Tongue Twisters

Tall Ted's Turtles

A Tongue Twister Tale

by S.E. Schlosser 

Tall Ted's TurtlesTall Ted Thompson parked his traveling turtle tank on Tenth Street in front of Tonawanda Town Hall.  Tall Ted's traveling Turtle Aquarium was a big attraction in Tonawanda.  Timmie Torlish and his twin sister Trish ran to push their noses against the tanks windows to take a look at the turtles as Tall Ted walked up Tenth Street to talk to the mayor.

     It was Timmie who noticed Travis Taylor staring intently at the turtles swimming and sunning themselves in Tall Ted's turtle tank. 

     "Look at Terrible Travis!" Timmie whispered to Trish. 

      "I bet he wants to steal Tall Ted's turtles and make them into turtle soup," said Trish.  "Last month, he stole Farmer Tom's turtles right out of the pond!"    

      "Well, he can't steal these turtles.  They are safely locked away in Tall Ted's tank," said Timmie to his twin. 

      When the twins were done watching turtles, they headed up the street toward Town Hall, which had a huge tulip tree out front that was easy to climb.  Suddenly, Timmie heard a thud from somewhere behind them.  Timmie and Trish turned around and saw that Terrible Travis had unhooked the door to Tall Ted's turtle tank.  Water leaked out of the turtle tank.  Then, the door to the tank trembled and burst open.  Out tumbled a ton of water and all of Tall Ted's turtles.  Turtles of all sizes toppled over and over as the torrent tore down Tenth Street, scrambling desperately toward the sidewalk in their effort to get out of the raging torrent.

     "Ted's turtles are loose," yelled Trish. "Quick, Timmie, go get Tall Ted."   

      Timmie toppled out of the tulip tree and ran to get Ted.  Trish jumped down behind him and hurried onto Tenth Street to try to capture Tall Ted's turtles. 

      Tenth Street was a mess!  Turtles were traipsing everywhere, and the gutters were overflowing with water.  Tracey Timmons the local school teacher tripped over two of Tall Ted's Turtles and dropped her grocery bag full of tomatoes.  Twenty turtles meandered into Toy Town and ten turtles got caught in the revolving door of the Tenth Street Savings and Loan and were tossed into the lap of a surprised teller who was taking a lunch break.

     Officer Todd Tabbot, Tonawanda's town policeman, stopped traffic so Tall Ted could collect his turtles.  Timmie, Trish and the shopkeepers all helped Tall Ted.

     "How did my tank break?" asked Tall Ted, scratching his head in puzzlement.

     "Terrible Travis unhooked the door to the tank," the twins told Tall Ted.  "We think he wants to make Turtle Soup for his truck stop."

Tall Ted's eyes widened when he heard this report.  "That could explain why twenty of my turtles are missing," Tall Ted exclaimed.

     Tall Ted, the twins and Officer Talbot took Tall Ted's traveling turtle tank over to Taylor's Truck Stop to talk to Terrible Travis.  They found Travis heating up a huge pot of water.  In a tank behind him swam twenty turtles.  All the turtles had the special tag that Tall Ted hooked onto their shells to help people identify his pets.  

     Terrible Travis turned pale when he saw Tall Ted and Officer Talbot.

     "I give up," Travis cried when Tall Ted showed Todd Talbot the tags his turtles wore.  Todd Talbot arrested Travis for stealing Tall Ted's turtles and for tampering with Tall Ted's traveling turtle tank.

     Tall Ted shook hands with Timmie and Trish Torlish and gave them a turtle to take care of as a reward for turning in Travis Taylor.  Then Tall Ted got into his traveling turtle tank and drove down Tenth Street to Tonawanda Town Hall to finish his talk with the mayor.


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Schlosser, author of the Spooky Series

About the Author: S.E. Schlosser

S.E. Schlosser is the author of the Spooky Series by Globe Pequot Press, as well as the Ghost Stories deck by Random House.  She has been telling stories since she was a child, when games of "let's pretend" quickly built themselves into full-length tales acted out with friends. A graduate of both Houghton College and the Institute of Children's Literature, Sandy received her MLS from Rutgers University while working as a full-time music teacher and a freelance author. Read more

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