In the mid 1970s, when we had droughts in the Summer, my parents got us a tortoise. (I remember my slightly older cousins telling me that we were not allowed to have a paddling pool because Mr Heath said so. Visions of the Prime Minister swooping teacher like on the pool if we filled it. Always was a little on the dramatic side.) It refused all the food it was given and ate weeds in the lawn and dahlias and other carefully tended plants.
About five years ago it made an escape attempt and disappeared to pastures new. Better weeds beckoned. My parents were not too sad, for My Dad had had to build little fences around all his flower beds. Otherwise he'd plant stuff and come out the next day to find little stumps where his flowers had been.
Now the mystery of the AWOL Tortoise is over. My parents have been in contact with the man who lives in the house behind and it seems that Speedy lived there for the last few years, but has now gone to live in a tortoise sanctuary belonging to the son of the owners of the pink house opposite them. ( Three houses away from a tortoise santuary, who would have thought we were so close....)
Anyway, Speedy now has other tortoise company after over 30 years of solitude and some female company, for he is a Mr Tortoise, we now discover.
And they all lived happily ever after.