I’ve posted author interviews before, but today’s my first fictional-character interview. (Not, of course, that our guest thinks he’s fictional.)
Allow me to introduce TADEO Turtle. He pronounces his name TAD-ay-OH, and I believe we can also call him TAD.
Janet: Tadeo, welcome. I’m quite fond of turtles and pleased to meet you. What kind of turtle are you?
Tadeo: Hi Janet. Thanks for the opportunity to talk to you and your readers. I am a painted turtle – well not quite – as my creator used her imagination to create me. Janis started with a picture of a painted turtle and then let the colours flow and out I came.
Janet: Well, you’re a new kind of painted turtle then… a watercolour turtle! Do painted turtles live in most parts of North America? I’m in Nova Scotia, Canada, and I’m pretty sure we have some of your relatives here. We also have the endangered Blandings Turtle.
Tadeo: Yes we are native to most of North America and my cousins live in your neck of the woods. Thank you for bringing up the subject of endangered species. There are many turtles that are threatened by more than predators. Humans have made some of my relatives very scarce and that makes me sad.
Besides the Blandings Turtle we are also losing the Spotted Turtle and the Snapping Turtle as well as many, many others. These used to be common to you humans but we die on roads – did you know that? Have you seen the signs – Turtle Crossing – well watch out, we move very slowly and can’t get across your busy intersections very well. SLOW down when you see that sign – you might hit ME.
Janet: I’ve seen those signs, Tadeo. The only time I saw a turtle crossing the road was at night, and he was a big guy, a snapper I think. I didn’t think it was safe to stop on the side of the road and try to move him (snappers snap!) but I asked God to protect him and get him safely across. I assume the bigger turtles are the older ones. You’re still fairly young, yourself, aren’t you? I understand you like to laugh and play. What sorts of things do turtles do for fun?
Tadeo: I like to eat, fish, insects, plants – actually I am omnivorous, I love any food – it keeps me healthy. I look around at the lady turtles but haven’t found one I fancy yet. I have some friends – SAMMY SQUIRREL is my friend, you know. I am not sure about CAT as he was in my dream but maybe I could make friends with him some day.
Janet: It sounds like a good life. But for a while you were kind of sad about it. Care to tell us a bit about that?
Tadeo: Oh I started to feel sorry for myself when I looked at what my friend SAMMY SQUIRREL could do and I couldn’t because of my shell – it is cumbersome you know.
Janet: So you started to think your lovely shell wasn’t such a good thing?
Tadeo: My eyes looked at others instead of at God and I did envy what I saw. Now I think of people who have casts on their limbs, or are in wheel chairs. Maybe they feel like that too.
Janet: Perhaps they do. And perhaps if some of them read about your story, they’ll feel better about themselves. I wonder if SAMMY SQUIRREL or CAT wished they could have a cool shell like yours.
Tadeo: I guess so – maybe when they are being chased and can’t get away they would like a place to hide and be protected. Mmm I never thought about that. Thanks Janet for opening my eyes to that fact.
Janet: I think other than protection, the best thing about having a shell would be that your house is always with you. When you want to nap, you can tuck in and sleep wherever you are. Do you still wish you were different?
Tadeo: Well – I think know now a little bit more about God, the Creator. I know Janis made me in the book but in her heart my little life is real. And Janis knows God and knows that He created turtles to be as they are. So I know now that I have to accept that and try to be the way God created me. I feel more at peace now that I know that.
Janet: I’m glad. We’re all a little different, on the inside if not the outside. That’s part of the variety of God’s creation. He certainly has a big imagination! But we all fit together in His world.
Tadeo: Oh Janet – you get it too. That is awesome to know that we all have a special place in God’s heart. He cares for all of us – you know. Have you read 1 Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxieties on Him because He cares for you.” I hear Janis saying that a lot.
Janet: Yes, I love that Bible verse. Janis is my friend too, Tadeo, and I have a lot of respect for her faith and wisdom. She’s encouraged me many times. Would you like to tell our readers a bit about her?
Tadeo: Well I am happy that she created me. She told me that God gave her the words to come out of my mouth and that God inspired her to paint. Did you know that she didn’t think she could paint? I find that interesting because she knows that God can do anything. So why didn’t she believe Him right away?
Do you believe that? I think Janis knows now that He can do anything and when we don’t think we can do something we make excuses (just like Moses). But God CAN and DOES. I love that, don’t you?
Also I think Janis is learning to move more slowly – like me. She used to rush and rush – now she takes time to sit and talk to God. She also looks around herself more. Maybe I helped her do that.
Janet: Maybe you did! Isn’t that cool? If you could scurry like SAMMY SQUIRREL that wouldn’t have happened. I love the way her watercolour paintings let me see you and your world. What do you think, does she accurately capture what you look like?
Tadeo: Well sometimes I think that she might have made me a little more handsome so I would find that lady of my life. I want one – you know. But I am not in a hurry – as I know God does have a plan.
Janet: Well, thank you, Tadeo, for taking time for this conversation. I’m a little curious how you typed your answers! I wish you many happy adventures, and I hope to read more about them in another story. Keep your eye out for that special lady turtle!
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