Thursday, September 29, 2011

Malcom Strikes Again

Yes, Malcom.  That irrepressible, indecipherable Tortoise.  Just because we've lived together for over thirty years, doesn't mean I understand him.  So naturally,  I continue to speculate wildly about his motivations.

Malcom's enclosure is located in my office.  Malcom himself is all of four feet away from me as I sit at my desk.  Indeed, at this very moment, were he not asleep, he would be staring fireballs into the back of my head.

Critters like Malcom need exercise.  It's easy to forget that because Tortoises have a phlegmatic quality.  Unlike say, a ferret.  The lanky animated ferret simply looks ready for action.  Still, Tortoises are made to move, albeit, slowly.  It is therefore true that Malcom regularly moves about inside his enclosure.  He doesn't do laps around and around or back and forth.  He moves until he hits the wall, quite literally.  Then he hits the wall again and again.  Bumph, thunk.  His feet make a sort of grinding sound in the pea pebbles that cover the enclosure's floor.  Malcom's workouts are noisy. 

Picture it, you are at your desk reading or writing or doing something that requires concentration and right in the next cubicle, so to speak, there is a persistent thump scrape thumpking.  This goes on and on until you want to scream or run out of the room.  You sigh and return to your task.  But the beating of Malcom's shell against the glass persists.  Now all you want to do is grab Malcom and throw him out the window.

It is with great shame that I admit these thoughts.  Even greater is the shame at the number of times I have had these bad violent urges.  Happily, I am neither insane nor evil.  Malcom remains unharmed- even while he continues his efforts to drive me mad by thummmkk, scraaak, scrape, bummnk. 

For years, Malcom has been working to drive me out of my mind.  He alternates between silently staring at me with something that is either bland or malevolent, and hurling his shell against the wall causing a sharp yet dull sound with the beat of a slightly off  kilter metronome.


  1. Awww, he's just trying to get your attention!

    I wonder what the guinea pig thinks to himself, up on that shell....

  2. Lynn, sign me up for Malcolm's fan club!

  3. I love this turtle. I have Pip the cupboard mouse in my office and he also picks poor times to start rockin' on the wheel.

  4. I love Malcolm- do you think he might have cataracts and can't see that he has to turn around rather than scratch and thump the wall. Also this staring business.... Just thinking out loud.:)

  5. I never thought about cataracts! Now I'm curious if turtles are prone to them.

    As for Malcom, he's been staring and bumping his shell on the wall for thirty years...not sure if we can cite an infirmity to explain his actions..

    I still think Malcom is purposely trying to drive me mad!