I opened my front door just in time to see the tortoise cross my path. I took it to be a sign, a good omen.
I said, “Hey, thanks for clearing trouble from my yard.”
My visitor was too busy slow walking across concrete to return my greeting or, for that matter, acknowledge me at all.
I didn’t care. I understood. The shelled reptile’s good deed had nothing to do with me, not really.
The tortoise would do the same for Donald Trump or Joe Biden or Oprah or LeBron James or the Cat on the Corner with the Cardboard Sign saying, “Homeless…Will Work For…”
“God, no. No,” I said, then shouted to my messenger, “Steer clear of anyone or anything looking at you with hungry eyes. The good omen vibes you sent me, I’m sending them right back to you. Please, please, don’t let anyone cut short your righteous path.”
I stood for over an hour watching my talisman cross the yard. It left a trail of four leaf clovers.
When Joey, my grandson, was eight years old, he told me, “I’ve changed my name to ‘Turtle.'”
I said, “Cool.”
Then he said, “I used to call you ‘Hippopotamus’ but I’m changing it to ‘Tortoise.'”
“You know why?”
Joey took a deep breath and said, “I’ve changed your name to ‘Tortoise’ coz you’re so slow and, mostly steady, you’re gonna win the race.”