Posted in Stories, writing

Short Story: The Chair and the Tortoise

Jemma was a curious little tortoise. She often looked at the clouds, high in the sky, and wondered what it would be like to fly on them. In the winter she wondered what it would be like to sleep in an igloo and in the summer, she wondered how much ice cream it would take to make an ice cream house. Questions and ideas flooded her mind all day, every day, she just wanted to know how the world worked. Being a tortoise limited her physically sometimes, but it never hindered her ever growing, enormous imagination.

Being a tortoise means you only really see the world from the floor, not like a giraffe where they get to see treetops and other tall giraffes. Even elephants get a much better view of the Serengeti than most of the animals there; they get to watch sunsets for hours on end. Tortoises see mostly feet, swishing tails and other tortoises. Jemma wanted something more than this. She wanted to see the tops of the tallest things, and so she had a good long think about how to do just that.

While she was plodding along through some grass, she came across an abandoned chair. It had been tipped upside down, so the feet were up in the air, Jemma laughed to herself “I look like that first thing in the morning”. She realised that chairs and tortoises have a lot in common – both have four legs and they have strong backs, though she wondered what it must be like to be a chair. Sat there all day, waiting to be sat on, getting pushed in and out of tables, “it mustn’t be fun” she concluded, and it was here that she realised she felt sorry for this poor chair.

Just then, Dean, the Snake slithered along, he saw Jemma and spoke: “want me to turn it over?” Jemma nodded excitedly “Oh yes please if you don’t mind” Dean didn’t mind at all, and by slithering up the back and entwining himself around the legs, he gave it a hard tug, and it flipped the right way up. “There you go” he finished, pleased with himself. Jemma stood and stared at the chair for a few minutes and then looked at Dean, saying “I want to climb it!”



Will Jemma be able to climb it? how will she go about it? What will she see and will she be happy with what she finds?

Thank you for reading, if you have any suggestions or criticism please let me know.


You can find more of my work here.



"I loved writing as a child, loved making up silly stories. They came built-in to my brain, almost like an Ikea instruction manual. The focus these days is to figure out how to now turn them into books" Tanya Butler, June 2018

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