Franklin, the tortoise, was dead.
He entered everything with great aplomb, and for that, he was often hated. But as his tough little carapace lay in the container, stuck in the museum’s entryway as it had been for years, people mourned. Children from across the city came to see his little dead body, and parents joined their morbid fascination.
Politicians sent their regrets to the museum’s curators. Popular culture icons tweeted short eulogies to the turtle, and businessmen and women traveled great distances for his solemn funeral procession down the main street.
The only one who was not broken up by the event was Charles. A direct descendent of Mr. Darwin, Charles had hoped to one day savour Franklin’s succulent meat. But it was not to be, for before Charles could reach the turtle, he was interred, and worms, as he knew from his father’s writings, spoiled the taste of tortoise meat.
Such was the lament of Charles on learning of Franklin’s death.