Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A Dark Past and Bright Future

In his young years, he spent his days roaming the mountains of Southern Afghanistan looking for scraps of food with his family. As each slow step sunk slightly into the coarse sand, the effort seemed nearly fruitless at times, as it would take the better part of a day to go a short distance. Having been born a half decade before the United States ever brought war to the region, Torry learned to avoid the common pitfalls such as unexploded ordinance and landmines.


Nights in the valleys were cold and the days were hot, but he carried everything he needed to survive on his back. Following the traditions of generations of other nomads like him, he found joy in the smallest of things. Crawling on his belly over the jagged rocks to avoid being seen while looking for food, his neck, legs and arms showed scars from years of such activity. He had many siblings as well as extended family all living in the same four square miles.


They all grew up without running water, electricity or even a roof over their heads, but they were happy. One after another, his siblings left the area they grew up in, never to be heard from again. One day, Torry was out looking for his food near a ridge when he was grabbed by two large men and thrown into the covered back of a truck. It was dark and the smell of excrement stank in the noon sun. The truck rumbled along as Torry struggled to find a way out.


After what seemed like several days, he was taken from the truck and given a piece of fruit and a small amount of water. His captors had treated him rather kindly compared to some others captured in the region. He was loaded into a crate with a few others who he recognized. There they waited to meet their future. None of them knew what was to happen once the crate was opened. What had they done to deserve this? Where were they going?


Fast forward ten years: Today, Torry lives in America where he no longer has to work as hard to find his food. He lives alone, but has a large house and all the amenities. He no longer worries about stepping on a mine or unexploded rocket, but he does get lonely as there are no others like him nearby. Torry, my Afghanistan Tortoise is awesome… so he deserves a badass story. U mad?

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