The Snurtle – a Fable by Renee Tarot

This tale is based on a dream that I had when Mercury joined the Sun in airy Aquarius, and Fortune conjoined with Neptune in a second house Pisces….

Snurtle Leaves Home

In a time and space not far from here there was a snurtle who lived in an overgrown garden owned by a hard-working, middle-aged woman.  The snurtle’s mother was a turtle who had been brutally ravaged by a garden snake, who also happened to be Snurtle’s father, and the female turtle had never quite gotten over the trauma of it all.

Many nights she looked at the little snurtle who was born out of her misfortune, and she cried herself to sleep, quietly staring at the stars and asking, “why me?”

The little snurtle pretended to sleep, however this nightly occurrence soon had an awful effect on his psyche and as he grew larger, he decided to venture out from under the rock where he was born.  Snurtle found that the world outside of his rock was no more welcoming than his mother had been.

“You are the most ugly thing that I have ever seen,” said a pubescent possum with small eyes that were way too close, and a bit crossed.  Secretly he was glad to see the snurtle because prior to that, he had been the ugliest little thing in the garden.  “What are you?”

“Um, I don’t now, but my mother is a turtle,” the little snurtle answered in the distinct English accent that he had often heard his mother speak in.  He was quite surprised that he even had a voice because his mother never spoke directly to him so he had no one else to speak to, and consequently never spoke.  “I never knew my father,” Snurtle half lied because he had seen the huge garden snake slithering around outside the rock as his mother hid under it.

As the conversation was taking place, a young rabbit and squirrel gathered around the possum and snurtle, pointing and laughing.

“We thought possum was weird-looking, but you……what are you?” They asked grimacing and laughing at the same time.

Snurtle had had enough of the outside world and crawl-slid back to his rock where he found his mother dead, likely from sadness at her lot.  He sighed and used his two front legs to cover her with dirt, then he moved along to find another rock that was slightly larger than the one he and his mother had shared, and closer to a house in the middle of the snarled garden.

The Little Cottage

Snurtle had only peeked out from behind his oversize mother during his lifetime, and had never before seen the dingy, white stucco house.  It was a one story flat with a roof that was turned up around the edges.  Ivy and wild rose vines crawled up the side of the house giving it a wild, yet quaint appearance, and there were various openings where the house met the garden floor, walls eroded away as a result of years of flooding from the British rains.  The woman who lived inside with her aging father and young son was cooking something and the wonderful smell escaped the hole near the floor and caused Snurtle to drool. The woman of a bit more than meager means, made an earnest living sewing, cooking and selling her bottled pickles and jams.

“Never before have I smelled anything so delicious as the scent coming from this little house.  I must have some of whatever it is.  Surely those inside of the house must be nicer than these that are outside of it.”  Snurtle who moved a bit faster than a turtle, but slower than a snake, proceeded toward the opening, and the closer he got, the stronger the aroma from the house.

Snurtle Meets the Family

At first nobody noticed when Snurtle entered the house.

Inside it was cool, quiet and filled with the aroma of wild deer stroganoff with potatoes and carrots.

Yum yum, Snurtle thought to himself and moved toward the kitchen to get his portion.  As far as Snurtle was concerned, when he was hungry, he was supposed to be fed….that’s all he knew. Though his mother never spoke to him, she was an awesome huntress and provider because she herself was overweight and loved food.

“What in the heck is that,” the old man cried pointing to the snurtle in the middle of the sparsely furnished dining area.  “Get a glass jar!”

The little boy looked at the snake turtle in the middle of the floor, watching it move slowly to the kitchen.  It was an ugly, slimy, fat thing and he was quite afraid of it.  “Okay grandpa,” he said with trepidation.

“Hurry, before it gets away!”

The little boy scooted over to the shelves on the wall that had the large pickling jars and took one over to the thing on the floor.

“Cover it!” The old man shouted.

With the sudden yelling and noise, Snurtle looked up and saw a large glass coming down over him…..he panicked and froze in his tracks.

“Got it,” the little boy cried, peering in the glass and the coiled gray thing inside.

Snurtle coiled up inside the glass.

The boy jumped and the glass toppled giving Snurtle space to escape.

“No, don’t let him go! Cover him up again!” The old many cried motioning to the boy with his walking stick and trying to get over to where Snurtle was in order to give the boy directions.  I guess he thought if he got closer, his screams would be better understood!

“I’m trying grandpapa, but the ugly old thing keeps moving!  What is it!”  The boy was very afraid and had never seen anything so……so……disgusting.  Snurtle was fat, wet and long and each time the boy placed the large glass over him, he moved and startled the boy.

“What is all the noise?” Asked the woman who came into the room after hearing the ruckus.  “Oh my!  Get it!” She said when she saw the snake-like thing on the floor.

The boy kept trying, flinching and snatching his hand away from the glass causing it to topple over, the last time which gave Snurtle an opportunity to make a run for it.

Snurtle tapped into resources that he had not realized he had and slid over to the large oven, trying to get under it and in its protective shadows before either the woman or the boy could capture him.

“Give me that glass,” the woman yelled, “and go get my broom!  We must not let it out of our sight!  We must catch it and kill it!”

The little boy handed the large jar over to his mother with hot, sweaty palms and rushed to find her long-handled broom.

Whatever it was in the middle of the floor looked like a turtle with a snake hanging from inside the shell.  It was a nasty sight that paralysed the woman, causing her to hesitate just long enough for Snurtle to get away.

He soon saw the light of day outside and scurried to the opening to get out of the house amidst the cries of the woman, her father and the little boy.

“Whew, I barely escaped,” Snurtle said to himself as he hurried off to safety.

Moral of the Story

Sometimes the thing that you hate most about yourself, turns out to be the very thing that saves your ass!