.“Oh no! Please don’t put me in the lake!” I said. “Tortoises can’tswim!” 27
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  32. 32. Lucy the Tortoise“You must be Lucy the lost tortoise that everyone is looking for,”said the man. “Here, let me take you inside my feed store.”He took me inside what looked like a shop for animal food andput me onto his checkout counter. He called the news and said, “Ithink I found the Lucy who was on TV last night.”Wow! I was on TV. I had no idea that a bunch of people werelooking for me. They put out a LUCY ALERT!“Your mom and dad should be here real soon,” said the nice man.“Don’t worry.”I gave him my best tortoise smile. I was very excited to finally getto see my family.” “Mom! Dad!” I squealed when I saw them. “Lucy! I’m so glad wefound you,” said Mom as she picked me up and gave me kisses.“Ok, that’s enough kisses mom,” I said. “Take me home! I’ve hadenough adventure to last for a long time!” 29
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  34. 34. Lucy the TortoiseIt’s so nice being back home. My adventure was fun and scary allat the same time. I sure won’t follow that bunny again! And I’llnever leave my yard again...at least not right away! The End 31
  35. 35. Visit Lucy at www.LucyTheTortoise.com to read more about herreal big adventure and follow Lucy the Tortoise on Facebook.

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