Saturday, March 20, 2010

CH 7: Turtledy Durdledy Gets Saved!

One day Turtledy Durdledy walked down Blackmur Drive feeling sad.

The noonday Sun was hot, so he was thirsty too. He was so thirsty, he forgot to be scared. He got scared when he got lost. He got lost, because he had been walking all morning long looking down at his feet. He was sad. He never noticed the sign for Blackmur Drive. He got sad, because all the little boys and girls were down by Johnson's Branch handling snakes. No, he wasn't scared, but he was lost, thirsty and sad.

A whole bunch of people drove into the woods last night and put up a big, black tent next to his little house in the woods. He lived not too far from downtown with his mother. She was fat.

That morning, he had seen many men bringing armfuls of snakes into the tent. The men whistled and the snakes wiggled.

Poor little Turtledy Durdledy wished he could be a real people boy and go into the tent. Of course, Turtledy Durdledy is not like regular people folk, as you know. He is a turtle. But he doesn't walk on four feet like other turtles though. This cute little fellow walks upright just like people boys and girls do.

He wears people clothes too. Turtledy Durdledy dresses in long blue pants, white shirt, red bow tie, yellow vest, a long green tailcoat and a red ball cap with a turned up brim.

He talks too. Boy, does he talk. He talks from morning, when he wakes up, to night, when he finally goes to sleep. Tired from talking. His mother says he talks in his sleep.

You know what he talks about?


Turtledy Durdledy, hot, lost, sad, thirsty and now hungry on Blackmur Drive, started talking to himself.

"They're going to have a big catfish dinner after handling them snakes. Mmm, how I love catfish. And hushpuppies too. I like dipping catfish in mayonaise and eating it up with a big, hot, sweet hushpuppy. And Coke! Boy oh boy, how I like ice cold Coke. Catfish, hushpuppies, mayonaise, snakes and Cokes. Little boys and girls have all the fun."

Just then, Snakey Levine came out of a drainage pipe by Water Valley Cemetery.

You know what a cemetery is? It's a pretty place with trees and flowers and a little shack where they keep lawn mowers. There's always a blue sky with birds singing at the cemetery. Wind blows through the trees, and you get goose pimples.

"Hi Turtledy Durdledy," said Snakey Levine. "What are you doing?"

"Nothing," he said. "I'm just walking. I'm hot and thirsty and want some catfish. Say, why don't we go over to the people's snake tent. Then we can get some catfish. Snakey, do you know how to get to Johnson's Branch?"

Snakey rolled his eyes into the back of his head and said, "Yessssssssss..."

"Then c'mon, let's go!"

They hurried down the street to Johnson's Branch, and when they got there, they peeked into the tent.

It was dark, but they saw a man dressed in a white shirt and black pants hopping around in a circle. He was up in front of all these people sitting down in chairs. The man was holding snakes in both of his hands. They were big snakes. Bigger than Snakey Levine. They were long and black and had heads shaped like diamonds. They had little eyebrows that poked up on their heads. Their tongues stuck out and licked the air in front of their noses.

The man holding the snakes began to shout:

"Slibin' flothy maryheuses," he said, "monus tabalola anygedda adanoba golly."

Now Turtledy Durdledy didn't go to school, except that once with the people boys and girls, so he didn't know the fancy words the man was saying. The man sure looked like he was having fun though.

Just then another man and woman, both fat and dressed in purple robes, got up and took two more snakes out of a box on the ground. Then all three of them began to shout different poems.

"Eeeyahhh goindaddy babbaguleh kananuna," the fat lady said.

"Woap kejus coaskuh sadidos wockfupin," the man in the purple robe said.

"Golly tabalola slibin maryheuses monus anygedda adanoba flothy eeeyahhh goindaddy baba..." the man in the white shirt and black pants said.

Snakey Levine whispered to Turtledy Durdledy, "They look crazy. They're dancing with my cousins. I don't know what they're saying, but I think it makes them want to jump and shout."

Turtledy Durdledy excitedly said, "C'mon lets go in!"

When they walked into the tent, everybody turned their heads and looked at them. The three people up front stopped hopping around and stopped saying their poems.

Walking and slithering between the people in the chairs, Turtledy Durdledy and Snakey Levine went up front.

"Excuse me," said Turtledy Durdledy to the man in the white shirt and black pants, "can we eat catfish with you, please?"

The fat man in the purple robe dropped his snake into a box on the ground and picked up Snakey Levine. The fat lady put her snake in the box and picked up Turtledy Durdledy. Then they started hopping all around the tent again. The people sitting in the chairs started shouting.

"Monus anygedda adanoba sadidos kaky wockfupin eeeyahhh babbaguleh kananuna woap flothy goindaddy kejus coaskuh slibin maryheuses golly tabalola..."

Snakey Levine slipped out of the fat man's hands and crawled to the exit.

"Bye Turtledy Durdledy," he said, "I have to go home now."

Boy was Turtledy Durdledy having fun. He giggled and wiggled like a snake in the hands of the fat lady. She held him over her head and spun around and around. He pretended he was saying the real people poems.

"La, la, dee, doo, bee, boh, bah, bah," he said and laughed and laughed.

Then something very different began to happen. Turtledy Durdledy felt hot all over his body. He didn't feel hot like he did when he was walking down Blackmur Drive. This hot felt good.

Then Turtledy Durdledy saw bright light fill the inside of the tent. It was dark when he came in, but now it was bright. He once was lost, but now he was found. He saw a shape in his head that looked like a signpost. But there was no street name on it. It just glowed.

"Slibin flothy maryheuses," Turtledy Durdledy said. "Monus tabalola anygedda adanoba golly!"

After awhile, everybody calmed down. The man in the white shirt and black pants said, "Let's us go eat some dinner y'all. C'mon Brother Durdledy. You can come too."

Later at the real people picnic table outside, Turtledy Durdledy sat and ate with all the other little boys and girls. They ate catfish and hushpuppies and mayonaise and Cokes.

"Mmm, how I love catfish," said Turtledy Durdledy, and he sucked the bones clean.

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