Kreative Kue 388

Kreative Kue 387 asked for submissions based on this photograph:

Leopard Tortoise

John W Howell is a multiple nominated and award-winning author who blogs at Fiction Favorites. Details of John’s books can be found on his Amazon author page

60 Minutes by John W. Howell © 2022

“So you are the head tortoise.”


“I wonder. Do you have a name?”

“I do.”

“Uh, could you share it?”


“Tom the tortoise?”

“Just Tom.”

“What makes you the head tortoise?”


“How old are you?”

“Not sure.”

“How do you know you are the oldest?”

“Been told.”

“By whom?”

“The second oldest.”

“I guess I could ask how the second oldest knew he was the second oldest, but I imagine the answer would be, He was told by the third oldest.”


“I’m doing this interview for the show 60 Minutes. Ever hear of it?”


“Our viewers are interested in information about things. For example, we heard you tortoises live a long time.”


“Erm. Do you have any secrets?”

“Who doesn’t?”

“To a long life, I mean.”

“Stay away from drugs, tobacco, and alcohol.”

“You gotta be kidding. Where would a tortoise get drugs, tobacco, and alcohol?”


“So your advice is hollow.”

“Yet I’m the oldest of the old.”

“I suppose you have a point.”

“Damn right.”

“What’s that in your mouth?”


“Ah ha.”

“For heaven’s sake.”

“You said no drugs.”

“Tallgrass. No news here. Sorry, Leslie.”

My effort was:

Story time

Sit yourselves down now, kids. Grandpappy’s got a story to tell you.

No, Elmer, it won’t be long and boring, and neither was the last one, before you start. Or the one before that, or indeed any of them; and I’ll thank you to confine your rebellious and rude talk to when you’re with kids of your own age. In this society, it’s generally accepted and expected that young’uns will show a bit of respect for their elders. So, sit down, shut up and listen – unless you’d prefer a spell in the hibernation box…

This, kids, is a tale of intrigue and excitement. An account of high adventure and great danger. A narrative, if you will, of extreme derring-do.

I shall speak to you of events that took place when I was not much older than you are now—

No, Henry Junior, you haven’t heard this one before. Why not? Because I haven’t heard it myself yet.

Now. Where was I? Oh yes—

You’re right, James. I hadn’t started, but if you’ll allow, I shall do so now.

Picture the scene. The year is 1922—

Yes, Albert, a hundred years ago.

Indeed I am. I passed my first century anniversary two decades ago.

What’s that? The reason I said my first century is simply because I have every expectation that it won’t be my last.

Yes, Matilda, I plan to live to be at least two hundred years old.

Haven’t they? Then perhaps I’ll be the first.

To continue – the year was 1922, and I had just celebrated my twenty-first birthday. My pappy took me to a drinking house so I could have what he thought was my first taste of an alcoholic beverage. When we got there—

Yes, Marigold, I did say ‘what he thought was my first taste of an alcoholic beverage.’ I said that because, like many of you – okay, almost all of you – I had been getting hold of some illicit booze from other kids for a good while by then.

Thank you, Brian, I remember where I was. When we got to the drinking house, we found it closed. There was a sign outside saying that our local council had revoked the licence to sell alcohol in solidarity with the prohibition movement in the United States. I can tell you that Pappy was far from pleased with that. He liked his drink, did my pappy. Never got drunk, not that I’d noticed, anyway, but he did enjoy a swig or two of an evening. And it looked like he wouldn’t be able to any longer.

He couldn’t understand why I wasn’t as annoyed as he was. When I said, ‘no reason,’ he threatened to starve me until I told him. Back then, you see, it was traditional for young lads to go to the drinking house with their pappies on their coming of age to sample their first drink and be initiated into the joys of alcohol. It was something we looked forward to and Pappy was right to think I’d at least be disappointed if we couldn’t do it.

Yes, Nigella, the age of consent was twenty-one then. Coming of age at eighteen is a relatively new thing.

So, Pappy was wondering how he could mark my majority, given that the drinking house was closed and other methods of introducing young males to pleasures only available to adults hadn’t really hit this town yet. You see, some sort of rite of passage has been a thing with our kind since forever and Pappy felt that he would have failed as a father if he hadn’t done something special to mark the occasion.

We talked about combat of some kind but hey – look at me. Do I look like a fighter?

So, I caved in and told Pappy that a group of older boys had been secretly running an independent alcohol; production facility for some time, and that even though the drinking house was closed, we could still get hold of—

No, Stephen, there were no supermarkets, liquor stores or off-licences back then. The only place you could legally buy alcoholic drinks was the town’s drinking house and even then, you had to consume it on the premises. The idea of drinking at home was something that had never been officially explored.

Unofficially, of course, Gerald’s production facility – he called it a still, presumably because it had never been found and shut down – allowed those of us the know to drink whenever and wherever we chose. However, it was against the law, and that’s where the intrigue, adventure, danger and derring-do come into the story.

But that’s for another time. Rush on home now, kids, your Mammies will have your feed ready, and you’ll need a nap after all this excitement.

Raymond Walker offered this eerie tale of adventure and danger. Raymond is a prolific author whose main web site is at Details of Raymond’s books can be found on his Amazon author page

Hymn To Demeter. The Original Thanksgiving. © 2022 Raymond Walker 

“On this night my sisters we give thanks to Demeter the goddess of fertility, we thank her for our strength in adversity. Our daughters were taken from us and sold into servility much as we ourselves were”.

I can only imagine what was said, what form thanksgiving took. No one knows. At that time women held no power other than fertility; they were not taught to read or write and as no male was allowed to attend the festival so no record of “The Thesmophoria” exists other than hearsay.

Yet this “Thanksgiving” was no minor thing, celebrated in the classical world from Sicily in the west to Asia Minor in the east, from Macedonia in the north to North Africa in the South and it is suggested that this festival predated even that arising in the neolithic age. (In Greek terms from 7000-3200 BCE) For the Greeks it celebrated Persephone rising from the underworld and rebirthing the sun. For other earlier races we delve into prehistory. Other than that, thanksgiving celebrated fertility, much the same as it does today in North America and other countries throughout the world

I am old, and have been for many years, hatched on the shores of the Peloponnese I walked for many years, bred, laid eggs in the sand and arid clay and wandered some more until my legs were pulled from my shell and cracked, thrown aside, my two hundred years gone in an instant as the boiling water covered me.

The women of Asia Minor, Greece, Italy, Phoenicia and so many lands had grown together to celebrate their one hold on the world. The power to give birth, to seed the new age of heroes but who is to say that my next clutch would not have given us a hero of the Testudinidae world?
N.B. At feasts Tortoise and Turtle was a firm favourite with the Greeks and Carthaginians.


Using this photo as inspiration, write a short story, flash fiction, scene, poem; anything, really; even just a caption for the photograph. Either put your offering (or a link to it) in a comment or email it to me at before Sunday evening UK time. If you post it on your own blog or site, a link to this page would be appreciated, but please do also mention it in a comment here. Thank you for taking part.