A Stupid Story

Have you ever heard of someone by the name of "Stupid?"

I guess not. But well, that is one name that brings a smile to my face every time I'm reminded of the little imp of a character I had ended up giving that atrocious name to. Way back in my college days, someone had got me a tiny turtle to keep as a pet. He was just about a little larger than my palm.

I tried make him comfortable in my room, providing him with a plastic tub filled with water to swim in. Now, this guy was really a shy one. The moment he was scooped out of his tub he would duck his head and legs inwards into his shell. All my attempts at befriending him were met with this rude resolve to just cower in as soon as he sensed any activity around him. I would lovingly coo to him, stroke his soft shell and offer him shreds of cabbage which were left untouched. I pulled my hair in frustration and decided to name him "Stupid," since I was anyway calling him that every time he disappeared into his safety jacket. The very act of calling him stupid would be so therapeutic and satisfying. He actually seemed to respond to the name. I could tell when he would abruptly retract his outstretched neck into his hell-hole cocoon, freeze on spot at being called out for and do the expected stupid peekaboo act. I should have probably named him Peekaboo, but Stupid was just so HIM!

Very soon, he went on a hunger strike. I couldn't place a finger on what was wrong. Probably he missed his natural environment and I was unable to replicate the same for him. Someone told me that the veggies I was giving him were not similar to his natural diet, so I tried feeding him with bits of meat, but that too did not work. Someone else told me that in spite of coming from a species that thrives in water, he still needed to be left outside water for a little time everyday to get a whiff of fresh air, and a walk would of course do his four legs some good. So, out I let him dutifully for his share of snooping around. He seemed to like it till the time he sensed human presence. In spite of his speed issues he still managed to flee to the nearest corner available or worse still duck inwards into his god-damn shell!

There were so many opinions and insights people offered. Someone mused that probably he wasn't meant for clear water, that he might have been a sea creature. Unfortunately, Google wasn't around yet for me to surf for the exact details. Arggghh!  I did not know whether he was stupid or I was! As days went by, he appeared to me like a little depressed kid who had withdrawn from the world out of sheer misery, the reason for which I was unable to fathom. Finally, I decided to do the best that I could think for him.

 Stupid was released into a natural water body close to my house. Was it my imagination that he swam in glee on being freed? Creating spirals, bobbing up and down in the water, he did seem a lot delighted to reach out to his world! He definitely seemed to be in a better place. I called out his name one last time as I waved out to him, "Stupid! Eat well...okay? Farewell my friend..." 

Till this day, I do not enjoy calling out any other name as much as I used to enjoy his. Stupid? But still!

Source: Google Images
This post was written after a long spell of  'no-blogging' in response to the interesting prompt, "What's in a name?" provided by our super-awesome bartenders at BAR