PARENTAL WARNING: This story should only be read to children who have a 5 O’clock shadow and exhibit symptoms of cantalouping.
“Can anyone tell me,” I berated Team Rocket, “Why your boss hired third-party thugs out-of-pocket? Are you hiding your numbers? You can’t be this dumb… After more than a decade, your total is none?”
They looked down at the ground and they shuffled their feet And they once more recounted their tales of defeat: It was always the same, the same boy with his hat, The same shocking conclusion, the same yellow rat.
I’ve never quite seen such an unbroken streak Of magnificent failure! What horrid technique! So I preached them the merits of switching careers As we sat by the lake and it filled with their tears. “Your problem’s in planning, you must keep things plain— Why not sneak up at night and just bash Ash’s brain?”
My advice became shouts and I yelled until purple— And that’s when we noticed an everyday turtle. Just an everyday turtle who shouted its name As it waddled past quickly, along the marsh grain. It sat down and relaxed by the edge of the shore And ignored us quite well as it started to snore.
I slapped my fat forehead as if sprayed by bear mace: “Can’t you see with your eyes what’s in front of your face? Can’t you see that that turtle that lays on those rocks With his unfettered spirit and striped purple socks Is the prey you’ve pursued far and wide yet not near For lo! this last decade, plus three extra years? They say you’re the worst, so prove you’re the best! Are you honcho or hoodwink of Pokémon theft?”
The three smiled with hands wrung together like chains As they thought up a plan, and they went to great pains To construct a machine of Rube Goldberg descent To capture this creature beneath a great tent.
Now, the tent was substandard and the clunky machine Was so gaudily painted I thought it obscene. The pistons were wooden, the girders were bent And a family of opossums was lodged in the vent. But the fools were just sure it would capture their pet— Though I’d’ve just scooped the thing up in a net. They flipped a blue lever. The machine hissed and swayed And the turtle woke up and it wandered away.
The tent fell to the ground with a slip and a tumble And the creaky contraption collapsed into rubble. And the turtle was laughing! It laughed from the lake! It laughed at my students! My pride was at stake! Without thought to the law or with thought of myself I hurled myself skyward toward the sea shelf. With Jessie in one hand and James by the foot And Meowth on my coattails we crashed the sea roof.
We needed no catch-phrase to swat out that bug. No nonsense of starflight, nor scorning of love. We beat-boxed that turtle, it took seven hours— But after we caught him, we’d harness those powers. Those powers that fought us to the edge of the brink… Until mid-morning’s generous armistice drink. We ceased our attacks and retracted our blades And for forty-four minutes no battle-hymns played. But on the forty-fifth minute I broke off the deal— And I broke more than that with my boots, shod in steel!
With a final sick wheeze, it gave up the ghost And the turtle’s shell crumbled like overdone toast. We captured it quickly and contained it by purse Until it could be tended by a pink-headed nurse.
Soon the turtle’s shell shone— it was healed and grew finer, And they auctioned it off and bought South Carolina. But when Jessie and James sealed the state’s borders, Their boss caught wind and summoned his lawyers. Thanks to twelve briefs in a rude contretemps, Jessie and James now collect workman’s comp.
And what of the turtle that caused this dispute? As far as I care, it’s been turned into soup. My contract is up, so it’s time now, it seems, To unfurl our sails and drift into our dreams.