When people see the cover to this book, they ask, “What’s with the turtle?” Actually, it’s a tortoise. This is his story.
Once upon a time, there was a tortoise name Telly.
Telly the tortoise was a simple reptile, content with staring at the ground all day, every day. He lived a peaceful life in the city, as few good tortoises do. But Telly knew no better.
He trudged around from place to place, never knowing anything but the concrete around him and the blacktop below.
Nothing exciting ever happened to Telly—that is, until one day…
It was an ordinary Thursday when Telly was hit by a car. He was crossing the street at 32nd and 5th—his usual 10:0am routine—when it happened.
The Volvo knicked the tortoises’s rear, which was enough to send him spinning in circles. Careening off the street and skidding across the ground, Telly landed on his back in the gutter. He fell right into a black puddle with a big SPLAT!
With a sore shell, Telly began to cry. But no one heard him. The tortoise squirmed and flailed his arms and screamed for help. But he couldn’t move. And no one came. Telly was stuck with his legs in the air.
He sighed in defeat. So this is how it’s going to end, he thought.
The sun set and people finished their work days. And the streets emptied. Everyone went home—everyone but the tortoise on his back. The owls started to hoot, and the air grew chilly. Night slowly crept in.
At that point, Telly had given up. He stopped squirming, stopped crying, and waited for the inevitable. In his resignation, he did something peculiar, something he had never done before.
Telly looked up.
Surrendered to his situation, he gave up on the possibility of leaving this uncomfortable mess he had gotten himself into, and his eyes moved beyond the concrete and blacktop around him.
And for the first time in his life, Telly saw the stars.
There were millions of them—thousands upon thousands of beautiful diamonds in the sky. And each seemed to sparkle just for Telly. The tortoise spent hours looking at them, counting each one, losing track and gladly starting all over again.
It was wonderful.
For hours, Telly couldn’t sleep a wink. How could he, after all? Where was everyone else? he wondered, Didn’t they know what they were missing? Eventually, the tired tortoise drifted off to slumber, dreaming of faraway lands that sparkled like diamonds.
The next day, a kind stranger walked by an upside-down turtle—actually, it was a tortoise—and flipped him over. Our reptilian friend awoke and scuttled off quickly.
And though he went back to staring at the ground, Telly was never the same again.
This is a book about moments like that. Moments where your eyes are opened to a new reality, where it’s impossible to return to simply staring at the concrete. That’s what it means to be wrecked. To share your own story, click here or click the turtle—I mean tortoise—below. And if you haven’t picked up the book yet, get it here.