So, I was visiting an aquarium in Seoul the other day, and there were also turtles and lizards (and hedgehogs, beavers, prairie's dogs and other flying squirrels. Korean people have an idea of aquarium that is full of surprises). And in one vivarium, there was a lizard on a turtle. And one of the people I was visiting with (Anna, a russian girl I've met in Korea)said:"Hey, you should write a novel about that!". So, later in the day this idea someway grew in me and I wrote something about that. Obviously not a novel, but a very short story. And in english, for the exercice of it and because I spend more time speaking, hearing and reading english these days than ever. And because I wanted that the person who gave me the idea could read it. Ah, and since the last story I'v written in english was in highschool, I apologize in advance for my bad written english. So, no more talking, here's the Lizard on the turtle!
Je visitais un aquarium a Seoul l'autre jour (ou je suis encore, ce qui explique le manque d'accents sur ce texte, ce clavier etranger en etant depourvu), et il y avait aussi des tortues et des lezards (et des castors, des herissons, des chiens de prairie et autres ecureuils volants: comme quoi, les coreens ont une definition de l'aquarium pleine de surprises). Dans l'un de ces vivariums, il y avait un lezard sur une tortue. Et une des personnes avec qui j'etais (Anna, une russe rencontree en Coree) m' a dit: "Tiens, tu devrais ecrire un roman la-dessus!". Plus tard dans la journee, cette idee avait fait son chemin et, amuse par l'exercice, j'ai fini par ecrire quelque chose. Bien sur, pas un roman mais une petite histoire. Et en anglais pour l'exercice, et parce que je lis, parles et entends plus d'anglais ces jours que jamais. Je m'excuse d'ailleurs d'avance pour mon anglais ecrit sans doute bien mauvais: je ne crois pas avoir ecrit d'histoire en anglais depuis le lycee... Mais plus de blabla, place au Lezard sur la Tortue!
Et non, je n' ai pas traduit l'histoire en francais, parce que j'ai la flemme, parce que ces claviers n'ont pas d'acccents et parce que, je ne sais pas, c'est un vendredi et que je n'aime pas traduire les vendredi. Navre.
THE LIZARD ON THE TURTLE
There was nothing in the desert, only the sound of silence. And there were only a few things louder than silence. The lack of noise was so strong it filled you completely, until it made your heart pump blood so hard it was noise to your ears again. That’s all that was in the desert: the sound of your heart, and the loneliness within. There was a lot of loneliness in the desert. And sand of course, sand everywhere. Easy, to feel alone in a sea of sand. Silence, sand and heat. A heat so powerful it was amazing it didn’t turn the sand to glass. In a few worlds, not really a lovely place to live. But life there was between the sand grains. A fierce and ruthless life, accustomed to the toughness of the place. There were snakes as pale as the moon under the sand, and eagles and vultures flying above it. And bugs and reptiles, all looking to prey on each other, all looking for shadows and water. And all were silent.
Well, except for the lizard and the turtle.
“Y’know, I think the sun is closer today.” said the lizard. His skin between green and brown, he had a tail as long as his body and was as usual resting on the shell of the turtle, his legs swinging with laziness. An elegant crest crowned his little head, and he looked like a little king on his moving throne.
“How can you say that?” said the turtle, with a grumbly voice. Old he was, mixed wrinkles under the large shell. A big shell it was, robust and tough. “The sun is the sun. It ain’t move.”
“You couldn’t know. Y’never look up.”
“’cause I’ve to look where I put my feet. Wouldn’t walk on a snake or something like that.”
“Asnake? Where? Run!”
“I’m a turtle, you idiot!”
The lizard, who had raised his head in fear, let it fell softly on the shell.
“Don’t you joke about snakes!”
“I never joke.”
“I know. You’re grumpy.”
“I’ve a dumb lizard on my back, of course I’m grumpy!”
“Hey, I’m not dumb! Just a little slow, that’s all. That was what my ma’ always said.” He stopped to think a little, and added: “But she was eaten by a half-blind desert’s dog, so I can’t exactly said she was a good example.”
“A pity he didn’t eat you instead.”
“Couldn’t see me: I was stuck under a rock.”
“The apple didn’t fell far from the three, I see.”
The lizard rose his head again, this time with hunger. The turtle rolled his eyes with annoyance, and didn’t answer to that. The lizard went on with his idea, like usual:
“I like them big and round and red. So juiciy! Don’t you ike them?”
“I will eat lizard tonight if you don’t shut up!”
“All right, all right grumpy!”
There was silence again. But the turtle knew it wouldn’t last. Still moving, he was counting in his head. At eight, the high-pitched voice of the lizard rose again:
“You hurt my feelings. Did you know you hurt my feelings?”
“And what about mine?”
“You don’t have any. You threatened to eat me!”
“Oh god!” sighed the turtle with exasperation. “I won’t eat you. You’re to skinny, anyway.”
“That’s was my ma’ always said also. And thanks, it means a lot! What turtles eat, anyway?”
“Lettuce.” Answered the turtle without hesitation. “We turtles like a big mean lettuce. Green and clean, washed of the bugs.”
“Erk! Salad! The best thing about it ARE the bugs!”
“I’ll tell you what: if we find a lettuce, you can keep the bugs. Deal?”
“Deal. You’re a good friend.”
“Psh! Don’t say that out loud, dumbass!”
“Why? Afraid of other beasts learning about the big, softy heart you hide under that shell?”
“I’ve a reputation.”
“You big softy!”
“Oh, shut up.”
“One thing isn’t soft for sure, and it’s your shell. So hard! And it itches. I’ve fragile skin, my ma’ always told me.”
“So walk. You think I like having you on my back? I’m not a friggin’ cab!”
“I’m not so heavy. And you love the company!”
“You’re not heavy, but god are you annoying!”
But the lizard was right, and the turtle knew it. An annoying lizard was better than silence. When you were alone in the desert, you were safer. Nobody to distract you. Nobody to steal your food. Nobody to deceive you and hurt you. On your one, you were safe. But the turtle lived long enough to know that safe wasn’t worth a life of loneliness. He would never say that to the lizard of course, because the little guy would never shut up about that. But it was a fact. So the turtle let him on his shell. Because in the desert of life, two was someway better than one.
“So, you were telling me about apples?” adked the lizard.
Well, it was better MOST of the time.
“You lied again?” continued the lizard. “Not cool! I want apples now! It’s all I can think about and it’s your fault!”
“And what about snakes?”
“Snakes? Where? Oh. I see. I had forgotten about them. You mean beast!”
The turtle smiled. It wasn’t easy to smile with the face of a turtle, but he did it anyway. And went on:
“What are you anyway, if not a snake with legs?”
“That’s mean, even for your standard! That’s it, I’m not talking to you anymore!”
So the lizard shut up. For a few seconds.
“So, were are we going?”
“I don,t know.” Said the turtle. “In front of us, together, as always. Where do YOU want to go?”
“Somewhere there are apples. Wake me when we got there?”
“I’m not your servant. Look for these yourself!”
“You did it again! My poor feelings!”
And so on they went on, and bickered more and more. And thanks to that, they forgot about the silence, the heat and the sand. And it was all they need.
There was nothing in the desert, only the sound of silence.
Well, of course, except for the lizard on the turtle.