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The story begins here: she drives a Rolls Royce. The only Rolls I've seen in the northeastern foothills. OK, the only Rolls I've seen ever in my real life. It's a beautiful car, cream on tan, the understated elegance achieved only at great expense. The driver wears big hair and blue blockers. I used to chuckle when I saw her piloting that massive, gorgeous automobile through the unpredictable intersection of Tanque Verde and Sabino Canyon. Other drivers seem to give her a safe distance. Nobody wants to rear end a Rolls.

The story continues: I'm driving to school one cheery morning. Something moves on the shoulder, walking slowly toward the road. I'll be damned! If it isn't a desert tortoise! Haven't seen but one of those in the wild... this is my second sighting. I passed carefully and pulled off the road about 100 yards away. Got out of my car and trotted toward the tortoise, thinking about that opening scene of The Grapes of Wrath. Is it true that tortoises have some kind of inner compass? Should I help him across the road to continue his journey? Should I remove him to a safer place?

Fifty yards away now. The tortoise has one foot on the pavement. Two cars whoosh past and I start running. The next car - it's the Rolls - it's too close to the shoulder, barreling down the hill. Like in that Munsch painting my hands fly up to my face but instead of The Scream it's "Don't run over the tortoise!"

It's too late.

She didn't see the tortoise. Hell, I don't even think she saw me. But I saw it all. I saw my rescue efforts thwarted. I saw total annihilation.

The story ends. The next time I see that Rolls I won't be chuckling.


Gnightgirl said…
Baby, I'm still reading your blogs. You should get $$ for this one.

Gina said…
OH, my gawd! The poor tortoise. In all my years in Tucson I only saw one and I was an animal control officer!!!

There goes the Rolls driver's karma...

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