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Esio Trot and The Count of Monte Cristo

The tortoises, Sarah and Billie, have settled into their new home in a corner of the book shop. Or as settled as they ever are. Billie still spends most of her time hiding from Sarah and trying to keep some small corner of the food for herself. When she is not stealing food from Billie or standing on Billie’s shell, Sarah still spends all her time trying to escape. I let her wander about the shop from time to time, keeping an eye out for random tortoise poo. Sarah likes roaming about nosing her way into empty lower shelves and investigating the shop kitchen, but it can be a bit alarming for customers to see what looks like a decorated rock wandering about the place, and she often finds herself wedged in a corner of a lower shelf. Ani and Idris, though, have become regular customers, and they bring a handful of fresh dandelion or buttercup for Sarah and Billie most afternoons. Idris is helping me to design and build a playground for the tortoises under the stairs so they won’t get too bored indoors.

An avid reader came in and chatted to me about The Count of Monte Cristo, and we talked about the wonderful section of the book set in the prison, and how the soul of the old teacher is released after death in the form of his young friend escaping in disguise as a his corpse. And all the time we were talking there was a persistent scratching sound from the corner of the stairs as Sarah tried to dig her way out her box into the relative freedom of the shop floor. What terrible revenge would she like to plot against me for her incarceration? I dread to think. Will I be reincarnated inside a hard shell, doubly imprisoned? I hope not. Does anyone want to take a tortoise for a visit to their garden?


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