My tortoise Winston, though a regular visitor to this blog, has always requested that I leave him out of it as much as possible. He has been particularly adamant that I refrain from posting photos or videos of him here. I asked him his reasons once and he said he didn't want to start getting recognized in public. Plus, he added, he'd be playing with fire should he ever want to pursue a career in politics, something he's mused about for ages. I, for one, have always suspected that he's a bit shy more than anything.

But readers are becoming restless. Requests to see Winston in the flesh have recently turned to demands. Just days ago, a commenter suggested that perhaps Winston wasn't even real-- that he may be only a figment of my twisted imagination. Winston, who had remained quiet on the subject despite the growing protests, had had enough.

"Screw it," he said to me one recent morning.

"Screw it?" I asked.

"Screw it. Put me in the blog. I don't want these blog visitors thinking that I don't exist."

"You do exist," I added.

"Damned right I do," he snapped. "Put me in the blog."

This was a big step for him. "Are you sure?" I asked.

He paused. His head emerged a few millimeters further from his shell, and he looked out the window. He stayed like that for a couple minutes, pensive. "Yes," he said finally. "Yes, I'm sure."

"Do you want to show them your freezedance?" I asked delicately.

We both knew the answer. "Yes," he said. "Yes, show them my freezedance."

And so, on this Sunday, you'll all have a chance to get to know one of my closest friends and fondest toys. I'm happy to present to you, Winston the Tortoise. The unbearably low quality of these videos is the reason for the background sound. No volume is needed until the last two videos.

We'll get to his musical talents later. First, let's visit Winston doing ordinary things. Here he is hanging out (I would recommend that you don't watch more than 10 seconds of this video, as it is excruciatingly boring):


Eating, and enjoying doing so:


I always think it's funny that evolution gave tortoises the shaft in every possible way (they can't run, they can't climb, they can't swim, they can't bite, they can't claw) except one-- they can hide. Anytime, anywhere. This is Winston retracting into his shell the first time the camera approaches him:


It's a myth that tortoises are slow. Winston is incredibly fast, he's just carrying a massive shell on his back all the time. As soon as I relieve him of that weight, he speed along nicely:


Winston always enjoys a good challenge. Here, he finds himself in a pickle as he is surrounded by a wire. He knows he needs to get out, but it won't be easy:


Getting off the shoe is one nut Winston still hasn't cracked:


Time to crank your computer volume up. Winston is exceptional at freezedancing:


I couldn't help myself:



Anonymous said...

AMAZING! A freezedancing turtle!

Anonymous said...

What's the difference between a tortoise and a turtle? Is it the same thing?

ashley said...

haha very cute.
your tortoise has skills!!!
freezedancing tortoise

Anonymous said...

How long did it take to make that Kokomo video?

laubergemarina said...

Dear Winston,

I'm sorry that I thought you didn't exist, because you do, even though you are a lot smaller than I thought you were...But size doesn't matter, right? Because you're a great dancer and chewer.

Anonymous said...

Winston is very cool

*sigh* I had forgotten how cute you are, insane but cute, a deadly combination ;)

Anonymous said...

Ivanka helmed.

Your idea.

Winston ...

Didi said...

a freezedancing tortoise.. didn't know they even exist.. or maybe Winston is just very smart....
anyway congrats for having Winston as your friend and tell him that if he's thinking of a political career, he can count on me for .. moral support(i can't vote in US :D)
btw.. what's the name of the song in the last video?

Anonymous said...

the song is called kokomo, by the beach boys.

morgan said...


nicole said...

Well I'll be damned... Winston, the tortoise, exists!

Anonymous said...

You're a great sport, Winston. Thanks for giving the public what they wanted.

Anonymous said...

O.K. I take back what I said about you Winston. Fine - you can have your sweater back. But - you owe me a night on the town.

Jackie said...

awww Winston is a cutie! <3

Anonymous said...

A freezedancing turtle! How cool is that? I had a couple turtles when I was a kid but none of them could do much. Watching these videos I'm not sure which one of you guys went to Harvard.

Winston RULE!

Anonymous said...

Another talent:a great turtle trainer.

Jodie said...

Re: Watching these videos I'm not sure which one of you guys went to Harvard. Winston RULE!

Aww, come on. Just watching Tim's Kokomo video proves he went to Harvard :)
(with Winston)

Lara Wolfgang Lane said...

Best blog ever. Are turtle's high maintenance? I really want one.

Anonymous said...

LOL, the freezdancing is actually pretty cool.