AND THE TORTOISE
One day, Amar was reading
one of his favorite stories, "The Hare and the Tortoise."
He laughed at what happened to the hare and learned from the
tortoise how important it is to use one's head and that cleverness
is more than a match for physical superiority. While he was
thinking about these things, he suddenly realized that the
tortoise in the book had come alive on the page and had started
talking to him:
tortoise began by saying: "Hi Amar! It's great that you are
so young and clever enough to learn a lesson from the story
about the hare and me."
Amar asked "How old are you?"
The tortoise replied: "I'm not
as young as I look; I am actually 45 years old. Tortoises
live for about 60 years; and there's even one kind of tortoise
called the 'Testudo' that can live as long as 189 years."
Everything in the
heavens and everything in the Earth belongs to Him.
Allah is the Rich Beyond Need, the Praiseworthy. (Surat
What's your favorite season?"
tortoise replied: "Warm weather is very important for our
survival. Our body temperature changes with the temperature
of the air around us and is usually between 32.2 and 32.4
Fahrenheit (0.1 and 0.2 degrees Celcius) lower than that of
the air. Our digestive system speeds up as the temperature
becomes hotter. When Allah created us, He gave us this characteristic
to make it easier for us to survive when it is very hot. We
need all the gifts that Allah gives us, but He is Rich Beyond
Amar then wondered: "What's
your favorite food?"
"We love yellow squash. Our
eyes are very sharp, and they see yellows best. That means
we can easily find our favorite food," responded the tortoise.
Amar had another question for
the tortoise: "Do you hibernate in winter?"
The tortoise explained:
"Yes. When the weather gets colder, from October on, and food
becomes harder to find, our bodies slow down and we protect
ourselves by going to sleep for several months. Our heartbeat
and our breathing slow down. We hibernate between October
and March. Because Allah created us in this way, we don't
have to stay awake in winter with nothing to eat, which would
be fatal to us. Allah has protected us for generations by
sending us to sleep at just the right time."
Amar had more to ask: "I know
you live on dry land, but I also think some of you live in
the water. Can you tell me about them?"
The tortoise smiled: "You're
right, Amar. There are tortoises, fresh water turtles and
sea turtles among us. I live on dry land, for example. I prefer
fields, soft soil and grapevines. Fresh water turtles, the
kind you keep in aquariums, like lakes and river banks. Sea
turtles live in the warm seas and come onto land to lay their
eggs. Let me tell you something interesting about the Caretta
Caretta carettas go to warm
beaches to lay their eggs. Allah inspires the young turtles
that hatch from the eggs to head toward the light reflected
off the sea, in other words, to go straight toward where they
will live. How do these baby turtles know that the sea is
the best place for them to live in? It must be because our
Lord inspires that knowledge in them."
Amar said:"You're right.
Everyone with a mind to think with must know that the world
is full of Allah's wonders. We must always remember that you
and I, all animals and trees and everything else are a sign
of Him. It was nice to talk to you. Thanks for telling me
so much. Bye-bye."
"Good-bye, you clever boy,"
said the tortoise.
Storks are large migratory birds
between 3-5 feet (1-1.5 meters) tall with big, white wings.
Their red beaks and legs make them look cute. Every year,
storks migrate in large numbers because they can't live in
cold regions. Storks thus tell us that the hot days of summer
are coming, and it is a miracle they know when the weather
is about to warm up. The following year, when spring has come
round again, storks return on their miles-long journey and
find their old nests. Of course it is Allah Who inspires such
a good memory and sense of direction in them.