Eight-year-old Lenore sat next to Master Splinter’s blind friend, Andre. She was reading him one of her all-time favourite stories. It was one she had recently gotten as a late birthday gift. The story was called, Thumper’s Sister’s – a story she had read numerous times.
“Thumper didn’t feel that his parents loved him anymore. All they did now was yell because he was too loud when his sister’s were sleeping, or because he would eat too much and not leave them enough to eat,” Lenore read, pausing a moment. “Sounds like home to me, Andre. I get in trouble if I eat too much or am too loud. It’s not fun.”
Andre chuckled softly. “I know that to be true, Little One. But, I believe all families with more than one child may be like that.”
Lenore shrugged, though her father’s friend could not see her do so. “Don’t think it fair, to get in trouble for eatin’. But – I guess yah gotta share food too, huh?”
“Yes,” Andre answered. “Sharing is the nicest thing you can do – well, one of the nicest I think.”
Lenore smiled and went back to reading him her book. “Thumper ran and ran and ran. He ran until suddenly POOF! His feet went out from under him and he was hanging upside down. The poor little rabbit was caught in a snare.”
“Why would people wanna catch rabbits, Andre? They gotta eat ‘em, like they eat turtle stew?”
“I’m afraid so,” Andre replied. “Though, some also believe a rabbit’s foot to be lucky – only it can’t be attached to the rabbit.”
“That’s dumb,” Lenore commented. “How’s he s’pose to hop without a foot.”
Andre shook his head slightly, laughing softly. “So, tell me, does Thumper get free?”
Lenore resumed reading him the book that went everywhere with her – literally – including the bathroom. “It was then that Thumper’s mother and father – who had gone on their walk – came over the hill. When they saw Thumper caught in the snare, they were both worried. ‘Don’t worry son! I’ll get you down!’ His father called. ‘Oh! My poor Baby!’ His mother cried. Soon Thumper was free and his mother quickly hugged him tight. ‘Oh! Thumper! We were so worried!’ She said. ‘We’re glad you’re okay, son.’ His father told him, giving him a thump on the back… They then went home, and Thumper never felt unloved again.”
“That was a very nice story. I thank you for reading it to me,” Andre smiled.
“I like readin’ to you!” Lenore told him sincerely. She moved to hug him, but stopped, remembering he didn’t know her to be a turtle.
“What’s wrong?” Andre asked, sensing her apprehension. “You can climb into my lap, if you’d like.”
“I better not,” Lenore grumbled softly. “You won’t like me then.”
“I’m not exactly a human.”
“And there’s something wrong with that? I’m not exactly able to see, so I'm not able to hug visitors often.”
“You sure you wanna Freak in your lap?”
“Child, you’re not a freak to me. You’re a kind little girl, who’s willing to spend her free-time reading a blind old man a story.”
Lenore smiled big then, unable to help herself. “Raph wouldn’t like me sayin’ I’m a Freak. He says it’s the baddest word of ‘em all.”
Andre helped her into his lap, once she had come close enough to climb up. “Well, maybe to your brother it is.”
Lenore tensed slightly when she felt Andre pat her shell. She wasn’t used to sitting in a human’s lap – she didn’t dare sit in Casey’s lap, and she despised April, though all the others loved her.
Andre smiled warmly at her. “I bet you’re a real pretty turtle, Little One.”
Lenore giggled and gave him a hug. “Nah. I’m average. But thanks for thinkin’ I’d be pretty.”
“I don’t think, I know,” Andre told her, returning her hug. “Only pretty little turtles are allowed in my lap.”
Lenore kissed his cheek affectionately. “I like you, Andre.”
“And I you, Lenore.”