Lesson of the Turtle



I was a young  boy in Grand Rapids, MI - living -

kenston, lived by the pond, "skipping turtles doesn't hurt them" he says, begging me to join him.

I knew his excuse somehow was not enough of a reason to join him, but I did not want to dissapoint, I switched from gently cradling the caught turtle, to a firmer grasp, I wound up (and heres the scary part - every try to skip a stone across water and miss the water?..we'll I was not the best at sports.... I began to worry)  "come on" Kenston says...I throw and I don't remeber how many skips I got out of that turtle  - all I knew was how I felt - one skip was 1 too many - ugg - I knew I had done somtheing wrong - the turtleswam quickly for deeper depths and protection from the dizzing anf dry world above -

One throw was all I did - just to not be chicken - just to fit in - just becuase it "doesn't hurt them?"  I thought, well I have not done any permanenty damage - to the turtle ...but I was setting myself up..

This was in   Michigan - I returned to the suburbs of Grand Rapids MI - and there was school Ken-O-Sha, with a creek and some some ponds - I would visit - look for crayfish - and in general explore


Fast forward a year or two - and I am ventruing less and less to the park - My next door neighboor has a Nintendo 64 - a new video gaming device at the time - I start hanging out with Troy, my younger neighbor alot - mostly  playing all his games - Contra, Super Mario Bros 2- and sometimes we play basket ball in his driveway - just taking turns shooting as Troy is much shorter than me got to make the game fair  - Butmostly playing Nintendo - lots of Super Mario - Something inthe back of my mind about Mario jumoing on and throwing those turtles - i push it aside - it is just  a video game - "it doesn't hurt them" ......Permanently pushed the symbolic violence to the back of my mind - just like my turtle skipping.........  

THen one day I decide to go to Ken-O-Sha - now on the way to the woods I would pass through a playgorund and a basketball court - but on this day those things were intersecting in un-expected ways - as I came near I saw the basetball court was discolored, dark streaks, and there it was - a larger dark shape on the cement court - I knew the shape of this - a shell - a turtle - a turtle had - had what hwat had happened why onthe court, I followed the blood streaks to the turtle's dead body - it's cracked shell guts hanging out- this turtle was dead - showing everybit of vioence it had endured - then I looked up 10 feet up - WHAT!!!!!!! the turtle had obviosly been freethrowed, backbaored, who knew even swished, blood and guts ont he board and rim-----I was frozen fire was burning - but before