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The Little Turtle

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The little turtle scrabbled with its flippers, pushed with its hind legs and heaved itself out of the hole in the sand. It could sense a loud thrum somewhere in the distance while nearby other turtles scrambled out of their holes, clambering all over each other in their eagerness to be free. The little turtle paused and smelled the air, then turned towards the source of the noise. He noticed that other turtles were going the same way and he hoped there would be room enough for all of them.
Home.
That was where he thought he was heading, although he was not sure what home meant, just that he was supposed to be there. He dug in with his flippers, pushing against the cool sand and scuttled towards the commotion.
After a little while he was suddenly pushed backwards then flipped upside down. He paddled frantically and felt himself recover, but he was sure he was back where he had been a short while ago. With renewed effort he pushed against the sand, propelling his way forward, following the other turtles he could now see ahead of him. Twice more the force pushed at him, and took him away from his path, and twice more he pulled with his front feet, dragging himself forward. The third time he flipped he felt himself floating, and the force pushed him to the side, not backwards. He barely had time to adjust before the force overwhelmed him again, and he felt himself being sucked away, faster than he could run.
Water. The ocean. This must be his home.
The little turtle flipped his feet and righted himself on the wave, then, with his head held high he paddled faster and faster, feeling the water rush over his shell and the undulations of the waves as they strove to push him farther and farther out to sea. Around him he could see the dark shapes of his brothers and sisters swimming easily through the water; there was nothing to stop them now.
The turtle looked up, lifting his head out of the water and found that above him was a vast emptiness, like the water, only different. There were dark shapes there too and the turtle wondered briefly if some of his siblings had taken a wrong turn and gone up instead of out to sea. The next time he lifted his head for air he noticed that the shapes were larger, and there were more of them. He felt uneasy about these shapes. Something inside him warned him that these were not good. He took a deep breath, dived down and swam, urging his legs to take him farther out to sea, closer to home where he would be safe.
When he could wait no longer he raised his head for another breath and saw the dark shape come hurtling out of the sky, heading straight towards him. It was the last thing he saw.

The pelican dived down into the sea, plunging its beak into the waves, scooping up a mouthful of water and a crunchy treat of turtle. Life was good.
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