The morning began slowly. The heat lamp flickered on at 7 AM, but Herman barely noticed. When he was plucked from his burrow under the tree stump and deposited onto the warmest part of his home, he bobbed his head once or twice to acknowledge the favour. As the heat began to soak into his shell, getting him ready for the day ahead, Herman yawned and wondered what food he would find in his bowl today. A couple of days ago he’d decided to eat the yellow pansy, but left the purple one behind. At the time, one was all he wanted, but he’d started to wonder if the different colours meant a different taste and he hoped he’d be able to find out today.
After five days of overcast skies, Herman was delighted to wake up and see the sunrise glowing outside. He wandered over to the glass in his home to get a better look while he basked under his heat lamp. In her delight at the return of the sun, the guardian disregarded his discomfort and brought him to the windows of the world outside his home.
“Look Herman, ” she said, “isn’t it pretty?”
Herman took a moment to agree that it was, indeed, pretty and then proceeded to remind his guardian about his preference for all four legs on solid ground.
Herman was returned to his basking spot where he spent the next hour trying to decide whether or not his dignity had been bruised. In the end he decided that it didn’t matter. Strange though she may be, he was starting to enjoy the quirks of his new guardian.
Herman was happy to have a bath. He was hopeful that it signalled a return to a normal routine, something that he was very much looking forward to.
After a weekend full of travel and meeting new people, Herman did not feel like eating the brightly coloured pansies he found in his food bowl on Monday morning. Instead, he decided to stick with familiar items like carrots and escarole. He felt that there was a good chance that there would be fresh flowers in the bowl tomorrow and that would be soon enough to try something new.
When Herman woke up after his ordeal the day before, he found that the new world outside his home was pretty with colourful red and gold Christmas ornaments that he could admire without the distraction of Lucy barking or the guardian moving around. By mid-afternoon the quiet of the morning was replaced by the sounds of joyful children. Having lived in a home with three young children for a year, Herman found the noises familiar and soothing. However, when Herman ventured out to see what was for dinner he was surprised to find that the world outside his home was full of people, ranging from very small to really quite tall, and most of them were new faces. He didn’t understand what was going on until he saw the ornament that had been made to look like him. He then realized that the party was for him and he was incredibly flattered by the honour. As a result, he took his time before eating to bask by his pond and let his adoring fans get a good look at him.