Once, there was a little turtle who lost his family and was found by a mamma rabbit. The rabbit pitied the turtle, and took him as one of her own, caring for him with the same love as for her own rabbit babies. The turtle came to love his new family, but he never felt he quite fully belonged. He ate rabbit food and spoke rabbit language; he tried his best to move quickly, and frolic with the others. But the turtle loved to daydream, to walk so slowly along the riverbank and watch the fish swim and the sun rise - and even to sometimes draw himself into the quiet darkness of his shell and rest.
"Come out, come out!" his brothers would call. And "Hurry, hurry, hurry," mamma rabbit would say, "We mustn't be seen by the fox." The turtle thought he was safe inside his shell, but he hurried and worried to please mamma rabbit, whom he loved.
One day, while rushing to follow his family to the garden for supper, he saw a large turtle watching him. "Have you gone crazy?" she asked. "Why do you chase after the rabbits?"
"Because they are my family, and I have to act like them," said the little turtle.
"Don't you recognize me? I am your mother. You got lost one day and now, with my love, I have found you."
The little turtle stopped running, and the rabbits were were going so fast they didn't even notice. With his heart overflowing, he joined his mother.
The days passed sweetly. Now and again they would see the rabbit family, and the little turtle would frolic with them awhile. But mostly, the turtles daydreamed. They drew themselves, side by side, into the quiet darkness of their shells. They walked slowly along the riverbank and watched the fish swim, and the sun rise.