Desert Fiction


My Life As A Desert Tortoise


By: Richard W., Kylie H., and Mounir J.
desert_tortoise.jpg
It's Zach!

"Hoot! Hoot!" cries a nearby pygmy owl.
"Neigh, neigh," yells a noisy herd of camels.
“I am never going to get any sleep. Stupid camels, they are so annoying and noisy. They are trampling all over my den!” grumbles our tortoise, Zach.
The rhythmic hooting of the owl, however, soon lulls Zach asleep.
The next morning, Zach sets out for a new den. “Man, the problem with the desert is there is endless miles of sand, sand, and more sand! Oh! Look! It is a big rock! It also has lots of Desert Varnish on it! Plus, there are actually some plants, a Joshua tree and a barrel cactus! Oh my goodness, look at that plush mistletoe, feeding off the tree! I think I will make my den here, and get some mistletoe for a bed!”
So, Zach set to work, digging up a den with his long front claws, while dreaming about the plush, comfortable mistletoe.

“Hey! Do you need any help?” piped up a small pygmy owl.
Zach looks around, unable to see anybody, then he spies the owl perching on the barrel cactus. He learns the owl's name is Jerry.
pygmyowl.jpg
It's Jerry


“Nah,” replies Zach. “You wouldn’t be able to help that much either, you do not have good digging claws. Although you might be able to help by plucking some mistletoe off that tree for me!

The owl chirps, “Ok, I will try, but I do not think I am really that strong. Still, you never know until you try!” the bird enthusiastically answered.
With that, he took off in a flurry of feathers towards the great tree. After several vain efforts, Jerry finally gave up. “I am sorry, but I just cannot seem to get the mistletoe,” apologized the owl.
By now, Zach has finished digging his cubbyhole.
“Oh, it is ok, I am sure I can get it eventually,” assures Zach.
So the little pygmy owl went back to chomping some of the fruit off of the cactus. Then, a songbird flew by.
phainopeplasongbird.jpg
The annoying phainopepla called Darcus


It chirped," Mmmm, Darcus likes this!! These berries on the mistle toe are amazing!!! Yum! Yum!"

"Gak!! Stop! Stop! A ton of the seeds are flying down!! Now, we will be stuck with more mistletoe in a few years!!!! BOO!!!" Then Zach made such a frenzy, that the Songbird flew off.
"Humph! Now what was I going to do about that mistletoe again? Hmm......." Zach was stuck. He decided to go to bed without the mistletoe tonight, and get it tomorrow.

When he was sleeping, he heard some disturbance outside. He checked his little peep hole, and saw a couple rabbits running from a ferocious bobcat. "I am glad that it is not me he mumbled, whoa! That is some cool shiny ghost fungi! Oh, I am tired." and he fell asleep again.
While this was happening, there was a huge storm blowing like crazy.
ghostfungus.jpg
something Zach might have seen
ghost_fungus.jpg
another something Zach might have seen


The next day, Zach woke up, and saw the pygmy owl. "Guess what?" asked the pygmy owl.

"I do not know, what?" replied Zach.

"Ouch!" said the pygmy owl as he sat on a small patch of British Soldier lichen.

"It is something good...... Your long wanted mistletoe fell off from the storm last night!" joyfully shouted the owl.

Zach shouted out with glee," Yes!! My dream home will be finally complete!!"
Saying so, Zach carefully stuck the mistletoe into his little cubbyhole, and prepared himself for a long day.











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