TORTOISE, n. A creature thoughtfully created to supply occasion for the following lines by the illustrious Ambat Delaso: TO MY PET TORTOISE My friend, you are not graceful -- not at all; Your gait's between a stagger and a sprawl. Nor are you beautiful: your head's a snake's To look at, and I do not doubt it aches. As to your feet, they'd make an angel weep. 'Tis true you take them in whene'er you sleep. No, you're not pretty, but you have, I own, A certain firmness -- mostly you're [sic] backbone. Firmness and strength (you have a giant's thews) Are virtues that the great know how to use -- I wish that they did not; yet, on the whole, You lack -- excuse my mentioning it -- Soul. So, to be candid, unreserved and true, I'd rather you were I than I were you. Perhaps, however, in a time to be, When Man's extinct, a better world may see Your progeny in power and control, Due to the genesis and growth of Soul. So I salute you as a reptile grand Predestined to regenerate the land. Father of Possibilities, O deign To accept the homage of a dying reign! In the far region of the unforeknown I dream a tortoise upon every throne. I see an Emperor his head withdraw Into his carapace for fear of Law; A King who carries something else than fat, Howe'er acceptably he carries that; A President not strenuously bent On punishment of audible dissent -- Who never shot (it were a vain attack) An armed or unarmed tortoise in the back; Subject and citizens that feel no need To make the March of Mind a wild stampede; All progress slow, contemplative, sedate, And "Take your time" the word, in Church and State. O Tortoise, 'tis a happy, happy dream, My glorious testudinous regime! I wish in Eden you'd brought this about By slouching in and chasing Adam out.